Green Party's presidential candidate rallies striking Chicago teachers

September 13, 2012

The Chicago teachers' strike has come up in the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns this week.

And now, the Green Party’s candidate for president, Dr. Jill Stein has voiced her opinion on the issue. She swung through Chicago Thursday morning to support striking teachers.

Stein, a Chicago native who now lives in Massachusetts, grabbed a bullhorn to rally picketing teachers at Lane Technical College Prep High School, on the city’s North Side.

“America thanks you, CTU!” Stein said to the crowd as stood atop a stepstool. “You are the tipping point!”

Stein’s talk was part pep-rally for the Chicago Teachers Union, part campaign stump speech. She criticized a plan to base teacher evaluations, in part on standardized tests. She also also touched upon a range of other issues, from the bank bailouts to drilling for oil in the Arctic.

Stein says she came to Chicago because the strike is now a national issue.

“Chicago is a case study in … dysfunctional schools, in schools that have really been pushed to the breaking point,” she said.

President Barack Obama’s administration and Mitt Romney’s campaign have both weighed in on the strike this week, mostly through written statements and proxies.

Romney has said he’s “disappointed” Chicago teachers are striking, and he’s accused President Obama of backing the union. The White House, meanwhile, is not publicly taking sides in the labor dispute.