Yesterday's Board Meeting

Yesterday's Board Meeting

Today's news includes lots of coverage of yesterday's Board meeting, some controversies at Prosser and Brennemann, calls for merit pay from a former CPS student, and a reminder from the Reader that the Mayor's race isn't the only one important to liberals. Plus national news and coverage from other cities like LA, NY, and NOLA.

SCHOOOLS

Are Prosser teachers 'gaming the system'? Or is this reporter gaming them? Mike Klonsky: I love Prosser Career Academy, where I used to coach basketball. Despite its relatively high achievement record and talented (CTU members) faculty and staff, the school, like so many others in Chicago, has become the target of privateers.

Parents say principal applies 'iron fist' Catalyst: Two dozen or so parents gathered outside Joseph Brennemann Elementary School Wednesday to say they want discipline in their Uptown school — just not the “iron fist” approach they say Principal Sarah Abedelal employs, the Sun-Times reports.

BOARD MEETING

LIVE BLOG: Chicago Board of Education votes on charters, more Chicago Sun-Times: Today's agenda at the Chicago Board of Education meeting is a "spendy" one, according to our education reporter Lauren FitzPatrick. It includes votes on charters, among other items.

Board of Ed OKs more students in privately operated schools Chicago Sun-Times: Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, and Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, talk before the Board of Education meeting started on Wednesday.

New alternative schools, some run by for-profit companies, come with hefty price tag WBEZ: The bulk of the money, about $4 million, will go to for-profit companies that just began working in the district last year.

Lawmakers approve money for CPS pensions, Uptown Theatre Chicago Tribune: The House vote to give Chicago teachers the $50 million injection restarts a longtime pension annual allocation to help Chicago Public Schools.

Charter school renewal halted over CPS ratings Tribune: The Chicago Board of Education tabled a vote Wednesday on whether to renew an agreement with the operators of a West Side charter school and indicated no action will be taken until the private group signs on to a new citywide accountability system.

Chicago schools remove 'incendiary' immigration query, deny Sheriff Joe link
Fox News: "... CTU to help measure teacher effectiveness inside the classroom, and this specific exercise was intended for students to evaluate the authority and point of view of sources,” CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement obtained by FoxNews.com.

POLITICS

The mayor's race is not the only game in town Reader: Chicago liberals will be making a big mistake if their anyone-but-Rahm campaign causes them to neglect the race between Governor Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner.

MISC

Support merit pay in Chicago Public Schools Chicago Tribune: As a former student of public schools, I completely support merit pay in Chicago Public Schools. During my days in public school, I watched some of the most qualified teachers leave for better-paying jobs, and merit pay may be the solution to keeping

Don’t Believe Everything You’ve Heard About Chicago’s Most ‘Dangerous’ Neighborhood Chicago Magazine:  Rashana Baldwin, a journalist and lifelong resident, is on a mission to highlight what’s good about Englewood.

Chicago Public Schools Wins Competitive Stem Grant at White House Science Fair eNews Park Forest:  “US 2020's grant will help support our efforts to provide access to a quality STEM education that will prepare our children to excel in the classroom and in life,” CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said

NATIONAL

Legendary author Maya Angelou dies at age 86 CNN: A literary voice revered globally for her poetic command and her commitment to civil rights has fallen silent.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the passing of Maya Angelou Imperial Valley News: "Maya Angelou was not just a phenomenal writer and artist - she was a teacher and mentor whose words will live on for generations."

The Politics of School Meal Standards WAMU: First Lady Michelle Obama engaged Congress this week in a debate over nationwide standards for school lunches.We explore the issues in play and why the the first lady felt compelled to make a rare foray into a direct political debate.

10 things they don't talk about at graduation Vox: The cost of attending college has more than doubled in the U.S. since the 1960s, which means that the class of 2014 can expect to be paying down their student loans for many years to come. But it's not all bad news.

You Can Now Get a 3D Printer for Under $200 Atlantic Wire: Three-dimensional printing is about to get a whole lot easier, cheaper, and more user-friendly. What once seemed like science fiction can now be yours for just $199, thanks to New Matter's new MOD-t 3D printer.

