Chicago teachers’ strike

Chicago teachers are on strike, even though they are among the highest paid in the country and they were offered a 16% raise.  But they don’t want to be held accountable for their effectiveness:

For the first time in a quarter century, Chicago teachers walked out of the classroom Monday, taking a bitter contract dispute over evaluations and job security to the streets of the nation’s third-largest city — and to a national audience — less than a week after most schools opened for fall.

The walkout forced hundreds of thousands of parents to scramble for a place to send idle children and created an unwelcome political distraction for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In a year when labor unions have been losing ground nationwide, the implications were sure to extend far beyond Chicago, particularly for districts engaged in similar debates.

The two sides resumed negotiations Monday but failed to reach a settlement, meaning the strike will extend into at least a second day.

Chicago School Board President David Vitale said board and union negotiators did not even get around to bargaining on the two biggest issues, performance evaluations or recall rights for laid-off teachers. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said that was because the district did not change its proposals.

“This is a long-term battle that everyone’s going to watch,” said Eric Hanuskek, a senior fellow in education at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. “Other teachers unions in the United States are wondering if they should follow suit.”

The union had vowed to strike Monday if there was no agreement on a new contract, even though the district had offered a 16 percent raise over four years and the two sides had essentially agreed on a longer school day. With an average annual salary of $76,000, Chicago teachers are among the highest-paid in the nation, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality.

But negotiators were still divided on job security measures and a system for evaluating teachers that hinged in part on students’ standardized test scores.

via The Associated Press: Chicago teachers strike in bitter contract dispute.

What is at stake, if other teachers’ unions follow suit, is educational reform.  The politics here are interesting:  Unions and teachers’ unions in particular are key activists in the Democratic party.  And yet, these teachers have risen up against educational reforms pushed by Democrats.  The mayor of Chicago, who has taken on these teachers, is Rahm Emanuel, formerly President Obama’s chief of staff and a key fundraiser in his re-election campaign.  Could improving education, even against the opposition of incompetent teachers and their enablers, become a bi-partisan cause?  Or will political pressure from the unions derail educational reform?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    The kids would actually be better off at home, than to be subject to the so-called education they receive by union leftist revisionist “teachers”.

    The unions have no business at all controlling education and it is (primarily) why this country is going down the tubes.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    The kids would actually be better off at home, than to be subject to the so-called education they receive by union leftist revisionist “teachers”.

    The unions have no business at all controlling education and it is (primarily) why this country is going down the tubes.

  • Dan Kempin

    “The walkout . . . created an unwelcome political distraction for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.”

    Oh, yes. I’m sure he is worried about his chances in the next election. It’s not like he was a white house chief of staff who once said that this sort of “crisis” is politically useful. Oh, wait. He was.

  • Dan Kempin

    “The walkout . . . created an unwelcome political distraction for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.”

    Oh, yes. I’m sure he is worried about his chances in the next election. It’s not like he was a white house chief of staff who once said that this sort of “crisis” is politically useful. Oh, wait. He was.

  • Michael B.

    I understand the teacher’s problems with performance evaluations. If the US government were to repeal laws making education compulsory, we’d probably have a substantial portion of students drop out. At the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got your tiger moms. And you put all these students in a bag and teachers have basically got their “customers”. Doing meaningful comparisons among students is very difficult. Just imagine I told you to go in and teach a bunch of people who had no interest in learning.

  • Michael B.

    I understand the teacher’s problems with performance evaluations. If the US government were to repeal laws making education compulsory, we’d probably have a substantial portion of students drop out. At the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got your tiger moms. And you put all these students in a bag and teachers have basically got their “customers”. Doing meaningful comparisons among students is very difficult. Just imagine I told you to go in and teach a bunch of people who had no interest in learning.

  • Med Student

    I have far too many relatives who work and have worked as teachers and would love to make even half what those teachers make to have much sympathy for the CPS teachers. Especially since the performance measures were something negotiated just last year, if I’m remembering what I’ve read correctly. At the very least, it should be obvious to everything that this strike is not “for the children;” it’s for the teachers.

