A new television ad hitting the airwaves across the Chicagoland area this week stars Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he addresses the end of the city's historic teachers' strike.
"Like all Chicagoans, I’m glad the strike is over," Emanuel says in the ad, which was picked up by the Capitol Fax blog. "These were difficult negotiations, but here’s what we achieved."
The spot proceeds to name the longer school day and the revised teacher evaluation system as among the successes of the strike-ending tentative agreement reached between the Chicago Teachers Union and the city Tuesday.
But who is buying the airtime for the spot? According to CBS Chicago, advocacy group Education Reform Now picked up the $1 million tab for the ad buy.
Education Reform Now is no stranger to making big media buys pertaining to educational policy issues both in Chicago and in other parts of the country. Earlier this year, the group -- affiliated with the Washington, D.C.-based Democrats for Education Reform -- funded radio ads urging the city's teachers to avoid taking a strike vote, the Chicago Tribune reported. In July, the same group released another radio spot in favor of the mayor-heralded longer school day.
While some have criticized Democrats for Education Reform as "anti-union outsiders," their Illinois policy director took issue with that label in an interview with Catalyst Chicago.
According to the group's skeletal website, Education Reform Now is a "nonpartisan 501-c-3 organization that envisions an America in which every child, regardless of class or race, has the social and economic opportunities afforded by an excellent public education.
Hat tip to the Capitol Fax, which uploaded the television ad to YouTube.