Rahm attends jawfest with group that rejected poverty as a linchpin issue for Chicago students.
CHICAGO, October 11, 2018—Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement today in response to news that outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s failed education policies would be promoted today at an event with the CEO of the Education Trust.
Six years ago, Rahm Emanuel provoked the first Chicago teachers strike in a quarter of a century, as thousands of CTU members hit the picket lines to reject his agenda of austerity and privatization. The Education Trust opposed that strike, claiming – incredibly – that the poverty our students confront was not a linchpin issue in student performance.
Today, Rahm and his CPS appointees joined the Education Trust’s current CEO to try to once again spin his atrocious education record as something short of a misery for our students. This propaganda fest comes on the heels of the demand by NTA parents for an injunction to prevent the closure of their beloved elementary school – a school Rahm is grabbing to benefit gentrifiers, developers and affluent new residents of the South Loop.
This is Rahm’s education legacy. More than seventy closed schools. Hundreds of others at risk from fiscally reckless charter expansion. A budgeting formula that defies state law and treats students like widgets instead of human beings. Crushing layoffs of veteran Black female educators, who now number barely 20% in a district whose students are overwhelmingly non-white. A refusal to actually listen to the wisdom of parents and educators. Chronically underfunded and neglected neighborhood public schools – and an apartheid-like school district that is profoundly separate and unequal for Chicago’s overwhelmingly low-income Black and Brown public schoolchildren.
We struck in 2012 for real equity for our students. We based our demands on hard data and proven research in our groundbreaking report, The Schools Chicago Students Deserve. We’re releasing version 2.0 of that report in the coming weeks, as our union charter educators battle with eleven of Rahm’s private operators for real equity in our classrooms. And we will strike again – against both Rahm’s charter operators and the mayor’s hand-picked board of education – if that’s what it takes to bring true accountability, transparency and equity to our schools.
Our demands are simple: sustainable community schools in EVERY neighborhood, with school nurses, social workers, rich curriculums and wraparound supports, libraries with librarians – in short, the host of basic educational supports that Rahm ensured his own children had. Our students deserve no less – and we will settle for no less, not from this mayor or any politician who seeks to replace him.