Union Rejects Pay / Day Proposal

Today's big news seems to be the rejection of the 2 percent / 90 minute / 2 week proposal for elementary schools starting in January from the Board. Did CTU decide on its own or have to put the proposal before the HOD or to a vote?  Apparently not.  Does the Board have the money to do this?  No one seems to know.  Are teachers at "pilot" schools being urged to agree to longer days/ years?  Apparently so (though I'm not sure which three schools).  Also, some other news.  TGIF!

Chicago teachers union rejects longer day WBEZ:  Chicago Public Schools wanted 90 more minutes of class for elementary schools this year, an idea schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard floated on TV this week. He said the district would somehow find the money to give teachers 2 percent raises.

CTU Rejects Pay Increase For Extended School Day Progress IL: The union also says CPS has not laid out plans for how it will fund the resources needed for a longer school day and are encouraging teachers at three schools experimenting with the concept to reject the plans to do so.

Teachers reject 2 percent pay hike for 90 more minutes in school day Sun Times:  Chicago Teachers Union Thursday rejected an offer of a 2 percent raise in exchange for working 90 additional minutes per school day. The rejection came as Mayor Rahm Emanuel called on pastors to preach for the need for a longer school day — and school year — from the pulpit this Sunday.

Teachers Union Rejects Pay Raise Offer Fox: Elementary school teachers in Chicago will not be working a longer school day for a two percent pay raise.

Mayor backs longer school day for extra pay plan Clout Street: Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday he supported Chicago Public Schools' latest offer to teachers for a  2 percent raise in return for a longer school day.

Parents, teachers tout classroom councils to boost engagement Catalyst:  All of the classroom’s parents are considered members of the council; they are represented by a teacher-appointed board, which consists of a chair (who was Jackson), a vice-chair, and a secretary.

Free Music School’s Cost: A Week on the Sidewalk CNC:  The demand for arts instruction is demonstrated each year by the line of parents waiting to enroll their children in the free People’s Music School in Uptown.

While Pushing Through the Longer School Day, Some Things to Keep in Mind CNC (editorial): The time has come for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to push through the 90-minute extension to the school day, but there are other aspects of the city’s educational difficulties to keep in mind.




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  • Yeah!

  • Great news.

    As a high school teacher, the less-than-generous offer made to elementary school teachers doesn't affect me, but as I'm opposed to working 29% more time for significantly less than 29% more pay, I'd rather the Union not set a precedent here.

    Of course, it was never a serious proposal to begin with. Had it been so, Jean-Claude Brizard would have broached it during negotiations with the CTU (the sole, exclusive bargaining agent for teachers and support staff) instead of taking the half-baked scheme to the millions of Chicagoans glued to their television sets watching Channel 11's "Chicago Tonight" program. Think about it: Two weeks before students go back to school (and after, for Track E schools), teachers are supposed to be ready with worthwhile instructional plans and activities equivalent to an additional quarter of their day. It's as if planning and preparation aren't necessary to good teaching. No, this was not a serious proposal from the very beginning.

  • Chicago News Cooperative
    While Pushing Through the Longer School Day, Some Things to Keep in Mind
    Published: August 26, 2011

    - I don't know. It doesn't seem that Warren understands much about CPS.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    You know, of all the invective commentary I've seen lately, this piece has to be the most hateful of all.

    I disagree, however, that he doesn't understand what he's saying. He purposefully lies, twists facts, and obfuscates to arrive at what is a very hateful anti-teacher piece. The man has an agenda.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    I agree. Warren has bought the false narrative and is working to spread it. Say it loud enough, long enough and it becomes "true", right? Too bad he's supposed to practice journalism. Well, this is what journalism's come too. No wonder it's dying. CNC isn't much better than what the traditional media's doing in education coverage. Doesn't Warren have a young child in a northside CPS school? Maybe his LSC comments are "personal."

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Please excuse typos

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    CNC is funded by Mike Koldyke-right? AUSL guru and Golden Apple topper. So again, consider the source.

  • This acorn hasn’t fallen far from the Tribune. I first noticed James Warren’s slant when he wrote about Jonah Edelman before SB7 was passed. He left out every important fact.

