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Chicago teachers and supporters on the picket line.
Chicago teachers are fighting not just for fair pay and decent health care but for a host of things that will improve education for Chicago kids—smaller classes, needed books and teaching materials, comfortable and well-maintained schools. But they're running into a buzz saw of well-organized, well-funded opposition from the massive anti-teacher, pro-corporate education policy world. Teachers don't have the money or the media platform that Wall Street billions and Mayor Rahm Emanuel will get you, which is why they need our help and support.

What we're seeing in Chicago is the fallout from Jonah Edelman's hedge fund backed campaign to elect Illinois state legislators who supported an anti-collective bargaining, testing based education proposal giving Edelman the "clear political capability to potentially jam this proposal down [the teachers unions'] throats," political capability he used as leverage to jam an only slightly less awful proposal down their throats. It's a political deal that explicitly targeted Chicago teachers, while trying to make it impossible that they would strike by requiring a 75 percent vote of all teachers, not just those voting, for a strike to be legal. But more than 90 percent of Chicago teachers voted to strike.

It's not just Jonah Edelman, though. Rahm Emanuel worked with a tea party group to promote Chicago charter schools and denigrate traditional public school teachers and their unions. Emanuel's political allies have been caught paid protesters to show up at hearings on school closures. Every story you read about the greedy teachers (greedy? does that description fit the teachers you know?) has years of big money anti-teacher campaigning behind it, pushing us to believe that teachers, who bring work home every night and routinely spend their own money on school supplies and even food for their students, are overpaid, selfish, lazy. Now, all those narratives that the right wing has built up—anti-union narratives coming together with pro-privatization narratives—are being used against Chicago's teachers.

Mitt Romney is diving in, with a statement accusing the Chicago Teachers Union of "turning its back on not only a city negotiating in good faith but also the hundreds of thousands of children relying on the city’s public schools to provide them a safe place to receive a strong education." But it was the teachers pushing the city to guarantee that students would have textbooks on day one instead of in week six, pushing for more social workers and school nurses.

The money and the megaphones are stacked against Chicago teachers as they fight for the working conditions they need to effectively educate Chicago students. They need fair evaluation systems, not to risk firing based on standardized tests that were not designed to evaluate teacher performance. They need enough job security to be able to go to bat for their students without fear. They need to be teaching in classrooms that aren't overflowing with 30 or more students. Those are things they're negotiating for, striking for, walking picket lines for. But they need our help getting the word out about what this fight is really about. And they need to know we're with them. If you're in Chicago, you can rally or wear red in solidarity.

Wherever you are, talk to your friends and family in Chicago and let them know what's really going on. Help counter the anti-teacher onslaught. And tell Chicago teachers you're standing with them as they fight for better schools and educational justice.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 10:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What is the public sentiment about this? (13+ / 0-)

    From what I've seen, the public sometimes doesn't get behind a teachers' strike, often because that means parents suddenly have to make arrangements for their kids all day, meaning some miss work or have other major inconvenience.

    I've seen things about this strike all day -- NBC news is leading with it tonight, I think --  and I'm curious as to what the sentiment of the Chicago public is, if anyone knows.  

    •  Is that your criteria for supporting something? (7+ / 0-)

      sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

      by stivo on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 10:58:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course not. But it often matters to the (11+ / 0-)

        success or failure of the strike by public employees.  So I don't think it's an insignificant question.   It seems to me that if the teachers want to accomplish their goals with the strike, they'd be helped if public sentiment is behind them, and it would be more difficult without  public sentiment behind them.  

        •  The "public" is never behind teachers (7+ / 0-)

          when they ask for more pay.  How long do you expect teachers to wait?

          As for those statistics about teacher pay - I've had plenty of lies printed about my pay.    Wish I got what they said I got.

          And tell me this - does anyone print your name in the paper?  New York City made a huge error in printing a list of teachers according to test scores.  They drew a line in the samd for the rest of us, and guess what?  We're not going to take it any more.  You don't support teachers, so stop pretending.  You're just embarrassed to be on DK and not supporting unions.

          •  Was going to rec until your last two sentences. (4+ / 0-)

            Don't see the need for getting personal.

            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

            by gustynpip on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:53:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Except when it is personal. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JayRaye, shaharazade, pot, Larsstephens

              And it sounds like it definitely is.

              I, "personally", don't understand why teachers, public education and unions should be treated like third rate ponies around these supposedly Democratic watering holes.

              My God, what isn't fungible on the Democratic Platform?

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:11:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree with the concept, but didn't think the (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                snoopydawg, kefauver

                person responded to was doing that.  There are quite a few posters here that I'm ashamed of, and that I think more clearly deserve that kind of a response.

                "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                by gustynpip on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:37:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Not personal (5+ / 0-)

              Just true.  If you're a public employee around this place, you feel it.  Especially teachers.  There are loads of people who call themselves progressives until teachers mess with their childcare.  it's simply the truth.  

              •  Playing the victim doesn't do much. I'm in a (0+ / 0-)

                profession that everyone hates.  Is it fun?  No.  Is it fair?  No.  Is it accurate?  No.  But life isn't fair and all that stuff.  Your posts are just screaming bitterness.  It might not be fun to feel unappreciated, but it's hardly the end of the world, either.

                I find it offensive when you call it childcare.  Sure, it's difficult for parents to figure out what to do with the kids while they're working when there's no school.  However, very few parents view it as childcare and why you, if you're a teacher, would want to do that is beyond me.  

                "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                by gustynpip on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 10:46:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not calling it childcare (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JayRaye, cruz

                  People in the news call it childcare.  People here have called it childcare.

                  I call it my profession, one that I love, and have devoted decades of my life to.  I go to work happy, have great relationships with parents until we ask for a 2% raise.  Then they literally stop talking o me, yell at me in the grocery store.  

                  They want me to behave and anyone who thinks this attitude isn't gender related has his/her head in the sand.

                •  Child care is not unfair, (0+ / 0-)

                  especially in a more expansive context. Education is definitely part of nurturing a child to adulthood.

                  You can't escape the reality that the time spent in school represents time that children are engaged in constructive activities with adult supervision.  It allows parents to work and provide for the rest of their children's needs.

                  Teachers know that when they strike, and they count on the leverage it gains for them.

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

                  by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 02:54:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting bit about New York (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JayRaye, Words In Action, Mostel26

            I totally support my kids' teachers.

            No Jesus, Know Peace

            by plok on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:10:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Would you if it meant having to get childcare (0+ / 0-)

              because things were so bad for your kids' teachers that the only option they felt they had was to go on strike?  In fact, NYC was the tipping point for teachers.  Where was the outrage from parents about the names published in the paper?

          •  Asking what the public sentiment (5+ / 0-)

            is doesn't make you a traitor or anti-union.  I'm curious too, and my family is from coal country, so I'm pretty proudly pro-union.  Get a grip.  

