Chicago: The new Wisconsin?

posted at 12:01 pm on September 13, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When the teachers in Chicago walked out on strike this week, some wondered whether that might provide a boost to Barack Obama — perhaps an opportunity to intervene and resolve the issue.  Three days later, the Washington Post doesn’t sound too hopeful.  Given the fact that Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is now mayor and that teachers unions are a key part of the Democratic constituency, Peter Slevin reports that this might be a recipe for disaster:

Teachers are now on strike in Chicago— loudly and enthusiastically — and Emanuel (D) finds himself in a far more pointed and public battle than he had bargained for. Under a national spotlight, his famous dealmaking skills are being severely tested by an increasingly familiar set of schoolhouse issues seen in communities across the country as contentious and often personal.

If the strike persists, its tone and outcome could ripple well beyond Chicago, given Emanuel’s close association with President Obama. Union support is important to the Obama campaign, which has been careful not to weigh in, even as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney swiftly spoke out against the Chicago teachers.

As thousands of teachers took to the streets again Wednesday, there was general agreement that the sudden strike had roots in the combative positions Emanuel took when he left the White House last year to run for mayor. His support of the Illinois law requiring a 75 percent union vote for a strike — up from 50 percent — was Exhibit A.

“It stuck in my craw,” said Xian Barrett, former political director of the striking Chicago Teachers Union and now a history teacher at a South Side high school. “It made me feel as though he had no respect for us as people.”

Karen Lewis, the blunt-spoken CTU president, put it another way last week, shortly before the union called a strike for the first time in 25 years: “The only way to beat a bully,” Lewis said, “is to stand up to a bully.”

Well, true … but who exactly is the bully?  In my column for The Fiscal Times today, I point out the huge disparity between teacher pay and the average incomes of the people the CTU serves, and argue that this fight over the insufficiency of a 16% raise over the next four years may well produce the same kind of anger over public-employee union abuses that erupted in Wisconsin — especially since Chicago Public Schools faces a massive deficit as well:

When one compares it to the household income level of its clients – the citizens of Chicago – it looks less like a good deal and more like robbery.  Even the lower level claimed by CTU is 39 percent higher than the June 2012 national median household income of $50,964, determined by a Sentier Research report last month derived from Census Bureau data.  That $71,000 average is 45 percent better than the average earned by a Chicagoan with a college degree ($48,866), and 51 percent better than the 2010 median household income in the city ($46,877). …

While the parents of almost 400,000 children abandoned by teachers earning perhaps 50 percent more than their own income struggled to find alternatives, teachers went to the streets to party. EAG News captured one striker claiming that “this is the best I’ve felt in my entire career teaching!”  Another striker posed in a Che Guevara T-shirt and insisted that the revolutionary was “a role model standing for the people.”  Another insisted that the strike would go until the city capitulated entirely to their demands.

This union fight looks a lot like the one in Wisconsin over the last two years.  The city of Chicago and its school district are in “dire” financial straits.  Emanuel had to fill a $635 million budget deficit almost a year ago without hiking taxes any further than Governor Pat Quinn had hiked taxes for the entire state of Illinois – by as much as 67 percent in some cases.  The estimated budget deficit for the public school system exceeds even that large gap; it’s expected to grow to $861 million by 2014, thanks in part to contributions to the pension fund for CTU teachers.

The $400 million increase in the CPS offer over the next four years would have made the situation even worse.  Yet rather than accept that while the city and state try to find other ways to balance the budget and improve performance, the teachers walked out on hundreds of thousands of students, many poor and disadvantaged – not least by their own public school system – and stuck to what the late Mike Royko often insisted was the city’s true motto: Ubi est mea?  Where’s mine?

