Yesterday in Wisconsin, public-employee unions and their supporters failed to recall the aggressively anti-labor governor Scott Walker. Today in Chicago, public school teachers are voting on strike authorization as part of their ongoing struggle with mayor Rahm Emanuel and the school board.
To be clear, the teachers aren't striking. They're voting to authorize a hypothetical future strike, as a negotiating tactic. No one wants to see classroom learning grind to a halt and working parents stuck with unexpected child-care duties.
And, while I'm not one to defend the teachers unions' every single move, I'm tired of seeing public education set up to fail and then blamed for its own failure, with special blame always reserved for teachers.
Documentarian Steve James has a journalist's nose for a great story. His beat is the
challenges faced by low-income city kids, in this case young Chicagoans whose lives are blighted by the cycle of violence.
The New York Times has never been exactly hesitant to publish articles that look cluelessly down on the cultural life of U.S. cities with fewer than 8 million residents. So I'm not sure I'd blame nepotism alone for the A. G. Sulzberger clunker the paperpublished this week.
Last Tuesday night, I went down to Chicago's Grant Park to witness
Barack Obama's election and victory speech. At the event, I was struck
by the fact that the crowd was at its loudest and most excited not when
Obama and his family took the stage but earlier, when CNN projected him
as the winner.
In a formidable jazz town like Chicago, musicians who populate the club scene one night grace the world's concert stages the next. Two new projects feature three of the city's best: drummer/percussionist Tim Daisy, clarinetist James Falzone and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm.
As we moved out of the Old Colony building a few days ago, I remembered having written about the place back in 1977 when it—along with the Fisher building to the north and the Manhattan building to the south—was being considered for landmark status.
During the past year, Chicago has experienced a disturbing spate of murders of police officers. Just a few days ago a 20-year veteran of the Chicago police force, a husband and father of four, was killed during a routine investigation, along with a former police officer for the Chicago Housing Authority whose car had been burglarized.
Every half century or so the Christian Century moves its offices. As our old Dearborn Street neighborhood seems to be “going condo,” we moved to Michigan Avenue last autumn. We’ve traded the historic Old Colony Building for the equally historic Monroe Building. I don’t keep desks in the places from which I’ve retired, but I do drop in on this office, and savor the occasions.