Both sides expressed optimism. On a 1 - 10 scale, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) president Karen Lewis said "I'm a 9" on reaching a deal quickly. House of Delegates approval is required.
"We're hoping we can tighten up some of the things we talked about yesterday".and get this thing done."
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) chief education officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett echoed Board of Education president David Vitale's optimism. Jesse Jackson showed up. He expressed "a sense of urgency." What he's doing to help isn't clear. Expect little.
At 2PM Friday, over 700 House of Delegates meet. If negotiations are completed, they'll vote up or down on ending the strike. Whether they'll know full contract terms isn't clear. Perhaps union officials will conceal ugly details. Full union membership has final say, but will it matter?
If strike action ends Friday, classes resume Monday. Expect another week or so to complete rank-and-file voting. If teachers learn they've been scammed, it may be too late to resume striking.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Vitale, and CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard are hardline. They're all take and no give. They won't yield and resume negotiating once current bargaining ends.
A weekend "Wisconsin-style" rally is scheduled in Union Park on Chicago's West Side.
Hope springs eternal. Teachers expressed mixed views. Some hope CTU negotiators are bargaining hard. Others are skeptical. They have good reason. How can major issues be settled in five days when for months they've been unresolved. It's understandable that every one wants classes resumed.
What good will it do if union bosses sold out teachers, schools keep being privatized, and kids are denied the education they deserve. All indications suggest it.
Job security won't be strengthened. Thousands of teachers will lose jobs. As many as 120 schools will be closed over the next five years. Quasi-private charter ones will increase.
A Chicago Tribune editorial headline "Chicago Teacher Union fighting the inevitability of education reform," saying:
Teachers "aren't merely fighting City Hall. They're fighting the inevitability of education reform. They are denying the arc of history."
"They need to understand." Principles involved "are set in (federal and state) law".They're at the heart of the Democratic education reform agenda" under Obama's destructive Race to the Top agenda. It follows Bush's No Child Left Behind.- Advertisement -
Both plan public education's destruction. At stake is commodifying it, handing it to corporate predators, and making it another business profit center. Doing so assures destroying the futures of thousands of Chicago kids and millions across America.
Go along union bosses should be fired, hung in effigy, then out to dry like they're doing to parents and children.