chicago school strike*The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Chicago public-school teachers strike entered its second week after the teachers union declined Sunday to call off a week-long walkout that has catapulted the city into the national debate over teacher evaluations and job security.

Only hours earlier, Chicago Teachers Union officials had trumpeted new concessions they said they had extracted from Mayor Rahm Emanuel during talks to settle the strike that started last Monday and has canceled classes for 350,000 students in the nation’s third-largest district.

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*There have been encouraging reports that the Chicago school teachers strike may be ending as soon as this weekend and schools would reopen on Monday. But hold your horses because that just may not be the case.

The leader of the teachers union cautions against assuming the nearly week-long walkout is over until her members have seen the final offer in writing in a meeting scheduled for Sunday.

“They are suspicious, you have to understand,” Karen Lewis told reporters after a meeting with nearly 800 members of the union’s House of Delegates. “We have been a little burnt by the (school) board in the past.”

With no contract ready and the strike still formally in effect after days of anticipation over a deal to end it, a rally scheduled for Saturday was unlikely to be a victory celebration. Instead, it was shaping up as a show of force for organized labor after a string of setbacks, with participants coming from Wisconsin, Minnesota and perhaps as far away as Boston.

Bob Peterson, president of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, said he expects a couple hundred Wisconsin teachers to attend Saturday’s rally. Buses were being organized to take teachers from Madison and Milwaukee and others planned to drive separately or take the train, he said.

“People are going to go down and celebrate that the teachers union in Chicago stood up to the corporate reform agenda,” said Bob Peterson, president of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association. “I think they’ve come out with some real victories for the kids of Chicago.”

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