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Seattle Teachers’ Strike A Win For Social Justice


Seattle Teachers’ Strike A Win For Social Justice

Jeff Bryant

Teachers unions are routinely vilified by pundits and politicians on the right and left these days. So when schoolteachers in Seattle began the school year by going on strike, the editorial board of The Seattle Times was quick to accuse the teachers of “demanding too much.”

The editors called the strike “illegal,” “disruptive,” and “a symbol of excess for those who oppose more school spending.”


It's great to see the good guys win for a change! Top-down education does not work. Reduce all education majors in college to minors so that future teachers may develop themselves more proficiently in their chosen field (and be a more potent threat to exit into the market for bargaining power). Reduce the schools' administrative bureaucracies. Let kids be kids. Revive the music and arts. Prepare the youngsters for truly civilized lives.


It's time communities stop electing businessmen and women into their school boards and legislatures. People whose sole focus is making money are completely clueless on how to run education institutions or create livable communities. Little tiny foci, little tiny results. The fact that they co-opt the law for their own mediocre purposes makes it difficult to undo all the damage they do. bravo for the teachers of Seattle--may there be many more victories for the children of the US. They sorely need some heroes.


Leave the educating to the educators. Not outsiders. If you want to see a happy teacher just ask them a question.


(Now retired) 3rd generation teacher in the system here in BC ... A couple of thoughts .. 1. " it would be nice to work until 3 " .. Uh huh .. Except, that simply almost never happens .. Teachers leave an hour after students, usually,,as they have to prep for the next day 2. If you host a club.. Science, sports, etc .. You give up some lunch hours, again, after school .. No extra pay, occassional acknowledgement (tho Imcan tell you ... Having a kid or parent giving heartfelt thanks .. NO money can compare to that) 3. Marking .. While there is some support for this now apparently, there certainly wasn't befor, and if you use short frequent tests, you have to do it all yourself.


I loved working with kids .. Have 5 , had foster kids, some of whom stayed in touch , would probably continue with something now that I am back here after 10 years in japan, but the Alzheimers limits things ... /// .. Remember, the schoolsystem was NOT designed for the benefit of kids, initially .. A place was needed to put kids after the industrial revolution as the parents spent all day in the factory .. Before that, ONLY the rich were educated ...


The testing is a HUGE issue with teachers everywhere. The explosion of mandatory testing nationwide with the advent of No Child Left Behind (GWB) and then Race to the Top (Obama) wherein funding is tied to test results brings the testing companies piles of money (Neil Bush, bro of GWB owns one of the major ones that he purchased just before NCLB was implemented...what a surprise?) A major part of teacher evals is also based on test results. The teachers are compelled to take away vital teaching time to prep for the tests...teaching to the tests. The students are traumatized and suffer from ongoing test anxiety. Many schools treat testing day with militaristic policies such as guards in the halls, no potty breaks unless absolutely necessary (they are timed and guards stand outside the restrooms), exterior doors are locked as well as classroom doors (regardless of fire codes), NO talking, etc. Long term learning is replaced by short term cramming. The Million$$$ spent on testing could be used more productively elsewhere in the schools (keeping arts, music, after school programs viable, e.g.) and students, teachers, and parents would greatly benefit. Why is it so hard to pay teachers living wages with full benefits WHEN THEY SPEND MORE TIME WITH CHILDREN during their waking hours than the parents? Teachers play a major role in assuring their students' future success.

What the federal government spends on drones alone would fund FREE education K-University for several lifetimes.

Blaming teachers for the US being behind other nations in achievement negates all the contributing factors that adversely affect student achievement with POVERTY being one (homelessness, hunger, parents working two-three low wage jobs to make ends meet taking them away from home, etc.).

BRAVO to the teachers in Seattle going to bat for their students and their schools!


Right-on post!