OTHER CITIES

In New Orleans, major school district closes traditional public schools for good Washington Post: The second-graders paraded to the Dumpster in the rear parking lot, where they chucked boxes of old work sheets, notebooks and other detritus into the trash, emptying their school for good.

Seven candidates vie for LAUSD board seat in wide-open contest LA Times: The Los Angeles teachers union and a powerful group of civic leaders are sitting out Tuesday's key race for a seat on the Board of Education in what has become a spirited, wide-open contest among seven candidates.

Homeless Teen Graduates As Valedictorian, Will Attend College Thanks To The Internet HuffPost: Griffin Furlong, from Jacksonville, Fla., has faced more trials than your average high school student, and yet he still managed to triumph over adversity and succeed.

From school sports to free lunches, hearing highlights requests left out of mayor’s budget Chalkbeat: A City Council hearing on school spending got off to a dramatic start Wednesday when some 100 students wearing blue athletic jerseys turned inside-out marched into the council chambers to deliver petitions demanding more money for school sports.

 

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  • easton leaving USDE to join spencer, says politico

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    Re: Merit pay, can anyone link to a study that shows any validity or reproduce-ability to linking teacher evaluations to student test scores?

  • I assume what your asking is whether there are definitive studies showing that merit pay produces higher test scores?

    A really good study would randomly distribute a large number of students and staff between traditional and merit pay school types. How is that ever going to happen? Reproducible high growth schools use merit pay. That's why policy is moving in that direction.

    I don't see how anyone can be against merit pay in principal when the literal definition is considered.

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    In reply to Donn:

    http://www.ets.org/s/pdf/23497_Angoff%20Report-web.pdf

    This study shows VAM scores are neither reliable nor valid. They don't measure what they say they do and are not reproducible.

    Is there a study that contradicts this?

  • As a teacher, I have always thought that, in principle, (though perhaps not in principal) merit pay is attractive; however, as with anything, there devil is in the details and there are trade-offs.

    For one thing, if collaboration matters in a school, then merit pay, depending on how it's handled, could make children pawns in nasty adult competitions for pay. In a dysfunctional system like CPS, that is very likely to happen, since there are many advantages for a teacher who takes a me-first attitude. The politics of who gets the easiest kids (and, more importantly, who gets to avoid the most difficult students) would have to be somehow discouraged.

    A second concern about merit pay has to do with research that came out about two years ago showing that teachers are more motivated to meet externally-imposed standards by fear of losing what they have than by hope of gaining something additional. The mindset that is driven by hope of gain is apparently not to be found much among teachers. Raising teacher pay and attaching clear conditions to it would be more effective than dangling the possibility of more $$$. One important reason that this is probably the case is that individual merit is so hard to define in the school context.

  • I'd love to have merit pay and I'd say I deserve it for being a great teacher in one of the toughest schools in the Nation. Base "merit" on teachers willing to work under tough conditions (as judged by historical teacher turnover-rates and the intractability of conditions in the school and neighborhood) and on the qualitative evaluations of stakeholders involved. Offer it to teachers that build and sustain effective learning communities within their schools or district or happily and effectively accept delegated administrative responsibilities.

    Test scores are more or less a reflection of the Mathew effect, meaning "to those who have, more will be given" and if merit pay is implemented according to scores, the great and hard-working teachers will leave tough conditions for school/district/community with more resources and less violence. And yes I acknowledge this already happens.

  • Does anyone really think merit pay could work?
    The same teachers who get all the goodies will get the merit pay.
    This is Chicago and who you know trumps what you know.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    It occurs to me that who you and what you know are on the same level. It's what the kids know that needs to be measured. Unfortunately, there are some very vicious ideas in control right know about what young people need to know. So even when we measure teachers by what their students know we are simply measuring something measurable; not necessarily something meaningful.

  • In reply to Ira Abrams:

    Ira- Get with it. Content is out the window. What kids know is no longer relevant to reformers. "Skills" are being foisted upon them. Knowledge it is argued can be accessed via Google.

  • In reply to Ira Abrams:

    Dear Ms Abrams

    In a perfect world teachers would all be judged by their ability to
    impart knowledge to students under their charge.Faculty Rock Stars
    would be those gifted few who took on the most challenged kids and
    managed to get them to think on their own and become exited about
    the subject.
    Would Arnie Duncan of Paul Vallis make the cut?

