Lots of news today -- though not necessarily tons of information. I've chunked it as follows: Strike No Strike (is it gonna happen or not?), Contingency Plans (what to do if it does happen), Merit Pay, Steps and Lanes (what they're arguing about), and Miscellaneous. What else? Lots of interesting comments and suggestions about my Brizard post below, and a smattering of comments about how the first week has gone (which would make you think it was all horrible but I'm guessing that's just self selection). Tell me more!
STRIKE NO STRIKE
Teachers union files unfair labor practice charge against Chicago WBEZ: The Chicago Teachers Union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the school district. It comes just days before teachers could walk out on strike. The complaint stems from the paychecks teachers received at the end of August.
For the Record: Injunction to stop a strike? Catalyst: A section of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, added to state law during the 1990s, indicates that if a teacher strike “is or has become a clear and present danger to the health or safety of the public” the employer can ask for a legal injunction to stop the strike.
Chicago braces for possible teachers' strike -- its first in 25 years CNN: The Chicago Teachers Union said it filed unfair labor practice charges against the Chicago Public Schools this week. The charges, filed with the state labor relations board, come after changes in working conditions, the union said Thursday.
District picks schools, churches to stay open if teachers strike WBEZ: With just three days left before teachers could go on strike, Chicago Public Schools announced that it will keep 144 school buildings open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for meals and other "engaging activities" in the event of a walk out.
CPS releases list of 144 schools open in case of teachers strike Sun Times: Chicago Public Schools officials on Thursday announced the specific 144 school sites that will be open on a limited basis for students in case of a strike. The 144 schools will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays and provide breakfast and lunch.
Strike options for parents Time Out Chicago Kids: If you're a parent of a kid in Chicago Public Schools, you're probably scrambling right now, trying to figure out where to send your child next week, should the teachers go on strike. The district has set up a website with information on its "Children First" program ...
59 churches to welcome students in case of Chicago teachers strike Sun-Times: Chicago pastors say 59 church doors will be open as safe havens for children in the event of a CPS strike.
Day care a costly potential option for parents of CPS students Sun Times: Taking the kids to a friend’s house or teaching them their ABCs at home might be options for some parents of Chicago Public Schools students as a possible strike by CPS teachers nears. Other parents, though, may get an unwanted lesson in economics if teachers strike.
MERIT PAY, STEPS AND LANES, REHIRING
The Chicago Teachers Union Strike Has Been Building For Awhile ChicagoMag: A crucial negotiating point between the CTU and CPS involves teacher rehiring and tenure. In the abstract, loosening restrictions might sound appealing, but a series of controversies over the firing of seemingly effective teachers has made negotiations much harder than they might look.
Headline here Chicago Sun-Times (opinion): Shame on the Chicago Teachers Union for resisting merit pay. Why would anyone who is truly trying to excel be opposed to the expectation that they perform the job for which they have been hired?
CPS board president joins contract talks with teachers union Tribune: Negotiations started at 10 a.m. and went into the evening, days before Monday's strike date set by theChicago Teachers Union. Talks will resume Friday and go through the weekend if necessary.
Brizard: Teacher Contract Talks ‘Close To One-Yard Line’ CBS: The Chicago schools CEO said talks have been tense, but both sides are making progress.
Karen Lewis's World Public League Blog: They want to get paid more for doing the same work. Or getting paid based on years of service not on how good you really are. It would be like giving A's to all seniors automatically just because they have been in school for 4 years.
Chicago Is Failing Half Its Population: The Young Are the Victims Huffington Post: As I watched my son and his classmates graduate last June at the gorgeous auditorium theater in downtown Chicago, I realized how incredibly lucky we had been in our experiences with Chicago Public Schools.
South Loop Parents, Alderman Want More Access to Good Schools for Neighborhood Children ChicagoTalks: The lack of a South Loop neighborhood high school could push more families than Jacoby’s out of the city. “Middle class families are leaving the area,” said Ald. Robert Fioretti (42nd).
Suit claims CPS teacher was fired over class size complaints Tribune: A former Chicago Public Schools teacher is suing the district and the principal of a school on the North Side after she was allegedly bullied, fired from her position and put on a “do-not-hire list” because she complained to the Chicago Teachers Union about her class size.
Bus troubles Tribune (letter): Our grandchildren attend Chicago Public Schools. It is our tradition to go to their bus stops to see them off the first day of school. What has also now become a tradition is the expectation that buses will be late the first day and beyond.
Don Moore’s legacy CMW: Don Moore’s life had an impact far greater than many more famous and powerful people: more than anyone, he was responsible for creating and defending Chicago’s Local School Councils, while demonstrating their value as the most effective vehicle this city has seen for improving urban education.