Peter Cunningham is the executive director of Education Post, a Chicago-based non-profit communications organization. Previously he worked in the U.S. Department of Education.

‘Give Chicago teachers the facts’

A democratic organization is supposed to be governed by and for its members, yet a bargaining committee of the Chicago Teachers Union flatly rejected a proposed contract offer from the Chicago Public Schools without consulting their teachers. They didn’t even publicly share the details with their members until after the bargaining committee turned it down. Still there is confusion. For example, Ray Salazar, a well-known local teacher blogger, said on twitter that he had to piece together the facts based on tweets and press announcements rather than a comprehensive fact sheet. Many teachers are still in the dark about a deal that offers them net salary hikes, guarantees no economic teacher layoffs for the next four years, and limits charter school growth.