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Would Karen Lewis make the cut? At least Duncan and Vallas have broad experience. How does decades as a mediocre SE math teacher give one the experience to make wise choices?

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    In reply to Donn:

    Mediocre? Lewis is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher. Neither Vallas nor Duncan ever taught a day in their life.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Yes Don she would.Personally I did not spend four years busting my ass
    getting through college to be told anyone who was a business person knows more about my job than me.Everyone thinks they are
    experts on education,this is not true.
    How can someone who never spent a day in their life
    teaching can just be anointed boss is beyond my powers
    of comprehension.
    As too the broad experience of Duncan and Vallas the former was a ball stuffer in a foreign land the latter a CPA.Most kids and teachers who knew or learned from Karen think highly of her abilities,as does the mayor,although in a different light.

  • What about merit / combat pay to teachers who work in tougher school situations? Wasn't this proposed last contract round and Karen Lewis slapped it down?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Your "combat pay" claim is phony. Show some evidence. I'm a union guy at a tough school. I would have certainly been aware of this. It is a figment of your imagination. Never happened.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    No it's accurate. The Board made several stabs at it but CTU refused. The best the Board could get is a Pay Committee to study and make recommendations on it. Take a look at 45-4.14 in the contract.

    Lewis is a union traditionalist on these points . . . staying in the system year after year and getting a step increase every year is differentiated pay enough in her book.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Do the charter school teachers have differentiated pay?

    Where is differentiated pay used?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Noble has a bonus system. This year the max is something like 15%. Each principal decides on the formula.`Typically, perhaps half of the 15% is determined by test scores alone.

    Noble also has small stipends for teachers who take on other administration and smaller leadership tasks. Their pay system is more attractive than traditional systems for the type of teacher they want hire. But I don't think it's a huge motivator for most staff.

    At well established Nobles, the flexible pay system matches the organization. Teachers often provide leadership beyond the classroom, and administrators often teach. It seems like a good system for keeping skilled teachers in the classroom for more years, while also allowing usually young administrators more teaching experience and credibility.

    None of this sort of holistic organizational thinking will ever happen with a CTU contract. Even the young CTU members in my family are perplexed by the flexibility at Noble.

    By contrast, remember how the CTU and CPS negotiate:
    https://tinyurl.com/qf9x5wr

  • In reply to Donn:

    Yet charter school teachers leave at a faster rate than teachers in traditional schools.....hmmmm

  • In reply to district299reader:

    A new school will have higher staff turnover than an old school. Old schools accumulate people who have a propensity to not change jobs.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Don: or were forced by board rules to stay.From 1970-1995
    transfers were frozen and racially sensitive.Unless of course your
    husband was a judge or daddy was a congressman.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    CPS would never propose this as teachers at 90% of schools would receive combat pay. CTU wouldn't turn it down as it would bolster the fact that there are excellent, caring, and committed teachers at struggling schools. This never occurred. Prove me wrong with a link to an article, because I cannot find any.

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    That would be an interesting idea. First, how would you decide which schools get more pay? The lowest performers? Highest poverty rate? Most neighborhood violence?

    Second, I doubt Karen Lewis "slapped it down." Any evidence for that? Getting more pay for teachers in situations like that would be something she would support.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Ed, go back to the articles during the long painful CTU strike that families endured in CPS. There were plenty of times it was mentioned that CTU Karen Lewis would not support paying teachers more who are in difficult schools. I do not know what the measurements were, but I think there was a decent framework in place. While one would think Karen Lewis should support something like this, she has a limited vocabulary and only knows the word "no",

  • Wouldn't combat pay go to SPED teachers? Most teachers don't want to do SPED, presumably because of the perception of a relatively low reward to effort ratio.
    The obvious problem with differentiating pay by job difficulty is that almost every group will have valid reasons of why any particular selection isn't fair. Plus, combat pay seems potentially in conflict with the principal of per student funding.
    Not that I'm arguing that as a society we shouldn't be doing a lot better at funding high need education. But in the reality of a fixed CPS budget in a high-need district, I don't see how combat pay could work.
    A lot of the politically active parents are not going to want to see funding cut at their school to provide extra pay for those who teach the most challenging groups.

