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Thompson: Why 'Reformers' Are Allergic to Activism

BigbossLuis Gabriel Aguilera, the author of Gabriel’s Fire: A Memoir, reminds us that the Chicago teachers strike of 2012 was not about salaries or benefits. It was a counter-attack against the brutality of corporate school reforms.

In his recent post, The Chicago Public Schools: Allergic to Parent, Student, Teacher, Union and Citizen Activism (Part II), Aguilera first nails the fundamental flaw of market-driven “reforms” designed to turn up the heat on teachers. Then, Aguilera explains that accountability-driven reform is part of a larger global conversation, that reflects on the future of education in general and the quality of all of our lives.  School closures come from an “ever-streamlining corporate culture.” Corporate “reformers” are not content with attacking public schools. They now hope to transform higher education.

Their public relations flacks argue with a straight face that poverty persists, not because of global economic changes (and exploitation), but because of teachers’ low expectations.  Not even the best PR that big money can buy could sell the claim that buildings wouldn’t burn if firefighters adopted a “No Excuses!” mentality.  Neither, I would add, will they be able to sell the idea that all of society should welcome the additional stress of the leaner, meaner world that corporations are imposing on all of us.   -JT(@drjohnthompson) Image via



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When it comes to the situation of teachers going on strike due to corporate issues is very sad because teachers should be able to focus on what they are there for and that is to teach. It is sad that a lot of schools are closing due to corporations and that is putting a lot of stress on society. If corporations are causing issues amongst how education is handle, then people do need to step up and take on the fight. Teachers need to also continue to believe no matter the are they teach in, that they are there for a reason and that every child deserves to learn and that every child can learn. Then maybe corporations will see that education and not controlling the close of schools is very important in every area.

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