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We are the 99 percent

Seeing Red: Chicago Teachers Elevate Anti-Privatization Fight to National Level

Posted 11 years ago on Sept. 10, 2012, 9:47 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: labor, strike, teachers, education, solidarity, union, chicago

"United We Bargain, Divided We Beg"

via the Occupied Chicago Tribune:

When a teachers’ strike started to look like a realistic possibility earlier this spring, CPS Chief Communications Officer Becky Carroll warned the readers of Catalyst, “Any talk of a strike is the wrong message to send our schools, students and taxpayers.” For her, and the rest of the privatization evangelists at CPS, the “right” message is simple—shut up and do what you’re told.

Of course, Carroll, who makes $165,000 per year, isn’t paid that kind of money to tell the truth. Luckily for us, neither Chicago teachers nor the larger education community are giving much credence to CPS talking points.

The corporate education “reformers” have been experimenting on Chicago’s most underserved students and schools for more than two decades, trying any quick-fix makeovers so long as such schemes keep the public out of the discussion on how best to educate our city’s children. The so-called innovations taking place in charter and turnaround schools are making chaos of students’ formative years and relegating the art of teaching to rote instruction.

Faced with such a dire situation, the Chicago Teachers Union’s decision to strike is perhaps the best lesson they could have planned—when the powers that be are shutting you out of your life, you must take a stand. And it’s a lesson that teachers themselves learned from the communities they serve.

Before CTU President Karen Lewis and members of the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE) became the new union leadership in 2010, the CTU, like its national union, the American Federation of Teachers, was a willing pawn in the privatization game. CORE broke from the CTU leadership and won respect from the majority of union members by actively supporting parent- and student-led protests at schools across the city. After gaining office, they continued to organize against privatization with the already active education community, and to educate its own members about the importance of doing so.

Chicago students are already at the forefront of the fight. Dyett High School students, along with students from 16 other states, have petitioned the Department of Education to investigate racial disparities in the allocation of school resources. They’ve already met with officials at the Department of Education, and on September 20, they’ll be taking “Freedom Rides” to Washington, D.C., to bring more attention to their cause.

Meanwhile, hundreds of students at Social Justice High School in Little Village have disrupted their school day with sit-ins to protest the dismantling of their school. So CPS shouldn’t worry about the strike giving “wrong” ideas to students—the students are already leading the charge, and are just in their cause.

If anything, they should worry about these students further influencing the CTU. Unlike its portrayal as a selfish bully in the 1% Chicago Tribune, the CORE-led CTU has been a partner to community groups fighting for quality public education. Now, hostile contract negotiations have opened a window for the union to elevate the anti-privatization fight to a national level.

As former CPS CEO Arne Duncan continues to spread the hollow gospel of corporate reform as the nation’s secretary of education, and as his predecessor Paul Vallas preaches the same throughout South America, it’s about time that Chicago, the birthplace of this failed faith, denounces it publicly.

Parents for the CTU



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[-] 8 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Go Chi town teachers union!!!!!

Don't let them profitize education.


[-] 6 points by lovEvolutionary (4) from Lancaster, England 11 years ago

I had just started getting through the book http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deschooling_Society again when I remembered that I had not checked this site for a while, so it was a nice surprise to see the teachers striking.

[-] 5 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 11 years ago

Does anybody wonder why Rahm Emmanuel suddenly develped an overpowering urge to run for Mayor in Chicago?He was deployed by the 1% to bust the CTU! Duh! The 1% wants to turn the Chicago schools into a Milk Cow while depriving poor children of any education at all by turning all Chicago schools into privately owned charters.Charters conveniently are not obliged to accept all applicants and can do whatever to KEEP UNIONS OUT.Imagine the huge amounts of money the 1% owners of schools could extract from parents once they gain control of schools.The 1% could certainly negotiate contracts that REQUIRE PAYMENT FOR SCHOOLS THAT HAVE BEEN CLOSED-Welcome to the future-unless parents and Unionized Teachers fight and win.

[-] 4 points by Nevada1 (5843) 11 years ago

Good Post

[-] 3 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

"Con artistry of Charter schools"


(in compliment/bump)

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

Privatization = Libertarian scheme to destroy public education.


