CTU Boss Karen Lewis: ‘Do We Want Presidential Libraries, or Librarians for Every Child?’

Karen Lewis

It looks like the president of the Chicago Teachers Union doesn’t think much of her state’s attempt to assist with the building of the Barack Obama presidential library. Instead, they need to secure jobs for government school librarians.

EAGnews.org reports:

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis apparently doesn’t care very much for the Obama Presidential Library.

Preserving the jobs of educational support personnel and others the city doesn’t need should be the top priority, Lewis said in a rambling union statement issued yesterday.

In her screed against layoffs, school turnaround plans, and charter schools that are outperforming the city’s unionized public schools, Lewis implied the presidential library is an unnecessary waste, and the money would be much better spent on public school librarians.

“With this latest round of layoffs— the fourth time in the past five years in which we have seen summer layoffs in excess of 1,000—and the hundreds of positions lost at the three schools slated for turnaround this year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his Board continue their war on our educators by doing nothing to salvage school budgets other than forcing principals to terminate valued teachers and staff,” Lewis said.

“This decision further demonstrates the disdain for public education and the lack of leadership and vision for the city from our mayor and his handpicked Board. Do we want ‘Star Wars’ museums or public, neighborhood schools? Do we want presidential libraries or librarians for every child?”

Read more here.

Rich Are ‘Drinking Champagne’: Chicago Teachers Union’s Rambling Statement on CA Tenure Decision

Karen Lewis tenure video
(screeen shot from video)

“Their time will come.” That was the promise Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis had for the “rich” tech “moguls” who are “drinking champagne” after California Judge Rolf Treu struck down tenure and other job protections for government school teachers.

Here’s Lewis’s rambling video statement in reaction to the ruling:

Lewis went on to assert that the rich are just jealous of teachers.

Specifically addressing David Welch, apparently the primary financial backer of the lawsuit, Lewis said:

“One of the reasons guys like this who have these jobs that don’t produce anything of value for people but they have to go find something else – there’s a lot of distrust and actually some jealousy of the fact that we do get to change the world on a regular basis every day. We do get the opportunity to educate children to change their lives and to make those relationships.

And there’s a certain amount of envy around those kinds of jobs. Where we actually create and do something meaningful with our lives. And this notion that, ‘oh, you want to be protected? You want to be compensated? You want to have pension benefits? You shouldn’t have any of that.

Lewis added she was disappointed at how easily the judge was swayed by “propaganda.”

How is Lewis and her union changing the world and what are they doing with the “opportunity to educate children to change their lives”?

Chicago Public Schools’ 2013 graduation rate was 65.4 percent. The school system issued a press release, boasting of the “record high” rate.

When the CTU went on strike in 2012, 20 percent of 8th graders tested proficient in math. Twenty-one percent of 8th graders tested proficient in reading.

Did the Chicago Teachers Union Create an Offensive Immigration-Themed Test Question to Make Conservatives seem Racist?

CTU Lewis
(Daily Mail)

Surely CTU President Karen Lewis and the other far-left activists in the union would never politicize student test questions – would they? We have to wonder, since a test question for seventh-graders identified two phony articles – supposedly written by conservatives who oppose citizenship for illegal immigrants. The articles read more like something published by the KKK than everyday conservatives.

WBEZ reports:

A test question for Chicago Public Schools seventh graders is being called “offensive,” “racist,” and factually inaccurate by groups as disparate as the Illinois Republican Party and the Chicago Teachers Union. …

The question asks pupils to read two commentaries—both opposed to undocumented immigrants becoming U.S. citizens—and evaluate the text and the authors’ biographies to determine “the most authoritative and relevant to support your argument OPPOSING a pathway to citizenship.”

“I think it’s best to keep America for Americans and those who know how to speak English properly,” says the first text. “Save America for those of us who know how to behave in law abiding ways.” The article says undocumented immigrants “should go back to where they came from,” and the author says he “dream(s) of a time when we ban all new immigrants to America both legal and illegal.”  The author is pictured as a black man named as Arie Payo, identified as a former aide to “President Bush’s Immigration Taskforce” and a contributor to “the Conservative Journal.”

But it turns out that Payo, his opinions, his credentials and even the “Conservative Journal” are all made up; so is the second text, in which small business owner “Stella Luna”— coincidentally the title of a children’s book—is identified as author of “The Dream Act is a Nightmare.” She worries that giving citizenship to immigrants “will increase the number of poor people in town.”

Interestingly, WBEZ says the test questions are created within the CPS system – not by an outside firm. More specifically, the station reports:

Officials said they do not know exactly who wrote the test question, but CPS said, in general, REACH performance tasks have been designed by teachers, including librarians, “in partnership with (the Chicago Teachers Union).”

Why in the world the union would be consulted on test questions is anyone’s guess, but it goes to show just how in control unions are of school governance.

Carol Caref, who works on teacher evaluation issues for the union, said CTU doesn’t know what revisions take place to REACH questions between the time teachers help create them and the time they become official CPS “performance tasks.”

“I can’t believe that very many eyes were on this particular performance task,” Caref said. “Because I can’t believe there isn’t someone who would have looked at this and said, ‘Whoa.’”

It’s unlikely only a few eyes looked at this. After all, the question was from the perspective of the fictitious “Conservative Journal,” and that’s how progressives view the opinions of conservatives. This is likely a CYA moment only because they got caught.

But if Caref is right – that only a few people looked at it – what does that say about quality control in Chicago Public Schools?

SPLC report labels Common Core opponents, including CTU’s Karen Lewis, as ‘right-wing extremists’

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis is a “right-wing” extremist whose ultimate mission is to destroy “public education itself.”

That’s the takeaway from a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center which denounces the anti-Common Core movement as just the latest effort by the “far right” to discredit and dismantle public schools – the “linchpin not only of our prosperity but of the American ideal of equality for all.”

To review, Common Core is a set of experimental math and English learning standards that have been adopted by 44 states. Education leaders in those states – many of whom were appointed by governors, not elected by the voters – agreed to implement the nationalized standards after some serious arm-twisting by the federal government (via No Child Left Behind waivers and Race to the Top funding) and the deep-pocketed Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

But according to Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) “scholars,” Common Core is the organic result of state leaders coming together to figure out once and for all, by golly, how to improve America’s underperforming public education system.
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