            •  Not a traitor or anti-union. (0+ / 0-)

              Just not a union supporter.  When push comes to shove, people do not support teachers.  I don't know if you've been living under a rock for the last few years, but public school teachers are the new enemy.  

              •  Teachers are Seen as the Enemy on DKOS? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Maybe by a few right-wing trolls begging to be banned, but teachers and teachers unions are shown lots of respect on this site.

                Now I totally agree when it comes to the public in general. For some reason, teachers are now everybody's favorite scapegoat for all that's wrong in America. It's ridiculous. My wife's a teacher and she busts her ass along with every other teacher I know.

                Obamacare is upheld by the SCOTUS. Time for some Kossacks to eat a plate of crow.

                by kefauver on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 09:00:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I would love to hear an occasional admission (0+ / 0-)

                  that there are some real crappy, lazy teachers.  Not all of them bust their butts.  Not all of them are smart or dedicated.  Most are.  But in my experience 20-25% are not.  Parents know this, students know this, and teachers know this.  So why not admit it and figure out a fair method to identify them and dump them.

                  Pretending they are all heroic, self-sacrificing paragons is just silly.  Teachers would improve their standing immensely if there wasn't so much effort spent protecting the worst among them.

                  •  More posts like this one than you'd expect (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Van Buren, Mostel26, kefauver

                    (from Be Skeptical).
                    There are crappy, lazy doctors, lawyers, etc. We all know it.  Why does the AMA, ABA protect them?  Why not identify them and dump them?  

                    •  Crappy lawyers and doctors means that (0+ / 0-)

                      there are no crappy teachers?

                      Odd logic there.

                      The Teachers' unions are supposed to protect teachers. That's what they do, and I have no problem with that.
                      I don't even mind that they protect lazy and crappy teachers.  You can't protect good teachers without protecting crappy ones -- up to a point, at least.

                      I sometimes get annoyed with the pretense that teachers are fighting for better schools and better education, at least in the context of union activities, but I understand it's just a form of persuasive puffery designed to recruit parental support.

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

                      by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 03:04:03 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's not what I said (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        If I may be more explicit, there are crappy, lazy people in all professions and their professional organizations rarely take action against them.  

                        Of course teachers are fighting for better schools.  If I work to make my school system a place where teachers are well paid and therefore attracts top candidates, for updated educational materials, time to meet with colleagues to better the education of all students, meet with specialists to better educate students with special needs,  push for schools with ventilation and  proper heating so kids don't have to suffer in 80-90 degree heat or sit with their jackets on all day, then I'm working to make the educational experience better for children.  I don't call that "persuasive puffery".  

                        And trust me, job actions don't "recruit" parents.  It's demoralizing and demeaning, and way more parents are nasty to teachers through the process than are supportive.  

                        Lots of people who claim to be supportive of unions do not support teachers when they ask for better working conditions.  For some reason, it doesn't occur to them that better working conditions benefit children.

                        •  Teachers do not equal teachers' unions. (0+ / 0-)

                          Teachers unions fight for teachers, not for better schools.

                          Sometimes the two interests coincide, but nothing demands it.

                          The reality is that teachers want their cut -- just like people in every other line of work.  It is the job of their unions to see that they get it.  Their cut costs money out of a pie that may or may not be expandable.  If the tax base cannot increase, expanding the teachers' cut means cutting out something else.

                          That's just the way things work.

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

                          by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:15:35 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  teachers are the union (0+ / 0-)

                            And teachers want better schools.

                            If you want better schools, you have to expand the tax base.  If you don't, then you get crappy schools.  THAT'S  the way it works.

                          •  Teachers belong to teacher's unions. (0+ / 0-)

                            That is not the same thing.

                            I'm sure that teachers do want better schools.
                            I'd like to be young, thin, and rich.

                            Teachers' unions look after the welfare of teachers.
                            That might result in better schools, but nothing demands it.

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

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 08:24:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  You can say the same thing (0+ / 0-)

                    about cops, soldiers, CEOS, and priests. Or pretty much any job category that exists.

                    But some industries are more prone to corruption and laziness than others. I think teachers are way down the list.

                    Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

                    by cruz on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:32:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Do you really believe that? (0+ / 0-)

                  I know that my wife and I have, throughout our kids' time in publich schools, volunteered in a variety of capacities to help out our kids' teachers, and we are far from alone. Heck, we're not even among the most active parents in the area.

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

                  by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 02:58:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  People do not support teachers? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical


                Or do you just mean when teachers go on strike?

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

                by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 02:56:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I'm absolutely a union supporter. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical, VClib

                I'm also curious what people in Chicago are saying about this.  The two aren't mutually exclusive, and shame on you for trying to imply otherwise.  

          •  I think you are wrong.... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            snoopydawg, Be Skeptical, kefauver

            ...about the public supporting the union.  At least by the reaction I saw when a bunch of them with picket signs disembarked a CTA train today.

            Oh and stop putting words in peoples mouths.

            We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

            by delver rootnose on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:49:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We didn't have air conditioning in our schools in (7+ / 0-)

            the 1950s and they still don't. Let's see -- how long is that to wait?   You get nothing if you don't stand up for yourselves. To get a 90% vote of all the teachers to strike, things must be really bad.  They have my total support and sympathy.

          •  The public is OFTEN... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            snoopydawg, Larsstephens, Owlet

            ...behind paying teachers more.

            A majority of Americans think teachers are underpaid.  62 percent said they would pay more taxes to increase education funding.

            This is not about money, and Progressives had better admit the truth before it starts to cost us votes.

            The Republicans are setting up a long term squeeze play, where they pit inner-city parents against the teachers' unions. As long as there parents were mostly Black, they only had limited success. Blacks remember the Southern Strategy of the 1960s and still don't trust Republicans.

            But Hispanics? Especially recent immigrants? Who knows what they will do if they can be convinced that the NEA and the UFT are the reason why their charter schools are getting shut down?

            •  Hispanics are strong proponents of public (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              education and I don't think anyone here is suggesting that all charter schools be shut down.  I don't think the Chicago teachers want to shut down charters either. They want their own schools to improve.

            •  so shutting down public schools so that charters (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Van Buren, Mostel26

              can take over the space is peachy, but Oh No those bad bad unions...

              I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

              by happymisanthropy on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 12:27:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If it's not about money, (0+ / 0-)

              as the media coverage wants one to believe, then just what IS it about?  I've searched in vain for a list of the issues driving this strike.  I instinctively support any move by teachers to better their lot, but I'd like to know the specifics in this instance.  Can someone provide a link?  Thanks

    •  I'm not curious at all (17+ / 0-)

      because I know what is right, and I know the media is enraptured by the corporate "reformers" and easy prey to their story line. I also know that if we roll over for them, the future of our kids and our country is bleak.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

      by anastasia p on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 12:36:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I sick of the sentiments of everyone but teachers (17+ / 0-)

      Chicago has known this day was coming for years.  The parents and citizens of the city knew this day was coming for years.

