Stein’s talk was part pep-rally for the Chicago Teachers Union, part campaign stump speech. She criticized a plan to base teacher evaluations, in part on standardized tests. She also also touched upon a range of other issues, from the bank bailouts to drilling for oil in the Arctic....
“Chicago is a case study in … dysfunctional schools, in schools that have really been pushed to the breaking point,” she said.
President Barack Obama’s administration and Mitt Romney’s campaign have both weighed in on the strike this week, mostly through written statements and proxies.
Romney has said he’s “disappointed” Chicago teachers are striking, and he’s accused President Obama of backing the union. The White House, meanwhile, is not publicly taking sides in the labor dispute.
from letter to editor of "Dissenta":
Public schools are part of the social fabric of our nation, not only for their educational importance but for their value as a container of equality, diversity and human potential.
It is shocking that a supposed Democrat like Barack Obama, who benefited by the privilege of a strong middle class when he was growing up in Hawaii where public schools helped him develop his talent – and he knows this fact full well – would stand by with his arms folded and “not publicly take sides in the labor dispute.”
While his White House press release was framed in terms of a “labor dispute,” giving him an excuse to avoid the whole thing, the true dispute is between public interest of our childrens’ education and private corporate interests, two very different animals. In allowing public funds to be siphoned off to private charter schools, Obama and Duncan are undermining the essence of American talent by allowing discrimination and abandonment of the least advantaged among our children whose potential should be treasured, as Mr Obama’s potential was treasured when he was a child.