Advocacy groups across Chicago mobilized today in support of the
Chicago Teachers Union strike, setting up “freedom camps” and scheduling
events for the next two weeks including a “freedom ride” to Washington,
The advocates' approach to the strike contrasts the argument being made by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
While Emanuel frames the strike as a matter of just two outstanding
issues, advocates seek to elevate the dispute to a national referendum
on urban education policy.
“This labor fight is much bigger than
bread and butter issues for teachers,” says Amisha Patel, executive
director of the Grassroots Collaborative. According to Patel, the strike
is about whether CTU can halt “corporate control over schools”, saying that the business-focused approach to school reform has been going
on at least since former Chicago mayor Richard Daley unveiled the pro-charter
school “Renaissance 2010” program in 2004. Read more »