A short time ago, in a city not so very far away, an insidious organization hijacked an entire school system, putting the education of hundreds of thousands of children at risk and demanding a king’s ransom that would destroy the city’s budget as surely as any Death Star super-ray.
The galaxy: Chicago. The Empire: The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). The Emperor: CTU president Karen Lewis.
Yes, it all sounds like harmless science fiction, but you really couldn’t make this stuff up. On Monday September 10, the unionized teachers of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) — 26,000 strong — walked off the job en masse, leaving more than 350,000 children without instructors just as the school year was getting started.
Of course, if the new school year is anything like the previous school years, there’s not going to be a lot to celebrate come summer. Of all the 4th grade students being “educated” in CPS, only a shocking 15 percent are proficient in reading. Merely 20 percent of the school system’s 8th graders are proficient in math, well below both state and national levels.
Most depressing, as Reuters reports, barely 60 percent of the public school’s students graduate high school “compared with 75 percent nationwide.” Whew. With those kinds of results, one can hardly blame the teachers for quitting — maybe they headed for the bar.