Correspondent, Chicago
James's Feed
Sep 18, 2012

Chicago teachers to vote on ending strike

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago Teachers Union leaders will meet on Tuesday to decide whether to end a strike that has closed the nation’s third-largest school district for more than a week and focused national attention on how to reform failing urban schools.

Some 800 union delegates representing the 29,000 teachers and support staff in Chicago Public Schools will meet at 3 p.m. (2000 GMT) in a second attempt to try to get approval from delegates for a proposed new contract negotiated with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Sep 17, 2012

Emanuel’s court bid to end strike stalls, teachers call it “vindictive”

CHICAGO, Sept 17 (Reuters) – A Chicago judge said he will
not act until at least Wednesday on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s request
to block a teacher’s strike and the union accused the mayor of a
“vindictive act” as the walkout moved into a second week.

Emanuel’s lawyers went to court on Monday seeking an
injunction to have the strike declared illegal under state law.
Circuit Court Judge Peter Flynn set a hearing on the request for
Wednesday morning, according to Chicago Public Schools.

Sep 17, 2012

Chicago’s Emanuel goes to court over teachers strike

CHICAGO, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The confrontation between
striking teachers and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel moved to court
on Monday where lawyers for the mayor sought to stop the walkout
in President Barack Obama’s home city just weeks before the Nov.
6 election.

Lawyers for Chicago Public Schools filed a complaint in
circuit court against the Chicago Teachers Union seeking a
preliminary injunction “to end the strike immediately” citing
two reasons: danger to “public health and safety” of the
students and alleged violation of Illinois state law that
prohibits strikes except for wages and benefits.

Sep 13, 2012

Agreement near in Chicago teachers strike, no school Friday

CHICAGO, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The Chicago Teachers Union said
on Thursday a deal was near to end a four-day strike in the
nation’s third-largest school district over education reforms
sought by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but a deal will not be rea ched in
t ime to reopen schools on Friday.

“We are optimistic , but we are still hammering things out.
Schools will not open Friday,” union president Karen Lewis said
in a statement on Thursday.

Sep 13, 2012

Agreement near in Chicago teachers strike – union chief

CHICAGO, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The head of the Chicago
Teachers Union said on Thursday an agreement was near to end a
four-day strike in the nation’s third-largest school district
over education reforms sought by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Asked how close the union was to a deal with Chicago school
officials, teachers union president Karen Lewis told reporters:
“On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m a nine.”

Sep 13, 2012

The firebrand leading Chicago’s striking teachers

CHICAGO, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Karen Lewis, the fiery, frumpy
former teacher leading striking Chicago teachers, has carefully
built support for her cause of challenging education orthodoxy
through community organizing in poor neighborhoods of the inner
city.

Critics call her a throwback to the blustering,
confrontational union bosses of the past. School district and
union officials have said she was spoiling for a bare-knuckled
fight in a town with a long history of union activism.

Sep 12, 2012

Both sides “dug in” as Chicago teachers strike drags on

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago teachers stayed away from public schools for a third day on Wednesday in a strike over Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s demand for tough teacher evaluations that U.S. education reform advocates see as crucial to fixing urban schools.

With more than 350,000 children from kindergarten to high school out of school, the patience of parents and labor negotiators began to fray as hopes of a quick resolution to the biggest U.S. labor strike in a year were dashed.

Sep 11, 2012

Patience tested on second day of Chicago teachers strike

CHICAGO, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Parents and thousands of
Chicago children faced a second day of closed public schools on
Tuesday as striking teachers and the nation’s third-largest
school district argued over education reforms sought by Mayor
Rahm Emanuel.

“It’s hard work,” David Vitale, president of the Chicago
Board of Education and lead negotiator for the city said of
talks with the teachers union. “It’s taking them … more time
than we think it should.”

Sep 11, 2012

Patience tested as Chicago teachers strike drags into second day

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Parents and thousands of Chicago children faced a second day of closed public schools on Tuesday as striking teachers and the nation’s third-largest school district argued over details of education reforms sought by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Many parents stayed home from work with their children on the first day of a strike by 29,000 Chicago teachers and support staff Monday. But patience was likely to be tested on Tuesday as the largest U.S. teachers strike since 2006 dragged on.

Sep 10, 2012

Analysis: Striking Chicago teachers take on national education reform

By Stephanie Simon and James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Chicago teachers walking picket lines on Monday, in a strike that has closed schools across the city, are taking on not just their combative mayor but a powerful education reform movement that is transforming public schools across the United States.

The new vision, championed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who used to run Chicago’s schools, calls for a laser focus on standardized tests meant to gauge student skills in reading, writing and math. Teachers who fail to raise student scores may be fired. Schools that fail to boost scores may be shut down.