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.”
“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.