Monday, September 10, 2012

Karren Lewis Saying, Doing All the Right Things

Include poverty, exposure to violence, which increased exponentially this summer; our students experience homelessness, hunger. Evaluate us on what we do, not on what we cannot control. -- Karen Lewis
Ich bin Ein Chicago Teacher --- John F. Kennedy (paraphrased)
Info coming fast and furious. Here is a video of the morning picket at the Chi board of ed

Ravitch reports on An Open Letter to the White House
President Obama must let the nation's teachers know that he is with them. He can do so by disassociating himself from Rhee's anti-teacher agenda, as well as from policies pushed by his own Race to the Top.
And he could go to Chicago and tell Rahm Emanuel to settle with the teachers and do what is right for the children of Chicago.
Hell, NO! I won't back down from refusing to vote for either anti-public education candidate.

President Lewis at news conference: we have failed to reach agreement that would have prevented a strike.
We must do things differently if we want to give students the things they need.

We've restored arts and language . . . .
Board has agreed that we will have textbooks on the first day of school, and not have to wait six weeks.
We are not far on compensation.

But are far apart on benefits.
The evaluations would result in almost 30 percent or our members being discharged in two years.
Still too much based on student test scores.
Too many factors beyond our control.

Include poverty, exposure to violence, which increased exponentially this summer; our students experience homelessness, hunger.

Evaluate us on what we do, not on what we cannot control.

We are facing a possible decrease in teacher training.

We have been lauded by district and colleagues across the country with teacher training to strengthen teachers' craft.

We need air conditioned classrooms. Sweltering 98 degrees classrooms are not acceptable for students or our parents.
We continue to stand in solidarity with parents, clergy,
For a better school day, an elected school board.

We have under 400 social workers.
We call for more social workers, audiologists, nurses.
Students are subjected to an unprecedented exposure to violence.
Need wrap around services.

Hope the board will consider this.

We are committed on staying in discussion.

This announcement is made now, so that parents are informed.

We ask all of you to join in our education justice fight.
To stay informed about the strike, pickets and solidarity events via text:
Chicago Teachers Solidarity Committee - Text ctsc2012 to 23559
Chicago Teachers Union- Text ctu1 to 69238 
The most important sources of information to go to will be the Chicago Teachers Union website ( <> ) and the CTU Twitter feed ( <> ), as well as the Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign Facebook page ( ChicagoTeachersSolidarity
Here are a couple other websites and blogs to look at over the coming days:
Substance News:
Catalyst Chicago:
Teachers for Justice:
Matt Farmer:

Dear Supporters,
Tonight, Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) made it official: "In the morning, no CTU members will be inside our schools." This is the first time in 25 years that Chicago teachers are going on strike.

There are many ways to support the CTU as they go forward with this strike.Your support is crucial to winning. The city of Chicago needs to see that the people of the city will NOT accept anything less than the schools our students deserve. Please show your support in whatever capacity you can. There will be events happening throughout the city and throughout the day:

  • Walk the picket lines with the teachers! Every school will have a picket from 6:30-10:30am. We encourage people to join pickets at the school nearest them, to connect with other parents and community members in their neighborhoods. Those coming in from out of town or who otherwise would like to picket at one of the schools that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will attempt to keep open during the strike, use this map.
  • Picket outside of CPS Headquarters! The CTU wants to maintain a presence outside of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) headquarters throughout the day. Beginning at 5am, head over to 125 S. Clark St. and join the picket!
  • Join the afternoon rally! At 3:30pm, the CTU will hold a rally, march, and speak-out, also in front of CPS Headquarters,125 S. Clark St. WEAR RED! RSVP on the Facebook event page and invite your friends and family!
  • Join the CTSC organizing meeting! If you want to be directly involved with our organizing work as the Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign, we will be meeting directly after the rally at 7pm, at 1642 W. Van Buren, Teamsters Local 705. This will be CTU Strike Headquarters for the duration of the strike.
  • Follow & Share! We have a websiteFacebookTwitter, and Tumblr. Follow us and share our updates with all your friends and family!
  • WEAR RED! Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, wear RED on Monday, to show that you stand in solidarity with the CTU.
  • Call the mayor and the school board! Tell them that you stand with the CTU and you want them to negotiate a fair contract that gives our students the quality schools that ALL students deserve! Mayor Rahm Emanuel: 312-744-3300; CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard: 773-553-1500
  • Get on our Text Alert System! Text "@ctsc2012" to 23559 to be added and get updates on negotiations, pickets, rallies, and other events.
Remember, this is OUR fight, the fight of working class people for the soul of public education. The Chicago Teachers Union is bravely leading us in this battle, but it will take all of us to win. Education should be a right, not a privilege. We must all stand together and demand a quality public education for ALL students.

In Solidarity,
Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign

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