Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teachers’ Strike in Chicago Tests Mayor and Union - NYTimes.com

Teachers’ Strike in Chicago Tests Mayor and Union - NYTimes.com: "Outside the schools here, though, in the lines of marchers, the issues seemed ever broader. Many teachers said they were troubled by a new evaluation system and its reliance on student test scores. Teachers spoke of rising class sizes, much-needed social workers, a dearth of air-conditioned classrooms and slow-to-arrive reference books, and, again and again, a sense of disrespect.

Teachers also clearly saw the strike as a protest not just of the union negotiations in Chicago but on data-driven education reform nationwide, which many perceived as being pushed by corporate interests and relying too heavily on standardized tests to measure student progress.

At Lane Tech College Prep, where many passing motorists honked their support for the teachers, Steve Parsons, a teacher, said he believed the city was ultimately aiming to privatize education through charter schools and computer programs that teach classes online.

“We need to stay out as long as it takes to get a fair contract and protect our schools,” he said."

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