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‘The Revolution Will Not Be Standardized’: Day Two of the Chicago Teachers Strike

'Strike schools,' picket lines, and support from other unions were part of the second day of the historic work stoppage.

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The teachers' battle is being seen by Chicagoans and people around the country as a battle not only about teacher evaluation, job security and pay but also a referendum on the future of public education and the role of non-union charter schools and for-profit companies.

“They’re looking at it from the business aspect versus the educational aspect, but education is not a business,” says Sabrina Coulter, a CTU member and school nurse for the past three and a half years, who noted that school nurses usually cover up to six different schools.

Herman says she’s been frustrated with statements from the mayor’s office and media reports that she thinks make it look like Emanuel wants to distance himself from the teachers and the strike.

“It’s like he doesn’t want to dirty his hands with it, he keeps saying ‘they should work it out,’” she says.  

But at the downtown rally there was no doubt people blame the mayor and schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “This strike was approved by Rahm Emanuel,” read one sign.

“What Rahm wants: test-taking factories, outsource public education to private charters, close 100 schools,” read another.

Another read simply: “The Revolution will not be Standardized.”

Kari Lydersen, an In These Times contributing editor, is a Chicago-based journalist and instructor who currently works at Northwestern University. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Reader and The Progressive, among other publications. Her most recent book is "Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago’s 99 Percent." She is also the co-author of "Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun" and the author of "Revolt on Goose Island: The Chicago Factory Takeover, and What it Says About the Economic Crisis." Look for an updated reissue of Revolt on Goose Island in 2014. In 2011, she was awarded a Studs Terkel Community Media Award for her work. Reach Lydersen by email:

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