The CTU Contract Negotation Thread

June 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm 1,397 comments

Rock-Em Sock-Em Robots. Never really as fun as it looks.

Since we all know this will keep coming up, here is the official thread to place your comments.  Let’s try NOT to get back to debating whether teachers have a harder or easier job than other people, ok?  I don’t think we’re gonna figure that one out.

There WILL be a lot to say as these negotiations heat up.

Some questions that remain in my mind:

– What is this “fact finding mission” that is part of the process where and independent groups gathers information?  How much/how long can it take?  Obviously waiting for this mission puts the teachers in the less-than-ideal position of voting for a strike smack in the middle of summer.  Isn’t that sort of like an employer having a project due over the weekend?

-Is the CTU really thinking 30% raises are possible?  Are they going to keep saying “NO” to the inclusion of some merit-based (aka Test Scores or AYP?) assessment?

-If the CTU makes a strike vote before the final contract, will they vote AGAIN when it comes out?  Or do they know that since it will VERY likely still contain some level of teachers assessment that the Union will push for a strike?

-Is the teacher assessment concept something that the majority of teachers really object to?  Or is that a union-driven thing?

And a few other topics:

As for the content of this blog, well — that is mainly driven by you guys.  It’s a function of who finds it, reads it, and takes the time to comments.  I know there are many lurkers who don’t comment.  Please join in!  I (personally) enjoy hearing all sides of the argument, although it makes my head spin someday as I keep agreeing with components of each side.

I *like* to see myself as sort of like Jon Stewart (but less funny and less rich) in that I like to point out the absurdities of both sides, even though on some topics I may lean slightly one way or the other.  I like to think I’m always open to taking new facts into account to help form my opinions.  As my mother-in-law says about Democrats vs Republicans, “they’re all clowns.” I think that may be how many of us are feeling as these negotiations heat up.  It’s starting to feel like a typical ugly Chicago political race.

In the next couple weeks I hope to get the reading group started (Ravitch book will be first) and also to finalize the message board so there will be a more organized place to hold information about specific schools and other topics.  I’ll keep you posted on those.

So keep commenting.  Don’t be too mean/personal/paranoid.  I really don’t think that Rahm is using his free time to post on CPSObsessed.com under the psuedonym of Angie.  But that would be really cool if he were.  Hi Rahm!  Same for Karen Lewis.  If you’re reading, Hi Karen!

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Principal Selection Learn More about CPS Changes and Challenges at a RYH Forum Monday June 11th

1,397 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    222. justanotherteacher | June 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Being both a parent of children in CPS and a teacher can be like walking a tightrope sometimes. The teacher part is at the breaking point. In the last ten years or so, I have had a ring side seat to watch the profession of teaching be denigrated, devalued, and held in complete contempt by my employer and now it seems to have spread to parents and the general population. I have seen schools that do poorly “turned around” with injections of millions of dollars and still do poorly until they manage to ‘turn around” the type of students they serve. The ones that aren’t bringing up those scores or have sped needs somehow manage to find their way back to a neighborhood school and are now sitting in my classroom. I have spent over 20 years as a teacher and have always been proud of what I do. I am angry, frustrated, and most of all, I am extremely hurt. Yes, I know I shouldn’t, but I take the attacks that appear in the press, blogs, etc. that belittle what I do personally. What really upsets me is when my children who don’t truly understand all of what is happening and can’t understand why someone would say those things about their mom. I’m sure I am not the only teacher that feels this way. I am fearful of what will happen not only to me as an older, experienced teacher, but public education as well. The people who are calling the shots in education policy these days are not educators, they are politicians and business people and anyone else who can figure out a way to make a buck. The only people that seem to be left out are the teachers, you know the people that actually work with the students. The so-called reformers will create havoc in a system that is already fragile, and I guarantee, when it doesn’t pay off for them, they will walk away. Guess who will be left picking up the pieces – that’s right the lousy, greedy teachers. So, yes, when Wednesday comes rolling around, I will vote yes on the strike authorization. I owe it to myself, every other teacher who has been held up as a scapegoat, and the children, my own and the ones that I teach, to make sure someone is on their side.
    Edit Comment

    223. SoxSideIrish4 | June 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    #222~justanotherteacher~stay strong…you sound like a wonderful mom and gr8 teacher!
    Edit Comment

    224. mom2 | June 4, 2012 at 8:56 am

    For those teachers that plan to vote yes on the strike authorization, can you please explain what you are voting for? Does this just authorize Karen Lewis to decide for you if the final offer is good enough for you? Is it something else? I’m very confused on how someone can vote to strike when they don’t have an offer.

    Also, what is it exactly that you do want from CPS and how will a strike give you that? I’m not trying to be anything other than curious, but I need specifics on what you want as an offer from CPS.

    It seems so much that what teachers really want is respect and they feel they aren’t getting that. I have no idea how striking and keeping kids out of school is going to achieve that. (Money does not equal respect).

    By the way, @222, you sound like a wonderful mom and teacher and you certainly should not feel that a comment, from one or more parents about a bad teacher that one of their kids may have had, would have anything at all to do with you. Most teachers are fabulous and caring and hard working and most parents love and respect them. It really is only about the few “bad-eggs” when a parent makes a comment like that.
    Edit Comment

    225. CPS Parent | June 4, 2012 at 9:42 am

    @224. mom2 The reason why the CTU is doing the strike vote ahead of a final offer is twofold I believe.

    1). Once school is out it will be much harder for reach the 75% threshold needed for a strike since teachers will have to make a trip to a polling place instead of their schools. Communication could also be more difficult since the school based representatives will no longer have daily contact with their members.

    2). New hires who will be starting through the summer will not likely vote for the strike since they are eager to start working and have emotionally accepted the terms currently on the table. In addition the retiring teachers will probably be unable to vote after June 30th (I’m not sure about the cut-off date)

    Getting to 75% (Not of those who vote, it has to be 75% of the total membership regardless of whether they vote, not voting is a “no strike” vote) is very difficult as it is, waiting longer will pretty much make it impossible.

    Some of the aspects of SB7 is contrary to what most of us consider fair practices in a representative democracy. In my opinion the strike vote should be a simple or two thirds majority.

    I am not a teacher, so teachers, please weigh in.
    Edit Comment

    226. Mom23 | June 4, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Good teachers are fantastic and should feel respected. The problem is your union. The CTU protects the lowest common denominator teacher. This reflects poorly on all teachers because the ctu is fighting to protect the worst teachers in the system. As a parent, I want the bad teachers gone and the ctu does nothing but fight to protect them and keep them in the classroom with my children. Sorry, but I have no respect for bad teachers and my child has been subject to horrid examples and the ctu stormed in to protect.

    @222, you should feel good about being a good teacher. Thank you for all you do. I do wish the good teachers would stand up to their union. The ctu is the one who has chipped away at the teaching profession year after year. They do not allow you to be treated as professionals and fight for you as a factory worker. This is really the fight for the good teachers and until you make this stand, the tone and mood of the public will not change. If teachers vote to strike, I am sorry to say, but that will further the ill feelings toward the ctu and teachers. You sound like one of the good ones, but I just don’t see how voting to strike will help you feeling respected. It sounds like it will make you feel better, which may be worth it to you.
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    227. Mom23 | June 4, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Just reading back now. LOVE Angie and appreciate her consistent insight. Don’t stop!

    Asking teachers to be held accountable (on a well rounded metric, not just test scores) is not teacher bashing. It is treating teachers as professionals.

    Agree that being pro-charter does not mean anti-public school. IMO, the ctu has the ultimate power to eliminate the need for charters. The reason charters have risen is because they have the flexibility to try new things and push the boundaries to improve the education of tough populations. If the ctu allowed aggressive efforts to improve the failing schools, then there would not be as much of a need for charters. As it stands now, it takes a decade to get a school to the turn around stage. That is MORE than the entire elementary time for a student. This is why charters are appealing.
    Edit Comment

    228. LR | June 4, 2012 at 10:37 am

    @222: I’m with you – you have every reason to be angry. Based on the mock strike that we witnessed just a while ago, it seems as though the demands are primarily focused on being compensated for longer hours and more days. I got the sense that performance based compensation is taking a back seat at this point, but I could be totally wrong about that. I think both sides know they are going in with ridiculous demands. There will be no 30% raise and by the same token there will be no 7 hour day and 10 extra days. In the end, it seems fair that we get what we can afford. If a 2% raise is what CPS offers, I think a fair deal would be a 6.5 hour day. This is what we have at our school. Our teachers extended our day several years ago without the benefit of extra compensation. It seems fair that all CPS teachers should work the same day as our teachers work and all CPS students should have the benefit of the same length of day as our students have. Regarding the 10 extra days, yes, it’s excessive. If it were up to me, I would love to see one week sliced off at the end of the year. Everyone I know who has kids outside of CPS (city or suburban) is off this week. They should stop the B.S. of the day off then one-hour of school. I don’t think I’m the only one who is irritated by that. Plus, any time after Memorial Day is just a waste to me. My kids are SO unfocused right now it is not even funny. So, whether there is 2 or 3 weeks of school after Memorial Day, is really inconsequential. Those days would be more productive days in November or February, but June school days are a waste of time. Whatever happens, I hope teachers and CPS can come to an agreement quickly.
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    229. mom2 | June 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

    @225 – I think you are right about why they want to vote now, but it doesn’t explain what they are voting for or against or how striking will help them achieve whatever that is. And if what they are really voting over is the fact that they don’t like SB7, that isn’t clear and doesn’t make sense.
    Edit Comment

    230. mom2 | June 4, 2012 at 10:43 am

    @228 – I like a lot of what you just said – especially about snipping off one week in June and replacing that one in November or February. That would be great and wouldn’t add time to the teacher’s day, so they wouldn’t feel they needed more money.
    Edit Comment

    231. Mom23 | June 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @225 But, what the heck are the teachers voting for? They do not even know what the offer is until mid July? I can see that logistically it is easier for the union rep to “influence” their members during the school year, but it sounds like there are all kinds of ways the ctu can conduct a vote, so logistics is not the main reason. It seems the main reason is to get the retiring teachers who are more staunch union supporters to vote before they retire. Again, what the heck are they voting for? Also, probably a bully negotiation tactic of the ctu to say they can strike at any moment. This can really backfire on the teachers if they vote to strike and then the ctu turns down a reasonable offer! Which is likely given that they say no to everything.

    @228, I want the 7 hour day. Teachers are already paid for 7 hours and I want that to go to my kids. I personally really like the new school year calendar that adds the 10 days and eliminates the useless days off.

    @229 Agree, it just doesn’t make sense.
    Edit Comment

    232. CPS Parent | June 4, 2012 at 10:52 am

    @229. mom2 This may help to explain – If the “strike vote” is held now there is some possibility that they will reach 75%. This does not mean that there will be a strike though since the CTU legislative body made up from delegates from each school still has to set a strike date. If they don’t set a date – no strike. They do, now, however have a real threat on the bargaining table waiting to be used pending the final terms offered.

