Remember Karen Lewis? She is the radical President of the Chicago Teachers Union, American Federation of Teachers Local 1, which made national headlines in 2012 for going on citywide strike. (Our thoughts on that action aren’t subtle: You don’t block the schoolhouse door to stop reform of one of America’s lowest-performing school districts.) Lewis is at it again though.
She was recently caught on camera by the Education Action Group at the Network for Public Education conference promoting teaching “social justice”—P.R.-speak for left-wing ideology—in math class. That’s not to say that ideological indoctrination should be part of any lesson plan, but seriously, math class? Two plus two equals four, no matter who is President. Here’s the clip:
Lewis’s emphasis on promoting left-wing ideology rather than addition and subtraction skills is misplaced. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Chicago Public Schools students perform worse than the average large city’s students in math in both fourth and eighth grades. Additionally, progress for Chicago eighth graders stagnated over the 2011-2013 interval despite continued advances for comparable cities.
Even worse, NAEP data show that performance gaps between African American and white students haven’t improved significantly in eighth-grade math over the past decade. Despite this crisis, the AFT’s woman in the Windy City emphasizes ideology over performance. If there were ever evidence that Randi Weingarten’s union is a radical force for ruin in American education, Lewis’s strange priorities are it.