LET THE CHICAGO STRIKE BE A START OF THE TEACHERS’ REVOLUTION
FINALLY ! We finally see a group of teachers demanding some respect. Let the Chicago teachers lead the way to a new era of respect for teachers. I’m referring to self-respect. Let’s go all you other teachers. Let this bold strike for respect inspire a whole nation of teachers to demand an end to this teacher bashing, union busting, teacher scapegoating era.
You teachers need to have enough respect for yourself and your profession to fight back at the forces that are using you as scapegoats for every perceived wrong in our society. You need to demand an end to this ridiculous notion that a school and its children can be treated like a business. Demand an end to using test scores as a major evaluation of teachers. You veteran teachers understand the injustice of such a system. Demand an end to the notion of merit pay which demeans and belittles your net worth as a teacher. Refuse to give back hard-won benefits and compensation. Understand how important your job is and refuse to fall prey to the guilt others try to heap upon you for being adequately compensated. Fight for tenure and the importance of experience in your profession. Do not give up those step and lane increases, you earned it. Do not be afraid to use the strike, the one weapon at your disposal to regain your lost respect. Look to the Chicago teachers as your inspiration and join your fellow teachers in a new era of respect, both self-respect and the respect of others.
The Chicago Board of Education president was giving a news conference and listing all the “generous concessions” that the Board had agreed to give the teachers. One of them was a clause in the new contract that would guarantee the 2% raise the teachers would get, unlike the 4% raise under the last contract which was reneged on by the board. How pathetic has this whole situation become, that a “wonderful incentive” is that as the board president said, “this time we really mean it when we say you’ll get a 2% raise and this time we won’t renege on it. Oh, how lucky for the teachers, the Board really means it this time. Ah, how comforting, everyone join in a circle now and start singing kumbaya and hallelujah, THEY REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME. Oh goodie, maybe the state legislators will also say that this time they really mean it when the Constitution guarantees the State teachers their pension money. Don’t hold your breath on that one.
Haven’t you had enough of this nonsense ? Let’s go teachers, join the revolution.