Under the guise of representing their entire teachers' union, four individuals made a trip this summer to Venezuela and returned extolling the virtues of socialism and that country's high literacy rates – and they're getting slammed for it.
A four-member delegation from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) traveled to Venezuela in July to show solidarity with socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro. According to a socialist news outlet in Minnesota, the goals of the trip included learning from Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution and exchanging views on effective education. Toward those goals, the self-proclaimed "social justice teacher delegation" reportedly met with leaders of Venezuela's Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Communes, and Ministry of Education.
Breitbart News reports that the CTU delegation consisted of a former Teamsters Union official and three "rank-and-file" CTU strike captains. All, says Breitbart, are "active supporters" of the #RedforEd movement – which it describes as "a well-funded and subversive leftist movement of teachers" in the U.S. The trip angered some union members, slamming it as a "propaganda tour."
Richard Holt of Project 21 Black Leadership Network tells OneNewsNow the CTU is trying to instill Marxism in the Chicago public school system. He claims some educators there want to "create a Soviet States of America."
"[They're] going when there's riots and where they're starving and people are eating their dog? It's really stupid – and a sad example of the state of educators in our country," he says of the delegation's visit.
But Holt believes teachers alone cannot be blamed for an education crisis that's taking place in the Windy City.
"… What's unique about the Chicago situation specifically – and why they're having an education crisis [there] – is the lack of parental involvement," he offers. "Eighty-six percent of students in Chicago are low income. Nine percent of the students are white. So you're dealing with a lot of foreign minorities who may not come from cultures of education."
Even with all of the turmoil, IllinoisPolicy.org reported in 2016 that Chicago teachers were the highest paid among the nation's 50 largest school districts.