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Smiling woman at a rally holding two signs, one saying
Negotiators on both sides of the Chicago teachers strike are now saying a deal may be near:
"We would like to get this done. I think everybody would like to get this done," a smiling Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said late on Wednesday.

She and Chicago School Board President David Vitale said they had made considerable progress toward a compromise.

The corporate education policy industry has been heavily backing Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools management, running radio ads against the striking teachers and pressing hard in the media. But after one poll earlier in the week showed the teachers with support from a 47 percent plurality of Chicago voters, a new poll shows the teachers with 55 percent approval from "voting Chicago households" and 66 percent support from parents of public school students. The kicker is that the poll was done by We Ask America, a generally Republican pollster, on behalf of Capitol Fax.

Chicago's teachers are sacrificing their paychecks and taking a real beating from the pundits to fight this battle, but they should be strengthened by the knowledge that a strong majority of their students' parents understand that this is a fight for better schools. It's a good sign that Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis was smiling as she said a deal might be near—and the only deal the teachers take should be one that leaves not just Lewis but the teachers on the picket lines smiling.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the diary. (21+ / 0-)

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:04:19 AM PDT

  •  I just hope everyone remembers this... (16+ / 0-) 2015.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:07:46 AM PDT

  •  I hope there was compromise on (25+ / 0-)

    the standardized testing issue and its 40% link to teachers' pay.  In my view that's one of the most crucial things at stake in this strike.  "Race to the Top" is "No Child Left Behind" under a different name and these programs have been eviscerating public education for 15 years.  It's time to try a different method, or a least to scale back on the current one.

  •  Hope there is a solution soon for the sake of (6+ / 0-)

    the children, the teachers and all concerned.  I really did not want it turned into a 'shiny object' by the Repubs.  There is too much at stake.

  •  Edit needed to title and diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    katchen, Mentatmark, Dretutz

    Following the links to articles with polling data, 47% supported the teachers strike. See

    47% is a plurality, not a majority.  To be a majority supporters must exceed 50%.  For the linked article, technically speaking, a majority did not express support for the strike (those that oppose - 39% plus those with no oppinion -14%).

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:35:48 AM PDT

    •  That was an earlier poll... (8+ / 0-) noted in this post.

      But after one poll earlier in the week showed the teachers with support from a 47 percent plurality of Chicago voters, a new poll shows the teachers with 55 percent approval from "voting Chicago households" and 66 percent support from parents of public school students.
      Unless she's edited the post since your comment, she did address the poll you cite.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:54:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good, a short-term strike, union victory = positiv (33+ / 0-)

    Rahm seems to have badly miscalculated.  He needs to go in 2015, what a dick.

    My wife is a teacher here in VA.  She has an immigrant girl from China that literally spoke 1 word of English on Day 1 "Hi". She has a student with a profound learning disability (that does have a FT tutor helping him in the class, but still). She has a student that breaks out crying from time to time, as the child is a recovering abuse victim. It's my wife's fault if these kids don't pass a test in May?

    My wife is not only a teacher, but has a second degree in early childhood education, and is a Level 3 Educational Therapist with the National Institute of Learning Disabilities. In addition to teaching, she is taking a class herself in order to keep up her skills and learn new ways to reach kids with learning difficulties.

    As one of the sign-holders signs say - she works a good 12 hour day, and spends a good 4 hours or more prepping on Saturday or Sunday in her classroom.

    And as people have noted - she has had years where all the kids did pass the test, years where many of the kids jumped 2 grade levels or more in their reading, writing and math abilities. She is routinely praised by the 6th grade teachers for how well learned and ready her 5th grade graduates are.

    But, there are years when all the kids don't pass. Years where parents don't listen or care, where some kids don't do a lick of homework. Kids who she can barely keep awake in class because they've been allowed to watch TV all night. Kids who do try, to whom she gives extra help, promotes IEP standards to help the kid succeed and it all just doesn't happen.

    C'mon Chicago, help the teachers succeed, and they will help the children of Chicago succeed.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:38:44 AM PDT

    •  I just hate that our country is filled with (13+ / 0-)

      entitled people who brainwash the public into hating teachers for their own greedy/ideological ends.

      Teachers, on the whole, are some of the most generous, caring and hard-working people in the world.

      The trumped-up anti-teacher media campaign is particularly sickening.

