Chicago Teachers Strike Reflects Teacher’s Priorities

Chicago’s 20,000 plus teachers are striking to “improve” education in Chicago.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel acknowledges that some of the teachers’ issues are legitimate.

  • Remodeling old inner city schools
  • Upgrading text books
  • Reducing overcrowding in classrooms.

But, in exchange, the Mayor raises the ante.

It is unacceptable that 80% of Chicago’s 335,000 public school students do not perform at grade level year after year.

  • Student performance – measured through standardized testing – must be a component of teacher evaluation to develop
    • Retraining
    • Retention
    • Rehiring
  • policies and processes based on objective criteria rather than feelings and/or personal attributes.

A negotiating team focused on improving student outcomes could rapidly resolve this dispute..

  • Is there any job from carpenter to Apple iPhone salesman that does not contain some numeric job performance criteria to appraise overall performance fairly?

Reluctantly, then, we must conclude that the Chicago teacher’s strike is more about teacher privilege than insuring student outcomes –

  • Wage Increases
  • Benefit Improvements
  • Teacher Evaluation
  • Teacher Tenure etc.

Red is known in fashion circles as the POWER COLOR –.

  • It’s no coincidence that the teachers choose red
    • for strike placards
    • and tee shirts etc..

Because this is not a labor action, its a power play.

80% of Chicago school children are failing.  This is a moment for humility and reflection on both sides of the bargaining table.

The question to Mayor Emanuel and Teacher’s Union President, Karen Lewis, is what is the contract Chicago is going to make with it’s children?



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