Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Chicago As Microcosm: How National Education Issues Are At The Heart Of The Teachers Strike

“In Chicago, last-minute contract talks broke down not over pay, but over the reform agenda,” Stephanie Simon and James Kelleher write for Reuters — with “reform agenda” referring to policies requiring more standardized testing and more evaluations for teachers. Indiana education officials have pushed for very similar changes.

“Chicago teachers walking picket lines on Monday, in a strike that has closed schools across the city, are taking on not just their combative mayor but a powerful education reform movement that is transforming public schools across the United States. The new vision, championed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who used to run Chicago’s schools, calls for a laser focus on standardized tests meant to gauge student skills in reading, writing and math. Teachers who fail to raise student scores may be fired. Schools that fail to boost scores may be shut down.”

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