      The "public" doesn't care about teachers as long as they provide daycare.  Progressives don't care about teachers as long as they put their heads down and don't speak up and provide daycare for their kids.  

      God, forbid that a group that is predominantly women stands up to the powers that be.  Good for them.  

      It's no different anywhere else.  People love teachers as long as we behave ourselves.

      Go Chicago teachers.  You're a courageous crew.

    •  Today on NBC's website (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, JayRaye, drmah

      they had a cheap shot headline against the teachers. Something like "300,000" student left behind" (I can't remember, now it's gone).

      No Jesus, Know Peace

      by plok on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:07:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  *bitter* (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Yeah, and it doesn't matter that all those kids had to wait several weeks for textbooks and probably still are. It's the teachers who've left them behind.

        It doesn't matter that they have less rights than workers under OSHA. They're not people. It's the teachers who've left them behind.

        It doesn't matter that they swelter in sweaty classrooms without circulation and air conditioning (35 people in a room 15x20?) Let them have sweatshop conditions. It's the teachers who've left them behind.

        It doesn't matter that their teachers show up struggling to make ends meet, spend money on supplies for classrooms, spend extra unpaid hours dealing with school events (no overtime in our educational system, not like those other professionals.) Let the children have exhausted, underpaid professionals. It's the teachers who've left them behind.

        Because if teachers just kept their mouths shut, why, then the government would stop wasting money on unproven educational techniques, buy textbooks, improve the classrooms so students could learn and breathe comfortably, and begin paying its teachers as if they're professionals instead of 19th-century women "playing" educational dilettante while, really, looking for husbands (I hope the sarcasm in that sentence is evident; it wasn't true then and it wasn't true today.)  

        I'm tired of the garbage too.

    •  You're also helping make the case that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, JayRaye, shaharazade

      the schools are baby sitting institutions, which is yet another reason to be an angry teacher.

      No Jesus, Know Peace

      by plok on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:12:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's what parents think-it's how we're treated (4+ / 0-)

        I know what teachers do - I've done the work for years.  Trust me, I know I'm not a babysitter.  

        I've been involved in many contract battles over the years and in every single case, parents became infuriated when the teachers spoke up.   It happens all the time.

      •  Public schools need to do MORE babysitting. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sorry, but it's true.

        Childcare is a big problem in the inner city, especially if people are single parents with multiple hourly jobs.

        (If you are paid hourly, you lose wages when the teachers declare a Professional Development Day and send you kid home early. Can't they do that crap on Saturday, please?)

        I'm not saying that teachers should babysit. But there should be afterschool programs staffed by less-educated and cheaper workers. These programs help parents hold the line until they can get off from work.

        Work ends at 5pm. The NYC primary school day ends at 2:45pm. See the problem?

        Some will howl that the Lofty and Important Educators should not sully their hands with mere childcare. If that's your attitude, fine.

        You have an opportunity to use your beautiful red brick building to help the community. If you don't want to help, that just tells the community more about who their friends really are.

        Charter schools, by the way, have longer hours...

        •  Many public schools do have after school programs, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayRaye, Larsstephens, dinotrac

          or let other community groups use the buildings after school. I don't think those building use decisions are left up to public school teachers and all the teachers I know strongly support after school programs. Some teachers even work extra hours for free after school, not grading papers or preparing for the next day, which will come later, but leading clubs and having an after school homework help session.

          My understanding is that the Chicago teachers want to have a say in things like class sizes. This is important because students get more attention from the teacher when there are less children per teacher in the classroom.

          I don't think that teachers think of themselves as lofty or important, in the arrogant way you are suggesting. I think they do understand the need for childcare. Many of them also send their own children to childcare. But teachers know that longer hours don't necessarily mean better outcomes for students and teachers do need time to plan in order to have good lessons.

          You have a lot of false information about teachers and public schools.

        •  My kids' schools have (4+ / 0-)

          before and after school activities. And they are not run by "less-educated" staff.

          I don't want my money going to charter schools. I want my money going to better public schools. The republicans want to charter the the public schools to death until the public schools merely turn into prisons.

          No Jesus, Know Peace

          by plok on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:02:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  really? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You now want teachers to give up their weekends when many already give up their evenings.
          NO!  They do not need to babysit kids.
          Their jobs are to teach them.

          If the Fetus you Saved was GAY, would you still fight for it's RIGHT'S?

          by snoopydawg on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:05:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In truth, they do both things, and many teachers (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kefauver, HCKAD, happymisanthropy

            do work weekends, grading papers and preparing for classes.

            The problem with these people who want more time from teachers is that they don't understand that the teachers already put in more time after school or evenings, as you say.

            Many people seem to think that the teachers have the same hours as the students.  That isn't true, teachers work before and after school to grade papers, communicate with parents, tutor kids, and to prepare for classes.

            •  The last stats for my state said that (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rosarugosa, kefauver, Ozzie, HCKAD

              a typical teacher works 55 hours a week.  That was in the 90's.  It's worse now.  Budget cuts along with a new curriculum added an addition 1.5 - 2 hours a day to my workload last year.  I spend all day Sunday on school work as well. That amounts to about 40 + hours a month of unpaid overtime.  At some point, enough is enough.  A simple "Thanks for all you do" might keep one motivated to continue giving up their own family time but the bashing is really making people reconsider--many to the point of leaving the profession all together.

              “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

              by musiclady on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:36:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am curious to see those stats (0+ / 0-)

                I assume that is only referring to the 9-month school year.

                Do you have a link or citation?

                •  here ya go (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:


                  “It’s at minimum a 58-hour work week, which is more than 800 hours a year beyond what is contractually obligated,” Bruno said. “Teaching in a Chicago public school is well beyond a full-time job.”
                  -Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at University of Illinois

                  He also mentions the summertime obligations, not included in this number.

                  •  Very interesting. Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

                    I am by nature skeptical, and have to say that I see little evidence that teachers at any of my kids' schools are working 10 hours per day on site (the place is deserted within an hour of dismissal), but that's just my experience and obviously I have done no systematic study.  

                    Has anyone done the math to determine what the average number of hours is over a full 12-month work cycle?  That would be helpful when assessing whether $75 k / yr is reasonable.

                      •  So slightly less than the avg full time employee (0+ / 0-)

                        and probably quite  bit less than the average full time professional employee.

                        That is a useful reference point.

                        •  so............... (0+ / 0-)

                          You choose to ignore the #1 in the world status when it comes to classroom hours and choose to infer some type of "bit less" distinction when it comes to what you believe to be the difference between an "average" and "professional" employee.

