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View Diary: Deal may be near in Chicago teachers strike; poll finds majority support for teachers (79 comments)

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  •  Really good reads on what this is really about (7+ / 0-)

    Miriam Axel-Lute writing in Albany, NY's Metroland makes some points that may not be seen too many other places:

    Now, failure to follow through on their promised raises is one of their strike points. But what’s so interesting here is it’s not the major issue. Whenever I’ve had conversations with those who are generally supportive of labor rights and yet conflicted about feeling like teachers’ unions often seem to be largely invested in wages and tenure issues, there has been a lot of sentiment like, “If only the unions would really go to bat for what the kids need.”

    Well folks, here they are. If you take a look at the Chicago Teachers Union study, The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve, you’ll see a 10-point platform that has to do with equality, sufficient staffing, age-appropriate learning, and whole-child education. And one of the major bones of contention of the strike is Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s TIF plan that diverts funding into a few special charter/magnet schools at the expense of the public schools in general. (Note to Rahm: If Paul Ryan lends you his unequivocal support, it might mean you’re doing something wrong.)

    emphasis added

    And for more, Axel-Lute cites an Atlantic article on one of the top performing school systems in the world, in Finland. While we're obsessing over standardized testing, firing all those bad teachers, and breaking the strangle hold of the evil union teacher thugs, the Finns take a far more effective approach. As she puts it:

    But, according to the Atlantic article, what we can’t seem to get our brains around is that the foundation of the current Finnish education system is almost the opposite of our beloved idea of “school choice.” It’s this: equity. “The main driver of Finnish education policy has been the idea that every child should have exactly the same opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income, or geographic location,” says the Atlantic. They feed all the kids healthy meals and give them access to health care. They have no private schools at all. They give their teachers “prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility” (and independence). Schools with high numbers of immigrants . . . do just as well as other schools.

    They don’t aim for excellence. They aim to bring everyone along and level the playing field. And they get . . . excellence.

    emphasis added

    The nightmare of socialism! - no wonder we never hear about it over here.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:51:34 PM PDT

    •  We could have that here too. One thing the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, Grabber by the Heel

      reformers are correct about, everyone can learn. But you have to a good system, clear standards and everybody on board. You also have to encourage teachers so that they don't leave, but more importantly, so that they can encourage kids. It is hard to positive with so much negativity being aimed at you.

      You also have to provide help for the kids who need that help and support for teachers from administration and parents.

      These "gotcha" games help no one, least of all the kids.

    •  did they negotiate for anything (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in that platform, or was it just for show?

      •  I don't know - we'll see when there's a contract (0+ / 0-)

        If you look at the summary (pdf), those look like kind of ideas that get dismissed because they'd take a real commitment of time, effort, and money - and the remaking of the CPS culture and the political culture of Chicago to pull off.

        Much easier to go with superficial, trendy 'solutions' that advance the agendas of the politicians and the financial interests who want to take down unions and public education.

        Sort of like the People's Budget versus the Ryan Plan.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 07:04:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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