Teachers in Chicago, who are gearing up for a fight against the neo-liberal state government, have posted this excellent speech on the internet
The speech, made by a Chicago parent in May, sums up the hypocrisy of the billionaire backers of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel as he seeks to privatise the public school system in Chicago and smash the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). The speaker points out that while billionaires call for an education which fits children for the workplace, the education they want for their own children is something completely different.
This test can be applied to neo-liberal education plans globally. As an Indian education acitivst told this writer: I think the aim should be for everyone across the world to understand what we mean by education, and if I am a parent what kind of education would I like for my own child? I think it would be one which makes all children independent thinkers, independent learners, being able to think critically and become an adult who is able to make decisions for himself or herself. If it is not then I'm sorry - I think we shold not go for it - we should not even think about it..
The struggle of teachers in Chicago is particularly important since they are fighting for emancipated education for all children in the town which brought us neo-liberalism and its guru, Milton Friedman. In many ways, Chicago has been a testing ground for the kinds of policies which are spreading like a virus all over the world. The union has a solidarity fund and/or you can send emails of support to CTU President Karen Lewis, and post comments of support on this website.