If you think I’m exaggerating about the party atmosphere of the strike, here’s the video from EAG:

I’m sure that Chicagoans were greatly entertained by the sight of professionals who make more than most of them earn holding a very public party while they scramble to get their children educated.  I’m not alone in warning of backfire on the PEUs, either.  Christian Schneider at City Journal made a similar point on Tuesday:

The Chicago strike serves as a counterpoint to events in Wisconsin after Walker’s election in 2010. In a protracted, contentious battle, Walker virtually eliminated collective bargaining for public employees, weakening the unions’ power significantly. Illinois is now demonstrating what Wisconsin might have looked like without Walker’s reforms. Those reforms didn’t come easy: for a year and a half, Wisconsin was paralyzed by demonstrations and union disruptions. But the union tantrums in Wisconsin clearly backfired, and in a recall election this past June, Walker won by a greater margin than he had in 2010, against the same opponent. Walker is now a national star on the Republican scene, while public-union membership is plummeting.

There’s no reason to believe that the Chicago teachers’ strike won’t similarly backfire on union loyalists. For one, the teachers’ demands are well beyond what normal citizens consider just. In recent negotiations, the CTU rejected a 16 percent pay increase over the next four years, which in today’s economic climate would seem like a generous deal to virtually anyone who doesn’t work for a public-employee union. Instead, the union demanded a 30 percent pay increase, in part to compensate for an extended school day. And the negotiations addressed only salaries. With new accounting rules in place, the Chicago Public Schools’ annual contribution for teacher pensions will jump from $231 million to $684 million between 2013 and 2014, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. Next year, pension costs will eat up nearly half of the education funding that Chicago schools receive from the state.

Perhaps most egregious are teachers’ attempts to duck accountability to save union jobs. Under Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan, a public school teaching position would no longer be a sinecure; teachers would have to justify their employment with their students’ test scores. While this makes sense to the public—Barack Obama’s own secretary of education, Arne Duncan, has fought for similar accountability plans nationwide—unions see it as a threat to job security, which, to them, clearly takes precedence over student learning.

Schneider makes an excellent point.  Everyone else who works has to perform to certain metrics or face disciplinary action or termination.  The CTU, whose average salary is 51% higher than the households they serve, want to preclude any accountability for performance while sucking even more money out of those same households.  And they’re singing and dancing about their arrogance on the streets of Chicago, while four in every ten students in their system fails to graduate from high school.

What if this was a private-sector industry?  How would that kind of performance and attitude translate?  Kyle Smith offers a humorous take at Forbes by imagining the CTU as the NFL:

[W]hat if the NFL were run the way public schools are?

The first major difference we’d notice is that the players don’t seem to be trying all that hard. The kicker barely nudges the ball off the tee. The kick returner picks up the ball and wanders around a little. No one is much interested in tackling him, but then again the kick returner isn’t very interested in dashing for the end zone. Nothing much seems to be happening in this game at all. At midfield someone has placed a coffee urn, and the players are standing around it lamenting their public perception.

Why? Because no one is keeping score.

The Chicago Teachers Union is adamantly against detailed, data-driven score-keeping and accountability. Only 30 percent of their evaluations are based on results — the performance of its students — and the CTU has fiercely opposed a feeble effort to raise that to 40 percent. The CTU argues that its evident failures are more due to factors beyond its control, such as the poverty, demographics and family habits of its students. Football players are judged 100 percent by their results, and no one fails to notice the great work of, say, Dan Marino just because he was surrounded by the untalented.

Yeah, but the draft is terrific, right?  Not exactly:

Even when senior league officials are present and the players show a little more spirit, you’ll notice that the play is sloppy and unmotivated. Can’t anyone here play this game? Where is all the young talent? Where are the exciting Cam Newtons and Robert Griffin IIIs?

They aren’t here. The players on the field are geriatric. Because they enjoy tenure, they can’t readily be fired, and once they can’t be fired they have no incentive to work hard. They know that if they just show up, they’ll continue to advance toward the huge payoff of their pensions. And with so many listless, disinterested veterans filling rosters there are only a few slots for rookies. Robert Griffin went off to play soccer. Cam Newton is trying his luck at golf.

