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View Diary: Poll: 47% of Chicago voters support striking teachers (88 comments)

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  •  Chicago schools are bad, in spite of having the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, Jerry J

    nation's highest paid teachers and some of the highest per-pupil expenditures.

    The net result of this strike will be teachers that make even more money relative to their peers, and a number of schools that get shut down because next year's Chicago school budget will be a million dollars in the red.

    I could see an argument that fewer better schools is actually better for the kids -- especially if there are some lightly loaded schools in the system.

    So far, however, the issues -- at least those getting reported  -- are about teachers, how much they make, and who evaluates them, not about better education for the kids.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:01:29 PM PDT

    •  how (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jofr, rabel, rosarugosa, Mostel26

      do you expect to attract the best and the brightest to the field without the requisitely fair and sensible evaluation system that both attracts and retains???

      •  you just start the door revolving (5+ / 0-)

        and then you can keep teacher costs down by always hiring the worst available teacher at which point schools turn into institutions of dumbing rather than which point idiots like Rahm and Scott Walker and Tiger Teacher walk in and say...we can do it better...even though their "better" is only in the eye of the beholder.

        But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have laid my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams. – Yeats

        by Bill O Rights on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:38:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, teachers are like everybody else, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psnyder, ManhattanMan

      they have selfish motives. You can't expect a teacher's union to urge that money that could be spent on their salaries to be instead spent on a music program for the kids (or better books or classrooms). Teachers have their own families and mortgages, they are not unique in being focused on their income.

    •  Which is why they'll end up losing support. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jerry J, Roatti, dinotrac

      And if they stay out two weeks, they might get their raise, but it won't make up for the money lost while out on strike.  

      I think they would have been in a stronger position if they were not asking for increased salary - because that gives the media it's easy story and it's now about a union of well paid folks keeping kids out of school to get more money for themselves.  

      We have a greed with which we have agreed. -Eddie Vedder "Society"

      by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:14:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you have any idea what you are talking about? (17+ / 0-)

      Chicago Public Schools salaries for experienced teachers are tens of thousands of dollars less than salaries in neighboring suburban school districts. And some of the more affluent school districts in the Chicago land spend almost 3 times per student than CPS.

      I am real Chicago Public School teacher who is on strike. Perhaps you need to redo your research and provide some citations in MLA format. You can post your rewrite as a reply to this post. Remember the rubric we use to grade writing:

      3: Response is easily understood and how and why are well supported. Structure and/or organization of writing supports the reader’s comprehension. If present, irrelevant information does not interfere with and is not the basis of the analysis.

      2: Response accurately describes how and why, with supporting textual evidence, but the quality of the writing makes it difficult to understand how they relate to each other.

      1: Response cites textual evidence but does not explicitly state how or why. Connection and/or distinction between details is unclear, or irrelevant information interferes with the analysis or is the basis of the analysis.

      0: No textual analysis is cited or the response is off topic or not enough was written to determine if the standard was met.

      Go ahead write a response right away. You can then write another one tomorrow. We will then use a vague statistical model to see if this comment thread contributed some value to your knowledge.

    •  um....ummmmm.... (8+ / 0-)

      salaries, so far as I'm aware...have NOT been a central sticking pt.

      1.  school maintenance.  Faulty heating and cooling systems.  Leaking roofs.  etc
      2.  textbooks and class size.  The teachers would like to have textbooks, at the beginning of the year, to give to EACH student regardless of class size.
      3.  basing teacher performance on testing (you got one)
      4.  blackballing a teacher who has been fired from being hired by another school even if that teacher had had positive test scores 3 out of 4 years.
      5.  ensuring that the existing schools/teachers are going to be supported instead of taxpayer money being siphoned off to build and staff competing charter schools.

      While salary is an issue; and losing their guaranteed raise last year is an issue, and increasing teacher's hours is an issue...none has been promoted as being a prime motive for striking.

      The prime motive is fairness.  Underprivileged kids are known to test lower than kids who come from stable homes, safe neighborhoods etc.  Teachers who have stellar resumes can be derailed by a new class of students who can't focus and learn even though the teacher is using a similar plan as in previous years.  Relative salary is a relatively meaningless metric.  Are they highly paid because they are overpaid?  Or are they highly paid because their union has been smart enough to guarantee contracts that keep up with the rise in the cost of living while wages have stagnated or fallen in other job sectors?

      Teachers deserve the tools that are required to be successful.  Those things include:  manageable class enrollment; job security; a wage that allows them to live in the area they work without having to worry about falling into poverty because of one unforeseen bill; enough textbooks for every kid; a school that can be kept a reasonable temp in both winter and summer; a school that doesn't shower kids, computers, books whenever it rains; and school boards and elected officials that work on behalf of the schools and teachers and not the special interests who would like to turn educating Muffy and Billy into a privatized industry.  

      But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have laid my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams. – Yeats

      by Bill O Rights on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:35:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So -- closing schools actually could be a good (0+ / 0-)


        As to deserving the tools required to be successful, that's an interesting question as well.

        I've seen reports of the Chicago schools facing a $1 billion budget shortfall next year.

        Doesn't sound very encouraging for getting the tools to succeed.

        Unless, perhaps, a number of schools are shut down and associated staff are pink slipped.

        If that resulted  in kids going to well-maintained schools and being taught by teachers with the tools they need, it  could be a good  thing.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 04:59:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The (0+ / 0-)

        kindergarten teacher who had 43 students in her class and less than 43 desks told me all I need to know.  That is seriously shortchanging those kids when they are learning the basics and will affect them years down the road.  

        You want to evaluate her on their test scores after being in a class like that?  You want to evaluate the first grade teacher who gets those kids on their test scores when they will probably enter first grade already behind.  

        Kindergarten classes should be no bigger than 20-25.  We have that in Texas, for God's sake, and you know we aren't the picture of adequate school funding.  

    •  Um... (6+ / 0-)

      Care to cite a source for this laughable claim:

      nation's highest paid teachers and some of the highest per-pupil expenditures.
      Instead of saying that schools will be closed down because the teachers want to be paid fairly and not have students piled in their classrooms like cordwood, perhaps you might be a bit outraged that Rahm loves to divert money to create hand picked highly selective charter schools or that TIF districts in Chicago divert tax dollars from schools to corporations making billions in profits.

      Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

      by michael in chicago on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:07:41 PM PDT

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    •  This is whatever lies beyond inane and insulting (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ydice, slatsg, bornadem, rosarugosa, Mostel26

      The strike is not about money; it's about whether corporate greed will succeed in taking over the last vestige of a public sector in American society.  It's about whether education will consist of hiring low skilled drones to cram scripted curriculum down the throats of unwilling workers-to-be, or whether, somewhere in there, there will still be a place in education for nurturing critical thinking.

      If you're swallowing the line about "greedy teachers," then you've successfully accessed Rahm Emmanuel's corporate propaganda spigot.  

      Mitt Romney's on your side.  

      Organized working women and men are on the other side, supported by parents and, especially, students.

      Which side are you on?

      For what is the crime of the robbing of a bank compared to the crime of the founding of a bank? - Brecht

      by Joe Hill PDX on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:56:46 PM PDT

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      •  So -- teachers would be willing to take (0+ / 0-)

        pay increases and benefit changes off the table?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 05:06:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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