Evaluation Time

Today's massive news roundup is divided into categories for easier reading, but of course many of the items cover more than one issue.  One category is the Emanuel vs. Lewis issue -- is this all about personalities and inexperience?  Another category is Local vs. National -- is this a really national issue or local?   The 3rd category is the issue of teacher evaluations and strikeability -- a mess, both because it's the hardest to understand and it brings back in the issue of SB7 and the legality of the strike.  Anyway, you get the idea.  Dive in. Read everything and you might be done by noon.


Teachers’ Leader in Chicago Strike Shows Her Edge NYT: In Karen Lewis, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, which completed a second day on strike from public schools, Mayor Rahm Emanuel may have met his match.

Emanuel faces striking teachers while selling strike message Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel today continued to sell his message that the Chicago teachers strike was “avoidable” as picketing teachers provided the background noise to a news conference at a Marquette Park school.

Roundup, Pt. 3 Chicago Magazine (Moser): Emanuel and Karen Lewis are both new to their positions of power in the city, and they're both addressing a lot of long-simmering issues on top of the reforms that followed in the wake of SB7.


How the Chicago Teachers Strike Could Affect Obama, Democrats Chicago Mag (Felsenthal): Rahm has always been a national figure, but now more than ever as he leads a city in the throes of a dangerous strike—dangerous for parents who work and don’t have private means to see that their children have all-day care that even the worst performing schools provided. And the shooting gallery that has taken hold on parts of the South and West Sides is an even more frightful dilemma, as schools closed to students throw thousands of potential new victims on the streets.

Chicago Is Focus of National Debate on Schools NYT: Questions on how teachers should be evaluated have been added to traditional issues of pay, benefits and working conditions as Chicago teachers walk picket lines.


Can teachers strike over evaluations? ‘Yes and no,’ experts say Sun Times: A key point of contention in the Chicago Public Schools teachers strike is how teachers will be evaluated. But while teachers and administrators don’t agree on how the evaluations should be done, the two sides couldn’t even agree over whether the teachers could legally walk out based on the issue.

Mayor Emanuel calls two issues key to CTU ‘not strikeable’ Sun Times: As Chicago Public Schools teachers hit the picket lines for a second day, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said repeatedly Tuesday that what he sees as the two key issues for teachers are “not strikeable“ and that he would rather settle the strike at the bargaining table than the courtroom.

Grading teachers Tribune (Editorial):  Chicago students deserve the best"There are too many factors beyond our control which impact how well some students perform on standardized tests, such as poverty, exposure to violence, homelessness, hunger and other social issues beyond our control."


Emanuel: Principals need to hire their own team WBEZ: On Day 2 of the Chicago teachers strike, Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’s standing up for reforms the district believes will work.Emanuel said again that just two issues divide the union and district: a new system for evaluating teachers and job security.

Teacher evaluation, job rights Catalyst: Teacher evaluation took center stage in negotiations between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union on Tuesday, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel saying he believed teachers could not legally strike over some of the issues at hand but backed away from the idea of an injunction to try and end the strike.

Teachers strike enters its 3rd day with two sides ‘kilometers apart’ Sun Times:  The head of the Chicago Teachers Union suggested the two sides remained “kilometers apart” as the strike entered into its third day Wednesday. While Mayor Rahm Emanuel suggested there were only two major issues remaining to work out, union President Karen Lewis noted they had agreed on only six of nearly 50 issues.


Fondness makes a teachers strike different Tribune (Zorn):  When teachers go on strike, we do tend to believe it when they claim to have the best interests of students in mind. This is why so many passing motorists are honking their support and approval this week for striking Chicago teachers as they march, walk the line and rally throughout the city.

CPS Students Chicago Tonight: What were Chicago Public Schools students doing today while their teachers took to the picket lines? Paris Schutz has the story.


Latest on Teachers' Strike WTTW: It's day two of the Chicago teachers' walkout as picketers once again take to the streets in the Loop. Paris Schutz has the latest on negotiations, and why one union official is accusing Chicago Public Schools of enacting "racist" policies.


School closings drive union's push for rehiring policy WBEZ: Outside Tarkington Elementary Tuesday, hundreds of striking teachers shouted, some banged on buckets.You could still hear them inside the school’s media center.


Disconnect between Chicago's school policies and the reality WBEZ: This spare scene — the empty school, the bare ungated yard, the red-eyed neighborhood man warily watching the teachers and sipping from a bottle in a bag at 10:30 in the morning — is the great disconnect between downtown, where the policies are dreamed up, and down on the ground, where they have to be implemented.



