Chicago's CORE Reformers Win

The Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) won Friday's election to lead the Chicago Teachers Union. The CTU's new President Karen Lewis garnered 60 percent of the vote against an incumbent whose caucus has controlled the third largest Teachers (AFT) local in the country for 37 of the last 40 years.

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In her victory speech (watch below), Lewis signaled a new era of union action to connect the fight for teacher rights with a community battle against education executives who continue to plunder the schools and blame educators every step of the way. Lewis and company take the reins in the middle of another round of “crisis budgeting,” in Chicago. The district wants to raise class sizes to 35 and lay off thousands of teachers. But CORE comes into the fight—which Lewis calls “the most important civil rights battle of our generation”—alongside a coalition of community groups who’ve mobilized since the caucus formed in 2008.