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Teachers rally again in downtown Chicago Thursday

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Thousands of public school teachers marched through downtown Chicago on the fourth day of a strike.

The crowd on Thursday afternoon included marching bands and protesters carrying balloons and Chicago flags. It was the feel of a high school pep rally with horns blaring and the faithful chanting as they marched and cheered with team spirit.

Protesters included high school history teacher Anthony Smith. He says the most important issue to him is fairness and says he wants his school to receive the same resources as charter schools.

The marchers were making their way down Chicago's Michigan Avenue. Chicago Teachers Union members went on strike Monday, leaving about 350,000 students out of classes.The marchers formed a sea of red carrying posters and banners and chanting against Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The use of standardized test scores to evaluate teachers has been one of the main points of contention during the strike, but with word of progress came a rising sense of hope for the teachers.

"There are smiles now because we're jubilant about getting back in our classrooms. We've fought a hard fight to get what's right for our kids and we're excited about that," said Spencer Technology Academy teacher, Linda Edgeson.

But, with more negotiations on tap after the march, all teachers could do was hope that early reports came to fruition.

"Well, I hope there is good news, and we'd all like to get back to the classroom," says Danny Weber from Alfred Nobel school. "I'm glad we're gonna work this out the right way."

The solidarity was evident at the end of the march where speakers rallied the crowd with strong rhetoric.

On Thursday union President Karen Lewis said she was optimistic but both sides were still "hammering things out." The union said classes would not resume Friday and it planned a labor rally for Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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