    Later in the video from the Aspen Ideas Festival, Edelman brags that he hired a pr firm to keep Stand for Children out of the news.
    This commentary -- can’t be reporting -- is a mish-mash of anti-union and pro corporate-style ed-reformers.

    Lots of half-baked junk assertions. And he gets to run it in the NY Times. Same guy who invited Edelman in also contributes to CNC.

  • In reply to Adele:

    All excellent commentary is based on excellent reporting. The proof's in the pudding with Warren's piece.

  • Did anyone see the article in the SunTimes where the Chicago Civic Federation is recommending that retirees wait until age 67 to start to receive a pension check? I was going to wait a few years until I have 34 years but now I'm thinking I should jump ship this year. My pension would be less but that's better than having to wait until 67.

  • Why does Mike Flannery hate Chicago Teachers. He has opposed every raise, every demand and improvement suggested by teachers and CTU. Does he just hate unions? Don't journalists have unions?

    Everytime he is on Chicago Tonight he obediently promotes the corporte agenda and attacks teachers. Why? Was he picked on in high school? Did his prom date not show?

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    I'd guess Mike Flannery is a member of The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). That's a national labor union representing more than 70,000 performers, journalists, and other artists.

  • Mike Flannery is drinking the Rahm kool-aide. This is the station that made the little african american child look like he wanted to 'get me a gun' to be a future gang-banger instead of what he said--a police officer.

  • Teachers have to stop debating this issue like they are hourly wage earners. It's a losing battle for them.

    If you buy into it, teachers get paid for 203 days (only 183 of them are actual work days - 10 for holidays and 10 for vacations) and for 6.25 hours each day. That's only 1268.75 per year. Based on FY2011 schedules, the minimum and maxiimum compensation is $47,268 min and $88,680 max (not including a 7% fully vested pension pick-up add on). So that's a hourly wage of between $37.26 adn $67.90.

    If teachers were required to work full-time hours of 40/week 52 per week, like other full-time employees, their equivalent wages would be between $77,491.58 (for someone right out of college with no experience) and $145,382 (for a PhD or EdD with 16 years). When the pension pick-up is added, the numbers are even more eye-popping.

    Really guys, this is not an argument you want to have. The public thinks that it's not outrageous to ask for more time under these circumstances. If you want to do some good in this argument, starting looking at other issues and, follow the Trib's - yes the Trib's - advice and help shape the future.

  • I think for many teachers this is not about 4%, but about promises and contracts undone with the bang of a gavel. My worry is not the 4%, but my pension. Can they "rescind" that, too? That's what I lose sleep about.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Yes, they can, through the legislature. And they will. It doesn't matter if you are a current retiree, approaching retirement, or just starting a teaching career. Your pension will be taken away from you by CPS, the mayor, and politicians downstate. Have no doubts about that.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I would like to hear Retired Principal's thoughts on this. The Chicago Civic Federation is also recommending that CTPF merge in the State teacher pension and that retirees wait until 67 to get their benefits.

    RP: Likely/worst case scenario?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    The CTPF SHOULD NOT merge with the State teacher pension fund! This would be the worst scenario to happen to the CTPF!

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Exactly! If it was about money we would not have gone into teaching. It is about the disrespect that comes with all of this, in my opinion.


  • Yes, yes. The implication in all of this is that teachers only work 6.25 hours per day. Teachers know that's false. Parents know that's false. Students know that's false. Much of the public knows that's false, unless they are blinded by political ideology like our mayor and CEO.

    Ok - so I'm a salaried employee. As a professional I do my job until the work is done. For the last seven years I have averaged approximately 2,100 hours per year. (Yes, I keep track.) 2,000 hours is equivalent to 40 hours/week for 50 weeks.

    Is it reasonable to expect any professional working 2,000 hours to work an additional 350 hours?

    Is it reasonable to expect any professional working 2,000 hours to work an additional 350 for virtually no additional compensation?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    There are plenty of professionals loggin 3000+ hours a year. In resource poor system, professionals do what they have to do to make it work.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Your argument essentially comes down to "Other workers are abused, so teachers should be too." That's not exactly compelling.

    Would 4,000 hours of work per year for teachers be enough for you to say maybe that's too much even for a professional? How about 5,000? 6,000?

