There is no clear cut, easy answer to the majority of issues, and the Chicago teachers strike is no different. It has had teachers, school board members and parents scrambling for answers since Monday when teachers walked out of classes in protest of new evaluation techniques. So what have those involved in handling the media done? There have been stories on both sides of the line letting their points come across loud and clear. What doesn’t matter is how this situation is worked out. What does is that it is worked out now! Parents are being forced to deal with childcare issues and providing children with basic necessities they would receive at school, mainly food. Many of the students qualify for the free or reduced lunch option available which means that unless they’re at school, they may not receive any hot meals that day. The teachers are not being selfish, they have to work and provide for their families too. The school board is not necessarily in the wrong either; they are working with the protocols they have set up and are now dealing with the adverse consequences of them. I must choose a side, though, and it is with the teachers. They have a duty to teach children, watch over them when the other adults in their lives cannot, but this is impossible if they are under harsh restrictions from the school board. To handle this conflict, there is a need to remove the new standards for teaching evaluations and get the students back into school as soon as possible. It has only been since Monday and families have already struggled enough with what to do with their kids. To alleviate this issue, the school board must be willing to work with the demands of the teachers and deal with the minute details after students have returned to classes. They must convey to both the teachers unions and the media that they are in full support of working out this situation, which they have already begun to do, and be flexible in coming to an agreement. The students have been forgotten about in this time of disagreement and it is time for them to be focused on as the most important issue.
Chicago teachers strike