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News Desk: Teachers Stay Out, Rahm Seeks Injunction ['Call Me Maybe' Video Update]

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is threatening to go to court today to end the Chicago teachers strike after union delegates decided to extend the walkout at least two more days while they review a tenative deal. Emanuel called the walkout “illegal” and pledged late Sunday to seek an injunction in court to force an end to the city’s first teachers strike in a quarter century leaders and return more than 350,000 students to the classroom. – Mayor says he will go to court to end Chicago teachers strike

WHAT WAS HOPED on Sunday fell apart by Monday.

It’s representative of our entire country.

We have huge challenges, but no one can work together to solve them.

Everyone has their issue, their righteous fury, but no one knows how to lead anymore.

Unions are gasping for relevancy, as middle class wages continue to fall, but not even Democrats believe that unions are the answer anymore. How unions convince the wider public they are the answer is unknown. However, in the political atmosphere that exists today, the union and Mayor Emanuel come off as part of the problem.

It’s a microcosm of America today. We can’t seem to get anything done, make any progressive advance on shared interests, because no one can seem to find any.

Democrats versus Democrats leading the news, when this is about wider education reform that other teachers and their union across states have already agreed has landed and includes charter schools. Chicago seems to be the last hold out of the once mighty teachers union that has now even lost their last ally, a Democrat and former Clintonite. This really is remarkable.

A moment that is rife for revolution, but we don’t do that anymore either.

This post has been updated.

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17 Responses to News Desk: Teachers Stay Out, Rahm Seeks Injunction ['Call Me Maybe' Video Update]

  1. PWT September 17, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    “How unions convince the wider public they are the answer is unknown.”

    The answer is known. Provide accountable services for the pay and benefits which you receive. Throwing a tantrum in the streets is the way to turn people, even likely supporters, against you.

  2. Taylor Marsh September 17, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    “Tantrum in the streets” has a long standing tradition in this country of bringing change.

    Tell the civil rights leaders of the ’60s their “tantrum in the streets” wasn’t absolutely required.

    Being dismissive isn’t the answer any more than Democrats versus Democrats leading the news, when this is about wider education reform that other unions across states have already agreed has landed and includes charter schools.

    Chicago seems to be the last hold out of the mighty teachers union who has now even lost their last ally, a former Clinton Democrat.

    This really is remarkable.

    • PWT September 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

      Equating this ‘struggle’ to the Civil Rights Movement(s) of the 1960s is ridiculous. The people who marched for Rights marched for themselves and others, the teachers march only for themselves. Automatic raises with no performance evaluations do not engender sympathy nor do they sound reasonable to the 92% of workers that are not afforeded such luxuries, not to mention the 43 week work year.

      The longer the teachers hold out, the more they look like the Occupiers, the one year anniversary of which passed like gas on Saturday. What is remarkable to me is that the teachers garner the support that they do. As time passes, though, that support is likely to evaporate.

      • Taylor Marsh September 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

        That you believe teachers aren’t striking for the kids & the future of this country, which the next generation represents, proves you don’t talk or listen to enough teachers.

      • jjamele September 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

        I teach at a private school, with no Union. I make exactly the same amount of money this year as I made last year. The striking Chicago teachers SPEAK FOR ME because what they face is what all teachers face or soon will face- crowded classrooms, increased burden to not only teach but raise kids, inadequate compensation, and the universal scorn of a media which loves to feed the insatiable “teachers are lazy, greedy bums” thesis cherished by idiots like you.

      • spincitysd September 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm #


        Your ignorance of what is going on in the Public Schools is monumental. Performance evaluations? Really? Yet more pointless, arbitrary tests by consultants who have not spent one day teaching real children in real schools? Test that measure exactly nothing?

        Teacher are not “workers” they are not punching out widgets. Get this through your thick skull– kids are not widgets! They are not uniform products punched out on a conveyor belt. You can not QA a child the way you can QA a iPod!

        Man this kind of ignorant attitude to educators makes me see red. The rampant sotto voce misogyny that infects every discussion of teachers, the contempt for the children who have go to public schools, the down-right idiotic stinginess of people toward the human infrastructure of our nation is appalling. Inner City teachers do battle every day against a system that abuses them. They work in decrepit schools, with next to no support, with kids that live chaotic lives and all they get from others is abuse.