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  • 47% of Chicago voters back teachers - Chicago Sun-Times http://ow.ly/dEA9l Higher than I would have thought, given the MSM criticism

  • Vallas says CPS can't afford the offer it's already made - CBS Chicago http://ow.ly/dEAq8

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    The headline of the CBS article is actually "Vallas: ‘We Really Never Came Close To Ever Having A Strike’". On this astro-blog, it ends up sounding like Vallas is with Russo and against teachers. The actual article is generally supportive of teachers and Vallas is clearly critical of the bumbling mayor and co. who brought this to the point of a strike. Vallas argues that teachers should not have used a strike, however, but should have ousted or fought the incompetents through electoral processes. The "can't afford" angle is the piece that Russo for Children picks up on.

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    In reply to donald:

    Touche Donald...my bad...I clearly took the bait and commented on just a headline.

  • In reply to donald:

    That's who can run against Rahm--Vallas! get an an appartment in Chicago fast Paul--wait, Rahm did not have to live her, but don't be like him, rent or buy that property in 606. Good deals in chi-town now. We would vote for you!

  • Students deserve GREAT teachers:

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    That was a DUMB DUMB statemetn from Vallas - I get it but it will have unintentional nterpretations . You don; have to have a long memeory to remember the 4% that was taken away from a CONTRACT when the district doesn't feel it could afford it. Vallas better be careful and not give the sense that these negotiations are meaningless because they won't follow through on them anyway.

  • The teachers are asking for a fair contract. Can someone tell me what that would look like? Not what it wouldn't look like. Please also tell me how you suggest that CPS pay for it.

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    In reply to district299reader:

    why don;t we first see a contract proposal from CPS that doesn't essentially say "we'll figure out the rest later." It seems that everything they put is only half detailed. The teachers are smart (as they should be) - they know better than to accept any proposal from CPS that has any language about figuring out the details later

  • What I would like to know is how is CPS broke?? They keep saying there is no money. Well where did it all go????? That's what I would like to know. Possibly to charter schools I am thinking! One thing is for sure, the money sure did NOT go to the teachers of CPS!

  • Finally! CTU cuts the "strike for the schools our students deserve" crap.


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    The word on the street jsut came out...JCB resigned!

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    CEO JC Brizard sent out an emaill to employees at 125 S. Clark this afternoon that he is still there!

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    "Modern cynics and skeptics see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of thier children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care fo their plumbing."

    John F Kennedy

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    Exactly how much do you think plumbers make these days? Teachers don't make 1960 equivalent salaries either.

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    In reply to Donn:

    Well, Donn, having just written out a check for two and a half hours of plumbing work - they make a hell of a lot more than I do as a teacher! And when the city guy came to mark the street where the sewer line break is located in his Mercedes (yes, it was only the C-class), I wonder how much does he make? I drive a Hyundai!

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    In reply to Donn:

    You're an idiot or so rich that you don't deal with your own home problems and your "staff" does it for you. Donn, they make over 60-70 an hour - that is $120-$140K a year.

    I'm done talking to you. We win! Bye.

  • Thanks to Alexander for posting the Sun Times article that discussed the Mayor's comment on the legality of the current CTU strike in relation to the two issues the Mayor and CPS are focusing on. These issues are: 1. A new teacher evaluation system; 2 Teacher recall provisions. But let's be clear here the CTU stated yesterday that it had signed off on tentative sub agreements on only 6 of 48 or 49 total provisions in a contract the union would like to see.

    The reason CPS is refusing to publicly acknowledge that there are massive issues outstanding is because they are attempting to create as the Sun Times speculated the context for the Mayor to "pull the trigger in seeking a court injunction to stop the strike."

    While CPS and the Mayor are arguing they would much rather settle the dispute at the bargaining table than in a courtroom they none the less may be attempting to put the CTU into a trap. Let me explain how this trap might work and how the bait might be placed. Each of the articles of the expired CTU agreement probably can legally be determined to be either a subject covered by 115 ILCS 5/4.5 or a subject not covered.

    If the CTU and CPS come to agreement on all non 4.5 areas and leave the other areas open for discussion then the trap might be closed. Because then CPS believes it can easily file for a court injunction to stop the strike because the formally outstanding issues are all covered by section 4.5 which are not strikable issues. But the CTU is also formally striking over unfair labor practices which is totally out of the scope of section 4.5 so that complicates the CPS strategy. How a judge would view all this is way beyond me. But it would seem best if the CTU simply refused to settle at least some aspects of any wage deal until and if CPS agrees to come to agreement on all outstanding articles from the prior contract that can be construed to be section 4.5 issues.

