Two Years After the CTU Strike
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/11/2014
Year Published: 2014
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20823
In light of the Chicago Teachers Union's strike that changed the discourse on education in the United States, Bartlett analyzes the persisting problems with public education systems, such as school closings, privitization, and poor allocation of funding.
The effect of both the 2012 strike and the 2013 struggle around school closings has been to increasingly isolate "Mayor One Percent" Rahm Emanuel, as public opinion polls show an increasing polarization in the city. A year ago 41% of poll respondents sided with the CTU while 19% supported Rahm; today the percentage of those supporting the CTU has grown to 62% while Rahm now has 23% support. In the Black community fully 79% support the union and only 9% support the mayor.
On charters versus neighborhood schools, the policy of the mayor is opposed by 72% and only supported by 18% of voters. The trend is once again even more pronounced in the Black community, with 83% opposed to closing neighborhood schools and funneling more money into charter expansion. Even more tellingly 80% of parents of CPS students oppose his policy, including 63% of white respondents.(5)
These numbers show the extent to which the message of the CTU and their community allies has resonated with the public in Chicago.
The CTU and its allies have successfully framed the discussion around the need to have quality schools in all neighborhoods, pointing to the shift of resources from neighborhood schools to selective enrollment schools concentrated on the whiter north side and the expansion of funding to charters, which are demonstrably corrupt and politically connected -- in the case of the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) schools(6) -- or under investigation by the FBI (the Concept Schools, run by the Gulen organization).(7)