Chicago Classrooms Are Empty For A Second Day | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Chicago Classrooms Are Empty For A Second Day

Striking teachers in Chicago manned the picket lines for a second day today as parents again scrambled to occupy their stay-at-home kids.

Some 350,000 of the district's students are locked out of their classrooms because city officials and thousands of teachers represented by the Chicago Teachers Union have yet to reach a contract. The strike is the first by public school teachers in the Chicago in 25 years.

The main sticking points are over teacher evaluations and a recall policy. The district has offered the teachers a 16 percent pay raise spread out over four years, beginning with 2 percent the first year.

The Chicago Tribune reports that School Board President David Vitale left talks a little after 6:30 p.m. yesterday, saying the two sides were going over technical issues and that he was hopeful the key issues could be surmounted soon.

"We believe we should resolve this tomorrow. We are close enough to get this resolved," he said. "This is hard work."

However, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who left the negotiations about three hours later, according to the Tribune, expressed surprise at Vitale's remark that a deal was that close.

Tim Knowles, head of the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute. Knowles says tying teacher pay to student test scores, as well as job security, longer school days and expanding charter schools, are issues that teachers are struggling with across the country. But he tells NPR's Tovia Smith that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former chief of staff in the Obama administration, has come head-to-head with a particularly tough teachers union.

"There is aggressive reform effort and there's a concerted resistance to reforms being put on the table," Knowles says. "I think it's the New Democrats versus Old Labor."

Emanuel has said teacher evaluations would not be binding in the first year, but that's little comfort to teachers who fear they might lose their jobs over the new policy, Smith reports.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 15

A touring production of a classic Shakespeare play comes to D.C. and local watercolor painters show off their work in a group exhibit.

NPR

Reality Check For Young Farmers: It's An Expensive 'Habit'

More young people are trying their hand at farming, hoping to make a living out of it. But, as it turns out, passion and grit are just a few of the prerequisites for success.
WAMU 88.5

Local Lawmakers Returning Early To Capitol Hill For Syria Vote

House lawmakers are returning to Capitol Hill tonight to meet the president's call for action on Syria.

NPR

Grandparents Accidentally Tag Themselves As Grandmaster Flash

The autofill feature on Facebook substitutes the words grandma and grandpa with the name of hip-hop icon Grandmaster Flash.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.