CTU vision for a quality education for all children

This morning the Chicago Teachers’ Union presented a comprehensive set of research-based proposals to strengthen the Chicago Public Schools, called “The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve.”

I was pleased to be asked to say a few words on behalf of PURE. This is what I said:

I’m very glad to be here. First of all, as a parent group, PURE wants to take this opportunity to reaffirm that we stand strong with our children’s teachers in the fight for a high quality education for every child. Parents trust teachers more than politicians, mayors, former basketball players, education hobbyists, (here I added “Tribune editorial writers” to be timely) or wealthy philanthropists to know how to educate children. We know that teachers care about our children’s education the way we do, and we trust teachers to know and do what’s best for them in the classroom.

These days parents are being bombarded with million-dollar advertising – some of it trying to pass as news and some as movies and documentaries – promoting the privatization of public education. Every day we hear about how terrible the schools are and how terrible the teachers are. We’re supposed to feel afraid, and that’s supposed to make us run scared to the hyped up charter or turnaround schools.

It’s easy to know that this strategy isn’t working because now the privatizers are funding fake parent groups to create the appearance of parents wanting what corporate school reformers want – you know, more testing, more charters, fewer union teachers.

This leads me to the second reason why it’s so good to be here on this occasion. I want to take the opportunity to thank the Chicago Teachers Union for putting together such a well-researched report about the kind of education our children need to succeed, and to thank them for bringing attention to what we should all really be talking about, starting with the fact that children who live in poverty need smaller class sizes, better prepared, experienced, and compensated teachers, more resources, less teaching to the test, and parents who are welcome partners in the school improvement process.

We look forward to sharing this excellent resource with parents in Chicago and across the nation as we move the conversation forward about what children really need.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.
@pureparents