Whoops there it is

[-] 3 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 9 years ago

Teachers and students-under attack! What we're gonna do is STAND UP&FIGHT BACK!

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

When we resolve the education inequality all societal problems will improve.

So simple, yet seemingly impossible.

[-] 3 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 9 years ago

If things could settle down-all of these attacks! The schools would be fine if there was even a modicum of equity with regard to funding.Very serious problem here in NY-the Empire State is the most unequal by any and all measures.Nothing remains constant except Change...

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

True that. The fight will be years of hard work in the streets & ballot box.


Libertarian greed & selfishness at the center of attacks on public education.

People before profits!!

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 9 years ago

What kind of people attack little children? Thanks for the link-I have already seen that one as sometimes happens.Your efforts to direct my attention to relevant material is very helpful and much appreciated.The People United Will Never Be Defeated!

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

Corporatists who put profits before people are the kind who attack little children.

The "you're on your own" crowd are the kind.

We answer them with "we're in this together".

On the street, thru the mail, with our pocketbooks, with social media, at the office, at the dinner table, tweeting, voting, marching, boycotting, striking, demanding!!!


We are in this together. We want our money back!!

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 9 years ago

As our Friends in Canadia say:You got that right.It's not just in the States now-eh?

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

The oligarchs in the western world have rode roughshod over the planet and 99% of the people.

So no, not JUST the states, We're only the biggest beneficiaries and most culpable.

We're #1, U S A, U S A!

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 9 years ago

They have carved out a lovely perch in Canadia,where they rule like Oriental Potentates.Canadians nowadays ALWAYS add-"It's not just in The States"to everything now-for the last 10 years.The Oligarchs have a very free hand in Canada,and they are in ecstasy because of the staggering wealth they anticipate being able to pillage freely.Perhaps they imagine Canadians will be easy pushovers.I know the Character of the Canadian People well.I believe it will prove to be right next door to impossible to make them do what they don't want to do.

[-] 3 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

I've seen quite a bit of protest in Canada on several issues not least of which student debt, and tar sands extraction.

We can learn from our polite neighbors on challenging the powers that be.

don't forget The Canadian, anti-consumerist, pro-environment group/magazine Adbusters initiated the call for a protest that OWS responded to.

We need you, 'cause "we're in this together"

[-] 4 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 9 years ago

Oh-I am an American Citizen.I am proud to say that I was born in Brooklyn.NY.Due to that random chain of events called Life,my parents ended up living in a small town located just about dead center of NY State,where I grew up.Destiny has moved me around this country far and wide,but most of my life I have lived at or near the place once called Ya Nun Da Sis-a major transit point in the Northeastern region of North America for many centuries.I have been around Canadians all my life,even when I lived for a decade in NYC,where there are many Canadians who are not hard to find.Their opinions about The US are always worth hearing.One thing they will stress is that Canada is completely separate from the US and nothing like the US at all.Their stating constantly that "IT" isn't just in the States anymore is their way of saying that the whole world is on The Highway To Hell.

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

and we're all driving humvees in the same convoy going 90mph.

Seems overwhelming but we WILL reduce speed, stop, & do a U'y.

Or we will crash & burn.

[-] 3 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 9 years ago

Occupy to the Rescue! When I told my sister about it 3 years ago,she said-"Well-they better hurry up before all of these abandoned houses here in Florida catch alight and the whole state blows up in a Great Ball Of Fire." Not funny then and not now,either.We laughed because crying won't help.

[-] 1 points by bettydonnelly (115) 11 years ago

I actually heard some Christian radio commentator use the phrase "Government Schools" when referring to Public Schools. Churches should lose their nonprofit status when they endorse politicians or advocate for politicians.

[-] 3 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 11 years ago

Absolutely correct.The lack of action to revoke tax exemption from politically involved religious groups is frustrating.Since Bush 2,Part One,we even are required to help pay for "faith based initiatives" with our tax dollars so we not only don't collect taxes from them,we are forced to subsidize them.I hate the whole idea of funding programs to combat hunger,addiction,homelessness,violence,prison recidivism and teen pregnancy by persuading people to Accept Jesus As Their Personal Savior-it's inneffective and unconstitutional.

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 9 years ago


education by it's nature must be public as it is about the world

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

Social Security is useless?