  • Teachers of children with disabilities cannot do a good job in CPS due to the huge caseloads-a southwest side school with 32 on one teacher's caseload and a severe-profound(primarily autism) room with 12 is preposterous. Where is the monitoring from central office?
    Where is ISBE ?

    Who is keeping track of how many special education teachers have left, retired or moved into general education? There is a shortage and it is getting worse. How large can a caseload get in CPS?

  • CPS investigating allegations of anti-Semitic bullying at Ogden International School - Chicago Sun-Times http://ht.ly/xpUOP

  • Gunfire Puts Penn Elementary School on Lockdown - North Lawndale - DNAinfo.com Chicago http://ht.ly/xpUUR

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    Tyler, You make outlandish claims about what Karen Lewis said "during the long painful CTU strike that families endured in CPS" (cue the violins.) But you can't support that with a single link. If she supposedly turned this idea of "combat pay" down "plenty of times" then there would be a record of it somewhere. So, show it to us.

    BTW, during negotiations, proposals and counterproposals are usually not leaked to the press, so I am not even sure how that would have ever even come out.

    My guess, Tyler old boy, is that you dreamed it like so many of the other outlandish and unsupported claims you have made about Lewis and the CTU.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Differentiated pay proposed, and subsequently killed by CTU.

    http://cps.edu/Pages/TheFactsCPSandCTUProposals.aspx

    "Merit pay is not an accurate characterization of our proposal. One of CPS's bargaining goals is to implement a new compensation system that is designed to reward, recruit and retain high quality teachers, teachers who assume roles in hard-to-staff subjects or high-need schools and teachers who assume mentor or leadership roles within their schools. For example, teachers that work in hard to fill positions would receive additional compensation for taking those roles."

  • I'm a delegate and the union is and has been opposed to a differentiated pay scale for teachers with the argument that it would create division among rank and file. The way to do it would be through stipends similar to department heads at high schools.

    And the way to assign "combat pay" would simply be to give it to schools where teacher attrition is the highest. If it data demonstrates that teachers are leaving for other positions (so that they can make more money, have safer conditions, raise a family, have students that have more support at home (and thus are more likely to demonstrate growth,) be closer to a neighborhood, avoid the constant heartache and stress associated with the chronic traumatic situations in some of these schools, avoid punitive REACH EVAL ratings, secure a position in a school not threatened by ED-Deforming charters) then teachers at those school should be offered annual stipends to stay.

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    So, Gerber, really? You are citing the CPS Board propaganda page that many saw as dangerously close to showing a lack of good faith bargaining?

    That is not a quote from Karen Lewis, or anything close to it. That is a misrepresentation of her position by the Board during contract negotiations.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    So, Ed, what was Karen Lewis's position on differentiated pay, and can you provide a link to it? Because all I remember is a flat no that lost CPS $34 million federal grant offered to implement it.

  • In reply to Gerber:

    That's right! I totally forgot about the grant. Ohhhhhh the bad flashbacks to the strike are flooding my memory. It will be complete hell to go through it again----thanks for NOTHING Karen Lewis.

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    In reply to Gerber:

    Her position was differentiated pay=merit pay. And it does.

    And differentiated pay does not mean "combat pay" since the Board never came up with a serious proposal for that.

  • Thanks Gerber. Differentiated pay was planned and kicked out right away by CTU Karen Lewis. The intent was as quoted in your post. Thanks for finding it, I remembered it was way at the beginning of negotiations and dismissed almost immediately. Mentioned in several news articles too. The goal of the CTU is to treat every teacher the same, so I suppose paying more for tough situations is against the union code---cater to the lowest common denominator.

    Ed, you can try to discount things all you want, but the fact remains that the differentiated/combat pay WAS in fact part of the negotiations and should have been pursued by CTU Karen Lewis as even you indicated it would be good for teachers.

    FSS Teacher, good ideas, too bad Karen Lewis never took it to a discussion and instead laid down her seemingly patented "no no no no no no and no"

    BTW Ed, this is not Tyler. Doesn't he/she usually post by Tyler? There are MANY CPS parents who hated the teacher strike and are very angry that you plan to strike again. Why turn down 3% raise in this economy with the budget mess?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    They won't strike this time. They'll make a lot of noise about a strike to attract press attention, but it won't actually happen. They can't follow the strategy of broadening their appeal while refusing to teach every couple of years. Especially in an economy where many taxpayers are feeling financially squeezed and their jobs threatened.