President Obama likes to talk a lot about fairness.  No one looking at the compensation structure of the CTU as compared to its community, with an offer on the table for a 16% raise over four years, will think this strike fair to the parents paying those salaries.  No one who has to work with performance metrics in mind will accept the CTU position that opposes all metrics while nearly 40% of CPS students never get a high-school diploma.

The CTU is about to become the poster child for PEU reform.  They are dancing unions into a massive public-opinion trap.


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Fire ALL of them.

Meople on September 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

…Racist!

KOOLAID2 on September 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

How is firing ALL of them racist? That’s equality at its finest.

Meople on September 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM

WIll they storm Chicago City Hall? After all, the head of the union said it was their “Arab Spring.”

Rixon on September 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The average ACT score for teachers in Chicago Public Schools is 19.

Blake on September 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

What an insult to Wisconsin. And I say that as a fan of the Cubs and Bears.

Bitter Clinger on September 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Maybe Emanuel should call Christie for some pointers on how to deal with a teachers union.

peterargus on September 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Jack Bauer needed the CTU to “secure the perimeter”.

redzap on September 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Eliminate the Chicago school system and it’s taxes….

Let the people send their kids to the school of their choice.

redguy on September 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

One can only hope that doofus with the purple hair-piece and moron-glasses isnt paid with tax-payer dollars to “educate” children…

Jeddite on September 13, 2012 at 12:10 PM

This is the first video in a long playlist, to which Ace linked this morning:

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/332804.php

Check out one of the later videos (about 7 or so in):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUZXyXlMroleiWYnkIgaqD-Q&feature=player_embedded&v=kJEhrkTwDqk#at=37

gh on September 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Chicago: The new Wisconsin?

Not just no, but hell no. Chicago is the most corrupt city in America and has been for a hundred years. Corruption like that doesn’t just go away over a little teachers strike.

War is coming to the Middle East.

SWalker on September 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Thank goodness for homeschooling! The passing rate of the math portion on the Prairie Exam for 8th graders in the CPS is 38% , thanks to Arne Duncan, who lowered the standard.
I heard this morning, via WLS radio, and the Chicago Sun-Times that Rahm has caved to the no evaluations demand. Has anyone else heard this? Karen Lewis is saying the kids will more than likely go back tomorrow.

herm2416 on September 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Look, it takes a lot of hard work to try to hammer home the concepts of Marx and Engels, hatred of America, hatred for individuality, hatred for responsibility, hard work and self-reliance, love of greed, love of covetousness, love of confiscation and the need for class-warfare.

These teachers need more and more pay increases – followed by more and more pay increases.

Getting to Utopia is expensive.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Looks like Rahm is between a rock and a hard place. Since he has no principles or anything to guide him appeasement is his only answer. It’s gonna be rough until he gives in.

BetseyRoss on September 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

“Are you having a good time?”

“Well, we’re not stuck in some classroom with lower-middle-class kids are we?”

mankai on September 13, 2012 at 12:13 PM

four in every ten students in their system fails to graduate from high school.
What if this was a private-sector industry?

Debends on the industry. 60% success rate is higher than the optimal survival rate in the abortion industry, another key Democrat lobby.

malclave on September 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM

shaking my head at the chic in the Che shirt.

tommer74 on September 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Dang, looks like most would fit in at the Star Wars bar scene.

Fire them all and start over.

HumpBot Salvation on September 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Under a national spotlight, his famous dealmaking skills

Rahm has “famous dealmaking skills”? In some alternate universe perhaps. He is known more for his ‘taking advantage of a crisis’ strategies.

slickwillie2001 on September 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Chicago: The new Wisconsin?

Please…let it come to pass!

22044 on September 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM

HumpBot Salvation on September 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy…

22044 on September 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Looks like Rahm is between a rock and a hard place. Since he has no principles or anything to guide him appeasement is his only answer. It’s gonna be rough until he gives in.

BetseyRoss on September 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I wouldn’t put it past Rahmbo to be honest in his desire to run the city as smoothly as possible, methods notwithstanding. His former boss is actually a problem now: without Barry-O’s need for union support, Rahm would crush the peasant uprising strike with an iron fist.

