Wednesday, September 19, 2012

So did the kids win?

I'd say no.

CTU teachers fought and defeated merit pay.

They got huge salary increases up front when they're already making roughly twice the average Chicago parent, when the city and state are already broke, with no reserves.

Where will the money come from? John Kass:
"There will be no more resources in the classroom than there were two weeks ago," Meeks said. "If the fight was about putting children first and making sure children had books, I didn't hear anything in any settlement that said we will buy the kids more books, so no … I'd say the kids won't be better off."
Illinois taxpayers on are on the hook for 35% of Chicago's school funding. CTU teachers are the highest paid in the country, yet only 4 out of 10 Chicago students graduates:
For effective school leadership, the head teacher must be able to hire and fire teachers. (This, one might add, is hardly a revolutionary approach to the workplace.) Instead the union feels it must have some input, and that the most recently sacked teachers should be first in line for a job. Do any readers fancy trying to run a school, or any organisation, with the staff that you are told to hire rather than those you want? Neither do I.
The other reason teachers are on strike is that they don’t like teacher evaluations, and they really don't like them being linked to their pay (even though this works). You'll hear that the arguments are over the kind of tests that are used and the extent to which it determines pay. But the bottom line is that the union doesn't like any serious teacher evaluation and wants to delay it for as long as possible. Yet teacher evaluations linked to pay are coming; it is a national tidal wave.
The current evaluation system is so ineffective that that 99.7% of teachers are deemed satisfactory to distinguished. In other words, all of Chicago’s teachers are above average—despite the fact that four out of ten of the children they teach do not actually graduate from school. If that figure isn't mind-boggling enough, consider also that of every 100 first-year students who enter a public high school in Chicago, only about six will earn a bachelor's degree by the time they reach their mid-20s.
Charters offer one hopeful alternative, beyond parochial schools--where 40% of CTU teachers send their kids--or home schooling, a growing trend. There are still caps on charters in Illinois, which were open during the strike, educating 50,000 children, but too few.  350,000 were left shut out of CTU schools.

It was never about the kids. Was it.

Pension reform. Chicago, Illinois?
Drawing a huge union outcry, Mayor Rahm Emanuel Tuesday proposed freezing pension increases for retirees, raising the retirement age and hiking employees’ retirement contributions. a move that he said would keep the city’s underfunded pension systems solvent and avert a property-tax hike of as much as 150 percent. [snip]
“The moment of truth has arrived,” Emanuel told the Illinois House as he outlined the bitter pill that union leaders have long anticipated
“Our taxpayers can’t afford to choose between pensions and police officers, pensions or paved streets or pensions and public health,” he told lawmakers. “Without pension reform, we’ll be forced to mortgage our children’s future to pay for our past.”


LibertyAtStake said...

'“The moment of truth has arrived,” Emanuel told the Illinois House'

So, up until now he has been knowingly, irresponsibly, and immorally bankrupting society in the hope the day of reckoning would come on someone else's watch?

Anne said...

Yeah, well, it'll happen on his no matter what.