Accountability Charter Schools Chicago Education Reform Resistance Students Teachers Unions

Sarah Karp: Karen Lewis, A Fearless Warrior for Children and Teachers

Interesting essay samples and examples on:

By now, you have read many tributes to Karen Lewis. She was an icon who fought the powerful. Teachers and parents trusted her because they knew she would never sell them out.

This is a beautiful tribute to Karen by Sarah Karp, one of Chicago’s most experienced education journalists. It captures Karen’s brashness, her fearlessness, her passion.

Some of her colorful quotes:

Lewis’ message resonated because she was willing to stand up for teachers at a time when teachers were under attack and somewhat downtrodden. She unapologetically labeled people as villains and enemies if she thought they disrespected public school teachers and public education.

Chief among them was former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Early on in her tenure as union president, she emerged from a meeting with Emanuel and revealed he had sworn at her. This came after she called the longer school day he was pushing a “babysitting” initiative.

“He jumped out of his chair and said, F-you Lewis,” she recalled. “And I jumped out of my chair and said, who the F do you think you are talking to? I don’t work for you.”

She called Rahm “the murder mayor.”

“Look at the murder rate in this city. He’s murdering schools. He’s murdering jobs. He’s murdering housing. I don’t know what else to call him. He’s the murder mayor,” she said during the school closing fight.

And she once told a group of community and business leaders that then-Gov. Bruce Rauner, who for years held up the passage of a state budget until his agenda was approved, was a new “ISIS recruit … because the things he’s doing look like acts of terror on poor and working-class people,” she said.

Related posts

John Thompson: What’s the Matter with Deborah Gist’s Tulsa?


Breaking News: #RedForEd Beats Koch Brothers in Arizona, Voucher Referendum Moves Forward!


William Milliken: Once Upon a Time, There Were Moderate Republicans


Indiana: Teen Registers a Fake School Corporation with State Education Department


Teacher Activism: The One, the Only, the Great Karen Lewis


Oklahoma: The Billionaire Who Bought the University of Tulsa and Stifled the Liberal Arts


Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat: Betsy DeVos Uses Disappointing NAEP Scores to Call for More Charters and Vouchers


Little Rock: The Waltons Pull a Fast One and Buy Another School for Conversion to Charter


Mercedes Schneider: A Word about Teacher Appreciation Week: the Words That Really Count


Leave a Comment