A reader says:
My heart is sad for the kids and teachers in Chicago. Still, I’m hoping that something good comes of the strike – not just for teachers and kids but in our national conversation about education (or lack thereof). We need people, lots of them, to start talking about, voting for, and demanding that, as a nation, we commit ourselves (in word and deed) to a system of free, just, and forward minded public education – not testing, privatization schemes, or crazy accountability schemes that take the focus off of what really matters. We need real education – context specific, developmentally appropriate, child focused, forward thinking teaching and learning in every corner of this country that is full of professional educators, rich curriculum, and even richer experiences, community engagement, and family participation. If anyone thinks this strike is just another union “ploy” for higher pay or less “working time” they are sorely mistaken. And while workers should be entitled to protect their rights, the CPS strike is about the heart and soul of public schooling, the deprofessionalization of teachers, and the ways that the education “crisis” nation wide has been co-opted as a means of pushing privatization as the be-all-and-end-all solution to the “achievement gap”. Schools are not businesses, children are not widgets, and teachers are not robots or machines. Let’s start there.