Posts Tagged ‘teachers’
Tags: benefits, cartoon, education, guns, Republicans, rich, taxes, teachers, United Kingdom, United States
Tags: Chicago, Occupy Wall Street, protest, strike, teachers, Wisconsin, workers
Steven Ashby thinks we’re in the midst of a historical turning point:
So are Wisconsin, Occupy and the CTU strike another turning point that future historians will see as the beginning of a new mass workers’ movement demanding social change?
If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on it. One key ingredient in the making of historical turning points is that people begin to view street protests as normal instead of weird. Instead of viewing a mass march on TV or the occupation of a building as strange and scary, many people watch those same events and think to themselves, “Good for them. That’s what it takes to get anything done in this country. Maybe I’ll join them.”
I can’t say I’m as optimistic as Ashby. But, as I’ve often explained to students, history is unpredictable.
Tags: Chicago, inequality, miners, poverty, protest, South Africa, teachers, unions, workers
Striking platinum miners have signed a new wage deal and have decided to return to the Lonmin mine—but the strike “did not resolve the widespread anger over inequality in South Africa and the government’s failure to address high unemployment and poverty.”
What’s going on in Chicago, as the teachers’ strike enters its second week?
According to David Warsh,
The Chicago teachers strike was an interesting skirmish in what Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson last week described as a civil war within the Democratic Party. As far as I could tell, the walkout was a contest between the Billionaire Boys Club, its program fronted by Mayor (former Wasserstein Perella investment banker and ex-White House chief of staff) Rahm Emanuel, and a tough-talking union chief, Karen Lewis, who had no difficulty mustering a 95 percent strike vote.
Warsh discussed the Billionaire Boys Club back in 2010, in the context of discussing Diane Ravitch’s book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System:
Ravitch is especially good on the influence of what she calls the “Billionaire Boy’s Club” – the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (the Microsoft fortune), the Walton Family Foundation (Wal-Mart), and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation (home-building and finance) – that have eclipsed the older foundations long associated with education policy (Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie and Annenberg) as the powerful big givers. Sometimes described as “venture philanthropies” or exponents of “philanthrocapitalism,” meaning their methods are borrowed from start-up finance and management, the Gates, Walton and Broad foundations see their grants as investments, designed to produce measurable results. And though they preach accountability to teachers, they receive relatively little scrutiny themselves – or even much dissent, given the power of their interlocking grants to exclude critics. All that money buys a lot of silence, Ravitch says, not to mention admiring friends.
Last week, I discussed the role of the Stand for Children foundation in attempting to weaken teachers’ unions and pushing forward its own well-financed education reform agenda.
Does anyone smell a rat?
Tags: cartoon, Chicago, economy, inequality, Obama, Paul Ryan, poverty, Romney, strike, teachers, workers
Tags: Chicago, education, protest, strike, teachers
Chicago teachers are set to rally today in Union Park while the final details are negotiated in the new contract.
Meanwhile, Stand for Children has been operating behind the scenes, with Rahm Emanuel and the Illinois legislature, to weaken teachers’ unions and push forward its own well-financed education reform agenda.
Stand for Children is a non-profit education reform group advocating for the inclusion of standardized test scores in teacher evaluations, charter schools and decreased teacher union power. Over the past three years, the group’s political action committee has raised more than $4 million and doled out more than $1 million to politicians, political parties and other political committees in Chicago and around Illinois. That’s more than double the $460,000 the Chicago Teachers Union PAC has given to political campaigns and other committees over the same period of time. While contributions from the Illinois Federation of Teachers bring the two sides into closer competition, much of IFT’s contributions went to a Supreme Court race in 2010.
All of that money — raised from billionaires in hedge funds, private equity and real estate — has been used to push Stand for Children’s aggressive, hard-charging agenda, which assumes unionization often runs counter to the interest of education. Part of that agenda was attempting make it impossible for the Chicago Teachers Union to strike, though it only made the union more defiant.
The biggest victory for this new monied coalition came in 2011 when Gov. Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 7, which made teacher tenure and layoffs contingent on achievement and rearranged teachers’ salary schedules to align with evaluations instead of seniority. The bill also took certain topics, such as class size, off the table in collective bargaining negotiations. The bill actually had the support of the Chicago Teacher’s Union until the last second, when its president, Karen Lewis, realized that the bill also made it harder for the union to call a strike. Previously, the CTU only needed a simple majority of assent from its members to walk out; it now needs 75 percent.
In the following video, billionaire James Crown and Stand for Children CEO Jonah Edelman outline their political agenda in Illinois and their victory in getting Senate Bill 7 passed. Note in particular, around the 26:40 mark, Edelman’s boast that, as a result of that legislation, the “unions cannot strike.”
Tags: Chicago, protest, right-wing, strike, teachers
The Chicago teachers’ strike is now in its fifth day, and the right-wing teaching-bashing campaign is in full swing.
Tags: Chicago, education, protests, strike, teachers