The Chicago teachers’ strike is an awkward dinner conversation between President Barack Obama and his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.   Many of the policy prescriptions in the new Chicago teachers’ contract designed to create more accountability are supported by the Obama administration.

As the Chicago teachers’ strike continues, we’ve learned that they make $71-76,000 a year and they turned down a 16% pay increase, which amounts to $11,360.  They work nine months out of the year, but say that this strike is benefits oriented.  However, given that ABC World News didn’t even air this story last Sunday and most of the media, with the exception of CBS, failing to mention the compensation statistics in their broadcast – suffice to say that the  media will probably ignore the fact that almost 40% of Chicago’s public school teachers send their kids to private schools.

I’m not against public education, but the fact that these teachers make enough to send their kids to private schools shows that Chicago’s public teachers are aware of the serial failure within the system.  Second, it shows that these teachers have zero confidence in their own respective school district.  Why are the teachers going on strike?  Aren’t the contentious measures they’re squabbling about aimed at enhancing accountability that will make their institutions of learning better for the students?  It appears this strike, like most union strikes, are defined by these three words: give. me. more.

However, given the state of public education and that of Chicago, it’s not alien for public school teachers to ship their kids to private institutions.  According to The Washington Times in September of 2004, they quoted the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which found that:

 More than 1 in 5 public school teachers said their children attend private schools.

In Washington (28 percent), Baltimore (35 percent) and 16 other major cities, the figure is more than 1 in 4. In some cities, nearly half of the children of public school teachers have abandoned public schools.

In Philadelphia, 44 percent of the teachers put their children in private schools; in Cincinnati, 41 percent; Chicago, 39 percent; Rochester, N.Y., 38 percent. The same trends showed up in the San Francisco-Oakland area, where 34 percent of public school teachers chose private schools for their children; 33 percent in New York City and New Jersey suburbs; and 29 percent in Milwaukee and New Orleans.

John Stossel at Fox Business reiterated this point on September 11:

Union teachers know that many of their colleagues aren’t great teachers. Only 12% of American students attend private schools, but, 39% of Chicago public school teachers send their children to private schools. Anti school-choice politicians are no less hypocritical: President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore (to name just a few) all send or sent their children to private schools.

Now thousands of Chicago children are kept out of school. Your supermarkets and movie theaters aren’t closed because of strikes. That’s because private companies have competition. Government monopolies don’t.

Moreover, for all the teachers’ complaining, when will the media report that Chicago teachers instruct less than any other “large metro area” in the country according to Illinois Policy Institute?

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