Who will save our schools, and public education?
Not Premier Dalton McGuinty, who's bought into the common obsession that the money "just isn't there." So he freezes public sector wages, pulling even more money out of the economy, assuring there'll be even less in taxes to spend on programs, leading to the same death spiral that Europe is following. I know high-school kids who understand this better than Dalton, but maybe it's because they can still take economics and business courses -- although his stress on standardized tests in the "basics" is undermining all that.
Unions are under attack in the United States -- not only from people like Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, but now, with the teachers' strike in Chicago, from the very core of President Barack Obama's inner circle, his former chief of staff and current mayor of that city, Rahm Emanuel. Twenty-five thousand teachers and support staff are on strike there, shutting down the public school system in the nation's third-largest school district. This fight now raging in Chicago, Obama's hometown, has its roots in this historic stronghold of organized labour, and in the movement started one year ago this week, Occupy Wall Street.