Published On: Sat, Sep 22nd, 2012

Teachers Union touts victory in Chicago, plans meetings in cities all over the US

As the Chicago Teachers strike comes to an end, the Union says this is ‘just the beginning’ and will host townhall meetings all over the US.


Union leaders who won gains after striking in Chicago plan on spreading the message that effective changes in public education can’t be imposed by mayors or governors and must be made in collaboration with communities.

“Real public education reform comes from the bottom up with teachers, parents and communities and kids working together to make all of our schools thrive,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, at a raucous gathering of union members Friday in Washington. “Teachers have been told to implement policies without their input and then are blamed when the policies don’t help children. . . . The recent actions of Chicago show what happens when teachers and parents stand together.”

The ABC report reveals how the Union still views a long road ahead for their role in education reform.

Over the next several months, the union will be holding town-hall meetings in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Tampa, New Orleans and St. Paul, Minn.

US UNCUT Joins “We Are One” March twitter.com/JeanPaulHolmes

The room frequently erupted into chants of “The people united, will never be divided!” and “They say cutback, we say fight back!”

The teachers said they felt vilified by political opponents and blamed for a broken public education system.

“We’re going to take that agenda to statehouses and to Washington, and we’re going to talk about real education reform,” Weingarten said. The American Federation of Teachers is the country’s second-largest teachers union, behind the National Education Association, and represents educators in most urban school systems.

Karen Lewis, the Chicago Teachers Union president who led 26,000 teachers and school workers through the “successful” seven-day strike, told the crowd that unions in other cities should “learn the lessons we have learned” and build public support to push back against educational policy changes that are underway across the country.

“The strike was the first phase in our long struggle for the soul of public education in the U.S.,” said Lewis, who was cheered and applauded by an adoring crowd of labor and community activists gathered at the AFT meeting. “Hopefully, the leaders of this country will understand that public education belongs to the public!”

After her remarks, Lewis was swarmed by union leaders and activists who wanted to hug her or pose for a photo with her.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Chicago to close 50 schools, Rahm Emanuel, ‘neoliberal educational culture’ - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] More on the teacher union battle with Chicago leadership – click here […]

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