Strike Hangover

I don't know about you but I'm still feeling a little bit of strike hangover.  All that for... what, exactly?  And I'm wondering if rank and file teachers might be feeling the same things.

So you went out on strike and voted yes on the good contract.  You're back in your classroom.  The year is finally getting rolling. But ... what?  Something feels wrong.  Or at least not all that good.

The mayor is against you (or at least doesn't need you).  The President is with you, but only in the most abstract sense.  The parents were with you -- at least until those last two extra days.

But there are WAY too many under-performing and under-enrolled schools, dwindling numbers of kids willing to go to them, and a wave of charter schools on its way to sop up any dissatisfied or (god forbid) new parents.

In fact, the strike might have re-energized the charter movement, forced parents to consider charters anew, and hardened charter advocates against cooperating with CPS and CTU like is being done in other cities.

CTU can fight against closings and call for an elected board, but if there aren't enough parents and kids then it gets harder and harder to make the case.

And anybody who's actually read about school board elections -- $5 million spent a $48,000 LA school board position in 2011 --  might not be so sure that more campaigns is the answer.

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  • re: All that for... what, exactly?
    Did you pay attention to what was happening before the strike? Merit pay. 50% test scores for evaluations. 90 minutes more per day unpaid. No arts, world language, P.E., etc. in elementary schools.

    re: So you went out on strike and voted yes on the good contract.
    No. We have not voted yes on the good contract. The referendum was yesterday. The ballots will be collected and counted today. Also, there is both good and bad in the tentative agreement. "Good" is a highly relative term.

    re: The year is finally getting rolling...Something feels wrong.
    Agreed. I still don't have enough books or desks for my students. CPS is spending more money than ever on administration and consulting and other expenses outside of the classroom. The mayor has threatened to close 100-200 underutilized schools but nowhere near that many are under enrolled. The mayor has demanded 60 new charter schools - to replace schools that are under enrolled - in a district with overall declining enrollment.

    re: But there are WAY too many under-performing and under-enrolled schools, dwindling numbers of kids willing to go to them, and a wave of charter schools on its way to sop up any dissatisfied or (god forbid) new parents.

    How many under-enrolled schools are there, do you think?

    re: the strike might have re-energized the charter movement
    Millions of dollars in marketing and non-educator billionaire access to setting education policy provides plenty of energy as it is.

    re: the strike might have...forced parents to consider charters anew
    There is no evidence of this at all.

    re: the strike might have...hardened charter advocates against cooperating with CPS and CTU
    Charter advocates in Chicago and their corporate masters have never shown any interest in cooperation.

    re: CTU can fight against closings and call for an elected board, but if there aren't enough parents and kids then it gets harder and harder to make the case.
    Seriously? 400,000 kids and their parents aren't enough to make the case for democracy and accountability at the top of the education food chain? Really?

    Oh, Alexander, you try so hard to whip people up into a frenzy.

  • wasn't trying -- but it seems like it worked on you at least :-)

  • I'm also not sure what the point of this screed was. It's true, there is something tragic about the strike. Teachers should.. what exactly? Is there a suggestion in here? I don't think so. For a number of reasons that aren't worth repeating here because you don't listen or you don't care, many excellent teachers in CPS pushed for this strike. It wasn't just incomeptents scared of losing their jobs in the face of an accurate and effective new data-based regime. And you are right, there is likely to be a blood-letting of epic proportions in the near future anyways. But posts like this don't seem to have a place in a serious discussion about education. It's all trash-talk and no substance.

    It's so easy to say nasty or demoralizing things to people who have no power. That's what bad teachers do to students. It's simply bullying. It's your blog; you can do with it as you please, of course. But you could ask yourself why you write things like this.

  • In reply to chicago:

    ...probably an envelope of cash from the Trib.

  • Bruce Rauner a member of the board of the Chicago Public Education Fund and chairman of the education committee of the Civic Committee of the Commerial Club of Chicago wrote in the commentary section of Tuesday's Chicago Tribune, "Members of the Chicago Teachers Union are voting Tuesday to ratify their new contract, and here is the bottom line: higher taxes and continued substandard teachers for many of our children. Look at what the CTU did: * It blocked merit pay. * It forced Chicago Public Schools to continue to pay unaffordable "step" and "lane" salary increases. * It delayed tenured teachers' job evaluations until at least 2015. * It forced student academic growth data to stay at the minimum level in job evaluations allowed under state law. * The CTU took away CPS' contractual ability to reject unaffordable salary increases in tough economic times. To restore our public schools, we must do four things: 1. Eliminate tenure. 2. Allow teachers to decide whether they would like to join a union. 3. Eliminate card-check unionizing. 4. Encourage charter schools and other contract school operators (i.e. AUSL) to expand, innovate and compete in Chicago." Bruce Rauner is saying publicly what Mayor Rahm Emanuel is saying privately. Hey Rahm, have you called CTU president Karen Lewis yet? P.S.- There are 541 elementary schools in the Chicago Public Schools. Based on the composite ISAT scores for 2011, the last full set avaiable, there were no charter schools (non-union) in the top 10, top 20, top 30 or top 40 elementary schools. The first elementary charter school came in number 41. Well Rahm, those lies that you tell about charter schools being the top schools in the Chicago Public School system are just that, a lie.