Archivarix on September 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM

No one looking at the compensation structure of the CTU as compared to its community, with an offer on the table for a 16% raise over four years, will think this strike fair to the parents paying those salaries.

They wanna be 1%ers without doing all that stupid work stuff.

redzap on September 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM

You know, maybe this is wrong of me, but I was hoping that this strike wouldn’t be resolved quickly. I love the optics for Rham and choom-head, and I hope all Chicago parents get to see that video.

SailorMark on September 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM

shaking my head at the chic in the Che shirt.

tommer74 on September 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

You Don’t Know Che

mankai on September 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Chicago: The new Wisconsin?

No, the new Detroit

ninjapirate on September 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Now why does a union need a commissar political director?

98ZJUSMC on September 13, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Just stop collecting the dues for the union.
Best bang for the buck.

dirtengineer on September 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Another striker posed in a Che Guevara T-shirt and insisted that the revolutionary was “a role model standing for murdering people.”

FIFAll of us so that even a union teacher can understand.

Syllable-by-syllable enunciation enhancement available on request.

98ZJUSMC on September 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM

8.8% of Chicago’s public school students are white… 49.7% of the teachers are white.

http://www.cps.edu/about_cps/at-a-glance/pages/stats_and_facts.aspx

The average ACT score of a Chicago public school teacher is a ridiculously low 19…

http://watchdog.org/56075/reeder-chicago-teachers-score-below-high-school-students-on-standard-test/

This strike is about bleeding heart white teachers, dumb white teachers with no other options, and mostly dumb minority teachers not wanting their pay being decided by the performance minority students.

ninjapirate on September 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM

More like:
Chicago; The New Starnesville.
.
(IMHO, anyway)

LegendHasIt on September 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Fire ALL of them.

i am no fan of the union-however you can’t fire them if they have a contract and since it’s expired they don’t.

also there are 23,000 teachers. Replace them with who?

as the strike drags on however and money becomes tight a gradual return of teachers will happen.

if by then Rahm has not capitulated you might see some go back and schools re-opened

gerrym51 on September 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM

This video needs to be shown in its entirety on the nightly news across the country.

D-fusit on September 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Somebody needs to tell that ugly Socialist chick that no matter what she wants or how long she marches, there is no legislation or policy that will take from Jessica Alba and give equally to her.

/cheap shot, I know

mankai on September 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Another great stat…

http://watchdog.org/56075/reeder-chicago-teachers-score-below-high-school-students-on-standard-test/

A 2004 Fordham Institute study found that 39 percent of Chicago public school teachers send their own children to private schools. That’s compared to a national average of 12 percent of all children who are educated privately.

Think about that: Four out of 10 Chicago teachers are willing to pay money to keep their kids from attending the schools where they teach.

ninjapirate on September 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Fire ‘em!

GarandFan on September 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

The NFL analogy excludes the Pro Bowl game.

a capella on September 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

These teachers seem awfully unqualified.

pat on September 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Campaign funding has evolved in sophistication and the CTU is no longer a big dog. CTU money is dwarfed by the IEA, IFT, AFSCME, and SEIU.

To Rahm the CTU is no longer useful, needed, or wanted. Just an expense and a nuisance, like unwanted dogs at Animal Control.

MarkT on September 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

This is the best I’ve felt in my entire career teaching!

But I thought that I opportunity to inspire our youth was what led you into the profession. It’s all about the kids.

blammm on September 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM

And now the teachers in Lake Forest Illinois….one of the more prestigious neighborhoods….are on strike too.

Because making an average of $106,00o dollars….that’s right $106,000…isn’t enough.

tencole on September 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

a capella on September 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

The NFL should exclude the Pro Bowl game.

chelie on September 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I think there is truth in the position that there are factors outside the teachers’ control such as poverty and what they so quaintly refer to as “family habits”, which is code for the culture of low parental involvement, low expectations and high acceptance of the drug and crime cultures.

But I don’t think these issues should be accepted as reasons for poor performance by the students because that translates into acceptance of continual lower expectations until there will be no point to school at all.

