Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lessons from True Class Struggle: Detroit Teachers' Strike 2006

Detroit Federation of Teachers. AFT. Local 231.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers contract (includes librarians).

In his Counterpunch essay, "The Detroit Teachers' Strike, 2006," Rick Gibson analyzes the history of the labor in Detroit and the 2006 teachers' strike, noting the blackout of media coverage because these battles are
"very dangerous grounds for elites; they go to the heart of control of communities and the rule of knowledge itself.'

Gibson's essay bears close reading, not just for his insightful analysis but because at the end he ties the strike to NCLB and what people need to know. This cuts to the core of librarianship. He concludes:

The rebellious law-breaking teachers of the Detroit Public Schools strike of 2006 went back to work, conducting the scripted pedagogical programs the NCLB demands, to drill children to pass a test the US has designed for them to fail. It,s easily seen as a form of child abuse, which is the contradictory nature of educational life within the emergence of fascism.

The question of what people need to know, and how they need to come to know it, in order to assume the potential of a world already united through systems of production, communication, and transportation, yet a world that is now easily described as a war of all on all, is a pedagogical problem. The answer may spin out from the thought and action of educators.

Have no doubt, the Bush administration is using NCLB to choke the guts out of reading and education.

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