Monday, September 24, 2012

Chicago Teachers Strike: a coda

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  In the life of every civilization - and in the life of any
truly civilized individual human - there is at least a stage
in which the belief in education transcends any economic
value, and education is valued for its own sake and its
role in making the educated a better person.

  Although the failure of the educational system in the
United States to consistently meet the economic needs
of a leading innovating nation has kept the focus of our
educational system on meeting the basic economic needs
of businesses and students in a challenging world
environment, we would still hope that teachers to some
degree try to safeguard and uphold the tradition of edu-
cation as ennobling.

  That's why it's somewhat depressing to see that the
teachers felt they had to vilify the opposition, most
notably Rahm Emanuel, in order to stand up to him.
They had many just complaints to make against him,
but to act as if he didn't want to improve the schools
and his motives were all just to cut costs is plain
nonsense:  all this trouble started because of  desire
for a longer school day and year - and because of
the aggressiveness of the reforms he wanted to make.

The most refreshing political discourse I heard all
summer was Bill Clinton's contention that no one is
right all the time and that the two political parties
needed each other.  It would have been great if the
union could have squared off with CPS aggressively
sure, but with the acknowledgement that both had
worthwhile goals they were trying to achieve.

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