Friday, April 1, 2016

Chicago Charter Schools in Session, Not Losing Valuable Learning Time as Adults Play Politics

Today, appropriately on April Fools' Day,  members of the Chicago Teachers Union walked out on their 300,000 students. The following is a press release from the Illinois Network of Charter Schools.
CHICAGO – Today, as members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) abandon their classrooms, charter public schools are putting the needs of children first. Unlike the 300,000 students at district-run schools who are losing precious instructional time, the 60,000 students enrolled in charter public schools across the city will be in session today. Their schools will be open, their teachers will be teaching, and they will be learning. The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) applauds these teachers for their commitment to the teaching profession and Chicago families.

Charter public school teachers, including the thousands who are unionized, are not allowing adult politics to take precedent over their students’ learning and growth. The fact that other unionized teachers are in class today reveals that this one-day “strike” is not a referendum on labor solidarity. Instead, it is about an organization whose bellicose actions are starting to wear thin.

Despite all the rhetoric about schools our students deserve, the CTU is first and foremost a political organization that willingly sacrifices the needs of Chicago’s children and families for their political agenda. Today marks the second consecutive Friday when students are not in session, collectively forgoing over 3.6 million hours of instructional time and compromising recent academic progress. ACT scores, high school graduation rates, and college placement and persistence rates are at all-time highs citywide, but all of these gains are at risk, especially if a “strike” is a prelude to a more prolonged strike later this year. If the CTU continues to saber rattle and put politics before student interests, we can expect any continued progress to end.

“At a time when all interested parties should be united in fixing a student funding formula that penalizes low-wealth school districts, the CTU prefers to wage war against city leadership in a display of faux progressivism, “said Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. “What’s most disturbing is that hundreds of thousands of Chicago students and families are the victims in this political game. They deserve better.”

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