If you were looking for balance in the mainstream press coverage of the Chicago teachers’ strike over the past few weeks, you looked in vain. It was kind of amazing how much virulent hostility the Chicago Teachers Union engendered by virtue of standing against the proposals of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Most of the union’s grievances focused on Emanuel’s proposal that 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation be based on student test performance.
For all of the societal complaints about the dynamic in public education of “teaching to the test,” much of the impetus of educational reform efforts promulgated by foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and by allied nonprofits is exactly that, with a few additional political agendas attached.
Don’t take this essay as a full-throated, knee-jerk defense of the Chicago Teachers Union. Anyone who