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Sep 26 2012
Chicago Teachers Union strike ends, but concerns remain

On Tuesday, September 18th, the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted 98 percent to 2 percent to end its nine-day-long strike, the first CTU strike in 25 years. The proposed deal includes a marked salary increase for teachers and the right for teachers to make their own lesson plans. The deal also excludes the threatened elimination of merit pay, lanes (achievement for advanced degrees) and steps (achievement for experience). When asked on Democracy Now! if the CTU won this strike, CTU president Karen Lewis responded: "Absolutely".

Sep 13 2012
Chicago Teachers Union goes on strike in do-or-die showdown

In a bold, inspiring, historic, widely-publicized, and risky move, the Chicago Teachers Union, has gone on strike over a host of issues, including compensation, job security, evaluation procedures, and sufficient classroom resources (including air conditioning in the summer).

The strike could be argued as inevitable, given the galvanizing forces on each side: a progressive leadership at the Chicago Teachers Union, and a neoliberal cookie-cutter Chicago Public Schools district which favors non-union charter schools. The strike is unquestionably a big gamble -- if the union wins, they provide a badly needed shot-in-the-arm for public education and for the labor movement. If the establishment wins, they hasten the decline of both public education and dissident labor, spurring further the underway dissolution of middle-class education. The strike has so far garnered support from the public and from union solidarity efforts.

More Chicago Indymedia Links: Chicago Teachers v. Rahm Emanuel | Chicago: America's Epicenter of Resistance | Facebook Photo Album: Rally to support CTU Strike

Additional Links: In These Times: Chicago Teachers Strike Headache for Democrats | Robbie Abed's Personal Blog - Chicago Teachers Union Strike: The Real Story | Reuters: Negotiators optimistic Chicago teachers' strike may end soon | Teachers' Leader in Chicago Strike Shows Her Edge | Think Progress: How Illinois' Flawed Funding System Shortchanges Chicago's Students

Aug 22 2012
Oakland Activists Liberate Shuttered Library

An abandoned historic building in Oakland was unveiled on the morning of August 13th as the Victor Martinez Community Library. The building was one of seven library branch casualties of budget cuts in the late seventies, and since then it has mostly sat empty. On the first day of the re-opening, donations of books poured in and area children helped to start a community garden in a side lot. In less than 15 hours, however, OPD raided the Community Library. The next morning, activists re-opened the library on the sidewalk in front of the building and it has been growing since.

Jul 14 2012
CETF releases premier issue of Why Students Can’t Wait – a monthly newsletter

From The Editor: Greetings! Thank you for checking out the very first issue ofWhy Students Can’t Wait, the Community Education Task Force Newsletter. This monthly publication stands to engage the Rochester community on all aspects of the Rochester City School District (RCSD) and how parents, students, educators, and engaged community members are working to build a movement for educational change and improvement.

THIS ISSUE of Why Students Can’t Wait introduces some of the systemic problems within the district, and offers various ways in which we can work together to bring about authentic education reform.

Jun 04 2012
Rally at the School Board to defeat the Knudsen Plan

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission wants to impose a really awful plan that will make private contractors rich, but won't do much to help Philadelphia's students. The plan could very well do grave harm to, if not spell the end of public education in Philadelphia.

Read More | Multi.lectical has photos.

May 25 2012
Teachers on strike in East Portland

May 21, 2012 — Teachers have gone on strike In a high poverty district on the East edge of Portland. The school board and district have been stalling and delaying for 11 months. The Reynolds Board and School District has walked away from negotiations at 11:30am May 21st on the first day of the strike. This puts a huge burden on many low income parents who must find child care for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here is what the media leaves out when reporting on this [...]

UPDATE PIMC NEWSWIRE POST 5/24/12 Mobile T VIDEO: Reynolds School District Contract Agreement Partial - Strike Is On

Mar 30 2012
Save Texas Schools March and Rally 2012

On Saturday March 24, 2012 the Save Texas Schools March and Rally was held at the Texas capitol. Students, parents, teachers and community leaders attended to show their support of Texas public education. Information about education issues and ways to defend public schools can be found at savetxschools.org.

more pics

Mar 10 2012
13-year Old's Essay on Frederick Douglass Earns Her Harassment from Teachers

After writing an essay about Frederick Douglass and drawing comparison between Douglass' experiences and that of Black RCSD students, 13-year-old Jada Williams says she was harassed by teachers who said they were "offended" by her essay.

Photo from Dread Times

Feb 23 2012
CETF Demands Fairness and Integrity in the Search for a Superintendent

On February 9, 2012, the Community Education Task Force held a press conference at Phillis Wheatley Library where they demanded that the superintendent search process have integrity and fairness applied to it. The press release stated that CETF demanded that the Rochester City School District provide "...parents, educators, and the larger community with details regarding the very expensive subterfuge created by the Superintendent Search Committee, under the 'leadership' of Malik Evans, and under the false guise of so-called 'robust' parent and community input. It is clear that the search process is illegitimate, and biased in favor of Bolgen Vargas."

