Chicago union president apologizes for Duncan joke

By the Associated Press | November 15, 2011 | 8:55 AM EST

CHICAGO (AP) — The president of the Chicago Teachers Union has apologized for making a joke about Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's lisp.

Karen Lewis said at a union event in Seattle last month that she could tell Duncan "went to a private school, because if he had gone to a public school, he would have had that lisp fixed." Her comments were caught on video.

The Chicago Tribune reports ( ) that Lewis said Monday she was wrong to make the joke and has called Duncan to apologize.

Duncan led Chicago's public school system before he became education secretary. He has clashed with teachers' unions in Chicago and Washington over the expansion of non-union charter schools and other issues.

Chicago Public Schools officials declined to comment.