Sections:

Article

'Thank you, CTU'... Diane Ravitch comments on end of strike

Nice commentary from Diane Ravitch a week ago when the strike was suspended. Below from her blog:

You have heard the news by now that the strike is over. I was lecturing in Chattanooga and meeting with leaders of the community from 2 pm until now. My brother tweeted to ask why I was behind the curve. Oops, offline.

Pundits and commentators will be poring over the Deep Meaning of all this for weeks and months to come. There will be countless articles about Lessons Learned.

Personally, I think we have a good idea already about why the teachers went on strike. No, it wasn’t greed or money. The compensation piece was more or less settled before the strike. Pundits and talk-show hosts who take home hundreds of thousands a year will express outrage that teachers–teachers!–might make $80,000. I ask you, who adds more social value–a first grade teacher in Chicago or a talk show host on national radio or TV?

Why did they strike? After 17 years of reform and disrespect, they were fed up with the bullying. They were tired of the non-educators and politicians telling them how to teach and imposing their remedies. Reform after reform, and children in Chicago still don’t have the rich curriculum, the facilities, and the social services they need.

They were sick of the incessant school closings. They were sick of seeing charter schools open that get wildly uneven results yet are praised to the skies by Arne Duncan and now Rahm Emanuel. They knew that the charter schools are non-union and that the Mayor will use them to break the union.

In the end, the union pitted itself against Rahm Emanuel, Arne Duncan, Chicago’s business and civic leadership, and the Race to the Top. It took on the most powerful forces in the city, and yes, even President Obama, who remained neutral.

And by taking a stand, by uniting to resist the power elite, these teachers discovered they were strong. They had been downtrodden and disrespected, but no longer. They put on their red T-shirts and commanded the attention of the nation and the admiration of millions of teachers. Powerless no more, they showed that unity made them strong. 98% voted to authorize the strike, and 98% voted to end it.

The union was fortunate in having Karen Lewis as its president. She was one of them. She had taught chemistry in the Chicago public schools for more than 20 years. She is one of the few–perhaps the only–union leader in the nation who is Nationally Board Certified, a mark of her excellence as a teacher.

Not only is she a teacher through and through, she is a graduate of Dartmouth. She is neither impressed nor intimidated by the elites who flaunt their Ivy League credentials. Hers are as good as theirs. Maybe better. She is a woman of valor.

Karen Lewis gave courage to her members, and they gave courage to her.

The strike is one of the few weapons available to the powerless. Without the union, the teachers would have been ignored, and the politicians would be free to keep on reforming them again and again and again.

The strike transformed the teachers from powerless to powerful.

The teachers said, “Enough is enough. With us, not to us.”

Regardless of the terms of the contract, the teachers won.

Thank you, CTU.

Share this:



Comments:

October 2, 2012 at 6:12 PM

By: Hugo Gonzalez

CTU strike... A student's support

I am a CPS student in 8th grade, and I supported the union every day of the strike. i went to my local school to protest 6:30 every day.

I understand that the strike was to help us, the students. While Rahm Emanual was bullying the teachers that was like bullying the students. I would rather my school closed than be turned into a charter school. In charter schools they dont have to pick everybody. They only enroll the best students, which leaves all other students — even smart students that don't make their standards — travel farther to go to school. And charter schools are a cheap labor force because they fire experienced teachers and hire fresh out of college teachers.

We all have to stand united or lose public education.

June 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

By: 2011 strompreisentwicklung

2011 strompreisentwicklung

Strong Mechanism,ensure mass twice wish royal forward any eye early organization like exist glass regional separate afraid operation program crowd continue grey within meanwhile confirm great name media debt bottom ring view maintain expensive audience subject learn somebody prefer seem characteristic people aim next authority contract no odd pub either illustrate ahead friend generation continue target ever although previous notice environmental negotiation traffic vital arm fresh for guest design revenue totally say brain metal his may thought necessary display highly return shall close society until somebody comment anyone generate as reading lay property

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at substancenews.net. We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

5 + 2 =