  • Med Student

    I have far too many relatives who work and have worked as teachers and would love to make even half what those teachers make to have much sympathy for the CPS teachers. Especially since the performance measures were something negotiated just last year, if I’m remembering what I’ve read correctly. At the very least, it should be obvious to everything that this strike is not “for the children;” it’s for the teachers.

  • helen

    Michael B @ 3
    Just imagine I told you to go in and teach a bunch of people who had no interest in learning.

    Been there. Once in a public school where, as a new teacher, I got the dregs and repeaters and my supervisor actually said, “I don’t expect you to teach that class anything; I’ll be happy if you can keep them in the room.
    (I did. I had 3-4 poor souls in the wrong place because of their schedules so I put them in the front row and said, I’m going to teach the math these want and need. The rest of you can come along if you want. Some did, some didn’t.)
    The other situation was in an LCMS day school, where the church was too dependent on the tuition of non members to expel trouble makers. I was called as a substitute and quit after three weeks although I was offered the position for the year.
    In the first case, my immediate supervisors were willing to help with the discipline problems; in the second, nothing was going to happen and I was honestly afraid I’d find my tires slashed one day.

    No amount of money would persuade me to teach in Chicago!

  • helen

    Michael B @ 3
    Just imagine I told you to go in and teach a bunch of people who had no interest in learning.

    Been there. Once in a public school where, as a new teacher, I got the dregs and repeaters and my supervisor actually said, “I don’t expect you to teach that class anything; I’ll be happy if you can keep them in the room.
    (I did. I had 3-4 poor souls in the wrong place because of their schedules so I put them in the front row and said, I’m going to teach the math these want and need. The rest of you can come along if you want. Some did, some didn’t.)
    The other situation was in an LCMS day school, where the church was too dependent on the tuition of non members to expel trouble makers. I was called as a substitute and quit after three weeks although I was offered the position for the year.
    In the first case, my immediate supervisors were willing to help with the discipline problems; in the second, nothing was going to happen and I was honestly afraid I’d find my tires slashed one day.

    No amount of money would persuade me to teach in Chicago!

  • Jon

    “Chicago”
    “Teachers”
    “Strike”

    Hmm, that sounds racist!

  • Jon

    “Chicago”
    “Teachers”
    “Strike”

    Hmm, that sounds racist!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I’m in two minds about this (without having looked at all the specifics, let me add). As a son of a teacher, who turned Didactics lecturer, and eventually vice-rector of a college, I’m well aware of the difficulties people face in the teaching profession (as per Helen’s experience).

    However, last year we had a teacher’s strike here in Saskatchewan, and I spent a lot of time reflecting on the matter. All professions have their own difficulties. Also, using the SK example, I earn a little more than most teachers. But, I do not get sick leave (I have to use overtime for that), I do not get pension, other than a small matching contribution to RRSP (Canada’s version of the 401K), I do not have “professional development days”, and I get 20 days of leave per annum. Teachers say that they do not get paid overtime – neither do I. Earlier this year, my previous company were facing financial obstacles – we got called in, told that we have all been terminated with immediate effect, that our benefits have also been terminated with immediate effect, and we got paid a severance that was equivalent to 3 months’ salary, which, of course, was taxable. By God’s grace I was contacted by my present company within hours, and a contract was signed in less than a week.

    Teachers, however, do not face these risks in their careers. Moreover, their job security is less dependent on the economic cycle, than most. Furthermore, the very idea of striking in the midst of economically uncertain times strikes me as quite disconnected to reality.

    Added to this though, is the general insanity of Education boards / departments. That is a problem. But it has always been one, and it comes with the territory.

    You should know the risks and rewards of any profession you enter in. This is not a perfect world.

    So, all that being said, I hope that saner heads prevail. After all, it is the children (and their parents) that suffer most in such a stand-off. With the strike last year, I got completely miffed, and phoned in to the CBC. My comment was that I grew up in what could be considered the Third World, were children were used as pawns in political struggles, and a good education was not available for all. I do not appreciate it if parties use my children as pawns in their games. It is not acceptable.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I’m in two minds about this (without having looked at all the specifics, let me add). As a son of a teacher, who turned Didactics lecturer, and eventually vice-rector of a college, I’m well aware of the difficulties people face in the teaching profession (as per Helen’s experience).