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 9 years ago

private education is like blindfolded archery

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

How so?

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 9 years ago

private education teaches private knowledge which is not in sinc with the public

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

Ok. I'll buy that.


[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 9 years ago

it's a shaky argument

maybe it will come together

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

It's up to us (the people) to get it together

[-] 1 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 9 years ago

Crunch crunch crunch...

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago


[-] 3 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 9 years ago

"Fee,Fie,Fo,Fum-I smell the Blood of an Englishman! Be he Live,or Be he Dead-I'll GRIND HIS BONES to MAKE MY BREAD!

[-] 3 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 9 years ago

Now we get to watch from ringside seats.A nation so jaded and psychopathic that they are turning the children into gourmet feasts for famished cannibal Giant Ogres.The more they eat,the hungrier they get.What kind of future can be expected when the minds of the children-our future are systematically murdered..That is,those of our children who are not simply exterminated by militarized Cops Gone Wild.I noticed that some of the comments on the site you just sent me to reflect my dark fears-my worst fear-Right Wing Militias that might turn into Death Squads.It Can't Happen Here? Anything goes.Nothing Matters.What can anybody do when the answer to the failure of markets is more markets? People are fearful and insecure.This creates a market for all kinds of profiteering of guns,ammo,and specialized goods and services to equip police and private militias with all the gear they need to swing into action.Having bought all of this gear and equipment,is it reasonable to suppose that none of it will ever be used? We already know that the military style gear the police have on hand is being used with mind-numbing regularity and deadly effectiveness in isolated cases.WTF? WTF now?-(sarcastic aside):OMG-I wish I could somehow figure it out!"

[-] 3 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

1st priority,: Eliminate that fear mongering, all levels of it. Fear is only defeated by hope.

"fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering."

Don't be afraid.

[-] 4 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 9 years ago

I have been able to do some outreach to our right wing and extreme right wing fellow citizens.It is like Jacob's struggle with The Angel.Not to mention highly unpleasant because some of their attitudes are just so appallingly ugly.And yet I have had some success getting them to understand that the TP is co-opted and will never do anything but treat them like tools.They are part of the 99.The idea that nobody needs them-that #OWS doesn't need to deal with them is Dead Wrong.They are not bad people.They are not stupid by any means.I firmly believe that#OWS needs them as bad as they need #OWS-if not more so.I can't credit my local success with right wingers to any special ability of super strong stomach.I was able to get them to listen to me because I own property that includes several wells that never go dry,and water sources that are called Split Rock Artesian Springs.Nobody else around here has a source of this type for a 40-mile radius.They have wells,but last summer almost everyone went dry except us.This year is better but the water is way low.So I have clout around here.But I am afraid of them.They are incredible gun nuts.Without the water they would NEVER have listened to me long enough to start understanding that WE THE PEOPLE aren't just words.They might have even busted a cap in my head for being a "Communist" for even talking about We The People.I try not to think about that little gem too much because it sometimes makes me cry.

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

Do not put yourself at risk.

continue fighting the good fight, but avoid gun totting interactions.


[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Power to education - teach the children of today the important message of unity and protest. Give us educated people - down with raising sheeple.

[-] 2 points by DrJekyll (-143) 11 years ago

Hear Hear!

[-] 1 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

Sheeple are people who mistake unity for mainstreaming.


[-] 3 points by JohnWa (513) 11 years ago

Keep Wall Street, bankers and other vermin out of Education.

Teacher know about Education.

Politicians and their puppet masters know about greed.

[-] 3 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago


the teachers are the ones spending time teaching

[-] 1 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

And the parents are the ones footing the bill...

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

public schools are payed for by taxes

so if the parents make a descent wage , they will some taxes

the brunt of the taxes should come from those well off

[-] 1 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

It doesn't have anything to do with wages, at least not in our area. It has to do with property taxes. You know the ones that were raised so high during the last boom, but never lowered accordingly to the crash? Elderly are being forced out of their homes because of the high taxes and levy's on top of it.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

not at the rate of bank interest and foreclosures


[-] 1 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

How about the parents who pay the taxes for education? Why do I NEVER hear them promoting the voice of the parents?

