October 16, 2019

Members of E4E-Chicago React to Strike

October 16 (Chicago) – As more than 30,000 teachers and school support staff begin their strike tomorrow, their reasons vary. Members of Educators for Excellence-Chicago (E4E-Chicago), who are also union members, react to the Chicago Teachers Union and the Service Employees International Union strike: 

“I don’t want to take valuable time away from my students’ learning,” said Sarah Reardon, an E4E-Chicago member and 5th-grade Departmentalized Literacy and Social Science teacher at Casals School of Excellence. “I ask that those at the negotiation table move swiftly to find a resolution, while also ensuring we have the best educators, equipped with the proper supports and resources, in front of the students who need them the most.”

”My students need systemic change, not incremental change,” said Shay Porter, an E4E-Chicago member and 3rd-grade teacher at Hendricks Elementary. “Our city and schools have historically underserved, vulnerable student populations — students in low-income neighborhoods, students with special needs and English learners. If we want to provide every student in our schools with the education they deserve, we need those at the negotiation table to focus on equity, not equality. A one-size-fits-all approach is not going to move the needle for my kids in Fuller Park on the South Side and so many others.”

“Based on our conversations, we know the reasons that our members may have voted for the strike varied,” said Stacy Moore, Executive Director of Educators for Excellence-Chicago. “And while most educators are united in their deep belief in equity, I’m not sure the full range of solutions educators would champion are always making it to the forefront of the conversation. The union has the megaphone in this moment but there are differing opinions on what needs to be prioritized and what innovative ideas should be on the table.”