AM News: CTU Endorses Deal To Curb Rights*

image from webmedia.newseum.orgI'm a little surprised, frankly, that the CTU has joined reformers in endorsing the seniority/ tenure/strike ban deal finalized yesterday in Springfield -- while business and other interests are express more guarded enthusiasm: Contours Of Education Bill Starting To Emerge In Springfield Progress IL: The Illinois Federation of Teachers, the Chicago Teachers Union, and Illinois Education Association just released a joint statement supportive of the bill... Springfield deal may yield longer school day and year, fewer teacher rights Carin's: A full press conference on this issue will be held tomorrow. And I'm still awaiting reaction from business groups. Illinois school reform Tribune (editorial page):  Now, let's learn more about the details, particularly on seniority rights and performance standards...But then again folks have only had a day to dig into the provisions and figure out how they might actually work in practice. Click below for coverage of the deal and for a couple of other news stories. *UPDATED with releases from SFC and Lightford.

Here's coverage of the deal:   Illinois education reforms proposed Tribune:  One key change for Chicago would be a requirement that 75 percent of Chicago Teachers Union members would have to vote to go on strike, according to Lightford... Illinois Lawmakers, Unions Reach Deal on Teacher Labor Reform:  Obtaining tenure still takes four years, but a teacher must be evaluated as "excellent" or "proficient" in two of those years, including the last one...Sweeping teacher union reforms surfacing in Springfield Clout St: Under the proposal school districts also would be able to set a length of school day or lengthen the school year without having to negotiate those time periods, she said. Unions still would be able to negotiate for more pay or benefits if more time in the classroom is added, she said...  Sweeping changes proposed to how IL teachers are hired, fired WBEZ:  The proposal also makes it easier for Chicago's school district to set a longer school day, though wages and compensation would still have to be negotiated.
In other news: Bills on Chicago school vouchers, facilities head for key votes.Catalyst: The school voucher battle is about to heat up as Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) gives his bill, SB 1932, a final tune-up before it is put up for a floor vote.The bill would require CPS to develop a 10-year "Educational Facility Master Plan" and a 5-year "Capital Improvement Plan," with input from "parents/guardians, local school councils, educators and other stakeholders."... Dig begins for new Jones PrepChicago Journal: The Public Building Commission, which handles construction projects for the city as well as for Chicago Public Schools, announced Monday that excavation had begun for the $85 million school. The new Jones College Prep is being built on the former site ..

Lightford version:

SFC version: 



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  • Wow, that bar for tenure is really low . . . really low. "Proficient" for two out of four years?

    So barely good enough 50% of the time earns tenure. Impressive . . . .

  • In reply to fireman451:

    Wow, I would definitely feel fortunate being saved from a burning building by a "proficient" fireman. Better check your dictionary on the meaning of proficient.

  • In reply to fireman451:

    SB 7 as amended is a relatively complex piece of legislation. Because my lobbying focus is on special education issues I have some unique concerns relating to this bill. At pages 3-4 of the bill there is a discussion of what is called the survey of learning conditions. The ISBE is charged with creating a survey instrument to be administered at individual schools and the only input in the creation of the survey will come from the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC). I believe this section of the bill gives too much discretion to ISBE and I have major concerns over whether the conditions for learning of students with disabilities will be adequately surveyed by ISBE. Students with disabilities are currently not being effectively educated in most CPS schools and in most charter schools. When only 7.8% of CPS 11th graders with disabilities can read at state standards we have to say the least a problem with the learning conditions for these students.

    I agree with the training requirements for School Board members that is in the bill, however I believe each member of each Board including Chicago's needs specific training on the complex topic of teacher evaluation and the use of student performance data as part of that process. Members of Boards of Education in Illinois need to have basic knowledge of the reliability of student test data, value added methodology, and growth measurements that may be used in the teacher evaluation process in the near future.

    Overall the dismissal procedures for tenured teachers are relatively complex in the bill, but are reasonably fair. Appeals of tenured teacher dismissal hearing decisions under this bill go directly to State Appellate Court. The standard of review for this Court is set forth on page 67 of the bill and if a hearing officer supports the Board's request for dismissal the standard for reversal is relatively high and does not allow for a new review of the findings of fact. I would save my money and not appeal if a hearing officer supports a dismissal decision unless there is really something very over the top in relation that decision.