                          Your focus provides a useful reference point on your thought process and world view.

                          •  The point was hours worked in comparison in the US (0+ / 0-)

                            While interesting, the international data isn't really the issue here.

                            The article states: "American primary-school educators spend 1,913 [hours] working in a year" and "According to data from the comparable year in a Labor Department survey, an average full-time employee works 1,932 hours a year."  So, teachers work slightly less time than the average full-time employee.  I don't think it is a wild assumption that full-time professional employees work more than the average for all full-time employees.  Therefore, it is quite likely that teachers work fewer hours in a year compared with other professionals (many of whom are paid less than teachers).

                            That is my thought process.  You are welcome to point out the flaws.

                          •  Paid lower? (0+ / 0-)


                            Median worker salary with Bachelors degree:

                            $54,756 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics

                            median salary data

                            Median US teacher salary

                            $43,000 (or so)

                            median salary for teachers

                            Teachers, in almost every state, make less than workers in field that reqire similar academic credentials.

                            NY Times on teacher salary

                            and the link to the study:

                            The teaching penality

                            So either you've employed a very odd definition of the word "professional" or you're making a huge leap of faith in assuming that the average below bachelor's level full time worker makes up some huge segment of the full time work force.  

                            In either case the numbers don't support your thought process. The NY Times article does a nice job explaining reality.

                          •  The discussion is about Chicago's $75 k salary (0+ / 0-)

                            not all teachers anywhere in the U.S.  

                            And I was making the comparison to other professional-level public employees.  Public employees in every field have fallen behind.  God knows not's not just teachers.  

                            BTW, the NY TImes article you cite is an editorial.

                    •  Try going in the morning before school (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      cruz, rosarugosa

                      We were forced out of our school by 4pm because the principal couldn't find the money for security staff in the building, which meant the building had to be closed.

                    •  Would you apply the same assessment (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      when looking at other jobs?

                      Is one's pay only related to how many hours they worked, or should we also consider the social value of their work? Should compensation only about how many hours we put in, or how much wealth and profit we generate for someone else, or is there a social value component that should be considered?

                      I've been thinking of this a lot when I consider the compensation for a Wall Street speculator who simply gambles with other peoples' money and wins no matter what, and a first-year public school teacher in a low-income district.

                      Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

                      by cruz on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:41:28 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  True, social importance of work is undervalued but (0+ / 0-)

                        not just for teachers.

                        For example, look at what people in public health earn.  Masters'-level health educators are lucky to make $60 k /yr, usually way less.  Epidemiologists and microbiologists with PhDs often make less than the $75 k/yr the Chicago teachers make, while working many more hours.

                        These are public employees too, who have far less time off, who typically have substantially more education in highly selective graduate programs, so the plight of teachers doesn't sound that grim to them.  Sure, all such professions, including teachers, should make a hell of a lot more.  But most public employees in 2012 know that's not happening any time soon.

                        •  I have to disagree with the "working many (0+ / 0-)

                          more hours". Teachers don't have the work day that the students have.

                          It sounds like you want schools to go year round, without raising the teachers' salaries at all.

                          If that is done, and no planning time is allotted, the classroom instructions will suffer.

                          •  But they do work more hours (0+ / 0-)

                            These other public service professionals work 40-50 hours per week (no overtime for jobs like those), or more, for 12 months a year, with 2 weeks vacation.  

                            So they work more hours (quite a few more) over the calendar year, have more education, do similarly important public work, yet make the same salaries or less than teachers.

                            I am just trying to point out that relative to other public service professions teachers don't really have it so awful.

                          •  More education? Many teachers have master's (0+ / 0-)

                            degrees, some have more than one.

                            I would say the average teacher works at least 10 hours a day, most work more if you include weekends.

                            I didn't say teachers have it "so awful". I think most enjoy teaching and enjoy putting int he extra time. However, it is not enjoyable or effective if there is no time to plan for classes.

                        •  Most teachers (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          don't have summers off.

                          The vast majority spend it planning for the next school year, updating/upgrading lesson plans, studying, and many take second jobs to supplement their income.

                          I'm tired of this assumption that having 2 months off in the summer somehow means people are sitting on their asses.

                          Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

                          by cruz on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:01:57 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  You're wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                          The social value of work is not undervalued, it isn't even a consideration in our economy.

                          And why should teachers make a "hell of a lot more"? You've been arguing throughout that they shouldn't, and that their salaries should be re-examined. So which is it?

                          Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

                          by cruz on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:04:02 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I believe it should be consistent (0+ / 0-)

                            If teachers are going to be paid $75k then other publicly employed professionals who work more hours over the course of the year and who have had more extensive education should make more than they do.  I can't imagine why that is controversial.

                    •  Teachers bring home work all the time. Especially (0+ / 0-)

                      now that gradebooks are on computers.  Many teachers go to classes or meetings after schools as well.

                      Just because teachers aren't on site doesn't mean they are not working.

                      It takes time to plan for instruction and for classes.

                    •  Also (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      be skeptical of that 75k/year number.

                      I don't think it's accurate.

                      I know teachers in Chicago with 50k/year salaries; they have two Masters' degrees and have taught for six years.

                      I think they got that number by averaging the salary scales for teachers, which isn't the same thing as average teacher pay.

                      I think 75k would be more reasonable for 8 hour workdays. If teachers are really working 10 hours a day, they should be paid as other overtime professions are paid.

                      Unless the argument is that teaching is less taxing, demanding, or professional than other jobs, despite requiring higher levels of education than many?

                    •  wow, you didn't even follow the link, did you? (0+ / 0-)

                      Please include links to your 75k/yr fantasy.

                •  I no longer have the stats (0+ / 0-)

                  It was in the 90's and it was put out by the Maryland State Teachers' Association.  Also--Our school year is closer to 10 months.  Teachers typically do unpaid work in the summer to get ready for the upcoming year and they take classes.  

                  “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

                  by musiclady on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 08:42:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I "gave up" my weekends (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            several times a year. I don't mind. You develop relationships with your students.

            But that is a gift, between teacher and student and school.

            To say, as ManhattanMan does, that it should be required, is to devalue that relationship, devalue that gift, and pretend that teachers do not already have commitments to their students on the weekends (grading etc.)

            Now, if he wants to say "we need to add childcare services to schools," great. Go ahead and campaign for additional staff and more money. But he's not doing that. He's saying teachers should get used to working longer hours, despite the fact that recent research shows those hours demoralize and destroy staff and result in a high turnover rate. I read an article yesterday where an "experienced" teacher in a charter school pointed out she'd never met anyone in those schools who'd made it more than five years.

            I also have serious issues with the idea that teachers should somehow work longer hours than other professions without pay, as he seems to indicate. Lawyers and doctors and others get overtime. We don't.

        •  Public schools used to have after school (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          activities and before-school clubs.