        Instead teachers are getting squeezed out of their union jobs by Charter Schools that also fail miserably even when they manage to skim off the cream of the public school crop. They are being forced to trade their already miserable conditions for less pay and even less power in the classroom.

        Why do you think that 90% of the teachers voting to strike did so? They have had enough of rank amateurs telling them how to do their jobs. They have had enough of clueless plutocrats shoving their pet projects down their throats. They have had enough of Politicians giving them the shiv, of craven fools like Rham doing the dirty work of the power elites. They are tiered to the bone of the hypocrisy of people who say education is critical and then turn around to slash the education budget. People love education all right, they just refuse to pay for it.

        Push-back by teachers is long overdue; there is only so much crap a person can take. These are highly trained professions, most with masters degrees and many with 20 years in service. They know more things about education than you or anyone else will PWT. They know things that no evaluation can measure. Unlike you they live the reality, they see the reality every stinking day. They deal with homeless children, with drug addled parents, with abuse, with rape, with poverty, with malnutrition, with a myriad of personal and social issues.

        Tell me oh twice wise fool, how DO you measure that? How do you measure success when the entire environment you work in sets you up for failure? How DO you evaluate that teacher? You don’t PWT, at least not by the totally and willfully ignorant metrics the crass fools called “consultants” provide.

        Tell you what PWT, put yourself $50K into the hole with a Masters Program in Education (and then some if you are starting at scratch and getting a BS before hand) then work for three or four years in an inner city school (if you can even get the position) and then tell me what an easy life it is. Otherwise– shut your big, fat, ignorant gob!

        • PWT September 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

          I know what is going on:

          The per student cost of public education has increased in constant dollare by 500% from 1960 to 2009.

          The average ratio of students to teachers has decreased from 22:1 to 17:1 since 1970.

          Literacy and competency has decreased markedly over the same period of time.

          I also know that when a person resorts to insults, they’ve already lost the argument.

          • spincitysd September 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

            God, more garbage.

            Averages mean exactly squat. Chicago Schools are packing them in 30+ a class room.

            Literacy has declined because of huge increase in ESL students since 1960. Test a Spanish Speaker in English and yes Competency will “decline”

            And Public School Spending increased in the 1960′s because of something called “The baby boom” plus the “echo generation”

            Also more money has gone to consultants, administration, etc than ever before. Money for teachers and plant has not seen the gains you speak of, not in inner city schools at least.

            And don’t forget, a teacher piles on a hell of lot more debt these days than they did in the 1960′s. It’s $50k to get a Master’s, on line no less, in two years! It is a lot more if you have to do all six years. Only law school and medical school cost more. Then there is the cost of continuing education, which is what teachers have to do in their “off time” in the summer; because that it a non-funded requirement of the school district.

            By taking an false “average” you have made a decision to skew the argument. You can average out the teacher / student ratios between Oakland and say Palo Alto, California but your average is nothing but chaff.

            There are all sorts of way you can blame the wrong people, teachers, for the crisis of the Public Schools. Or you can actually look at the facts on the ground. You can look at the collapse of the inner city, you can look at the issues of poverty, you can look at the problems of malnutrition, you can look at the chalenges of ESL learners, you can look at the issues of homelessness, of boken and dysfunctional families, etc. etc. etc. etc.

            It is easy to blame teachers for the dysfunction of our public schools. It also patently false. For the training required, teachers get some of the worst pay of any profession outside of lawyers. There is not a carrer teacher out there that does not have a Masters. There is not a carrer teacher that has not dipped into their own pay to supply their students with needed materials. Their is not a carrer teacher that does not work epic amounts of overtime during the school year.

