On Labor Day, Karen Lewis addressed 20,000 teachers about their struggle with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Do you know how hard it is to get 20,000 people to turn out for anything?

When Karen Lewis met with Rahm Emanuel after his election, he told her that 25% of the children in Chicago would never amount to anything. She was outraged.

Karen Lewis is a plain-spoken yet articulate leader of the teachers. She was elected because teachers were sick of the compromises and wanted someone who would speak up for them and for the children they teach. She has done that.

Rahm sends his own children to the University of Chicago Lab School, which is his right as a parent. But he doesn’t think that the children in the public schools deserve equal opportunities to the education he requires for his children.

The public schools may not be the Lab School, but shouldn’t he be rallying the business community to make every school in Chicago a great school with a great curriculum, reasonable class size, and excellent facilities? Instead, the board he appointed recently voted to close more public schools and hand them over to private management.

The fight between CTU and Rahm Emanuel is not helpful to President Obama.

The mayor should sit down with Karen Lewis and figure out how to resolve this impasse so he doesn’t have a strike on his hands. And he should figure out how to put himself on the side of public education and the children in the public schools.