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Eric McWhorter
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Check out Modiviccan's first-ever music video, STS!

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Our full EP '8-bit Vine' is now available for streaming!  Come check it out!

Cross-post of my status from that OTHER social media site:

Here are some of my current thoughts on the CTU strike. Full disclosure, I am a parent with a child enrolled in the CPS system, and at a school with an accelerated curriculum, into which his admission was determined by standardized testing.

From what I understand, there is a major sticking point on the use of standardized testing as an increasingly leveraged currency in teacher evaluations. We all know what standardized testing is - a good method of determining knowledge content, and in many cases, a way of gauging procedural understanding.

Usually, we can likely agree, a child who is having a rich education can place fairly well in standardized testing, while also showing that they grasp advanced critical thinking skills. Also usually, we may also likely agree, a child who is having a poorly rounded education will struggle simply to be able to prepare to perform medially, much less well, on a standardized test, and has little or no chance of developing advanced thinking skills.

I am lucky that my kid tested into a school where he can receive a rounded education. Teachers at my kid's school are bright, motivated, eager, and able to inspire him to grow. I am also lucky that I've had a multigenerational history of high quality education in my family, and this has put me in a better position to put my kid in that position. I am lucky that my kid comes home to a two-parent home where he is nurtured and his education reinforced; he is taught respect for others, and how to respectfully assert himself; he is safe. We know that there are many children who do not enjoy this background.

The teachers at my kid's school will likely be little affected by this new contract. The kids at my kid's school will probably always know an environment where they know the same teachers in the same school for several years, just like I did, EVEN IF the new contract is ratified. Others will not share the same fate.

I think every kid, even though he or she might not have everything my kid has had, even though he or she might not have had ANYTHING my kid has had, has the right to the same quality of education my kid is having, OR BETTER. Instead, I see our city offering them blossoming class sizes in the areas where, statistically, kids grow up sometimes even worried about their own safety (insert Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs tangent here). In these same areas, I see schools which are already under a funding and class size strain, closing and shifting the burden of their already disadvantaged students to other, similarly afflicted schools.

In these environments, just when these students need continuity of education, just when they need a spark to give them the hope, the desire, the will to better themselves, we are on the verge of forcing the teachers with whom they need to develop long lasting relationships - like the ones I and my predecessors forged with our educators - to have to concentrate on preparing students not to grow, not to think, but to blankly blacken ovals. Instead of being able to try to teach them how to approach life in a way that will enable them to break their possibly multi-generational cycle of poverty, undereducation, and constraint, these teachers inevitably will be faced with a choice - a choice between keeping scores up to keep their jobs and the vision which inspired them all to become teachers in the first place - to help children to learn things which actually help them grow and become better people.

If you are still with me after these several paragraphs, I hope that I have sufficiently suggested to you how this new contract will likely do little to affect the quality of education of those children like mine who are already on the right track, but has the potential to significantly disenfranchise those who are already disadvantaged.

I am supporting CPS teachers in this strike. I am supporting CPS teachers in this strike because I see the American Dream being robbed from those who are less fortunate than I am, than my kid is, than I hope my kid's kid to be. I believe that it is the responsibility of those who are more fortunate to advocate for those who are less so, and I believe that this is largely why our teachers are striking. I am supporting CPS teachers in this strike because I do not think that cheap-labor conservatives should be dictating to our school systems how to educate those whom they would disenfranchise in the labor market. I am supporting CPS teachers in this strike because I believe that it is honorable and right for them to stand up for those who are less fortunate than they are. I am supporting CPS teachers in this strike even though it is extremely inconvenient for me and my family, and is currently reducing our earning potential.

I am proud of the CTU for doing it for the right reasons, and I am proud of my country for being a place where they can do so without fear of prosecution.

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