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T4CW 6.22.09: Teachers Take On Chicago-Style Politics
On June 22nd, the Maestr@s spoke with Karen Lewis, co-chair of CORE, the Caucus of Rank&File Educators. Teachers for Class War airs each Monday from 6-7 PM on Freak Radio Santa Cruz 101.1 FM. MP3 format, mono, 56:15.
We covered a lot over the course of the hour, but some of the main topics included
*Taking on corrupt union leadership in Chicago. Lewis spoke out against perks and high salaries for union officials who don't even have classroom experience. CORE's goals, strategies, and victories [http://www.coreteachers.org].
*What's happened in the past and what's going on right now in Chicago's public school system, where 700+ schools operate in wildly disparate conditions, including some details about School privatization, "The Chicago Miracle" and school "Turnarounds."
*Arne Duncan's (Obama's Secretary of Education) role in these disastrous policies, and some history on how he came to be in charge of the nation's school system.
*And Chicago's bid for the 2012 Olympics. While this might seem off topic, we discussed the consequences of prioritizing the Olympic games while schools are closing, the already unconscionable payoffs for developers and the real life effects of gentrification and city-wide clean-up programs.
We closed with an article from El Enemigo Comun [http://www.elenemigocomun.net], about the recent death of yet another Maestro in Oaxaca. Alberto Gasca Varenga was killed June 14th, 2009 at the beginning of a march commemorating the third anniversary of the attack on the teachers in 2006 which sparked the three month barricaded occupation of Oaxaca City and widespread protest and struggle including the formation of the APPO.
Thanks for listening.