#BlackTeachersMatter. The suit against CPS and the larger national context.

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Yesterday I posted on U.S. Judge Milton Shadur’s ruling that African American teachers who were laid off by the Chicago Public Schools constituted a class.

In other words, Shadur ruled that there was a basis for the claim that African American teachers were targeted because they were African American.

The law suit will now proceed to trial and possible damages.

Today’s NY Times reports that public sector jobs have vanished.

And who have been the victims?

Because blacks hold a disproportionate share of the jobs, relative to their share of the population, the cutbacks naturally hit them harder.

But black workers overall, women in particular, also lost their jobs at a higher rate than whites, Ms. Laird found. There was a “double disadvantage for black public sector workers,” she said. “They are concentrated in a shrinking sector of the economy, and they are substantially more likely than other public sector workers to be without work.”

5 thoughts on “#BlackTeachersMatter. The suit against CPS and the larger national context.

    1. Absolutely. The number of African American teachers in CPS has plummeted in the past decade. Most retirees are African American men and women, mostly women, teachers. This is a crucial issue in the pension fight.

  1. Two things, both factual and historical.

    One, the “free trade” agreements devastated “private sector” jobs for skilled and semi-skilled African American workers long before the attack reached the public sector workers. Michigan is the most poignant example: Auto and related jobs were exported following NAFTA and its relatives. This was made more burdensome because of the Clinton “reforms” — “Housing reform,” “Welfare reform,” and, last but not least, “Eduction reform.” The two attacks on the working class we linked, but a long historical memory is needed before the graph of public sector unemployment comes into better focus. This part is one of those “First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist…” sort of things, and we need to keep it in the overall perspective of ruling class strategy for the past 30 to 40 years…

    Two, Judge Shadur’s decision has not yet been publicized by the Chicago Teachers Union, and I suspect there is a why. By certifying the class to include only — ONLY — the remaining African American teachers who were terminated in the 2011 layoffs, the class action is also leaving out everyone else.

    I don’t think the leadership of any union whose collective bargaining agreement includes all members of the bargaining unit wants to try to explain why it was OK for the Board to dump some of the bargaining unit members, but not others. Should the union move ahead with this lawsuit after this “victory,” the questions will be growing. Note, again, that Shadur’s decision is made on the basis of the “disparate impact” standards. Sadly, Shadur ran away from the Chicago desegregation cases (he was the lead judge for years overseeing enforcement), leaving that for Judge Kokoras, who eventually was able to agree with the ruling class that Chicago didn’t need to be federally monitored any longer because Chicago had — honest, this was the net result — desegregated at least as far as the U.S. courts in the 21st Century were concerned.

    1. I can’t and don’t speak for the CTU leadership. But I don’t agree with your analysis, George. At least as I interpret what you wrote here. Shadur’s decision allows the court do decide if there was a specific and discriminatory impact on African American teachers in the 2011 layoffs. It is not a matter of whether the layoffs themselves were justified or necessary. Even if they were, if they targeted African American teachers, that is illegal and immoral. The CTU was certainly right to pursue it. As a social justice union the CTU should be able to explain why they oppose race-based firing. Not as you put it, “okay to dump some of the bargaining unit, but not others.”

  2. Reblogged this on donotmalignme and commented:
    Like I’ve been saying, this latest round of education reform is an absolute train wreck. Everywhere I look, anytime I look, I see something disturbing. Yet, I cannot stop looking. You have to look, you have to speak or it will only get worse.

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