Mayor Emanuel, Your Kids Went to School Today, 0urs Didn’t.

I saw you on the news last night talking about our kids and how the strike will affect our kids. I know I am being nitpicky but let’s face facts, your kids went to school today and ours didn’t.

You see Mayor,

  • Your kids go to a school with playgrounds; many of our kids don’t (almost 100 CPS schools have no outdoor playground or have unsafe, outdated playgrounds). 
  • Your kids go to a school with a full-time nurse and after-school nurse; our kids are lucky if they get one nurse per three schools.
  • Your kids go to school with art, music, drama, sports, before school activities, after school activities; our kids don’t.
  • Your kids have a world class library at their school; many of our kids don’t have libraries (165 CPS Schools have no library).
  • Your kids have world language; our kids rarely do.
  • Your kids have Learning Consultants, Learning Specialists, Reading Specialists and Counselors; our kids don’t.
  • Your kids have a cafeteria; many of our kids eat lunch in their classrooms.
  • Your kids’ class size averages 23 students assisted by a teacher and an aide; our kids can have 32 + kids and no aide.

Our kids have learned a few things;

  • Our kids know how to make paper fans; your kids have air-conditioning.
  • Our kids' classroom can be a trailer; your kids enjoy ample space.
  • Our kids spend over 20% of the school year on taking tests; your kids spend time creatively learning.
  • Our kids have to take a test at four years old or win a magnet lottery to go to a good school; your kids did not.
  • Our kids are told by public officials that their teachers are greedy; your kids are taught by saints who don’t need money.
  • Our kids just need more time for better grades; your kids need art, music, world language, athletics, theater, etc.
  • Our kids’ bad grades are due to bad union teachers; your kids’ good grades are due to good union teachers.*

Mayor Emanuel, you always talk about bringing world-class education to Chicago, but third-world conditions of CPS won't achieve that end. Parents are incredulous when they receive memos claiming success of the Full School day after only three days of its implementation. Just because the CPS PR department is 600% larger than in previous years, doesn’t make the communications 600% more credible.

No matter how the result of this strike will be spun, blanched and sautéed by your PR department, just remember your kids went to school today, ours didn’t.

*Correction UofC lab school teachers are unionized and can bargain over class size.