Teachers’ strike opposed by 40.1%, poll suggests - FOX 32 News Chicago

Teachers’ strike opposed by 40.1%, poll suggests

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

More Chicago voters blame Mayor Emanuel than the teachers union for the school strike.

Emanuel's goal of judging Chicago Public School teachers -- for the first time ever – is based in part on the academic progress of the students in their classroom.

Union leaders claim on the one hand that many factors outside the classroom, including poverty and neighborhood violence, hurt student learning in ways no teacher can overcome. They also reject the standardized testing Mayor Emanuel wants to use as a way of measuring what kids have learned.

Our sources at the Board of Ed said that teacher accountability was still on the table as bargaining continued. Among the mayor's substantial concessions: his team has agreed to give poor-performing teachers up to 15 months to improve and to give qualified, laid-off teachers up to two years to find another CPS job.

In the first week of the walkout, Chicago voters sympathized with the strikers. In a survey by We Ask America about the union's decision to strike, 55.5% approve, 40.1% disapprove, 4.4% have no opinion.

Who's most to blame for the strike? 34.4% percent say Mayor Emanuel; the union, 28.8%; the mayor's school board, 18.8%; no opinion 18%.

Though they favor the union in general, the mayor wins when voters are asked about his number one goal of holding teachers accountable. Asked if CPS should judge teachers by their students' performance, YES said 48.3%; no, 41.7%; no opinion 10%.

While voters generally like teachers, more actually side with Mayor Emanuel on teacher accountability -- perhaps the most critical issue of the dispute.  That would suggest the mayor hasn't done a very good job of communicating.

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