More than anything, the strike was a howl of frustration from teachers. What started as a dispute over salaries evolved into one over everything from air conditioning to the intricacies of teacher recall rights. Now that the dust has settled, it is difficult to argue that these issues justified the cost and damage of a strike, the nuclear option of labor disputes. But it is undeniable that it exposed legitimate discontent that city leaders need to take seriously.
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) seized the opportunity for a strike and made it a referendum on lack of respect and poor working conditions, big-tent themes that resonated even with teachers who generally support education reforms. Unfortunately, the deal that ended the strike is unlikely to truly address teachers’ concerns or their hunger for respect. Based on our review, it’s more likely to take schools and teachers a step backwards.
A little while after I read that dickish and condescending piece on Eduwonk, my wife tossed me the PPSD booklet that accompanied this afternoon's professional development which I immediately noticed prominently credits TNTP in the introductory matter. I don't see how it is helpful to anyone to have TNTP wearing the advocacy and implementation hats at the same time.
I think Daly is aware of that more than most, but can't help himself. People kind of forget that:
- however much people want to paint the unions as intransigent opponents of reform, the cover of the next copy of American Educator to fall through 900,000 mail slots won't feature an expose on the spread of TNTP's anti-union agenda into urban school districts across America.
- At any point, next copy of American Educator to fall through 900,000 mail slots could feature an expose on the spread of TNTP's anti-union agenda into urban school districts across America, and a call for resistance to everything its name is attached to.