    However, last year we had a teacher’s strike here in Saskatchewan, and I spent a lot of time reflecting on the matter. All professions have their own difficulties. Also, using the SK example, I earn a little more than most teachers. But, I do not get sick leave (I have to use overtime for that), I do not get pension, other than a small matching contribution to RRSP (Canada’s version of the 401K), I do not have “professional development days”, and I get 20 days of leave per annum. Teachers say that they do not get paid overtime – neither do I. Earlier this year, my previous company were facing financial obstacles – we got called in, told that we have all been terminated with immediate effect, that our benefits have also been terminated with immediate effect, and we got paid a severance that was equivalent to 3 months’ salary, which, of course, was taxable. By God’s grace I was contacted by my present company within hours, and a contract was signed in less than a week.

    Teachers, however, do not face these risks in their careers. Moreover, their job security is less dependent on the economic cycle, than most. Furthermore, the very idea of striking in the midst of economically uncertain times strikes me as quite disconnected to reality.

    Added to this though, is the general insanity of Education boards / departments. That is a problem. But it has always been one, and it comes with the territory.

    You should know the risks and rewards of any profession you enter in. This is not a perfect world.

    So, all that being said, I hope that saner heads prevail. After all, it is the children (and their parents) that suffer most in such a stand-off. With the strike last year, I got completely miffed, and phoned in to the CBC. My comment was that I grew up in what could be considered the Third World, were children were used as pawns in political struggles, and a good education was not available for all. I do not appreciate it if parties use my children as pawns in their games. It is not acceptable.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    All I have to say, “They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*. “

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    All I have to say, “They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*. “

  • helen

    If the private sector puts you on an assembly line and says, “We make cars here.” you can expect the the part you are supposed to add into the whole will fit in its proper place. If many of the parts are bent, wrong size or otherwise won’t work, your job won’t last long, but neither will the car company.

    But in the interests of “equality” we put all students (including what used to be called “special education” students) in the same class and expect to make “top 10%” out of all of them! In the process, we hold the best students back, and the worst get no better.

    The “differently abled” often are a disruption and learn less than they did when they had specialized classes and teachers. That is not their fault. That is the fault of the bleeding hearts which closed their classes to “mainstream” them.

    Some students are not college material. Other countries recognize this, test them out early and send them to trade schools and apprenticeships. But to do that, you have to have industry for them to graduate into (and apprenticeships are often run by the unions so many of you seem to despise!)

  • helen

    If the private sector puts you on an assembly line and says, “We make cars here.” you can expect the the part you are supposed to add into the whole will fit in its proper place. If many of the parts are bent, wrong size or otherwise won’t work, your job won’t last long, but neither will the car company.

    But in the interests of “equality” we put all students (including what used to be called “special education” students) in the same class and expect to make “top 10%” out of all of them! In the process, we hold the best students back, and the worst get no better.

    The “differently abled” often are a disruption and learn less than they did when they had specialized classes and teachers. That is not their fault. That is the fault of the bleeding hearts which closed their classes to “mainstream” them.

    Some students are not college material. Other countries recognize this, test them out early and send them to trade schools and apprenticeships. But to do that, you have to have industry for them to graduate into (and apprenticeships are often run by the unions so many of you seem to despise!)

  • Basset Horn

    The problem I have with the evaluations as currently proposed is they are too dependent on something that I as teacher have no control over, namely the test scores. Also in my subject area (band) I am not teaching the students math, reading or writing per say and yet my continued employment is going to be determined by how a bunch of unmotivated kids who don’t really give a d— about learning do on a standardized test on a subject matter that I am NOT teaching. Don’t get me wrong the testing serves a purpose but using it for evaluation of teachers or the way it is being used in NCLB is an abuse of the test. I am not a CPS teacher but I do not like test scores being used as a primary evaluating tool for performance.

