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Chicago teachers are taking on the education agenda of the one percent, and that means they're taking a beating in the media. But a new poll shows that it would be a mistake to take negative headlines and criticism from pundits and politicians as representative of what Chicago voters think. It turns out that 47 percent support the strike, with 39 percent opposed.

Additionally, less than 20 percent of the registered voters surveyed by McKeon & Associates said that Mayor Rahm Emanuel was doing a "good" or "excellent" job handling the strike.

The Chicago Teachers Union denies claims by Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools management that a deal is near:

"The Chicago Teachers Union has 49 Articles in its contract, to date, we have only signed off on six of them," said union spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin. "The Chicago Public Schools has made proposals to change nearly every article. It is not accurate to say both sides are extremely close-this is misinformation on behalf of the Board and Mayor Emanuel.  We have a considerable way to go. This is a fact they cannot deny."
Claiming that a deal is near is a tactic sometimes used in high-profile contract negotiations to apply pressure; here, if people believe Emanuel's claims, the idea is they may turn on the teachers when that doesn't pan out. With 43 articles in the contract yet to be settled, this strike is going to continue to involve a fight for public support, so more such tactics are likely.

For now, the teachers have the support of the Chicago public, if not of the media. That means it's time to double down on the message that Chicago teachers are fighting to improve Chicago schools and get the tools they need to teach their students. Nearly half of Chicago voters understand that. Not only that, they're fighting a national fight against flawed, teacher-targeting "reforms" that range between not having been proven to work and having been proven not to work. And they're fighting to keep teaching a valued profession, not a convenient scapegoat in the war on workers.

Rahm Emanuel's going to be fighting for the attention of the 14 percent who don't know what they think about the strike. Chicago teachers need grassroots support—that's you—to keep getting their message out. Let Chicago teachers know you're standing with them as they fight for better schools and educational justice.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 12:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good, need good teachers for good schools nt (15+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 12:42:43 PM PDT

  •  problem (28+ / 0-)

    Having taught in Title 1 schools for 37 years, I know that rating teachers by student test scores is obscenely stupid.  Suppose we were to rate Sloan/Kettering on cancer patients against a hospital with only male patients with high psa test scores.  Both are considered cancer patients--and Sloan fails--even though it is the best hospital.  Living in poor neighborhoods affects student outcomes.  Having high student mobility lessons the effect of a teacher.  Are cops in Beverly Hills better than their brothers on the Compton force?  Are soldiers in Afghanistan more gun happy than those at Camp Lejuene?

    Schools in "good" neighborhoods are not failing--wonder why?  Finally--until the teacher is allowed to write their own curriculum, and order their choices of books, they can not be held accountable.  Why not integrate schools?  Why not ban private schools--forcing the rich to have a stake in local schools?  Why not change school funding, so that the poorest schools don't have the least money to spend while they need the most?

    Support teachers--they're more important than lawyers and doctors--yet earn less money and respect.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 12:56:24 PM PDT

    •  That is the problem. (14+ / 0-)

      Well, that is several of the problems. Somehow all these people who claim they're all about statistically measuring everything don't know enough about statistics to see these giant problems with their plans. Or -- more likely -- they just don't care.

      •  long story short (4+ / 0-)

        Brown v Bd of Ed put Black kids in "White" schools--and that lowered school test scores because of sociology and neglect--and bigotry.  All of a sudden--schools are failing--not a coincidence.  Teachers started making a decent salary--that raised taxes--and taxes are the enemy to many.  Teachers vote Democratic--that made them the super enemy.
        Lack of a fiscal policy the last 2 years forced the fed. to force down interest rates, which forces down pension fund performance, which puts a huge hole in budgets.  Instead of making 8% on their portfolio, they make 1% and need to make up the difference.
        Finally, Reaganism doesn't raise incomes for the general population--it is intended to help those already ahead.  Yet money is needed to make up for the loss in revenue--first they went after the unions--PATCO--then tried to divert SS money.  Now municipal employees.
        Sorry--this didn't end up as short as promised--and there's so much more.  In sum, we're getting raped, the only question is if it is forcible.  Seems to be statutory--but that's debatable.  

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 02:20:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You hear about the "tyranny of low expectations" (6+ / 0-)

      but expectations without tools never got anything built. If you asked two groups of people to build a treehouse, and you gave one some branches you collected, some string and scissors, and the other a fully equipped workshop with a pile of lumber, who do you think will build the better house.

