Less than two months into a new school year, teacher strikes have popped up in Chicago and four suburbs — with a handful of potential walkouts on the horizon — despite a new state law that was expected to make it harder for work stoppages to occur.But wait a minute: the plutocrats who run the New Chicago Mob hired Jonah Edelman to make sure this would never, ever happen. He told them strikes were now impossible in Illinois:
Similar themes have surfaced in each district — the latest during last week's one-day strike in Highland Park's North Shore School District 112 — but officials on both sides agree that often, the issues go beyond disputes over raises. Before this year, there had been only one Chicago-area strike since 2009.
District 112's brief strike ended after 17 hours of negotiations. Chicago Public Schools and districts in Lake Forest, Evergreen Park and Crystal Lake have largely settled on new contracts after walkouts. Meanwhile, unions in Carpentersville, Geneva, Grayslake and Huntley each have authorized strikes while continuing negotiations. [emphasis mine]
With the unions then on board, the IEA and the IFT were relieved to have a deal. They came out strongly in support of this agreement, which was this wholesale transformational change, and with that support there was no reason for any politician to oppose it. So the Senate backed it 59-0, and then the Chicago Teachers Union leader started getting pushback from her membership for a deal that really probably wasn’t from their perspective strategic. She backed off for a little while but the die had been cast – she had publicly been supportive – so we did some face-saving technical fixes in a separate bill – but the House approved it 112-1. And a liberal Democratic governor who was elected by public sector unions – that’s not even debatable – in fact signed it and took credit for it. So we talk about a process that ends up achieving transformational change – it’s going to allow the new mayor and the new CEO [of Chicago schools] to lengthen the day and year as much as they want. The unions cannot strike in Chicago. They will never be able to muster the 75% threshold necessary to strike. And the whole framework for discussing impact – you know, what compensation is necessary – is set up through the fine print that we approved to ensure that the fact-finding recommendations, which are nonbinding, will favor what we would consider to be common sense. [emphasis mine]Talk about a complete failure. If a teacher was as bad at her job as Edelman is at his, she wouldn't last even one school year.
I'll say it again: why do these extremely wealthy "reformers" keep hiring people who are really, really bad at their jobs?
In New Jersey, Peter Denton has been funding an effort to bring vouchers to the state: but after 14 years, vouchers are still seriously dead. David Tepper gave boatloads of money to B4K to change teacher tenure; it turns out the union got most everything it wanted, while B4K's proposal was basically ignored. Michele Rhee is rolling in reformy dough, but can't even put forward a cogent argument when challenged by an articulate labor leader.
You know what, though? Maybe all that doesn't matter. Maybe the reformies know they just need to keep spreading out into the political world and buying up elections all over the country. Maybe the game is so rigged in their favor that they can hire the incompetent.
Of course, that only works if we don't fight back, right?