Lewis Style & Tactics Will Differ, But What About Results?

Talk to the hand.  Below you'll find multiple takes on the Lewis win from the mainstream media, most of them agreeing that Lewis will be more aggressive but none of them clear whether the change in style or tactics will make a substantive difference.    New

CTU president is a fierce foe of Daley's agenda Sun Times:  Karen
Lewis, a high school chemistry teacher who has been a fierce opponent
of Mayor Daley's Renaissance 2010 program to shake up and rejuvenate
public schools, handily defeated two-term president Marilyn Stewart for
the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union early Saturday... Karen

Lewis elected president of Chicago
Teachers Union
Tribune:  "The
only people who can improve our public schools are professional
educators," Lewis said on Saturday morning to raucous applause from
about three dozen union members in the lobby of King College Prep High
School on the South Side... New CTU Pres. Challenges Daley's Agenda Fox:  Karen
Lewis, a high school chemistry teacher who has
been a
fierce opponent of Mayor Daley's Renaissance 2010 program to shake
up and rejuvenate public schools, handily defeated two-term
president Marilyn Stewart for the leadership of the Chicago
Teachers Union early Saturday... Unfiltered: Chicago Teachers Union President-Elect
Karen Lewis
WBEZ: Karen Lewis, president-elect
of the Chicago Teachers Union, spoke to supporters Saturday at King
College Prep High School, 4445 S. Drexel Blvd., after clinching the
union race wtih 59 percent of the vote.


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  • Karen lewis, good luck!

  • This election reminds me of the mess Obama faced when he stepped into the economic wreck created by the president before him. Kind of no win. I wish all the best to anyone willing to try to find ways out of these dysfunctional times.

  • Survey???? What survey??? Oh, you mean the one that was done over the "tele-conference" (campaign) call! That survey was(as some of my students would say) "bogus as hell!" How many people were on this call? I was there when the question was asked, we never received any concrete numbers on how many members of the CTU responded. My thinking is that almost everyone on the line was a UPC member since it was before the election. As for hesitant union member's comment, I disagree 100%! We have not tried this tactic. Stewart was too scared to try this. She could not even lead the protest in February. She could not even speak using the megaphone! Have you heard Stewart speak on camera? You did not give a single reason as to how she is going to make us look unintelligent.

  • Wow. Hope you two aren't sending your students such discouraging, hopeless messages. Ever heard of giving a person longer than two days to prove themselves?

  • I don't see how anyone could accuse Karen of being unintelligent or non-intellectual. She is the combination of both--intellectual and empathetic to children and community needs.

    That's at least one more and probably two more positive traits than those on the other side of the table.

    The state may not have money. But that's why we should ask the state and city leadership to show what they are wasting our money on. $6 billion goes in, but so little of it reaches the classroom. How is it "unrealistic" to merely ask for some minor measure of accountability?

    Why is accountability such a beautiful word when it's a weapon leveled at teachers, but not even a ghost of a whisper when we are talking about patronage appointed power brokers?

  • In reply to xian:

    Amen, Xian. In addition, if the CPS and city budget are in such tatters it would make sense for the mayor to use half of his annual TIF money - $250 million - to close the CPS budget gap for the next two years. Not permanently. Not a shutdown of TIFs. Not an elimination. Just a temporary measure to save students from the treachery that is 35 pupils per class.

  • CPS wastes gobs and gobs of money - literally hundreds of millions. It is not unreasonable to request transparency in budgeting and prioritization from a government body before taking wage cuts. Since CPS budget solutions include cutting teachers or teacher pay, someone's go to consider alternatives. It would be irresponsible to not do so.

  • You guess wrong. But there's no accountability for anonymous trolls--just like city hall.

  • ben joravsky sees signs of optimism in marilyn stewart's declaration of cooperation -- a big contrast with some previous transitions of power -- http://www.chicagoreader.com/TheBlog/archives/2010/06/14/out-of-a-contentious-teachers-union-election-comes-a-sign-of-unity -- i'm not so sure but thought i'd pass it along.

  • TIF's allow the mayor to take the property taxes of an area (there are currently 165 such areas or zones) and use the property tax revenue as he sees fit. This means the schools are shortchanged. Yes, some of the money comes back to the schools, but not all of it. In the end, the TIFs cost not only the schools money, but also the libraries, parks and the other property tax owners who have to make up the difference. So, yes, I know what a TIF is and would be glad to discuss it with you if you want to have a serious conversation about them, although "Anonymous Troll" as a moniker suggests you don't.

  • If you are going to accuse Mr. Hunter please be specific. You must be one of the PE teachers clogging the sports blog. Give us proof without empty accusations. And no . . . I never taught at Prosser but I have known him for more than a decade.

  • crain's greg hinz says that lewis is talking about healing and constructive conversations -- but again i'm not sure i believe any of it.


  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Why don't you believe any of it?

  • excuse me for being skeptical, there's nothing personal about it -- but the reality is that you and others have been told things were going to be different this time a bunch of times before. i'll be happy to be wrong, but i still have to raise the question.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I don't think it's personal. I just don't think it's very well informed. Look at the latest threads you've posted about the union stuff. As the poster says below, post something thoughtful and critical rather than just going all skeptopotamus on us.

  • Mr. Hajiharis I presume.

  • Marilyn Stewart does not have a reputation whatsoever as someone who swears in private conversation,let alone swear while conducting a staff meeting.

  • We need a complete assessment of all of the components that drive student achievement.

    In our classrooms, most of the students has major problems that need to be triaged even before deepen instruction can happen.

    We instead spend all this money on hard, non-contextualized ratings. Baseball figured this out, why can't education?

    Well, part of the answer is the most poorly functioning parts tend to be at the top. And they deeply oppose any state and district level accountability. "State's rights blah blah blah".

    The problem is when the states are using their rights to run roughshod over student, parent and teacher rights.

  • bob,
    Would you please enlighten me as to which of Karen's statements elicited the "WOW" response? While it was clear she is tired of teacher bashing ,as are we all,what specific ideas were put out that will actually address the crisis? It felt unclear , and vague without substance.I DO NOT HAVE AN IDEA AFTER THE INTERVIEW WHAT SHE IS GOING TO DO.

  • so glad,
    I have read that some members believe the same way as you so...
    Would you please give me a few examples as to when Marilyn Stewart was bought and sold ? I ask because I am not familiar with these references other than the comments that I have seen in the past months that say she was in with Daley and Huberman. Thanks for clarifying this for me.

  • neil steinburg apologizes for having skewered klein's chances for change on her first days in office -- in response to pushback from PURE among others


    not that it really matters, but i am reflecting on my actions and considering my options ;-)

    meantime, what's the relationship between raise your hand and PURE, i wonder?

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