          Budgets were cut for charters.

          But no, we shouldn't be childcare professionals and weren't even then. We should be working at night grading papers so students can continue their studies the next day. In the past we had coaches, paraprofessionals, and a whole bunch of other support staff. When teachers could, we spent the extra time. When we needed to grade, we had support.

          But a lot of that was cut for charters.

          Charters are only successful because they suck the blood out of regular schools.

          You really ought to understand this by now.

          •  Here in NYC... (0+ / 0-)

            ....charters receive less money-per-pupil than the public schools. They manage to run longer hours.

            How do they do it?

            •  Are they better than the public schools? (0+ / 0-)

              In Milwaukee the charter schools have not had better outcomes.

              Do they have this long evaluation process? This is one of the things the teaches are striking about, they say the administrators have to expend a huge amount of time on the teacher evaluations.

            •  Because most of the people who work there (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              are really young and idealistic and push themselves. A recent study shows most if not all burn out after five years.

              The schools also often get private donations, so spending per-pupil is higher.

              Burning out teachers isn't a good way to educate. It means you have no continuity among staff and results in bigger problems down the road.

              I am in NYC also, and I've gone into and studied these charters and seen these effects firsthand.

              I've also seen the students charters don't accept.

              •  I think many teachers push themselves and are (0+ / 0-)

                idealistic. Sometimes it leads to burnout, sometimes people learn to have a system that works. My daughter had a teacher who worked for 38 years. She was the most energetic, efficient and fantastic teacher I have ever seen, and I have seen many.

                Many low income areas have had the problem of paying less and having more difficult working conditions than  higher income districts. I would suspect turnover rates at low income schools generally is higher than at districts that have good administrations that support teachers, enough supplies, space and decent class sizes.

                New teachers bring a lot of enthusiasm to the their classrooms, but experience matters so much in the classroom. I think a mixed staff would provide the best outcomes.

              •  Students that charters don't accept? (0+ / 0-)

                NYC charter admission is by lottery. A NYC charter cannot deny admission to a student.

                Cherry-picking is a big problem in other cities, but not in NYC.

            •  But really (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              You've had the same conversations with me and TeacherKen and other educators and people who work in the field.

              I'm not convinced you're here to debate or discuss things anymore.

    •  I think the attitudes of Rahm and The President (13+ / 0-)

      are more important, both in terms of elements at stake--teachers, public eduction, unions--and the timing (homestretch of the election, with key constituents of "the base" in play).

      Really, what would it take for Rahm to do the right thing and 1) negotiate in good faith and 2) not allow the teachers and public education and unions to get trashed by the media?

      Likewise, what would it take from Obama to show support teachers, public educations and unions and their hour of need?

      I mean, does he really think he's "winning" more votes than he stands to "lose" with the way he's behaving?

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:21:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Public Sentiment has been great (5+ / 0-)

      We picketed outside our school today for 4 hours, and literally hundreds of motorists honked in support of the strike.  We later marched in the Loop and again, the vast majority of onlookers were applauding and giving us thumbs-up.  Oh, and the Chicago cops have been great.

    •  The public is BEHIND the teachers. The media (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rosarugosa, Larsstephens, Ozzie, Mostel26

      isn't telling that part of the story.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 09:05:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Affected parents are not happy, as it's a double (0+ / 0-)


      1) Kids not in school
      2) Parents who can't get care can't work.

      But that's a reality of teacher's strikes and is unavoidable.

      Among items in the local news:

      At a time when Illinois continues to suffer from some of the worst unemployment in the country and wages are depressed, some of the country's best paid teachers have turned down 16% in wage increases.

      Bad optics at the very least and a bad look for Rahm.
      I saw a quote from an alderman saying that Rahm is at risk of looking "less competent" than the traditional Chicago mayor.

      And, at least a minor inconvenience for the President as the strike will cut into Rahm's fund-raising activities.

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

      by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 02:48:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chicago Teachers Union Solidarity Fund (23+ / 0-)

    Here is the link  to the Chicago Teachers Union Solidarity fund

    Donate now.

    I would be remiss without mentioning that neoliberal democrats have been at the forfront of this current wave of misguided "reforms."

  •  Romney is such an asshole (24+ / 0-)

    Out of the TEN points that the teachers are striking about, NINE of them are all about the kids and making the schools better for THE KIDS - only one is about their professional development and fair compensation. The #1 point on the list is class size, which has been proven to deeply impact how well the children learn.

    I'm so glad you wrote this diary. After reading about this in Huff Po I came back to see if anyone had hit it here, before I wrote one of my own.

    Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

    by Cinnamon on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 10:53:20 AM PDT

  •  Rahm Emanuel is hoping that this will be what (26+ / 0-)

    breaks the union, which has been his goal all along. He wants private schools and underpaid overworked teachers.

    I don't see how he is any different than Scott Walker, but you won't see any outrage for him on this site.

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 10:53:28 AM PDT

  •  Grrr. "They don't care about their students." (11+ / 0-)

    Expect to hear that trope, over and over again.  The ultimate cop-out and talking point -- denigrate teachers, who've dedicated their lives, in many instances, to other people's children -- because they don't care enough to sacrifice themselves, their own children, their economic future, for the sake "the children."  Whom they labor for, often for twelve or more hours a day.  

    Pisses me off no end.  

    Rahmney sucks, but seems to think that this is his way to increase his profile with the $$$$$ interests who will pay his way to the WH, just like his predecessor, Mitt. Okay, maybe that's a little over the top, but not much.  

    We are the first to look up and know, with absolute certainty, that the sword we ourselves have forged, is real.

    by Jbearlaw on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 11:06:52 AM PDT

  •  There are not only economic issues at stake in (14+ / 0-)

    this strike, but issues of social justice as well. Please, check out Teachers for Social Justice:

    This strike brings us back to the good old days of  Solidarity Unionism when unions fot for both economic and social justice.

    Of course, the Corporate Media wants us to think that this strike is only about more money.

    See also these interviews on Democracy Now for more on Teachers for Justice.

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

    by JayRaye on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 01:25:33 PM PDT

  •  I am thrilled to Rahm and Barack out front, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, slatsg, Quasimodal, jdowd73, seabos84

    supporting our beleaguered teachers, the besieged institution of public education, and the endangered union species once again.

    It makes slaving for the campaign so much easier when we have our morale boosted like this!

    It just makes me want to!!!!....(puke).

    Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

    by Words In Action on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:36:53 PM PDT

    •  yep exactly Texas 100+ degeees (6+ / 0-)

      And here I was out there blockwalking for the Dems.

      Yet where are the dems when we need them to support our unions?

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

      by JayRaye on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:41:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, excuse me, I momentarily forgot, (4+ / 0-)

      teachers = apaloosa
      public education = palomino
      unions = arabian

      It's just so hard to remember that such fundamental components of the Democratic Party platform are so exceedingly fungible that the Mayor can spit in their faces and the President can waltz around as if they don't even exist.

