Video: Lewis Explains

Here's an extended  12-minute video of CTU president Karen Lewis (and Jesse Sharkey) answering reporters' questions about the HOD decision, if you want to watch or listen while you read the clips and we wait for some sort of news on the possibility of an injunction. via NBC News.  Does the guy on the left ever speak?

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  • On ABC7 news last night Karen Lewis said the teachers wanted to go back to see what more they could get. One statement pretty much says it all, huh?

    On a different note -- It's disappointing that so many people chose to be anonymous when posting here. When I read the comments posted anonymously those tend to be nastier and meaner than the ones with a name. If you aren't willing to put your name behind it, don't say it.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    Hey Shari, shaddup. Wait a sec... how do I know you are really "Shari Schmidt". Hahaha. Seriously though, welcome to the internet. You have a lot to learn.

    Unless you have been living under a rock you are aware CPS leadership and administration can be very dishonest, vindictive, and unpredictable. There is a reason we are anonymous. There are repercussions for speaking out. Get smart.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    Karen did not choose her words correctly, however, if you read the changes CTU requested they are very directly about better items for the kids. This is what she meant. We want a lot of things for the children that they refuse to provide. One guaranteed way to increase literacy and test scores is the provide smaller class sizes. All research indicates this.

  • "guy on the left" is Michael Brunson, CTU recording secretary. Protocol in these situations calls for "messaging" from a limited number of individuals. You know that. I realize you are just a blogster, but please spare us the cheap shots.

    Mr. Brunson speaks at schools quite frequently. Very knowledgeable and informative. He could definitely educate you, Russo. I know you rarely make it to Chicago, but if you ever do seek him out.

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    The public should be aware why delegates are nervous. The implication from CPS is that they will close LOTS (1/3?) of schools...so you are telling the delegates..."Look to your left and look to your right - one of those people will be laid off."

  • Emanuel over played his hand once again. Even his 1% supporters have to be furious with his lack of political skill. This schmuck is just pouring gasoline on a fire. He never should have mentioned the 100 schools. This is what you get when you hire a 5 foot nothing ballerina to be a bully. He doesn't even know how to bully correctly.

    What is the process for mayoral recall?

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    In reply to district299reader:

    Is this 3 year proposed contract timed correctly to expire right before his re-election bid? If so, good timing on Karen's part - means even more political capital in her corner - a threatened strike right before an election will bring them to the table earlier and with more earnest.

  • Wait. I though there weren't enough students to fill CPS schools and that's why schools will be closed. But how could that be a solution if 250 new charter schools are also opening up? Wouldn't that oversupply of classroom seats just set up a new group of schools to be closed for under-use? I'm very confused about the strategy.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Well there is actually no such thing as an under enrolled charter school. The reason is CPS pays tution to charter schools based on enrollment. If the charter ends up losing money its not CPS' problem. In a way that's the bueauty of charters for CPS, all the fiscal risk falls on the charter operators not the school district.

    What is even more interesting is that the debt that a charter operator accumulates is not in any way backed by CPS. So for example when a charter operator builds a school the loan may be backed to some degree by the Illinois Facilities Fund but CPS is no where listed as a guarantor. Loaning money to charter schools is not at all like loaning money to a school district, except for the fact that like Municipal bonds the interest payments to those loaning money can be tax exempt.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Now were up to 250 new charters? I saw a reference today about 200 CTU school closings too.

    I ask a HYPOTHETICAL question here several weeks ago about savings from closing 100 schools (figuring CPS could close 10-20% of schools). I hope someone actually has a basis in fact for the large numbers being reported.

    It's not easy politically to close a school, and it's not easy practically to open a quality new charter. If CPS has master planners ready to do massive school change they sure do a great job of masking their management brilliance.

  • Dear CPS Teachers,

    All last week you were playing a winning hand brilliantly and gaining public support for your issues and strike. Now, you seem to have won a good deal at the table and you are in danger of squandering all the good will of the past week. Yes, the deal isn't perfect but no deal is. And the battle on all of your public education fights is far from over.

    The danger is if this draws out another week or more, the Mayor will begin to gain public support to outlaw teacher strikes in Springfield. This would kill your leverage in the long haul and spell a slow death to a unified teacher union..

    Please take your deal and quickly start looking for a competitive mayoral candidate who can champion your version of school improvement. That is a feasible long term strategy and gives you a fighting chance in the long run.

  • Karen Lewis said it wasn't her job to sell the contract, but at the HOD meeting she could've fooled me! Lewis and Sharkey both sold it like there was no tomorrow!

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