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George H.W. Bush’s former education secretary rips Chicago teachers

Although the Chicago Teachers Union basked in national Support from its union bretheren Saturday during a rally and march on the West Side, its strike continued to draw heat from other quarters nationwide.

The man most remembered in Chicago for declaring Chicago Public Schools the worst in the nation this week labeled striking Chicago Teachers Union members a bunch of “self-serving public sector bullies.’’

William Bennett, who served as U.S. Secretary of Education under President George H. W. Bush, weighed in on Chicago’s first teacher walkout in 25 years as a contributor to CNN.

He wrote last week that “little has improved in Chicago’’ since his famous 1987 comments, which followed the longest teacher strike in the city’s history.

The current Chicago Public Schools’ dropout rate is “a national disgrace,’’ wrote Bennett, who described himself as a “conservative education reformer.’’

“Today, the 26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union are on strike because they can’t accept a 16 percent raise over four years, tougher testing and accountability standards, and non-automatic rehiring,” Bennett wrote.

“Once again, the Chicago Teachers Union is showing its true colors: self-serving public sector bullies more interested in their well-being than the well-being of students.”



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