Winners Vs. What's Next

With the strike finally over, much of the coverage today focuses on the process of getting the school year restarted, the winners and losers, and what happens next.  Most of what I've seen so far finds advantages and disadvantages for both "sides," and notes that many of Chicago's biggest education issues -- declining enrollment, for example, or air conditioning -- could be raised rhetorically but couldn't really be addressed in the context of the contract. Given the size of the "what's next" items, neither side has really won all that much.  But who cares what other people think -- what do YOU think about the strike, the contract, and the future?

Chicago Teachers’ Union Votes to End Strike NYT: “We said that it was time — that we couldn’t solve all the problems of the world with one contract, and that it was time to suspend the strike,” she said.

Back to school Tribune: Delegates for the Chicago Teachers Union voted Tuesday to call off their seven-day strike, sending some 350,000 public schools students back to class Wednesday morning and ...

Delegates: Strike is over Catalyst: The union got CPS to agree to a three-year contract, with an option for a fourth year, if both parties agree. The union also prevailed against merit pay, and got the district to scale back, to the minimum allowed by state law, the percentage of teacher evaluation scores that will be tied to student performance.

Strike ends, union declares victory WBEZ: Chicago Public Schools are open this morning. Delegates to the Chicago Teachers Union voted Tuesday afternoon to end their seven-day strike.

Classes set to resume; Families feel relief CLTV: Parents and families of CPS felt relief Tuesday as the Chicago teachers union voted to suspend the strike, sending teachers and students back to class.

Chicago students will make up lost days, but it’s not clear when Sun Times: When will Chicago students get their seven days back? CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll said both sides have agreed to restore the days of class lost to the strike, but they have yet to agree on when.

The future of Chicago's schools Tribune (editorial): More charters, more closings, more turnarounds. Let 100 Fuentes Elementaries bloom.

Attack on Urban Prep Charter harms students and teachers Sun Times: We, all of us in Chicago's public schools, educate the same students, perhaps just in different ways. This is not an either/or situation; and the success of one school is not an indictment of any other.

Chicago Public Schools Teachers gain and lose in strike Ray Salazar (White Rhino): For the first time in my life and for the sixth day, I stood on strike by the high school where I teach.  On August 31, for the first time in seventeen years, I wore red to support the Chicago Teachers Union.

Teachers are going to need every little bit of community goodwill as they move forward Sun Times (Mark Brown): In the end, I hope the strike accomplished what CTU President Karen Lewis told the press in her post-game analysis, that “the people who are actually working in the schools need to be heard.”


Winners and losers in teachers’ strike — Rahm Emanuel is both Sun Times: Winners include CTU, Lewis, Vitale, and Emanuel.  Losers include Outside reform groups, Emanuel, Brizard

Web Extra: Parents Storm Board of Ed WTTW: There are outspoken parents on both sides of the strike. Some parents are in support of teachers, while others are in support of CPS and the school board.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • It'll be very interesting to see what happens from this point forward with the school system in Chicago. Hope that coverage in national news keeps going. By the way Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis was interviewed on today's Democracy Now! about what the teachers gained and lost from the strike. I recommend watching if you want to hear whats going on straight from the woman who actually led the strike. You can watch it at

  • mr brooklyn its stupid to blog about chicago from new york

  • CTU=1, Mayor Rahm Emanuel=0. Stay tuned, more to follow.

  • This typifies the problem here. The children aren't on your scorecard.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Children= 100, Deform Groups= 0. Here are some of the gains the CTU won that will benefit students: 1. CPS will hire 600 additional teachers in Art, Music, Phys Ed and other subjects. 2. CPS will maintain limits on class size and increase funding for smaller classes. 3. CPS will add a parent voice on class size committee. 4. CPS will make textbooks available on the first day of school. 5. CPS will increase racial diversity in hiring at CPS. 6. CPS will lessen the focus on standardized testing and keep the focus on teaching instead of tests. 7. CPS will provide more attention from school Social Workers and Nurses. 8. CPS will increase funding for Special Ed teachers, social workers, psychologists, classroom assistants and councelors in schools with high caseloads.

