Reforming Rahm

Reforming Rahm

It’s easy to get distracted by the Rahm – Karen Lewis personality conflict, but in the end what’s going on in CPS is not really about either of them.  In this Education Next article just out today, I try and get a little bit behind the headlines.  Some issues that don’t get enough attention on a daily basis include just how sad the last few years under Daley really were, how badly things seemed to be going for Lewis and CORE during those early months in 2010 and 2011, and how completely anxious “enclave” parents and the media seem to have turned against City Hall and CPS (and turned a blind eye towards CTU).  But obviously Team Emanuel have made lots of mistakes, and the piece pulls no punches in that regard.


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  • 1- We are required to live in the city.

    2- We do not receive Social Security upon retirement. Start saving now.

    3- The cost of living in Chi is MUCH higher than Detroit and Houston.

    4- The city is bleeding us dry with sales taxes and numerous fees and fines.

    5- Teacher in Chicago, NYC, LA, Houston, Pigeon Forge, and Bad Axe ALL deserve more money.

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    In reply to district299reader:

    Let's see #2 - You don't receive Social Security upon retirement but you don't pay into Social Security. If Social Security continues on its current pace, you won't be asked to pay to rescue Social Security, yet your union leaders feel that we should be asked to pay to rescue your pension.
    #4 - And your union leaders feel that the only way to resolve the pension shortfall is to raise taxes even further.

  • In reply to Wayne Driscoll:

    If the payments had been made to the teacher's pension when as they were supposed to be, the pension would not need to be "rescued". Teachers paid their share as mandated. The money that CPS and the state were suppose to pay was diverted from the pension. This debacle is not the teachers fault. This mess lies with the politicians both local and state and how they diverted money that was legally supposed to be paid into teacher's pensions.

  • In reply to teachervoice:

    teachervoice you need to look to your union leaders over the years who agreed. They are just as responsible for this as the politicians. At least YOU have a vote for your union leaders. As a taxpayer, I have no vote in your union, yet you want me to pay for the screw up of your union leaders and the politicians that your union dues paid to elect into office. Time to eat what you cooked.

  • What? You're already doing a retrospective on CORE- The Early Years? Hey Beardo, Emanuel is gonna get smashed next election thanks to

    CTU. Blind eye? Dude, the only vision problem around here is you. The view from Brooklyn must be pretty hazy.

  • Has the average salary in CPS gone down since 2011-2012? A lot of the veteran teachers retired in 2012. Do the averages from the other cities include the CO teachers who are year round and make a much higher salary than a school based teacher?

  • This blog is pointless anymore.

  • this is from an email that JCB sent me:

    I seldom comment on articles and I have the highest respect for Alex. This is a very well written and insightful analysis. A few things, however, to set the record straight and all can be corroborated. In our relatively short tenure we accomplished the following:

    1. Highest ACT growth in more than 10 years with a growing number of students taking the exam
    2. Highest Freshmen on Track to graduation in more than 10 years
    3. The Teacher Eval that is being heralded and loved by teachers was created by my administration -
    4. A ground-breaking charter-district compact that was said to have the most innovative policies…” “Chicago, for example, used the Compact to enact some impressive policy changes, but the work was put on hold after the signing superintendent stepped down and a new one was hired.”

    And of course there is more. With a dysfunctional triumvirate we were still able to accomplish much. Imagine what could have been if we had time and a coherent management structure.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    This can't be from the real JCB, can it?

    1. ACT scores only went up .4 composite points. Not exactly a phenomenal gain.

    2. Freshmen on Track is the easiest statistic to manipulate. Principals push teachers to pass freshies.

    3. Loved? Bwahaha. REACH is universally hated by CPS teachers.

    4. You cite the pro-charter CRPE report? Really? The mask is off on the charter facade. What were the expulsion numbers for charters under the JCB administration?

    Dysfunctional triumverate? Who was the problem? JCB? CPS BOE? Emanuel?

  • Good article and I think it is balanced as far as the CTU and CPS drama goes. It seems in change the initial response is either the sky is falling or the sky is going to fall if you do this. Think of trying to lengthen the school day, trying to give every kid recess, trying to consolidate schools that were so under enrolled that they did not have staff to provide a full school experience, trying to improve the curriculum with common core, trying to increase the graduation rate of minority students, trying to improve high school options, etc.

    The thing I find intriguing is that all the changes really do center on the student. I know many do not like Rahm's bulldozer approach, but the students have been the priority. CTU knows how to pump up the sky is falling in their membership and with some parents. In the end, the strike with CTU did not do much for students, but the changes Rham has but in place have.

    I am certain that the readers of this blog are going nuts reading my comments. I get it. The truth hurts. Feel free to accuse me of being a shill or working in Rahm's office. Neither are true.

  • I agree with your comments wholeheartedly but, to be fair, the CTU is prevented by state law to strike or negotiate over issues that affect students. Pretty much only wages and benefits are negotiable. There was a lot of talk regarding other issues but that was just posturing. The bottom line is that the CTU cannot legally strike or negotiate over anything that affects students in the classroom.

  • Very fair point about that SB7 restricting negotiations. There wasn't only a lot of talk about other issues, if my memory isn't too foggy, there were posters and hand outs about all this stuff for students that CTU was striking for. No footnote at the bottom clarifying that they can only negotiate benefits and salary. It misled a lot of parents and teachers. As noted in the original post, CTU is very good at pumping up the sky is falling. Got to give them credit for that even if it was deceptive.

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