    In a resource poor system, professionals do the best they can - 2,000 hours is certainly reasonable - while they advocate for more resources, as teachers do. I defy you to find a 2,000 hour per year professional who would not object to a mandated 350 hour increase with no increase in compensation.

    Lest anyone claim teachers don't work that many hours, we do. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that U.S. teachers work, on average, 1,913 hours/year. According to U.S. Labor Department an average full-time employee works 1,932 hours/year.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Listen, digest then react . . . Reread what I wrote then reframe your argument . . .there's no claim in what I said that teachers don't work more than 6.25 hours a day . . . what I said is that teachers are stupid to make this about the hours they get paid/work. . . they should be focusing on what their work looks like while at school for however long it takes . . . then framing their arguments about compensation.

    And dude, that number is seriously inflated.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Granted, teachers are salaried employees, although it's easy to forget that when we have to punch a time clock and even our paycheck reflects the 62-1/2 hours we work per pay period. It also seems easier to make comparisons when looking at the marginal increase or per hour rate.

    So let's talk about annual salary. Like others have said, we put in the hours necessary to complete the job--which is well and above the 6.25 hours per day specified in the CBA.

    The Mayor's proposal isn't just about giving me 29% more time to get my current workload done. He expects me to spend that time doing 29% more work. This is instructional time with students that requires planning and preparation. Even if part of the time is for teacher collaboration as some has optimistically said (perhaps, naively), then there is individual preparation involved even in group collaboration.

    Thus the Board has changed my job. I am no longer willing to supply my labor for the same compensation I received before. I now need somewhere around 29% more salary to do this new job the Board wants me to do.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    The number is not inflated. But feel free to contact the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation about it. I thought it seemed low, personally. Then again, OEDC's number is an average so it's not surprising that some will fall above and some will fall below.

    I did reframe the argument as you suggested. The hourly wage concept is gone. Talking about what our day is like at school does not provide a complete picture. Teachers are more likely to work in the evenings, on Saturdays, and on Sundays than other full-time professionals (according to the U.S. Labor Department.) That work outside of school is vital to successful teaching.

    "Focusing on what their work looks like while at school for however long it takes" provides a woefully incomplete picture.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    "I thought it was low" . . . keep selling that . . . sheesh. . .

    Oh Lordy. . . it's hard to take a hint when weighted down in martyrdom. So, take a hint from Karen Lewis then, and think about "a better, smarter day" . . . take the focus off your damn pocketbook, your hurt feelings, and you persecution complex and be creative . . you might find some common ground with the so-called "teacher bashers" and do something constructive about finding a resolution to a real problem.

  • I agree. Other workers in many industries have taken hits and teachers are not immune. The public is not going to be on our side on this. No matter how hard, how long we work the perecption is still that we work 6 hours and have "summers off" with pay. Yes, it's bull, but that is how so many see it. Don't lengthen my day and screw your paultry 4%. Don't F with my pension.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I challenge you to name another industry that has seen a 29% increase in work hours with no additional compensation. Or an industry that has seen, overnight, a 20% decrease in hourly earnings. There may be a few responses to the second scenario but it certainly has not been common. Not being given a raise (which I am fine with for this year) is a very different thing than what is being asked of teachers in Chicago right now.

  • Maybe this anti-teacher thing is misogynistic? Just a thought.

  • Remember that to get that 4% raise CTU had to make concessions to the school board. We gave up some employment protections. Also, many provisions were not enforced such as class size. Teachers have been giving alot already. To aks for more is silly. If you want us to work a forty hour week, you will have to pay for it. Moreover, I would not follow the advice of a mega-corporation that is not solvent. How can the Trib make a recommendation when they can't solve their own problems?

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    I just want to clarify, though I think you already know this. Most teachers work forty hour weeks - or more. Teachers spend considerable time working outside of contractual in-school obligations.

  • I am currently working in a suburban district, but I had worked in Chicago for four years. The simple solution for CPS is to adopt what they do in suburbs by hiring more fine arts and PE teachers. By giving every class room teacher two preps plus 30-40 minute lunch, CPS can increase school days without paying any additional salary.

    Here is my previous CPS school's daily schedule.

    9:00 School starts
    One 40 minute prep
    20 minute lunch
    10 minute recess
    2:45 School ends

    This my current school's schedule.