I would rather see an honest proposal of what is needed. To me, I think that would mean a better teacher/student ratio. Of course ther is no money in the budget for this. But maybe this means the budget should be reworked. Kids with poor education means adults with poor skills which means another generation dependent on govnment services who will raise another generation of kids who will do as poorly as their parents or worse.

But, of course the union doesn’t care about the kids or the teachers. And the democrats prefer to have a population of low achievers and non-thinkers who can’t see the connections between their situation and the politicians who are the cause.

So the end result of this strike will be that the unions win, either a little or a lot and kids will continue to do poorly.

Chitownmom on September 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Don’t worry – they’ll still vote for obama – no matter what.

Pork-Chop on September 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Here is an idea, why not take all the people that are paying the salaries of those people and replace those people and let these people draw the teacher salary for a few months and let the teachers try to live off of the salary of the people that are paying their salary and see how they feel come payday. There you go, now that $76K salary looks pretty good doesn’t it? Teachers, do you realize or do you care that for the most part, the very people that pay your salary, live on less than 1/2 of what you are getting paid. As far as having to buy supplies etc, virtually every job I have ever had, I spent money out of my pocket for supplies that were necessary, but not provided or not provided in the quantity and quality that i felt was necessary. Stop whining and be thankful for what you have. You have a job and a great paying job and many people do not. God is watching you and he does not like greed.

j bo on September 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I’m used to morons who think Che Guevara was a good guy, but when it’s teachers proclaiming that crap then it’s long past time to pull our kids out of public schools.

Eren on September 13, 2012 at 12:41 PM

So the lady with the blue and white and red hair is a teacher??
OMG!
These “teachers” belong on the street and not in class rooms.

The students are lucky they are not in school!
Fire them all and hire teachers who want to teach!

Delsa on September 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Somebody needs to tell that ugly Socialist chick that no matter what she wants or how long she marches, there is no legislation or policy that will take from Jessica Alba and give equally to her.

/cheap shot, I know

mankai on September 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

You’re a better man than I; I was going to make a snide comment on her dental work.

bigmacdaddy on September 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Chicago: The new Wisconsin?

No, the new Detroit

ninjapirate on September 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

True, except Chicago has beautiful plantings all along Michigan Avenue.

Fallon on September 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM

But I thought that I opportunity to inspire our youth was what led you into the profession. It’s all about the kids.

blammm on September 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Much as it pains me to say this, nearly all the education majors I knew in college were there because they weren’t capable of doing anything else, weren’t particularly smart or talented. And none were particularly altruistic. There’s a lot of truth to the saying: those who can, DO; those who can’t, teach.

Eren on September 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Obama: I believe in unions

faraway on September 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Eren on September 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Nationally, Schools of Education within universities are considered the academic slums.

mankai on September 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

And now the teachers in Lake Forest Illinois….one of the more prestigious neighborhoods….are on strike too.

Because making an average of $106,00o dollars….that’s right $106,000…isn’t enough.

tencole on September 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

What???!!! $106,000???!!! I’m assuming that’s before benefits for nine months worth of work.

And they’re on strike?

Geez Louise.

GrannyDee on September 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM

The only thing at least 70% of Chicagoans are upset about is that their union can’t swing as hefty a sledgehammer as the teacher’s union.

Bruno Strozek on September 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Since these teachers are such big fans of Che Guevara’s, maybe they should adopt his attitude toward work and compensation.

Of course, that would mean the teachers would actually have to know something about Che Guevara and how he lived, which is probably expecting way too much from this group of ignoramuses.

AZCoyote on September 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Union strike: The last resort of a fat ugly woman that craves public attention.

Archivarix on September 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I hate Illinois Nazis. – Jake Blues

bigmacdaddy on September 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Obama SEIU’s Agenda is My Agenda

faraway on September 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

just Fire all of them.

maineconservative on September 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Sick is right. What the heck has happened to the American public? We were once a proud, self reliant people with a frontier optimism and cherished personal responsibility and staunch individualism. Now we seem to be a bunch of crying victims looking for someone else to wipe our butts.

