We educators always prepare and plan ahead. We plan our student’s lessons, units, and curriculums weeks and months in advance. So of course we have been planning that if CPS continues to belittle, offend, and generally not put the best interests of students and teachers first then we will strike if necessary. We don’t want to strike so we have planned events along the way to avoid one, we have held marches, parent town hall meetings, written letters to newspapers, been on tv, and now we are holding informational pickets just in case CPS continues to not understand how to effectively educate children. CPS is pushing for merit pay, which has been proven ineffective in study after study. CPS is funding charter schools ahead of public schools, even though studies show charters do no better than public schools. CPS is trying to eliminate language in the new contract on class size and teacher seniority even though studies show class size and teacher experience are the two things that lead to dramatic student educational growth. We are teachers and we know these things, because we read and prepare. In another recent study it shows that teachers actually work on average 18 hours a week on our own unpaid time being prepared. So this week nearly every Track E school will have teachers outside picketing a school system that has no idea what it is doing, because it is a school system with a board of education who were never even educators in the first place. We teachers are prepared to do what is best for the students even if it means doing what is painful for us and them and that is going on strike.