    All of this brings me back to my continuing rant about how screwed up SB7 has made the entire collective bargaining process, but I am sure you all have heard that from me before. I am not going to get into the issues around the implementation of the Illinois Performance Evaluation Reform Act in relation to CPS because I honestly think it's too complex for a blog posting. Suffice it to simply say Jenn Ridder and I wrote an extensive white paper Access Living published in October 2011 titled Holding Educators Accountable for the Academic Growth of Students with Disabilities. The issues relating to value added measurement and testing instruments are extremely complex and if anyone wants to read through our analysis I will send you a copy of the white paper if you email me at Restvan@accessliving.org.

    On the recall provisions. The arguments the Mayor, CPS Board member Dr. Hines, and some principals are making about the need for principals to select their own staff are all well and good, but many older senior teachers with good ratings from schools that have been closed down have not been hired. We had last month over 300 unfilled special education positions alone and I personally know of some CPS special education teachers who were unemployed after being cut in the shutdown of schools. In particular younger principals in many cases seem reluctant to hire new staff with a greater pedagogical knowledge base than their own. In other cases principals question the paper ratings of these laid off teachers, based on supposition in some cases or the history of the teacher's prior school.

    This is now a particularly big problem because of the fact that last year according to the Chicago Principals & Administrators Association 92 principals and 50 assistant principals retired. The members of the CTU believe CPS is systematically discriminating in particular against older senior teachers who have been cut due to school closings. Until CPS proves to the membership of the CTU that principals are hiring based on a even playing field this issue will not easily be resolved. Until CPS agrees to create serious and enforceable recall rules for teachers who are cut due to school closings, be that the best thing for students in certain situations or not, this issue is likely not to be solved. It is a credit to the younger CPS teachers that they are standing with their older colleagues in relation to this issue. I would also add that I am impressed with the TFAers who are supporting the strike and walking the line in many if not most cases just like all other teachers.

    Lastly, President Vitale's derisive remarks about striking teachers having fun while children are not being educated mistakes what is taking place. Teachers are being transformed, they are seeing the union not as something they just pay to belong to, but as something they own. There is a joy in that process and it is part truly fun. Being inherently somewhat skeptical by nature I never thought I would live to see this happen in relation to the CTU or a teachers union in general. I now do see that it has happened.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Mr. Estvan,

    Thank you, for articulating what many of us are experiencing. There is a rebirth of energy happening here, and it's special to be a part of it. I commend you for your posts, on-point and precise, as usual.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    The only thing I would say Rod is that it is NOT fun. I am not having fun and I want to get back to my students with a fair contract in hand ASAP. I see no joy in my union, in fact I am starting to feel like a pawn in a game. The union is my only voice so I stand with them. You're spot on about the other stuff thought.

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    In reply to Rodestvan:

    My wife had tears of PURE PRIDE in her eyes FOR THE FIRS TIME since joining the disctrict almost 10 years ago when she walked the picket line the first day (and every day hence.)

    I think that this strike will have positive lasting effects (affects? - don' blame a teacher for my bad grammar and typing.) Once back int he classroom teachers will remember they are in it together. They will havea better attitude of working together to solve problems. They will feel empowered to be more confident to tackle day to day, grass root issues instead of waiting for some solution from on high that never comes.

    A group once forged in the fires of a common cause is much more effective than the sum of its parts before the struggle.

  • MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL PLANS TO CLOSE 80 TO 120 PUBLIC SCHOOLS ON THE CITY'S SOUTH AND WEST SIDES: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is accelerating a shift to create 250 more charter schools over the next five years in the Chicago Public School system and close, phase out, consolidate and turnaround 80 to 120 neighborhood schools in the 2013-2014 school year. Chicago communities expected to see the greatest share of these school actions include Bronzeville, North Lawndale, Garfield Park and Englewood. At the same time as these school actions are taking place, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is going to give private school operators of charter schools more taxpayers money who do not employ union teachers. In a proposal to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CPS officials laid out a plan to create 60 charter schools out of the proposed 250 new charter schools over five years. One person pushing Mayor Rahm Emanuel to take a hard line with the CTU is venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who sits on the boards of both the Chicago Public Education Fund, which pushes for more teacher accountability, and New Schools for Chicago, a group that focuses on private investment in charter schools. The rise of charter schools supported by the superwealthy and "venture philanthropy". The charter system, fed in part by PUBLIC MONEY, would funnel support away from traditional neighborhood schools and cause these neighborhood schools to be closed, phased out, consolidated and turnarounded. Charter schools do not perform any better than CPS-run schools. Bruce Rauner, who has a Noble charter school named for him and whose wife Mayor Rahm Emanuel put on his education transition team says "Increase the number of campuses run by charter school organizations that have proven their ability to provide children a great education, i.e.- Noble, Chicago International Charter School, UNO, KIPP and Learn Charter Schools." Bruce Rauner met with CPS officials 13 times during a nine-month span as CEO Jean-Claude Brizard's team was organizing policy after Brizard was named CEO. Bruce Rauner's name has appeared on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's official calendar as recently as June, 2012. Mayor Rahm Emanuel agenda is clearly on behalf of the privatization of public education and charter schools. There is no talk from Mayor Rahm Emanuel on making charter schools more accountable or being closely overseen by the Chicago Board of Education.

