One of the primary issues at the heart of the the Chicago teachers' strike is whether student test scores should be used to evaluate teachers and determine their pay. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing that approach, as are other officials around the nation.
But many teachers insist that it's inherently unfair to grade their teaching based on their students' learning.
Talks resume this morning between the striking Chicago teachers union and the city's public school system. After four days of a walkout, there's a hint of progress in contract talks. Union leader Karen Lewis and school board president David Vitale both indicated they had 'hope for Friday'.
From Rahm Emanuel now to his formidable foe in these negotiations, Karen Lewis, the head of the teachers' union. Lewis in recent weeks has called the mayor a bully and of his leadership style has said, quote, "The whole idea of an imperial mayoralty where you wave a magic wand or cuss someone out and things happen is untenable."
To learn more about Lewis, we turn to Joel Hood. He's a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. Welcome, Joel.
As a strike by Chicago's schoolteachers enters a third day, the president of their union says negotiators are still "miles apart" from an agreement to get 350,000 students back in the classroom, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The talks were set to resume Wednesday morning, but Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said there had been only "centimeters" of progress and that the union and city were still "kilometers apart."
On the face of it, the teacher's strike in Chicago is about money, job security and how teachers are evaluated. But it's also about the political pressure on teachers' unions to make concessions that not long ago would've been unheard of. Teachers' collective bargaining rights these days have taken a backseat to bare-bones budgets and to claims that unions are an obstacle to efforts aimed at improving the quality of schools. As NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, all these elements have come together in Chicago.