Saturday, September 03, 2011

A crack in teachers union solidarity in Chicago

Teachers at three schools approved a longer day in exchange for bonuses, waiving their union contracts and breaking with union leadership, a win for Mayor Rahmbo and his new superintendent. A new state law will allow the longer day to be implemented, but it hasn't yet taken effect.

One of the schools is near the site of a former notorious public housing complex:
"This is something we wanted to do," said Ethan Netterstrom, principal at Skinner North, a 3-year-old K-4 school with 240 students on the Near North Side, near the site of the former Cabrini-Green housing complex.
"We're always talking about having more time for math or science or general enrichment," Netterstrom said. "It better serves kids. I don't know why we wouldn't do this."
Chicago schools have one of the shortest days in the country--and one of the worst graduation rates. This is a small step toward much-needed reform.

Predictably the union leaders are apoplectic, as they see their unsustainable contracts undermined.
“This is political football school reform at its worst,” said CTU Vice-president Jesse Sharkey. “It’s old-style Chicago ward plantation politics.”
Sharkey accused the Chicago School Board of using “pressure, coercion and bribing,” to get the votes for a proposal that is “deeply unpopular among the vast majority of people who do this work in the city.”
Employing the leftie bully buzzwords. Oh really, what about the best interests of the kids?

We can't afford unions (how about this city triple-dipper) from an educational standpoint, nor a financial one. In time, though, we may have more parents with the courage to stand up for their children, as these folks in Wisconsin did the other day. More: Tribune on job loss and the economy in Illinois, laid at the Dem pols' and union bosses' door:
The most damaging failure: the inability at state and local levels to rein in government spending, especially by reducing unaffordable public-employee retirement obligations. Current and prospective employers have every reason to think Illinois pols will tax them to pay for ruinous public pension and retiree health-care giveaways.
Related posts: School choice on the march, "APS is run like the mob", Let these children go

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