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Chicago Teachers "Overwhelmingly" Support Strike in Mock Poll

Each school met the 75 percent approval needed for a strike, CTU president Karen Lewis said

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"Their polling indicates no confidence in the way CPS continues to enforce their top-down, misguided policies throughout our school system," CTU president Karen Lewis said during a Thursday press conference.

In mock polls, teachers at 150 Chicago schools "overwhelmingly" voted to strike if contract negotiations fail, the Chicago Teachers Union said Thursday.

Each of the schools met the 75 percent approval needed if they would move forward with a strike, CTU president Karen Lewis said.

"Their polling indicates no confidence in the way CPS continues to enforce their top-down, misguided policies throughout our school system," Lewis said.

Lewis said contract negotiations are ongoing and remain cordial, but the two parties still remain far apart. "Teachers and paraprofessionals are fed up," said Lewis, who at one point appeared angry to tears. "They're tired of being blamed, bullied and belittled by the very district that should support them."

In a CPS statement released over the weekend, the district said it's too early for a strike to be discussed.

"At this early stage of negotiations with the CTU, any talk of a strike is troubling for our schools, students and their families," said CPS Chief Communications Officer Becky Carroll. "We should instead focus our energies on helping our children get the tools they need to be successful in the classroom and prepared for college and career."

Teachers continue to be at odds with CPS and Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the implementation of a longer school day this fall.

Last week CPS said it would move forward with a new teacher evaluation program without support from the Chicago Teachers Union. The new system would count student performance as 25 percent of a teacher’s assessment, with the intention to raise that rate to 40 percent in five years.
 

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