Younger Teachers Speak Out

A Lake View HS English teacher named Alex Seeskin has just written an interesting blog post about the difficulties he anticipates evaluating teachers in non-tested subjects using student achievement (it will lead to inflated ratings, he thinks).  I'm guessing many of you will agree with him.  He's guest-blogging on an EdWeek site focused on one Chicago teacher's experience, called Charting My Own Course.  It's written by an eight-year veteran Chicago teacher named Marilyn Anderson Rhames who started out in a district school, then moved to a charter school, and wrote about her experience being evaluated here. I'm not sure what schools she was at, or where she teaches now, or (most important) if she's related to Ving Rhames, but I've emailed her and will let you know. Seeskin and Anderson Rhames are both part of TeachPlus, a new organization focused on teacher leadership.  Their founder and CEO, Celine Coggins, wrote about changes teachers might make to the way they think about their work and their union.  TeachPlus just hired Hill veteran Alice Johnson Cain, a longtime Democratic staffer, as head of federal policy.  Are they going to organize off to the side, or try and win building rep jobs and infiltrate the HOD?  Don't know.  Maybe they're doing Occupy Chicago instead.


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  • Sisters and Brothers:
    Yesterday, the CTU leadership finally got the Board of Education to move past the dispute over when to implement the Longer School Day. The Board agreed to abide by the law and the collective bargaining agreement.
    There will be no more waiver votes. Now we can move on to the discussion our union wants to have about how to make sure every student in Chicago has an excellent, broad curriculum with appropriate class sizes.
    The agreement does not circumvent the pending Unfair Labor Practices hearing before the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB) on the merits of the complaint, which is scheduled for December 14 in Chicago. It also does not force the 13 schools who have already waived school day length provisions of the contract to revert back to their old schedules.That would only happen if the IELRB issues a ruling following the hearing or if the Union and Board reach a further settlement.
    Make no mistake – our position and that of other labor organizations is clear – this activity was illegal. This is a victory that will not be subject to appeal or the uncertainty of politics.
    This has been a distraction with which we had to contend, but it is time to move forward. We have a much bigger set of issues ahead of us, which include an attempt to short change our students by closing schools rather than supporting them as well as our negotiations for the upcoming contract.

  • The above was a statement issued by Karen Lewis.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    Did you think it was more appropriate to post Karen's comment here rather than the thread specifically about that topic?

  • Question?  I have a few questions for my colleagues on this Blog.  Please provide your support:

    How many times are students allowed to take the Benchmark Test?  Are students allowed to continue taking the test until they pass?  Do these tests take 3 to 4 weeks to complete?

    Tell me what you think about this:
    Fifth Grade Math
    In 2010 (Fourth):  56.1
    In 2011 (Fifth):  93.2
    Fifth Grade Reading
    In 2010 (Fourth):  38.6
    In 2011 (Fifth):  79.5
    Seventh Grade Math:
    In 2010 (Sixth):  48.9
    In 2011 (Seventh):  81.4
    As an entire school on the ISAT Test:
    In 2010:  47.7
    In 2011:  60.7
    No intense instruction has taken place, administration has no control over the student body, and teachers have taken an excessive amount of benefit days off as a result of the administration not taking control over the student body.

    Is it permissible for the Principal not to present a school budget to the LSC?  The last time one has been seen was 14 months ago.

    Is an administrator allowed to fraternize with his faculty or staff members according to CPS policy?  If this takes place, what are the ramifications?  Are there ramifications according to CPS policy?

    What can happen to a teacher or administrator if they are caught forging standardized test scores?

    The practices listed above are things I saw take place in a CPS school.  Tell me what you guys think or advise me because I seriously need it.  This is not right that this foolishness is taking place in a CPS school.

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