Chicago teacher strike: A collective scream

posted at 2:41 pm on September 11, 2012 by Mike Antonucci

The members of the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike this morning. It’s difficult to call this a surprise after virtually every voting member of the rank-and-file authorized it in June.

I am not best situated to opine on what exactly caused the strike, but it appears that those “in the know” have widely diverging accounts of what the sticking points actually are. Alexander Russo, who runs the Chicago-centric District 299 blog, suggests that maybe one side or the other, or both, wanted a strike for their own purposes.

That’s not to say this is all a stage play – just that some of this stuff only rose to the level of a “strike-able” issue because of the political climate and the personalities involved. As Arne Duncan will testify, negotiations between the Chicago Public Schools and the union have often been acrimonious, but they never quite reached the exploding point. Few remember now that CTU members authorized a strike in 2003, but a contract settlement was reached soon after.

What’s different now is that we live in a post-Occupy world where any occasion for the airing of grievances is the occasion for the airing of any grievance. Some CTU members are upset about pay. Some about class size. Some about standardized tests. Some about Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Some about Evil Corporate Puppetmasters. Since going out into the street and screaming is normally frowned upon, a strike is the perfect solution. Instead of going to work and subjecting yourself to the things that make you angry, you line up with your buddies and yell at the boss all day.

The stars aligned when CTU members elected Karen Lewis and her CORE slate to power. Lewis stood for genuine union militancy at a time when previous regimes were considered to be sellouts.

I wrote back then that “Lewis’s election may have large implications for the Chicago Public Schools. Her politics are significantly to the left of the machine Democrats who run the city and the school system. ‘What drives school reform is a single focus on profit. Profit. Not teaching, not learning, profit,’ she said in her post-election press conference.”

I believed that Lewis would join a long list of union outsiders who quickly became insiders. I was wrong about that. Oh, she almost did, but she learned that her muscular activism filled a niche left empty by Illinois and national teacher union leaders. She may be AFT’s most well-known local president.

In the short-term, strikes favor the union. Parents don’t have any pull with the union, so when they are inconvenienced they complain to the district and the city. The pressure on “management” to settle up is strong. But as the days extend into weeks, and the first paycheck is missed, teacher enthusiasm drops at the margins and the rank-and-file starts looking for an acceptable offer. Regardless of the outcome, both sides will declare victory – even if the strike ends up costing both sides money.

In 2001, the Hawaii State Teachers Association went on strike for three weeks and ultimately accepted an offer that netted teachers an additional $148 per year over the final offer before the strike. The California Teachers Association still remembers Wayne Johnson this way:

The watershed nine-day strike by United Teachers Los Angeles in May 1989 was “a breakthrough for the professionalization of teachers,” said UTLA’s then-president Wayne Johnson, who went on to become president of CTA. As CTA Action reported, UTLA members won “revolutionary reforms,” along with a 24 percent salary increase over three years.

What the union doesn’t remember is that the district’s final offer before the strike was for 21.5 percent over three years. When you subtract out the money lost by teachers during the strike, they barely broke even.

A settlement will be reached in Chicago when the financial costs of the strike exceed the psychic benefits. The last Chicago Public Schools pay day was Friday, September 7, which helps explain why CTU didn’t go out until today. The next pay day is September 21. If there were a betting pool on this, I’d put my money on a deal being reached next weekend.

Update (Ed): The Illinois Policy Institute put together this video of the demonstration, overlaid with five key facts about education in Chicago:

1. Chicago public school teachers are already well compensated. By CTU’s own figures an average teacher earns a salary of $71,000 (CPS reports the number is $76,000 without benefits). Even if we only compare CPS teachers to others with college degrees, they still do well. According to the US Census American Community Survey, the median annual wage for persons with a college degree is $48,866 in Chicago. CPS teachers earn nearly half again as much as an average worker in Chicago with a college degree.
Note: Average teacher pay at Urban Prep Academy, the Chicago charter school that has sent 100% of its graduates to college for the third consecutive year is $47,714.

Note: CTU walked away from a $400 million package that include a 16 percent raise.

Note: CPS is currently offering a 16% pay increase.

Dispelling longer school day myth: Under the interim agreement, teachers will continue to work roughly the same hours they do now. Instead of requiring teachers to work a 20 percent longer day, the Chicago Public Schools have agreed to hire more teachers to fill the extra instruction time with such classes as art, music and physical education.

