A Chicago Teacher Explains: Why I’m Striking

Chicago schoolteacher Xian Barrett says classroom conditions are unfair to teachers--and students.

By Julianne Hing Sep 10, 2012

Today is an historic day for Chicago’s public schoolteachers. The city’s teachers are striking today for the first time since 1987 after negotiations for a new contract for Chicago Public School’s 25,000 schoolteachers ended. The strike will affect hundreds of thousands of students and their family. It’s just the second week of school for the nation’s third largest school district. For all the city and union politics at play, the exact reasons that compelled teachers to strike can quickly get lost in the fray. Chicago schoolteacher Xian Barrett took to his [blog](http://chiteacherx.blogspot.com/2012/09/why-im-striking-jcb.html) to explain to CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard why he’s headed to the picket line today: > When you make me cram 30-50 kids in my classroom with no air conditioning so that temperatures hit 96 degrees, that hurts our kids. > > When you lock down our schools with metal detectors and arrest brothers for play fighting in the halls, that hurts our kids. > > When you take 18-25 days out of the school year for high stakes testing that is not even scientifically applicable for many of our students, that hurts our kids.