What I Learned This Weekend

What I Learned This Weekend

Over the weekend, commenters debated Lewis's possible mayoral candidacy, CPS's residency rules, and the "Lazy 11" (who knew?). Today's news includes reaction from CTU on the layoffs, advice from Crain's about a Lewis candidacy, and a new award for a Chopin teacher.  Nationally, the Supreme Court could end mandatory union dues for teachers and other public employees, and Newark superintendent Cami Anderson has been given an extension on her contract.

CTU President Slams Emanuel For CPS Layoffs Progress IL: "In a little over a year, CPS student-based budgeting has led to the removal of close to 5,000 teachers, teacher assistants, librarians, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel (PSRPs), technology coordinators and instructional aides from classrooms as severe cuts cause principals to make the difficult decisions that the district cannot. This loss of teachers and staff will directly impact the quality of instruction offered in our schools, and is unnecessary and shameful for a district that claims to provide a high-quality education for its students."

Karen Lewis should think about before running for mayor Crain's Chicago Business: So Karen Lewis, the hard-nosed leader of Chicago's teachers union, now admits she's interested in running for mayor, backing off earlier declarations of "no way" and telling the Sun-Times that she's "seriously looking" at jumping in.

Avoiding Responsibility: The Schools They Don't Want ChicagoNow: Last June, in a speech at the City Club in downtown, Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewisasked, “When will we address the fact that rich white people think they know what's in the best interests of children of African-Americans and Latinos,

Chicago Pride Parade brings million to annual party Chicago Phoenix: As state, county and city elected offices are up for grabs, there were plenty of politicians on hand to ask for votes—including Mayor Rahm Emanuel and rumored-candidate Karen Lewis of the teacher's union, openly gay Ald. Tom Tunney (44th)...

Chopin Elementary Teacher Wins Exclusive, Inaugural Award DNA Info: The inaugural award was delivered to Matthew Cunningham at the Chicago Teacher Award gala.


Big unions could take big SCOTUS hit Politico: But a 1977 decision allows states to require workers to pay partial dues, or “agency fees,” to cover the union’s cost of negotiating their contracts and representing them in grievances. Illinois is among the states to require just that.

Math Under Common Core Has Even Parents Stumbling NYT: Across the country, parents who once conceded that their homework expertise petered out by high school trigonometry are now feeling helpless when confronted with first-grade work sheets.

Teacher-Prep Ranking System in Higher Ed. Proposal Irks Teachers' Unions PK12: Teachers' unions applauded the increased emphasis of on-the-job training for teachers and principals in preparation programs that's included in Senate Democrats' proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. But they're much less enthusiastic about a new grant included in the bill for ranking those prep programs. AFT president Randi Weingarten, in a letter to Harkin dated June 24, blasted the proposal.


Teacher evaluation system is latest education battleground Baltimore Sun: This past school year, Maryland's 60,000 teachers were evaluated for the first time according to a formula that required half of their final rating to be based on how much their students learned.

Newark Schools Superintendent Signs New 3-Year Contract District Dossier: Under the "hybrid" contract, Anderson and the state must agree to an extension each year. Anderson has come under fire recently for her "One Newark" school reform plan.

Md. groups to collaborate on evaluation process for teachers, principals Washington Post:In Montgomery, he said, teachers have to “examine, discuss, present and explain” a wide range of student data, but “there is not a simplistic mathematical formula.”

Amid de Blasio’s Pre-K Push, a Bid to Boost Learning at a Weak Point in the Pipeline NYT: With prekindergarten classes set to grow under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan, the ad hoc in-home day care providers that serve thousands of city children are getting fresh attention.

D.C. Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s effort to lengthen school day faces union resistance Washington Post: D.C. Chancellor Kaya Henderson has championed lengthening school days as one of her top priorities for improving schools and lifting student achievement, but her effort to expand the number of schools with longer days has been met with stiff resistance from the teachers union.



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  • CTU refused to properly represent members what resulted in many lay offs,destroyed lives and growing anti union sentiment.
    Unions take big hit as a results of the Supreme Court decision(Harris v Quinn).
    In California,teachers sue union on the base of violation of the free speech and free association clause.
    Hope that laid off teachers will request a refund of paid dues spent on political purposes not related directly to representation/bargain.
    Somebody should separate our bright Karen from the table for a while for her own benefits.
    Naive teachers are manipulated and do not see it.

  • You are wrong. There would have been many more layoffs, unsatisfactories adn suspensions if it was not for the protections negotiated and work by the CTU. Why do you think Karen is thinking about running for mayor? There is no one but her, willing to stand up to the Rahm. Until someone else steps forward to beat this guy, she is doing a very brave thing.

  • Are you kidding?
    I know personally cases as a proof that CTU not only refused to represent members but conspired with the CPS to fire people who criticized CTU leadership.
    Do you believe that Karen REALLY has a bad relationship with Rahm?
    Rahm is an intelligent guy and has his own agenda.
    The CTU leaders should be smarter that he is,otherwise they will be perceived as an intellectual disadvantage.
    Do you believe that the last strike was a REAL strike or just opportunity for naive teachers to ventilate?
    What members received as a result of the strike?
    Recently CTU lost ALL benefits teachers were fighting for years.
    They LOST everything.Do you remember the SB7?Funny.
    Are you blind?

  • I am not blind as I have read the Agreement completly. Have you?
    Do you know many unsatisfactories and teacher discipline notices have been turned over with CTU follow-through using this contract? There is a pay raise this year. You seem to be dealing with a reality (the strike wasn't 'real',) NOT based on fact but your own feelings. Get informed before you form your opinion.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Good morning,
    Only one impression after reading the Agreement was that the Agreement is a worst one in Union history.
    Karen delivered a sh..t.
    How many grievances CTU filed since 2010 and how many they won?
    Numbers, please.
    Displaced teachers do not count because soon they will be out.
    Rest of staff still believe that the situation does not apply to them until ....the next round .
    Hope they will wake up and take control over the CTU.
    Members should dictate the course of action.
    Non performing leaders must go.
    Unfortunately,only one way to take a power over the leadership is to implement the Right To Work legislation.
    It is not against the union,it is only tool to make leaders accountable and force them to take care of matters relevant to people who feed them.

  • I'm surprised not to see any information on the two firings that happened at Jose de Diego. There has been much strife over the administration at this school from their cruel treatment to the staff and students as well as many other illegal practices, which I believe they just got fired for yesterday. I'll be looking forward to see what you find out, as I'm sure CPS will hide the scandal.

  • Wait until the sh*t hits the fan soon when all those displaced teachers, who were let go for non-budgetary reasons, from the 2013-14 school year were re-hired for positions at other schools and then let go a week ago. Basically, 'rent-a-teachers'. Now, they can't collect teacher salaries anymore for another year to be subs.

    And, wait for those displaced teachers cut due to budgetary concerns, who helped to fill a need at schools and were let go because they made too much money at their newer schools.

    The CTU stands for C-an't T-ake (of) U.

    What did the strike get teachers? Short and long disability and a raise which wasn't a raise at all due to the longer school day and longer school year. We all shouted, "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Rahm Emanuel Has to Go!!!" But, the only people going anywhere is veteran teachers who make over $75K. Thanks CTU for protecting us. NOT!

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