  • Basset Horn

    The problem I have with the evaluations as currently proposed is they are too dependent on something that I as teacher have no control over, namely the test scores. Also in my subject area (band) I am not teaching the students math, reading or writing per say and yet my continued employment is going to be determined by how a bunch of unmotivated kids who don’t really give a d— about learning do on a standardized test on a subject matter that I am NOT teaching. Don’t get me wrong the testing serves a purpose but using it for evaluation of teachers or the way it is being used in NCLB is an abuse of the test. I am not a CPS teacher but I do not like test scores being used as a primary evaluating tool for performance.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    We need a little balance on this one.

    The problem is not that teachers don’t want to be held accountable. The problem is that teachers are held accountable for things they cannot control.

    I am a teacher and see this firsthand. More than once I have had students who put absolutely no effort into their classes. I have bent over backwards more than once for these students, making as many accommodations as possible to facilitate learning for these students. Yet these students just don’t want to learn, no matter what sort of incentives or consequences are thrown their way.

    I have called home, I have sent letters, all of which explain the situation. And THEN many of these parents have the gall to come back to the school and complain that I’m not doing enough for the kids!!! Never does it seem to cross their minds that the problem lies with the STUDENT failing to do his/her part; somehow it’s always the teacher’s fault. Kid doesn’t do his homework, it’s the teacher’s fault; kid doesn’t study, it’s the teacher’s fault; kid sits there in class and disrupts the room despite multiple warnings and interventions, and it’s the teacher’s fault.

    And WE-not the student or the parents-are the one to blame for it.

    So while I understand that teacher unions aren’t the best of organizations, let’s keep things in perspective here with regard to how success comes about in the classroom.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    We need a little balance on this one.

    The problem is not that teachers don’t want to be held accountable. The problem is that teachers are held accountable for things they cannot control.

    I am a teacher and see this firsthand. More than once I have had students who put absolutely no effort into their classes. I have bent over backwards more than once for these students, making as many accommodations as possible to facilitate learning for these students. Yet these students just don’t want to learn, no matter what sort of incentives or consequences are thrown their way.

    I have called home, I have sent letters, all of which explain the situation. And THEN many of these parents have the gall to come back to the school and complain that I’m not doing enough for the kids!!! Never does it seem to cross their minds that the problem lies with the STUDENT failing to do his/her part; somehow it’s always the teacher’s fault. Kid doesn’t do his homework, it’s the teacher’s fault; kid doesn’t study, it’s the teacher’s fault; kid sits there in class and disrupts the room despite multiple warnings and interventions, and it’s the teacher’s fault.

    And WE-not the student or the parents-are the one to blame for it.

    So while I understand that teacher unions aren’t the best of organizations, let’s keep things in perspective here with regard to how success comes about in the classroom.

  • DonS

    As I mentioned on a previous thread, the timing of this strike is strange, seemingly very detrimental to Democratic electoral prospects. Why would the union strike two months before a presidential election, in Chicago, Obama’s home town, which is governed by his former chief of staff? It makes not political sense at all, unless they think the president will swoop in and “settle” the strike to make political points.

    It does point out the selfishness and greed of public employee unions. Hopefully, people will start to take notice, and begin to question why civil servants should be unionized at all. These unions should be de-certified, and civil service protection laws should once again be the way that these employees are protected from political leaders. The taxpayer needs to have the last word in managing his/her civil servants, and should certainly be able to evaluate and reward their performance using a merit-based system.

  • DonS

    As I mentioned on a previous thread, the timing of this strike is strange, seemingly very detrimental to Democratic electoral prospects. Why would the union strike two months before a presidential election, in Chicago, Obama’s home town, which is governed by his former chief of staff? It makes not political sense at all, unless they think the president will swoop in and “settle” the strike to make political points.

    It does point out the selfishness and greed of public employee unions. Hopefully, people will start to take notice, and begin to question why civil servants should be unionized at all. These unions should be de-certified, and civil service protection laws should once again be the way that these employees are protected from political leaders. The taxpayer needs to have the last word in managing his/her civil servants, and should certainly be able to evaluate and reward their performance using a merit-based system.