I am beginning to feel like Michelle Obama in reverse.

saiga on September 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

AZCoyote on September 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM

mankai on September 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Astounding, what passes for a college education nowadays.

Eren on September 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

It would take more space here than there is to explain this, but if you want to read about a time when the Chicago School System not only was run correctly and fairly, but actually thrived to the level of almost becoming a role model for a successfully run educational system,look up the name Paul Vallas when he was in charge of the Chicago Schools. Vallas turned the entire system around on a dime and it became a major success, until Vallas was run out of town for purely political reasons by none other than Mayor Richard Daley. Right after that, everything Vallas built was brought to ruin and the system reverted back to the disaster it has been since. If Vallas was still in charge of the schools in Chicago, there would have never been a strike to begin with.

pilamaye on September 13, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Sick is right. What the heck has happened to the American public? We were once a proud, self reliant people with a frontier optimism and cherished personal responsibility and staunch individualism. Now we seem to be a bunch of crying victims looking for someone else to wipe our butts.

I am beginning to feel like Michelle Obama in reverse.

saiga on September 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Parents abdicated their responsibilities, and handed them over to the teachers.

Communist indoctrination was a fait accompli.

This is why the Communists targeted, long ago, the public schools and the children.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 13, 2012 at 12:58 PM

39% of the teachers send their kids to private schools
I wonder if their strike fund is low since most of their union dues go to elect other liberals to office.

booger71 on September 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM

saiga on September 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Nov. 6 will tell, definitively, for the last time. It’s either the quick abyss, or a stabilized one.

Socialism is inevitable, until they run out of other people’s money and then it’s tyranny.

Relatiely free people always, always, always deserve their governments.

This is all self-inflicted.

Schadenfreude on September 13, 2012 at 1:00 PM

also there are 23,000 teachers. Replace them with who?

as the strike drags on however and money becomes tight a gradual return of teachers will happen.

gerrym51 on September 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Kevin DuJan applies his marvelous, devious mind to the problem.

RushBaby on September 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

The CTU is about to become the poster child for PEU reform. They are dancing unions into a massive public-opinion trap.

Every time PSU’s pull this crap, we’re all just sure they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

Yet, I’ve personally witnessed their unabated growth in power over the past 20 years.

I hope your right…..I hope we’ll finally start to see American taxpayers wake up (the unemployed and existing gov. employees are a lost cause) – but I won’t hold my breath.

Tim_CA on September 13, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I hate Illinois Nazis. – Jake Blues

bigmacdaddy on September 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

lol….thanks!

That’s a quote I’ll re-use.

Tim_CA on September 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Relatiely free people always, always, always deserve their governments.

This is all self-inflicted.

That old time Russian philosopher stated that “people get the government they deserve.” That is what we have now. Gullible mud heads so easily bamboozeled by flowery yapping heads and too lazy to use their own heads and recognize reality for what it is.

Just words? Lies are just words but have devastating consequences when stupid people choose to look the other way. Anyone that votes for Obama should be ashamed because they are voting to tear down the greatest country and economy the world has ever known. But, being a sheep is easier than being a wolf.

saiga on September 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Hey Rahm, your old boss created 8% unemployment. Surely you can find a shitload of scabs in Chicago.

Odysseus on September 13, 2012 at 1:16 PM

The teachers union will win.Rahm has no other choice.The people of Illinois will have to dig a little deeper and accept the next round of tax increases.

docflash on September 13, 2012 at 1:17 PM

What the Washington Post characterized Romney as saying:

Union support is important to the Obama campaign, which has been careful not to weigh in, even as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney swiftly spoke out against the Chicago teachers.

