Aldermen: CPS parents losing patience over strike

September 12, 2012 3:28:56 PM PDT
As it appears the teachers strike could last longer than a few days, the tension grows at City Hall.

  • 'Children First' childcare info: 147 sites open to children during the strike
  • VIDEO: Mayor Emanuel talks to reporters on Day 3 of strike
  • VIDEO: CTU Pres. Karen Lewis talks to reporters on Day 3 of strike
  • PHOTOS: Chicago public school teachers on strike
  • While Rahm Emanuel issued another call for the union to return to work, the mayor held firm on his positions that striking teachers should be evaluated in part based on student test scores and that only principals should hire the teachers for their respective schools.

    "Of the two issues really at the crux here, there is nothing that can't be worked through while our kids stay in the classroom," said Emanuel.

    There was no mention of the dispute in the City Council meeting. But aldermen say phone calls to their offices suggest parents are losing patience.

    "A lot of parents think that why are we at this point if these are some of the issues," said Ald. Howard Brookins, 21st ward.

    "At some point, parents are not going to have many resources left to keep their kids at home," said Ald. Roberto Maldonado, 26th Ward.

    The 2nd Ward's Bob Fioretti said Emanuel's pre-strike rhetoric demonized teachers. ABC7 asked the alderman if the mayor should be blamed for the crisis.

    "The whole aspect of how this started down that road and who started it, the answer is probably yes," said Fioretti.

    But most of the aldermen ABC7 interviewed supported the mayor's positions on teacher evaluations and hiring.

    "Including test scores is appropriate to evaluate everybody who is teaching our students," said Ald. Latasha Thomas, 17th Ward.

    Alderman Roderick Sawyer, of the 6th Ward, wants the mayor and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis to lock themselves in a room and not come out until the dispute is settled.

    "Once they get to the room and understand that the children are the focus, they will get a deal done. They're both professional enough to get a deal done and I'm confident that that will happen," said Sawyer.

    As he walked out of the news conference, the mayor would not comment when asked if a meeting between himself and Ms. Lewis was in the offing. ABC7 also asked the mayor about the role of schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard who has kept a low profile during the strike. The mayor said he talks to Brizard every day.


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