Saturday, September 20, 2014

CTU Gloats about Gov. Quinn

CTU Proud of Gov. Quinn Endorsement
By Jim Vail

The Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said she is proud that Gov. Pat Quinn has been formally endorsed by the union after an interesting debate in the house of delegates two weeks ago.

"I am proud CTU's rank-and-file has made Governor Quinn their choice to lead Illinois," Lewis stated in a press release. "He is a consensus builder, will support public school educators and will continue his work to strengthen public education in Illinois and protect working families. Governor Quinn believes in public schools and I know he will fight to make sure every child has a great education."


This endorsement, while a majority of delegates voted in favor to back Quinn, came after activists in CORE pointed out that this democratic governor has repeatedly "stabbed the union in the back," such as when he signed punitive municipal pension legislation that the union calculated would wipe out up to one-third of a future retiree's pension.

Quinn also chose the union's first public enemy, Paul Vallas, to be his running mate. Even though some delegates pointed out that the lieutenant governor is not as important a position, Quinn made it clear the democrats are no friends of unions by choosing Vallas.

Vallas served as the head of the Chicago Public Schools under former Mayor Richard Daley. He immediately went to battle with the union by firing many African American educators and administrators, outsourcing and privatizing a lot of services and implementing high stakes testing. He has helped destroy public schools in other urban districts such as Philadelphia, New Orleans and Bridgeport.

Lewis of course blasted challenger Bruce Rauner, a multi-millionaire republican hedge fund candidate who is more honest about the fact that he hates unions and would like to further cut public school spending.

The press release further claimed that Rauner was the master mind behind bringing Stand for Children to Illinois. 

Stand for Children, which helped craft the SB7 bill (signed into law by Gov. Quinn) to cut back on the union's seniority rights and tie teacher ratings to high stakes tests, worked with many democrats to implement the education reform agenda.

The CTU press release states that Quinn has "a strong record of fighting to improve education" by claiming he has increased education funding by $2.2 billion, increased the number of students taking AP exams (really?), and made higher education more accessible (indeed, as costs continue to rise!).

 Illinois is one of the worst states when it comes to funding public schools.

The sad fact is most information is controlled by those at the top making deals to sell out the rest of us. When the CTU issues a glowing press release endorsement of how Gov. Quinn is a wise choice, they are fooling teachers and other CTU members who otherwise may not know the dark side to who this candidate really is.

The fact that the CTU may believe this democratic candidate is better than the republican should not include issuing half facts and misleading information about the candidate they chose to endorse.

When the CTU wants to protest school closings, privatization via charter schools, unfair pension cuts - just look at the candidate they endorsed. Gov. Quinn stands behind all that because the corporations give him the money to do it.

But to lie to your members, and make this democrat out to be the perfect candidate the teachers vote for, the credibility of this union loses, as more and more people begin to figure out that those who are responsible for destroying our public education system include the politicians we proudly endorse.

1 comment:

  1. Good work on Quinn endorsement; maybe it doesn't taste good, but it's all true. Painting ( "lesser-evil") enemies of working people as friends is old-school unionism, leading us to political deadends when we need new paths. Confronting the vicious corporate agenda requires facing facts, not selling self-serving fantasy worlds.

    In another real-life teachable moment, teachers (and students) statewide suffered when the majority Democrats pushed SB7 with secret negotiations. Teachers outside Chicago all lost seniority in layoffs and recall, for one thing. Quinn signed it (along with other harmful bills as you say), but he didn't do it alone. In blue-state IL, the Democratic Party leadership pushed it and got the votes. In red-states, it's the Republicans doing the dirty work. In fact,both parties serve the corporate agenda.

    Facing facts comes first; only then can we create appropriate solutions. Karen Lewis's extolling Quinn is just more b.s., the opposite of honest leadership we need. Taking on the corporate 1%? Au contraire.

    Earl Silbar
    Retired GED teacher