Unconditional Surrender in Chicago
Corrupt city officials and union bosses sold out teachers, parents and kids.
by Stephen Lendman
September 18, 2012 will be remembered in Chicago as a day of infamy. Corrupt city officials and union bosses won. Teachers, parents, and kids lost.
On September 10, teachers walked out. Core issues were at stake. Most important is saving public education. An American tradition is disappearing.
It's being commodified. Corporate predators are gaining control. Contract terms agreed on do nothing to stop them.
On Tuesday, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) House of Delegates voted to suspend strike action and resume classes. By 9:00AM Wednesday morning, they reopened across the city.
Primary and secondary education in Chicago and across America is a shadow of its former self. An article written two years ago next month compared earlier America with today. Rewritten parts are below, saying:
A personal note. I grew up in Boston from the mid-1930s - mid-1950s through college. Post-graduate work followed military service.
Times were different, good and bad. Eisenhower was still president. Unemployment was low. Anyone wanting work found it. Financialization hadn't taken hold. Industrial America was strong. Most jobs were high pay/good benefit/full-time ones.
Most years the economy grew during a post-WW II expansion. Inflation was low. The average new car cost $1,500. A typical home was under $10,000. College was affordable.
Harvard's 1952 full year tuition was $600. Four years later it was $1,000 - for a full, two-semester year. Anyone could attend evenings for $5 a course and get a Harvard degree for about $175.
My mother did it that way. On June 14, 1956, we graduated together in the same class. We were Harvard's first ever mother and son to do it. Perhaps no parent and child did it since.
America was unchallenged economically. Its manufacturing base was solid. It offered high paying/good benefits jobs. No longer.
Union representation was high. Today it's a shadow of its former self. Southern and northern US cities were segregated. They still are.
All 1960s civil rights gains plus most good jobs and benefits are gone. Alaska and Hawaii additions grew America to 50 states. The Korean War left an unsettled armistice. Six decades later, things haven't changed.