      The tyranny is not low expectations — it's the refusal to provide tools to those who don't have them. (And by "tools" I'm referring to not just school supplies or classroom equipment but enough to eat, a safe, stable place to live, decent health care etc).

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

      by anastasia p on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:06:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You've got Obama's back. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Does he have yours?

      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 Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:48:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems the lamestream media has lots of work to (8+ / 0-)

    do to paint teachers as Welfare queens 2.0.

    yesterday BS-lover(BS=Bowles-Simpson) Dick Durbin crowed that teachers are letting students down. Time to send this turncoat to go look for his bearings.

    "The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out”. - George Carlin

    by Funkygal on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:18:43 PM PDT

  •  Diane Ravitch - teacherken (11+ / 0-)

    I encourage everyone here to read teacherken's interview of Diane Ravitch posted @ dkos over a year ago.

    Or read Ravitch's article entitled "The Myth of Charter Schools"

    Or read her book, "The Death and Life of the Great American School School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education"

    She makes clear that the central demand "Rahm the Retahd" is making, i.e. linking student testing scores to teacher performance evaluations, will destroy public schools in this country.

    Rahm and his ilk must be stopped.

    Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

    by maxschell on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:35:05 PM PDT

    •  Where can I find Diane Ravitch's writings on what (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      we can do to improve schools that are failing? - and by failing, I mean not successfully educating children.  I am very interested in what can realistically and systematically be done to improve public education but I am not well read on the topic and would like to really understand what educators like Ravitch believe to be the best path forward.

      •  In my experience what conservatives (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action, bornadem, rosarugosa

        and "pragmatists",meaning people who claim to be pragmatic Democrats but are really conservatives, not just anyone who says they're pragmatic, tend to say things like "we can't just throw money at the problem.  But having know a lot of teachers I think the first step really needs to throw a lot of money at the problem.  If you look at what schools do poorly you will invariably find that those schools are in poor neighborhoods.  If you look at well performing schools they are almost exclusively have rich students.  When a school has rich students their parents give money to the school so there are more resources for students, vice versa for poor schools.  If you want schools to succeed then give them the money to teach kids, give them the money to have supplies that kids need to learn, give them money for air conditioning and other infrastructure kids need to learn.

        We've bought into the "work smarter not harder" mantra so much that we think that hard work is never needed, and that's killing us.

        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:04:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I consider myself a pragmatic Democrat (5+ / 0-)

          and I believe there is no better use of money than public non-charter education. And every time I hear that "Throwing money doesn't solve the problem" mantra, I want them to go to the parents in Beachwood, Ohio, an upscale suburb that spends more per pupil than virtually any system in Ohio, and tell them to quit wasting their money because money doesn't by good education. Then run. Fast.

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

          by anastasia p on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:13:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I never liked Rahm (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, rabel

      and never could understand what Obama sees in him. He's an arrogant jerk, and certainly not my idea of a Democrat.

  •  I sent some money yesterday to show my support. (6+ / 0-)

    Can't remember the website, but if anyone else knows it, couldn't hurt to list it.

    The one thing I'm certain of is no union has sufficient funds in their strike fund for the strikers to not suffer significant financial hurt.  These teachers are on the frontline, taking this risk for all teachers, all students, and all middle class Americans.  

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

    by gustynpip on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 02:08:09 PM PDT

    •  Donate Here (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustynpip, Words In Action, bornadem

      CTU Solidarity Fund

      The Chicago Teachers Union is currently on the front lines of a fight to defend public education. On one side the 30,000 members of the CTU have called for a contract that includes fair compensation, meaningful job security for qualified teachers, smaller class sizes and a better school day with Art, Music, World Language and appropriate staffing levels to help our neediest students.

      On the other side, the Chicago Board of Education—which is managed by out of town reformers and Broad Foundation hires with little or no Chicago public school experience—has pushed to add two weeks to the school year and 85 minutes to the school day, eliminate pay increases for seniority, evaluate teachers based on student test scores, and slash many other rights.

      Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

      by michael in chicago on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:57:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  On the local news today, they're interviewing (7+ / 0-)

    WHITE kids who are being coached to whine about how their holding schools aren't teaching them anything and please please will their teachers come back.

