Labor Beat: Chicago Public Education--Lead-Up to a Fight
Submitted by arlenegloria on Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:03
Note: Check out the Labor Beat archive of recent videos on Chicago public schools at the end of this article.
by MiloWolf, Aug 18, 2012
Summarizes the 2011-12 academic year, beginning with the big nighttime rally in front of the CPS headquarters last Dec., 2011, when community and labor groups met and camped overnight in the falling rain to reserve places in line to speak against plans to shut down and turn around 17 schools at the Board's meeting the next morning. At this street rally also appeared representatives from hotel workers UNITE-HERE who talked about Penny Pritzker and her Hyatt Hotels' treatment of housekeepers; and Marcellus Barnes (ATU 241/Intl. ATU Vice. Pres.) who spoke of the transit workers solidarity with the teachers. This city-wide community/union campaign against the hit list continued into the winter of 2011-2012. Interviews with CTU teacher Marcy Hardaloupas, speech by Larry Davis (President, Youth Rep. Local School Council), and others.
Following the already secretly decided vote of the school board in Feb., 2012 to shut down and turn around all the hit list schools, gears shifted toward educating the public about the need to end mayor-appoint school boards and institute a democratically elected school board process. Comments from Michelle Beaver (19th Ward Parents Organization); Darius Anderson (student, Dunbar Academy).
The video ends with the huge CTU membership rally in May on the eve of the overwhelming vote to endorse a strike if needed. From this big rally we hear a spectacular speech by public schools parent Matt Farmer, who mercilessly exposes the difference between CPS billionaire board member Penny Pritzker's private school for her children and what she and other board members deem appropriate for working class and minority children in Chicago's public schools. Overall, an excellent overview of this last academic year, and the events leading up to what might perhaps be an historic strike in the fall of 2012.
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