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now appearing TV ads talking about all the great things he won for CPS, paid by the Education Reform Now Advocacy, INC a New York based reform (deform) group. The Education Reform Now Advocacy (ERNA) is related to the Education Reform Now, Inc (ERN) and Democratic for Education Reform (DFER). The board of directors for ERNA is as follows: Kevin P. Chavous (chair)-Former Washington, D.C. City Council member and chair of the Education Committee (Michelle Rhee); Boykin Curry- Eagle Capital, Co-Founder of Public Prep (charter); Tony Davis- Board Trusteer for Achievement First Brooklyn charter schools; Charles Ledley Highfields Capital Management; Sara Mead- Bellwether Education Partners; John Petry- Co-Founder of Harlem Success Academy Charter School in NYC; Whitney Tilson- Board member of KIPP-NYC, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Council of Urban Professionals, Co-Founder of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and Rewarding Achievement (REACH). Every individual on the EDNR Board is involved with a specfic Charter School organization and will benefit financially by bring more charter schools to Chicago. This is why Mayor Rahm Emanuel is going to close 100 to 200 neighborhood schools in Chicago and create 250 new charter schools in Chicago over the next five years.

  • What exactly is the financial benefit that will accrue to these Board members? Most of the charters are non-profits, and the leadership of the schools are paid good but hardly stunning professional salaries.

    Separate point: Charters will only succeed if parents want them. This is a demand-side story, to use a term from economics. So long as parents want them, politicians will deliver them. That's what democracy looks like.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I would not say charter schools are non-profit. There is money being made. Here is the difference between a public school and a charter school. The money going to a public school is transparent, everyone can see the records of where money was spent. Now with a charter school, it is run by a private enterprise. So who knows where that money is going...... Believe me, our tax monies our going to charters now, but because it is a private run enterprise, you will never know how your money is being spent or where it is going! .....Hmmmmm

  • In reply to fedup:

    There are k-12 charters that are for profit but in general they have not made money based on research I have seen. The model doesn't work because the public does not provide enough funding to the charters to allow for a reasonable rate of profit no matter how little they pay teachers and other staff.

    The major benefit aside from claims of improved performance for students in charters is that if a charter fiscally collapses CPS has no direct involvement. So if CPS eventually is forced to cut again charter funding due to state funding cuts its the charters themselves that have to figure out how to survive. All CPS has to do is figure out where to send the kids who were educated by a failed charter, most likely to another charter school.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    I do know that when my son was going to HS, he got accepted to a Charter School( which he decided he did not want to go to). There fees were very high, much higher than neighborhood HS. Also, we would have had to purchase their uniforms from a certain shop which were also really expensive! Not to also mention that we were told there would be fines that they would give if for instance if he did not wear the appropriate clothing etc... My son ended up deciding to go to our neighborhood public HS. Now this was back in 2006. I am sure things have gotten even more expensive now.

  • In reply to fedup:

    Non-profit charter schools do make money for investors in several ways. Of course, like regular public schools, they sign contracts for services and products that are worth hundreds of millions (if not billions) at this point. They can award these contracts with much less scrutiny than can school boards these days--though I am not going to defend the public schools' record on awarding contracts.

    Inflated salaries and other benefits can be paid to charter school organization executives, such as UNO's Juan Rangel's $266,000 salary. And there are consultants who can feed too.

    But all of that is petty stuff compared to the real estate and bond opportunities for profiting from charters.

    There are currently $5.5 Billion of tax-free municipal bonds issued by Charter Schools. That number will multiply within a few years. The opportunities for profiting from the bonds are numerous and complex, and that may be why so many hedge-fund managers are suddenly interested in school reform.

    Most Charter School financing is also accessible primarily to insiders. So it is reasonable for a wealthy investor to spend, say, $10 million on radio ads, lobbying, and so forth in Chicago and have a solid expectation that a particular deal will come his way. If, for example, Bruce Rauner is able to realize his ostensibly civic-minded plan to buy 100 empty school buildings from CPS and lease or sell them cheaply to Charter Schools, he could conceivably realize $100s of millions in profit through a variety of financing instruments, tax depreciation, and other advantages. It is very well worth his while to put a few millions into campaign contributions and anything that will give politicians cover for helping him do this deal.