2. Four out of every ten kids who start freshman year at a public high school in Chicago do not graduate. While poverty and crime certainly complicate instruction, this is not a system where anyone, including the administration, teachers or the union, can rest on their laurels.

3. Chicago public schools expect to drain their cash reserves in the upcoming year and are likely facing another shortfall of as large as $1 billion the year after that. It is doubtful that the district can afford across-the-board pay raises.

Note: CPS had to return a $35 million federal grant — Teacher Incentive Fund — because CTU refused to implement merit pay. CTU called CPS’ acceptance of the grant a “fraudulent action.”

4. Chicago receives almost $2 billion in funding from the state tax funds. That means almost 35 percent of Chicago’s total funding for education comes from state taxpayer funds. The entire state, not just Chicago, is paying for the failures of CPS and CTU.

5. CPS has the shortest school days and year in the nation when compared to the ten largest cities in the nation.

That’s quite an education.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

The Egyptian thugs violate our sovereign territory, just like attacking our country, and the response by the WH is to apologize????

Someone should call the WH and tell the president he can rise from his bow…

STL_Vet on September 11, 2012 at 3:44 PM

These are the people who can answer the question, “are you better off today…than 4 years ago?” with a resounding YES and they still want more.

16% increase in wages and benefits?

If you go looking for a real job, they are not paying what they were paying 4 years ago.

Fleuries on September 11, 2012 at 3:45 PM

were simply demonstrating their concern over the presence of we dhimis who arrogantly violate their precious and holy muslim state, doncha know.

hawkeye54 on September 11, 2012 at 3:39 PM

You know, I think you are right. And we should help them in sanitizing those areas in the middle east where we have deigned to trod. Perhaps a little bottled sunshine could help erase the memory of our presence from places like that.

AZfederalist on September 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Holy crap — was that the entire U.S. statement? Not a word about the thugs violating our rights and our property, just a thinly-veiled apology for the Muslim extremists’ hurt feelings?

Un-flippin’-believeable.

AZCoyote on September 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Yup that was it. The official US statement faults free speech and seeks to protect Islam.

Un-freekin’-believable.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on September 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM

The more things remind America that Barry is Jimmie Carter, the more likely 2012 will be 1980.

bayview on September 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM

4. Chicago receives almost $2 billion in funding from the state tax funds. That means almost 35 percent of Chicago’s total funding for education comes from state taxpayer funds. The entire state, not just Chicago, is paying for the failures of CPS and CTU.

That would be my family and others who live in Illinois but not in Chicago. You know, the ones that got socked hard when Governor Quinn raised our state taxes by 67% to pay for his sweetheart deals to unions shockingly promised just before the 2010 election. Grrrr…

Fallon on September 11, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Gluttony and Sloth.

These pigs might as well be licking grease off their ringed fingers while sreaming for hossenfeffer.

Buttercup on September 11, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I come from a family of educators. My Grandfather was a Superintendent of Schools in Eastern Iowa. My mother was a teacher. My first exposure to the classroom was an Ed 201 or some such that made us go out to a classroom and tutor once a week.

Needless to say, it soured me on Education. The old broad who taught the 6th grade math class was a couple months from retiring and was active in the union. didn’t give a crap that her students were behind where they should have been.

I became a Teamster. I’d rather be a Teamster than belong to the Teachers Union – I’d choose Hoffa and the Mob over the teachers union any day of the week. Hoffa and the mob need to make a living. The teacher’s union doesn’t know what making a living is because they’ve been given their living – no questions asked.

oldroy on September 11, 2012 at 3:48 PM

“When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”
Albert Shanker
President
United Federation of Teachers

“…It’s about POWER”
Charles Sykes
NEA President

Nuff said…

Strike Hornet on September 11, 2012 at 3:48 PM

EddieC on September 11, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Dang! Somebody should post a side by side. That’s a close resemblance. ;-)

AZfederalist on September 11, 2012 at 3:49 PM

This is Kubuki Theater. BO campaign and his surrogates are floating a trial balloon to see how public will react to this faux crisis. When BO steps in and pushes back the rising “crisis” they will see how the polling reacts. If the sheeple test positive, look for more strikes in next 50 days.

