The Chicago Teachers Strike Is for the Children:
So yesterday, charmless shitpile Jon Kyl, Republican senator from the so not-great state of Arizona, said that the statement put out by the U.S. embassy in Cairo when it was about to be attacked by protesters "was like the judge telling the woman, ‘You got raped, you asked for it because of the way you dressed.’ That’s the same thing. ‘Well America, you should be the ones to apologize, you should have known this would happen, you should have done’ — done what, I don’t know — but it’s all your fault that it happened." Kyl, who looks like he masturbates to snuff films involving chainsaw dildos and illegal immigrants, took the Romney campaign's complete misinterpretation of the Cairo statement, which didn't once apologize or regret or express sorrow, and grafted a worthless rape analogy onto it. What makes this story even more pathetic is that, just a few days ago, an Arizona judge, Jacqueline Hatch, apologized for blaming the victim in rape a case. Awesome place, Arizona.
We'll get back to Kyl and his wondrous rape imagery in a moment, but instead, let's focus on the Chicago Teachers Union's strike.
Of all the stupid shit that's been written against the teachers, including a New York Times editorial and a column from the normally more thoughtful Nicholas Kristof, as well as the bizarre number of people on the left and center who oppose the TCU (which probably mostly comes from fear of having to find day care should it happen to them), the most ridiculous is from the Chicago Tribune. The gist of its position is laid out right at the beginning: "Chicago Teachers Union officials aren't merely fighting City Hall. They're fighting the inevitability of education reform. They are denying the arc of history."
See, according to the editorial, it's too fucking late. School "reform" has happened: "Those vital reforms — evaluations tied to student growth and empowering principals to hire the best — aren't a whim of Mayor Rahm Emanuel or the Chicago Board of Education. These principles are set in law, federal and state. They're at the heart of the Democratic education reform agenda championed by the Obama administration in its Race to the Top challenges."
"Look around," the Tribune exhorts the teachers, "this fight is over." And it gives examples of how the country has moved, quoting the Times in saying, more or less, "give it up."
Imagine: 90% of the teachers in a major metropolitan area are either greedy motherfuckers or they honestly believe that school reforms that have been shoved down the throat by the corporate bullshit peddlers harm the kids and are willing to risk financial ruin and public scorn in order to take a stand rather than be squashed by the arc of history. The Rude Pundit will go with the latter.
This is one reason why unions exist and a big reason why the protections of tenure exist: so that you can actually do your fucking job without constantly being batted about by market and political forces (even if those forces always exist - it's a question of degrees). And the teachers in Chicago have put up with a lot of shit - from the rescinding of a promised raise to the reliance on charter schools (whose teachers are not unionized) to the cutting back of tenure guarantees to the attempts to go around the union. Again: 90% of the teachers voted to strike. Something was broken. And that was respect for the professionalism of the teachers.
You know what else was part of the arc of history? No Child Left Behind, a boondoggle that fell on the states that has been discredited by nearly every reliable measure. Hell, states are rushing to opt out of the requirements of that act because it failed in concept and action, like, you know, teachers said it would. But teachers had to do it. They had to change they way they taught, no matter how successful they had been, in order to make sure that the NCLB gods were obeyed.
Which gets us back to Jon Kyl. Or, really, to the proper use of a rape metaphor.
Because what else are the teachers being told than they may as well just lay back and take it?