Should Obama & Dems back striking Chicago teachers or corporate ed "reformers" & Rahm?
Top Democrats have tried to have it both ways on education: give what they want to the corporate "reformers" who want to prove public schools are failing with endless standardized testing as an excuse to privatize public schools so they can skim our tax dollars as profits on the one hand, and keep teachers in the tent by funding ed at a higher level than republicans would and even budgeting money to keep teachers from being fired on the other.
But they can't have it both ways forever. They are either going to screw teachers and students to get that corporate cash, or side with those who signed up for a job with no expectation of getting rich, but just wanted to teach kids and be able to support their family. The latter also happen to be loyal voters and foot soldiers for the Democratic Party.
Education has broader implications too: it is part of the trend of merging corporation and state, with the corporate governance model of one dollar one vote instead of one person one vote dominating.
That the president's former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is a point man for the privatizers in Chicago, shows the cancer on the Democratic Party of trying to be the OTHER corporate party instead of a real alternative to the GOP.
I want a real alternative, and it's time for Democrats in office and candidates to decide if they are going to provide it.
Which side should Obama and Democratic politicians take?
|9 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited|
|Side with the corporate education reformers because they are right|
|Side with corporate education reformers because Dems can't survive to do other good things without their money|
|Side with teachers & students|
|OTHER (please explain)|
|0 DU members did not wish to select any of the options provided.|
Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll
Let them work it out. And if the teacher's union win - WOW!!!!
the other side certainly won't.
I'm in Chicago and support the CTU...but this is a local issue involving a lot more than the money (which is being grossly misrepresented as is always the case in a teacher's strike). Nonetheless it's still a local issue. The President's job is to oversee the Federal and I've rarely known of a President who will take sides in a labor dispute...and the one's I recall were against the union (Raygun & Patco).
Yes there are some issues that do have national implications for teachers should Rahm be able to get the Charter school program he wants but it's also an issue that the NEA and other teaching organizations and unions are going to have to fight...district by district. There should be no need for federal intervention if the unions can show some solidarity (sadly I'm not seeing that with the Chicago strike) and begin to turn the corner on 30 plus years of very bad PR. The President can't make people see the unions as being beneficial for workers...only unions can...and they need to if they're to keep from losing more members and situations such as this.
The votes of the striking teachers and their supporters, or the money that Rahm Emanuel and HIS supporters can bring in.
We shouldn't decide what is the best thing politically, but instead what is the right thing morally, and for me it's standing with the teachers.
Support striking Chicago teachers not corporate education "reformers" trying to divert education funds to their profits
Top Democrats have tried to have it both ways on education: give what they want to the corporate "reformers" who want to prove public schools are failing with endless standardized testing as an excuse to privatize public schools and skim our tax dollars as profits on the one hand, and keep teachers in the tent by funding education at a higher level than Republicans would and even budgeting money to keep teachers from being fired on the other.
But you can't have it both ways forever. In policy actions not just words, you need to side with students and teachers not those on Wall Street who see public education as the next speculative bubble, like the internet or housing, they can inflate and then pop, leaving us to clean up the mess they make of our children's lives.
As you say, the neoliberal "corporate reformers" privatization program IS the current education policy of Obama admin and Democratic party. From what I've read so far, Chicago is where they started the program and are proceeding to make it national.
So no matter how we would like to frame it, this is in reality a political strike against Democratic administrations whole corporatocratic education policy. So should Obama and Democrats support the people who are striking against their education policy? Errr... of course they should change their policy, duh. We don't want their neoliberal shite no more, we loath it. If politics of the street and grass roots movements are strong enough to pressure out 90 degree change of the policies of the establishment, good. If they are too stupid and stubborn to yield and serve the people instead of corporations, what Clint said: get rid of them.
Once the last of the white people who fondly remember Jim Crow are gone, so is the GOP as a national party. They will shrivel to Lyndon LaRouche size. Then Dems will either become the progressive party or see one rise up to their left.
Political strikes by teachers are a very real challenge.
You have a point about GOP corpse twisting as a scare crow to allow Dems to do the corporate garbage to people, but for me this strike shows that the fear is overblown and more of the matter of DU partisan attention myopia than the reality on the American street. Where Hopebama was a big factor 4 years ago which only led to realistic cynicism towards the whole partisan corporate system and politics of the streets and meadows. No matter what the Corporate media would have us believe, our movements are growing stronger and wiser.
needs to get his sorry ass in there and help to work on a solution. He and Michelle Rhee have caused a lot of teacher frustration with this new set of rules on evaluation. YES, evaluate the teachers, but do it on a fair basis. Maybe we need generic teacher scale for salaries across the nation and a cap on class sizes across the nation.
just letting teachers teach instead of pushing more and more unwanted, unneeded and harmful bureaucratic control "evaluation" over them.
This is nothing new, this is how they killed universities in my country. Best people have left and rest are not feeling well at all in the corporatocratic bureaucracy. It's making us and our children sick, literally.