  • fb_avatar

    The few notable (of those that are even true) flare ups of achievment from charter schools are primarily due to "new in the market" syndrome. Once charters have to compete on the same playing field as the rest of Public Schools I predict that they will be in worse shape than Pubic Schools are today. Once they operate in buildings that are crumbling around them with 30+ students in a classroom with no text books, with SPED and ELL students in their classrooms, and with behavior problem children that they can;t kick out - we'll find out how good they are. Oh...and when those MUCH LOWER paid teachers find out that they will ahve to deal with all those issues and can earn more being an assistant manager at a movie theatre turn overwill be so high that every child in a charter school will be sitting across from a rookie. 10 years from now the truth will come out...the charter experiment did not increase student performance - it only allowed the rich mayors and politicians to find a way to pay much less for a population of children that they never cared about in the first place....the sad part is that they already know it...but they don't care. They will continue to send their children to the University of Chicago Lab school.

  • Chicago high schools with growth of 3.5 or greater
    (2012 ACT - 2009 Explore)

    7.2 NORTHSIDE PREP HS
    6.7 NOBLE ST CHTR-PRITZKER
    6.4 NOBLE ST CHTR-CHGO BULLS
    6.4 NOBLE ST CHTR-UIC
    6.4 PAYTON HS
    6.3 NOBLE ST CHTR-RAUNER
    5.9 YOUNG HS
    5.7 NOBLE ST CHTR-ROWE CLARK
    5.6 NOBLE ST CHTR-MUCHIN
    5.6 NOBLE ST CHTR-GOLDER
    5.4 JONES HS
    5.2 NOBLE ST CHTR-COMER
    5.2 NOBLE ST CHTR-NOBLE
    5.0 URBAN PREP CHTR - WEST
    4.8 CHGO ACAD HS
    4.7 LANE HS
    4.5 CHGO MATH & SCI ACAD CAMPUS HS
    4.4 LINCOLN PARK HS
    4.2 VON STEUBEN HS
    4.1 LINDBLOM HS
    4.0 CHGO AGR HS
    4.0 PERSPECTIVES CHTR JOSLIN
    4.0 URBAN PREP CHTR-ENGLEWOOD
    3.9 CICS-NORTHTOWN
    3.9 GEORGE WESTINGHOUSE HS
    3.9 PHOENIX MILITARY HS
    3.7 KENWOOD HS
    3.7 OGDEN HS
    3.7 BROOKS HS
    3.7 PERSPECTIVES CHTR CALUMET HS
    3.7 SIMPSON HS
    3.6 AIR FORCE HS
    3.6 CHGO ARTS CONTR HS
    3.6 WORLD LANGUAGE HS
    3.5 MORGAN PARK HS
    3.5 UNO CHTR - MAJOR HECTOR P.GARCIA
    3.5 MARINE MILITARY HS

  • In reply to Donn:

    Wow, absolutely stunning. Charters that can cherry pick students making gains.

  • Are you kidding?

    I was going to be cynical about Donn's post and blast it right
    off the page but I will be nice and just say this.
    Growth is easy when you start from zero.How many of the charter schools
    listed above even tested in 2009 ?
    The above list gives the impression that charter schools are well
    represented in tier one schools.The top schools are still union taught
    public schools.If we use this criteria then the bottom would be all
    charter schools since a lot of them have not been around long
    enough to administer either test. I think we need a new list of schools
    who have the highest percentage of brunette students,it would have the same validity .

  • One statement in the Contact is one that containes a CTU added word; an important word to the CPS mantra of 'College and Career.' That word is Citizenship: College, Career and Citizenship Ready. Thank you CTU for this. Too bad CPS has forgotten another C word-with all the horrible testing in grades prek-2: Childhood!

  • I'm glad the word "citizenship" is in there. 'Cuz I don't think there's going to be a lot of options for college and career over the next decades in this city. So, at least it'd be good to have a fairly educated citizenry, even if they'll be unemployed.

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