    It is kludged way to operate forced by an undemocratic requirement that doesn’t serve anybody well.
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    233. mom2 | June 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

    CPS parent, do you think any teacher fears giving that sort of power to the union to make such a major decision for them? I’d be concerned (especially given how volatile Karen Lewis has been – and she makes plenty of money so that won’t be her personal concern) and would much rather wait to decide if I want to strike once I know the offer on the table.
    Edit Comment

    234. junior | June 4, 2012 at 11:25 am

    @222

    I felt the same way as @224 when I read your post. I understand the desire for respect, but I what I didn’t get was how that desire leads you to the conclusion that you should vote ‘yes’ for a strike. Does respect = money?

    I have to agree with Mom 23 (@226). Teaching is a good, honorable profession that generally attracts committed professionals. If you continue to let a union go out there standing up for the lowest common denominator — to the detriment of the students whom you care so much about — then that erodes the respect for all. A strike does not increase respect because ultimately it hurts the kids and antagonizes more of your constituency.

    I respect your right to negotiate, and the threat of a strike is an important part of that process that most people understand. However, an *actual* strike in this type of fiscal environment and terrible economy is not going to do anything but increase ill-will toward the profession, not save it.

    Calculate what you get in terms of pay, benefits, pension, time off, and job security. Compare that objectively to what actual average Americans are get, and I think that you will find that you are well compensated. I’m sure the vast majority of teachers deserve it.

    I understand that you don’t want to see your standard of living and work benefits eroded — but that’s what has happened to most every worker in America. So, while a rising tide lifts all boats, the counter is also true — a falling economic tide lowers everyone’s standard of living. It’s impossible to have continuing compensation increases when the tax base that supports you has crumbled, and politicians have kicked the debt can as far down the road as it will go. Are most other workers earning less for more time? You bet they are.

    What do I suggest? Your union needs to bend so that it doesn’t break. Behave more like the Wisconsin teachers and emphasize shared goals and shared sacrifice. (They have gained respect, and even if they don’t succeed in recalling the governor, the fact that they are so close is testimony to that). Where is the flexibility on longer day (which only asks you to move your lunch to the middle of the day and add an extra half hour), teacher evaluations/tenure (which, let’s face it, will only seriously impact the very worst of teachers), etc.? So far, all we have seen your union say is no, no, no. (And by costing CPS another $35 million in returned grant money, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.)

    I was surprised to see the City pushing to get charter schools to 25%. That’s a huge jump and something I’m somewhat concerned about. However, my guess is that if the union continues to be inflexible, then the City will continue to sidestep them and erode union power. Frankly, if the citizens of Chicago keep up the demand for charters and if the charters perform comparably to CPS schools, then why wouldn’t the City opt for the cheaper alternative when it is in dire financial straits?

    Please don’t tell keep repeating that there is plenty of money if you haven’t looked closely at the city and state finances. Just because you can find some spending here and there that you don’t agree with, doesn’t mean that you are entitled to that money. Where is the money that was cut for the mentally ill? Where is the money for the homeless and health care? Child protective services? Housing and foreclosure help? Police? Should we be closing prisons and opening casinos? Times are tough. Really, they are. Not kidding.

    I’d rather see the union start working more cooperatively with CPS than see a massive expansion of unproven charters. Bend, don’t break.
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    235. CPS Parent | June 4, 2012 at 11:25 am

    @233 mom2 I don’t think teachers will approach the issue in that context. Many will not fully understand the “kludged” (as I call it) process either. Many will vote “yes” because of the strong emotions that are in play right now. Many feel “disrespected” for reasons that are not well understood to outsiders. There are many perceived threats – merit pay, differentiated pay, bonus pay, (the effects of which are not clearly articulated by CPS but mandated by SB7) the continuing encroachment by charters which are not unionized and which, generally offer lower compensation/benefits.
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    236. Mom | June 4, 2012 at 11:34 am

    @234 Junior – Best.Post.Ever!

    Especially these parts:

    – I respect your right to negotiate, and the threat of a strike is an important part of that process that most people understand. However, an *actual* strike in this type of fiscal environment and terrible economy is not going to do anything but increase ill-will toward the profession, not save it.

    – Calculate what you get in terms of pay, benefits, pension, time off, and job security. Compare that objectively to what actual average Americans are get, and I think that you will find that you are well compensated. I’m sure the vast majority of teachers deserve it.

    – I understand that you don’t want to see your standard of living and work benefits eroded — but that’s what has happened to most every worker in America. So, while a rising tide lifts all boats, the counter is also true — a falling economic tide lowers everyone’s standard of living. It’s impossible to have continuing compensation increases when the tax base that supports you has crumbled, and politicians have kicked the debt can as far down the road as it will go. Are most other workers earning less for more time? You bet they are.
    Edit Comment

    237. Mom23 | June 4, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Yes! @324 Junior. Well stated and agree best post ever!

    @235 This sounds very dangerous. Voting to strike, not knowing what you are truly voting about. Voting to strike based just on emotion? As a parent, I can’t respect that and it sounds like a child having a temper tantrum. It is not the fault of SB7 legislation. Not having a clear gameplan and understanding what you want is the problem, not a piece of legislation. That is a copout excuse to me. While the legislation changes the playing field, it is not an excuse to use my kids as a pawn and blindly vote to strike based on emotion. The strike will NOT earn respect.
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    238. Frank Thomspon | June 4, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Wrong. The Union has not said “no” to reforms. The union published a research based manifesto on giving our students the schools they deserved. That has been said over and over again here. And yes, the union does say no, no, no to the board because, well, frankly Rahm spent the first 6 months of his mayorship insulting teachers and our collective work ethic. So screw him.

    A strike authorization vote will make the BOE come back to the table and negotiate over more than just compensation. No one knows what a strike will accomplish because there has net been one in 20 years.
    Edit Comment

    239. Frank Thomspon | June 4, 2012 at 11:52 am

    BTW- Teachers do not get paid for the summer. Our salery is decent for working 9.5 months a year, but there rare is the teacher that will ever make a 6 figure income. I’m not saying we should (although it would be nice) but when idiots trading stock all day make half a million a year and teachers have to fight for 65,000, there is a pretty serious problem.
    Edit Comment

    240. Frank Thomspon | June 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    @mom23 – We (the CTU, the teachers that teach your children) are not voting to strike out of emotion, we are voting to literally save education. Without a strike, your child’s school will be closed in the next 5-10 years unless it is a SES, and it will be closed in favor of a charter school that has 0 accountability to anybody, will likely be closed in three years and reopened under a new name, all the while hiring unskilled educators that will only do a diservice to the profession.

    We are voting to strike because we want our voices collectivly heard in education policy decisions.

    We are voting to strike so the school year isn’t made up of 30 standerized tests.

    If you thinkwe are voting to strike because of the very few crappy teachers out there, then you are quite mistaken.

    And for those that are upset because teaching as a profession is not mirroring your current career situation, my response is this. Your college had an education program, so if you think it is so great on this side of the grass, you should have signed up then. And also, we are fighting for what every worker in every profession should have: a decent wage, respect in your career, the ability to do what is right in your career without repercussions and a sense of stability in your job. If you don’t have that, I feel sorry for you. You should.

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I’ve moved the discussion here, along with all the comments from last night, starting with a heartfelt message from a CPS parent/teacher so we can continue….

  • 3. Mom23  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Great news Frank, when you fully load in your guaranteed pension and corresponding health care benefits, you DO make a six figure salary! Starting teacher at $53K (including the health care benefit) actually makes $99,970 fully loaded with pension and discounted back at 2% NPV. A teacher retiring that makes $75K actually is making $163,178 anually. PLUS you get the summers off and the holidays, etc. I am fine with teachers earning this kind of benefit. What I am not fine with is that teachers are crying poor, when they are fairly compensated today. Those idots trading stock to make a lot, but they do not have a guaranteed job for life and defined benefits no matter what happens in the economy. Sorry, but teachers have a pretty good deal going.

  • 4. AfightforPublicSchools  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Read the Huffington Post article about privatization of schools. In one state or district (New Orleans?), the students get vouchers to go anywhere — including so-called private schools that literally stick kids in cubicles watching DVDs about Christian values. And tax dollars support this. And others PROFIT from it.

    Yes. To me this is a fight for the American public school system. Enough of the charters and private schools getting our money, bringing down teacher wages and bringing in inexperienced teachers, kicking kids out, and killing our truly public schools (neighborhood/magnet/SE).

  • 5. mom2  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    posted on the other thread – @Frank (and others) I am looking for specifics, not generalizations.

    What would CPS have to do for you to NOT vote to strike? You want to “Save Education” – so what does CPS have to offer to “Save Education” and if they don’t offer exactly that, you feel you must strike, right? You want your “voices collectively heard in education policy decisions.” So, what exactly must CPS offer in order for you to not vote to strike? You are fighting for “respect”, so what must CPS offer so you get respect? Please explain.

    P.S. – Most people in this city are not “idiots trading stock” and certainly don’t make anything close to a half a million dollars. Most with college degrees don’t even make what a large majority of Chicago teachers make. I know it is frustrating to think about people like that making all that money when we all have more education and work harder, but you really shouldn’t even think about it because they are a small minority of the population.

  • 6. AfightforPublicSchools  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    FYI. Here is a link. And a quote.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/01/louisiana-makes-bold-bid-_n_1563900.html

    The school willing to accept the most voucher students — 314 — is New Living Word in Ruston, which has a top-ranked basketball team but no library. Students spend most of the day watching TVs in bare-bones classrooms. Each lesson consists of an instructional DVD that intersperses Biblical verses with subjects such chemistry or composition.

    And this …

    At Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, pastor-turned-principal Marie Carrier hopes to secure extra space to enroll 135 voucher students, though she now has room for just a few dozen. Her first- through eighth-grade students sit in cubicles for much of the day and move at their own pace through Christian workbooks, such as a beginning science text that explains “what God made” on each of the six days of creation. They are not exposed to the theory of evolution.

  • 7. CPS Parent  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    @235 mom23 – As you can see from the comments by teachers their desire to strike does not have to do with specific terms in a collective bargaining agreement. Clearly there many highly emotional issues (some not even local) which are all coalescing around this particular opportunity to speak out.

  • 8. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I’m sorry, I don’t think one can use New Orleans as an example given the hurricane issue.
    CPS has already said that some local charters are not allowed to expand due to poor performance.
    You can complain that CPS wants to measure performance AND suggest they’ll let kids be stuck in cubicles learning creationism.
    That school would not perform, clearly.

    But I WOULD like to be informed of the charters who ARE being allowed into the city along with some rationale.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 9. Joel  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    As a teacher who personally will not vote for a strike, my gut is that the CTU will not meet the necessary threshold. The vitriol and energy that was present a month ago (and even a few weeks with the rally) is short-lived, and the realities of living without a paycheck are starting to hit home. And frankly, the CTU is, at times, ridiculous. Some very commonsense proposals that even a moron like myself could come up with that could be made as counterweight to the Board’s proposals are not even on their radar. The CPS and CTU deserve each other; they’re each other’s stooges (see Tom Wolfe’s excellent essay ‘My Three Stooges’ for further elaboration). At the end of the day, the only thing that will eliminate all of the nonsense is the breakup, in entirety, of CPS. No regions, no areas, no networks. It will be the creation of independent districts that save education, not the continued growth of behemoth urban districts.
    So parents, I’d say that you won’t have to extend your summer or worry about paying that extra daycare. Enjoy the sh*tshow, but don’t stress about it; come fall, it’ll be A-ok!

