Some of you may remember Mauricio, a student, philosopher, and mathematician, who has a passion for improving the American education system and supporting public school teachers. In light of the recent Chicago Public School teachers taking strike, we thought it would be a great idea to reach out to Mauricio and hear a bit of his opinion. He has kindly written a thoughtful piece considering the significance of this strike and the future of the public school system. We've shared part of it below, but you can also read the full article here. Thanks, Mauricio!
After months of deadlocked negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools Board of Education, the 26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union began their first strike in 25 years today, shutting down over 600 schools that serve over 400,000 students. The 600 delegates of the CTU voted unanimously in favor of the measure at a meeting August 31, two months after 98 percent of members who cast a ballot authorized the union to call a strike.
Education activists across this country have greeted the CTU’s fight with much enthusiasm, for they see it as a fight for everything they believe in. Many think this strike has the potential to turn the tide against those who wish to privatize our schools and slash budgets across the country. Moreover, as perhaps the largest, best-organized strike since the 1997 UPS strike, it could re-ignite the American labor movement after decades of decline.
This strike has the potential to turn back the tide in favor of real education reform nationally. Teachers across the country are now looking to Chicago for hope and inspiration. Messages of solidarity have been pouring in from every city in this country, and even from abroad. Community and labor groups across Chicago have coalesced in the Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign in order to support teachers in their struggle. And you can help too!