Chicago Teachers on Strike: Chicago Tonight [WTTW]

Chicago Teachers on Strike: Chicago Tonight [WTTW]

Friend of Save Our Schools, Mike Klonsky will appear on Chicago Tonight as part of a panel discussion on the Chicago Teachers Union strike. Elizabeth Brackett anchors. Tonight’s panel is all non-teachers, and non-CTU members. Possible panelists include any or all of the following — Timothy Knowles of U of C, Vicky Chou of UIC, Terry Mazany of CCT.

After months of negotiations, the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools have failed to come to an agreement. We have the latest reports from Elizabeth Brackett on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm. Then, Carol Marin and her guests discuss what led to the breakdown in talks and what’s next for Chicago teachers and students.

Read live tweets from @ebrackett during the day for the latest CPS/CTU news. Watch teachers walk the picket line in the following web extra video.

CPS Parents and Teachers React to Strike; Chicago Tonight [WTTW]

Chicago Tonight spoke with parents and teachers of Chicago Public Schools students to get their reaction to the strike. Read what they had to say.

Michael Butz, CPS Parent:
I am the parent of a CPS third grader. I support our teachers 100 percent, but I am terribly disappointed in the CTU’s decision to strike after receiving a contract offer which was fair to all parties which have a stake: children, teachers, parents and taxpayers. While the issues CTU states in press conferences it is striking on (since it cannot by law “officially” strike on compensation, evaluation or recall – issues they had a hand in crafting in Springfield) are indeed important to me as a parent, they are not justification for walking away from 350,000 Chicago school children – the most drastic measure possible. It is unacceptable to me that the contract was rejected and displays a shocking disconnect with the economic reality in America, as well as with national trends in education reform which are supported increasingly by both political parties.

My feeling is that Karen Lewis is doing a disservice to our children and to her membership by making this strike a statement on national education reform trends, which she clearly opposes. Opposition to these policies is best played out through activism and legislation, not at the expense of my child’s education and his 349,999 peers.

Jessica Marshall, CPS Teacher:
A strike is a last resort; it’s not something we take lightly. My partner and I are both going without a paycheck with a newborn in daycare – obviously not our preference. But as I watched several students come down the street with big smiles and homemade muffins they’d baked for us, I was reminded why this fight is so important!

As a civics teacher, I have the opportunity to show my students the great thing about this country and practice the right that many fought and died for – the right to stand up for ourselves and strike if necessary! This is a fight for what’s right for our schools and our children! I was proud to have my students and community members there in solidarity.

They know this isn’t about money. This year, I have three of my four classes with over 30 students; one has 43 students! I want language in our contract that protects our kids and teachers, and puts a limit on class sizes. I also want protection from abusive principals – I should have a right to speak up for my children without fear of losing my job. This year, we are expected to implement a new curriculum and yet we are given no time to meet, plan, and evaluate our progress together. Finally, we know that standardized tests were not designed to measure a teacher’s effectiveness and that our students come to school with a range of problems and issues that affect their performance on those tests, so why is my livelihood being determined by an evaluation based on these tests?

All of these are worthy of our indignation and determination to secure a fair contract for teachers that means better learning conditions for students. We are on the front lines of fighting for public schools and our kids!

Check back here later to read more comments. What are your thoughts about the Chicago teachers’ strike? Post your comments below or sound off on our discussion board.

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