  • 10. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    #8~CPSO ~Bishop Luers High School allowed 58 voucher students but only had 4 o r5 left during the school year and Indiana is calling that success. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/06/04/indiana-school-voucher-program-called-a-success/

  • 11. Frank Thompson  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Here are your specifics Mom:

    1. A cease and desist on turn arounds. Take the money and resources that would go into the school once all staff has been fired and put that money in before as a preventative measure.

    2. If my workload is going to increase by 25% compensate me for the increase workload in a fair manner.

    3. As a performing arts teacher, evaluate me on what I teach, not the overall math and literacy scores of the school.

    4. Allow my union to bargin over things other than just compensation.

    These are 4 reasonable requests and will be ignored by the BOE on all levels if there is no threat of strike.

  • 12. AfightforPublicSchools  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    #8. Oh, yes. You are correct. It’s not a direct comparison I’m trying to make. Sorry if it appeared that way.

    Just an opinion. However, I’m sorry if I came across too strong!

  • 13. Mom23  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    @7, Opportunity to speak out? I do not take this vote so casually as an “opportunity to speak out”. Messing with my kids with a strike for an “opporutnity to speak out”? Is the ctu so incapable that it needs to go to extreme lengths to have a conversation? It certainly seems to be based a lot on emotion. Unfortunately, you can’t negotiate emotion and a strike vote will do nothing for any of the items listed except compensation. So, again, I do not understand exactly what the teachers are voting on.

    I agree with Mom2 that more specifics are needed.

    What is going on with CPS and CTU is NOT going to help improve education. Both sides have good points and they should come together and discuss them. This strike vote is just going to guarantee that the end result will be a watered down negotiation that will do nothing to improve education.

    Fighting charters—-the ctu does not even need to go to a table for that. They have the power to render charters unnecessary. (see my earlier post) If that is the “big fight”, then ctu just needs to look in the mirror and allow for significant change in failing schools.

    @9 Joel. I really like the idea of breaking it up into more manageable pieces. Thanks for the calming zen comments, I needed that 🙂

  • 14. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    It was reported on cbs news this morning that earlier it was reported ctu had asked for 24% raise and CPS stated ctu wanted 30%. Lewis said never gave a number but only said ‘we didn’t ask for a 30% raise, but if CPS want needs to round up…’

    Also Fact Finder is not giving a contract…they are talking abt 3 things. Bc of SB7 CTU is not allowed to bring up anything that CPS doesn’t bring up (only benefits and pay). What’s wrong w/teachers asking for 160 libraries, art, pe, world language, small classes, adequate funding and a reasonable raise?

    Also, strike authorization vote is NOT a strike vote and Karen Lewis can’t say the union is striking. If they decide they don’t want the contract they have to have strike vote from the union delegates.

    Brizard has never once attended a negotiation meeting w/CPS & CTU…he only knows what he is told.

  • 15. mamacath  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Teaching is going to turn into a high turn over job with low wages-the union is attempting to keep the Chicago teachers from having this happen- there is so much misinfo being thrown out about the teachers whining and being greedy- we have gone to school and received higher degrees, gone to professional development, gotten national board certification to become better at what we do. We take on extra clubsm sports and after school activities as well. We have done all that has been asked of us by CPS and wouldn’t it be nice to get paid for the contract we were promised this year- ? I think so but, SORRY, (CPS) doesn’t have the money that was in the contract for you this year so, guess what? we don’t get paid-our contract was not worth the paper it was written on. Any other person who was given a contract like this where the bottom fell out would feel the same. Teachers are standing up to the UNION busting that is happening across this country. We are standing up for all union members. We are saying that those who fought hard to get us to the table to negotiate did something worth while.
    Teachers should be respected and treated fairly-all of us who are who we are today had a teacher or two who helped inspire us to become laywers, doctors, authors, artists or stay at home professional parents. BTW: The fact finders are looking to see if there in fact was funding that was not noted by CPS during this year. If so, the union can ask for it and show that the money was infact there, so we should have received what was promised to us in this final year of contract: a 4% raise.
    Teachers have gone beyond the basic requests and have done more because we love our school and our kids. The truth is we would like to be treated like the professionals we are. I am not one to say that striking is the best thing in all circumstances but, at this point a strike is a way to stand up for our profession-as my first grader who is a CPS student said, ” Mom, it’s like CPS is bullying the teachers-you work hard, you should stand up to them.” if a strike happens perhaps we will show other unions that they need to stand up too and not allow themselves to be treated as we are: being brushed off and ignoring our contract. Teachering should not become a low wage, high turnover job or ALL our children will suffer.

  • 16. Frank Thompson  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    @joel- why don’t you bargin with the board on your own so Rahm Emmanuel can tell you to your face to F off and how your kids got the shaft. I imagine in that case you might get the shaft.

    We will get the 75%. I sure hope your attitude is short lived because if we do strike and you cross that line, well, best of luck to you.

  • 17. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    #15~mamacath~I agree and all of the many teachers I’ve talked to over several weeks agree as well. In fact some teachers are more fired up since the weekend. Our children deserve the best education, not some cheap digital online learning that Rahm wants for CPS.

  • 18. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    The strike authorization vote is just that, an authorization to strike, it does not mean there will be a strike, just that there can be one. It’s a step in the onerous process imposed by SB7. CPS’s rhetoric on the vote is no more than posturing to sway the public. I am all for a strike, especially if CPS holds fast to test based evaluations. It’s a total waste of my tax dollars. Here’s but one short example of why. Take the 50 best teachers in the country, nothing but the cream of the crop, and put them in one school here. Under the VAM system, whoever falls below the cut point (think grading on a curve) is labeled a bad teacher. Even though we put the 50 best into the school. Even though the difference between their scores could be less than 1%. Whoever doesn’t hit the numbers is gone. Even if the lowest GPA of any kid in the school is 3.95 Explain to me how this is fair to teachers, good for our schools or kids. It’s not. Much better systems exist for teacher evaluations that have proven to be accurate and successful. Why not use them? No profit to be made by testing companies and others, no way to demonize teachers. No way to attack public education. I’ll post a separate set of links on VAM later for those who want to see how bad it is.

  • 19. junior  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    @11

    1. No strong opinion on turnarounds. Don’t know what to do about the worst performing schools. Like they say — it’s hard to fall off the floor. One thing that can be done is to attract the better teachers to those schools by offering more pay for tougher environments — but the union has taken a hard line against any differentiation in pay.

    2. 0.5 hour increase on a 5.75 hour day sounds more like an 8.7% increase in workload. But since teachers argue that they work more like a 10-hour day, then they could easily absorb the 0.5 hours by reducing all the extra time they work in other areas, right?

    3. Sure, that’s fair. Don’t see the union working with CPS to even try to create a fair evaluation system — just saying no, no, no to merit-based compensation.

    4. Well, that’s not allowed according to SB7. While I think some of these work conditions might be good to see negotiated between CPS and CTU, on the other hand, when we let teachers decide things like whether they should give kids recess or go home early, they put their own interests over those of the kids. So, in all, I’m not sure that allowing this would always work in the interest of the kids.

  • 20. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I don’t get how we’re making the leap to bargaining for the contract to cheap digital learning. When has rahm said he wants cheap digital learning? I’ve heard northing about this. Clue me in.
    (And not via slippery slope!)

    If you can truly equate the strike with stopping cheap digital learning I think you (the CTU) could get pretty much 100 percent of parents onboard.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 21. Mom23  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    @18 ChicagoDad. I agree that good teachers should be reatined, but let’s face it, there is at least one lousy teacher in each school that should NOT be with our children. Everyone knows who they are, the principal, the parents, the other teachers and of course the students. The problem is the CTU is fighting to keep all these teachers in the system and in front of our children. They are fighting merit based pay because it will finally allow the awful teachers to be fired. With a range of good measures in merit based pay, the good teachers should be fine.

    Here is another thought, instead of figuring out merit based pay, why not simply figure out how to get the lousy abusive teachers OUT of the system. Quickly and efficiently. That is really the ultimate goal. If the awuful teachers are fired, then the good teachers can rise, the profession will not be disrespected and the students will no longer be abused or have a wasted year with an ineffective teacher. I wonder if there is a way to flip merit on its head to get to the core of the problem—getting rid of the bad teachers?

  • 22. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    #19~junior~CPS already said that several schools w/not be having recess.~they can’t afford it, parents are working so no monitors and crime. That’s really beneficial for some kids…

    That’s why schools should have autonomy, bc so many schools are not the same and have different needs. Some schools can have a 5.75 day, be top rated in CPS and still have recess. CPS should be broken down into small districts bc this one size fits all strategy doesn’t.

  • 23. teacher in Englewood  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    The vote is an authorization. It means that we trust our union to do what is in our best interest if the negotiations do not go well. As teachers we know that there is nothing fun about the negotiation process.

    There is a high level of distrust with the Board currently on many levels so as teachers we have to put our faith in someone. Anybody remember the 4% annual raise teachers gave up that we were told we would get back later? We didn’t.

    For us, who we have to trust is our Union. Our Board has chosen to blame the union and teachers for having to give back $34 million. In actuality, just as much blame can be put on the Board for not compromising on their part as well.

    I will be voting YES. I do support my Union. I do believe that my Union has my back and a COMPROMISE will be met.

  • 24. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    #20~CPSO~CPS is using that online crap right now~I’m not talking abt the language studies they use in HS, that’s different, I’m talking about kids w/headphones in 2-50minute blocks learning…I’ll share some links, but one at a time bc if I share too many my post has to wait for modification (which not to be critical takes a long time) and then it doesn’t get read.
    Plz note that the digital learning CPS is doing is done nowhere in private or wealthy schools…they want full time CERTIFIED teachers who plan on being there for years not someone who hasn’t taken ed in college and gets a pass on their loans.

  • 25. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    #23~teacherinenglewood~I believe a compromise also come b4 the new school yr. Rahm can’t afford to have a strike w/the presidential election coming up.

  • 26. junior  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    @22
    Not sure I get your point. My point was that we’re achieving recess broadly across CPS by Board decree, and we did not get it in the past by leaving the decision to teachers. There are times when CPS pushes for parent/kid interests; there are times when CPS pushes for parent/kid interests — mostly those times are just coincidences, as both of those entities are first and foremost in advancing their own interests.

  • 27. Mom23  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    @23 I find it interesting that whenever the denied 4% raise last year is brought up, teachers never mention the fact that they received a 4%+ raise each of the prior 4 years of the contract. This would be fine, except those years when teachers quietly took their raise was when the economy tanked and we slipped into a deep recession (really a depression). Most professions experienced lost jobs, no raises still to this day and having increased work load. Many cases an increased work load with less pay. So to cry foul for one of 5 years in the worst economic downturn in 30 years seems like you only want to provide the facts when it is for your cause.

