A Ruth Conniff essay on the Chicago teacher strike fails to ask the right question.
A funny thing happened by the end of Brill's book, though. The young teachers he so admired, deeming them "the best and the brightest," burned out and quit. By the last chapter he was admitting that unions--along with the decent pay and benefits they bargain for--might be essential after all.
There's more wrong with Chicago's public schools than union scale salaries.  Until the schools help those parents who aspire to develop responsible habits in their children, rather than enabling dysfunction and calling it inclusiveness, it doesn't matter who -- socially conscious Ivy Leaguers or union activists or Sister Mary Elephant -- is in front of the classroom.

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