Read More & VIDEO | Community Education Task Force | Past Coverage: MIC CHECK: Parents and Community Disrupt Superintendent Search Committee Meeting

Jan 25 2012
UC Riverside Students Disrupt Regents Meeting

RIVERSIDE (CA) January 19, 2012 - Thousands of students, workers, and community members gathered to participate in the governance of the UC system. When their participation was limited and ultimately shut off, they took direct action to ensure their voices were heard. For this, they were confronted by police from numerous agencies. Police violence broke out, and three arrests were made

Preparations for the event have been going on for months, and have included on-campus general assemblies and discussions of occupation. The camp began Tuesday night and immediately drew support from students and campers from Occupy Riverside and Occupy LA. By Wednesday, a food table was set up, as was an outreach table and a people's library. Students and faculty held many teach-ins and teach-outs to raise the consciousness of students.

But the action really began Thursday morning, when groups of students and unions members spoke to the regents during the public comment section of the meeting. Full Story: UCR Occupied in Defense of Education By Rockero

Oct 10 2011
Community Forces Board to Table Voting on Controversial School Board Resolution

Indy TV Uncut Video of Board Meeting
On October 6, 2011, community members, parents, and activists gathered at the school board for a hastily called meeting where the board was to vote on a resolution giving them the option to spend up to $100,000 to recruit Ray & Associates Inc.—a corporate search firm with ties to the Eli Broad Foundation—for the purposes of finding another school superintendent. The Community Education Task Force was out in force with Mary Adams, Howard Eagle, and Wallace Smith opening the meeting with critical thoughts about the calling of the meeting and the direction—hastily chosen—by the board to find a new superintendent.

Aug 30 2011
BU Attempting to Bypass Biolab Safety Review

At BU’s invitation, plaintiffs in the lawsuits against the BU Bio-Terror Lab and their counsel met [on August 25th] with representatives of BU and their attorneys to hear details of BU's proposed waiver request. In their Aug. 12 press release, BU stated that, if granted, the waiver would enable them to operate the level 1 and 2 labs and to begin the permitting process for the Level 3 lab. Though BU claims the Risk Assessment will be “reviewed and considered” for the level 3 labs, what we learned yesterday is that BU intends to circumvent the requirement that the state review the Risk Assessment of the level 3 labs.

Aug 22 2011
"Build schools not Prisons!”

An energetic and noisy rally held in front of Hill International to protest funds being spent on prisons when Pennsylvania could be spending to improve its' schools. Read More & Pics

More: Video | City Paper Coverage | List of demands | Fact Sheet

Jun 24 2011
La Casita Supporters Renew Sit-In Protest after CPS Calls Off Deal

In the summer and early fall of 2010, parents, students and concerned citizens fought on behalf of La Casita, the fieldhouse of Whittier Elementary School in Chicago's Pilsen Neighborhood. The Chicago Public Schools opted to demolish the building, though the community fought back with a 44-day occupation, and won the terms they had demanded.

In recent days, the Chicago Public Schools, run by a new neoliberal transplant, opted to rescind the original deal, arriving with a wrecking crew. The community has responded with vigor, restarting the sit-in and calling for support.

Past Chicago Indymedia coverage: Chicago Independent Television: The Whittier School Sit-in | From The Trenches radio coverage

Other Coverage: Facebook: Solidarity with Whittier Parents' Struggle | Pilsen Prole: Night One of Renewed 24/7 Occupation | Gapers Block: CPS Renews Battle Over Whittier Elementary's Fieldhouse | Radio Arte | Beachwood Reporter: Rahm's War on Teachers

May 12 2011
Challenges Ahead: Brizard’s departure to Chicago

On Monday, April 18, 2011, after a week-long absence during parent budget hearings on education, Jean-Claude Brizard surfaced in Chicago with mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel who stated that Brizard would be the next CEO of Chicago Public Schools, and conversely, Brizard announced his resignation as superintendent of the Rochester City School District (allegedly via text message).

On Wednesday, April 20, Brizard delivered a press conference for his exit from Rochester to Chicago. Members of the Community Education Task Force and Coalition for Justice in Education, an allied organization, rallied parents, teachers and community to another press conference that was organized two floors down from Brizard’s event at central office. In their press conference, they called for a meaningful parent, community, and educator role in the selection of RCSD’s next Superintendent. See the video reports below and check out "Challenges Ahead: Brizard’s departure to Chicago"—the article that this article was created from by Mark Friedman at Failing Schools blog.

from the open publishing newswire...