After one week of closed schools, protests in the streets and acrimonious sniping in the press, the Chicago teachers’ strike has finally come to an end. Worried that they were losing the support of Chicagoans, teachers finally opted to end their protest and accept a compromise contract. Although the union still needs to officially vote on the contract, it appears likely that it will be signed without any further disruptions in the school schedule. And as the New York Times notes, the measure is being hailed as a compromise that will satisfy both sides, at least for the time being:
The terms, which appeared to provide some victories for both sides, would give annual raises to teachers, lengthen the school day and allow teachers to be evaluated, in part, with student test scores. The school system would also aim to guide laid-off teachers with strong ratings into at least half of any new job openings in the schools.
Both sides may be claiming this as a victory, but the real winner here is President Obama. For the president, the end of this strike is better than even the discovery of yet another candid video of Romney at a fundraiser. President Obama needed a bitter strike dividing his former White House Chief of Staff and his biggest financial backers like a hole in the head.This conflict is not going anywhere, of course. As the Times notes, few of the underlying issues have been resolved, and we’re likely to see the relationship between teachers’ unions and democratic executives get worse as time goes on, but Obama will be happy to see this issue out of the headlines between now and November.