Sunday, November 27, 2011

Angry Lewis spews insults, then blames EAG for backlash

EAG with more on Karen Lewis, the head of the Chicago Teachers Union, who is making every mistake in the book in dealing with her self-inflicted crisis:


Lewis issued an apology to Duncan within a day of the release of the video, and we assumed that was the end of the story. 
     But yesterday she called a press conference to blast EAG for being "neo-conservative, anti-labor and anti-public education bloggers," and suggested that we were simply trying to "distract" the public from the many good things she's done as union president.
     In other words, EAG is somehow responsible for the comments Lewis made in Seattle. After all, nobody would have noticed her snarky remarks if we hadn't sent the video around the nation in a mass email.
     So it's our fault, right?
     During her press conference, Lewis encouraged everyone to watch the entire 35-minute video of her Seattle speech, to gain a true appreciation of what she was trying to say. We accepted her challenge and, guess what? We came across even more insults that she leveled against Chicago education officials.
     She attacked Chicago school board member Henry Bienen because he was on the governing board of Bear Stearns "when it crashed." She attacked school board member Penny Pritzker, who owns Hyatt Hotels, because "she won't pay her cleaning ladies a living wage."
     "These are the people we're dealing with," she said of the board members, just weeks before she is scheduled to start negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with those same board members.
     Lewis even blasted Marilyn Stewart, her predecessor as president of CTU, calling her "completely inarticulate, the poster child for 'bad teacher,'" and pointing out that Stewart also has a speech impediment. Lewis went on to say that Stewart's personal limitations "worked against" the union. 
     It was bad enough a few weeks ago, when news broke that Lewis was trying to stop Chicago teachers from agreeing to work longer school days to help kids catch up. Now she's lashing out at the very people she should be working with to improve the plight of Chicago's students.
     As EAG CEO Kyle Olson said in a press release earlier today, "It is clear that Karen Lewis will personally attack anyone who disagrees with her or crosses her. 
     "At what point are her (fellow union) members going to hold her accountable, and determine that her nasty comments about various individuals reflect poorly on teachers and cripple the efforts of various people to improve Chicago's public schools?"


November 17, 2011


Angry Lewis spews insults, then blames EAG for backlash

Chicago union president displays disdain for education reformers


By Steve Gunn
EAG Communications


     CHICAGO - If well-known people want to avoid controversy, they should avoid making ugly comments about respected citizens and public officials, particularly in public.
     That's a lesson Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has yet to learn.
     Last week, while researching footage of Lewis for a documentary project, we at Education Action Group came across a YouTubevideo of Lewis giving the keynote address at the recent Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference in Seattle.
     During the course of her remarks, Lewis attempted to draw a few laughs by making fun of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan's speech impediment.

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