The ICEUFT blog has been reporting on events from coast to coast during the last couple of weeks and there are updates.
In Seattle, the teachers voted to approve their new contract and end their strike. They made substantial non-monetary gains including ending teacher evaluations based on student test scores. That is a huge victory. As for raises, the link we have says people were not complaining about them and the union is heading to the Washington State Legislature now to fully fund salary increases in addition to what they negotiated with the district. On balance, this looks like it was a successful strike.
In Chicago, the Dyett High School hunger strike is over. The courage of people who used this tactic to keep a neighborhood high school open cannot be underestimated. From the Chicago Tribune:
The protests had helped prompt CPS (Chicago Public Schools) administrators in early September to take the rare step of reopening a building they elected to mothball after years of declining enrollment and academic performance. But the plans did not accommodate some of the strikers' original demands - including that the building be reopened with a curriculum focused on green technology and global leadership - so the hunger strike continued until Saturday.
Meanwhile, here in NY we are not doing anything nearly as brave as a hunger strike but the Jamaica High School community is uniting at the urging of our long time payroll secretary Maria Giamundo (even though our school has already been phased out) to raise money for Dystonia research. Head over to the signup page where you will discover we have met the threshold to form a "Reopen Jamaica High School" team in the Bronx Zoo walk on October 4. It is a great cause and people can still donate so please join us.
As for NY evaluations, we haven't gone on strike to end teacher evaluations based on student test scores but Diane Ravitch via Fred LaBrun of the the Albany Times Union is reporting that the fight over regulations in our horrific new and invalid evaluation system is not over. Now if only the unions in New York would mobilize on this like they did in Seattle, we might get somewhere.