The real difference between the CTU and Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not money. By all accounts, the union and the mayor are close on compensation.

The real differences are about the corporate reform agenda. The mayor wants merit pay, more charters, evaluation of teachers by test scores, and all the other components of the national corporate reform agenda.

But little noticed by the national media is that none of these so-called reforms works or has any evidence to support it. Merit pay has failed wherever it was tried. Teacher evaluation by student test scores is opposed by the majority of researchers, and practical experience with it has led to confusion and uncertainty about whether student scores can identify the best and worst teachers. The charters in Chicago and elsewhere do not get better test scores than the regular public schools. Even in Detroit, only 6 of 25 charter high schools got better scores than the much-lamented Detroit public schools.