      •  My daughter lives in Chicago... (17+ / 0-)

        ....apparently this morning she witnessed a very heated argument between a CTA bus driver and a passenger who was bashing the teachers. It turned into a "whole bus" debate with most of the passengers backing the driver (and the teachers). The passenger who was arguing against the teachers was a young female yuppie and her comment that turned it into a "no you didn't" moment was when she said that teachers shouldn't expect to make a lot of money because they were "helping people." If this is the attitude of Rahm supporters, it's easy to understand why public opinion is turning against them.

        •  The opposite of John F. Kennedy's line, "Ask not (7+ / 0-)

          what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country." It sounds like that yuppie is a very selfish, ignorant person and I am glad the bus driver told her how he felt. Some people just don't care about kids. But the thing is, the kids of today are our leaders tomorrow. Sounds cliche, but it is the truth.

        •  Typ Clownservative Approach, Which (0+ / 0-)

          unfortunately many "democrats" agree with.

          but this is all academic folks; our nation has become a disgrace, really.

          latest studies show enormous poverty problems.. child poverty is wayyyy up. 800,000 people in August simply gave up looking for work-- because there's nothing there for them

          the 50 year effort by the One Percent to smash the New Deal is succeeding.. mainly because we've all been "too busy" to notice, or to care, apparently

          "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

          by Superpole on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 04:12:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Blaming teachers for poverty (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badscience, Jollie Ollie Orange

        and the elite's refusal to pay taxes and fund public education. The physical condition of our public schools is shameful. Schools around here, in relativelly well-off Western MA have leaking roofs, no auditoriums, few libraries or librarians, and have been cutting back on recess, phys ed, music and art. It is shameful that poor and middle-class children are bearing the brunt of tax cuts for the wealthy. It makes me sick.

        Meanwhile, no one is working for improved jobs programs, higher pay for low-wage workers, let alone a living wage.

        So many kids are in families that are stressed out by poverty and hunger.

        Meanwhile politicians keep bragging about this being "the greatest country on earth."

        Yeah, maybe for Mitt Romney it is, while he keeps his $ in the Caymans and Switzerland.

        Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

        by coral on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 06:44:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I often came to school beaten, hungry, and angry. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          No teacher could get me to do anything I didn't want to do. All my concentration was on the bad movies in my head. No teacher deserved to be fired because I couldn't be taught. And many tried to help me.

          I can't stand to hear teachers denigrated by billionaire self appointed education experts.

          You teachers are some real beautiful people.

      •  What is particularly sickening (0+ / 0-)

        is the fact Paul Ryan agrees with Rahmbo on this.

        see the DISconnect here?

        and numerous democrats are on board with totally privatizing the public school system.

        weak, very weak.

        "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 04:09:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  On top of that (8+ / 0-)

      our administration doesn't even think they need to be in class.

      Now that the four week shuffle is over (around 50% of my students are the same ones I started out with at the beginning of school  and we have a new grading system that erases grades when students are switched from one class to another.  Of course we're never notified, let alone consulted when they take students out of our classes, so you don't have a chance to print out their grades before they disappear) they are starting to take them out every day for field trips, conferences, assemblies, and various and assorted dog and pony shows.  And testing testing testing.

      We have a library, but it is in use as a testing center most of the year.  All the laptop carts are in use by the testing coaches.  Now they want to take the few computers we have in our rooms and use those for testing, too.

      People outside of the ed biz don't have a clue what modern education has become.  You'd think it would be obvious to anyone that that there's no point in testing students over what they've never been taught because instructional time is cut back more and more every year so they can do more testing.  But of course, apparatchiks don't think.  The testing coaches naturally want to preserve their jobs -- it's much easier than being in a classroom.  The testing companies want to keep on making their profits.  That's all it's about anymore.

      Light is seen through a small hole.

      by houyhnhnm on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:52:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where are the parent-trigger supporters now? (13+ / 0-)

    66% of CPS parents support the teachers and their cause.

    Since 2/3 of parents support the teachers and their union, why aren't those who advocate parent trigger and "parent power" calling for CPS to give in to CTU's demands?

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:46:51 AM PDT

    •  waiting for their bully movie to come out (3+ / 0-)

      Can't believe the nonsense our leaders are trying to sell instead of pushing back on Republican nonsense...