Now, if they let teachers pick their students (ha, that would be private schools), or be guaranteed a learning-ability spectrum within normal range (nope, called "tracking" , or actually give them books and materials and assistance (sorry, no money...pull out your own credit card), then perhaps. We lived through the 32 per classroom years and am thankful for lower class sizes in the elementary schools that came later, at least in California.
A "good teacher" can get a seriously "bad class" and it's not that hard because we could not (at least then) retain/fail children who lag behind for intellectual, family, language, disability or cultural reasons. They just get passed on up. I recommended two 1st graders for retention because after being almost privately tutored by the half-time aide I had (who got cut the next year), they still could not understand the most basic tools ... shape recognition and number concept...crucial to reading and arithmetic.
Also recommended a 3rd student who was clearly intelligent, but spoke no English, came in late in the year and needed to get 1st grade concepts to move on. Even his parents and the ESL teacher agreed. He probably would have made it anyway, but it would have been better for his future educational development. Can you imagine the "test results" of these kids that year and the next?
Refused on all 3.
Also, I had 2-3 students who were reading at 3-4th grade level, parents involved, motivated, etc. I am sad to say that they pretty much taught themselves...and did very well on the tests. This was just one year. After 5 years, I got tired and decided to work for a living wage.
Sorry for the rant. Maybe it's different today. As they say, It's Complicated.
...job' that would make things simpler. But there isn't. The job of a teacher is different, depending on a MULTITUDE of factors...from the age of the children, kindergarten readiness, English Language proficiency, % students in federally subsidized lunch programs to parent involvement and attendance levels. On and on.
THAT's why evaluation by test scores is unfair...Title I teachers do not have the same job as a teacher in an affluent school district. High school jobs differ from elementary teaching. Teachers of core subjects have different testing situations than teachers in the arts, history, etc.
And there is currently an assumption that TEACHERS AREN'T EVALUATED and don't want to be. That is untrue. There are already stringent evaluation systems in place...it's just that they don't all include test scores. And, IMHO, they should not include test scores.
I'd heard tales, but this is my old profession and it makes me want to cry. Public Education...public trust...the next bubble? Oh, lord I hope not but thanks for the info.
The problem with this issue is that education really does need to be reformed, just not as a corporate venture. America needs to care about it and show it by paying for it. If we go by what we pay for, it appears that we care more about waging war than anything. This must change.
b) what profit?
Equal consideration should be given to the students and the citizens who deserve to get the education they are paying for.
I'm behind the teachers 100% in opposition to privatizing education. But that doesn't imply that I'm unconcerned about quality and cost of public education.
"Equal consideration should be given to the students and the citizens who deserve to get the education they are paying for."
I agree with that. However, who is to blame for the Chicago teachers' strike that is going on now? All parties involved must take some responsibility, but the heart of the problem is that we don't make education a priority in America except as a way to exclude certain people from certain jobs. If we really cared about education, it wouldn't be the first item cut in every Congressional budget (along with health care). It is unfair to "punish" parents and students to resolve this issue, but it is also unfair the way Chicago has handled its budget and priorities with regards to education. If it really mattered, teachers would have nothing reasonable to complain about, funding would never be an issue and teacher strikes would be a memory.
The problem with education reform at the moment is that the corporate charter school crap seems to be the only alternative anyone is seriously examining. What we need is a good affordable alternative that makes everyone happy. Sounds hard, doesn't it? I bet we could figure it out.
the new teacher contract has effectively eliminated 'tenure' protection for teachers by its radical revision of evaluation procedures
if a principal wants to get rid of ANY teacher, regardless of 'time served,' he merely uses the highly subjective 'criteria' enumerated in the contract to serve notice on the hapless, 'underperforming' teacher
the whole point of tenure, of course, is to protect teachers from arbitrary dismissal, based upon adminstrative whim
the new contract throws the process almost completely over to the administration, with a useless 'appeal' process to which 'underperforming' miscreants must pursue when they've received an unsatisfactory evaluation, followed by their failure to rehabilitate their methods under admin supervision. it's already happening, and several EXCELLENT teachers in our building are being subjected to this process, as they disagree with the principal's doctrinaire, high-stakes-testing-as-be-all-endall measure of student progress
the union was ineffective in getting much of what they wanted in the bargaining process WRT the evaluation process, and this is the wave of the future
as Tama, I believe, said, it looks to be the sad future of corporate/privatized education in the future
vouchers for ALL!! (including medicare)
to a tinier and tinier minority forever.
We just have to figure out how to bust out.
Unfortunately, the regular political process is so rigged, it will likely take a non-violent revolution to do it.
Wisconsin came close, then they made the mistake of working within the system. The protesters should have stayed at the capital until they literally ran Walker out of office and THEN have an election for his replacement.
I don't know what the similar thing would be here. Maybe every teacher needs to go take a dump on Rahm's lawn since that is what he is doing to your life's work.
the Bush assault on public education.
Race to the Top is the direct impetus for all the things the chicago teachers are fighting: "we'll give you federal money if you'll implement school closings/conversions, merit pay, teacher evals based on test score, etc".
Rahm's education policy is Obama's, & vice-versa.