    "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 Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 03:55:16 PM PDT

    •  God, if that were me back in the day, (4+ / 0-)

      I'd be telling that interviewer about all the fun I was having being out of school.

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

      by anastasia p on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:09:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heh. You must be watching the wrong (10+ / 0-)

      channel: what I saw was Black kids (teens) shouting, "Students united can never be divided"....and I thought to myself, man o man, if we could just get all these KIDS (the high schoolers) to rally around this thing, sheeeeeit...we may be able to kill a coupla birds with one stone.

      Did you hear the one about the teachers using the restroom at the 63rd Street Police Station and getting a standing ovation?

      Some schools' janitorial and maintenance staff are rumored to be refusing to cross the picket line.

      Yeah, City of Chicago workers--from teachers on down!--could  be poised to do some serious  boat-rocking here.

      THose of us here on the ground KNOW that this is about so much more than just the teachers--it's about intolerable conditions in our inner cities that make it damn near IMPOSSIBLE to teach, or to live, frankly.

      Well, heck, Rahm, come on down to the south side one of these fine, 100+ degree days to teach 35 6th graders in an un-air-conditioned classroom...make sure you dodge the gunfire on the CTA bus while you're coming in, and, you know, send the kid who's suffering from a combination of PTSD, ADD, hunger, and a severe case of broken spirit to the guidance counselor. Oh wait, there is no guidance counselor. OK, so send him to the bathroom--don't forget to keep a roll of TP in your desk so you can give it to him on his way out the door, right? Cause you know damn well the CPS can't afford to put TOILET PAPER in the bathrooms of these schools either...

      Do. Not. Get. Me. Started.
      End of Rant.  

      •  I was watching Channel 7. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Granted it was the 5:00 news, so I didn't see what was on at 4.

        "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 Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:16:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I heard on the radio that a mom said, "I wish (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        there were classes, but if the teachers have to do this, they have to do this."

        •  Here's the deal: kids know who cares about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          them--their parents and their teachers. The conditions that have been created for both these sets of "caregivers" (parents and teachers) have made it, as I said, damn near impossible to translate that caring into action.

          I've heard enough parents pissing and moaning about this strike....several who were "taken by surprise" when they showed up at school Monday to drop their kids off. To one of them, I said, "You know, as a parent of a CPS student, it is your JOB to watch the News. You don't have the luxury of NOT watching the news just because you don't like to. Warnings about this strike have been all over the News since May. If you didn't get the memo, that's on YOU."

          Point was taken.

          The parents who are complaining about this strike (most of them are NOT complaining--the ones who understand and accept their responsibility as parents KNOW that this is NOT about the teachers--it's about the kids)...are the ones who are concerned with being INCONVENIENCED themselves. They are the ones who don't have the kids' best interest in mind, but I believe it is possible to bring them to their senses and make them understand that this is absolutely about changing the conditions in these schools so that teachers can do their jobs. At present, they cannot.

    •  They need to interview this white kid.... (5+ / 0-)

      Spencer Tweedy, he's blogging and supporting public school teachers and doing a great job. This kid is awesome, chip off the old block I guess. :-)

    •  Not sure why (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the kids being "WHITE" adds anything to your point. Is it that they aren't interviewing enough people to get a diversity of opinions on the issue or is it that because they are white they have some privilege that makes their comments inherently not valid.

      •  They're not going into the neighborhoods that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bornadem, rosarugosa

        are most affected by what the City is doing.  They don't want to hear about the poverty, the hunger, and the other issues.  

        "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 Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:15:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  47% support the strike, with 39 % oppose (11+ / 0-)

    That 47% makes it kind of a majority opinion really should be noted.

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:49:40 PM PDT

  •  Keep talking to your friends and neighbors. (8+ / 0-)

    Keep having the convos and making the points and reiterating the arguments.  Keep it reasonable but insistent.

    The bought-n-paid-for media whores cannot beat a face to face chat over the proverbial back fence.

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

    by Marjmar on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:54:23 PM PDT

  •  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

      [ Parent ]

    •  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

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another CPS parent who supports my teachers. (14+ / 0-)

    I am sickened at this school system ... but not my child's school. It is a neighborhood school and, as such, the truest form of public education one can find in this city.

    I wish all my teachers ... and all teachers in our public schools ... the best.

    I hope the strike is short -- but gives real reform for the future.

