clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chicago's aggressive new union leader introduces herself

State of the CTU Address-Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis from Kenzo Shibata on Vimeo.

If anyone wondered what the union backlash to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s leadership would be like, watch this state of the union address by Chicago’s newly elected teachers union president.

Former high school chemistry teacher Karen Lewis pulled no punches in an address she gave on July 1, in which she laid out her plans for an adversarial relationship with Chicago school CEO Ron Huberman. After slamming the city’s school board for planned budget cuts and layoffs, Lewis addressed Huberman directly. “You’ve met your match,” she said.

Part of the American Federation of Teachers, Chicago’s union unseated former president Marilyn Stewart last month and voted in Lewis, who promised to take a harder line against Huberman.

Led by Weingarten, the national branch of the union has taken a softer approach to its relationship with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. And in New York, we’ve yet to hear rhetoric like Lewis’s from union president Michael Mulgrew.

The COVID-19 outbreak is changing our daily reality

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to providing the information families and educators need, but this kind of work isn't possible without your help.

Sign up for the newsletter Chalkbeat New York

Sign up for our newsletter.