The Politics of Destroying Our Schools

10 Jul

ImageI find myself straddling two different worlds lately.  There are those who say that Republicans are out to destroy public education and that’s why we have to vote for Democratic candidates.  There are other people who say that there is absolutely no difference between the two parties,  I’ve been seeing it lately in the Bad Ass Teachers Union where the two schools of thought duke it out and I’ve also seen it on social media.

The answer, which will be unpopular with a lot of people who I really respect is that the Democrats are better for public education.  There was a pretty decent report in The New Republic about Michelle Rhee and Students First.  In the article the mentioned that Students First in Tennessee gave money to 57 Republicans and only 7 Democrats.  That’s not unusual.   One you look at the politicians who are defending public schools, you’ll find that they’re largely Democrats.

Unfortunately, there’s another side to that coin.  When people attack the Republicans for going after public education, they tend to overlook Mayors like Nutter, Emanuel, and until this past election Villaraigosa in Los Angeles.

There are Democrats all over this country who have either been bought or have fundamentally flawed views on education.  You can’t simply look at party affiliation,  We do not have a public education advocate in the Obama administration, for example.  

The only thing that works is for teachers to make sure they educate themselves.  President Obama made his views on public education known before he took office as did Mayor Emanuel.  Of course, there are always third parties, but I have no interest in putting in the worst possible candidate because I chose not to vote for the lesser of two evils and instead voted so that some candidate could get to 3% of the vote.  The time to support third parties has to start well before election day.

Teach for America’s Civil War

“Despite the endless outcry, no one has ever staged a coordinated, national effort to overhaul, or put the brakes on, TFA—let alone anyone from within the TFA rank-and-file. On July 14, in a summit at the annual Free Minds/Free People education conference in Chicago, a group of alumni and corps members will be the first to do so.”

Chicago Rising!

“To many national observers, this rebirth of the city’s militant protest culture seemingly came out of nowhere. But it didn’t. It’s the product of years of organizing from sources both expected and surprising. And while the radicalized CTU under the leadership of Karen Lewis has deservedly received much of the credit, the teachers union is just the current tip of the spear in a long and potentially transformative movement.”

As Schools Starve, Mayor Emanuel Finds $5 million for Hot Dogs

“That’s a compelling point—and exactly the opposite of what will happen with the mayor’s biggest TIF project, the DePaul basketball arena/hotel deal. In that case, Mayor Emanuel is planning to reduce the tax base by spending $55 million to buy taxable land and build a facility that’s tax exempt.”

Chicago Activists Speak Out Against Public Service Cuts, Offer Alternatives

“Every time we want to do anything good for people, they say there’s no money,” he said. “They said that about closing human service offices. They said that about closing mental health offices. They say that about just about everything else, and yet there always seems to be money for tax cuts for wealthy corporations.”



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