The Chicago Teachers Union and its 'Quest Center' ... Solidarity or Sellout?
by Susan Ohanian
Judging from what landed in my e-mail on Aug. 25, I have to assume that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is tone deaf -- or worse. On the same day that Twitter was booming with messages of solidarity with Dyett, with calls for people to join the hunger strike for one day, I received an e-mail announcement from CTU touting a course awarding participants 14 PD hours. There is ugly irony in the fact that this course offers a "framework for 6 Types of Family/Community Involvement."
Community involvement is getting out to Dyett. As Jeanette Taylor-Ramann points out, "What's happening in Bronzeville isn't just about Dyett High School. There's an agenda to push out black and brown low income and working families in the city of Chicago."
And CTU's answer is business as usual. This is not the first time the Quest Center has exhibited their determination to side with the existing power structure. I haven't forgotten the 2011 CTU Quest Center $600,000 grant from AFT to "create model units of instruction, classroom performance assessments, and materials aligned to the new, higher and more rigorous set of state-adopted Common Core State Standards."
Call me Pollyanna, but I'd hoped that when the money ran out new union leadership would transform Quest into a center for building unionism instead of one promoting propaganda for the 1%.
Many people have commented on how long it took the Chicago Tribune to acknowledge Dyett parents. How long will it take the CTU?
Here's THE CTU EMAIL:
On 8/25/2015 11:28 AM, Lynn Cherkasky-Davis ctulocal1.com wrote: CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION. Quest. Center Professional Learning
This professional development series, for currently practicing K -- 12th grade teachers, examines the research that addresses the importance of family and community involvement in teaching and its impact on student learning. The four sessions focus on the effect family/community/teacher collaboration has on dropout rates, motivation, and students seeking higher education.
Participants will learn about the framework for 6 Types of Family/Community Involvement (Parenting, Communicating, Volunteering, Learning at Home, Decision-Making, and Collaboration) and how to utilize it in their practice. Attendees will learn how and why to involve family members (and guardians and caregivers) as partners with both school and home-based activities (i.e. interactive homework, dialogue journaling, etc.); how to break the barriers that hinder family and community involvement in school; strategies for 2-way communication with families to advance student learning; and why and how to be responsive to families and their cultures and needs. Teachers also learn to effectively engage more community stakeholders in their instruction, how and where to seek community resources, and best make use of them. This series is aligned with the CPS Framework for Teaching Components 4c and 4d. Instructor: Walter Taylor, NBCT
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Dates: Saturdays and Sundays, 9/26, 9/27 and 11/14, 11/15
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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