Chicago teachers' strike

BIV

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Apr 22, 2002
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The ABCs of the Chicago teachers’ strike: New evaluation system looms large

On Monday morning, 350,000 kids in Chicago found themselves without a classroom to bustle about as the city's teachers went on their first strike in 25 years. The sticking point? A new teacher evaluation system.

While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the local teachers' union disagree on a long list of issues, including planned pay raises and sick day accrual, Emanuel said in a press conference Monday afternoon that the evaluation is the main obstacle to agreement. The new system would eventually use students' standardized test scores as 40 percent of a teacher's yearly evaluation. Teachers who don't improve their students' test scores would be fired.

Many Democrats, including Emanuel's former boss President Barack Obama, embrace this test-based way of judging educators. The president's "Race to the Top" federal program awarded money to states that agreed to rate teachers this way and institute other reforms, like encouraging the creation of more independent charter schools. As of last October, teachers can be dismissed in 14 states based on their students' test scores.

Union supporters argue that evaluating teachers using tests can be tricky, and that this "value-added" measurement can be volatile and inaccurate. Additionally, teachers who have a high proportion of poor students may have a harder time lifting their kids' scores than teachers who work in affluent districts. (About 80 percent of Chicago students qualify for free or reduced federal lunches.) As many as 6,000 teachers would wrongly lose their jobs under the system, says Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis. "Evaluate us on what we do, not the lives of our children we do not control," she said while announcing the strike, according to Reuters. But reformers counter that teachers should be responsible for helping their students score better on tests, and that current evaluation systems provide no way for ineffective teachers to be identified or removed from classrooms.

Emanuel doubled down on the new evaluation system Monday, as negotiations between CTU and the city dragged on. "What we can't do is roll back what's essential to improving our quality of education," Emanuel said at the press conference, flanked by children. He called the strike "totally unnecessary."

While other city and state leaders have pioneered test-based evaluations without prompting strikes, one sticking point that may make Emanuel's reforms more controversial is a lack of money. The school district is facing a $3 billion deficit over the next few years. Former Washington, D.C., Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee was able to overhaul the city's teacher compensation and evaluation system in part by offering big pay increases for teachers who thrived under the new system. But Emanuel has no such leverage.

"The mayor is pushing for dramatic Obama-era teacher quality reforms, but doesn't have a lot of money to help the medicine go down," Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute told Yahoo News.

Union organizer and former social studies teacher Jackson Potter said one issue the teachers are striking over is poor facilities. Teachers are upset that some schools lack playgrounds or libraries, while others convened in "sweltering" August classrooms without the benefit of air conditioning. Meanwhile, the facilities budget for the city has been slashed. Emanuel dismissed this complaint on Monday, saying the teachers aren't actually striking over facilities. "It's 71 degrees outside," he said. "You don't go on strike for air conditioning."

But the issues leading to the strike have been building for quite a while, said Potter. When current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan ran Chicago's schools, he pioneered a new aggressive approach of closing down schools whose students performed poorly on tests. Duncan's strategy led some teachers, who felt they were being blamed for teaching in difficult, high-poverty schools, to form a more radical branch of the union, called Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE). The organization has been instrumental in the current strike, and similar groups have formed in other big cities with strong teacher unions, such as New York and Los Angeles, potentially setting the stage for more high-profile strikes in the future.

"I think we're likely to see other cities going down the same road as Chicago," Hess said.

And this is interesting:

Paul Ryan on Chicago teachers strike: ‘We stand with Rahm Emanuel’

Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke out against the Chicago Teachers Union strike on Monday, saying he stands behind Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's opposition to the demonstration.

"Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teacher's union strike is unnecessary and wrong," Ryan said in Portland, Ore., according to a pool report transcript. "We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel."

More than 26,000 education professionals in the Chicago area did not attend work on Monday over a contract negotiation dispute with the Chicago Board of Education.

President Barack Obama's administration declined to comment on the strike. Emanuel, elected mayor in 2011, was Obama's chief of staff from 2009 to 2010.

Here are Ryan's full remarks:

If you turned on the TV this morning or sometime today, you probably
saw something about the Chicago teacher's union strike. I'd like to
make a couple of comments about that because it does matter. I've
known Rahm Emanuel for years. He's a former colleague of mine. Rahm
and I have not agreed on every issue or on a lot of issues, but Mayor
Emanuel is right today in saying that this teacher's union strike is
unnecessary and wrong. We know that Rahm is not going to support our
campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm
Emanuel.