jbh45 on September 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

It’s a little alarming, but not surprising, to see so many willfully ignoring key facts in order to support your ore scripted Rahman Derangement Syndrome narrative. In this case, the Mayor is, in fact, leading the charge against the teachers union with such vigor that the fight has become very personal. The Superintendent he brought in has a reputation as a serious reformer in challenging urban school districts, also as someone very willing to take on the unions. The key sticking points are not wage-related (the large-ish increase is in part the product of a decision to lengthen the school year, btw), but the ability of the administration to evaluate teachers more accurately and to fire teachers who don’t measure up. In other words, Rahm is — to some extent — carrying water for the Republican Party.

So, you may or may not hate teachers and their unions, but in this case Rahm is fighting for reformat that should be supported across the political spectrum (and will be, by voters).

urban elitist on September 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

With 26,000 staffers and 400,000 students, there is 1 staffer for every 15 students.

kringeesmom on September 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said today that the President is backing him and not the Union. Well, Romney ought to be hammering the President on this since the President and Democrats get millions from the Teacher’s Union.

Romney should be running ads on this in Swing States, and maybe even Illinois right now! Make the President address the Mayor’s statement. This is a huge opportunity for the Romney campaign because it pits the union against the parents and kids. Make Obama own the union, and by virtue thereof, stand against the middle class families in Illinois and everywhere.

So folks, let’s get busy. Call the Romney campaign connections that you have and tell them if they are not all over this, to get all over it – NOW!

SheetAnchor on September 11, 2012 at 3:57 PM

It’s a little alarming, but not surprising, to see so many willfully ignoring key facts in order to support your ore scripted Rahman Derangement Syndrome narrative. In this case, the Mayor is, in fact, leading the charge against the teachers union with such vigor that the fight has become very personal. The Superintendent he brought in has a reputation as a serious reformer in challenging urban school districts, also as someone very willing to take on the unions. The key sticking points are not wage-related (the large-ish increase is in part the product of a decision to lengthen the school year, btw), but the ability of the administration to evaluate teachers more accurately and to fire teachers who don’t measure up. In other words, Rahm is — to some extent — carrying water for the Republican Party.

So, you may or may not hate teachers and their unions, but in this case Rahm is fighting for reformat that should be supported across the political spectrum (and will be, by voters).

urban elitist on September 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

LOL

Strike Hornet on September 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

40% of Chicago Teachers send their own kids to other schools.

Steveangell on September 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

So folks, let’s get busy. Call the Romney campaign connections that you have and tell them if they are not all over this, to get all over it – NOW!

SheetAnchor on September 11, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Right.

Romney is going to attack Obama.

Even though Romney thinks he is doing a great job. Just ask his spokesman.

Steveangell on September 11, 2012 at 4:05 PM

With 26,000 staffers and 400,000 students, there is 1 staffer for every 15 students.

kringeesmom on September 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Even more at the end of the School Year after all the drop outs. 40% grade 9-12.

Steveangell on September 11, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Collectivist scream. They even made sure to wear their Red shirts.

rayra on September 11, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Say what you want about these highly professional teachers in the video, but it’s obvious they’re highly educated, and classy. Why, just check out the dedicated educator in the black T-shirt at about the 1:10 mark, behind the woman with the megaphone. Even though she’s on strike, she’s managed to get camera time so she continue to school her students about Geography and topographical features. Who, but a professional, Union teacher from Chicago, would have the smarts and class to teach about the splendors of Wyoming’s famous mountain range in such a novel way?

While I’m certain her morale will droop considerably, she is standing with her comrades, no cleavage in their ranks; as they stand firm against the ever groping hands of the State. Or something.

Kenz on September 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Oh dear, Karen Lewis on the radio saying we know more about children than rich people. WTH.

Fallon on September 11, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I have said all along that barack is looking at his own internal polls, and they are disastrous. He is going to lose, and lose badly. This Chicago teacher strike is a fully staged event for barack to swoop in and “solve” it “for the kids.” This is pure political theater, brought to us by Axelgrease. Watch for it.

Rational Thought on September 11, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I’m sorry, Karen Lewis said the teachers have more in common with parents and children than with rich people.

Still, WTH.