    8:25 School starts
    Two 40 minute preps
    30 minute lunch (last 10 minute is for recess)
    3:00 School ends

    If you are in a very rough school, more teachers will be productive with additional prep time to collaborate with other teachers.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Actually its 45 minutes more with students as under this modely they start a half hour earlier. Not sure that CPS has sufficient $ for this model but . . . at last, someone is discussing a possibility that could make sense for teachers and students. . .

    Karen Lewis should being doing this on Jean-Claude's committee. Why the hell isn't she? Who is holding her back from doing the right thing for teachers and students?

    I suspect the answer lies in the answer to these questions: Who benefits from perpetuating controversy and not reaching agreement? The answer to which begs an even larger question -- what kind of organization are we allowing to be have such a detrimental influence on the education of Chicago's young people

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    The committee is a dog and pony show. Karen Lewis would be a fool to lend legitimacy to this panel of privatizers, charter operators, and anti-union ideologues.

    If CPS wants a longer school day there are two primary constituencies with whom they should negotiate: students (and their parents) and teachers. Those are the people CPS collaborate with to increase the length of the school day. Unfortunately, Brizard would rather stack the committee with those who are anti-teacher, anti-union.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    The teachers of Chicago have a lot to lose and very little to gain by giving legitimacy to this committee in exchange for giving all 30,000 of us just as much say on the school day as Father Pfleger.

  • In reply to CPSJoe:

    This committee is composed of inner city ministers who get out the Democratic vote in Chicago. The door to door political work in dangerous neighborhoods is usually done by the gangs under the auspices of "church groups" Rham is pandering, again. The children lose , again.

    Phelger's sons passed up the neighborhood St. Leo's (subsidized by alumni) to attend Brother Rice. 'Nuff said.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Anonymous:

    Both of those are appealing. Last year's schedule included 2 days with a 20 min. lunch period...(no prep...no recess) sandwiched in between 2 classes of 30 kdg. students, some with significant disorders....exhausting.

  • Hmmmm. . . . but horrors! teachers would be required to stay at the school building another 15 minutes . .. don't they need to be compensated richly for that sacrifice?!!!!

    Or are you saying that they should act like professionals?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Yes, teachers should act like professionals. And they do. They average 1,912 hours of work per year - only about 20 hours less than other full-time employees.

    Like other full-time employees, teachers put in a certain amount of work on a job site plus additional time elsewhere. For every hour of class time teachers generally prep for about an hour, too. More instructional time means more off-site work. So, in the context of an additional 45 minute class, teachers would need to work an additional 90 minutes - 45 minutes in on-site, 45 minutes prep. 90 more minutes of class means 3 hours more total work. (On a side note, other countries with highly successful public education provide far more paid prep time than the United States. More preparation means better lessons; better lessons mean more effective learning.)

    According to the U.S. Labor Department teachers are more likely to work in the evenings than other full time employees, more likely to work on Saturdays, and more likely to work on Sundays. That's not a burden, mind you. It's exactly what other posters are talking about - professionalism.

    The biggest problem teachers face in this discussion of professionalism are a) an uninformed public, b) rabid ideologues who hate teachers and unions based on pure ignorance, and c) poorly informed politicians who are easily manipulated by the extremely wealthy and major corporations.

  • Yes, suburban teachers are in the builing longer but they have much more professional preparation time than we do. We get three 40 minute preps aweek and two ten minute washroom breaks. Your principal must hve used discretionary funds for supervision during the twenty minute"lunch". Our lunch is at 2:45.

    There are many schools that are so "bad" that subs refuse to go there so the teacher do not even get the three preparation periods.

    I do not see CPS hiring additional teachers for prep time because quite frankly, they do not value their employees. The respect/value component shown towards employees is the reason why suburban teachers rarely come in to CPS to teach yet many of our teachers leave for the suburbs. Mr Brizard and Mr Emmanuel are not winning points in the respect/value category.

    To the above teacher hater administrator/parent....DILLIGAF what you think?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Respect/value is completely absent in Chicago. And it starts at the top. Too many principals follow the abusive lead of the mayor,, the CEO, and area officers, now network chiefs. The best neighborhood schools are those that have an experienced principal who values, respects, and works together with teachers and parents and students to build a professional climate where consensus rules the day. That ensures everyone is on the same page pursuing the same goals, and everyone buys into the tactic and strategies, too. That happens routinely in the suburbs. It is a rarity in CPS.