  •  Anti-Union Media Buys on Radio in Chicago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    On WBBM you can hear anti-union ads from a group with Rahm connections* called 'Education Reform Now' pleading with both sides to come to a compromise.

    Yeah, right.


  •  Rahm's from the era (7+ / 0-)

    when proving your seriousness as a Democrat meant crapping on Democratic ideals and constituencies. I hope that era is ending.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:11:39 PM PDT

  •  Rmoney needs to keep pounding Obama on this (4+ / 0-)

    it'll either force Obama to show his true colors, or maybe, just maybe, force him to do the right thing.

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

    by The Dead Man on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:21:55 PM PDT

  •  don't read comments (4+ / 0-)

    at newspapers: many of the commenters seem to be knee-jerk conservatives who believe everything they're told, and have no idea how to find out anything for themselves.
    I was pointing out the class sizes and the textbooks and the roofs and the AC. Doubt that it got through, though.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:38:18 PM PDT

  •  One new fact (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for me is that the school district opened every article in the contract, a clear indication that they were intent on forcing a strike or capitulation.

  • are a Democrat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, rosarugosa

    start acting like one.

    •  Rahm is not a Democrat. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg, squarewheel, bornadem

      He's never done anything but tear the Party down from within.

      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 Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:36:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where are the Democrats? (6+ / 0-)

    Where are the Democratic alderman?
    Where are the Democratic State Reps for Chicago districts?
    Where are the Democratic Congressional Reps for Chicago districts?

    Why aren't they on the picket lines?

    I'll tell you why. Rahm will shut down their fundraising, so they are afraid.

    So here you go Chicago Democrats: choose your base or Rahm's wealthy donors. Which one will it be? You going to throw your base under the bus or stand up to the school yard bully?

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

    by michael in chicago on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:02:45 PM PDT

  •  Well, at least the President is behind you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, rosarugosa

    After all, we're talking teachers, unions and public education, and he's a Democrat. Surely he's behind you. Right?

    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 Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:47:57 PM PDT

  •  CPS parent (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bornadem, rosarugosa, Mostel26, ydice

    who supports the teachers, not the Board of Ed. I see the Mayor's move as a) trying to demonize teachers and their union and b) about closing "underperforming schools," laying off the union teachers, and re-opening them as charter schools, i.e. for-profit schools run by corporations with non-union labor (more "flexibility").

    In other words, another excuse to turn public commons into profit centers. Boo.

    "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." - Hubert Humphrey

    by Hope Despite All on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 09:00:44 PM PDT

  •  sigh...might as well repeat myself (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    today, 60% of students in CPS graduate high school. in total, 6% graduate college before the age of 25.

    those statistics are an absolute disgrace. and yes, poverty is partially to blame, and parents have to be more involved, and resources have to be improved. but every single member of the CTU should be ashamed, outraged, and guilt-ridden by that performance.

    every other profession in america, from police officers to doctors, from bankers to machinists, has some means of judging performance, with either pay or promotions tied to evaluations. for teachers, we all should agree on the ultimate goal: student achievement. the question is, of course, how that is measured. if we assume all ways of measuring achievement are innately flawed, you're left with two choices: you can either use a flawed metric that oversamples teachers as poor, or use no metric that effectively makes it impossible to fire a teacher, increasing the odds that a child is stuck with a bad one.

    teachers are not robots. they are not assembly line workers. they are performing a skill-based job - and like any other skill-based job, there are likely to be fantastic teachers, and lousy teachers. why are we so unwilling to use data and test scores? (especially since the evidence strongly suggests higher test scores correlate to greater student achievement - see here (, and here( why are teachers exempt from a normal distribution?

    yes, teachers need higher pay. and yes, they need better conditions. but no teacher has the right to be in the classroom. they have to earn that right - and if they don't, if they prove they can't, we cannot as a society allow even a marginally mediocre teacher to keep teaching kids all in the name of union solidarity. the stakes are too high for that. we owe it to ourselves to do everything we can to educate that child - and if that means firing x% of teachers a year because they're at the bottom of the curve, so be it.

    oh, and by the way, the academic evidence also points to one very bad outcome of this. teacher strikes almost invariably HURT student achievement. see here ( strikes lead, during that year, to statistically significant drops in math and reading scores, mostly due to lost time.