What Romney actually said:

I am disappointed by the decision of the Chicago Teachers Union to turn its back on not only a city negotiating in good faith but also the hundreds of thousands of children relying on the city’s public schools to provide them a safe place to receive a strong education. Teachers unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples yet. President Obama has chosen his side in this fight, sending his Vice President last year to assure the nation’s largest teachers union that “you should have no doubt about my affection for you and the President’s commitment to you.” I choose to side with the parents and students depending on public schools to give them the skills to succeed, and my plan for education reform will do exactly that.

Romney didn’t mention teachers once. He spoke out against teachers unions. They are not one and the same. They could have simply said that Romney spoke out on behalf of parents and students, which he actually directly stated. I think the Washington Post just admitted that being for the parents and students is the exact same thing as being against the teacher unions.

weaselyone on September 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

gerrym51 on September 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM

So you say they can’t be fired because they have a contract, but then you say in the very next sentence that the contract is expired.

Ok, so like I said, FIRE THEM ALL!

They SUCK as teachers anyway, look at the test data for the students.

Start hiring teachers based on, here’s a wacky concept, whether they can PROVE they’re a good teacher or not. SHAZAAM!

Tell the teachers union to piss off and start hiring teachers the way normal people get jobs, by interviewing them and hiring the good ones.

Meople on September 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

GrannyDee on September 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM

TPTB in Lake Forest have already said that they are not closing the schools, that they expect the kids to be there and if the teachers aren’t…..the 39,000 teacher applicants they turned down WILL be called in to work.

tencole on September 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Kevin DuJan applies his marvelous, devious mind to the problem.

RushBaby on September 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Good stuff, TFP.

slickwillie2001 on September 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Daly has to be enjoying this…

workingclass artist on September 13, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Rahm obviously sees the big picture…Obama needs tax increases to help with the federal problem and continue to finance his march to socialism. Illinois is in a world of hurt and they will be scratching for every dime in order to avoid going belly up. And then we get Chicago.

A minimum of 3 participants in this fight, 2 are going to lose.

teejk on September 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Is there any way we can transfer this mob to Yemen, Egypt or Libya? I bet we would really get our money’s worth out of that situation. I don’t think too many participants of the Muslim mobs are going to get up in the faces of those Chicago teachers. But it would be gold to watch.

mojowt on September 13, 2012 at 1:32 PM

So you say they can’t be fired because they have a contract, but then you say in the very next sentence that the contract is expired.

let me rephrase.

if they had a contract that had not expired they could be fired for being out with a valid contract.

since the contract has expired they can legally refuse to return to work until they have a contract.

2. there are 23000 of them. do you think chicago can come up with 23000 teachers without using any that are on stike.

Obviously you are not thinking this thru.

I personally hope they stay on strike until the election. this will help Mitt win.

gerrym51 on September 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM

The teachers union will win.Rahm has no other choice.The people of Illinois will have to dig a little deeper and accept the next round of tax increases.

docflash on September 13, 2012 at 1:17 PM

The parents are getting frustrated….but they haven’t turned on the “Rahmfather” as John Kass likes to call him.

Rahm has offered them a 16% raise over 4 years….without telling the public just how he’s going to pay for that.
Rumors have it that 100 plus schools will be closing due to that raise and THAT is why the striking teachers are so adamant demanding that the district first rehire laid-off teachers when new jobs open up.

tencole on September 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM

39% of the teachers send their kids to private schools

like many big urban citys most of the teachers live outside the city and their kids go to schools outside the city of chicago

gerrym51 on September 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Rahm obviously sees the big picture…Obama needs tax increases to help with the federal problem and continue to finance his march to socialism. Illinois is in a world of hurt and they will be scratching for every dime in order to avoid going belly up. And then we get Chicago.

A minimum of 3 participants in this fight, 2 are going to lose.

teejk on September 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

This….

“And he owns this public employees union strike while his old boss, Obama, needs help from those same public employee unions in the coming election. With Chicago Public Schools a billion dollars in the hole and more, and now after he offered that 16 percent raise over four years to the teachers without telling the public exactly how he’ll pay for it, here’s what’s happening: The cops are waiting. The firefighters are waiting. They’re wondering, where’s theirs?”
…John Kass Chicago Tribune.

tencole on September 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

OT (slightly):
Bears vs. Packers tonight.
If we don’t have a dog in this fight, should we root for Green Bay?

