photo by Charles Edward Miller
According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Public Schools are expected to announce that they will be going completely remote in the Fall.
How students go to school this Fall has become highly politicized in recent days, as many Republicans including Trump have been pushing for fully in-person schooling, despite many parents and medical experts thinking this would be terrible for fighting the virus.
The switch to an all-remote learning plan could come as the CTU plans to convene its House of Delegates next week to consider a process that eventually could lead to a strike if CPS doesn’t agree to start the school year with full remote learning, sources said Tuesday. The union’s governing body includes members representing schools from across the city.
Many feel this is because of the union’s push in recent days for Teachers to strike in the case that CPS is brought back in-person in any way.
The Chicago Teachers Union especially finds itself in a time of favorable public opinion. As reported by Vox, its eleven-day strike last year proved to be a cultural milestone for relationships between education activists and Lightfoot’s administration.
This continues to be true in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and immeasurable other victims of police brutality. Recent weeks has shown more and more a push toward getting CPD out of schools, and the Teachers Union has been a part of that fight every step of the way despite Lightfoot’s appointed school board.
As we reported in June, as the board discussed the contract, two rallies Wednesday called for an end to school policing. One, led by the Chicago Teachers Union, included a car caravan downtown. The citywide support led many to understand that Chicago’s school board is inherently unrepresentative.
That all being said, CPS working towards a remote fall shows just how much union organizing can accomplish in this time. To deny that CTU had as much to do with it as it did is deeply unfair to those that have organized in recent weeks and the risks they have taken to make the progress we’ve gained happen.
Now more than ever, we need to listen to our teachers and support education. And the Chicago Teachers Union has proven again the power of its voice on citywide and national discourse.
Daniel Johanson (he/him) is a journalist and digital media specialist living in Chicago, Illinois. He serves as Editor-in-Chief at Scapi and in that capacity manages all things content, including writing and editing articles and producing digital content. His most recent work includes the docuseries Heart of a Nation: Tracking Socialism in the Midwest and co-hosting the podcast Scapi Radio. He spends his free time with cats.