Strong Support For Chicago Teachers, Especially Among Chicago Parents

Encouraging news for Chicago’s teachers and students (remember, teachers’ working conditions are children’s learning conditions; boldface mine):

Conducted by We Ask America, the poll of 1,344 voting Chicago households asked, “In general, do you approve or disapprove of the Chicago Teachers Union’s decision to go on strike?” 55.5 percent said they approved and 40 percent disapproved. Another 4 percent had no opinion. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent,” according to Rich Miller, the report’s publisher.

Miller also noted:

(CTU) support jumped to 66 percent among parents of public school children. Less than a third of those parents, 31 percent, disapproved of the strike, according to the poll. Among people with no school-age children, 51 percent approved of the job action, while 44 percent disapproved.

A very strong 63 percent of African-Americans polled approved of the strike, while 65 percent of Latinos expressed approval. Women and men almost equally approved of the strike – 55 percent of women and 56 percent of men.

Asked who they thought was “most to blame” for the strike, just over 34 percent pointed their finger at Mayor Rahm Emanuel, while 29 percent blamed the Chicago Teachers Union and 19 percent blamed the school board. In other words, a solid majority blames management, one way or the other.

But almost a majority, 48 percent, of Latinos blamed Mayor Emanuel, as did 33 percent of African-Americans, 42 percent of parents of public school children and 40 percent of parents of school-age children. All age brackets except those aged 55-64 blamed Emanuel the most, with 50 percent of 18-24 year olds pointing their finger at hizzoner, as well as 41 percent of 35-44 year olds.

I find it very interesting that a lot of people without kids just don’t care about the educational system, though I’m not surprised. When I lived in Port Jefferson Station, NY (Long Island), there was a referendum to spend more on schools that was sparsely attended, and it narrowly went down to defeat. I remember noting that I was possibly the youngest person voting (although I had no kids). The board proposed a virtually similar proposal, and this time alerted parents. This time, turnout was fifty percent higher, I was definitely not the youngest, and the proposal passed by about 2:1.

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