CHICAGO – Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis will say just about anything in her never-ending fight for her union’s self interests.
Her latest big-mouth blunder came this week when she tried to scare the public into believing that some of the city’s charter schools could soon be teaching creationism.
Lewis was referring to hypothetical charter schools that could get rejected by their local school districts, but gain approval upon appeal to the Illinois Charter School Commission. Lewis contends schools in that situation would collect funding from the local school district, but would have “absolutely no oversight” and “could teach whatever they want,” DNAinfo.com reports.
“They could teach creationism,” Lewis said.
Jeanne Nowaczewski, executive director of the charter school commission, essentially told the news site that Lewis is full of hot air.
“Whoever approves the school becomes the authorizer,” and the charter school commission would be responsible for oversight of the school. Nowaczewski said her commission uses an “extremely rigorous” accountability system, and that it’s illegal for government-funded schools in Illinois to teach creationism, DNAinfo.com reports.
Highly charged propaganda is nothing new for Karen Lewis or the CTU. Appealing to the fears and emotions of parents is one of the union’s most effective political weapons. The problem is much of what the union says is either completely false, or so skewed from the truth it’s unbelievable.
What should be clear to most Chicago residents by now are the union’s true motivations, which Lewis eventually backed into during her conversation with DNAinfo.
Seven new charter schools approved by Chicago Public Schools last week are “just gonna drain resources from the system,” Lewis said.
“It’s a huge problem, and every school board association across the state is complaining about it,” she said.
Charters are a huge problem for school districts and teachers unions, but they’re a blessing for parents who have been forced to send their children to dismal public schools.
They’re a problem for districts because competition from charter schools mean public school teachers and administrators will have to work extra hard to keep up, or risk losing students and employment positions.
Charters are a problem for teachers unions because they’re non-unionized, and ultimately decrease demand for CTU members.
Lewis’ lies are only the latest illustration that the CTU isn’t interested in talking straight with the public, and will say whatever is necessary to get its way.
Lewis told DNAinfo the union will continue to work in support of two bills in the General Assembly that would eliminate the state charter board, and along with it the hopes of families looking for better education options than the state’s failing public schools.