    Now if Rahm gets reelected, they may be able to have a wonderful strike later in his second term. Lewis may think she wants Rahm gone, but she might find she lost her muse.

  • I'm not sure who you think "they" is, Donn.

    The last strike was membership driven, provoked by the Mayor at a time when he believed he was strike-proof thanks to SB 7. The members are not pushing for a strike this time, but I imagine that could change quite easily if the Mayor decides to make it happen through some subtle or overt provocation. And I can see how he might well calculate that he can manage a strike to his advantage. CTU leadership might also be easier to manipulate if they are drunk on the notion that they somehow won something in the last strike. They weakened the Mayor. That was the only real victory. And it was a big one, but not for the benefit of teachers. All the contract victories that teachers seemed to have won were converted into curses once school-based budgeting was imposed. Passing on the costs of staff salaries to the local school level and giving principals severely reduced lump-sums of money to spend forces the firing of more experienced and more expensive teachers--in addition to all the other damage it does to students and schools. Oddly, CTU offocials knew that school-based budgeting was coming. It's why Brizard was hated in Rochester and why he was brought in to Chicago. But CTU did nothing to deal with that issue in negotiations.

    At any rate, while it is hard to imagine a strike at this point in time, there's no secret plan along the lines that Donn imagines. We are already seeing anti-education trolls laying the groundwork on this site and in the end pages of the Trib, trying to characterize the strike as "the long painful CTU strike that families endured in CPS." These comments, which have more to do with provoking than preventing a strike, suggest to me that there are factions in City Hall and in the allied radical business community that want to bring on a strike.

    I'm sure there are calculations going on both at CTU and at City Hall and I very much doubt that anyone has decided for or against a strike at this time. In particular, Emmanuel may decide that he needs a Hail Mary Pass to win and provoking a teachers' strike may well be what he opts for.

  • In reply to chicago:

    Where did I mention a secret plan?

    "All the contract victories that teachers seemed to have won were converted into curses once school-based budgeting was imposed. "

    That was clever, wasn't it? But of course CTU leadership knew the truth too and went ahead as if they weren't negotiating against a fixed budget.

    What cost some senior CTU teachers their jobs and "did all the other damages" was giving students who attend charters their equal share of funding. Who believes per student budgeting is a bad idea, except those benefiting from more than their fair share?

  • In reply to chicago:

    I find it amusing that anything anti -CTU is labeled as "anti-education trolls..." or "radical business community". I am a CPS parent and have been for a long time with my children. So you can live with your head in the sand thinking anything not supportive of the CTU agenda is from someone with a political agenda. Parents----real CPS parents---- do not like what the CTU is doing to the education of our children. The strike SUCKED and I have zero faith that another strike would be avoided. Zero Zero Zero faith in CTU. The arrogance of Karen Lewis guarantees another strike.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Ok i am calling you out.You are a troll for sure.Nobody who has one
    iota of common sense would say "CPS Parents".Unless you can tell me what a ersatz parent is you are a phoney.
    Perhaps i am too harsh can we say your tirade was because of
    passion for the children, or just a bad day?

  • In reply to rbusch:

    What? CPS parents............there are way over 500,000 of us. I am a CPS parent and really do not care one "iota" if you think I am or not. You have got to be kidding yourself if you think CPS parents are not pissed off at the CTU Karen Lewis.

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    OK "not-Tyler." I will just say that Tyler Payne disappeared when he got totally pwned by a thoughtful and eloquent commenter here (RE) and has slunk away not to return.

    Then a brand new anonymous "district299reader" showed up who is vehemently pro-charter, rabidly anti-CTU, and just loves, loves, loves Bruce Rauner. What a coincidence! In poker, those are called "tells" and frankly, you have a ton of them. I don't know why you don't use your real name, and have, in fact, hidden even further behind anonymity, but OK, you're not Tyler.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Ed, believe what you want. I am not Tyler, nor have I ever said anything about charters or Rauner. You have quite the imagination.

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    Well district299reader, I'm not sure why you think I am referring to you and not the 15 other "district299readers" in this discussion. I often can't tell you anonymous district299readers apart.

