Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has been in a militant struggle with the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois for several years. Starting with the Republicans’ “No Child Left Behind” legislation, relentless attacks on students and teachers have followed in the past decade and a half. The Democrats’ bill, “Race to the Top,” doubled down on standardized testing, and these have been used by Democratic Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel as justification for closing down 48 schools in the city in 2013, thus allowing for an explosion of charter schools, many of which are for-profit, and very few of which actually perform better than public schools. Now, Republican Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has cut funding for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in an attempt to push for a state takeover of the district, which would of course mean more cuts. The CTU’s fight back against these attacks has been long and hard. There was a major strike in 2013, many teachers refused to administer standardized tests in 2015, and this year, on April 1, the CTU went on a one-day strike, holding events across the city.