Strike! And other avenues for exercising teacher voice

Chicago teachers are in their second day of striking. Teachers are worried about new measures that tie retention to strict accountability measures. The immediate impact is that 350,000 students are out of school. Given the recent focus on instructional seat time and days-in-session, these missed days can make a statement. If nothing else, parents are being drawn into the dialogue, forced to account for their children on days they would otherwise be in school.

Perhaps in response to all of those prospective voters feeling the impacts, President Obama and presidential hopeful Romney have issued statements about the strike. Each candidate wants to seem “tough” on teachers, stressing some measure of compromise in order to balance the perceived need for teacher accountability with urban concerns about the strength of teacher unions. In an interesting example, would-be VP Paul Ryan announced his support for Rahm Emmanuel on the grounds that unions in Chicago and elsewhere are too powerful.

As an educator, you have a voice. As a KDP member, you can add that voice to 45,000 or so other members. Many of those members already have the power of collective bargaining. Others live and practice their professions in “right to work” to states that deny protections for group acts like strikes.

How do you use your voice in shaping educational policy in your community? How would you like KDP to help you exercise your voice to improve our profession?

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