  • Basset Horn

    #11 That is what I was trying to say. You said it a lot better.

  • Basset Horn

    #11 That is what I was trying to say. You said it a lot better.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    J Dean,

    I’m not sure of the Chicago situation, but in general, what is needed is documentation – a teacher should keep record of efforts, disciplinary actions etc. If the Board wants to make teachers liable for poor performances, in spite of the record showing what was done and when, then the teachers do have a point.

    As I’m not aware of the whole saga – was there a “work to rule” action or something like that prior to the strike?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    J Dean,

    I’m not sure of the Chicago situation, but in general, what is needed is documentation – a teacher should keep record of efforts, disciplinary actions etc. If the Board wants to make teachers liable for poor performances, in spite of the record showing what was done and when, then the teachers do have a point.

    As I’m not aware of the whole saga – was there a “work to rule” action or something like that prior to the strike?

  • Med Student

    @5
    I understand what you’re getting at. I spent a week once in a 2nd grade classroom of a St. Louis public school and definitely noticed some serious discipline issues, but only from a few kids. One of the days I was there, the teacher said something along the lines of “we’re actually getting things done today” and an astute little girl replied “that’s because all the bad kids are gone,” which was true – they were either out sick or suspended. Classrooms are often held hostage by the kids who won’t behave and thus disrupt the learning of everyone else. I do feel some sympathy for teachers who feel that test scores are an unfair evaluation because of this very reason. At the same time, they’ve got to be held accountable somehow. Even discipline issues and the fact that not all kids are geniuses doesn’t excuse only 15% achieving 4th grade reading levels in 4th grade!

  • Med Student

    @5
    I understand what you’re getting at. I spent a week once in a 2nd grade classroom of a St. Louis public school and definitely noticed some serious discipline issues, but only from a few kids. One of the days I was there, the teacher said something along the lines of “we’re actually getting things done today” and an astute little girl replied “that’s because all the bad kids are gone,” which was true – they were either out sick or suspended. Classrooms are often held hostage by the kids who won’t behave and thus disrupt the learning of everyone else. I do feel some sympathy for teachers who feel that test scores are an unfair evaluation because of this very reason. At the same time, they’ve got to be held accountable somehow. Even discipline issues and the fact that not all kids are geniuses doesn’t excuse only 15% achieving 4th grade reading levels in 4th grade!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    KK @14,
    As a general rule, there is a procedure for documentation that is necessary for teachers to follow, but unfortunately even this is not enough. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen administrators and school boards cow-tow to parents and students even when it is proven they are in the wrong.

    One of these days I’ll have to give you some case-in-points.

    While I don’t know everything about the Chicago strike, I can say that student accountability is often overlooked in these “educational crisis” ideas.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    KK @14,
    As a general rule, there is a procedure for documentation that is necessary for teachers to follow, but unfortunately even this is not enough. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen administrators and school boards cow-tow to parents and students even when it is proven they are in the wrong.

    One of these days I’ll have to give you some case-in-points.

    While I don’t know everything about the Chicago strike, I can say that student accountability is often overlooked in these “educational crisis” ideas.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Whatever those teachers are getting paid, they deserve more.

    Not because they are great teachers, although they may be, but because they serve as our scapegoats.

    It is not true that all kids can learn the curriculum or can even be mainstreamed into regular classrooms. We have academic standards and testing that reveal the distribution of what kids can do and cannot do. Yet we still insist that we are going to close the gaps. No, we aren’t. Eventually it will become so undeniable that we will have to stop denying it. We cannot raise standards. As we get more diverse, the education offered to students will have to diversify as well. I am not sure what Michael B. means by a lot of drop outs. Only about 60% of students are graduating now. We are basically forsaking and abandoning the most vulnerable students. We need to educate and train students to do what they can do and stop trying to teach them stuff they cannot learn. They and we would be much better off.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Whatever those teachers are getting paid, they deserve more.

    Not because they are great teachers, although they may be, but because they serve as our scapegoats.

