If you’d like a little light reading you might want to take a look at a free flight of fancy from Christian Schneider at City Journal:
The strike could also damage support for the teachers by drawing a clear contrast between heavily unionized public schools and union-free charter schools. Currently, Chicago has nearly 100 charter schools, and 52,000 of the students in those schools will be attending classes on schedule and outperforming public school students academically. A study by the Illinois Policy Institute examined the Chicago district’s open-enrollment, non-selective high schools and found that nine of the ten top performers were charters—all while the average Chicago-area charter-school teacher earns about $49,000 per year. Charter schools, of course, are also anathema to the CTU—but by walking out on the city’s schoolchildren, the unionized teachers are only reminding parents that another option exists, one that works better at lower cost.
It’s possible, of course, that the CTU could prevail in this dispute and win valuable concessions from Emanuel. But it’s also possible—if the mayor remains strong—that Chicago’s teachers have given Illinois the shove it needs to start moving toward the Wisconsin model.
For good or ill I see no signs whatever of that happening. The political dynamics in Illinois could hardly be more different from those of Wisconsin if they were in different countries. Wisconsin is a bit like Illinois without Chicago. The Illinois legislature and governor’s mansion are dominated by Chicagoans. Wisconsin has nothing comparable to the Chicago-downstate interplay that’s central to Illinois politics. The Chicago metropolitan area has nearly two-thirds of the state’s population and produces 70% of the income. There really is no comparison.