    Also, very scarry that you “trust your union”. I hope you understand that all your union does is say no and protect the worst teachers in the system.

  • 28. junior  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Ooops meant “CTU” not “CPS” in my second reference.

  • 29. EdgewaterMom  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    @234 I completely agree with your comments!

    I have not had a chance to read through all of the comments yet, but it seems like that many people agree on a few things:

    – We respect teachers and think that there are many wonderful CPS teachers
    – There are also many sub-par teachers that are protected by the union
    – Teachers deserve to be well paid, and they currently are. It is NOT an hourly wage job.
    – We are not clear on WHY the teachers are striking.

  • 30. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    @21, the core of the problem is not “bad teachers” and there is not one in every school. These are absurd comments. If you want to see the right way to evaluate teachers then read this one article. There is no good reason at all why we can’t use the exact same system here. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/06/education/06oneducation.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&hp

  • 31. junior  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    @23 teacher in Englewood…

    I think that is a dangerous approach. By leaving the decision to the union’s house of delegates, you put the choice into the most hard-lined of union members. You seem to want a compromise, but your vote means that probably there won’t be a compromise.

    @25 SSI4
    Seriously? I don’t think school contract negotiations in Chicago will any effect on the presidential elections in other states.

  • 32. mamacath  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Hey we all know there are teachers who stink-who should not be in front of the kids-guess what? At my school they are all gone or on their way-my school has a principal who has 98% of the teachers on board-we work hard and we are evaluated regularly and given great feedback to make improvements- it is not that the Union wants those “bad” teachers retained but, if there is a teacher who is trouble there needs to be a protocol in place to deal with it-it takes a gutsy pricipal who follows these protocols-the union wants things in place for those teachers who are accused of being something bad when infact, it’s a principals plan to get someone out for personal reasons. The new evaluation suystem that looks at merit pay for teachers to earn their salary stinnks for those who are faced with students with specail needs who are identified as having significant delays- how are we going to get the pay when our kids struggle to move up- any small gain is a great for us-or- how about the gifted kids who are laleady at the top of thie game? how do we push them higher? its a rough way to look at a teacher as a whole -it needs to be balanced.

  • 33. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Could someone please document how, on a regular basis, CTU and other teachers unions regularly protect “bad teachers”? Why is this done? What I have seen and heard is that teachers, like every other profession that cares about it’s reputation, wants the non performers gone. All they are asking for is a fair and objective way to do it, something that CPS in particular and the corporate school reform juggernaut in general want no part of, even though time tested methods for doing this that unions have embraced exist.

  • 34. Parent of CPS student  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    @27….Do you know of a specific situation where the union is protecting a bad teacher? Do you know what documentation has been collected showing that the teacher is bad and what has been done by the principal to dismiss this teacher?

  • 35. DisneyMOM  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    It doesn’t seem fair to vote now and give retiring teachers a vote but no voice to just hired new teachers who will have to live with this contract. I understand the logistics of holding a vote now but it doesn’t feel right to me.
    Personally, I wish this came up during a non-election year. Mitt Romney has made no secret of his anti-union view and will try to push this as a National campaign issue. Karen Lewis will not play well in the national press and Obama will be stuck choosing between Rahm and Lewis. Current politics in Wisconsin are also concerning. Basically, I just think next September and October will be a mess.

  • 36. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Do we actually know that the worst teachers in each school could go? Or the “worst” in the system?

    School comparison seems wrong. A good principal will hire and keep good people (and ideally find ways to lose the dead weight.) Bad principals could have a whole school full of bad teachers (or at least slacker teachers.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 37. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Here is an as yet invisible 800 ton gorilla in the room. If you do not keep track of this very significant factor that has the greatest affect on the poorest, lowest performing communities, it obviously is MIA from any “test based” (VAM) teacher evaluation system. It’s as absurd as trying to explain a pitchers low ERA while ignoring the fact that he always goes to the mound blindfolded.
    “Although chronic early absence can be a significant issue for entire school districts and particular elementary schools, it has largely been overlooked. The United States does not have a mechanism in place to ensure that schools across the country monitor and report on levels of chronic early absence. Elementary schools often track average daily attendance or unexcused absences (truancy)1, but few monitor the combination of excused and unexcused absence for individual students. High overall school-wide attendance rates can easily mask significant numbers of chronically absent students. While a growing interest in state data systems with universal student identifiers creates an opportunity to collect such data systematically, many districts have yet to develop the capacity for tracking absences for individual students. As a result, many school districts do not know the extent to which chronic early absence is a problem in any or all of their schools.” From http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_837.html
    An additional resource is http://www.attendancecounts.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Ready-2010-2.pdf

  • 38. Mom23  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    @34 Unfortunately, I know all too well of the ctu protecting an abusive teacher. Happened to my kid. I wish I did not have the first hand knowledge. You can choose to believe me or not, it makes no difference to me, I know the truth. I will not share names of teacher or school at the risk of further harming my child. The current system is NOT set up to follow a due process. That is a load of crap. It is set up to keep as many teachers employed as possible regardless of performance or abuse. I am sure the good teachers do not want the bad ones around either and wish they would push their union to change this. As I said, everyone knows who the bad ones are and I do think protecting the bad teachers is at the core of our education problem. Just imagine if they were gone, how much better things would be.

  • 39. MSS  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Fighting charters—-the ctu does not even need to go to a table for that. They have the power to render charters unnecessary.

    So the CTU can make the Board agree to the fines to levy on parents for student misbehavior, poor attendance, and poor class performance?

    Mom 23 if it were that easy, the charters would be serving who we kick out, not vice versa

    SB 7 passed over a year ago. All teachers young and old saw this coming. If they didn’t, they needed to pay attention to what the heck was happening in Springfield, defer their debts, and save save save.
    I’ll be voting in the affirmative Friday

    And yes Junior we appear to be countervailing the trend in Standard of Living by playing Oliver, and I’m sure you’d agree that the following are also taking pay cuts

    Aldermen, Dept of Water foremen, firemen, police, public defenders, court clerks,bailiffs, probation officers, judges and their assistants, attorneys general, anesthesiologists, oral surgeons, researchers, insurance fraud investigator, foreign service officer, teachers in affluent districts.

    Every poster on this forum knows one or more of the above who won’t be seeing a 10% pay cut next year followed by up to a 30% pay cut in three years.

  • 40. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    #31~junior~”Seriously? I don’t think school contract negotiations in Chicago will any effect on the presidential elections in other states.”

    Seriously~I think a strike will look very bad for Obama.
    But that’s just my 2 pennies.

  • 41. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    @38 Without naming names, what was the process and more important, reasons given for not firing the teacher you had a problem with? I too know of a really bad teacher (no longer employed) that took advantage of every trick in the book including using help from the union. Even though the union and the school and the other teachers wanted the bad teacher gone, the union had to do what the teacher asked of them in her defense. Big lawsuit otherwise. At the end of the day when a legit way was found, the union did not oppose firing, since legally they could not. It goes both ways. I think one of the worst lies out there is that unions WANT to protect teachers who are known to be bad, and that there are so many bad teachers that by some strange magic it makes unions stronger and richer. I’ve seen no evidence of this. I have heard plenty of statements to the contrary and seen testimonials from good teachers who were glad when bad ones were forced out.

  • 42. CPS parent.  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I was told by two CPS teachers that they are voting to strike as a show of force, to quote exactly “to show that we can. We haven’t struck since 1987”

    @Mom23 – I agree on the compensation, almost all professionals are now being required to look at “Total Comp” vs. just salary. I believe the independent fact finding group is going to come back stating that the CPS teachers are compensated in the top tier compared with their peers across the country, based on the school day and school year they work. Once the new day and year is figured in, I am sure CPS will make a fair offer.

    @222. justanotherteacher – you make a point that is not heard often enough “The ones that aren’t bringing up those scores or have sped needs somehow manage to find their way back to a neighborhood school” It is sad that with all the technology CPS has, the test scores can’t follow the child, they remain in the school. My daughters new Contract school is victim to this. Their scores went down from Year 1 to Year 2 and they are not being allowed to expand. Even though many parents attest that their children;s score went up from the neighborhood school when they transferred in to the contract school for Year 2.

    I don’t blame teachers for being wary of merit pay, they never know what kids they are going to get or get back as @justanotherteacher noted. Or what kind of support they will received year over year. My daughter is sped. Her standardized test scores are irrelevant and non-reflective of her gains. In fact, the parents of many of her sped peers just kept their kids home the week of testing. There has to be a better way to be more specific with the test data.

    I’m just thankful my daughter is in a non-union school and won’t be affected by a “show of force” strike.

    Teachers if you are going to strike for the first time in 25 years, do it for good reason and with specific requests. Don’t just do it to show that you still can. Wait for the independent fact finding report to come back. Wait for CPS and CTU leadership to digest it and negotiate a fair package based on your peers across the country.

  • 43. mom2  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    In regards to merit pay, I think I am on the side of the teachers that are concerned that the best teachers could end up suffering with this if the process hurts them when they try to help kids that struggle with learning. That sounds totally wrong.

    I agree that there are some teachers out there that maybe shouldn’t be teaching any more and the current process appears to allow them to stay. However, I wonder if the issue is that the process doesn’t hold principals accountable to making sure this happens. Maybe sometimes the teachers are long time friends and colleagues of the principal, so the process of looking into various issues never takes place. What can be changed with the current process?

    However, just because I think the merit pay issue raises some concerns does not mean at all that I think teachers should strike.

  • 44. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    My last post concerning the fatal flaws in CPS’s teacher evaluation VAM component. I don’t want mt tax dollars wasted on snake oil. “Chronic absenteeism is most prevalent among low-income students. Gender and ethnic background do not appear to play a role in this. The youngest and the oldest students tend to have the highest rates of chronic absenteeism, with students attending most regularly in third through fifth grades. Chronic absenteeism begins to rise in middle school and continues climbing through 12th grade, with seniors often having the highest rate of all. The data also suggest that chronic absenteeism is concentrated in relatively few schools, with 15 percent of schools in Florida, for example, accounting for at least half of all chronically absent students.”
    https://getschooled.com/attendance-counts/report

  • 45. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    For the record, I am extremely utilitarian when it comes to making decisions. I do not have time or money for that which does not work or any tolerance for “settling” for something. This is why I support the strike. The money is not the biggest issue for me, it’s the BOGUS policies coming down on us all from CPS sourced from know nothing “reformers”. Based on all I have read, which is considerable, the CTU has the moral high ground as is looking out for our kids way better than Rahm and CPS ever will.

  • 46. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    One last reason on why I support a strike if it comes down to it.