Fallon on September 11, 2012 at 4:12 PM

SparkPlug on September 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

I have to admit, I do enjoy your alliterative posts…;-)

ccrosby on September 11, 2012 at 4:16 PM

The key sticking points are not wage-related (the large-ish increase is in part the product of a decision to lengthen the school year, btw)

urban elitist on September 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Hmmm from July:

…Instead of requiring teachers to work a 20 percent longer day, the Chicago Public Schools have agreed to hire more teachers to fill the extra instruction time with such classes as art, music and physical education…

…“You can’t afford not to [do it]. You cannot relegate kids to the shortest school day and shortest year. This is the only way they’re going to have a chance at the future,” Emanuel said at a news conference with Vitale and Schools Chief Jean-Claude Brizard…

Fallon on September 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM

The teachers strike FOR THE CHILDREN does one thing that Obama desperately needs, takes the horrendous economic numbers of Friday off the front page.

August’s report on Obama:

96,000 jobs created.
370,000 people gave up looking for a job.
5,000 small businesses closed.
176,000 new food stamp moochers.
85,000 new SSDI approvals.

Even that storming of the USA embassy in democrat Egypt helps with his true Achilles Heel.

jukin3 on September 11, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Romney won’t attack Obama on this (directly, anyway) because it takes attention away from the economy, which is the issue Romney thinks he’s going to win on. He’d also give Obama a chance to talk about his support for charter schools and other reforms that the unions hate, making Obama look like the moderate who puts children first.

Besides — I think most people like teachers, and aren’t going to be persuaded by any thing that seemsike an attack on that nice Mrs. Jonson, who’s teaching little Billy’s third grade class.

And, finally, voters in Florida are going to wonder why Romney is talking about a teachers strike two thousand miles away, and not about Medicare.

urban elitist on September 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Oh dear, Karen Lewis on the radio saying we know more about children than rich people. WTH.

Fallon on September 11, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Straight out of the obama campaign. This is political theater. They’ll go on until folks reach a boiling point, and barack will “personally negotiate” a solution the works for “the kids” and the “middle class” teachers.

Rational Thought on September 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Fallon: school day length and school year length are two separate issues. In addition to lengthening the day in the manner you point out, the school year was increased by 10 days.

urban elitist on September 11, 2012 at 4:22 PM

It’s a little alarming, but not surprising, to see so many willfully ignoring key facts in order to support your ore scripted Rahman Derangement Syndrome narrative. In this case, the Mayor is, in fact, leading the charge against the teachers union with such vigor that the fight has become very personal. The Superintendent he brought in has a reputation as a serious reformer in challenging urban school districts, also as someone very willing to take on the unions. The key sticking points are not wage-related (the large-ish increase is in part the product of a decision to lengthen the school year, btw), but the ability of the administration to evaluate teachers more accurately and to fire teachers who don’t measure up. In other words, Rahm is — to some extent — carrying water for the Republican Party.

So, you may or may not hate teachers and their unions, but in this case Rahm is fighting for reformat that should be supported across the political spectrum (and will be, by voters).

urban elitist on September 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Paul(Jack) Ryan has already called out support for Rahm.
No such luck with Obama.
Blizzard (sp) came from Rochester, NY. Was fighting his whole time here. Schools still suck.

Jabberwock on September 11, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Perfect timing to focus the nation’s attention on already overpaid, overcompensated, and over protected striking public employees who are turning down offered pay raises much better than about 95% of private sector employees can hope to see in the next four years.

If the Dems and Teh One have a plan to capitalize politically on this it may soon be too late. The longer it goes on the more the nation learns about how overpaid, overcompensated, and over protected unionized public sector employees are. Combine that with a strike demanding more and, in current parlance, the “optics” are really bad.

Tell us more King Obama about how the private sector is doing fine and that it’s the public sector that is hurting.

farsighted on September 11, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Romney is going to attack Obama.

Even though Romney thinks he is doing a great job. Just ask his spokesman.

Steveangell on September 11, 2012 at 4:05 PM

And this is precisely why we must “push” Romney and his staff at every opportunity.

A few weeks ago, Romney had no problem telling Obama to “take his campaign of division, and anger, and hate back to Chicago…”

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2012/08/15/mitt_romney_take_your_angry_division_and_hate_back_to_chicago

So contact your Romney campaign connections.

