The Chicago Teachers Union is the finger in the dike, the last redoubt, the last chance to stop the totalitarian-inspired war against teachers. Teachers are the object of national derision and assault from the reactionary Governor Scott Walker to the Republican anti-labour, anti-teacher party NOT because of low-student test scores or poor teaching but because they are the last repository of free thinking that challenges the racist, evil American empire and its nativist approach to undocumented workers and minority-voting rights. Free-thinking teachers are a threat to Jim Crow America that dumps its poor and marginalised into city public schools and then blames the teachers for not overcoming the horrors of poverty and never ending material struggle that students have in wondering where their next meal is coming from. Increasingly public schools are feeding centers to keep poor children in the land of the free and the home of equity capital from utter destitution. Yes it has come to this in an America of indescribable wealth and growing, third-world immiseration.
The CTU wants to prevent principals of secondary schools from hiring teachers. Principals claim that if they are evaluated on the basis of test-score performance of their faculties, then they should be able to appoint them. Sorry, naked self-interest does not justify misguided academic policy. In postsecondary education, it is considered inappropriate if not an egregious departure from AAUP suggested standards, for administrators to determine who is best qualified to hire as teachers. No! Departments, divisions of faculty determine due to their specialised academic skills who best to hire to teach students within a particular discipline.
We don’t present anymore the one-teacher classroom. So how is a principal qualified to determine who is best from an applicant pool for a math teacher, a history teacher, a music teacher and a physical education teacher? Is Chicago Mayor Rahm Israel Emanuel serious about wanting to wrest away from the union the right to determine faculty hirings and instead turn it over to a political appointee or lap-dog principal? In suburban schools, it is not uncommon for principals to hire teachers but they usually will consult with or allow a faculty group to do the work. It is academically inappropriate to allow non-specialists in an area of academic study to appoint teachers outside their realm of professional accreditation.
At colleges and universities, a department will convene a search committee. The candidates for a listed position will be selected for an on-campus interview. The candidates on a short list are interviewed by the dean, the provost or other administrator in addition to faculty members. Ultimately the department will recommend, for example, to the administration whom they believe should teach biochemistry. Administrations offer the appointment but almost always follow and abide by the search committee’s recommendation.
So the CTU is defending in a heroic manner high academic standards and resisting administrators from hiring an army of loyal teachers who may not be the most qualified. I stand by and in solidarity with the heroes of this strike and call on Rahm Israel Emanuel to spend less time with President Obama and raising money for venal, evil superpacs and dedicate himself in providing aid, comfort and respect to the teachers of the nation’s third-largest school district. The man is so imbued with himself and his power he is forgetting what it is to have empathy and consideration for the less fortunate whom the teachers have dedicated themselves and their sacred honour in serving!!