    Also, prep time is huge. Countries like Singapore and Finland pay teachers for about 15 hours per week to engage in professional collaboration, sharing, observation, lesson planning, and action research. In Chicago, elementary school teachers are paid for 2.25 hours of prep time, high school teachers about 7.5 hours. That's pathetic.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Wow . . . if you read what Brizard is saying, he's agreeing with you . . .and that's the problem with CTU even when people agree with it, it has to disagree. . .Just imagine what could happen if CTU and certain of its members listened instead of just talking . . .

    And by the by . . .Just because I think it's a bloody crime that teachers won't extend the school day so kids get more education does not make me a teacher hater. . . I hate your union for the corrupt, soul stealing organization that it is . . but I do not hate teachers.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Please, explain how Brizard is agreeing with me.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Brizard wanted to give up all professional development days. What kind of leader says that! Chicago teachers have to deal with a workplace that still organized in the sadly out of date factory model of schooling.

    If Chicago wanted greatness in public education, then you would need to build into the time more collaboration as other world class public school districts. That requires leaders at the top who have experience in building professional communities in school and school districts. That kind real world praxis cannot be siphoned from some graduate level text book. What CPS leaders do is rip a couple of pages from some text book and then make some empty mandates that make no sense.

    Why is it that Finland can take the best of our educational research and IMPLEMENT it in their public school system that is unionized. We have privateers running our school district making it up as they go along! That is the sad truth!

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    PD days in CPS are a joke and a waste of time. I've been teaching for more than 10 years and I have yet to attend a helpful PD session that CPS has offered. Collaboration time, though, is a completely different thing and totally needed. Please, for the love of g-d, Brizard, let me spend those days teaching instead of in silly, mindless seminars that don't teach me anything!

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    I'm with you, and I've just finished my 18th year in CPS.

    I can't believe any other school district has eleven days for TI/PD/SD. (And last year, we ended up with a 12th day after losing Lincoln's birthday to the weekend.)

    If they would just take back those 4 days of SD, it would leave the kids with 174 days--which is what the state mandates. I'm tired of trying to explain that our "banking" of minutes means our 170 student attendance are equal to the 174 days. It would help alleviate that "shortest year in the nation" garbage if we just had the 174 days for students.

    I wonder why Brizard backed off of this.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    We already use those days to collaborate. I would never attend any workshop sponsored by CPS. The last thing I went to was a family life and aids education seminar where they showed pictures of diseased genitals. I don't understand why schools aren't making good use of the PD days. If our school loses them it will be a true loss to the rich and meaningful collaboration time that we use to better ourselves as teachers and improve our students' learning experiences. I am thankful that we have an administrator who is willing to let us do this.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Isn't every organization a "corrupt, soul stealing organization"? I mean, really. Couldn't you say: "I hate your [insert organization] for the corrupt, soul stealing organization that it is . . but I do not hate [worker/organization member]."? Government, business, religious, non-profit, sports, business executive lobbying, healthcare, contractor, utilities, entertainment --- the list could go on --- organizations?

  • I love you all dearly

    The last couple of bloggers don’t seem to realize that outside
    speakers, moderators’, and professional pd presenters all get paid
    for their time. these presenters run the gauntlet from super to embarrassingly
    incompetent. Also some have been salesmen trying to unload everything from
    their own paintings to a clothing line, and my all time favorite, pepper spray
    in key ring dispensers.

  • trib columnist john kass is pretty pissed off at the arguments against the raise / extended day deal coming from CTU, based not so much on the dollars but on the outcomes that CPS has produced.


    should teachers take the deal based on the desire to do better for kids rather on self-interest alone?

    plus which everyone else is out of work and teachers have been insulated by and large compared to the rest of the nation.

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Chicago principals on Friday at the UIC Forum that elementary school teachers will be teaching a longer school day starting in January 2012!

  • Can anyone else confirm what Retired Principal just said?

