Book Talk: Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity
The 2012 Chicago Teachers Union strike was the most important domestic labor struggle so far this century—and perhaps for the last forty years—and the strongest challenge to the conservative agenda for restructuring education, which advocates for more charter schools and tying teacher salaries to standardized testing, among other changes.
The teachers took on the bipartisan, free market school reform agenda that is currently exacerbating inequality in education and waging war on teachers' livelihoods. In the age of austerity, when the public sector is under attack, Chicago teachers fought back — and won.
The Chicago protest has become a model for how reforms to the school system can be led by teachers and communities. It offers inspiration for workers looking to create democratic, fighting unions. Strike for America is the story of this movement and how it triumphed in the defining struggle for workers today. Published by Verso Books.
“An indispensable account ... Uetricht explains why the struggle of teachers in Chicago should matter to all of us.” – Liza Featherstone
“A wonderfully readable, smart account of the CTU’s transformation into a democratic, militant union that with its community partners took on Chicago and the nation’s power elite.”
– Lois Weiner, author of The Future of Our Schools
Micah Uetricht is an Assistant Editor at Jacobin and Contributing Editor at In These Times. He has written for the Nation, Al Jazeera America, Dissent, the American Prospect, the Chicago Reader, and Salon. He is a former labor organizer and lives in Chicago.