Students for a Democratic Society stands in solidarity with the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) strike. We denounce the attacks on public education, in Chicago as well as nation-wide, which have made this strike necessary. CTU began its strike on September 10th, 2012 with demands that include providing students with access to social services, such as nurses and social workers, decreasing class size, and fair contracts and methods of teacher evaluation. Meanwhile, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has called for the closure of as many as 120 public schools and replacing them with at least 60 charter schools, which are run by for profit institutions.
We, as members of Students for a Democratic Society, have historically called for quality education as a societal right, not an economic privilege. We have condemned the business model that has degraded universities and community colleges across the country. We see the attacks on public schools as stemming from the same forces that are attacking our campuses and these forces privilege business interests and the interests of the one percent over those of the masses. We believe CTU coming together and standing up to those forces is a historic, important struggle. We demand the following:
· Methods of teacher evaluation that foster critical thinking and will not reduce students to test scores.
· A halt to charter school expansions and closing public schools.
· An end to denying funds and resources to lower income communities.
We unite with the CTU members who are bravely standing up for accessible education and demanding better for their students. We urge other students and young activists to also stand in solidarity and to further the fight against the privatization of education.