[Marxism] won't back down

michael yates mikedjyates at msn.com
Thu Sep 27 21:14:10 MDT 2012

It is interesting that none of the reviews I have read about this film show any knowledge of Pittsburgh, the city where the action takes place. Pittsburgh has become a city where many movies are shot, using cheap nonunion labor. The public schools are organized by the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, which has a long history of militant actions and was onced headed by the legendary Al Fondy. A classmate of mine, John Tarka, succeeded Fondy and maintained that tradition. Now, however, the federation has become something of a poster child for capitulation to the right's demands for accountability, testing, etc. The reviewers don't seem to know anything about these things nor anything about social conditions in the city. Another thing is that locals have been ballyhooing the film. There is a show on national tv called Dance Moms, about a dance school for girls and the moms who follow their kids around the country as they are in dance competitions. Two of the moms promote the films in commercials during the program. One is white and one black, mirroring the protagonists in the film. The black woman is a principal at the private and very pricey Winchester Thurston school. No poor moms are on the show. Local material and concrete examples always make a review worth reading. Generalities do not. All that a reviewer would have needed to do was look a few things up about Pittsburgh, make a couple of phone calls, and the like. What have local radicals and teachers been doing to protest the film? Shouldn't the reviewers at least have checked into this? Oh well, maybe Pittsburgh is not a real place to many of those who live and write in the real cities. One last thing, union or not, there are plenty of teachers who know very little about the lives and communities of their students. The Chicago teachers have taken notice and this is one reason why they were able to successfully confront Emanuel and company.  [Note, I lived in Pittsburgh for many years, and all of my four kids attended city schools.] 		 	   		  

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