  • 47. junior  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    @45
    Ten dollars says the well-rounded education stuff in Matt Farmer’s speech won’t even come up in CPS-CTU negotiations. Poor excuse for a strike. Sad fact is that there hasn’t been money for extras in CPS for decades, and if any money is found, my guess is the teachers are going to want it to go to that 30% pay raise and not to providing art for kids. Teachers can’t even bargain over this stuff by law unless CPS brings it up, and no way CPS is opening that up in contract talks. Claiming to be striking for getting the kids extra stuff rings a little hollow after years of denying them even recess.

  • 48. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    #44~chicagodad~I agree.

    CPSO~I’m starting w/my oldest links bc the charter/online learning came through Daley’s administration by way of Huberman as a way to add time to the day, not have to pay teachers, have larger classes and cheap online learning. This is where Rahm originally got the 90 more minutes to use non certified teachers and online learning~of course now it’s in many charter schools and w/kids that really need a face to face teacher.
    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=7626469

  • 49. mom2  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Penny Pritzker having billions has absolutely nothing to do with CPS or if kids should have PE and art and music. While Matt Farmer is right that it would be wonderful for all CPS kids (or all kids everywhere) to have PE, art and music, that doesn’t make it possible and “fundable”. It should be, and we should find a way to make that happen, and I am all for it, but people hooting and hollering about this actually bothers me. Does he want her to just give Karen Lewis all her money? How will paying teachers 24 or 30 percent more help give kids PE, art and music? I’m confused.

  • 50. CPS parent.  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    @joel, should there be a strike and you and others need a “parent shield” to protect you from Frank when you cross the line, just let us know. I’ll be happy to help as will many other parents I know. I’ll do it once I drop my child at her non-union contract school which will be unaffected by a strike.

  • 51. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    #46 Many parents are calling Rahm’s office and CPS and telling them to open the talks if all that CTU can bring up is benefits and pay, why won’t CPS talk abt 160 libraries, arts, pe, music, languages?

  • 52. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    #49~is your child at a charter school? As for the strike, we’ll be walking w/our teachers!

  • 53. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Just read 2 of the articles. I love that teacher eval process in maryland.

    Had to laugh about the IN voucher system calling it a success after cutting loose 53 out of 58 kids in one private school. What would failure have been??

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 54. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Obama will not be choosing between Rahm and Lewis, though Rahm, as stand in for the edu-oligarchs has won. Obama has already sided with the evil empire of corporate reform. His kids go to schools that are not burdened the way those “reformers” seek to gain control of public schools are burdening ours.

  • 55. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    @53, The PAR method is almost identical to what is done in the schools on out military bases, and surprise surprise, FINLAND! They (DOD schools) have narrowed the achievement gap to 11% and are still going strong on cutting it further.

  • 56. Mom  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Sorry, but a threat of strike or actual strike doesn’t actually put fear in the hearts of parents. We are talking about how to handle the kids being out of school and it ain’t no big deal, guys.

  • 57. junior  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    @55

    PAR system seems like an interesting approach, though I thought the article was spinning the positive side a little heavily (Rockville, MD is a seriously affluent and highly educated district, so touting college admissions is a little disingenuous). Of course, if CPS were to propose something like that, how many people think in the current divisive climate CTU would just say hell no?

  • 58. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    CPSO & chicagodad~the dif w/Finland is they are proUnion, pay very well and treat their teachers as professionals. Finland teachers are looked up to and respected.

  • 59. anotherchicagopparent  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    @50 I do believe Joel has mentioned on this board that he is leaving teaching at the end of this school year.

  • 60. sandersrockets  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Re: Absenteeism… The Board just decided to not even factor that into promotion because it is so bad lately. We no longer have truant officers or anyone to even look over data. Teachers are expected to be evaluated on student performance however parents don’t even have to ensure their children show up. I have four chronically truant students in my room with more than 20 days absence each. No consequence. But their scores- which will be below their peers, will be included in my performance evaluation. This is why we fight… One of many reasons.

  • 61. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    @49, you have missed the point entirely. The lab school does not waste the parents money or the students time on test based teacher evaluations or any of the other garbage we are being force fed. They focus on proven educational practices which place a high value on “enrichment” and small class sizes etc., which is why Rahm and Penny’s kids go there. They have the cash to literally send them anywhere We could do a lot more of what the lab school does if we did not waste money on snake oil solutions like turnarounds, charters, VAM, etc. and instead focused on proven tactics and addressed the actual problems. The point is if the lab school is such a great model as shown by Penny and Rahms kids going there, why not use it as a basis for improving Chicago’s schools instead of heading in the opposite direction? Budget wise, I’d be fine with one art teacher in every school even though the lab school has SEVEN!!! Why does all this “private funding” only go for charters?

  • 62. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    @sox: what qualifies as treating the teachers as professionals?

    You mean a general higher regard than is currently going on in the united states?

    Do suburban teachers feels the same level of disrectect? Or is it mainly the large urban districts where low student performance in low income schools has lead some people to assume that it is the fault of the teachers?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 63. Family Friend  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Just a couple of things: the timing of the strike vote is unfortunate. I can understand why CTU wants it now – it will be hard to get a 75% turnout during the summer, let alone a 75% positive vote of the membership. But what a vote in June will mean is teachers deciding whether to give carte blanche to union leaders to make a strike decision for the rank and file. In the ordinary case, union members vote on a particular contract proposal. They know what they are voting for, or against. But a “yes” vote now means you trust CTU leadership to make the decision for union membership, once the actual contract is on the table. I am not a member of the union, but from the outside looking in, it appears that Karen Lewis is a loose cannon. I would be reluctant to give her the final word on a strike.

    The second thing has to do with teacher pay. It seems like Mayor Daley bought labor peace by increasing salaries, and they rose much faster than salaries in the private sector. When there wasn’t money for a good raise, the school day and school year were shaved a bit here and there in lieu of a big raise. I don’t suggest teachers have it easy, but they do get to take the summer, and Christmas, and spring break off — or at least work from home — for a decent wage. Now when the economy is broken, and most of us in the private sector have lost spending power, if not our jobs, anyone who wants a big raise, even in return for a big increase in commitment, seems out of touch. “Having a job is the new raise,” to quote something I read on Facebook.

  • 64. HS Mom  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Regarding past and present posts blaming O’Bama for the problems in education. Here’s what the other guy thinks. So, you’re not alone.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/24/nation/la-na-romney-20120524

    Romney has said he would cut spending at the Department of Education. In a white paper issued by his campaign, he signaled his intention to go well beyond Obama’s efforts to encourage school choice and promote charter schools.

    “President Obama has been unable to stand up to union bosses and unwilling to stand up for our kids,” Romney charged, citing as the cause hundreds of millions of dollars contributed by teachers unions to Democratic campaigns.

  • 65. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    @57, Montgomery County, MD is 1/3 at or below poverty line. That segment of their population has outpaced the similar one here for improvement under PAR and other efforts. The CTU would love PAR, and as far as I know supports the Charlotte Danielson component of CPS proposal for evaluation/ professional development which seeks to do the same thing a similar way. CPS has not said which component, tests or observations, will hold sway if there is a conflict between the 2 in a teachers evaluation. It has been seen that VAM has had a disproportionate influence even when the promise has been otherwise.
    @60, thanks for the confirmation that CPS is fast and loose with absenteeism numbers/data.

  • 66. junior  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    @61

    Food for thought — starting salary for unionized teacher at Lab School: $44,900 (no pension), about 12.5% lower than CPS starting pay — $50,500.

  • 67. junior  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    @65
    When they say that VAM would count as 25% of the evaluation, I assume that means that VAM would count as 25% of the evaluation.

  • 68. HS Mom  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    not to mention that Lab recently received a $5,000,000 donation from a single donor.

  • 69. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Was wondering about the pay of Lab Teacher, Junior.
    I’m sure the tuition is at lest double that of CPS spend per student.
    So if we more than double our CPS budget, eliminate pensions, lower the pay, make hiring/firing less stringent, we can have a similar system with money for the arts and small classes.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 70. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    In Finland for example, those who don’t make the cut to become teachers go into medicine or law. The take the best of the best and they get a masters in education with observed student teaching along the way. No such thing as TFA there or any of the other “alternative paths” or attacks on university level professional training that we see here. Once in a school, they have full autonomy to meet goals in collaboration with other experienced teachers. No test based evaluations, no politically based attacks on the union, no profiteers or snake oil. They have the total trust of parents and everyone else, and are highly respected as true professionals. They have the results to prove this model of education. In the beginning, they did just enough testing to prove to the conservative business types that their way worked, and then testing for other than informing teachers as to student status was dropped. That’s the short version. Also, since the system is not burdened with nonsense, a much higher proportion of money spent actually makes it into the classroom.

  • 71. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    #69~my son’s friend goes to Lab…they would never hire TFA. They want a strongn education background. No way would Lab put up w/what is going on w/CPS They can’t believe that CPS is trying to use non certified teachers and TFA…but that’s bc it’s private and small and they PAY alot of money. CPS has too many kids 2b like Lab…some kids only have 16 kids in a class~

  • 72. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    @64 Romney??? Stand up to union bosses???? A Romney talking point virtually guarantees the issues and facts are completely misrepresented. No exception here! Unions are on the defensive from the alliance between gov’t and corporate interests, and Obama has ramped up NCLB. Romney’s position on education is a 1/2 built straw man in a hurricane.

  • 73. junior  |  June 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    @71 SSI4

    TFA is needed because of the difficulty of recruiting and retaining good teachers for our most impoverished schools. But I’m sure you will support Rahm’s idea of differentiated pay so that we can raise the salaries of teachers teaching under the most difficult conditions in order to attract talent to the toughest schools. I know how much of a Rahm fan you are!

    (And really, TFA’s main problem seems to be turnover, not teacher performance.)

  • 74. HS Mom  |  June 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    OK – point being you don’t like Obama, you don’t like Romney. What’s a union to do?

  • 75. CPS Parent  |  June 4, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    @71 The top ranked high school in Illinois is the Illinois Math and Science Academy – IMSA, a public school. Teachers do not need any kind of certification and most don’t.

  • 76. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    @62, SB7 is a total affront to teachers professionalism. They are not listened to and have no voice at the table other than lip service, but are held responsible for policies they have no say in, put in place by so called experts. SB7 wants PHD results from experienced teachers who are given a burger flippers say in how things are done. As you read about PAR in MD, teachers there have a big say in peer evaluation. CPS refuses to let teachers participate or have any input at all. CPS won’t let teachers police their own as they do in other places and as is done in other professional pursuits. This denial of bargaining on anything other than pay and benefits is part of the agenda for destroying public education by attacking teachers professionalism. It places it’s trust in numbers, “data” and top down edicts and none on the actual reports and experience of those in the trenches.