    At pages 29-30 groupings of teachers are created for orderly layoff purposes and where teachers are on the list depends on whether the teacher is tenured and what the teacher's last two evaluations were. If this clear rule had been effect last year there would have been no CTU vs CPS law case over teacher layoffs. The order of rehire is also established in the bill. I think it is a reasonable process. There is even a joint committee process created in relation to layoffs and a requirement for public hearings on proposed layoffs for economic reasons.

    Page 97 of the bill includes language giving CPS the right to not bargain over the length of the school day, year, and how long within the day teachers will be required to teach. There are several way to look at this issue, one is CPS can unilaterally impose a longer school day on teachers without compensation. It is not at all clear that is the case, because an increase in the school day creates a change in the compensation picture for teachers and they retain the right to bargain over wages. Hence teachers can ask for more money for the additional time and if three quarters of teachers in the union agree eventually even go on strike over the failure of CPS to pay for such an increase in the work day. It should also be noted that in Baltimore union teachers working in KIPP schools with a longer school day and school year than teachers in traditional schools got a 20% salary increase last month.

    Now given the current fiscal situation of CPS where they would get the money for a longer school day I have no idea, when the current CEO is publicly asking teachers not to take their 4% increase for next year it is hard to guess where the money might come from.

    Given the proposed Performance Counts bill developed by Stand for Children back in December SB 7 is far more balanced.

    Rod Estvan

  • ctu says "we avoided another wisconsin" (which is scary since no one here actually threatened to end collective bargaining for teachers or that we have a budget / pension hole that big)

    Chicago Teachers Union: We Avoided Another Wisconsin

    On Wednesday State Senator Kimberly Lightford filed Senate Bill 7, a compromise bill supported by the Chicago Teachers Union, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Education Association. The bill negotiations reflected the real-life drama being played out across the nation with millionaire foundations and front groups against the middle class. Legislators and educators worked for five months to keep Illinois from being another Wisconsin.

    According to CTU President Karen Lewis,

  • here's a link to the Stand For Children version of what's been agreed to (word document)

  • I am still reading the bill, it is 111 pages long. The Stand for Children's draft bill was only 40 pages long. I recommend to posters that they review the actual bill which is SB7 sam1. You can read the bill by going to:

    Rod Estvan

  • The Real Losers

    Those who blame teachers for all the ills of education are happy today.
    Newspapers and oracles are proclaiming that students have won.
    But that is what was said in 1988 with the Local School Council act.
    In 1995 when the city patronage czars got their hands on thousands of
    Jobs ,and demolish the power of teachers to bargain. It really made a difference in
    1989 or 1900 when only those who live in the mistake by the lake became
    Qualified to teach here. Now in 2011 the same things are being said. Those in
    The schools know better, when veteran faculty remember 1987 as the good
    Old days things have gone from horrible to unbelievable.
    I wonder how long it will take for these child savings to fail: they already have .

  • how'd this happen in a democrat-controlled state, asks mike klonsky, and what did teachers get out of the deal?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I agree with Mike Klonsky. What the heck just happened? I watched all the videos of the hearings held in December and since then our union has not hinted in the least that they were close to making an ed reform deal. We've been bamboozled.

  • I keep hearing about Chicago's short school day compared to Houston and other urban areas. I'm curious whether or not the other districts have recess, daily specials (gym, art, etc), and what length their lunch is. I agree that Chicago's day could be longer but I'd like to see a discussion of instructional minutes not just "length of the day". I'm not being sarcastic or snotty - I truly want to know. Anyone have info?

  • Why
    Could it be that real candidates must know a lot. While winning candidates
    Have clout?

  • The CTPF is presently funded at 63%!

  • I would imagine that Nobel would have no problem adjusting the physical test for the physically handicapped. It sounds like a way to keep fat kids out.

  • Water runs downhill.Who do you think
    a clouted principal will hire?

  • i never said it didn't have a strike ban -- in fact i was one of the first people to find the draft legislation, share it, and note that it included a ban.

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