Chicago Teachers On Strike Take On ObamaNews Flash Thursday, September 13th, 2012
(Russia Today) As the Chicago teachers’ strike continues for the third day in a row, protesters are demanding Obama get involved in their fight with the district.
“Obama don’t ignore us,” read one of the signs carried by teachers.
“President Obama We Are Under Attack, Was This Your Plan When You Sent Rahm Back?” another set of posters said. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel worked under Obama as the White House Chief of Staff before quitting to run, successfully, for Mayor of Chicago.
The Obama administration has not taken a stance on the strike. Education Secretary Arne Duncan simply expressed her hope that the schoolchildren’s interests would be prioritized and “that the parties will come together to settle this quickly and get our kids back into the classroom.”
Washington Post blogger Valerie Strauss explains the difficulty Obama faces in this situation. Democrats have typically sided with labor unions, but Obama, his education secretary, and Emanuel have supported school “reform” efforts that are usually pushed by Republicans. Emanuel is promoting the changes, which include teacher evaluations based on students’ standardized test scores.
Teachers, meanwhile, say such a method forces them to choose between teaching their students a broad range of material, and teaching them within the confines of the standardized tests whose scores their jobs would depend on.
Emanuel called the picketing an unnecessary “strike of choice.”