  • 77. chicagodad  |  June 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    @73 TFA success is a fabrication. Just listen to TFA teachers themselves. http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/testimonials/
    Recruiting and retaining good teachers for the schools you mention would be a lot easier if they were not punished for teaching in them by the very policies that CPS wants to put in place. Differentiated pay is a smoke screen. Teachers say what they want in those schools is more support for themselves and their students and the actual buildings they work in as well as adequate supplies for the school. Basic stuff. They also want much more time to make a difference before being fired for failure to perform.Also, http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2011/02/marie_levey-pabst_will_teach_for_america.html

  • 78. Foureyes  |  June 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    To take on to #20/#24
    Digital learning is on the rise…and it *is* replacing learning…step by step. At this point it is viewed to be for recovery credit….but I think (unfortunately) we will see that change. Why do I say this? I teach a foreign language (FL) (I do not teach Spanish) in a SEHS. Last year a few of my seniors failed. They needed my class to pass their language requirement (which is 2 consecutive years of a FL) and thus they were not permitted to graduate as they did not complete the requirement. Our school was set to have summer school so that those students could get their recovery credit. What happened was that the BOE would not support paying teachers for summer school (which is problem again this year….there is a noticeable shortage of teacher postings for summer employment). So…my students took a computer class an IVHS class (Illinois Virtual High School) in SPANISH. Nevermind that the students were native Spanish speakers (I kid you not). I was livid when I found this out. What kinds of lessons are we teaching these (and all) children? People make mistakes…and they should be given opportunities to rectify their actions. Having those kids in summer school to take the class in the language class which they failed would have been true recovery credit. Those Spanish speaking students taking a computer class in Spanish was a waste of their time and a very poor lesson on accountability and responsibility.
    Sincerely…since IVHS – came around it is gotten more *popular*.
    Many students – (in our SEHS school) will purposely blow off classes as word has gotten out that IVHS is easy (and it is said…it is easy to cheat on) I would be interested to see a study done relating to IVHS recovery credit/rate of class failures. Perhaps then we can talk more about the implications. My feeling, however, is that we really will see more of IVHS and more ‘digital learning.
    #49….Penny Pritzker …I get your point that it should have nothing to do with CPS/CTU…but…why is it that the Chicago Lab school….will not use the force of standardized tests (and for good reason)….yet our CPS kids should have to endure what will next year be a whole ‘lotta’ tests (some say that next year up to 23 instruction days will be taken by testing). Why lose the instruction? Why will our Chicago kids have to lose a month of classroom instruction to learn how to better their #2 pencil skills of shading in blanks? I cannot believe that 23 days of implementing tests will better help the kids critically think. If standardized tests are so ‘great’ why won’t the Chicago Lab School utilize them with this crazy fervor? (the simply don’t) The art and music is what CTU wants to see more of…if so much money is spent on testing (which is a huge industry) and on central office salaries for a very slick communications departments (which went from 12 to 19 employees in the last year…and in which 5 persons (compared to what was ONE person) each make over 100,000 dollars) there is less money for art/music teachers. A serious study and investigation and EXPOSURE of the CPS budget needs to be conducted. Teacher salaries…as a percentage of the CPS budget…have actually fallen in the last 4 years. What has gone up is capital spending and areas of mysterious/unaccountable spending. Ben Joravsky is probably one of the only journalists who has tried to expose this (but because he writes for The Reader…he will likely be deemed an ‘unserious’ journalist). The public deserves to understand where the mystery dollars are going….I bet some of those dollars could be redirected and used in areas which would have real impact for children. This is the message the CTU is trying to get across.
    #56. I am interested how you perceive that a strike would not be a big deal. There are over 400,000 students in the system. While some families might be in a position to take care of their children and find a ‘system’ to take care of them….many are not able to do so. Thousands of parents would be required to either bring their small children to work or thousands would have to stay home. For those parents that take the kids to work: how would the work atmospheres of those parents be affected? How would the work of those parents be affected? I imagine that most people would *not* be able to work as productively. How would it be if your office had 15 small children for three weeks everyday from 9am until 5pm?
    And the parents that stay home from work…for how many days could this go on? As it stands…the atmosphere that exists (which is worse than the atmosphere that existed in 1987) predicts that the strike might last at least 2 ½ to 3 weeks and up to 4 weeks. That, folks, is a long time for our children to be out of school.
    And what about the parents who don’t have jobs? We have a very large politically/economically disenfranchised population whose kids get many of their meals (breakfast and lunch) in the schools…those kids won’t eat. Hungry children – as we parents know – is *never* a pretty picture.
    Now…another problem – and a *BIG* one is the subject of teenagers. Most parents would probably not take their teenagers with them to work. So….what happens when thousands of teenagers who are not in school (and the summer jobs/vacations/summer camps/park programs have ended)? Remember that there would not be any *afterschool* programs/extracurricular sports to keep many and some of these kids busy. So…those kids who are depending on playing a sport (for a potential college recruiter or for the love of the game…will not have games to play/engage/practice. I imagine that some kids would productively entertain themselves – but I am not convinced that all kids would do so. Many teenaged (and yes…many younger and very small) children would be on the streets. And remember that in September the weather can be very nice and hot – hot weather often leads to spikes in crime. And yes..some of those angels might disrupt life and partake in criminal and/or gang activities if they have large amounts of time in which they are not in a school. We can imagine some of the problems that would result – unless communities and families were to truly bind together to see that these children are cared for – which would be a surmountable task.
    Having over 400,000 kids out of school for nearly a month….and the problems that would result for at tens of thousands of parents and many communities…would *not* look good for Obama. If his hometown were to be experience a massive protest (the strike of 25,000 teachers) and the massive disruption to families and workers lives it would not be *a good thing* during the Democratic National Convention. The DNC won’t want anything to detract from their messages this year. This year…I am sure we can agree the Democratic Party wants positive messages…..not messages of disruption and unrest – which is what a lengthy strike would cause. The DNC would not want any possible suggestion that there is political, economic, and social unrest- which is what a lengthy strike would spotlight. It would be difficult for the standard media to ignore 25,000 teachers protesting and 400,000 students out of school – especially if this situation were to exist for nearly a month.

  • 79. Paul  |  June 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    @69 cpsobsessed: I don’t think you’re too off the mark. I’d be interested in the Lab school’s budget. My guess is that it isn’t much higher than a comparable CPS school, and that a higher proportion of the Lab’s budget goes toward facilities, equipment, and supplies versus pay and benefits than the CPS school. Lower pay and benefits would also allow the Lab school to hire more teachers and support personnel, reducing class sizes.

    I’d also be interested in a comparison of CPS teacher pay and benefits with Catholic school teachers and other private school teachers. From what I’ve heard, CPS teachers do pretty well in those comparisons as well.

  • 80. junior  |  June 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    @77

    Actually, if Obama is being criticized from the right (Romney) for being in bed with unions, then having Rahm take a hard-lined stance against the CTU will actually help insulate the president from that criticism.

    Don’t think CTU has thought out this corner they are backing themselves into.

  • 81. Mayo  |  June 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Teachers are not voting for a strike. They are voting to authorize a strike if the contract offer is not accepted. They want to do it now because the fact finding committee will not be done with their report until July 16th when schools are on summer break.

  • 82. DisneyMOM  |  June 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    @77-I agree it wouldn’t look good for DNC and would disrupt an Obama campaign, but I don’t see how that would benefit the CTU. Romney would not be any better than Obama for union causes. Walker is looking to be reelected, not sure if this is the year for the CTU to play hardball.

  • 83. Paul  |  June 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Answering my own question: CPS teachers make a whole lot more than catholic school teachers.

    …teacher salaries in Archdiocesan schools range from $27,250 annually for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree to $53,363 for a teacher with a doctorate and 30 years in the classroom.
    …Teachers employed by the Chicago public school system earn much more than those who work for the Archdiocese. A first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree receives $53,318 in the 2011-2012 school year, a starting salary that is already $45 higher than the highest-paid teacher in a Catholic school can expect to receive even after many years of experience. In comparison, the highest-paid teacher in the public school system, one with a doctorate and several years of experience, receives $117,661 annually.

    eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8646519_teacher-scales-chicago-catholic-schools.html#ixzz1wrkNFQ9j

  • 84. Paul  |  June 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Found another interesting article about CPS teacher pay from a historical perspective. It’s bottom line is that Chicago teachers’ salaries are relatively high by historical measures…but it has been higher in the past.
    http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/June-2011/Chicago-Teacher-Salaries-The-Long-View/

    I think it’s ridiculous to strike when your pay is much higher than the families of most of the kids you teach, when you make double that of catholic school teachers, and your pay is relatively high by historical measures.

  • 85. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    So “if the contract offer is not accepted” – does that mean if the teachers don’t get everything they’ve asked for in the contract (I’m not entirely sure what they’ve asked for specifically.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 86. DisneyMOM  |  June 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    83-I don’t think you can compare catholic school salaries to public Schools. My mom taught for years in Catholic schools and was driven by the religious motivation than financial. Most of her coworkers were the same or new teachers looking for experience with the plan to move to public schools. She too left for public when my father was laid off and our family was more dependent on her income.
    Teaching in the Catholic schools is easier as difficult children are kicked out. They also don’t serve special needs children which requires more education and drives up average salaries. Not a knock on the Catholic schools it is not part of their mission and they are not equiped to handle it.

    I would love a salary comparision of the City to the Suburbs. Most of my suburban friends kids have a 6.5-7 hour day so I think that would be a better measure of market salaries.

  • 87. Mayo  |  June 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I think if the House of Delegates reject what the fact finding committee report then they will have authorization take a strike vote. The House of Delegates are the ones that will vote to strike or not. The union members voting on Wednesday are only voting to authorize that to happen.

  • 88. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    #75~CPS parent~IMSA is a good school~but it’s not on the top 50.
    http://schools.chicagotribune.com/lists/best-overall-psae

  • 89. Paul  |  June 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    @86 DisneyMom. All I could find on City vs. Suburbs is a Catalyst article from last year. The article found that …CPS teachers are, in fact, the overall highest paid among teachers in the 10 largest school districts in the country… but that its starting salaries fall behind those in some of the Chicago suburbs… The city ranks 13th in salaries for beginning teachers with a bachelor’s degree and 25th in pay for beginning teachers with a master’s.

    http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/2012/02/14/19850/record-teacher-pay

    Do you think that’s strike-worthy? In other words, CPS teachers should not only be the overall highest paid teachers amongst the 10 largest school districts in the country. Beginning CPS teachers should be the highest paid teachers in Illinos. And, if they’re not, then they should go on strike. And if you, a CPS parent, doesn’t support that, then you are disrepecting the teachers.

  • 90. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    #junior~TFA is not needed~I think the high turnover rate is telling. As for Rahm, as you know I’m not a fan…he’s a let down…he could have really helped Chicago. Abt CPS? 3yrs ago had you asked me I would have said glowing things abt CPS, but after researching so much of their research and the manipulated data and lies…I’m disheartened. But I know that they can’t cross Rahm and he has brought in many ppl who aren’t teachers or even from Chicago.

    #89~Paul~teachers are not striking, they are only calling for a strike authorization vote and they are not just asking for a raise, but for proper funding for the schools. You can’t have a longer day if you can’t fund it.

