What we’ve learned about unions since the strike

With students back in Chicago’s schools, many people are looking for lessons from the teachers’ strike. Some, including the Chicago Tribune editorial page and wealthy venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, have already recommended that the city double-down on its attempts to weaken the Chicago Teachers Union with more school closings and charters. But as educators deeply invested in the success of Chicago’s schools, we come away with very different lessons. We argue that teacher unions have in the past proven to be an essential voice in improving public education; that the recent strike has preserved that voice for Chicago’s teachers; and that unions must continue to serve as the teachers’ voice into the 21st century.