22044 on September 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

so a 50% graduation rate gets you a 16% raise? only in Chicago…

burserker on September 13, 2012 at 1:42 PM

lol….thanks!

That’s a quote I’ll re-use.

Tim_CA on September 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

I’ve been saving that for this very special occasion.

bigmacdaddy on September 13, 2012 at 1:42 PM

True, except Chicago has beautiful plantings all along Michigan Avenue.

Fallon on September 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM

And don’t forget…it has “the Bean”

http://thegoodtravellife.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/The-Bean-2.jpg

tencole on September 13, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Bears vs. Packers tonight.
If we don’t have a dog in this fight, should we root for Green Bay?

22044 on September 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

You’re killing Smalls!

♪♫ Bear Down Chicago Bears ♫♪

tencole on September 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

They’re over-paid even for government workers. I’m an engineer in a DOE lab and most of us are getting a 1% raise this year, some aren’t even getting that. Rahm offered the teachers 4% and they went on strike. They should be grateful they have jobs, considering the poor education our kids are getting — colleges are having to teach remedial English and Math to entering freshmen.

Socratease on September 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM

tencole on September 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Nice…
I violated my own cardinal rule to never mix politics & sports, but couldn’t resist this time.

22044 on September 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM

let me rephrase.

if they had a contract that had not expired they could be fired for being out with a valid contract.

since the contract has expired they can legally refuse to return to work until they have a contract.

2. there are 23000 of them. do you think chicago can come up with 23000 teachers without using any that are on stike.

Obviously you are not thinking this thru.

I personally hope they stay on strike until the election. this will help Mitt win.

gerrym51 on September 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM

No, I’m not saying don’t hire any of the ones that happen to be in the union. I’m sure there are SOME good teachers in the union. Just interview for the jobs and if they prove they’re a good teacher, not just citing union “evaluation” BS, fine, hire them back WITHOUT the union involved.

Meople on September 13, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Chicago: The new Wisconsin?

Ed, I wish. But, like I said yesterday, in Chicago, the Kool-Aid’s in the drinking water. I just don’t see it becoming another Wisconsin.

Ward Cleaver on September 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Fire them all.

Grunt on September 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Perhaps it should be emphasized to the voters that the teachers are using and throwing away tax payer money.

TerryW on September 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

It’s all about the childrn–Is that why they will stay in this fight for as long as it takes. How does that help the children?

rjoco1 on September 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM

let me rephrase.

if they had a contract that had not expired they could be fired for being out with a valid contract.

since the contract has expired they can legally refuse to return to work until they have a contract.

2. there are 23000 of them. do you think chicago can come up with 23000 teachers without using any that are on stike.

gerrym51 on September 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Since they don’t have a contract, they aren’t employees anymore. You don’t have to fire them. They’ve already quit. Bring on the non-union teachers. You’ll save billions.

Here’s a philosophical question: What is the harm to the students by canceling the entire school year? They’ve basically been in study hall since they started kindergarten.

BobMbx on September 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Interesting. Children used to be the shield that avaricious teachers used to hide behind. “We’re doing this for the children’s own good, not ours.” Now, among the highest paid teachers in the world, are letting it be known that #1 salaries and a generous pay raise offer is not enough-and, no mention of children.Just me,me, me. Not only that but the unmentioned children are among the nation’s worst education including functionally illiterate graduated seniors!

If you had highly paid factory workers who were producing defective products, would you give them a raise? Fire them all.

MaiDee on September 13, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Is the surrounding community really the yardstick for what everyone should be paid?

Is it also appropriate for plumbers? Lawyers? Doctors (including specialists like heart surgeons)?

If a profession is reasonably worth $X per year, that is what it ought to merit – perhaps with some locality based cost of living factor.

In a lot of ways poor neighborhoods need to have better teachers than wealthy ones, don’t they?

krome on September 13, 2012 at 3:34 PM

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