  • 91. Paul  |  June 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    @90 SoxSideIrish4- What’s the difference between proper funding for the schools, funding the longer day, and more pay for teachers? It seems to me that, from the union’s perspective, these are all one in the same. I don’t think the teachers union is advocating that schools receive more funding, or that more support personnel be hired in place of a significant raise for current teachers. I think the union is advocating for current teachers to receive significant pay increases, for school to hire more teachers that receive that same level of pay, and that teachers be paid more in order to work the longer day.

  • 92. CPS Parent  |  June 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    @88. SoxSideIrish4 IMSA doesn’t participate in the PSAE test. It is ranked 37 in the nation by Newsweek.

    https://cpsobsessed.com/2011/06/21/newsweeks-list-of-top-high-schools-guest-post-by-hsobsessed/

  • 93. mom2  |  June 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    foureyes – thanks so much for your detailed post. For me, you said, “#49….Penny Pritzker …I get your point that it should have nothing to do with CPS/CTU…but…why is it that the Chicago Lab school….will not use the force of standardized tests (and for good reason)….yet our CPS kids should have to endure what will next year be a whole ‘lotta’ tests (some say that next year up to 23 instruction days will be taken by testing). Why lose the instruction? Why will our Chicago kids have to lose a month of classroom instruction to learn how to better their #2 pencil skills of shading in blanks? I cannot believe that 23 days of implementing tests will better help the kids critically think. If standardized tests are so ‘great’ why won’t the Chicago Lab School utilize them with this crazy fervor? (the simply don’t) The art and music is what CTU wants to see more of…if so much money is spent on testing (which is a huge industry) and on central office salaries for a very slick communications departments (which went from 12 to 19 employees in the last year…and in which 5 persons (compared to what was ONE person) each make over 100,000 dollars) there is less money for art/music teachers. A serious study and investigation and EXPOSURE of the CPS budget needs to be conducted. Teacher salaries…as a percentage of the CPS budget…have actually fallen in the last 4 years. What has gone up is capital spending and areas of mysterious/unaccountable spending. Ben Joravsky is probably one of the only journalists who has tried to expose this (but because he writes for The Reader…he will likely be deemed an ‘unserious’ journalist). The public deserves to understand where the mystery dollars are going….I bet some of those dollars could be redirected and used in areas which would have real impact for children. This is the message the CTU is trying to get across.”

    I guess I would like to know more about what exactly CPS is proposing with 23 days of testing. Can you point me to their specific plan that explains what they want to do and why (from their perspective, not from the CTU perspective)? I really don’t know much about this and agree that if adding testing just costs more money and doesn’t give some sort of value, it doesn’t make sense to do it. Of course, everyone would rather use the money for art and music for all our kids.

    I guess it is a real shame that the conversation cannot be about music, art, PE, supplies, classroom size, and aids. We all appear to agree on that, but not on length of day, length of year, pensions and salaries.

  • 94. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 4, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    So many things I wish to comment on here, but I have limited time with it being the last
    Without giving enough information on myself to give away my identity some background.
    I have been teaching for at least 5 years, but less than 10.
    I work in a well-respected CPS school. Though I have had the experience of working on “The West Side” in a non-respected CPS school.
    I have taught the same population, in terms of age/needs since I began my career though the demographics of my classroom have been different from year to year. I teach in a grade/subject that is not easy to test. Though the chances of my children remaining at my school for third grade when their test scores will be counted towards my rating are extremely slim.
    I will be voting yes on Wednesday. I expect the majority of the faculty at my well- respected school will be too. We are voting to show Rahm we are more united than he thinks we are and we will not be bullied. I was very skeptical originally that we would have the 75%, but I believe we will have it and then some. Just because we vote yes, does not mean we will strike. None of us want a strike. I think many of us are scared about what will happen if we actually do strike, depending on when it happens we could lose our health insurance temporarily and will not have income.
    @231 We are dealing with a very big bully, our mayor. The one who says on the front cover of the newspaper, “We give kids the shaft” but I do not believe that we are bullying back. We are showing Rahm that we have more support than he thinks we do. I believe he thinks we are quite divided, which we are not. I also think that we have a much higher level of parent support than Rahm believes we do. You probably recall that there was a 7.5 hour day in the work, until Rahm realized parents were not as behind him as he thought they were. While the switch from a 7.5 to a 7.0 hour day does not seem like a big deal in terms of paperwork, EVERY IEP in CPS that was written for the school year had to be revised. Many that had already been revised once (some students had to have 2 revisions). Which also doesn’t seem very time consuming unless you have had the experience working on the CPS data system. Also I am not sure what teachers are paid for 7 hours. I am paid for 6.25 as are most of my colleagues.
    I am sorry that the “impossibility to fire teachers” misnomer is so popular. The current contract that is in place allows principals to “click off” teachers without due process in their first two years. Teachers can be let go without any explanation. I realize this is in place for the newer teachers. However, there are a set of steps that need to be followed to fire a tenured teacher and the union simply allows for “due process” to be held. This protects teachers from being fired simply because they are not liked due to a variety of circumstances. It also gives them the ability to get mentored properly and attempt to fine-tune their craft. Also every teacher may not be a fit for every school, but that doesn’t mean they are a bad teacher.
    @234 I do not think respect = money. I thank you for seeing that the threat of the strike is important part of the negotiation process and does not mean we will strike. However, I am wondering why you are suggestion what Wisconsin did helped them in the long run. They offered to share goals and sacrifice and Walker still stripped them of their bargaining rights even when all of the monetary factors were removed. If anything, this has caused me to want to be more active in my union and wearier of my employer.
    As others have alluded to, the Union has offered several suggestions to the CPS.
    I agree, CPS is in a financial crisis, but CPS has also wasted money on several programs. One example alone is the e-mail program. We have been hearing we are switching to Google for several years. Google is free. I am not sure how much money we are spending to have this e-mail program, but it certainly should not have taken us over three years to convert to a free program. I am sure transportation could be handled much more appropriately too, particularly Special Education transportation. Too often I see buses and I know buses at my school have less than 10 children on them. Wouldn’t mini-buses, 15 passenger vans or even taxi-like vehicles cost us less? Also a more through investigation needs to be done into the history of the Board and the spending of Board members, particularly former members that had personal credit cards, especially around the time we were bidding for the Olympics.
    I am not sure where the 30% pay increase request is coming from. I would love to find the source of this as many of the teachers at my school have been searching for the answer to where this is coming from.
    The only thing SB7 allows us to strike over is compensation, which I believe is a wide known fact for the regular readers of this board. So I guess I can answer the questions on what I am looking for in 2 ways. 1) What I am voting to strike for in terms of what I can vote to strike for vs. 2) What I wish to see for the children in CPS.
    Since I can only legally strike over my compensation, I want to see that as a teacher (single, married, married with kids etc). I can afford to live in a safe neighborhood in the city as I am required to live here. I want to be able to save a bit each paycheck to put away for “a rainy day” and retirement, because I know I will not be eligible for Social Security and I am doubtful that the pension I have paid into will actually be around for me when I retire at the new suggested age of 67. I want my hourly wage to not be dropped by a significant amount between this year and next year with the increased days of work and increased hours of the day. I like many teachers work in the summer and doing other duties. If my hourly wage drops significantly, I will be more apt to spend this time working for a job where I could earn Social Security points. Also I’d like a provision to have more than $100 supply money for my classroom per year from CPS. I shudder to think how much money I have spent on my classroom over the years I have been teaching. I am fortunate to work in a school now where many parents can help pay for supplies. However, I have been in situations where I was buying supplies for my classroom as well as cleaning supplies and clothing for my children. The allotted $100 goes fast.
    Now what I wish to see for the children in CPS, and many of my proposals are not far from what the union has written about in their position statement.
    1) Smaller class sizes in the primary grades, particularly K, 1 and 2. If this cannot be achieved for the full day I would at least like to see smaller class sizes for the literacy block especially in schools with high needs, be it high poverty, high number of ELLs, low percentage of parents that can read etc.
    2) Speaking of parents that cannot read, I would like there to be an opportunity for these parents to attend ESL classes, literacy classes or GED classes on a sliding scale, either at the school or at a nearby facility like the library or park district.
    3) More support staff:
    a. Nurses: Every school should have a full time nurse. As a teacher, I should not need to stop my lessons to administer life saving medications. I do not have the proper training to do so. I am not a nurse.
    b. Social Workers: Many of our CPS children have experienced life experiences that those of us posting on this message board could never even imagine. These children need a competent person to talk to. When I worked on the West Side I had a young child who had a family member die, they were shot and killed. When the child’s grandmother called me to explain she would not be in school I asked if there was anything I could do and her response was, she’s been to enough funerals already, she’s used to it, she’ll be fine. The child was not even six. Children need their basic needs met first before they can learn. We need more social workers to help children deal with the hurt they are feeling. Some could probably care less about learning their “ABCs and 123s” if they are worried they won’t have a safe home, food and adequate rest. I am not a social worker.
    c. Enrichment/Prep/Specials Teachers: Arts, Library, PE, Computers etc. Children need to be well rounded. They need to experience expressing themselves through alternative means (music, art, drama). They need to learn how to take care of their bodies. They need to learn how to use the constantly changing resources of the library.
    d. Assistants: Especially in the primary grades. Quality assistants can help teachers run small groups, help monitor students during recess and lunch and we need to cut out this new arduous process of justifying Special Education assistants.
    e. Parent Educators: If we the schools are supposed to bear the burden of the city problems of neighborhoods such as Austin, Englewood etc when the students do not perform consistently like those students that attend magnets and higher SES schools, then the city needs to help fix deep-rooted neighborhood problems. Provide GED classes, ESL classes, job training classes and parenting classes.
    4) A 6.5 hour day of quality (or even a 7 hour day of quality) not a 7 hour day of quantity.
    a. Safe recess facilities for ALL children.
    b. Time for “Play Based or Project Based” learning for the younger grades.
    c. Time for in-depth studies of topics in the older grades.
    d. Opportunities for more trans-disciplinary studies in the middle and upper grades where not only can special education and general education teachers team teach, but subjects can collide so that students can begin to see “the big picture.”
    e. Time for appropriate professional development to meet my needs as an educator based on both my grade and subject and what my students will need to know as they age.
    I also have thoughts about merit pay, but that will have to be for another day and another time. I have work I must get to.

  • 95. HS Mom  |  June 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Mom23 lot’s of good points Re@38 – thinking about a beneficial way for differentiation pay. Seems that what most people view as a reward is being regarded as a political tactic to secure some greater gain? a bribe? Still unclear about the rejection of extra comp.

    Firstly, implement a real plan to remove bad teachers, principals, admin. Give every deserving teacher their 2% raise. Designate certain schools both neighborhood and selective as “advanced program schools” with 7 hours and an enhanced curriculum. The rest remain at the existing 5.75 day and continue with existing programing. Use the 35M that CTU doesn’t want to fund programming and some sort of teacher bonus plan. Teachers can decide what school they want to teach in. Parents can decide how many hours their child can handle.

    Something for everyone?

