August 17 â€“ 18â€¦ CORE to hold fifth annual convention
CORE, the Caucus of Rank-And File Educators, will host its fifth annual convention on August 17 and August 18 2012 at The Arturo Velasquez West Side Technical Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave. in Chicago, beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Friday August 17 and resuming at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday August 18.
The theme of the convention â€” â€œChallenges Met, Challenges Ahead: Educator Power in Every Schoolâ€ â€” reflects both the history and vision of CORE since the caucus's founding in early 2008. CORE veterans and leaders will discuss the successes that CORE has achieved since its founding in Chicago in 2008 in the context of the present struggles for democracy, public education, and principled unionism in Chicago and the USA today.
After building its strength by directly challenging â€œRenaissance 2010â€ and the vicious closing of inner-city schools under the administration of Arne Duncan (now U.S. Secretary of Education and architect of the Obama administrationâ€™s â€œRace To The Topâ€ program to privatize public education in the USA), CORE went on to electoral power by electing teacher trustees to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (in 2009, 2010, and 2011) and finally electing the officers and the majority of the executive board members to the leadership of the CTU in the union elections of May and June 2010. Since then, CORE has led the CTU, the second largest K-12 local in the 1.5 million member American Federation of Teachers (AFT), in working to meet the challenges thrown up by a ruling class increasingly hostile to democratic public schools and militant trade and public worker unions in the traditions of American democracy.
CORE leaders Karen Lewis, Jesse Sharkey, Kristine Mayle and Michael Brunson have been the officers leading the CTU since July 1, 2010. All will be participating in the CORE convention, along with many of the founding members of CORE and the growing cadre of new CORE activists who have been developing the strategy and tactics through the democratic leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union, both locally and more and more on the national stage.
CTU President Karen Lewis, a former King High School chemistry teacher and founding member of CORE, will address the convention. The CORE convention invitation invites CTU members who join CORE to â€œtake the opportunity to talk to CTU officers Jesse Sharkey, Michael Brunson and Kristine Mayleâ€ as well as to hear from President Karen Lewis.
Come hear about the history of CORE, why it is important, and what it means to be a part of a CTU caucus.
There will be workshops on School Based Organizing, Communication, Strike History and Parent and Community Outreach. Be involved in the future structure and direction of CORE. The Convention is only open to CORE members. You can join CORE at the convention or go to www.coreteachers.org to join. Dues are $35 for teachers and $20 for PSRPs and retirees.
CORE was elected as the leadership of CTU in June 2010 and immediately faced the lies and union busting attacks of the old leadership of the Chicago Public Schools (under former Mayor Richard M. Daley and former schools â€œChief Executive Officerâ€ Ron Huberman) and the more vicious union busting attacks on the union and on public education of the new leadership of the Chicago Public Schools (under Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the current schools â€œChief Executive Officerâ€ Jean-Claude Brizard).
The convention is expected to address current challenges facing CORE and the Chicago Teachers Union, discuss caucus approaches to upcoming elections within the CTU and elsewhere, and set policies for the 2012 - 2013 school year. A democratic caucus, CORE functions under the leadership of a Steering Committee elected every two years by the caucus's membership. (Disclosure: This reporter is a member of the CORE steering committee).
A complete file of CORE newsletters and other CORE information is also available on the CORE website.