“I feel no pain. They can cancel school until June and I’ll be fine,” teaching assistant Derrick Colon replied to a post in the union’s private Facebook page. “Been training for this moment all my life.”
This is the third time in just over two years that tensions between Chicago Public Schools and the teachers’ union have led to school closures.
The union called last week for a two-week return to virtual learning and demanded that all Chicago Public School students return a negative COVID test before doors open for the spring semester. Chicago Public Schools distributed 150,000 tests to students to take and return by December 28—a deadline that was pushed back to January 2 after test kits began piling up at FedEx drop boxes.
Just 21 percent of students in Chicago Public Schools met or surpassed English standards in 2021—7 percent fewer than in 2019. And only 16 percent of students met or surpassed math standards, compared with 24 percent in the year prior to lockdowns, the Sun-Times reported.