      “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” Former Democratic Congressman - Tom Perriello "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - MHP

      by justmy2 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 06:01:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  verification of new poll (0+ / 0-)

    i would love to see the details of the new poll - but i can't find it anywhere.  it is not on the weaskamerica site.  I'm wondering if this poll is for real?  Can someone please provide a link to the actual poll.

    •  after some searching i found this (0+ / 0-)

      Still don't understand why someone would commission a poll and then not release it to the public?  And then release some of the results but nothing to verify those results.  This poll seems in line with other surveys on these issues but still why the secrecy?  Something doesn't seem right to me.  I'd greatly appreciate it if someone has some insight.

  •  Teachers at highest leverage right now... (0+ / 0-)

    As strikes drag on, public support usually wanes as well as parents are forced to find long term care for their kids and students start missing too much school time.  Not to mention teachers will never make up the wages lost in a long strike by any raise they eventually get.  

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

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 10:58:43 AM PDT

  •  Chicago parents MUST support this strike ... (5+ / 0-)

    for the long haul.

    I've been through four strikes. Each time, the public stood for professional education, then weakened toward what it wanted more -- child care.  The public can't have the former when it always caves for the latter. Not in the long run. Teachers keep trying to teach the public that very lesson. That's the real basis of "tenure," as well.  When the public wants a committed professional education that creates stability in the institution across generations, the public must commit back by offering the qualified 'tenure' which honors proven teaching quality.

    The public will have either professional level education or intern level child care for its children. But it will only have what it fights the corporate privatizers for.  It will also only get what it's willing to pay for.

    As someone already wrote in these threads... "Those who would trade quality education for the relief of child care deserve neither education nor child care."

  •  These teachers have guts having a strike now (7+ / 0-)

    and risking the public's negative reaction. I'm glad they stuck to their guns and will strike a blow, however small, for the future comeback of unions.

    The latter I've been waiting for for a long time, after unions have taken an insidious beating by Republicans and their
    corporate masters since Goldwater.

    "listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go." --ee cummings

    by Wildthumb on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:22:32 PM PDT

  •  As a CHicagoan (11+ / 0-)

    I definitely support the TEACHERS...if it wasnt for teachers i would not have a gramma school, highschool, undergraduate, or graduate diploma...i never understood y teachers r underpaid..hell it took teachers to make teachers...

  •  Why does the press always go for the negative in (8+ / 0-)

    unions? Are we in the turn of the 21st century, or the 20th?

    •  it's not just the press... (11+ / 0-)

      When was the last time you saw a positive image of a union worker in a TV show? In a Hollywood movie? In a novel?

      The corporate powers have been working to demean and diminish unions for decades. They have almost succeeded in getting rid of unions in the private sector, and the past few years have seen a searing attack on the remaining strong unions in the public sector.

      Look at the employment numbers. The major areas where we see serious drops in employment are in federal, state, and local jobs. Many - if not most - of those jobs were union jobs.
      By cutting government employment, not only do the big corporations siphon off public money to their private coffers, but they also weaken the unions further.
      That's why they've done their best for decades to create a caricature of the union worker; one that makes it easy for non-union citizens to undermine their own best interests by voting for politicians who promise to crush unions.

    •  Ruling elite controls the media... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Do you think the corporate mass media is going to portray teachers in a positive light when they need someone to use as a whipping boy to explain the failure of U.S. Capitalism to solve the wicked problems of American poverty, crime, mental illness and incarceration rates?

      Educational experience based on non-consensual behaviorism is authoritarian mind control.

      by semioticjim on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 06:22:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also, I am no fan of Rahm (4+ / 0-)

    never was and i was very pissed and confused as to y Presi O picked him as COS..

  •  Highlight (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, grimjc, Ice Blue

    So today ABC7 News (WLS) opens with their coverage of the strike and one protester in the background has a big sign prominently off to the right of the reporter for the whole segment that clearly reads: "

    Rahm is a one term mayor

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

    by michael in chicago on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:29:44 PM PDT

  •  my guess is the deal is completely around evals... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and so, i'll repeat verbatim what i'd written last night (although too late to provoke any reaction), which is if the evals requirement is weakened, its a horrible result for chicago's kids, and a shameful result for liberals and progressives, which i'm proud to call myself.

    i realize this will be unpopular on a post about union solidarity, so i'll try to stick to the data. nick kristof's piece yesterday lays it out much better than i.

    in the last few years, there's been a ton of academic research on the effect of teachers on performance. normalizing for other factors (including, of course, poverty), what the gold standard / best thought out study said was this:

    Get a bottom 1 percent teacher, and the effect is the same as if a child misses 40 percent of the school year. Get a teacher from the top 20 percent, and it’s as if a child has gone to school for an extra month or two.
    The study found that strong teachers in the fourth through eighth grades raised the game of their students in ways that would last for decades. Just having a strong teacher for one elementary year left pupils a bit less likely to become mothers as teenagers, a bit more likely to go to college and earning more money at age 28.