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    I cannot confirm that, but as I have said before SB7 from my reading of SB7 and the reading of it from several lawyers, it would allow CPS to increase the school day this year by voiding parts of the existing contract. I would not be surprised Mayor Emanuel said exactly what the retired principal indicated.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    If this really does happen in January, then I really hope all schools are mandated to have recess. You cannot have a 7+ hour day without it. Maybe some schools will have to have it inside for safety, though. Still, if my kids' school does not have recess, we'll be leaving the city, and I'll be leaving my teaching job. And I hope too, now that the CTU has refused the 2% raise, the BOE will at least take that money and give teachers real, actual, 40 minute lunch periods, duty free. They'll have to hire lots of parapro's to staff recess supervision, and I can see some schools will have a real mess.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    I hope teacherparent is right that CPS would take the 2% for elementary school teachers that they offered and use it to support the longer school day. I am guessing that amount would be around $29 million. There will be a great temptation on the part of CPS to hold as much as is possible in reserve because the state seems to be falling behind in payments again at a faster rate. (This was announced at the Board meeting on August 24.)

    CPS does not want to have to do another tax note to make payroll this school year as they did last year. I don't blame them for that.

    Rod Estvan

  • Mr. Kass unfortunately seems to believe that extending the school day will equate to improved student outcomes. Mr. Kass seems stunned that CPS has an average ACT composite score of 17.4, and says it "won't cut it." But the problem is not just owned by CPS, it is a problem faced by numerous school districts in Illinois and some that have longer school days on average than does CPS. For example East Saint Louis has a composite average ACT score of 14.8, Cario Illinois has an average score of 15.7, Rockford has an average score of 16.1, Joliet H.S. District 204 has an average composite score only slightly higher of 18, Thornton Fractional Twp HSD 215 again an average of 18, Decatur SD 61 18.4, J S Morton HSD 201 has an average score of 16.9, and Waukegan has an average composite score of only 16.8. I could go on and on with these won't cut it school districts. Several of the school districts I have mentioned have formally a longer school day than does CPS, and has it made a difference? Well not really.

    Mr. Kass rants "the fraud on the taxpayers is beyond comprehension," actually Mr. Kass the fraud is fairly targeted in Illinois. It is targeted at school districts with lots of poor children, which is why Mr. Kass is not raising his family on the south east side of Chicago where he grew up, but lives in the suburbs according to an interview he gave WTTW some years ago. I have to say I found the Kass rant to be totally disingenuous.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Even journalists who live in the suburbs hit the nail on the head sometimes. For all you know his next-door-neighbor is a CPS teacher living out of district (as many do). Moving to the suburbs is a choice not a crime.

    CTU is waaay out of sync with parents on this issue. Another PR blunder for Ms. Lewis.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Mr. Kass's column is misinformed on a variety of fronts.

    The educational apartheid that exists in Chicago is a direct and intentional result of CPS and mayoral policy. These are the children Kass refers to as "afterthoughts, the children who are thrown away". He then blames the Union for these inequities, not the mayor or CPS. That's absurd.

    And his response to the rejection of a 29% increase in work for a 2% increase in pay? "You've got to be kidding me." Ok, Mr. Kass. Let's see you put out 29% more columns each year for a 2% increase in pay. I'll pay for it myself!

    Mr. Kass cannot expect the same education results in poverty stricken Chicago as he sees in his suburban domestic bliss.

    There are at least 15 to 20 days of wasted school time in Chicago simply because CPS fails miserably in its selected priorities. Thousands of students spend weeks at the beginning of the school year without teachers because CPS is unwilling to fully staff schools. Test prep consumes weeks of valuable teaching ad learning time, especially at schools in the poorest neighborhoods. Final grade submissions kill another week each year because CPS holds classes after grading is complete and final.

    Teachers demonstrate their commitment to children day in and day out. The same cannot be said of the mayor or the CPS administration and bureaucracy.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Well put. I am a parent of a special needs child. We decided to abandon ship this year and go the DIY route. We will miss the SPED crew at the school, but not the rest of the CPS-BS.

  • I agree with you. Problem is, so many of his readers will be as clueless as he is as they spin this into their "truth." Sad.