SheetAnchor on September 11, 2012 at 4:24 PM

The UN’s Declaration of Human Rights – Article 26 states:

1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory.

Is the Teacher’s Union depriving the children of Chicago their basic human rights?

Marine WX on September 11, 2012 at 4:33 PM

The Superintendent he brought in has a reputation as a serious reformer in challenging urban school districts, also as someone very willing to take on the unions. … In other words, Rahm is — to some extent — carrying water for the Republican Party.

So, you may or may not hate teachers and their unions, but in this case Rahm is fighting for reformat that should be supported across the political spectrum (and will be, by voters).

urban elitist on September 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

If you are correct about Rahm’s being a school reformer (admittedly, a very big IF) then this would be the first time that I have ever agreed with you. School reform (everywhere, but particularly in Chicago) is a compelling necessity. Whether it comes from a Democrat or a Republican, school reform is a good thing.

The problem is, the Public Employee unions have such a stranglehold on the machinery of the Democratic party that it is just about impossible for a Democrat to make meaningful reform. The city or state in question has to be literally on the cusp of bankrupcy for a Democrat to take any action against the unions.

By the way I don’t hate teachers (at least the good ones – I like them actually). What I despise is the teacher’s UNIONS, and the incompetence, sloth, waste, and left-wing-activism-in-the-classroom that they represent.

SubmarineDoc on September 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

And, finally, voters in Florida are going to wonder why Romney is talking about a teachers strike two thousand miles away, and not about Medicare.

urban elitist on September 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM

This is a target of opportunity, not the main battle front, but nonetheless, one that can be exploited quickly and easily. All they need do is call the President out on this by a strong statement, and subsequently direct campaign surrogates to make mention of this in their TV interviews. The more the voters know about how much money public workers are paid at the taxpayers’ expense, the more they will feel outraged against unions – one of Obama’s and the Democrats’ largest financial and voting constituencies.

Romney has to fight on both main battle fronts, and strike hard at targets of opportunity.

SheetAnchor on September 11, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Fallon: school day length and school year length are two separate issues. In addition to lengthening the day in the manner you point out, the school year was increased by 10 days.

urban elitist on September 11, 2012 at 4:22 PM

I understand but they’ve been overpaid for years. They’ve been getting full time pay for part time work.

From Daisy_WI:

If you extrapolate their 6 hour day x 163 day work year – it’s less than a part time job (978 hours / year, 2080 is 40 hours/week)

Fallon on September 11, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Chicago teacher strike: A collective scream

…should be a collective MOOOOOOO!

KOOLAID2 on September 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy.

No it isn’t. One factor of American democracy is respecting a person’s right to practice his or her religion as he or she chooses to practice it, within reasonable boundaries set by Christianity. Respecting the religious belief itself isn’t required. And that particular twisting of the idea opens the door to denying a person’s religious practices simply because they aren’t “respectable” — it implies some subjective decision has to be made. Within boundaries, Americans don’t think we can deny a practice at all, whether we find it respectable or not.

We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of other

And that bit is just scary. It is sort of pure. Since “hurt the religious beliefs of others” makes no sense at all (unless it’s inadvertently ironic), it has to mean speech is unacceptable that “hurts the feelings of people with a particular religious belief” — and things like that shouldn’t come from any American ambassador’s metaphorical or literal mouth. If it’s the opinion of the United States government that we are not free to find fault in religious belief, we might as well stop pretending.

I think we need to firmly reject that statement.

AZfederalist on September 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Axe on September 11, 2012 at 4:53 PM

…should be a collective MOOOOOOO!

KOOLAID2 on September 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Well, the teachers do seem to think that they are sacred cows.

Fallon on September 11, 2012 at 4:55 PM

What’s the deal with teacher union women from Wisconsin and Illinois? Umm… do you have to weight a couple hundred pounds and up?

Hummer53 on September 11, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Romney should be hammering this on the trail, and in TV ads, to highlight the failures of public education, especially in Obama-town.

Ward Cleaver on September 11, 2012 at 5:02 PM

It is never about the children.

It is always about the money.

There is nothing more obnoxious than a rich communist.