    Removing the bottom 5 percent of teachers would have a huge impact. Students in a single classroom with an average teacher, rather than one from the bottom 5 percent, collectively will earn an additional $1.4 million over their careers, the study found.

    i get that evaluations are difficult. i get that there is a probability that some "good" teachers may fall into that bottom 5 percent camp from time to time. but teaching is a skill-based, talent-based profession with a distribution of abilities. no teacher has the right to stay at their job forever, irrespective of performance. they, like every other talent-based job, ought to earn it, day after day, and if a multi-year (ideally, 3 year) performance review finds that a teacher is not adding value (and yes, standardized tests have to be part of the equation, since they're the closest measurement we have to educational outcomes today), then they have to be removed from the classroom, immediately.

    the fight in chicago isn't over salaries. at the heart of the matter, underneath the rest of the rhetoric, this argument is over whether and how a CTU teacher is evaluated. already, CPS is starting to cave. from the sun-times:

    The district’s latest proposal softens an evaluation system that the union said could have put nearly 30 percent of CPS teachers on the path to dismissal if they didn’t improve their performance within a year.
    The proposal made public Wednesday would allow those teachers to stay at their jobs indefinitely, as long as their scores didn’t dramatically decline after the first poor score.
    if the above concession is true, that's shameful. 3% of all african-american children who graduate from CPS go to college. that's an indictment of the whole system, yes of poverty, yes of facilities, but also of teachers as well. frankly, if i was a chicago taxpayer, and i knew my teachers were getting a guaranteed 16% pay raise not tied to performance, i'd be ashamed. and we as liberals, we as defenders of the social safety net, as those who care deeply about the lives and well-being of the poor, of those who need nothing more than a chance in order to demonstrate their true potential, should be appalled.
    •  16% raise is 4% over 4 years - cost of living (0+ / 0-)

      And at the rate gasoline/food prices are changing, that may  not be enough.

      That point keeps getting skipped over, like the billions supposedly carved out of Medicare are spread over 10 years.

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

      by xaxnar on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:58:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Teacher evaluation plan is a union busting (3+ / 0-)

      swindle. The charter school movement has been hijacked by Wall St. Some new corporate charter school plans call for up to 40 kids per classroom and for changing teaching from a life long profession to a temporary job. Five years and out.

      Once corporations get the public schools closed and their greedy hands on our education tax dollars, these teacher evaluations will go away. Walker in Wisconsin only tests public schools, charters are exempt, same in Ohio.  

      No government service is made better by privatization. It is just a swindle to put tax dollars into corporate coffers. If the corporations, hedge fund managers, and wealthy self appointed education experts would get the fuck out of the way, we could fix most of our ailing schools and modernize the Unions and public school teaching. But Rahm and his clients are out to destroy public education and bust the Unions. They want the money. They are not honest players.

      We are watching another daring daylight robbery by Wall St.

    •  It isn't that teachers are dead set against (4+ / 0-)

      evaluation, it is that the evaluation itself must be tied to their teaching. Standardized tests don't evaluate teachers' abilities. People have already commented about their OWN experience as teachers: you get a room full of students. Some are disabled. Some are hungry. Some are abused. Some have moved so often they have no grounding in the "basics." Some are performing at grade level. Some are performing above grade level. They are all crammed into a hot room, with no textbooks for over a month, computer labs without technology, bathrooms without toilet paper.

      I kid you not; one of my colleagues at my public university told me about her mother (who teaches in CPS): there is no toilet paper in her school; teachers have to bring it and give the students a few sheets when they use the toilet. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???

      What kind of evaluation is going to do justice to the difficult, wide-ranging work that a teacher does in those circumstances? That is just the tip of the iceberg, my friend.

