Rahm To The Rescue?

Welcome back.  Today’s news includes lots of violence, lots of interesting opinions (about whether CTU has to strike, whether Emanuel can help resolve things, and how it’s going to feel if there’s a strike and charter schools are still open). CPSobsessed is running a teacher appreciation contest of sorts. Lots more to come.  Get going!

At least 9 dead, 28 wounded in weekend shootings Sun Times: The city saw another bloody weekend as nine people — including a teenager — were killed and 28 others were wounded in separate shootings since Friday evening.

Union leaders have Chicago teachers wanting more Chicago Tribune (editorial): After nine months of firing up its members for a possible strike amid rancorous contract talks, Chicago Teachers Unionleaders may be hard-pressed to secure a deal that satisfies members.

The Kids Will Be Watching Tim Furman: I taught 8th grade. Twenty-three years of 8th grade. I know what questions 8th graders would be asking me if I was standing there trying to convey the wonders of of compound sentences while thousands of other teachers were out there fighting for something. They would be asking me if there was something wrong with me.

Rahm no “honest broker” Mike Klonsky: The Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman is painting Rahm as the broker, the one guy who can step in at the last moment, resolve the contentious contract negotiations in a closed door meeting, and by sheer will, prevent a teachers strike.

Cash upfront the way to get teachers to rack up better student test scores, study finds Sun Times: What happens to student achievement if you start the school year by offering teachers end-of-year bonuses for improved student test scores? Not much. But give teachers cash up front on the condition they will lose it if test scores don’t show gains? Lots of improvement.

Chicago Tonight: The Week in Review: 8/24 Joel Weisman and his panel of journalists discuss the week’s top headlines.

The Back-to-School Teacher Appreciation Thread cpsobsessed:  My all time favorite teacher was 1972 in Gary Indiana. Our teacher made the class fun, vibrant, interesting and even made flashcard learning enjoyable. She taught a bunch of us (even boys!) to crochet by staying in the classroom during lunch hour for those of us who wanted to partake. I remember her being kind and fair.


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  • The article Alexander posted by Ms. Rossi titled "Cash upfront the way to get teachers to rack up better student test scores, study finds," was a very good piece of journalism that covered both sides of the loss aversion bonus theory. I also thought the discussion of the embarrassment Chicago Heights teachers union in relation to the story was interesting.

    Aside from the efficacy of the incentive approach, which the article had some good quotes, there is the cost factoring of the approach on the scale of a school district like CPS which is many times larger than Chicago Heights ESD 170. If this approach was applied massively in CPS to just the FY 13 projected 7,027 elementary school classroom teachers the upfront costs to CPS would be $28.1 million. That is a lot of money for just 3 times the average yearly gain for an individual student in math only.

    According to the study cited in the Sun Times the experiment in District 170 was conducted during the 2010-11 school year and the overall math gains should be apparent in the ISAT data for 2011. Here is what I see. In 2011 District 170 did not make AYP in math, 74.2% met or exceeded state standards. CPS without a mass math intervention bonus program also did not make AYP in math but had 72.8% meeting or exceeding state standards. But it should also be noted that this CPS AYP number in math includes the 11th grade math scores on the PSAE, CPS is a k-12 district and D170 is a k-8 district. CPS was only able to get 29.4% of its 11th graders to meet or exceed standards in math. I think it is clear that CPS out performed District 170 at the 3-8 level in math without any bonus plan.


  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Merit pay will not work in the Chicago Public School system for teachers, administrators or staff members! There is no even playing field in CPS. Only the haves schools, have not schools and those schools that get everything they want!

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    Merit pay...longer school day...they all are great sound bites. Campaign slogans. But when you start thinking about how to implement and execute on these things it always breaks down. Even if we are able to nail down a fair system that has a rubric that made an even playing field...then the Rahm's of the world would begin to complain that teachers were teaching to the test...DUH! Ask the BOE/Rahm one simple question...if the teacher population as a whole met the performance metrics - as a whole...would the teacher population be paid more or less. Of course you would not get a straight forward answer...but I bet the truth would be less!

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    ESTABLISHMENT OF DIFFERENTIATED COMPENSATION PLAN (Merit Pay)- The BOARD has proposed the following on raises:Step Increases- Effective July 1, 2012, for the duration of the successor agreement, employees paid on the teacher and SSP or PSRP salary schedules shall be "frozen" on their current steps and shall not receive step increases. [Article 9| Appendix A]. + In Year 4, the Board is offering a 2.00% increase to the base salary or hourly wage rate of employees who paid on the teacher and SSP or PSRP salary schedules, provided that the parties have mutually agreed upon a differentiated compensation plan (Merit Pay) to become effecetive on July 1, 2015 (b) The development of a lane system of differentiated compensation (Merit Pay) and the conditions for receiving differentiated compensation (Merit Pay) that are based upon the following parameters: (iii) Teachers' willingness to accept assignments in hard-to-staff schools or hard-to-staff positions. (c) SALARY INCREASES BASED ON THE EMPLOYEE'S PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS. (e) Other provisions deemed necessary to develop a differentiated compensation plan (Merit Pay) that is FISCALLY SUSTAINABLE and aligned with the goal of rewarding educator effectiveness and improving student achievement. The BOARD is also proposing ending deferred compensation. The BOARD shall not be required to bargain collectively over matters of inherent managerial policy as defined by the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act or the Illinois School Code, including, but not limited to, the following areas of discretion: (d) decisions to eliminate work or relocate, subcontract, contract out or transfer work to third party for one or more services otherwise performed by bargaining unit employees and the procedures for obtaing such contract or the identity of the third party..

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    Hello RP - I think we are in the same corner here. I think it's a thinly disguised attempt at cutting payroll as a whole wrapped in an insulting media friendly sound bite.

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    M Wesoloskie, we are in the same corner. I agree.

  • Mayors back parents seizing control of schools http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/18/us-usa-education-trigger-idUSBRE85H0J620120618


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