Keep this in mind – all you private sector workers – who subsidize these teacher union parasites. They take your taxpayer dollars, want no accountability, destroy generations of children’s lives – except succeed in indoctrinating them.

So one day, when you are well into your retirement, hoping that all of the planning & penny-pinching will keep you afloat, and hoping that you have any health care remaining… that the person in the fancy development living in a $500,000 house debt free, taking vacations, while spewing ‘social justice’ rhetoric, is probably earning > $50,000 year in pension, with health care mostly subsidiized by yor tax $$$. Who would fault a frustrated 80yr-old from hauling off to get one lucky blow to knock out the rich communist who provided little, but sucked a lot out of you, and this country…. and retired at 55.

F’n rich communist teacher union bastards.

Parasites. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Danny on September 11, 2012 at 5:03 PM

What’s the deal with teacher union women from Wisconsin and Illinois? Umm… do you have to weight a couple hundred pounds and up?

Hummer53 on September 11, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Lots of treats in the teacher’s lounge. Seriously.

Fallon on September 11, 2012 at 5:04 PM

It’s so endearing when teachers care so much about the children that they walk out on them to protest that they’re only making twice (w/ benefits) what the median worker makes.

Because, it’s all for the children.

Pablo Snooze on September 11, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Barry’s Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, sure did a great job in Chicago and now’s he’s in DC doing more good work.

/sarc

Robert Jensen on September 11, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Just in from Kos, well, it’s from August 16, 2012:

Rahm working with the Tea Party.

Too funny.

Fallon on September 11, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Alexander Russo, who runs the Chicago-centric District 299 blog, suggests that maybe one side or the other, or both, wanted a strike for their own purposes.

Yeh. Rahm wants to de-certify the unions so he can go full bore on a private school system he doesn’t have to pay for. That’s his purpose.

Lewis is big mouth idiot that will bring that about all the faster. That’s her purpose.

MarkT on September 11, 2012 at 5:25 PM

The Chicago Teachers Union is currently on the front lines of a fight to defend public education.

Fallon on September 11, 2012 at 5:21 PM

:)

Axe on September 11, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Lots of treats in the teacher’s lounge. Seriously.

Fallon on September 11, 2012 at 5:04 PM

I followed your link, it was for a parent who was to provide snacks for the teachers’ lounge. Now, this was in St. Louis (if the parent’s name is consistent with her location). Median teacher salary in St. Louis is $55K, median family income in St. Louis is $35K. So, you have a volunteer parent, providing free food to teachers who make more than community median income. Ponder that a minute.

AZfederalist on September 11, 2012 at 5:48 PM

The empty chair didn’t exactly jump into the fray in WI, either, so I don’t look for him to exert much leadership in Chitown. Val knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em in that cesspool. Rahmbo doesn’t know it yet but he has bus tracks on his back.

Kissmygrits on September 11, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Is that the boss of the teacher union or the mom from Honey Boo Boo?

curved space on September 11, 2012 at 6:17 PM

I am a CPS teacher, who normally has conservative leanings, but i have to comment on this article.

First, as to the longer day. Yes, the Board was supposed to hire 477 teachers, but they haven’t. The extra time is now spent on recess, longer lunches, but not academics. There is also a longer school year.

Rahm unilaterally took away a 4% raise that was negotiated, bribed some schools (and teachers) to prematurely have a longer day (which the Illinois Labor Relations Board found illegal).

While complaining about money, he found enough to pay his new superindendent $53,000 (I think) than the previous one, and found several hundred thousand dollars to be for new administrators.

His hand chosen school board consists of political allies with no educational experience.

The raise that the board offered was 6% the first year, then 2% a year for the next three years. To me, that is a slightly more than a12% increase when compounded.

The board routinely redefines positions to fire older, highly qualifed teaches and replace them with younger, cheaper ones. As an example, a computer department was eliminated at a school and the teachers fired. Then they created a information technololgy department at the same school and hired all new teachers.

The average salary in Chicago is $64,141 for those with a college degree. (http://www.salarylist.com/city/Chicago-IL-Salary.htm) not 48,000. Remember, many CPS teachers have at least one Master’s degree.

Urban Prep,may send 100% of its graduates to college, but that is because they get rid of the non-performing students. Look up their freshman enrollment and compare it to the number who graduate.