  • RP says "Charter schools do not perform any better than CPS-run schools."

    Let's look again at how tier 1/2 HS charters compare to your fancy CTU high schools:

    Top 20
    2012 ACT compared to 2009 Explore

    1) Northside – 7.2
    2) Noble Pritzker – 6.7
    3) Noble Chicago Bulls – 6.4
    3) Noble UIC – 6.4
    3) Payton – 6.4
    6) Noble Rauner – 6.3
    7) Young – 5.9
    8) Noble Rowe Clark – 5.7
    9) Noble Muchin – 5.6
    9) Noble Golder – 5.6
    11) Jones – 5.4
    12) Noble Comer – 5.2
    12) Noble Noble St. – 5.2
    14) Urban Prep West – 5.0
    15) Chicago Academy – 4.8
    16) Lane Tech- 4.7
    17) CHGO Math And Sci. – 4.5
    18) Lincoln Park – 4.4
    19) Von Stuben – 4.2
    20) Lindblom – 4.1

  • In reply to Donn:

    Yeah, I am sure CPS schools would be doing better if they could kick out kids that are not doing their work or have behavorial issues too!! They kick them out and tell them to go to their neighborhood CPS schools so we can deal with them!

  • In reply to Donn:

    The problem with this is that we don't know if they are looking at the same students from Explorer to ACT. We also don't know what students are gone from freshman year, and who or who isn't allowed to take the ACT. This is not good data analysis.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    It may not be good enough data analysis to differentiate schools in or near this group. It is good enough data analysis to inform policy.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Terry Mazany, former interim CPS CEO and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust who control the Bill and Melinda Gates money for school reform in Chicago said, "I ran the numbers when I was at CPS. Charters, based on being freed from restrictions of bureaucrcy, should be knocking the socks off neighborhood schools. But they're not. It's a dead heat."

  • I didn't post anything regarding the overall performance of charters.

  • Unreported here on in Chicago press, though mentioned by Rod Estvan: is a conflict of interest driving investors' support for charter schools? "$5.5 billion in charter-school securities."

  • In reply to chicago:

    How's that for conflict of interest: CTU hates charters because it has no control over their teachers and cannot collect dues from them.

  • In reply to Gerber:

    On the very basic of surfaces, your point sticks until we stop and think for just one moment;

    Unions fight for the teaching profession to be treated with respect by:
    -Collectively fighting for/supporting teachers being certified to teach & furthering their education
    -Fair working conditions
    -Support when needed ie NOW
    -Fair evaluations

    Has anyone asked how charter school teachers are assessed?/How come no one cares that they are not mandated?

    Charter school teachers do not face the same certification requirements therefore devaluing the teaching profession.

    How do charter school teachers support one another? Oh wait, we don't hear anything about them because they stand alone.

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    In reply to Ed4who:

    I'd also like to now the average tenure of a charter school teacher. I have no data - but my hypothesis that I would like to test is that it is a revolving door. Every year your charter school student will essentially be sitting in front of a Rookie (probably well meaning and dedicated....until they find out it is hard as hell and they are not gettign nearly enough money to put up with it and quit.)

    So yes...expereince and decication should get paid more...it needs to.

  • In reply to Gerber:

    I don't agree. We dislike charters because they turn away so many special ed. kids (we proudly educate all kids). We dislike charters because they turn away kids with behavior issues (we proudly educate all kids). We dislike charters because they open in areas that are not overcrowded or failing (their supposed mission). They pull families and funding from neighborhood schools by offering complicated admissions procedures that divide the kids with supportive families from those without. We dislike charters because they take building funds from the dated existing schools full of well deserving neighborhood kids to fix up old parochial schools, warehouses, office buildings and other creative new spaces. Rather than investing in the assets they have, CPS gives building funds to charters over existing schools. I can go on but those are of few of the real reasons. Charters are increasing the divide between the haves and have nots. The CTU teachers are dedicated to both.

