by Erin Dyke, member of the IWW Education Organizing Committee
More than 50 people came together for the first social justice education community meal of 2014 on February 16th, to explore the prevailing trend toward managed instruction in our schools and potential alternatives. We gnoshed on a delicious (and free!) Sunday brunch of fruits, eggs, potato hash, breads, and other treats while we caught up with old friends and made new comrades. We want to take some time to reflect on what we learned from our time together and consider ways to move forward to fight against the forced de-skilling of students and educators.
Do teachers and other educators have power to change things in our schools? Everyday I talk to teachers who are upset, saddened by negative changes, struggling to ensure all of their students succeed. Many days I ask my co-workers what we can do, or if they can help with something. Sometimes they say yes, but mostly they say they are too busy to do anything. Sometimes I feel like we are too busy drowning to organize a raft to save ourselves.
The new year is already shaping up to be a momentous one for education organizing in St Paul. In the past month St Paul has seen a charter school vote to unionize and the executive board of the St Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT) call for a vote to strike. Classroom Struggle hopes to have longer articles on each of these developments up soon so stay tuned, but we keep you informed with these two brief newsflashes.
This blog is a project of the Twin Cities IWW Education Organizing Committee, a group of education organizers open to all K-12 public education workers. We strive to bring together educators, students, parents and caregivers, and communities from across the Twin Cities who believe that another kind of education possible. We are working to identify and eliminate the ways schools perpetuate injustice, and seek to transform our education system on the principles of community self-determination and worker control, sustainability, freedom, and social justice.