      Add to that the ongoing de-professionalizing of teaching as a career. Pay sucks. Here in Wisconsin, there is no advantage to continuing education (getting a masters, or special training) because all the pay boosts for extra teacher learning have been cut back. My public university's Department of Education has seen enrollment for MA degrees fall off the cliff because there is no reason to invest in one.

      The "wisdom" of the corporateers is that old teachers are tired out, lazy and bad. This couldn't be further from the truth. And that 1% of bad teachers? I am sure they exist, and there are means to shed them. But you can't decide someone is a bad teacher because the students don't test well on standardized tests. Particularly in urban schools. The failure of urban schools to move students into post-secondary education isn't primarily the fault of the teachers.

        •  Thank you! (4+ / 0-)

          I'm all fired up about this, and I get SO MAD when progressives believe the bullshit about teachers/unions that the profiteers/privateers feed them.

          I have friends who saw "Waiting for Superman" and suddenly believe that public schools, teachers and teachers' unions and the cause of every possible social ill. POS propaganda bullshit.

          •  I don't claim to have all the answers... (0+ / 0-)

            ...but the idea that breaking the traditional view of tenure, that things like the rubber room should not exist, isn't a corporate view. It's using basic common sense.

            Again, I think most teachers are often performing heroic duties in their classrooms -- and that conditions are often horrific. But the general principles still remains - teachers are a talent based profession. We know that talent matters. The studies all point to that as irrefutable. Given that, it is absolutely fair to say that 1) we need to evaluate teachers and 2) we need to transition those who can't teach, irrespective of effort, out of the profession immediately.

             The question is can you measure the value that a teacher adds. And all the evidence so far suggests that you generally can, even adjusting for those conditions you mention. Do they need to be fixed? Absolutely.  But this strike isn't about toilet paper. This strike, at it's heart, is absolutely about the evaluation systems.  The mere fact that teachers who do not show a meaningful improvement in the performance of their students over a multi-year period in CPS cannot be let go is immoral, unethical, and shamefully bad.  

            And to your point about secondary education - no one said it is all the fault of the teachers. But in a system that is nothing short of horrific, the idea that the union is blocking a mechanism that could improve education by removing bad teachers from the classroom is absolutely shameless.

            •  You're wrong if you think that the strike is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              not, in part, about "toilet paper" - and if you aren't horrified that children go to school, and talented adults go to work, in a place without even the basic supplies for a dignified experience let alone a "glorified" one, you're being willfully obtuse.

              No toilet paper, no computers, no textbooks, broken facilities, broken spirits: how is this unworthy of a strike?

            •  I don't think most districts have a rubber room. (0+ / 0-)

              So to make it sound like most do, and that that is the normal way that schools operate is somewhat dishonest.

            •  spp17, I really think you need to realize that (0+ / 0-)

              "Waiting for Superman" was a movie made with the intent to create disdain for unions. It is a propaganda movie, not a documentary. That is why it was not nominated to the Academy Awards.

              School reform shouldn't be a simplistic goal to do away with teachers. Every teacher, even excellent teachers are constantly having to evaluate what they do with each new group of kids.

              You are making these statements "talent matters". I don't think anyone disagrees with that talent matters.  I don't even see why they would study whether talent would matter or not, of course a talented person is better than a non-talented person, in any situation. I don't think school districts routinely look for less talented teachers, except in the sense that they all do look for less experienced (often less talented, but not always the case), less expensive teachers.

              That value-added stuff is just bizarre. You are suggesting that the P.E. teacher be graded on the math scores of the kids in his gym class? The French teacher should be graded on how well the students read in English? I don't understand how that idea is even being considered.

  •  I'm from the pro-teacher wing of the Democratic... (8+ / 0-)


    And I'm sick and tired of Ivy League blogger theorizing assholes who've never had a job that required any work different than a dorm room bull session trashing teachers.

    I'm sick and tired of the liberal pants peeing over unions.

    But most of all, I'm tired of the "I've got mine" attitude.

    Which is of course counter-productive. Ask any real estate agent (who for some reason lean (R)) what the single #1 factor in property values is: good schools. Funding schools is like paying yourself if you're fortunate enough to own a home in real, measurable equity, and even if you rent, it's worth the investment, of course, too.

