* “A pox on both their houses,” is basically what Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth said when asked about the Chicago teachers strike…
A Democratic congressional candidate with heavy union support says the Chicago teachers strike is the result of “a failure on both sides.”
Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates went on to say that the Chicago Teachers Union could learn from suburban teachers unions and school boards, many of which have successfully hammered out issues without disrupting classes.
“It didn’t have to happen,” Duckworth said. The weeklong Chicago strike “shows that there’s a failure on both sides.”
The former Obama administration member said she is “in an interesting situation” since she has both union backing and a close friendship with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is at odds with union leader Karen Lewis. […]
Duckworth said the Chicago negotiators could learn from suburban schools, citing “instances of managing to avert strikes by real, honest discussion.”
* But Republican incumbent Joe Walsh pounced anyway via press release…
Thursday, Tammy Duckworth spoke to the editorial board at The Daily Herald. The board pressed Duckworth for her thoughts on the Chicago Teachers Union strike. In response, Ms. Duckworth stated that due to her strong backing and close relationship she enjoys from both the teachers union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the strike put her “in an interesting situation”, in which she did not want to upset either side.
Congressman Joe Walsh later stated, “Ms. Duckworth should be less concerned about which campaign supporter she offends. She should instead worry more about siding with the children and families of Chicago and seeking good policy that will reform these broken schools and put the system on sound financial footing.”
Actually, Joe, she offended both sides.
* Speaking of which, I asked spokesperson for the governor and four legislative leaders to react to the strike earlier this week. I already told you the governor’s response…
We want the parties to negotiate in good faith and reach a resolution quickly that puts the students first.
* From House Republican Leader Tom Cross’ spokesperson…
We hope a fiscally responsible settlement is achieved quickly so that the children can return to school.
From Senate President John Cullerton’s spokesperson…
He’s simply encouraging all parties to stay at the table until a solution can be reached Chicago’s kids can return to the classroom.
Responses from the other two leaders were almost identical.
Almost nobody wants to take sides in this war. Getting dragged into such a huge fight is never a good thing, politically speaking, except when you’re so far removed from the fight that sticking your nose into it will only likely help you back home. From an Illinois Policy Institute press release…
Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), Senator Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove), Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) and Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Belvidere) stand with the Illinois Policy Institute and call for the creation of opportunity scholarships (also referred to as vouchers) and the removal of caps on the number of Illinois charter schools.
“There is no better time than now to provide opportunities to children in Chicago by ensuring that they have an excellent education. Vouchers and charter schools are the opportunities that we can provide today to better their education. In the midst of a Chicago Teachers Union strike, hundreds of thousands of children are being displaced amongst their peers, while those in charter and private schools are advancing daily in their educations,” said Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon).
Senator Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) noted, “The way to improve performance in our public schools is through market-based solutions which expand choices for parents, improving education opportunities for all children while having the added benefit of increasing parental involvement in their children’s education. All children should receive a quality education regardless of the income level of the school district. We can accomplish this by eliminating the cap on charter schools that meet accountability standards. Another important aspect of this solution is in providing parents tuition vouchers, which empowers them by allowing them to ‘vote with their feet’, while incentivizing teachers to constantly strive to improve.”
Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) stated, “Being a parent, legislator and former teacher, I see the need for a strong educational system for our children. Giving parents the ability to choose the best education for their children should be foremost. I support opportunity scholarships in Illinois along with removing the cap on charter schools, and I strongly urge my colleagues to do the same. While the CTU and other suburban teacher strikes are currently depriving an education from hundreds of thousands of children, over 30,000 charter school students are learning today and becoming the leaders of tomorrow.”
Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Belvidere) stated, “If Chicago teachers’ true concern was educating children then they would still be in the classrooms, not in the picket lines. CTU’s decision to fight for huge raises is indicative of them being out of touch with what average Americans are dealing with in these tough economic times. This current situation highlights why we need to empower parents to choose an education for their children, whether that be public, charter or private schools.”