"The mayor and his hedge fund allies are going to replace our democratically controlled public schools with privately run charter schools. This will have disastrous results," union president Karen Lewis wrote in an opinion column in the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.
Disastrous indeed. Never mind that 12% of Chicago schools are already charter schools "run by philanthropists." Never mind that, on a national scale, charter schools' "academic performance record compared with community schools is mixed." Never mind that the charter schools have never been responsible for the prolonged absence of 350,000 students from the classroom (and have, in fact, done what they can to pick up the slack during the strike). If empty or malfunctioning schools are closed down and replaced with charter schools, the ground may very well open up and swallow Chicago whole. God knows, it's happened to less corrupt populations.