Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviews Karen Lewis and other CTU teachers about the strike. Lewis explains how the union patiently built alliances with parents and communities, fighting school closings and agreeing on the needs of children.
Karen Lewis reminds us that the great victory of the union was that teachers stood together in solidarity instead of compliantly accepting whatever was dealt out to them. The very fact that the union went out on strike reminded teachers that they are in the same boat and that together they are powerful.
The message that CTU sent the nation was that so-called “education reform” is a fraud. It does not have the support of teachers. It is all about testing, carrots and sticks. And it is not in the best interests of students.
Ultimately what the CTU wanted was a rich curriculum for all children, with the social services and small classes that children nee.
The news from Chicago: The union is alive and well, is unified and strong, and is ready to stand up for the needs of students and for teachers, not only in Chicago but across the nation.
Want a laugh? Watch her take down equity investor Bruce Rauner, who was “a few classes behind her” at Dartmouth. Yes, Bruce, the union is the teachers, and the teachers are the union. They are not separable. Don’t forget: 98% of the teachers voted to authorize the strike, even though Jonah Edelman’s Stand for Children [aka, Stand on Children] said it would never happen.