      This is what I'm fighting for?

      A couple of charter and private school jerks?

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:52:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The right-wing narrative on this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misslegalbeagle, kefauver

    is that Chicago teachers are among the nation's highest paid with the shortest school hours.

    Anyone have a good response to this?

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:41:27 PM PDT

  •  I guess when Barack was talking about edu- (4+ / 0-)

    cation last week, he was talking about corporate-sponsored charter schools or something.

    Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

    by Words In Action on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:42:44 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, well said, I'm wearing red until our (8+ / 0-)

    educators are respected. Can't believe there is any question as to the value of our teachers. We trust them with our kids, so let's show respect.

    Teachers are THE first responders.
    The others come when its too late.

    I'm glad our teachers are showing strength. They will prevail.

    …comMITTed to making Willard Romney a none-term president...

    by Says Who on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:44:17 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Laura for front-paging this (8+ / 0-)

    I'm a Michigan administrator but I'll be wearing red in solidarity.

    A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

    by slatsg on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:45:05 PM PDT

  •  Workers have to fight for workers' rights. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkosdan, bornadem

    Teachers are workers.  They can't credibly claim to be fighting for children any more than auto workers fight for cars and drivers. And anyone who thinks that's demeaning to teachers should ask themselves why it's more demeaning to them that it is to auto workers.

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:45:13 PM PDT

    •  Ummm. Wrong. Most of the reasons for the (5+ / 0-)

      strike are things that will directly benefit the students, like smaller class sizes, having books in the beginning of school, etc.  I've yet to hear of the auto workers striking because a car didn't have good brakes or gas milage.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:35:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  .... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, Mostel26 about the fact that students are people and cars are things?  

      That sounds credible to me.  

    •  And next time you are in a union hopital (4+ / 0-)

      you can thank your Union Nurses that you don't share your Nurse with 10 other pts. And by the way mortality rates go up as the pt load increases.

      Union Nursers and Teachers have a long history of fighting for those whom they serve, as well as for their own wages and benefits.

      You are also wrong about the United Auto Workers, the UAW as long history of working for social justice. Pick up Brothers Reuther  for further details. In the '30s they worked with the Poor People's Campaign, for example.

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

      by JayRaye on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:18:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From the UAW preamble: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The precepts of democracy require that workers through their union participate meaningfully in making decisions affecting their welfare and that of the communities in which they live.

        WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

        by JayRaye on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:25:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ??? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      because the environment a teacher teaches in is completely independent from the environment the students learn in, I guess.

      I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

      by happymisanthropy on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:20:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The headline this morning at was (6+ / 0-)

    "Teachers walk out on 400,000 students". I'm sure we'll be seeing more stuff like this and calls for more charter schools.

  •  Funny to be taken very seriously (5+ / 0-)

    for Democrats they have to stand up to the mean ole teachers unions.  For Republican's to be taken seriously they have to just not say illegitimate rape.

  •  It's a dysfunction in the Chicago system (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nospinicus, rosarugosa, askew

    Frankly, the teachers' pay and benefits demands are unreasonable.  So are Mayor Emanuel's demands on working conditions, supervisory control and evaluation.  What I hope we don't end up with is a situation where the teachers are paid big money for putting up with intolerable conditions.  That won't help anybody.

    Ideally, we end up with evaluation that takes into account socio-economic factors and pre-existing student performance; a removal of the tons of dead-wood, incompetent and often vindictive executives, supervisors and principals in the CPS, and provision of proper material and administrative support for teachers to do their jobs.  And basically keep the present level of pay and benefits, which are already very good.

    •  Very well said n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Teachers should be very well paid. They are (11+ / 0-)

      insuring the future of the nation doesn't fall to Idiocracy.

      How much would you pay for that to not happen?

      Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
      Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

      by The Dead Man on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:07:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Idiocracy (5+ / 0-)

        One of my favorites:
        "...The film tells the story of two ordinary people who take part in a top-secret military hibernation experiment, only to awaken 500 years in the future in a dystopian society full of extremely dumb people. Advertising, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism have run rampant and dysgenic pressure has resulted in a uniformly stupid society devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights..."

      •  Yes. But then they have to be very good. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical

        That means the bad ones need to be fired immediately before they perform educational malpractice on several years of students.  

        That means an evaluation and firing process that gets the bottom 10 - 20% out each year within weeks or months, not years.

        •  brilliant! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26, The Dead Man

          let's fire 20%, every year, regardless of system performance!  Let's have everyone looking over their shoulders and backstabbing their peers.  That's just the ticket for creating a positive learning environment!

          I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

          by happymisanthropy on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:26:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure. It's called continuous improvement (0+ / 0-)

            You get rid of the bottom 10 - 20% each year and bring in new and better people.

            Companies like GE operate like this and it works very well.

            •  Schools are not companies. (0+ / 0-)

              My kids are not products, they are people.

              •  OK. So we keep a few of the bottom (0+ / 0-)

                teachers and we let anyone who feels like you do fill out a form and have their kids taught by bottom teachers who would otherwise have been fired.

                Would that make you happy?

                •  This is not about making me happy. (0+ / 0-)

                  Education is important for our country's future. That sounds like an overused phrase, but it is so true. I am objecting to picking an arbitrary number of "bottom" teachers and firing them.

                  I find it ludicrous that you would compare the way schools work to the way a manufacturer of appliances and a financial firm works?

                  Do you even care about children at all or are you simply thinking up ways to make a profit from schools?

                  •  So who does care about children? (0+ / 0-)

                    a. The person who wants to keep the worst teachers in schools teaching children.

                    b. The person who wants to fire the worst teachers and hire replacements to teach the students?

                    And who cares about the teachers, good or bad at the expense of students?

                    This is two multiple choice questions... please answer.

        •  What if the evaluation system gets the wrong (0+ / 0-)

          teachers out? What if the parents know the students are learning in a particular teacher's class, what if the teacher gets a large percentage of students who didn't score well on the previous tests and the teacher is not well liked by the principal because she stays in school working long hours and the principal has concluded this isn't efficient?

          Is the evaluation system that good and are the principals that good that they know who these "bad" teachers are. Or do they succumb to flattery and so forth?

          •  If you can't figure out who the good and bad (0+ / 0-)

            teachers are then what is the point of raising wages?  You may have more choice in who you hire if you do that, but if you can't tell the good from the bad then how does that help you?

            If we really can't identify good vs. bad teachers then we should offer the lowest possible wage that still gets us enough warm bodies - at least that way we save money, even if we can't figure out how to hire good teachers.