    It is not true that all kids can learn the curriculum or can even be mainstreamed into regular classrooms. We have academic standards and testing that reveal the distribution of what kids can do and cannot do. Yet we still insist that we are going to close the gaps. No, we aren’t. Eventually it will become so undeniable that we will have to stop denying it. We cannot raise standards. As we get more diverse, the education offered to students will have to diversify as well. I am not sure what Michael B. means by a lot of drop outs. Only about 60% of students are graduating now. We are basically forsaking and abandoning the most vulnerable students. We need to educate and train students to do what they can do and stop trying to teach them stuff they cannot learn. They and we would be much better off.

  • Joe

    I think we are all making an assumption with regard to what the teacher evaluations look like. I read several articles about this and the most detailed description I have seen so far is that the teacher evaluation will be based, IN PART, on the standardized test scores of the students. I’d like to actually see what the evaluations would look like because I can see how this might be an appropriate or inappropriate measure depending on how much weight it is given.

    That said, the other facts seem decidedly against the teachers: highest average salary of all teachers in the US (76,000 in Chicago, 55,000 nationally) and the shortest work day of any teachers in the nation. The City/ School District is already maxed out on its property tax cap and the offer they rejected included a 16% raise.

  • Joe

    I think we are all making an assumption with regard to what the teacher evaluations look like. I read several articles about this and the most detailed description I have seen so far is that the teacher evaluation will be based, IN PART, on the standardized test scores of the students. I’d like to actually see what the evaluations would look like because I can see how this might be an appropriate or inappropriate measure depending on how much weight it is given.

    That said, the other facts seem decidedly against the teachers: highest average salary of all teachers in the US (76,000 in Chicago, 55,000 nationally) and the shortest work day of any teachers in the nation. The City/ School District is already maxed out on its property tax cap and the offer they rejected included a 16% raise.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Just note – 16% over 4 years, not at once.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Just note – 16% over 4 years, not at once.

  • helen

    Klasie @ 19
    Just note – 16% over 4 years, not at once.
    It needed repeating; you got there first, Klasie. :)

    Still, 4% is more than I have gotten in total over the last 4 years of alternate “freezes” and meagre “merit raises”. [I told my supervisor that it might take the sting out if they wouldn't call it "merit"!] I don’t complain too much, because medical insurance for dependents has taken a flying leap upward, so people with families have that debit, too.]

    Last night when I was looking at some old files, I realized that the staff reductions and “workload sharing” were already going on in 2003! And we have had some lay offs, which is a shock to academia!
    The black humor of corporation days, (when mgmt played musical chairs every 7 years or so and everyone in the loser’s division lost with him) didn’t go down very well here.
    ["Enron's having a morale party; everyone welcome.
    They are holding it in a phone booth."]

  • helen

    Klasie @ 19
    Just note – 16% over 4 years, not at once.
    It needed repeating; you got there first, Klasie. :)

    Still, 4% is more than I have gotten in total over the last 4 years of alternate “freezes” and meagre “merit raises”. [I told my supervisor that it might take the sting out if they wouldn't call it "merit"!] I don’t complain too much, because medical insurance for dependents has taken a flying leap upward, so people with families have that debit, too.]

    Last night when I was looking at some old files, I realized that the staff reductions and “workload sharing” were already going on in 2003! And we have had some lay offs, which is a shock to academia!
    The black humor of corporation days, (when mgmt played musical chairs every 7 years or so and everyone in the loser’s division lost with him) didn’t go down very well here.
    ["Enron's having a morale party; everyone welcome.
    They are holding it in a phone booth."]

  • David M

    DL21 @8 Props on the Ghostbusters reference. It took me a second, but I got it…

    What irritates me is that people who are striking in an economy like this. Sooner or later, a union is going to strike and management is going to say “okay, you don’t want to work in this economy, fine. I’ll find someone who does.”

    And, honestly, I wonder why that doesn’t happen more often. It should. Call me cynical, but I think there’s something more going on here. Government is not above manufacturing a crisis so that it can make itself look good by solving it. Why would Rahm Emmanuel even allow this to get as far as it did?