    Amid the strike, Bloomberg put out an article worth looking at, detailing the gigantic market in Charter School Financing:

    I got a call recently from a reporter from a major national newspaper who is researching an article on the charter school money trail. I suspect that Chicago's charter school dealings will come in for a bruising.

  • In reply to donald:

    Wow! Thanks for explaining that, it was very informative. I sure do hope that this will go public as far as the charter school dealings.

  • Education Reform Now Advocacy (ERNA) was running anti-union ads played non-stop on television in Chicago throughout the strike. Education Reform Now Advocacy (ERNA) is now running non-stop television ads talking about the gains for students in Chicago because of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The payroll and some business expenses are intially paid by Education Reform Now Advocacy Inc. for Education Reform Now, Inc. and Democrats for Education Reform, Inc. Education Reform Now and Democrats for Education Reform will reimburse Education Reform Now Advocacy for expenses paid on their behalf periodically throughout the year. The amount due to/from Education Reform Now and Democrats for Education Reform. Education Reform Now is closely affiliated with Student First, Michelle Rhee's lobbying and advocacy group. Education Reform Now doesn't disclose its donors but here are other souces of funding for Education Reform Now. Since 2005 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $5.2 million in grants to Stand for Children's Leadership Center. The Ed & Edythe Broad Foundation has provided $500,000 in startup costs to Students First and has funded $2 million to Education Reform Now since 2008. The Walton Family Foundation donated $2.5 million to Stand for Children, $1 million to Student First and $2.4 million to Education Reform Now. This is a big money game. So when a teachers union challenges the prevailing ideology (charter schools, merit pay, new teacher evaluation process) on education reform, unions go up against hedge funds and billionaires who attack and smear them.

  • What CTU is saying it won (PDF)

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    Why can't Rham just shut the F&*^ up? Really? He is beating his drum of how much he won when he should at least just let things calm down and get back to work. He's a crazy. It almost feels like he wants to continue the fight.

    I know most of you have seen this...but doesn't this skinny kid remind you of Rham and what got done to him in the strike?

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    He can't be quit, he has little man's syndrome

  • In reply to jayark:

    oops! I mean quiet

  • Did anyone else see the pastor who symbolically crucified his grandbaby? Pretty sure this is both sacrilege, child abuse, and really bad theater.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I saw this on the news. I think they should take that child away from him. This is clearly an abusive action.

  • Union militants and recent union history required Lewis to give members time to read the contract, says @joravben

  • Emanuel and Edelman got played for suckers and created a monster, says Rich Miller Suckers, sure. Monster? Not so sure.

  • MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL'S ADVISER WANTS TO SPLIT TEACHERS, UNION: Bruce Rauner, a wealthy venture capitalist (who helped Rahm make his millions) is leading the drive for more charter schools in the City of Chicago (250 more over the next five years). Bruce Rauner called the intense contract talks "one battle in a very long-term fight." Bruce Rauner said "The critical issue is to separate the union from the teachers, They're not the same thing. It's the weak teachers it's the lousy, ineffective, lazy teachers that, unfortunately there are a number of those, they're the ones that the union is protecting and that's where there's a conflict of interest between the good teachers and the union bosses." Bruce Rauner speaks frequently with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and was placed by Rahm on the board of World Business Chicago. Bruce Rauner has met more than a dozen times with Chicago Public Schools officials in the initial nine-month period that new CPS chief Jean-Claude Brizard's team was organizing policy. Bruce Rauner is also on the board of the Chicago Public Education Fund, a group advocating more teacher accountability (new teacher evaluation process), and New Schools for Chicago (NSFC), an organization seeking private investments in charter schools. Bruce Rauner has a charter school named after him and his wife served on Emanuel's mayoral transition team for education.

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