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CTU President Karen Lewis on Paul Vallas selection for Lieutenant Governor

by CTU Communications  |  11/08/2013

Statement by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen GJ Lewis, NBCT on the selection of Paul Vallas as Governor Quinn’s running mate:

"The Chicago Teachers Union has supported Governor Quinn in the past because of his commitment to grassroots organizing, publicly funded public education, and collective bargaining. For these reasons we are concerned about his choice of Paul Vallas as a running mate. His choice takes us in the wrong direction for public education in Chicago and Illinois.

"While he was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, Vallas pioneered the corporate driven education model in our city. His policies continue to devastate our school system, which recently suffered 50 school closures, deep and painful school budget cuts, and the loss of thousands of experienced school staff.

"Vallas ushered in an era of massive expansion of standardized testing; the privatization of public schools through outsourcing and charter school expansion; and the devastating policy of school turnarounds, which resulted in the firing of scores of black and veteran teachers.

"In a 2010 interview with John Merrow on PBS, Paul Vallas appallingly stated that he did not see any downside to charter school proliferation, believed that there was not enough faculty turnover in education, and did not see a need for collective bargaining.

"Just this week in Bridgeport, CT, the school board election results were viewed as a referendum on Vallas’ tenure as an unaccredited district administrator.

"In consideration of this list of concerns, we hope that Vallas will move to support proposals for an elected representative school board in Chicago, and also denounce privatization schemes that have done nothing to increase academic achievement or address the needs of students who need the most in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New Orleans."

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The Chicago Teachers Union represents 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in the Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the more than 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third largest teachers local in the United States and the largest local union in Illinois.

Chicago Teachers Union