            But you have no idea of these things PWT. You have never had to make a lesson plan or make an IEP for Special Ed student. You never had to schedule a parent-teacher meeting. You have never had to deal with an irate parent of a student you failed. You never had to deal with a disruptive student. You never had to deal with gang-bangers. You never had to deal with the sexual abuse or rape of one of your students. You have never had to grade a test. You have never had to prep your students for pointless multiple choice exams foisted on you by pointy-head bureaucrats following idiotic notions that have no basis in real education. You never had to work against some feckless dilettante who has imposed his favorite hobby horse solution by political fiat. You never have been forced to listen and then obey the dictat of some clueless pol grandstanding to a know-nothing section of the electorate. You have never been forced to teach stuff you know is absolute garbage.

            I’m slamming you because you keep vomiting up totally bogus talking points. I’m slamming you because you libeled some of the hardest working, most dedicated public servants out there. You have no idea what the teachers of Chicago are up against. You have no idea what their struggles are like. They are just another target for your right-wing vitriol, for yet another spewing of right-wing nonsense.

            My offer still stands, spend the $50 grand and get yourself an on-line degree. Go out into the real world of innercity teaching. Then come back in three years and tell me how easy it was and how well you were payed.

      • Cujo359 September 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

        I like Dean Baker’s take on the subject of pay, and whether it’s earned or not, particularly since one of the folks mentioned is none other than Rahm Emanuel.

        • Taylor Marsh September 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

          I saw that piece from Baker. He also continues to take aim at Erskine Bowles, which is delicious every time he does it, which is often.

    • jjamele September 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

      Fox News today did another one of those “Check out the Occupiers Man are they Stupid Especially when you Compare them to those Awesome Tea Partiers” “news stories” today- twice a “commentator” bleated “they want free crap,” to the delight of the “journalists” talking to him via satellite linkup.

      One “argument” against the Occupiers was the number that had been arrested in the past year- according to Fox, in the thousands- which was “proof positive” that there was something horribly wrong with the movement.

      Of course, using this logic, the Civil Rights marchers were seriously messed up and clueless. I mean, just check out how many were arrested! Clearly, none of those guys had a valid argument!

  3. spincitysd September 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    “How unions convince the wider public they are the answer is unknown.” TM

    Unions have to break a huge cultural and political taboo. They have to talk about class. They have to abandon almost sixty years of anti-Communist, anti-Socialist, anti-Radical thinking. They have to re-learn the language they abandoned all the way back in the 1930′s. For the unions to be relevant, they need to be outsiders, they need to be radicals again. Time for Wobblies 2.0 or something very close to that.

    Having read “Death Of The Liberal Class” I do believe that when the Unions assisted in killing off the “Reds” in the movement, they abandoned the true middle ground and allowed themselves and the nation to drift ever rightward. True moderate policy requires a radical left to off-set a radical right. There is no radical left in the US, hence there is no left, hence there is no fixed center– only a “center” a “moderation” not worth the name. It is a “center” that keeps drifting rightward.

    • Cujo359 September 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      I think it has more to do with organized labor’s willingness to let each union stand on its own. There’s never been a general strike here, at least not in my lifetime. They’re illegal, of course, but then another thing that unions have forgotten over the years is that there are risks involved with working on behalf of working people. Labor got comfortable. Purging the Reds is just another symptom of that.

  4. Cujo359 September 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    BTW, the reason the CTU leadership said it was staying out was so that they could talk to their members today and tomorrow. Presumably, there will be a vote on the contract after that.

    Emanuel’s playing politics here, I think, and he’s playing to the crowd that matters – his buddies who want to break the union and start their own little pay to play school district.

    • spincitysd September 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      Bingo! Rham is operating in bad faith; as usual. I’m kinda surprised that Taylor missed that. Weird. Rham is such a rat f**king bastard, you really have to start on supposition that he is– well, a rat f**cking bastard. I don’t blame the CTU for staying out on strike until their members give feedback. Screw the legalities, keep the pressure on. The leadership of the CTU is IMHO playing it right. Emanuel brought this crisis on himself by being too clever by a half. Act like a rat f**cking bastard often enough and people will repay you in your own coin Taylor.

  5. mjsmith September 17, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    These “teachers” should go. What a waste of money. Perhaps Governor Walker can help guide the former WHite House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago on how to deal with lousy Public Sector Union goons and the crap employees that suck taxpayers dry.


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