We stand with the children and we stand with the families and the
parents of Chicago because education reform, that's a bipartisan
issue. This does not have to divide the two parties. And so, we were
going to ask, where does President Obama stand? Does he stand with his
former Chief of Staff Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with the children and the
parents, or does he stand with the union? On issues like this, we need
to speak out and be really clear. In a Romney-Ryan administration we
will not be ambiguous, we will stand with education reform, we will
champion bipartisan education reforms. This is a critical linchpin to
the future of our country, to our economy, to make sure that our
children go to the best possible school, and that education reforms
revolve around the parents and the child, not the special interest
group. This is something that's critical for all of us.
 

Motor Head

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#2
The average CPS teacher makes $73K per year not including benefits and pension. They are striking because of an evaluation system being put in place and wanting more pay.

FUCK THEM. Fire them all and let them take their chances in the private sector.
 

jimmyslostchin

Malarkey is slang for bullshit isn't it?
Jun 8, 2005
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#3
Yeah they're kind of a bunch of assholes.
 

Begbie

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Jul 21, 2003
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#4
Any truth to the claim 79% of students aren't proficient in reading and 80% can't do elementary math? And teachers want a raise over the $73K they make on average per year and dont'want to be held accountable for doing a shitty job with their students? Fuck'em.
 

Neckbeard

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#5
Think of it from the perspective of the fat cat, nig-loving Bolsheviks in Chimpcongo...

1. They signed a contract. Overpaid? Don't sign the contract!

2. Let us not bullshit here. CPS is a monkey house and a taco stand. Less than 10 percent White.
[TABLE="class: CPS_enroll_background, width: 100%"]
[TR]
[TD="class: h4, colspan: 2"]Total: 404,151 (FY2011-2012)
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50%"]Student enrollment Preschool: 24,232
Kindergarten: 29,594
Elementary (1-8): 236,452
Secondary (9-12): 113,873
[/TD]
[TD="width: 50%"]Student racial breakdown African-American: 41.6%
Latino: 44.1%
White: 8.8%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 3.4%
Native American: 0.4%
[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
You can't educate nigs and spics to a White standard. They have NEVER intellectually met it in any capacity.

3. A teacher who "fails" to educate the little hood rats to a White standard gets fired. Also, it is NEVER the failure of Blacks and Hispanics for being mental lightweights who fiercely loathe and scorn learning. Come on, you can't fire a jockey for losing the Kentucky Derby if you make him ride Slowpoke McGillicuddy the Mule. Sorry, CPS isn't going to have 700 campuses being Stand and Deliver and Dangerous Minds. Or even High School High. What the FUCK are these teachers supposed to be doing?

4. Edit: Administration and School Boards are dominated by complete, roaring non-White, non-Man incompentence.
CEO is Black, Chief Education Advisor is a Black woman, the "manager of human capital" is a White woman who has never been a teacher but makes 200 grand a year (ooh, plenty of value added there, I'm sure), another woman...some "Chicanos," a French immigrant, I don't know, could we get some White American men to unfuck this situation?
 

Neon

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#8
I have a Facebook friend, and both of his parents are on the picket line, so we've been talking about this. I'm sorry, but until public education takes more steps to become a meritocracy, I just can't support moves like this, ESPECIALLY when we are talking about the city with the highest average teacher salary in the country (74k before benefits), in a city where the average family income is 47k, and the education is far from top notch. Teachers don't deserve good salaries. GOOD teachers deserve good salaries.
 

Hudson

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#10
I thought one of the other issues was the extra hour of school a day that the city passed without any input from the schools or unions.
And If I got 73 k per year from my 12 hour a day job with sick days, vacation days, and a two month vacation..I'd be happier than a pig in shit.
 

MagicBob

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Dec 2, 2010
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#11
And If I got 73 k per year from my 12 hour a day job with sick days, vacation days, and a two month vacation..I'd be happier than a pig in shit.
you'd need at least a masters degree and about 20 years on the job to make that.

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/June-2011/Chicago-Teacher-Salaries-The-Long-View/
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/...s-best-paid-or-not-depending-who-you-ask.html

and in New York a masters with 20 years on the job would earn you ~$90k.
 

Hudson

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you'd need at least a masters degree and about 20 years on the job to make that.

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/June-2011/Chicago-Teacher-Salaries-The-Long-View/
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/...s-best-paid-or-not-depending-who-you-ask.html

and in New York a masters with 20 years on the job would earn you ~$90k.
I don't remember if Chicago had it, I do remember New York City and all of NJ having an alternate route system where if you didn't have a teaching degree you could teach but had to get sponsored for an education degree. You earned while you learned..and some schools if you paid an additional amt of money..you got a masters.
 

MagicBob

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I don't remember if Chicago had it, I do remember New York City and all of NJ having an alternate route system where if you didn't have a teaching degree you could teach but had to get sponsored for an education degree. You earned while you learned..and some schools if you paid an additional amt of money..you got a masters.

well there are two steps... a degree in your topic and a teaching credential... i think that is what you are refering to as "your teaching degree"...

there was a time when there was a shortage of teachers. One could get a job with just a degree and not a credential, if you taught with a mentor for a certain period of time and were currently studying for your credential.

that is different than having a masters degree in your particular topic.