[-] 2 points by JohnWa (513) 11 years ago

There should be a partnership between parents and schools/ teachers.

Taxes are paid to fund schools. They are our taxes, our kids, our schools and our Teachers.

But like everything else bankers want to use schools to make more money [ privatize ] as well as control what is taught to suit their ideology.

Every divisive ploy is used to have the public confused about schooling.

Beware the crap you read in the media against our Schools and Teachers.

Some criticism is fair and welcomed but much is ideologically driven, a load of crap and yet taken as gospel by many.

We are being divided.

[-] 1 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

I haven't read very much negative against the schools and teachers in the media. The majority of what I've read is about how underpaid, overworked and under appreciated they are. I can empathize with some of it, but not all.

[-] 2 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

If you read what they really wanted, it has nothing to do with "anti-privatization" of charter schools that are sponsored by philanthropists. It has to do with them feeling entitled to the funding that follow those students who are in the alternative choice of education. My son is in such an alternative school and he is getting A+ in all his testing areas, an improvement from failing in previous years in regular public school. What did the teachers REALLY want? They wanted job security that isn't offered to the rest of Americans, and pay raises. They would lobby to take away education rights and funding for kids like my son, in order to boost funding for their own salaries. I will never support Unions that promote those agendas-it like any other form of lobbying big biz, is an ABUSE OF POWER. Give me a good Union that is balanced, rational, and not extreme, and THAT I will support.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Support teachers. Support unions.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Support teachers.

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

Poll: Libertarian profitization of Public schools, or moderation provided by forum concern trolls McCarthy Partisan political secret thought police?

You chooze

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 9 years ago

seems a teachers strike would be very educational to the students about our economy

[-] 1 points by immortality72 (3) 11 years ago

heaven forbid we start testing students!



[-] 1 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

"The so-called innovations taking place in charter and turnaround schools are making chaos of students’ formative years and relegating the art of teaching to rote instruction."

This statement in itself is contradictory. First she says they are making "chaos" then turns around and likens it to "rote instruction". Which is it? As a product of both private and public education, I can vouch for the fact that the majority of the "rote instruction" I received was in public schools, and the "art of teaching" was in private ones.

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

This city has 110 bil in debt, or approximately 65,000 per individual, 35,000 per household.

[-] 1 points by qwert (2) from Fairview, NJ 11 years ago
[-] 0 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

Ignorance is more expensive

[-] 0 points by oneeyedjack (-125) from Queens, NY 9 years ago


[-] 0 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

We MUST grow the movement to reform education, because it represent one of the pillars of our systemic, self destructive inequality.


[-] 0 points by oneeyedjack (-125) from Queens, NY 9 years ago

Obama's wang is half in your mouth and half in DKAtoday's mouth. It's like you're having a presidential threesome in his therapeutic bed.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 9 years ago

I heard the NRA is under attack but not as a listed individual

please support the NRA by buying more weapons don't need more guns

give them to your allies

[-] -1 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

Reform guided by Reagans decades old philosophy.


That's the problem.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 9 years ago

Reagan had "philosophy"

news to me

[-] 0 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

My bad. I agree, should have said ideas. No, that's too much too.

Scheme? Just as his other disasterous scheme 'Trickle down'

Whattaya think?

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 9 years ago

lie about the direction commerce travels

[-] 0 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

$ naturally travels up as the wealthy sucks up any they detect.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 9 years ago

"up" is an arbitrary vector assignment

we could say that the wealthy are at the bottom of the food pit

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 9 years ago

probably comes from observance of a pyramid structure

[-] 0 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

I suppose the directional term is irrelevant,

What is relevant is that WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK!!!!

[-] 0 points by 99nproud (2697) 9 years ago

Occupy opposes privatization

[-] 0 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

In most jobs, improvement for the employer's benefit is the goal, while bonuses, promotions and pay-raises are the benefit - not the other way around.

[-] 0 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

Parents have been crying out for an overhaul of the SYSTEM of public school teaching, and it has fallen on deaf ears. The more teachers Unions ignore us, the less parents will support them. We are tired of pumping money into a broken sieve.

Fix the system - there are many charter and alternative schools that ARE successful - we don't actually NEED to experiment with busing, curriculum, etc. further!