    I'm tired of teachers wanting to make a middle-class, head-of-household wage an excuse for aiming political fire at them so that the vampire-drain capitalist class can pay less taxes than they already do.

    The best thing any Congress could do is simply passing a law paying every teacher in America 3x what they're making now and hiring 3x more. It would pay itself back 100 fold.

    All of these same worshippers of the free market seem unwilling to apply the simple supply and demand principle to teacher's salaries and pay them more. This isn't to say that there aren't already talented teachers: of course! but if being a teacher is as highly coveted a job as being a mere rearranger-of-rich-people's-money like me, we will be in a better country and a better planet.

    Even if none of this were true, it would still be retarded for any liberal to go along with criticisms of teachers because it is not driven by a group of good faith good government types, it is driven by a bunch of fundie assholes who want to destroy public education and take America back to the dark ages so their kids won't have to learn such outrages as set theory.


    GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

    by Attorney at Arms on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:36:33 PM PDT

  •  Go Unions! (5+ / 0-)

    I was a teacher for 30+ years.  AFTER I was retired I was hired back for 4 more years.  I loved working on behalf of the kids, most ALL teacher do.  Just the thought of doing something... anything... that could lead somebody to have a better life or legitimately cause them to feel better about themselves was all I wanted.  Givin' a damn is special... but it comes with a cost.
    Rahm Emanuel sounds like a traitor to me.

  •  Go teachers! (4+ / 0-)

    You all have some real cojones. It's one thing to threaten to strike, but it's another to actually do it.

  •  OT (0+ / 0-)

    I get a Rob McKenna ad on the homepage (I'm in Seattle). He looks like—well he looks like Roberta McKenna. Is that the best photo the GOP could dig up? Go Inslee!!

    Do I laugh now, or wait 'til it gets funny?

    by WalterNeff on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:43:26 PM PDT

  •  As a Chicago resident, (8+ / 0-)

    I've stumbled upon two large rallies after work this week and the sight of thousand of teachers, students and parents marching together and fighting for their rights has truly been inspiring. Rahm has got to go.

  •  I am glad Chicago's teachers stood up for the kids (5+ / 0-)

    and for themselves and I hope a real solution is at hand.

    Finally someone is standing up for  the education of children  in the US.

    We need you, teachers, you are teaching our future!

    Way to go.

    •  Right.. this has been brewing for some time (0+ / 0-)

      160 Chicago schools don't even have libraries; and many don't have playgrounds.

      some schools have leaky roofs, and most classrooms don't have air conditioning... you think Rahmbo works in an UN air conditioned office at City Hall??

      Chicago school teachers have been talking about these problems for years-- and when you hear them say "give us the resources we need", this is what they are referring to.

      why not have school in a barn? the notion environment/infrastructure and staffing (aides, nurses, social workers) etc just aren't needed is a load of crap

      "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 03:56:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One thing is for sure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    With average teacher salaries $70,000 + in Chicago and with 40% of the students not graduating high school, teachers deserve a big pay raise and better bennies and such.

    Who would be against that?

    The truth is like the can shut it out for a time, but it isn't going away.

    by r2did2 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:45:09 PM PDT

    •  I think that is the challenge for many districts, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bookgirl, AgavePup

      if you have a high percentage of kids who don't show up, (in high school), what do you do about it? How do you teach people who don't show up?

    •  The whole fucking country deserves a raise! (3+ / 0-)

      These teachers are, for the most part, busting their asses in an inner city poisoned by poverty. The poverty and lack of funding to the public schools, funds that are being bagged off to the corporately owed charters, are the reasons so many schools in America fail. Not because a profession with the hardest working people in America in its ranks are just phoning it in.

      If you think you're paying too much for education now wait till the corporations take over. And you'll be paying for the Walmart wage teachers food stamps too.  

    •  Sooo (0+ / 0-)

      cutting teacher pay in half, to $35,000- as is the case with some of the lauded charter schools-- this creates/motivates great teaching how?

      the high staff turnover rate at charter schools? left out of the discussion, of course.

      "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 03:58:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  privatizing schools (6+ / 0-)

    is on a par with privatizing ss, one not good for kids the other not good for older americans, some things just have to be socialized and profit thrown out.

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

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

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

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

    emphasis added

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

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

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

    emphasis added

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      in that platform, or was it just for show?

