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Press Release



September 10, 2012
Contact: Alexandra Schroeck

Association of American Educators Weighs in on Chicago Teacher Strike

Alexandria, VA– After weeks of negotiations, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's team and the Chicago Teacher's Union (CTU) failed to agree on a contract. On Sunday night, CTU officially announced it was going to strike for the first time in a quarter century. So beginning today, instead of teaching, the union's 25,000 educators will be protesting throughout the city.

In light of the news, AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner issued the following statement:

"While both sides blame the other for failing to make concessions in this debate, this Chicago clash comes amid a highly volatile education policy environment nearly nationwide. Education reform ideas pushed by both political parties have put a strong focus on teacher performance and curbing union power like never before. In Chicago, despite months of claiming to embrace change, CTU is clearly not ready to come to terms with fiscal realities or adopt education reforms for the sake of students.

As Mayor Emanuel said in a recent interview, 'This is totally unnecessary, this is avoidable, and our kids do not deserve this.' Sadly, after years of over-asking and over-reaching, the city of Chicago is experiencing an unnecessary teacher strike that does nothing more than degrade the professionalism of teachers and adversely impact innocent students.

As the leader of the non-union educator movement, it is important to call for a positive and collaborative direction for American educators. Our founding members envisioned professionalism for America's most respected workforce, not conflict and strife. In the AAE Code of Ethics for Educators, we stress that the professional educator should accept that every child has a right to an uninterrupted education free from strikes or any other work stoppage tactics.

Moving forward, it is AAE's hope that the Chicago teacher strike can put a spotlight on all education stakeholders affected by this unfortunate turn of events. Teachers deserve truly professional representation, students deserve uninterrupted education, and taxpayers deserve a return on their investment via high-performing schools."

The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, non-union, professional educators organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda. AAE members are forward-thinking professionals who are committed to student-centered reform efforts including school/teacher choice, accountability and technology. AAE has members in all 50 states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $15 per month which includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional development resources as well as a host of other benefits. Visit for further information.


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