Chicago Teachers Strike: Bet Your Bottom Dollar They Lose The Blues Today?

With a lot of eyes on Chicago, a couple of links.  Solid Chicago Tribune overview with more about how a union leader, in this case Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, can often find themselves fighting on two fronts – with management and with factions of members –  in a situation like this.

Related, via Mike Antonuncci, the evolving narrative:

CTU President Karen Lewis on Saturday:  “We believe this is a good contract, however, no contract will solve all of the inequities in our District.”via a press release.

CTU President Karen Lewis on Sunday: “This is not a good deal by any stretch of the imagination.”at a press conference.

Also on Sunday, this remark seems destined to haunt the conversation about labor-management relations for some time given that it was uttered after Chicago kids already had missed a week of school:

“Our members are not happy,” [Lewis] said. “They want to know if there is anything more they can get.”

And this Lewis statement seems likely to linger, too:

“This is no way to measure the effectiveness of an educator,” Lewis said Sunday. “Further, there are too many factors beyond our control which impact how well some students perform on standardized tests such as poverty, exposure to violence, homelessness, hunger and other social issues beyond our control.”

When you talk to people on all sides the debate the reaction seems to break down as – ‘yes, at last someone is saying this’ or ‘yes, absolutely, but those issues are why we should double down on making sure schools are as effective as they possibly can be.’ Like this strike overall it’s a crystallization of the larger reform debate.

9 thoughts on “Chicago Teachers Strike: Bet Your Bottom Dollar They Lose The Blues Today?

  1. PhillipMarlowe

    “Our members are not happy,” [Lewis] said. “They want to know if there is anything more they can get.”
    Maybe they want more than books on the first day or full time counselors or fulltime art, pe, music, a librarian like Rahm’s kids get.

  2. PhillipMarlowe

    “Further, there are too many factors beyond our control which impact how well some students perform on standardized tests such as poverty,
    I can see Andy’s problem with that. The Rhee and Hall opposition was expressed by cheating.

  3. PhillipMarlowe

    TEXAS COSMETOLOGY CLASS CLOSED DUE TO GAYNESS

    “As soon as we got a student that (Amons) thought was gay, that was the end. He saw (Gray) come into the class, and then he came to get me out of there,” [teacher Cequada] Clark said of Principal Amons, a man who also serves as a deacon at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. The instructor said she was told to tell Gray he wasn’t welcome in the program. Feeling a moral objection to what was taking place, she refused. “I told (Amons) if he wanted to tell that young man that, he would need to do that himself.”

    “I don’t understand this. I really don’t,” Clark said. “(Amons) told me he would rather shut down the program altogether than to have ‘riff-raff’ like that in the program. The next day, he shut down the program.”

    UPDATES: Instructor Cequada Clark informed The Examiner on Thursday evening, Sept. 13, that she has been asked to turn in her keys and receipt book, terminating her employment with BISD.

    I’m sure Andy, Michelle and the Professional Education Reform Crowd have no problem with this result from the lack of due process and having a union.

  4. Sandy Kress

    Are there more details than have been generally reported on how evaluation more specifically will work under the final deal?

  5. PhillipMarlowe

    Black writes:
    Mayor Emanuel has his own public relations conundrum at this point, and it’s not just a matter of rhetoric: he (and the business leaders and newspapers) are claiming that in order to pay for the new contract, they’re going to have to close down schools. In the meantime they’re planning to open up 60 new charter schools. In fact, this year’s budget has an additional $76 million for charters, which cost the district well over $500 million a year.

    “We’re kind of confused about that,” said Wendy Katten of the Raise Your Hand Coalition. “If they’re claiming they have 130,000 unfilled seats in the district, why are they opening 60 new schools? That’s crazy. That’s just absurd.”

    How to make the case? Always ready to help, the Tribune offers this line of argument:: charter schools are the best tool for busting the teachers union. Bruce Rauner, private equity mogul and major charter sponsor, chimes in that the goal is “separating teachers from the union.”

    http://michaelklonsky.blogspot.com

  6. PhillipMarlowe

    A million dollar TV buy put the mayor’s spin all over the airwaves Wednesday. Emanuel discusses the teachers’ contract in the ad, which was funded not by the city or the mayor himself, but by Education Reform Now, a group which has battled teachers’ unions across the country.

    A million dollars? By Whitney and Andy-like people. One would think that maybe they would offer to pay for the air-conditioning units.

    But remember, Whitney is for the KIDS.

  7. T. Lydgate

    In the debate over the second comment, I fall on the side of the fact that YES, there are factors outside of teacher’s control at work, namely the changing demographic make-up of schools which can occur quite rapidly (i.e. 10 years or so).

    I agree the first comment is not good optics, or good in general, though.

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