    Which tells me that this isn’t about teacher pay, evaluation, or termination practices. It will be interesting to see what comes out of it.

  • David M

    DL21 @8 Props on the Ghostbusters reference. It took me a second, but I got it…

    What irritates me is that people who are striking in an economy like this. Sooner or later, a union is going to strike and management is going to say “okay, you don’t want to work in this economy, fine. I’ll find someone who does.”

    And, honestly, I wonder why that doesn’t happen more often. It should. Call me cynical, but I think there’s something more going on here. Government is not above manufacturing a crisis so that it can make itself look good by solving it. Why would Rahm Emmanuel even allow this to get as far as it did?

    Which tells me that this isn’t about teacher pay, evaluation, or termination practices. It will be interesting to see what comes out of it.

  • Michael B.

    @sg@17

    “Not because they are great teachers, although they may be, but because they serve as our scapegoats. ”

    There’s some truth in that. We always assume it must be the teacher’s fault. One thing we are absolutely not allowed to consider is the kid just might be stupid. This is probably an over-correction to past behaviors.

  • Michael B.

    @sg@17

    “Not because they are great teachers, although they may be, but because they serve as our scapegoats. ”

    There’s some truth in that. We always assume it must be the teacher’s fault. One thing we are absolutely not allowed to consider is the kid just might be stupid. This is probably an over-correction to past behaviors.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Sorry, Chicago, but you guys suck!

    You elected your School Board members and other public officials. You get the government and school system you deserve.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Sorry, Chicago, but you guys suck!

    You elected your School Board members and other public officials. You get the government and school system you deserve.

  • Marie

    @Mike Westfall

    And the nation gets Arnie Duncan :)

  • Marie

    @Mike Westfall

    And the nation gets Arnie Duncan :)

  • Gary

    You know what I want to see? I want to see everyone given a 300 lb teenage video game addict to train for 25 and two-thirds a minute a day (my actual class length), and I want to see that 300 lb teen be able to do 50 pushups in one minute 365 days from now, or they lose their job. Add to that the fact that the parents take said teen out for pizza and donuts every night, and buy said teen more video games to play instead of supervising them doing the assigned workout. In fact, the parents complain that 30 minutes of assigned workouts is too much, and certainly won’t allow workouts over the weekend, to the point that administrators say you need to cut back assigned workouts because they’re getting too many complaints. I want 50 pushups in 1 minute, or it’s all your fault and you’re fired.

  • Gary

    You know what I want to see? I want to see everyone given a 300 lb teenage video game addict to train for 25 and two-thirds a minute a day (my actual class length), and I want to see that 300 lb teen be able to do 50 pushups in one minute 365 days from now, or they lose their job. Add to that the fact that the parents take said teen out for pizza and donuts every night, and buy said teen more video games to play instead of supervising them doing the assigned workout. In fact, the parents complain that 30 minutes of assigned workouts is too much, and certainly won’t allow workouts over the weekend, to the point that administrators say you need to cut back assigned workouts because they’re getting too many complaints. I want 50 pushups in 1 minute, or it’s all your fault and you’re fired.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You elected your School Board members and other public officials. You get the government and school system you deserve.

    CPS doesn’t have a school board.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Public_Schools

    Anyway, the fact is the public is deceived. Now we may say they wish to be deceived. Don’t we all sometimes? But there has been this non stop preaching that all kids can learn, blah, blah, for years now. It is not true. So they blame teachers for not doing the impossible. The hard truths of life are not popular.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You elected your School Board members and other public officials. You get the government and school system you deserve.

    CPS doesn’t have a school board.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Public_Schools

    Anyway, the fact is the public is deceived. Now we may say they wish to be deceived. Don’t we all sometimes? But there has been this non stop preaching that all kids can learn, blah, blah, for years now. It is not true. So they blame teachers for not doing the impossible. The hard truths of life are not popular.

  • Rose

    Chicago Teacher Strike–Where’s the President who promised, “I’ll walk the picket line with you!”

  • Rose

    Chicago Teacher Strike–Where’s the President who promised, “I’ll walk the picket line with you!”


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