Thursday, November 8th,
4:30 pm, CSB Auditorium
The Chicago Teachers Strike: Reframing Education Reform and Teacher Unions
This talk will discuss the national significance of the Chicago teachers strike and its potential for the future of education reform and teacher unions in the U.S. Over the past two decades federal, state, and local governments in concert with corporate philanthropies have advanced education initiatives based on top-down accountability and the redirection of schooling to economic competitiveness. These initiatives include overuse of high -stakes tests, corporate-driven charter schools, evaluation of teachers by test scores, among others. To date, the recent Chicago teachers strike is the most significant mass opposition to this agenda.
Led by a revitalized Chicago Teachers Union and widely supported by parents, the strike was about more than compensation – it was in opposition to the current direction in public education and its effects on teaching and learning. The CTU’s new brand of teacher unionism – democratic, grassroots, and allied with parents and communities in promoting education equity and holistic education – will be examined in the talk.
Drawing on her book, “The New Political Economy of Urban Education: Neoliberalism, Race and the Right to the City”, Pauline Lipman will discuss the political and economic context that is shaping the contest over education change in Chicago. She will describe the intersection of housing, economic development and education policies in Chicago, the dynamics of race, and the growth of grassroots movements. She will engage participants in a discussion of the ways in which these dynamics, the context for the recent Chicago teachers’ strike, is being replayed in various ways across the U.S.
Pauline Lipman is Professor of Educational Policy Studies and Director of the Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Pauline’s research focuses on race and class inequality, globalization, and political economy of urban education. Her newest book, “The New Political Economy of Urban Education: Neoliberalism, Race, and the Right to the City” (Routledge, 2011) draws on multidisciplinary frameworks including critical geography, urban sociology, anthropology, critical studies of race, and sociology of education. Pauline is active in Teachers for Social Justice in Chicago and was involved in the recent Chicago teachers strike.