Chicago Teachers Union Threatens to Strike Over Raises; Silent on Failing Schools

Kyle Olson

8/25/2011 12:01:00 AM - Kyle Olson

Karen Lewis of the Chicago Teachers Union is angry.

There’s a gross injustice being perpetuated in Illinois’ public schools, and the CTU isn’t going to take it anymore. In fact, the powerful teachers union is considering a strike in hopes that it would create so much public pressure that the Powers That Be have no choice but to correct this outrageous injustice.

Like many Illinois citizens, the CTU has seen reports that three out of four state high school graduates are not ready for college. And the union’s response has been, well … the CTU hasn’t really said anything about it.

You see, the fact that students are leaving Illinois’ K-12 public education system totally unprepared for college, the workplace or life in general – that’s not really the CTU’s thing.

Instead, the union is “upset” and feeling very “disrespected” because the Chicago Board of Education doesn’t have the money to pay CTU members the four percent pay raise they were promised in their contract.

The union is also steaming over the fact that more than 1,500 teachers have been laid off, some of which have been placed on a “secret” do-not-hire list, CTU President Karen Lewis told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Pay, benefits, working conditions – these are the things that the teachers unions are willing to strike over. If only 23 percent of Illinois high school grads pass a college-readiness test, well, what do you expect them to do about it? Lewis is quick to point out that union teachers are just simple “workers,” doing the best they can with the kids they are given. (It’s mostly the parents’ fault, anyway.)

Sure, some trouble making education reformers may suggest that kids are doing badly on the tests because their school days have been frittered away on silly social justice lessons, but the fact that the CTU is being stiffed on its four percent pay raise only underscores the need for such a curriculum.

The CTU will remind you that the labor unions created America’s middle class. But don’t bother pointing out that the self-serving teachers unions are creating a generation of ignoramuses who are so poorly educated that they will never have a chance at a middle class lifestyle.

Like we said, accountability isn’t really their thing.