CPS parents are tired of being sidelined when disputes happen. I don’t blame them. The CTU and CPS never brought them or students to the table.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will resume classes on Wednesday after a week-long standoff between them and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).
Remember, the students did not have remote learning during this time. From The Chicago Tribune:
In addition to a return to in-person teaching Wednesday, the plan the House of Delegates approved will set conditions by which an individual school would return to remote learning, determined by the rate of staff absences and students in quarantine or isolation, as well as whether it’s during a period of high community COVID-19 transmission, where a lower threshold would apply.
At a press conference Monday night, CTU leaders touted measures that they said should increase testing in schools, create metrics that could trigger schools to go remote, secure additional KN95 masks for staff and students and beef up contact tracing. Still, they said they continued to favor opt-out testing, a provision they were not able to secure, and remained concerned about some other aspects of the agreement.
CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates tried to make the union the good guys: “The Chicago Teacher’s Union once again, in this pandemic, has had to create the infrastructure for safety and accountability in our school community. This is the second January in a row where we have had to be held hostage, quite frankly, in hostage negotiations.”
Davis Gates also said Mayor Lori Lightfoot “is unfit to lead this city,” insisting “she is on a one-woman kamikaze mission to destroy our public schools.”
Lightfoot expressed her frustrations since this is the third year in a row the CTU caused work disruptions. They led a strike in 2019, refused to teach in schools in 2020, and now this.
A stronger voice came out in The Chicago Tribune article which did not have a place in the CTU and CPS negotiations because neither bothered to bring them in. The parents did not have a place at the table and yet their input is the most valuable along with the students:
“We demand a legitimate seat at the table for CPS parents as negotiations continue,” said Blaire Flowers, the parent of a North Lawndale College Prep freshman. “If CPS and CTU can’t come to an agreement that allows our kids to resume learning immediately, then they clearly need some adults in the room who can figure it out.”
Tierra Pearson has three kids in the CPS system at Clemente High School and DePriest Elementary. She said the behavior of CPS and CTU was “making our children suffer,” and the back and forth between the district and union had “turned Chicago into a political circus.”
“We are all human beings and have different views and opinions, but we can find some common ground to agree upon,” Pearson said. “Reasonable adults should be able to agree upon what’s best for the safety and well-being of all families at this time with the increased COVID rate.”
Pearson said she’d hoped to have a remote learning option for all three of her children because her youngest has health issues, adding a “one-size-fits-all approach just will not work for all families, schools and situations.”
“We need flexible learning options that can meet the needs of different families,” she said.
Yes, we know the CTU held the schools hostage. They made stupid demands all in the name of science despite health experts agreeing kids are fine in school.
But neither side bothered to bring parents and students to the table. A lot of CPS parents probably have the same opinion as the two parents mentioned by The Chicago Tribune. They’re tired of the sides using their children as pawns. They are tired of being sidelined whenever a dispute happens.DONATE
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