Big Picture: Boiling In Anger, Fighting For the Kids

Abby Zimet

The Chicago teachers' strike enters its third day with both sides "miles apart." For those of us miles away, it's easy to miss what a big story this is. Forthwith: history, national and global perspective, Rahm and the plutocracy, facts and photos, and what it means to “help or hurt our kids.” Solidarity.

"If Mayor Emanuel, Secretary Duncan, and President Obama truly believe it's better to have a workforce of demoralized people fearful of losing their jobs at the administration's whim and tyrannized by standardized tests teaching the nation's children than working in good faith with their union representatives they're fatally misreading the politics of this teachers strike in Chicago and its potential ramifications. There are communities of educators across the nation that are boiling in anger and ready to go out on strike themselves when the time comes. This conflict is not isolated in the Windy City but has national significance."

From a Chicago teacher on the subject of the strike "hurting our kids":

"When you make me cram 30-50 kids in my classroom with no air conditioning so that temperatures hit 96 degrees, that hurts our kids.
When you lock down our schools with metal detectors and arrest brothers for play fighting in the halls, that hurts our kids.
When you take 18-25 days out of the school year for high stakes testing that is not even scientifically applicable for many of our students, that hurts our kids.
When you spend millions on your pet programs, but there’s no money for school level repairs, so the roof leaks on my students at their desks when it rains, that hurts our kids."
When you unilaterally institute a longer school day, insult us by calling it a “full school day” and then provide no implementation support, throwing our schools into chaos, that hurts our kids."

Many cool signs:

Teachers striking in Australia, too.

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