Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chicago Hope - UPDATED - 9am

The victory was so overwhelming, Randi and the AFT won't be able to help Stewart steal this one. Hopefully CORE will make use of people like George Schmidt (who declined to run with them to focus on making Substance a tool in the election) and former CTU President Debbie Lynch who finished third but endorsed CORE in the runoff. Keep checking Substance for details. Analysis on what it mean for all of us in the next few days. (Remember, there is no sell-out like New Action that will support the party in power no matter what to split and drain off votes from the opposition. See After Burn below for a touch of analysis.)

Substance Reports:

CORE, led by Karen Lewis, wins CTU election in landslide, with Lewis defeating Marilyn Stewart 12,080 to 8,326

Fred Klonsky Says:

Chicago teachers elect new leadership, sending a message to teacher union leadership everywhere.
June 12, 2010

It’s a stunning rebuke of business as usual. And it sends a message to teacher union leadership everywhere. Members of the Chicago Teachers Union overwhelmingly voted out the old and turned to the new, progressive, fighting leadership of the CORE slate.

Among CORE’s issues were: Capping CTU officer and staff salaries to the average teacher salary prorated over 12 months, limiting standardized tests and banning the use of test results to punish, label or denigrate schools, students or teachers. CORE has promised to work to repeal mayoral control of schools and restore the right to collectively bargain class sizes, counselor loads and stop school closings and reconstitutions.

But beyond their specific platform, teachers responded to CORE’s aggressive response, so untypical of so many teacher union leaders today, to the teacher bashing, union bashing politics of politicians at the local, state and national level, from Democrats and Republicans both.

Teachers are tired of the go-along, “sit at the table” politics that passes for teacher union leadership today. Chicago’s vote yesterday is the clearest sign of that.

Substance background report:

Marilyn's Merdy Mess... The UPC ends itself with the dirtiest campaign in the history of the Chicago Teachers Union

After Burn
The CORE story does not begin with its founding a little over 2 years ago. Having had their own media outlet that reaches so many Chicago teachers did not play an insignificant role. George Schmidt's Substance played a role in Debbie Lynch's election in 2001 and in this result.

I am planning on writing about the differences between NYC and Chicago soon but one major dif is our not having a Substance around. (The print edition of Ed Notes from 2002-2004 had this idea around it, especially after George's visit to a meeting I held at my house in the summer of 2002 but there seemed too many competing groups around - New Action (still viable as an opposition), Teachers for a Just Contract and Progressive Action Caucus. All 3 groups had a great dislike for each other and Ed Notes attempts to broker some kind of united front were rebuffed.)

I wonder what the New Action sell-outs will be saying - probably claim their example of "suck-up to the leadership under the guise of we all must stick together when under attack" was an inspiration to CORE.


  1. If we can do this in all the other states especially in NYC, then we have a chance of reversing the education damages created by the Obama/Duncan administration. The CORE victory should be a rude awakening for Randi who should start setting her priorities in favor of teachers and not the politicians.

    Super Kudos to Chicago and the CORE members!

  2. Chicago teachers are the best.


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