[-] 0 points by Nevada1 (5843) 11 years ago

Corporations destroy everything they touch, and must not take charge of education.

[-] -1 points by danrobo (-4) 11 years ago

fire them all


[-] 3 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

The poor graduation rate In all likelihood has more to do with the parents of the kids rather than the teachers. Considering what the teachers have to put up with, what they are asking for sounds reasonable.

[-] 1 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

I'd say it is both. Parents who raise their children to feel entitled, spoiled brats, and teachers who lack real ability to teach or connect with students. Best teachers I ever had were ones who you knew cared about their students. If teachers are unhappy with their jobs, they need to change careers, not take it out on students. We have a surplus of teachers out there, we can afford to be pickier about the standards. That being said - some of these kids need to have tougher consequences for the way they act in general.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Some of the best teachers cannot afford to be teachers because they do not get paid enough to be teachers. Often its hard to justify taking on a teaching position however noble it may be when a much higher paying job is beaconing. I think most of the teachers who are out on strike care enough about their students for them to put their careers on the line by striking for the purposes of trying to change the system, or trying to not have the system changed for the worse. I'm sure they'll make up lost time with the students after this matter gets resolved.

[-] 0 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

Based on past experience, about 50%of the teachers I know are NOT more caring about their students than they are about their pensions and job security. There is a line of teachers waiting to get into jobs because they know the benefits and pension fund is well worth the wait in many states (not all...). Many of those who have education degrees are taking jobs in Day cares for half the pay with the hope of getting into a public school in the future. The reality is, that if they want significant pay raises, they need to look at the superintendents, and other staff who are making 90-150K for their jobs. The public cannot afford the weight of those salaries. The Unions need to boycott the Superintendents and their own State leaders who are removing funding from schools and using it elsewhere. Every year we have a new district tax levy for local public school funding, and after that goes through, the STATE then decides how much it will CUT in funding for that district. It's nothing but a game of politics. I say, it's not how much we pump into the schools, it's the system that is broken.

[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Interesting. However, that is not experience in the State I live in (as you mention, not all states.) Here the public schools are pretty seriously underfunded. The majority of teachers leave the profession after about six or seven years because they can't make ends meet.

[-] 1 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

Yes, my state is pretty well off even during this recession. I have been to some intercity places on the east coast (DC, Virginia) and realize these teacher's couldn't be paid enough if they had to deal with what they do! My 2 aunts also work in CA and they have mixed experiences as well. They would never consider changing careers though because they are just that committed to the kids there. (20+years in education!)


[-] 3 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Your probably correct, it may not all be about money.

I believe the teachers are already being evaluated by some certain criteria. If the issue is about linking teacher performance with student performance that can be a dicey thing. Often times rating students by standardized tests produce some very negative effects in practice. The students stop learning, but rather get pumped up to take tests. Maybe its a ploy as the article suggests to justify school privatization. The teachers probably know something we don't know. Are there any teachers out there that can clarify matters?

[-] 1 points by tangential (33) 11 years ago

As a parent of a disabled student, and sister, niece and friend of several teachers, I can say that the BEST teachers often get put with the WORST students because they are the only ones who can handle them. We would effectively be eliminating our greatest teachers by enforcing this system.

[-] 1 points by nobnot (529) from Kapaa, HI 11 years ago

you should change your handle to Scab One!

[-] -2 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 11 years ago

Scab? What does that have to do with what I posted?

[-] 1 points by nobnot (529) from Kapaa, HI 11 years ago

Double class size.Cut funding than expect some inner city teacher to compeate with North Lake shore suburban.At the same time advocate for a Private corporation to come in and cherry pick students.Union Busting Scab Ass >Ho


[+] -5 points by brudlo (-454) 11 years ago

obama will come in to save the day. the head of the teachers union is a communist. obama will negotiate a deal that the union will take ( about 8%) , and obama will be seen a great negotiator,. its all been pre programmed with the head of the union and the adminstration and emanuel.

[-] 0 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 11 years ago

You might be right.

[-] 0 points by JohnWa (513) 11 years ago

Is McCarthy alive .... still.

[-] -2 points by nobnot (529) from Kapaa, HI 11 years ago

To bad union boss is a commie and not an anarchist.Thank God, not some dork republican!