Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis speaks out on fighting school closures and the school district's plan to remove the 30-student classroom size limit, saying:
"Class sizes of 30 are unacceptable in the lower grades, and they would be outside of our contract. Research has shown that children who have least do better with smaller class size and individual attention. However that doesn't suit the narrative of corporate school reform. Corporate school reform says, 'oh an effective teacher can teach 40, 50, 60, 70 kids. We've heard that from Bill Gates; we've heard that from Bloomberg – and of course, that's the mentality here. But the problem is that children that have such trauma in their lives – and this is going to be a huge trauma too to jerk them away from what they know.
"There are supposed to be hearings about each individual school and what the merits are – and the Board of Education is supposed to take those into consideration.
And for him (Rahm Emanuel) to say this is what he's going to do it just shows a depth of contempt for people, and especially for people who live in areas that do not have very wealthy and connected people with access. Am I surprised? No Because that's how this guy operates…"