by Lindsay Beyerstein
How our blog got its name
Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”
Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.
It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.
An End in Sight for Chicago's Teachers Strike?
Striking teachers and school officials are making progress at the bargaining table, the Chicago Sun Times reports. The two sides are said to be coming closer to an agreement on the contentious issue of teacher evaluations. If all goes well, students could be back at school by Friday:
After a long day of talks that ended around 11:30 p.m., Lewis said the system’s offer on teacher evaluations, a key stumbling block, had improved to the point that “I’m smiling. I’m very happy.’’
Although she was not ready to check it off her list, “it’s a lot better,’’ Lewis said.
Earlier, Chicago Public School officials Wednesday released what one expert called a “pretty generous concession” to the union on teacher evaluations.
Teachers and parents across country are watching the Chicago dispute as a bellwether for the national debate over teacher evaluations and standardized testing.
[Photo credit: People's World, Creative Commons.]