    •  one more thing... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      at present:

      - 4th graders in chicago perform 9 points worse than the national "big city" average and 16 points worse than the national average for the math NAEP
      - on reading, they're 8 and 17 points worse, respectively
      - chicago students used to be in session for only 170 days out of year, less than the state mandated 176 or national average of 180. mean, mean rahm emanuel lengthened the school year to 180 on average
      - chicago students current average 5h 45 minutes in elementary school per day, as opposed to the national average of 6h 42 mins. (the secondary school average of 7 hrs, over 6.6 of the national average, is a positive step). rahm did sign a recent deal (at the heart of the strike) extending the school day by 90 mins.

      those of you who reflexively support the CTU - i genuinely applaud your conviction and your heart. but explain to me the statistics on top - and tell me how your heart doesn't break, or how you so miss the forceful case for change that reformers make to change the status quo? ed reformers make a grave mistake when they pretend to know all the answers - but they know the status quo is patently unacceptable.

      that's why i believe in school experimentation, charters, longer school days, longer school years, frequent testing, merit pay, and the like. it's because the status quo is morally unacceptable.

      •  Have you ever taught in a classroom? (0+ / 0-)
        •  for the record, yes... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...but it was a long time ago, and it wasn't the same as what teachers, many of whom truly do pour their blood and sweat into their jobs, do on a daily basis.

          it gives me no joy to say that the effort doesn't matter. but i believe teaching is a talent-driven profession. i believe some are better at it than others. there is a gift in the ability to inspire children to learn. and, like any talent-driven profession, we should reward those with that talent -- and seek to move those without that talent out of the profession.

          i also don't think it matters one bit whether i taught. what's the point - that teachers have a monopoly on knowing what's right in a classroom? come on...

      •  I ask because you are right that no one has all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the answers, each child is different and each one requires a teacher who cares about him/her and his/her learning and be able to teach a subject to that child.

        But, if your experimentation includes phrases like "class size doesn't matter" then I can't take your solutions seriously, because class size does matter.  Frequent testing? That can be ok, if the test is well-written and based on an excellent, challenging curriculum. Just testing to compare students, and aren't from the unit being taught, no, not a good idea.

        As for the statistics, I don't see how merit pay is going to help with that. A longer school day might, but, more likely there needs to be sort of after school programs, sports and places for kids to hang out, where they are supervised  and can get help with homework.

        I would be convinced that reformers wanted to change the status quo if they were using ideas from schools and teachers that were already working. There are excellent teachers and programs in every school system.  Let's take a look at those instead of experimenting with a business-model in a classroom setting.

      •  ... (0+ / 0-)

        So can we evaluate Rahm by the number of shootings in his city?  Oh, wait...

    •  Sometimes you have to fight for what is right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The stakes are high and the evaluation system is what the teachers will use to guide their teaching. Thus, it is extremely important that the district get it right.

      I don't get the idea that the teachers or administrators or parents want mediocre teachers in the classrooms. They want more services for students, a well-rounded curriculum and a good evaluation system.

      •  so what's your alternative? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        because that sounds an awful lot what CPS did.

        The Chicago Public Schools in March unveiled an evaluation system (pdf) in which standardized testing makes up 40 percent of the rubric, which was designed by panels that included teachers, principals, and teachers’ union officials (including the president).

        again, no evaluation system will be perfect. ever. but an evaluation system that isn't significantly based (over 20%) on student performance on standardized testing and demonstration of individual outcomes improvement is fundamentally, fatally flawed. it ends up protecting the teacher instead of the student.

        •  I am not a Chicago teacher. But I wonder, what (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          subjects are tested? Math, English, maybe Science? How do the Art, Foreign Language and P.E. teachers get evaluated?

          I actually think that basing the teacher evaluations on student test scores is a good idea. Not because other evaluation systems are flawed, but because it is more objective than some other criteria used.

          However, what if I were teaching in a school that had many children who didn't attend preschool, didn't know their alphabet, their numbers, didn't have the slightest amount of school skills when they came in to school in knidergarten. Should I be compared to a school district that has kids that have been to quality preschools and already have a head start? If my students make a lot of progress, but score behind their luckier counterparts, do I get a low evaluation?

          What about in fifth grade. What if my principal gives me all the kids who scored low on the fourth grade test and all the kids who scored high on the fourth grade test go next door to Mrs. Jones? Are test scores for the fifth grade test weighed equally for both teachers?

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