A look inside the paranoid mind of CTU president Karen Lewis

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, joins the conspiratorial mindset of Occupyisters, going so far as blaming Steve Jobs and Bill Gates for the troubles that teachers' unions are having. Never does she concede that perhaps part of the problem could be the suffocating, hide-bound institution that she and the CTU have helped create.

In this revealing interview with Carol Felsenthal of chicagomag.com, Lewis sheds light on her motivations nd the tone uncloaks a near frightening mind that sees class warfare and race as the central issue of the education debate (Carol's headlline).

She criticizes what she calls a lack of interest in addressing issues of poverty, as if there's not an anti-poverty program in sight; they all must have been  snuffed about by the richest one-percent. She says:

The problem is that public education is the last of… any part of democracy in this country because rich people have bought everything. They bought access to the politicians, … to government, on a level that’s unprecedented….  When people talk about merit, what are they talking about? They’re talking about whether I like you or not; whether you are my friend…. Principals have the ability to hire, and they utilize [it] as a way of controlling people. They’ll say, “If you’re not happy here, you could always go here.” The fact is that unions are demonized because the people that really run this country would like nothing more than to have complete and total control over everything.

Which, I guess, explains those generous teacher pensions that are bankrupting the state. She should thank the one percent for those.  I do, however, agree with her about the over-testing of children


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    I know you're serious about the "generous" teacher pensions, but I'd just like to know where you get that from? I am a Chicago Public schools teacher in his 16th year, and as of yet, I am the ONLY (get it, caps lock=emphasis) one to contribute anything to my pension. The state & the city, as of yet, 16 years & counting, have not put one nickle into my retirement. Nothing. I contribute 9% a year of my salary. 9% I never even know I am making because it gets shaved off and sent to the Teacher Retirement System without me ever seeing it. Are you really serious about implying that teachers are greedy people, and that it us who are bankrupting the state? That's preposterous. There are teachers in every school that are less than satisfcactory, and it should be easier to fire them I agree. But why all the anger over teachers? Did your teachers embarass you when you were in high school? Did your elementary school teacher tell you something that made you sad? Did she hurt your feelings, and you never got over it? I mean it's ridiculous to attack the profession of teaching and really all teachers in your blanket proclaimations. It's shocking that you hold the professional positions that you do. Teachers are the ones who go into the incredibly poor, incredibly sad places that many of Chicago's schools have been allowed to become to try to bring some hope, some energy, some inspiration to the some of the poorest, most neglected children in this country. The ones most of the citizens of this city ignore and stay far away from. You can sit there in your spare bedroom or wherever you write this blog from and pretend that poverty has been solved and we don't need any more programs addressing it, reading your Ayn Rand, probably The Virtue of Selfishness, and tell yourself that you're righteous in your idiotic thinking. But you are not. You are wasting your time, time you will never get back. If I were you, I'd start worrying about what the meaning or what the legacy of your life is going to be. Is it going to be that of your cheap shots you take on those whose lives are thousand if not millions of times more meaningful than yours? Or are you going to snap yourself out of the gross funk that your life obviously is and try to do some good with time you have left? Go ahead and email me if you want to have some real life experiences, in the classroom, with children, see what they're like, what difficulties teachers & schools in this obscenely neglectful city have to face just to bring the possibility of a decent future to the lives of children most would rather pretend aren't really there. I bet you won't.

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    Let's see, i'll bet you make at least $76,000 a year, that is the salary of an average teacher in Chicago. This for 9 months of work along with job protection, insurance and health benefits that would be the envy of those of us in the private sector, if we, the taxpayers didn't have to pick up the tab and we are supposed to feel bad for you? Maybe your union should have gone with defined contribution plans (401Is) as opposed to defined benefit plans (pension]. Sounds like you should have a bone to pick with them.

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