  • The Tribune
    Why is anyone getting upset about Mr.Kass’s rant?
    The Tribune and Sun Times are rapidly becoming obsolete.
    In some ways it’s a shame , in others poetic justice.
    I hope today’s’ reporters remember how it feels to be the last
    Members of a dying profession.

  • You guys realize you're having a different debate than the rest of the City, right? You keep having this debate and Emmanuel will crush you. There won't be a parent to support you. You need to change the debate.

    Instead of talking about your salary and "respect" (nobody really cares about your self-esteem -- you either got it or you don't), talk about what's good for kids and how you can collaborate to get extra time for kids in school (I have not heard anyone argue that it's not necessary and desireable) . . .without killing teachers. There are ways . . . be creative people . . .

    You're going to lose this war and look bad in the process. Running from your enemies, like Lewis is doing on that fool committee. Confront Pflegler and his ilk if they're wrong or wrong-headed and win the day on its merits. . Lewis has got it in her to win that debate or part of it anyway. And I bet she would do it but for crazy CORE folks on her executive committee who cannot seem to do anything constructive for teachers or students.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Do you really think that CPS students who will be admitted to the three most selective high schools, Payton, Northside, and Young academically need a longer school day? The longer school day as it is being sold by the media promises children of the poor that a longer school day equals a much greater chance to go to and graduate from a four year college. I am not sure that is a legitimate sales pitch, but there is clearly no evidence that a longer school day will hurt any low income student.

    Robin Steans, executive director, Advance Illinois has repeatedly said that by the time a Houston public schools student graduates, he or she will have received nearly three years more instructional time than in Chicago.The Houston school district does not require its students to take either the SAT or ACT.

    On average the best Houston high schools, Foley's Academy, Lamar H S, Bellaire H S, and Debakey H S FOR Health Professionals have 85 to 100 percent of students taking these tests. The lower scoring schools, which are the majority have between 40 and 60% taking these college admissions tests. So higher scoring students are over represented in Houston's data. With that said we can see that the composite ACT score for Houston students was 20.1 in 2008. Of 27 high schools in the Houston system, including charters, only four had composite scores SAT above the Texas average.

    All and all Houston looks a lot like Chicago on its college admissions tests when all things are considered and that is with a much longer school day. Just like Chicago the poorest high schools have the lowest scores.

    Rod Estvan

  • here's CTU's warning against teachers supporting a schedule wavier -- have any schools adopted waiver schedules, or is there a list of schools being targeted? is YOUR principal talking about a waiver? tell all.

    The Chicago Public Schools is seeking ways to have those who are employed as teachers, Paraprofessional and School-Related Personnel (PSRPs) in Elementary and Middle Schools to consider extending their work hours an additional ninety (90) minutes per school day during the 2011-2012 school year starting in either September or January.

    Article 4-6 in the Board/ Union Agreement which addresses the regular school day for elementary schools states, “the regular school day for elementary teachers shall not exceed seven hours (not eight hours and thirty minutes) with a continuous duty-free lunch period of forty five minutes.”

    The current Board/Union Agreement terminates June 30, 2012. Therefore in order to add an additional 90 minutes to the school day all CTU members in a building would have to vote on a school WAIVER. It should be noted, that a WAIVER NEGATES A CONTRACTUAL RIGHT!

    When there is a proposal to change any Article of the 2007-2012 Agreement between the Board of Education of the City of Chicago and the Chicago Teachers Union, the Waiver procedure in Appendix C must be used. A waiver that is rejected may not be submitted more than once in any school year. An approved waiver automatically terminates at the conclusion of the school year. Remember: a Waiver vote must be posted with at least two days advance notice, be clearly worded, and be conducted by secret ballot.

    Consideration of a waiver is a serious matter. A waiver negates a contractual right and consequently changes the terms of your working conditions.

    CPS may not retaliate against school staff who vote against a waiver. Please contact the CTU if you suspect that your rights will be violated or if you have any questions regarding the waiver procedures. You may contact your field representative or coordinator at (312) 329-9100.

  • From my vantage point as a CPS sub, unless there are much smaller class sizes and structure in the lowest performing schools, than a longer day is harmful to these kids. No more 36, 38, 40 kid classrooms in any neighborhood school. If such a class shows up on the first day, a second teacher or para professional should be in that classroom (in a structured team environment), until a class division can take place.

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