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

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

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

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

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

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

        [ Parent ]

  •  Union busting Democrats shouldn't be tolerated. (5+ / 0-)

    We can do better than the current mayor of Chicago.  

    When the going gets rough, the average go conservative. --Henry Rollins

    by Beelzebud on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:58:29 PM PDT

  •  Solidarity....thank Chicago Teachers (7+ / 0-)

    For Saying ENOUGH....

    Rahm should be thankful Scott Walker was a jerk along with Kasich...because if this were the first big public union showdown, he would be giving the President all kinds of headaches.

    Did I mention how much I truly dislike everything Rahm stands for a Democratic government official?

    Btw-at least we now know why he left his chair on the campaign.  He thought his little power play was more important than the country.  How did you guys in Chicago elect this joker again?

    “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” Former Democratic Congressman - Tom Perriello "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - MHP

    by justmy2 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:59:09 PM PDT

  •  I am a special educator (4+ / 0-)

    I teach middle schoolers with emotional disabilities. We are located in a large comprehensive school. This was my day:

    1st block: 7th grade social studies. Fed the kids first - fruit, bought with my own money - because the free & reduced breakfasts are pretty skimpy. Created a class timeline which they hung on the wall (high up, which necessitated climbing on the bookcases,which they loved) and learned about principles of political systems which they liked less.

    2nd block: I got to plan and grade but didn't get to the copier because I hosted an 8th grader who needed a place to calm down. When he and I had chatted and he got to a good place, I sent him on his way but by the time I got to the copier, it was broken.

    3rd block: Co-taught 6th grade English in a mainstream class. Honestly, it was a bit boring.

    4th block: 7th grade English. Fed the kids more fruit, read The Outsiders while sitting on the rug and pillows I purchased. They started on the other side of my room, but by the end of the chapter, they were all clustered around me calling out vocabulary words as they came across them and similes and metaphors as I read aloud.

    Lunch: Joined by the 8th graders because one of their peers had jammed a paperclip into the overhead and caused a shower of sparks, a bad smell, and some pretty badly burned fingers. By the time they calmed down and the crisis had been averted, I was able to hit up the copier. Woo hoo!

    Last block; Co-taught a mainstream 6th grade social studies class. Lots of fun. The kids and the teacher entertain me.

    After school: Talked with my fellow teacher about the day. Sent 3 text messages to parents about homework and received a  phone call about a lost book. Met the parent on the way out of the building to deliver another copy. Stopped by the store on the way home to pick up cake mix and icing in a tub (hey there are only so many hours in a day) for our Fun Friday activity. Thought so hard about how I was going to rewrite my lesson plans to meet the needs of my current 7th graders who learn differently than last year's 7th graders that I missed a turn and had to take the long way home. Made dinner, baked the cake , and started writing down my thoughts for the new and improved lessons. Stopped a few minutes ago so I could watch Project Runway and check the blogs. I'm tired.But honestly, I love my job. And if you want to see what my principal Tweeted about me, send me a message. Pretty cool! But I am not overpaid and if you base my evaluations on my 7th graders - who I will teach from 6th to 8th grade - I won't do so well. These guys are so fragile that they don't test well and it reflects in their test scores.There has to be a better way to evaluate my effectiveness as a teacher.

  •  interesting (0+ / 0-)

    On the lady pictured, I wonder if her teacher went on strike while she was supposed to be in school? Mm.. maybe not

    a little bit of this, a little bit of that

    by MWV on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 09:11:36 PM PDT

  •  I am what I am today because of TWO (0+ / 0-)

    crucial factors:

    1.) a smart, strong mother.

    2.) several smart, strong PUBLIC school teachers.

    the issue(s) in Chicago are supposed to be resolved by 2:00 pm today (I have my doubts). even if the kids go back to school on Monday, the battle is not over in Chicago-- or in the rest of our nation.

    Numerous cities and states (Illinois being a prime example) have been horribly managed financially-- and now school teachers are to be thrown under the bus to "save money"?


    the GOP and the "new" democrats (GOP lite) want to treat the public school system like a corporation. sorry, it can't be done-- and it's a totally dumb idea.

    as far as the union being the problem-- horsecrap. Finland's eduation system is often lauded-- guess what, theirs is a totally unionized system.

    states in the U.S. that are doing well educationally-- totally union. so we can put that old sock to rest.

    "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 03:52:17 AM PDT

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