Monday, September 17, 2012


One of the many movies that I never can actually sit through because I only like a few scenes is "I'm Not Rappaport," starring Ossie Davies and Walter Matthau. The movie begins with the 1907 NYC Garment District Union Strike Vote Meeting where a police-battered Diana Agostini of the Ladies Garment Workers Union calls for the strike.

That scene comes to mind repeatedly as I have conversations about the now historic 2012 Chicago Teachers Union Strike. The mayors office, fueled by a very compliant media, is doing a bang up job of villainizing the teachers, saying they are using the children of Chicago as pawns and holding them hostage for their own gain. Unfortunately, parents in both IL and neighboring IN are eating this up, blaming and verbally attacking teachers for being "selfish." Today broadcast news is reporting, in an advertising matter, that parents who are generally fed up are enrolling their children in charter schools.

Riddle me this, if I as a professional and expert in my field am telling you that my current work environment is hostile and it is near impossible to do my job well, where in the professional world does a boss just shrug off my view? In the world where failure means profit for that boss, that's where. That is what has been happening in the mostly poor black, Latino, and white working class areas of Chicago and the country. Good teachers are being fired or driven out while students and parents are left in the broken system to flounder, wondering who is to blame. I could go on and on about this, but I came across a document that I think sums the issue up. Please take a moment to read it and post your thoughts.