Teacher Unions vs Parents and Children: political commentary

Dana Goldstein and Noam Scheiber:

Few American cities have labor politics as fraught as Chicago’s, where the nation’s third-largest school system shut down this week after teachers’ union members refused to work in person, arguing that classrooms were unsafe amid the Omicron surge.

But in a number of other places, the tenuous labor peace that has allowed most schools to operate normally this year is in danger of collapsing.

While not yet threatening to walk off the job, unions are back at negotiating tables, pushing in some cases for a return to remote learning. They frequently cite understaffing because of illness, and shortages of rapid tests and medical-grade masks. Some teachers, in a rear-guard action, have staged sick outs.

In Milwaukee, schools are remote until Jan. 18, because of staffing issues. But the teachers’ union president, Amy Mizialko, doubts that the situation will significantly improve  and worries that the school board will resist extending online classes.

“I anticipate it’ll be a fight,” Ms. Mizialko said.

She credited the district for at least delaying in-person schooling to start the year but criticized Democratic officials for placing unrealistic pressure on teachers and schools.

“I think that Joe Biden and Miguel Cardona and the newly elected mayor of New York City and Lori Lightfoot — they can all declare that schools will be open,” Ms. Mizialko added, referring to the U.S. education secretary and the mayor of Chicago. “But unless they have hundreds of thousands of people to step in for educators who are sick in this uncontrolled surge, they won’t be.”

The view from Madison, via David Blaska:

Madison Teachers Inc. claims that two-thirds of its members surveyed “either did not support a return to school buildings on January 10 or would only do so if COVID-19 infection rates were stabilizing or decreasing.”

“Not only have we started this school year short-staffed, but we are losing an extraordinary number or staff due to burnout and disrespect from leadership and community stakeholders.”

Disrespect from “community stakeholders?” Whom might that be? Parents? Taxpayers? At least, they have the support of the Madison-area Democratic Socialists. The Far Left group today blamed Covid on capitalism:

Hello comrades,

I am sure you are all thinking about Omnicron and how it yet again illustrates the blatant failings of capitalism, the state, the U.S. healthcare system, and so many other oppressive institutions. … (MTI) is calling on MMSD leadership to make basic commitments to staff members. Please read their statement, sign their petition, and share it.

Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?

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