The Union is NOT against merit pay. The dispute is how merit is measured, and how much of it is based on student achievement. How do you compare the achievement of a student at a highly selective enrollment school, who has parents that act as parents, to the student who is really nothing but a feral child?

mghirsch on September 11, 2012 at 7:31 PM

The contract ran out last June. That is when Rahm should have stopped paying the teachers. Not now.

KenInIL on September 11, 2012 at 7:46 PM

The board routinely redefines positions to fire older, highly qualifed teaches and replace them with younger, cheaper ones. As an example, a computer department was eliminated at a school and the teachers fired. Then they created a information technololgy department at the same school and hired all new teachers.

[...]

How do you compare the achievement of a student at a highly selective enrollment school, who has parents that act as parents, to the student who is really nothing but a feral child?

mghirsch on September 11, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Number one, they should clean out the dead wood. Those older, “highly qualified” (as you call them) teachers often can and should be replaced by fresh, better recruits who don’t demand as much money. Sorry, we’re not running a charity here where people get to stay employed in the same positions (working only half-days, mind you) with ever-increasing pay and where they are never at any risk of being replaced with vastly superior employees. Just because someone has been at the same teaching job for decades doesn’t make them a good teacher.

to the student who is really nothing but a feral child?

How disgusting that you refer to the students in this manner. In my experience, the people who act like animals are the slobbish, striking union teachers who shriek about wanting more money and never wanting to work even a minute more than they have to.

The average salary in Chicago is $64,141 for those with a college degree. (http://www.salarylist.com/city/Chicago-IL-Salary.htm) not 48,000. Remember, many CPS teachers have at least one Master’s degree.

We all know that have a Master’s degree is MEANINGLESS. Anyone can get a Master’s degree if you fork out enough money. Are we supposed to start paying teachers more because they have a useless and meaningless Master’s degree in Sociology or Psychology or Education? It’s garbage.

bluegill on September 11, 2012 at 8:52 PM

The contract ran out last June. That is when Rahm should have stopped paying the teachers. Not now.

KenInIL on September 11, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Yeah but they didn’t go on strike last June. What reason would he have had to stop paying them since last June? (Being horrible at their job is not a sufficient reason)

Buttercup on September 11, 2012 at 8:58 PM

bluegill on September 11, 2012 at 8:52 PM

You’re a hoot.

Buttercup on September 11, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Chitcago needs the Jindal education solution.

slickwillie2001 on September 11, 2012 at 9:05 PM

OK kids, I’m in chicago today. Talking with several Donkeycrat in laws, the basic problem is that Rahm is an Azzhole.

It seems that Daley made lots of promises and used his usual corruption to pay off teachers (among other unions) and that cheap bastard Emmanuel won’t even pay for his cuts. HOW DARE
HE!!!!

Well the donks are in an uproar here and it’s pure schadenfreude on this anarchists view.

Fighton03 on September 12, 2012 at 1:04 AM

bluegill on September 11, 2012 at 8:52 PM

“Feral child” is unfortunately accurate in too many schools, particularly in areas where single motherhood is high (urban schools). That is simply the reality, regardless of how disgusting you find the reference.

It’s also a bit sweeping to say that Master’s degrees are “MEANINGLESS,” and can basically be bought, and that entire fields of study are “garbage.” Although I agree that there should not even be a degree in education (solid knowledge in various subjects is far more important), sociological study can be useful (such as George Herbert Mead’s work), and psychology is most distinctly legitimate (existential psychology, for example, does not allow people to play the victim card). The fact that the Left tries to commandeer and twist a field of study does not negate its relevance.

DrMagnolias on September 12, 2012 at 3:32 AM

Chicago=Detroit….this is inevitable. Might as well fire all these commie teachers, the kidz will be better off.

el Vaquero on September 12, 2012 at 7:38 AM

So shouldn’t the Occupiers be descending upon Chicago? After all, they claim to be dedicated to “social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the undue influence of corporations on government” (sez Wiki). Let’s see now:

Chi-town teachers average $76,000 plus benefits – the city’s median income is $45K – so there’s your economic inequality. I’d say ‘greed’ is covered by their salary demands. Corruption? Hell, it’s a Chicago union, so that’s a given. So where are the Occupiers?

Paul_in_NJ on September 12, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Comment pages: 1 2