• Bridging Differences

    In Bridging Differences
    Deborah exchanges views with a different colleague, each for a month or two.  Her current correspondent is Harry Boyte, a Minnesotan (although his roots are southern). He has always been a friend and mentor, even though we come to stuff in different ways and even disagree on and off. He is a professor and an activist, a theorist and a practitioner, with a focus on democracy—beginning a long time ago when he worked with Martin Luther King. He has written or edited ten books on the topic and founded a Center on
    democracy which is now at St Augsberg College, but formerly at the University of Minnesota.  

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I liked this e-mail piece from Kipp Dawson.


Kipp Dawson 9:22am Aug 2

…Since I posted this link an hour ago, this additional comment has been posted: “So many teachers here are suffering economically and their own families’ lives are suffe
ring. Overloaded classrooms, overloaded grading and stress get carried home to families. The furlough days are now moving into furlough week(s) and any new expenditure from the system is met with fatalistic response from teachers, oh well, ….. Teachers who can retire have done so….. Stand up for Chicago, Stand UP for teachers.Let them do their jobs.”
Thanks Kipp, especially for the details in all those responses. A old-time unionist (Joe Hill) once said, “Don’t mourn, organize”–and it’s become an old-hat slogan. I might add, “do’t whine” to it. So it makes me happy to see organized teachers in Chicago using their solidarity to restore a balance of power. It’s harder in NYC (where strikes are both illegal and fiscally expensive), but we need the equivalent. It’s not easy for teachers to realize that the point of the union is #1–solidarity. Grievances, due process, et al are often the only way members come into contact with their union these days. It becomes, as a result, a service organization, just one ore agency to help us out individually if and when… The power of our “togetherness” is beyond many young teachers experience.
Ideas. How about parents and teachers rallying in front of their schools at 8:30am – all on the same day?–and going in together 20 minutes late. Around one or two common demands. SOMETHING!!!!! Let’s play with it, New Yorkers.

Media Companies, Seeing Profit Slip, Push Into
Under pressure to expand, media companies are capitalizing
on the changes that technology is bringing to classrooms.


2 Responses

  1. Thanks for your comments, Deborah Meier. You are right, forming a social justice union takes much more than just servicing members. We need to redistribute the balance of power away from those in boardrooms back to those in classrooms. For in the end, we are the ones who truly know what children need — not the present day reformers who have taught. I am so proud to be working with the Chicago Teachers Union with every ounce of energy I have.

  2. Dianna, if you want communities and teachers united, We must bring discipline back to the schools. I have a discipline plan that will bring discipline back to our schools. Please get in touch with me.

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