Chris Rock as Rufus in Dogma on Ideas
A few notes:
How did we in the teacher unions create MichelleRhee? We were too intransigent, says Merrow. If we only had gone along with the corporate agenda of charter schools, testing everything that breathes, linking student test scores to teacher performance evaluations and doing away with tenure and seniority then we wouldn’t have created MichelleRhee. The weird thing is that I think we did go along with all those things.
- Fred Klonsky, on John Merrow’s hypothesis that it was partly the unions’ fault Michelle Rhee became so big. As if.
A few notes:
It all comes down to how you teach people to fight with the tools they have. We have been fighting with the bosses’ tools. We can spend a lot of time doing legislation. I think that’s fine—have a legislative approach. But understand that you don’t control that process. We can talk about electing the right people, but ultimately, unless we have a state house full of teachers and paraprofessionals and clinicians, I don’t think we’ll get what we want coming out of state legislatures. You need to have good relationships with legislators; you need to have members get in touch and let them know what’s important to you. That’s one tool. But it’s not the only tool.
Our best tool is our ability to put 20,000 people in the street. I don’t care if one rich guy buys up all the ad space. The tool that we have is a mass movement. We have the pressure of mass mobilization and organizing.
- Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union
As we consider Martin Luther King’s legacy today and the re-inauguration of Barack Obama, Lewis’ words ought to ring true to anyone fighting for equity in this country.