The Chicago Teachers Union decided last week to cease in-person schooling until a variety of conditions were met. In response, Chicago Public Schools refused to allow teachers to log in for remote instruction and demanded they return to the classroom. After days of negotiations, the two sides reached a tentative agreement. In-person classes resumed Jan. 12.
In the interim, familiar debates reappeared. The union claimed the surge in infections and inadequate COVID testing made the schools unsafe. The district and the mayor said the danger to children was still very low, and that measures taken made the schools safer than other indoor spaces.
“We’d rather be in our classes teaching, we’d rather have the schools open. What we are saying though is that right now we’re in the middle of a major surge, it is breaking all the records and hospitals are full,” said union President Jesse Sharkey on Jan. 5.
Given the way the fight had been proceeding, it ended in a whimper. On January 10th a stand-off between Chicago’s teachers’ union and its mayor, Lori Lightfoot, escalated to personal insults. Jesse Sharkey, the union’s president, called Ms Lightfoot “relentlessly stupid”. She responded by calling him a “privileged, clouted white guy”. Hours later, the teachers agreed to go back to work, bringing to an end a nearly weeklong strike over covid-19 safety fears. The city stuck to its terms, but agreed to increase testing and supply more kn95 masks.
Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.
The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”
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