Chicago Teachers Strike to Continue, Mayor to Seek Court Injunction

Posted September 16th, 2012 at 10:55 pm (UTC-5)
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The Chicago teachers strike that has shut out 350,000 children from their schools for a week in the third-largest city in the U.S. will continue at least two more days, despite a tentative deal to end the strike.

Teachers union president Karen Lewis says members want more time to study the deal. Lewis told reporters there is a lack of trust among the union's more than 20,000 members and city leaders, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The union will meet again Tuesday, after the Jewish New Year, to hold a possible vote on the deal, which means students will not return to their classrooms until Wednesday at the earliest.

Major Emanuel issued a statement late Sunday angrily criticizing the teachers union, calling the walkout “a strike of choice” that has become “a delay of choice.” He ordered city attorneys to seek a court order to force the striking teachers back into the classrooms.

Public school teachers in Chicago walked off the job last Monday in a dispute with the city school board over a number of issues, including plans for a longer school day and how to evaluate job performance. Parents across the city have scrambled to find day care for their children or were forced to stay home from their jobs.

Many teachers in Chicago and other big American cities oppose tying performance with student standardized test scores. They say many students come from the poor inner cities and that standardized testing may not be fair.