  • In reply to MKovats:

    Went to Zemsky's recently. Sales lady showed us 5 piece uniforms required by UNO charter schools @ $100 each.
    We were there looking for on-sale pants and shirts for our homeless students.

  • In reply to chicago:

    maria-catalyst is a Catholic school in charter clothing. If a charter opened with symbols of the koran all around--there would be a riot! Maria catalyst violates the Constitution's seperation clause.

  • I believe this is why the union has come out as being "very close" on compensation. I think they've gotten the best deal they'll get on compensation but won't agree to it until other matters are settled. For instance, today CPS agreed to articles 4, 5, and 6 which relate to work rules. The very rules that CPS has been refusing to bargain over due to SB7. I imagine the CTU will continue to claim they are close on compensation until the entire contract is complete. I'm no lawyer but if the CTU doesn't agree to compensation I'm not sure how CPS could argue it's an illegal strike. Now, within SB7 there is a provision for ending a strike if it's a danger to the public. I could see this happening within the Mayor's PR campaign but again I'm not sure how well it would actually play out in a court.

  • In reply to Evan Velleman:

    I cannot see how a teachers strike could be a danger to the public.... I am sure if they tried to pull that card it would cause a whole war not only with CTU but with other unions as well. This would be considered Union Busting.

  • In reply to fedup:

    The standard for filing for a court injunction to stop the strike based on violating 115 ILCS 5/4.5 would be different than the standard for filing under the public danger provision of SB7. That is what is being discussed by Evan in response to my post. As I said I have no idea how a judge would react to such a request.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    On top of that, every time Rahm has gone to outside sources to solve his problem, such as stand for children and the arbitrator, it has completely backfired on him. He just doesn't have the clout, and I believe the personality, to get his way like Daly would have. If he takes this to the court and forces teachers back in school, I think he may have a huge mess on his hand, as will the democratic party for effectively neutering a very democratic union.

  • Why Complex Teacher Evaluations Don't Work
    By Mike Schmoker
    Here they come: those complex, bloated, evaluation templates that are now being dumped on teachers and administrators. These are supposed to make schools perform better.
    Once again, we are rushing into a premature, ill-conceived innovation—without any solid evidence that it promotes better teaching. These jargon-laced, confusing documents are to be used to evaluate or even to compensate teachers on the basis of multiple, full-period, pre-announced classroom observations. Each observation is to be preceded and followed by meetings between teachers and administrators that will require enormous amounts of time, paperwork, and preparation. Like so many past reforms, this one will be launched nationally, like a bad movie, without being piloted and refined first. (Imagine if we did this with prescription drugs.) It will consume a disproportionate share of precious training time and promote misguided practices that could endure for the next decade. Rather than improve schools, it will only crowd out and postpone our highest, most urgent curricular and instructional priorities.
    Read more--look it up.

  • A school district can use a more complex value added measurement or a more simple growth approach to meet the requirments of PERA. It is critical using either approach that at least three years worth of individual data relating to students a teacher has instructed in a core area be used.
    Recognizing Educators Advancing Chicago’s Students (REACH) unfortunately does not use three years worth of data, the NWEA MAP assessments for grades 3-8 explictly uses a value added approach, the 9-12 explictly uses EPAS series of assessments: EXPLORE in Grade 9, PLAN in Grade 10, and ACT in Grade 11 based on a expected gains methodology to measure student growth.
    In neither case is CPS using three years worth of data to draw conclusions about teacher effectiveness. Apparently they want to implement too rapidly to do that. This is in my opinion a massive mistake regardless of the split between teacher practice assessment and test data assessment. Three years worth of data of children being educated exclusively by the same teacher in a single academic area creates a much higher level of validity than the approach CPS is using to put it simply.Jen Ridder and I wrote extensively about this issue of test measurement and the complexities of it in a white paper Access Living published in October 2011. This is not simple stuff.
    Lastly on the Principal's comment as to why he/she would not identify. I have been attacked on this blog and complemented at times too. I think unfortunately many principals live in fear and even if they are defending what they believe to be a position held by CPS they are looking behind them. I find that to be simply sick and part of the culture of fear in this school system. One reason so many teachers supported this strike is they hate working in this culture of fear even if they deeply respect their own principals.
    Rod Estvan

  • Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    Commentary by Carol Marin


  • In reply to district299reader:

    According to the survey, only 19 percent believe the mayor is doing an excellent or good job handling the strike, with nearly three quarters rating him at average, below average or poor.
    I don’t know what kind of advice the mayor has been getting. But it should not have brought us to this Armageddon moment.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The mayor? You mean, the ex-mayor

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    In reply to district299reader:

    This will be his snow storm.