            •  I am not saying the teachers cannot be identified, (0+ / 0-)

              I am saying that the idea to fire 10-20% of a teaching staff, just for the sake of doing so, that doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

              I don't want my child in a classroom with a warm body who is being paid the lowest amount. I want my child in with a professional who is being treated like a professional.

              •  I want my child in a classroom with a teacher (0+ / 0-)

                who is very good at getting children to learn.

                I couldn't care less about whether that teacher is a warm body or a "professional" as long as s/he does that.

                The only point in increasing teacher salaries is so that there is a larger pool of potential teachers, many of who will be better than the teachers we get with current salaries.

                But if we do that, then obviously we should replace current teachers at the bottom with some of the new and better teachers that we can attract with higher salaries.

                •  Teachers who are professionals, that is, they (0+ / 0-)

                  know their subject matter well and know how to  teach, they get kids to learn at a higher level, because they know what they are talking about.

                  Luckily, my kids are not in the school system you describe.

  •  The political optics are a problem for the union. (7+ / 0-)

    That said, I'm personally, completely unhinged in my hatred of Emanuel's "education policy."  Rahm's cozy with certain charter school groups is responsible for why my kid's school closed. <- full disclosure.

    "Hate" is not too strong a word...I just haven't figured out the most appropriate application.

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:57:08 PM PDT

  •  Mitt's only thinking of the children! (4+ / 0-)

    God bless him!

    When I think of these "voucher schools" I shudder. We need voucher schools just as badly as Texas needs more fucking toll roads.

    No Jesus, Know Peace

    by plok on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:03:10 PM PDT

  •  wisconsin teacher who will STRIKE (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, badscience, JayRaye

    Teacher strikes are illegal in wisonsin.

    But damn, we are overwhelmed by what they expect of us now.

    My co-workers and I just despair, and then dissolve into laughter.  A collective WTF about what they expect us to do.

    I would strike.  I'd be willing to go to jail.  Any takers?

    The genuine fools are those who believe they are never foolish.

    by miss karen on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:03:47 PM PDT

  •  Wake the hell up (16+ / 0-)

    From reading all the comments on previous posts on this I just have one thing to say:

    What the hell is wrong with so many people that they don't get the need to support CTU right now? On a "Democratic" site no less?!

    This is why Democrats are weak - they don't hang together and are thereby easier to hang individually.

    Stop being fearful concern trolls and rally behind people who have every reason to strike, are our allies, and need our support.

    And while I'm at it: Mr. President get a opinion and find your damn comfortable shoes and show some support for your base. To turn your back like this is shameful.

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

    by michael in chicago on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:04:27 PM PDT

  •  Based on the comments I'm hearing (6+ / 0-)

    you'd swear the teachers just closed down the state day care centers.

    No Jesus, Know Peace

    by plok on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:17:35 PM PDT

  •  If I were a teacher I'd be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bornadem, JayRaye, happymisanthropy

    telling Rahm and OFA to Eff Off if they think I'm going to give them everything I've got for the next 8 weeks while they spit in my face.

    I just can't believe the Effing NERVE of these people!

    Pony, my ASS.

    Teachers, Public Education, Unions.

    These aren't PONIES.

    Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

    by Words In Action on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:30:19 PM PDT

  •  They are my heroes and every single issue (6+ / 0-)

    they are fighting for matters.  I am a career educator and truth be told, I was on the picket line myself in Arizona (imagine!) 35 years ago.

    Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

    by Desert Rose on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:30:26 PM PDT

  •  I am a regular reader of Daily Kos and agree with (4+ / 0-)

    nearly every progressive position that is advanced.  

    I live outside Chicago, I am a teacher (an AFT/IFT member) and I understand the issues at play in the strike.  The decision to strike is a poor decision and will, I believe, weaken the CTU. I cannot support their decision to strike. A tentative deal, reached this summer, covered the financial and many of the working condition issues. This strike is about evaluation and reassignment of ineffective staff. This strike is designed to protect the weakest, most ineffective teachers at the expense of the thousands of amazing classroom teachers. This strike is a disservice to the children and their families.

    My opinion is not  alone voice.  Many within the CTU did not support the leadership and their decision.  

    •  They voted over 90% to strike. (5+ / 0-)

      That sounds like unity to me.

      Ever consider that they know their own working conditions better than you do?

      This is what UNITY looks like!

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

      by JayRaye on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:43:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As I said, the working condition issues were (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical

        settled with the tentative agreement this summer. The extended school day issue was settled by agreement to hire 500 additional staff so senior teachers would not have to work additional minutes.  The remaining issue is the evaluation instrument which must be changed to comply with recent changes in the Illinois School Code.

        •  And as I said 95% of Chicago Teachers (0+ / 0-)

          voted nevertheless to go out on strike.

          You think more than 20,000 teachers voted that way just for the fun of it?

          Oh, wait! Thousands of teachers must be just plain stupid, while you are big brain around here.

          Thank you so much for enlightening us poor stupid workers.

          Next time we'll be sure to check to see if it's all right with you before we fight for our rights.

          WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

          by JayRaye on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 06:51:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Teachers aren't stupid, but their leadership? (0+ / 0-)

            The decision to go out on strike was announced at the last minute, leaving parents scrambling to take care of their kids. Not a great way to treat the families that the union supposedly cares about.

            The teacher's union president, Karen Lewis, is an unimpressive speaker, to put it mildly. CTU will be better off keeping her in the background.

          •  Such anger. Why? I stated a position and offered (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Be Skeptical

            Some insight to support my view. I ever claimed any monopoly on truth or the facts--only offered a different viewpoint.

            Your reaction reflects an anger I don't understand. You leap to conclusion, offer false argument and quickly resort to insult. These are all poor habits of mind for a schoolteacher. If this is the public response to a difference of opinion, you will quickly lose what modest measure of public support you currently have.

            •  Such condescension in your comments, why? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rosarugosa, lotlizard

              And you have never addressed the 95% vote to strike.

              That's one number that you can't seem to deal with.

              That is an incredibly high %, in fact in all my years in the labor movement I don't know of a higher %.

              That is what unity looks like.

              And then you have the nerve to lecture others on poor habits of mind.

              I am not a teacher, but I support teachers 100%.

              Member IUOE, Local 49 for 7 years.
              Member SEIU and shop steward for 8 years.

              Oh wait, that's right, I forgot, people fighting for their rights are not supposed to be angry. Not women, not people of color, and not workers. That would be a poor habit of mind.

              WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

              by JayRaye on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 03:03:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Since we're trading credentials (0+ / 0-)

                AFT (1 year-current)
                NEA (13 years; Vice-President of Negotiations; Grievance Chair)
                Teamsters, Local 743 Chicago (8 years--shop steward, Union Negotiating Committee,)
                Teamsters, Local 705 Chicago (2 years)


          •  Btw where does... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Be Skeptical

            a student's right to an education fall into your angry calculus?

