"We would like to get this done. I think everybody would like to get this done," a smiling Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said late on Wednesday.The corporate education policy industry has been heavily backing Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools management, running radio ads against the striking teachers and pressing hard in the media. But after one poll earlier in the week showed the teachers with support from a 47 percent plurality of Chicago voters, a new poll shows the teachers with 55 percent approval from "voting Chicago households" and 66 percent support from parents of public school students. The kicker is that the poll was done by We Ask America, a generally Republican pollster, on behalf of Capitol Fax.
She and Chicago School Board President David Vitale said they had made considerable progress toward a compromise.
Chicago's teachers are sacrificing their paychecks and taking a real beating from the pundits to fight this battle, but they should be strengthened by the knowledge that a strong majority of their students' parents understand that this is a fight for better schools. It's a good sign that Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis was smiling as she said a deal might be near—and the only deal the teachers take should be one that leaves not just Lewis but the teachers on the picket lines smiling.