  • Let me tell you about the network REACH guy. Our principal arranged for him to come and present to us during professional development about 2 weeks ago--no show, no call, we waited 30 minutes. Then, he refers our principal to get the answers to our questions by contacting the CPS REACH email address. The REACH email people respond that we are to contact him for the answers. We gave up--then strike time.

  • Watch WTTW Chicago Tonight (repeat) at 10:00 tonight! Great discussion by 4 aldermen. It is about 24 minutes into the program.

  • Has anybody else been puzzled by the "common core" books the Westside Network sent out to its schools. We received enough copies of "Black Robe" for every sophomore. So, we were told to teach this book. Did anybody read this and think it's a good idea for high school sophomores? It's an interesting read, but it is filled with graphic depictions of pedophilia and sodomy involving Jesuit priests. Is a sophomore really going to get past that to see the greater issues? How many tens of thousands did the network give to Pearson for this?

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel's co-horts in PR are working at full force. They are running anti-union ads on TV, radio and robo calls to Chicago parents, guardians and citizens. It's interesting what your billionaire and millionaire co-horts can do for you.

  • The group running the TV ads is Education Reform Now Advocacy (ERNA).

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    We need to find some good pone numbers and have about 25,000 teachers call it 5 times a day to tell them where they put those ads....

  • Headache299
    Nobody buys Emmanuel’s anti-teacher crap anymore – he’s made a complete mockery of the Office of the Mayor.

    And wherever his robo-call money is coming from, people are asking the question, "are my tax dollars being used to advertise this creepy little rich man’s agenda?”

  • This NY Times piece is a must read:


  • Theyd rather put the kids in jail, shackle em wit chains,
    then provide an education that challenges the brain.
    Top down education..Chicago- the birthplace
    And now its spreading nationwide all over the place
    They don’t teach us how to think they teach us how to test!
    They just teachin to the test
    Forced by the feds Or they losin that check
    Too many children left behind by this corporate assembly line
    how they privatize? education is a humam right!
    and they kids gon be fine, they send em to private schools
    while ours get sent to prison or given a job servin fast food

  • Let's talk about the sheet over the elephant.

    1. Most people in education from administrators to teachers have no clue about the changes that we are talking about hence something as asinine as having a half hour PD on something like REACH presented by an outsider.

    2. The new evaluation system requires two goals for high schools (my expertise). One, a TEAM grade level goal, and, two, an individual per and post one one skill. Both goals are set by the teacher in collaboration with the administration and should be connected to the CIWP. The use of benchmarks is out, the name of the game is growth - note that teachers get credit for ANY growth even if it is .1. They are only penalized for negative growth.

    3. The horrid administrators mostly used to be teachers except they were stellar when in a different category. I don't mind people weighing in on teacher effectiveness, but unless you actually observe teachers, you have no clue. The Union has done no walk troughs from what I have seen.

    My problem with KL is that she undermines the great teachers by focusing on the mediocre - the kind who believe in student AND help them learn. They would never say kids can't learn bc of a,b,c.

    4. Beware of what you ask for. Whatever the CTU asks for, they have to put out returns, especially after striking. Will students be doing better in 3-5 years? CTU better pray that it is bc I have a feeling the city might not be so supportive if not.

    Both CPS and CTU would benefit from some balance. Blizzard may indeed be on his way out, but it will be to a higher paying job. Will CTU members say the same?

  • Still admire CTU for putting fighting. You get backed to the wall and you either crouch down and take the beating or you tear down the wall, even if brick by brick. Wish principals had those guts.

  • Going back to points 1 and 2. The good principals and their schools are o.k. The mediocre ones are going to complain about the teachers AND the students.

    It should also be pointed out that many principals are at will and even those with contracts are almost at will. What CPS misses is that good administrators don't have to fight - they always can get better jobs with less responsibility and more pay. That's why CPS collects sludge in both the administrative and teacher levels.

    I always admire people who stand up for themselves. I just hate that a lot of this is based on not understanding and a refusal to communicate honestly.

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