            •  Not sure who you are replying to, personally (0+ / 0-)

              I am not angry about your comments. But I know that teachers have really been picked on in my state. I am angry about that, because it affects morale which affects my own children's classroom experience.

        •  I don't know what the evaluation instrument is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but I do know that some of them are not good and don't find out which teachers are good or not. If the instrument  isn't going to show when teachers are effective and when students are learning, then the instrument should be changed and I applaud these teachers. There is no point in agreeing to a flawed instrument.

  •  Rahm on NPR news this afternoon.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bornadem, drmah

    He sounded very surprised that the strike happened.

    Almost sounded in anticipation of a call from the oval office reaming the Rahm.

  •  I was on a blue line... (0+ / 0-)

    ...platform today under the Daley center when a bunch of teachers came out a train.  I congratulated them and I struck up a conversation with a woman who was VERY republican but she said she really supportedthe teachers standing up to the big money people.  Was rather nice to hear.

    Trip ended sadly though as a young man spoke loudly about being kicked out of his home be a drunken father and he needed money to get to rockford.  Absolute silence in the car.  At least no one yelled at him but I couldn't help as I haven't worked steady in 6 years and the only reason I was on the train is a friend was paying me to go to city hall and get some records for him.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:46:49 PM PDT

  •  Far beyond Chicago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the "Chicago School" of Neo-Cons is always about the Country and world:

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:49:06 PM PDT

  •  With 'Friends' like Rahm Emanuel... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    enemies are redundant.

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

    by xaxnar on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 06:18:15 PM PDT

  •  One can only hope (0+ / 0-)

    that the Teachers' Union is destroyed by this.

  •  univ of illinois on 9! anti ed limbaugh stations! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    anti-ed, teachers effort have been led/enabled by RW radio more than any other single factor- it creates the lies and distortions that enables the anti ed  GOP party and politicians

    according to the list  (link in sig) the u of Illinois pastes its logos on 9 of rush limbaugh's radio stations. how the fuck can a university do that.

    one or two of those stations may be perfect places to protest.

    attacks on teachers go on EVERY week on RW radio and have been for many years. its part of their regular attack on public ed and democracy.

    teachers have been attacked an demeaned on a regular basis. Unions are a constant target and teachers unions are constantly blamed for destroying american ed standards and our kids. it has also been used to

    theyve helped sell the whole bush education testing program for many years.

    those talk radio stations may be great places to protest because it will be different, get media, and make it easy to cut to the root of the problem.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:17:06 PM PDT

  •  CPS Teacher Here (7+ / 0-)

    I am a 19 year veteran of CPS and this is my first strike.  We spent 4 hours this morning picketing at our school (Kelvyn Park) and then another couple of hours in a massive march at CPS headquarters in the Loop.  The outpouring of support by ordinary Chicagoans has been tremendous so far.  Also, many of our students are walking the picket lines with us.  I see that Paul Ryan today claimed that he stood with Rahm Emmanuel, the parents, and the students.  That's funny, because the parents and the students are currently standing with us.

  •  WTF...Lyin' Ryan agrees with Mayor Emanuel? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Being a Chicago Dem means voting for a Dem for Mayor, even if that Dem is Rahm Emanuel.

    The fact is; however, Mayor Emanuel is no friend of organized labor.  That is sad.  Organized labor has given us much.

    I just wonder how all of this will play out in our next Chicago Mayoral election.  I would not be sad if Mayor Emanuel was primaried.  I really do know Richard Daley, Jr.  Rahm Emanuel would not make a good sized pimple upon the Butt of Mayor Daley.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Ghandi

    by Randolph the red nosed reindeer on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:31:23 PM PDT

  •  What the press isn't saying is that the teachers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have INCREDIBLE levels of support.  To the parents, RAHM is the bad guy.

    Karen Lewis is going to BREAK Rahm.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 09:04:33 PM PDT

  •  this is so fundamentally wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    runners glen

    this is going to get me in massive trouble on this site, but here goes: the teachers are dead, flat wrong.

    does CPS have a lot of issues? absolutely. class sizes likely need to be reduced. and yes, you probably need air conditioning -- although CPS waiting to install that makes some sense since its hot only 2-3 months of the school year. but the idea that this strike is about children's welfare is a whole lot of crock.

    joe nocera's column hit the nail on the head. today, in chicago, 60% of kids graduate from high school. only 6% graduate college before the age of 25. in any other profession, that would be nothing short of a colossal failure. we're told all the time that a great teacher makes all the difference - and yet if CPS is so filled with great teachers, where's the improvement in that? you want justice for the teachers? fine. but where's the justice for the kids? because from this vantage point - if only 6% of your kids are graduating college before the age of 25, you're an abject failure at your job. period. if you can't keep less than 40% of your pupils from dropping out, quit. frankly, you're doing more harm than good.

    the CPS has one and only one mission: to educate its children. as such, why shouldn't it be able to pay for performance v. seniority? why should it have to re-hire previously fired teachers before looking for new ones, especially if the previously fired teachers had poor evaluations? common sense tells you that in a large pool, performance will likely be distributed, with some people being great, and other being lousy. if we truly, honestly care about educational outcomes overall, why should CPS have the ability to fire the bottom 5-10% of teachers every year in order to try and recruit better teachers?

    and, for the love of god, why are teachers so opposed to using any data at all in their evaluations? if you'll argue that using data may unwittingly result in good teachers being thrown out with the bathwater, fine, i'll accept that. but without the use of data, you're much more likely to protect a bad teacher than a good one. the vast majority of what a child needs to learn in order to be prepared for college is, yes, quantifiable and testable. math. english. science. and so on. which is where the teacher rating controversy comes in - at the end of the day, the system either protects the adults or protects the children. you pick.

    so what it all comes down to is this: the CTU is striking despite receiving a 16% increase in wages over the next four years (find another job with that guarantee) despite CPS having a $4B shortfall over that same timeframe. and so, if the strike is not about money, it boils down to ed reform. which comes back to the central question: who's this strike for, anyway?

    what a total, unbelievable crock.

    •  Depends what the data is, actually, (0+ / 0-)

      If you mean test scores, then,

      -the test scores should show growth, because by fifth grade, there are kids who are scoring high and kids who are scoring low, and the teacher who gets the lower scoring kids has to work way harder and scores may improve, but still may not be up to level. The teachers who can do that are excellent and you wouldn't want to grade them down for doing such a good job.

      - how are subjects that don't have standardized tests graded on these systems? Do we want/need to create standardized tests in Art or PE, for example? It seems to me that is a waste of money and time.

  •  This morning on Morning Joke they were all over (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the "horrible" teachers union and all the usual bullshit. Not one word supporting the teachers and of course nobody there representing the teachers at all. According to them it is all about teachers' pay. Not a word about conditions in the schools. Pretty disgusting - I turned it off . . . again.

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