When this blogger grew up in Chicago, it seemed as if the teachers were on strike all the time. The last time for this one was 1969. Now, and mainly because of a personality clash between Chicago’s new Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, Chicago’s teachers elected to strike at midnight this morning.
The last such strike was 25 years ago, when the late Harold Washington was Chicago’s Mayor.
But unlike past Chicago Teachers strikes, which seemed to be over the very real issue of lack of money, and little else, this one seems to have its roots in how two people: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teacher’s Union, don’t get along with each other.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis says Mayor Rahm Emanuel “exploded” at her during a conversation in his office about his signature longer-school-day effort, pointing his finger at her, yelling and telling her, “F— you, Lewis.”
Not a good thing to do. Someone has to take the former Congressman and Chief Of Staff aside and tell him he can’t build coalitions like that. But Mayor Emanuel seems to have an emotional tie to ending some long-standing problems with the Chicago School System, and he’s determined to do whatever it takes.
I don’t blame him.
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- karen lewis chicago teachers union