    So it must have been one of the other many district299readers who loves charters and Rauner and hates Karen Lewis. Why did you think I was talking to you? I mean, unless you are Tyler.

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    Well, yet again the troll committee is confusing "differentiated pay" with "combat pay." Lewis and the union have always been clear that differentiated pay is the same as "merit pay" and is totally unacceptable as proposed by the board. Neither of these are the same as "combat pay."

    And where did you get a contract, troll?

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    The CPS CTU collective bargaining agreement is available on the web - Google it - CPS teachers usually need some help with working computers; go to Google.com and type "Chicago CPS CTU contract " into the white box.

    Here is a link (a "link" is location or address on the web):
    http://www.ctunet.com/for-members/text/CTU_Contract_As_Printed_2012_2015.pdf

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    I wonder if you meant to say "CPS teachers usually need to use a computer at home because the computers at school are either broken, or the internet doesn't work or something else is wrong". :)

  • I wish all parents etc would read the CTU/CPS contract and maybe then they would realize that a lot of the contractual clauses do protect the children and the fact that the contract contains clauses regarding special education programs shows that CPS often violates PL 94-142 which governs special education. Please read the contract and ask yourself why would the contract need to contain a clause allowing employees to have scheduled washroom breaks? anniesullivan

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    Thanks for the info! BTW, since you know so much about computers, is there a way for you to turn down the hatred filter for CPS teachers, since you are a "CPS Parent?"

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    How about turning down said "filter" for us parents Ed?

    Some of the most inspirational people I know have been my kids' CPS (CTU) teachers and I am super grateful for their efforts. There have been a couple of dogs too but they were fired or were asked not to return (with a helping hand from myself) - that part of the process works just fine, as far as I can tell, when the principal cares.

    I'm usually not so passive aggressive, but you, in particular, seem to bring that out. Those who think differently from you are not by default trolls, faux parents, Republicans, etc. It's good too have your voice here - you obviously have a passion for what you do. Let Rod Estvan be your model. He explains his point of view with reason but without invection. Peace.

  • I think Ed's "turn down the hatred filter" is a Freudian slip. One would turn UP a hatred filter to reduce hate speech.

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    Gee, thanks Donn. I'm sure that if I said it that way it would have been clearer for everybody.

    And, sorry, I know someone will accuse me of something here, but CPS Parent, when have I ever said a bad word about parents?
    "How about turning down said "filter" for us parents Ed?"

    In general, parents of students of mine and parents I have worked with (like PURE and Raise Your Hand) have been among the finest people I have met. So when have I been remiss here?

  • Sorry Ed, in this thread it was rbush swinging the "parent as troll" bat. My apologies.

    Since you bring them up, RYH is an organization with no representative standing in the parent community. Be careful when weighing their opinion which may be agreeable to you and the CTU but it is the mouthpiece for a few individuals. I was enthusiastic when RYH formed around the Illinois State funding issue but when their self appointed leadership took positions on all sorts of disparate matters I dissociated myself.

  • I think teachers are extremely prepared to strike again next fall. But not over pay. I would bet my house on it.
    In regards to merit pay, I don't honestly think there is anything in terms of pay that CPS can do to keep its best and brightest. The chaos, the ever changing mandates, the overcrowded classrooms, the misbehavior that is tolerated, the disrespect and the lack of true professional support will never change. It is for these reasons teachers leave. They also leave charter schools for the same reasons. It doesn't matter who is in charge, CPS just sucks. All of it. Its why literally every single teacher with less than 10 years experience in my building is trying to leave. You couldn't pay me $250,000 to stay in this environment. I have never been so happy to turn in a resignation in my whole life.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    Well said! Another sped teacher and myself retired in 2012. We were replaced by 4 teachers, two of whom have already left and my neighborhood school is considered a "good school" They have been replaced by two "muttering bag lady" teachers who have the sped certification but do not know a thing about how to teach children with special needs. How do I know this? I volunteer at my school and have observed their lack of teaching ability, my former students and their gen ed teachers are complaining and the parents email me. My response is the same, "you need to speak with the principal." The other retired teacher and I feel terrible for our former students. The principal is a good principal but "this is the best of a bad lot" due to the sped teacher shortage.
    The shortage in qualified sped teachers is not new and CPS was supposed to address this by rehiring retired sped teachers at a daily flat rate to address this shortage. It is a great idea from CPS. Did this happen?

