WASHINGTON (AP) - The teachers' strike in Chicago offers a high-profile test for the nation's teacher unions, which have seen their political influence threatened as a growing reform movement seeks to expand charter schools, get private companies involved with failing schools and link teacher evaluations to student test scores.
The unions are taking a major stand on teacher evaluations, one of the key issues in Chicago, along with pay and job security. If teachers lose in Chicago, it could have ripple effects around the country.
Unions have seen massive teacher layoffs, increased class sizes and school districts unable or unwilling to boost salaries. Unions are also under attack from Republican governors like Scott Walker of Wisconsin. He signed a measure last year to curb collective bargaining rights and limit benefits for state workers.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)