Teachers, use the first 3 minutes of this video for a classroom activity.
School was finally back in session in Chicago on Wednesday after the Chicago Teachers Union called off its strike after seven days. Both union leaders and city officials were happy to see schools back in session for the roughly 350,000 students and more than 26,000 teachers and support staff that were affected by the strike.
The strike concluded when the Union under leader Karen Lewis settled on a deal with city officials that would increase teacher salaries by an average 17.6 percent over the next three to four years, and fill half of new job openings with highly rated laid-off teachers. For his part, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also received the longer school day and school year, and test-based teacher evaluations that he had been looking for.
Both sides of the deal expressed confidence in the new contract moving forward, with Mayor Emanuel calling it an "honest compromise".
For the last week and a half, families have scrambled to find a place for kids to stay while school was out. This left some parents angry, even as they supported their kids' teachers. School officials had opened 140 schools for half-days to feed those students who rely on free school breakfast and lunch programs to eat during the school year, but other kids were left without a place to go.
"With this agreement, now we have the foundation for transformation.
With an amazing education team and the folks that we have back at central office, with the support of our teachers and our principals, we know that we can make Chicago the best urban school district in America," - Jean-Claud Brizard, Chicago Public Schools.
"There is no such thing as a contract that would make all of us happy, and we're realistic about that. But the other issue is, do we stay on strike forever until every little thing that we want is capable of being gotten?" - Karen Lewis, Chicago Teachers Union.
"Starting in kindergarten, by the time they finish high school, will get two-and-a-half years more of schooling than they would have had over the old system. That is a fundamental departure from the past," - Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago).
"We feel very positive about moving forward. We feel grateful that we have a united union and that, when a union moves together, amazing things happen," - Karen Lewis.
1. What is a strike?
2. What is a labor union?
3. What would happen if school was canceled next week - what would you do?
1. Do you think the Teachers Union and city officials made a fair compromise? Why or why not?
2. Should unions be able to shut down public services like school and public transportation? Why or why not?
3. Do you think that the teachers should have struck? Why or why not?
School Canceled in Chicago Due to Teacher Strike :
Teachers Strike in Chicago: