The Deep Logic of the Chicago Teachers Strike or, The Truth Behind Teachers Unions


For the past week, public school teachers in Chicago, one of the nation's largest school districts, were on strike. Despite a proposed contract that would have given an average 16 percent raise over four years, the teachers rejected granting principals more hiring autonomy and weighing student performance more heavily in evaluations. As news hits that a new deal is being struck, it's worth taking a look at the deeper dynamics of K-12 public education, a system whose weakest participants—students—are the very people the system is supposed to serve.

Watch "The Machine," a co-production of the Moving Picture Institute and Reason TV, which was originally released on September 4, 2012.

Here's the original writeup:

America's public education system is failing. We're spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children. 

That's because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn't designed to produce better schools. It's designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers' unions have been among our nation's largest political donors. As Reason Foundation's Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alonespent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle. As the country's largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers' wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians. 

Our kids deserve better.

"The Machine" is 4:17 minutes.

Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Visit www.MovingPictureInstitute.org to learn more.