  • None of the young teachers in my family are trying to leave. I'm sure at least some of them would be planning on getting out if they were still at south or west side neighborhood high schools.
    Teaching at a high school with at least some degree of selectivity (explicit or otherwise) still seems to be pretty good job for people who belong in the classroom.

  • Wow. Go offline for a few days, and you miss a few things.

    Lessons learned from this thread:

    A: Anyone who does not agree with CTU is a troll.
    B: Ed has serious hallucination issues, to the point that he imagines me being in places that I am not.
    C: I got "pwned". (Link me, please.)

    Three thoughts:
    1. Unlike "not-Tyler", I imagine Karen Lewis as a skilled in-classroom teacher. When she speaks about teaching, it is clearly a passion. Unfortunately, she is on CTU's payroll to represent only teachers -- neither the schools, nor the parents, nor the students. As a result, she finds herself promoting things that are not best for our other parts of the education system. My disagreements with her (and implicit defense of Rauner) comes from these differences in priorities.

    2. I have a difficult time accepting NBCT as a qualification as a "good" teacher. The requirement is a "portfolio" and a $2500 fee. I can get a degree from Nigeria for a similar price.

    3. I seriously wonder what Ed's credentials are. I'm guessing a teaching degree, some union-sponsored training, and the $2500 certificate. In other words, less than the average CPS parent, but somehow empowered to belittle us as trolls. Unlike Karen Lewis, I have yet to hear Ed say a positive thing about teaching... Instead, it is a litany of personal attacks against politicians and parents.

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    Welcome back Tyler!

    Better do some research on NBCT. It takes a LOT more than a fee and a portfolio. if that were the case, everyone would have it, no?

    This is not the forum for talking about teaching strategies, but I can lay some on you if you are just dying to know. My credentials are: 17 year teacher, NBCT, Masters in Teaching History, 17 Superior ratings. Uniformly excellent evaluations by students (check ratemyteacher Edward Dziedzic) How about you? Any credentials?

    Tyler gets pwned: http://www.chicagonow.com/district-299-chicago-public-schools-blog/2014/04/a-school-named-obama/

  • Well Ed, if you think Tyler got 'owned' in that argument you are obviously well liked at WY as a very easy grader. A little name calling and a few unsupported arguments gets an 'A'?

    If either you or Lewis got better than expected growth from your schools' typical elite students then you are superior teachers.

  • Let me paraphrase: You're right some of the time, but you might consider this argument, too = pwned!

    You're showing off an 85% quality on a website with quotes like "isn't that original", "EZ D", and "prepare you for the ... test"... Strange. I figured you had something besides a fill-it-out-yourself website.

    To add to Donn's point, isn't WY one of the schools with a corruption investigation? You celebrate superior ratings from an administration who drew questions about ethics? That superior is almost a negative...

    No, not everyone would get the $2500 certificate for the same reason not everyone is a "doctor in life studies" from the esteemed college of Nigerian princes.

    I still have not heard a positive thing about teaching from Ed -- despite an easy opportunity to mention it. Instead, it is personal attacks, CTU talking points, and insufficient evidence to make simple points.

  • In reply to tylerpayne:

    Seems to me you have his number tylerpayne. All of those things you said are true (or mostly true).

    I really do not understand what Ed or anyone else has to gain by getting into a "pissing match" on a blog. Does not seem like a good use of one's time by anyone.

    Sad that it has come to this.

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    So Donn and Tyler, any "credentials" of your own?

  • I can't speak for Tyler, But I have the most important credentials: Taxpayer and Voter.

    For all I know Tyler is a bright teenager in Mumbai paid $3 a day to harass you. Money well spent, Rahm's campaign fund.

    Now if you two are going to be fighting again, I'm leaving.........

  • In reply to Donn:

    Nope. Not going to fight.

    Ed has been "pwned" by you, Gerber, 299reader, and me. Now he is soliciting ammo for personal attacks. Let's see how he "pwns" your being a parent and taxpayer.

    My India-harassment rate would be at least $3.25.

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