One can have a masters degree in math, but not be qualified to teach math in a middle school.

nearly all schools will give a boost in pay for an advanced degree in your topic area. The top salaries you are seeing in this discussion (Chicago teachers strike) are for people with PhD's in their topic area and 25 years or so in the system... I think one story said that pay range tops out at ~$90k.

starting salary in CPS for someone with a BA/BS and a teaching credential was in the ~$45k area. Not as much as some other large cities with high costs of living and tough teaching conditions (read... demographics of the school population)
 

Hudson

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well there are two steps... a degree in your topic and a teaching credential... i think that is what you are refering to as "your teaching degree"...

there was a time when there was a shortage of teachers. One could get a job with just a degree and not a credential, if you taught with a mentor for a certain period of time and were currently studying for your credential.

that is different than having a masters degree in your particular topic.

One can have a masters degree in math, but not be qualified to teach math in a middle school.

nearly all schools will give a boost in pay for an advanced degree in your topic area. The top salaries you are seeing in this discussion (Chicago teachers strike) are for people with PhD's in their topic area and 25 years or so in the system... I think one story said that pay range tops out at ~$90k.

starting salary in CPS for someone with a BA/BS and a teaching credential was in the ~$45k area. Not as much as some other large cities with high costs of living and tough teaching conditions (read... demographics of the school population)
No..you taught under a mentor while you got the Education degree and then the credentials at least in NJ. I know 4 people who had to do it that way.
 

ShiftyMH

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#16
These beasts look like they should spend a few weeks walking around in a picket line.
 

Mommadeez4u

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#17
This.

The average CPS teacher makes $73K per year not including benefits and pension. They are striking because of an evaluation system being put in place and wanting more pay.

FUCK THEM. Fire them all and let them take their chances in the private sector.
 

Myhairygrundle

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#18
I am too lazy to look it up, but I'm sure someone will copy and paste it for the class to see. I heard on the news yesterday that the graduation rate for CPS is somewhere around 50%. But the graduation rate for private/charter schools is over 90% with teachers getting a lot less than those union water buffaloes.

This is one area where the private sector produces a much better product (students) at a lower cost.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#19
I am too lazy to look it up, but I'm sure someone will copy and paste it for the class to see. I heard on the news yesterday that the graduation rate for CPS is somewhere around 50%. But the graduation rate for private/charter schools is over 90% with teachers getting a lot less than those union water buffaloes.

This is one area where the private sector produces a much better product (students) at a lower cost.
I would, however, like to see the racial/income difference between the students. It's much easier to get better numbers when you can choose who attends your school.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

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#20
Stupid is what stupid does. You can't teach stupid students who are too stupid to learn.
 

Myhairygrundle

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#21
I would, however, like to see the racial/income difference between the students. It's much easier to get better numbers when you can choose who attends your school.
True, but it would be much better if school vouchers were used. Places like DC spend something like 18k per student. If the parents had that money as a voucher to send their kid to the school of their choice, things would be much more gooder.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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#23
True, but it would be much better if school vouchers were used. Places like DC spend something like 18k per student. If the parents had that money as a voucher to send their kid to the school of their choice, things would be much more expensive.
Fixed

When will conservatives learn basic math and figure out that vouchers don't work.

If the government gave everyone $10,000 per kid and told them to find a school to go to, do you think every school would cost $10,000 that you'd want to send your kid to? Just look at the digital set top box fiasco to see how well that voucher scheme worked out for everyone.
 

MagicBob

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#24
No..you taught under a mentor while you got the Education degree and then the credentials at least in NJ. I know 4 people who had to do it that way.
uhmmm... a degree in "education" doesnt qualify one to teach say.... math.

but who knows their situation or what they were going to teach.
 

MagicBob

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Dec 2, 2010
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#25
I am too lazy to look it up, but I'm sure someone will copy and paste it for the class to see. I heard on the news yesterday that the graduation rate for CPS is somewhere around 50%. But the graduation rate for private/charter schools is over 90% with teachers getting a lot less than those union water buffaloes.

This is one area where the private sector produces a much better product (students) at a lower cost.
I would, however, like to see the racial/income difference between the students. It's much easier to get better numbers when you can choose who attends your school.

figure that the income level would be different for kids going to private school and the amount that the parents give a shit is going to be vastly different. That is going to be the main factor in how well a student does.

"Private School" is not some magic pill. Send a low income kid with parents that dont give a shit that is doing poorly in public school to a "private school" with a voucher in his/her hand... he or she is still going to do poorly. The organization running the school doesnt make a hill or beans difference.