Chicago Teachers Strike Gets Dirty, Video of CTU President Karen Lewis Sparks Controversy

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis shoots from the hip often, and in this 2011 video that has been blazing on Twitter, Lewis commands the stage like a seasoned comedian, and scores the laughs to boot. “That was ugly wasn’t it?” she jokes during an unforgiving riff on President Obama’s former  secretary of education, who was also the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools. Duncan led charter schools and is credited with running schools with the checks and balances (test scores and teacher performance grades based on these scores) akin to a business model.

“We get Arne Duncan with a B.A. in sociology from Harvard … don’t be impressed, it’s hard to get in it’s not hard to stay. He was an athlete so he probably wasn’t self-medicating, I’m just saying … We get this guy who has the nerve to stand up and say education is the civil rights issue of our time. You know he went to private school, because if he’d gone to public school he would have had that lisp fixed.”

At the 2:49 mark, Lewis proclaims that she knows that “they’re going to send me to jail. That’s why I’m losing weight — so I can fit in a cell.”

Deputy Editor, Rolling Out

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