The strike of 30,000 school teachers and education workers in Chicago is the necessary response to the attacks that students, teachers and parents have been facing for years. It’s significant that the strike is happening in Chicago, which is the Ground Zero for fascist “educational reform.” That has the full support of the democrats and AFT president Randi Weingarten. The charter school movement, school closings, increased testing and “data driven” teaching, the new evaluation measures, and the budget cuts have all been forced on the mostly black and Latino school population. This is clearly racist. But the working class is pushing back against these attacks in a way that we haven’t seen in 25 years.
“School Reform” Is about Control, Not Education!
These endless changes forced down the throats of students and teachers nationwide are more about disciplining us than education. Obama and Duncan’s Race to the Top and the drive towards standardized curriculum and testing is part of the bosses move to win the hearts and minds of our students to fight in their expanding imperialist wars. School reform in Chicago has shown it’s racist nature from the mass firings of veteran black teachers from schools that our students never deserved, discipline policies that force our students out of school and the hiring of young white teachers into schools that are still setup for failure.
Many of the reforms involve micro managing what teachers do while giving them less and less support, supplies, etc. Obama’s team of Rahm and Duncan has shown their true colors in the dismantling of public education and their attacks on the labor movement. The ruling class in this country wants to use these reforms to crush the spirit of teachers and control the schools for the needs of the capitalists.
Money for War, No Money for Schools!
These attacks are necessary in a system that is based on the wealth of a few and the exploitation of the many, CAPITALISM. So, while thousands of anti-racist teachers take to the street fighting for decent schools, dignity and the respect that education workers deserve billions have been spent on imperialist wars. From Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan to propping up US military bases all over the world. As long as the bosses are in power, we will face continous wars for profit –only a revolution for communism, workers power, can bring us the changes we need!
(More on the history of communists in the labor movement in next leaflet-Volume 3.)