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Sat Nov 10, 2012, 03:38 PM

Chicago's New Lady Labor Slugger Reactivates Social Movement Unionism


Saturday, 10 November 2012 00:00 By Jesse Hagopian, Truthout | Op-Ed

Karen Lewis, the Chicago Teachers Union president, speaks during a protest in downtown Chicago, September 11. (Photo: Nathan Weber / The New York Times)

The Chicago Teachers Union strike marks the beginning of a rollback for 40 years of neoliberal interference in public education and hearkens to teachers' struggles in the beginning of the last century.

Two ideals are struggling for supremacy in American life today: one the industrial ideal, dominating thru the supremacy of commercialism, which subordinates the worker to the product and the machine; the other, the ideal of democracy, the ideal of the educators, which places humanity above all machines, and demands that all activity shall be the expression of life. If this ideal of the educators cannot be carried over into the industrial field, then the ideal of industrialism will be carried over into the school. Those two ideals can no more continue to exist in American life than our nation could have continued half slave and half free. If the school cannot bring joy to the work of the world, the joy must go out of its own life, and work in the school as in the factory will become drudgery.

~ Margaret "Lady Labor Slugger" Haley, Chicago teacher, at the 1904 National Education Association convention

Today marks the beginning of the end of scapegoating educators for all the social ills that our children, families and schools struggle against every day. Today marks the beginning of a fight for true transparency in our educational policy - how to accurately measure learning and teaching, how to truly improve our schools, and how to evaluate the wisdom behind our spending priorities. This election shows the unity of 30,000 educators standing strong to put business in its place - out of our schools. Corporate America sees K-12 public education as $380 billion that, up until the last 10 or 15 years, they didn't have a sizeable piece of.... Our teachers and para-professionals are poised to reclaim the power of our 30,000 members and protect what we love: teaching and learning in publicly-funded public schools.

FULL story at link.

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Reply Chicago's New Lady Labor Slugger Reactivates Social Movement Unionism (Original post)
Omaha Steve Nov 2012 OP
Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #1

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:52 PM

1. I love Karen Lewis.

Thanks for the story, OS.

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