    Junior – your posts are so well thought out and diplomatic. I think they (CPS and CTU) should hire you to handle the negotiations (maybe they can throw in a few years for a pension for you)

  • 96. local  |  June 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    @ 93. mom2: “I guess I would like to know more about what exactly CPS is proposing with 23 days of testing. Can you point me to their specific plan that explains what they want to do and why (from their perspective, not from the CTU perspective)?”

    You could ask Brizard that directly:

    “Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard joins WBEZ’s Dan Weissmann the first Thursday of every month at 7pm to take your questions and comments about the state of education in the nation’s third largest school district. [Next show is June 7?]

    “We invite you to participate! Submit a question or comment in advance by emailing schoolsontheline@wbez.org or leaving a voicemail at 312-948-4886.”

  • 97. Mom23  |  June 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Wow, voting for a strike because you think you can and want to show you can to Rahm? What about the details and knowing what you are striking about? “Showing” Rahm is worth striking? If my kids came home giving someone that much power over their emotions, I would be counseling them to focus on the facts and remain rational.

    How on earth do teachers expect to be treated as professionals when they are voting to strike to dis Rahm? What is the point of that? What does that do for education or the children? How does that help matters? It doesn’t matter if I like or don’t like Rahm, what matters is the facts and improving education.

    Teachers are paid quite well every way you slice it—-great information Paul, thanks for sharing. Paul @ 91, you also stated it very well, ” What’s the difference between proper funding for the schools, funding the longer day, and more pay for teachers? It seems to me that, from the union’s perspective, these are all one in the same. I don’t think the teachers union is advocating that schools receive more funding, or that more support personnel be hired in place of a significant raise for current teachers. I think the union is advocating for current teachers to receive significant pay increases, for school to hire more teachers that receive that same level of pay, and that teachers be paid more in order to work the longer day”.

  • 98. mom2  |  June 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I’d rather have someone point me to something in writing. How do we know that they plan 23 days of testing next year and why? Where is it written?

  • 99. Mommy  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Posted in wrong thread:

    Personally.. My belief is that this is a contract issue, not a bad teacher/good teacher issue. Most of us do what is necessary to get the raise and working conditions we think we deserve. Teachers should be allowed the same right. I personally think both sides need to mediate this out of the sight of the media
    but I do not blame the teachers for fighting for what they think is fair. How can I, when every year I do the same thing at my annual job review? It is hypocritical if I blame them (we all do this with our bosses). Furthermore, the statement that “we pay their salaries” ignores the fact that they also contribute to their own salary, living, working, eating, owning homes in Chicago. Their spouses, kids, partners, parents, cousins, aunts, etc. etc..also contribute SO my point is as cps parents it rings false if we only look at our contribution as taxpayers. They and their families are just as valuable to chicago’s taxes as we are.
    Finally, if I am being honest. I don’t want a strike because I am honest to admit, child care SUCKS…but this is my problem and I am not going to bash teachers for causing me an inconveience. if a strike happens CPS has a right to extend the school year so anyone yelling that kids miss days, well they will make them up in June/July…

  • 100. Whit1  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    @94 – Well said. I think many teachers are feeling that!

  • 101. Mommy  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    @mom2

    Testing

    ISAT-8 days ( 3 reading, 3 math, 2 science)
    NWEA-6 days (2days each cycle)
    Common Core CPS created assessment 4x a year (2 days each)

    Total= 22 days of testing

    K-2
    DIBEL 3x a year- 6 days
    Mclass math 3x a year- 6 days
    Total= 12 days

    No mention of teacher created tests

  • 102. annonmous  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Exactly!!

    “I am sorry that the “impossibility to fire teachers” misnomer is so popular. The current contract that is in place allows principals to “click off” teachers without due process in their first two years. Teachers can be let go without any explanation. I realize this is in place for the newer teachers. However, there are a set of steps that need to be followed to fire a tenured teacher and the union simply allows for “due process” to be held. This protects teachers from being fired simply because they are not liked due to a variety of circumstances. It also gives them the ability to get mentored properly and attempt to fine-tune their craft. Also every teacher may not be a fit for every school, but that doesn’t mean they are a bad teacher.”

  • 103. mom2  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I thought ISATs were going away and being replace by something else. Some of these tests are really short – not all day tests, right?

  • 104. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    @Mom23 if your comments are directed towards me:
    1) You are completely misinterpreting what I am saying.
    2) Rahm is not rational, nor is he focusing on the facts.
    3) I never said anything about voting for a strike being a “dis” to Rahm.
    4) There are far more than “emotions” at play here.
    5) I detailed, quite thoroughly I thought about what we can strike about legally and what I wished we could strike about, I also said that I am voting for the strike in hopes that we never have to actually go on strike. Perhaps you didn’t read my post in the entirety. If you did, I’m sorry if any of that was unclear. If so, please ask for clarification instead of misinterpreting my words.
    6) Rahm has not listened to us. We have our mouths taped and our arms tied. We are backed into a corner. He cursed out our union president. He campaigned on his distaste for us. He has headlines blaming us for “giving kids the shaft” and being responsible for the murders of “CPS” children (even on weekends).
    How do you suggest we talk to him professionally?
    Jean Claude and Rahm were subpoenaed to court to discuss our 4% raise earlier this year and didn’t even bother to show up.
    Again I am sorry my detailed post filled with what I would like to see as a teacher and what I would like to see for the children in ALL CPS schools has been minimized to a “dis” to Rahm.
    I hope that others can understand what the intentions of my words were and my explanations.

  • 105. mom2  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Can a tenured teacher be let go if the principal and this teacher are friends and past colleagues? What is that process and how long would it take?

  • 106. mom2  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    What is NWEA? Who takes that and what is it for? How long is a test on a given day?

  • 107. annonmous  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    http://www.cps.edu/Performance/Documents/ElementaryAssessmentCalendar.pdf

    CPS ASSESSMENT CALENDAR

  • 108. Arne's lisp  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Yeah and your eloquent leader mocked Arne’s lisp and made an ass of the entire CPS system many times over.

  • 109. Katy  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    @106 mom2,

    Come on….of course no assessment is ALL day. Are you deliberately missing the point?

  • 110. MomRenee  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    @ 104. CPSTEACHER4321  

    Thank you

  • 111. Assessments  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Don’t forget TRC assessment K-2, EXPLORE PRACTICE, and EXPLORE FINAL, DWWA 8th grade writing assessment.

  • 112. cpsemployee  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    @mom2 – are you asking if a tenured teacher can be let go ONLY because the teacher is a friend and past colleague of the principal? In that case, no. Many principals hire former colleagues and it usually is because they’ve seen that colleague’s work and respect it.

  • 113. Gayfair Dad  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    I trust the teachers and their representatives. The ones in the trenches.

  • 114. Assessments  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Assessments

    ACCESS
    Algebra Exit Exam
    Common Core Quarterly
    DIBELS
    District-Wide Writing Assessment
    EPAS POST
    EXPLORE
    HS Interim Assessment
    IAA (Illinois Alternative Assessment)
    ISAT
    ISEL
    NAEP
    NWEA
    mClass Math
    October Limited for 8th Graders (SAT10)
    PLAN
    Practice PSAE
    PSAE
    STEP
    End of Summer School (SAT10)

  • 115. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    @106 Mom2
    NWEA is a computer based exam. My school has been using it for several years, but again my children do not participate in these tests. From what I do understand, and perhaps someone could explain it better than me with first hand experience, but I’ll give it a go. The children are placed at a computer and given a series of questions. The test “knows” if the questions are easy or hard for the student and moves the children to easier or harder questions based on their responses. Children are then assigned a number based on their performance and the goal is for them to move to “the next level” be it way above grade level or if they are functioning way below grade level. Everyone is expected to move from test date to test date, high scorers and low scorers. I believe this is only for Math and Literacy. I have never seen the test up close and personal, but I have heard positive things about it as far as assisting teachers for instructional planning.

    I am not sure if the computer is “smart enough” to realize when children are intentionally putting wrong answers into the system.

    I know that it basically shuts down the computer lab during testing from classes that would otherwise use the lab as part of their prep or for research purposes. Also I believe it takes a lot of “bandwidth” from the system, and slows down the ethernet for the school. Plus of course it takes children out of classes they would otherwise be taking. I also do not know how much time each test takes and if that depends on how much a student knows.

  • 116. CTU member  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    This obsession with Karen Lewis is silly. It is call elected representation. We (CTU members) voted for her, so YES we trust her to represent us. Isn’t this the way the USA work, or did I miss that day in civics class? Not sure why this seems so odd to parents.

  • 117. Delilah  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    The problem of “fixing” the CPS school system is extremely complex, but the bottom line is that the public, politicians and so-called experts must stop laying the entire problem at the feet of teachers. It is much more complicated and difficult to address the societal attitudes (national values, lifestyle choices, parental responsibility levels) that got us here…

  • 118. justanotherteacher  |  June 4, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I am voting yes on the strike authorization vote to hopefully allow teachers (by way of our union) to have more input in what will happen in our schools. Personally, the money is the not the biggest concern I have. Sure, I would love to get a raise, who wouldn’t? I would be satisfied to have my health insurance premiums stay the same, or enough of a raise to cover any change in the premium. I don’t really mind putting in the extra time, although 6.5 or even 6.75 seems more realistic, I usually do anyway in order to prepare for the next day. My students are pretty much fried by the end of the current day. I am hoping recess and a longer lunch (and not at 10:05am if they will be staying until 3:30) might make it easier on them and me. I would have no problem paying more into the pension, if and only if, CPS were made to start paying the money they owed for the last ten years or so. I think for a lot of teachers, it’s really not about the money (so much), but the disrespectful attitude and comments by Emmanuel. The newspapers, etc. about teachers, the lack of any type of continuity and direction in CPS administration (it’s like a revolving door with CPS officials, Network people, etc.), and the premise that we are so easily replaceable with a younger and better model. It took me a good five years to really learn what worked and what didn’t in a classroom. Much of that was learned from veteran teachers who were happy to pass on their knowledge.

    Please understand, with the passage of SB7, the only thing teachers can bring to the table is pay and benefits. For all the other things we would like to have a say in, like class size, programs, etc. are barred from negotiation unless CPS allows it. I want some type of job security. I have invested over 20 years at CPS. I have known great teachers with more time than that, but not old enough to meet the minimum retirement age lose their jobs because of school closings. They can’t find jobs in CPS because they are “too expensive” to hire. They lose that “lavish” pension as well and if they are lucky, find a job in another district that pays them for 5 years of experience. I think many teachers who find themselves in my position, top of the pay scale and too much time with CPS to try and go to another district, are afraid of losing everything we have worked for. Do I want to go on strike? Not really, but I feel I have no choice other than say yes at this point, to at the very least protect my job and my future. This authorization vote only serves to begin the process if CPS and CTU cannot come to some type of agreement that the majority of the teachers accept. Karen Lewis and the union do not control whether or not we strike or accept an offer from CPS. As union members, we make that call by either rejecting or accepting CPS’s offer by voting.

    And to the teachers who stated that they would vote yes because they could and wanted to prove something, shame on them! They really don’t get it, or they are just caught up in the nonsense. That’s not what this is about. I think most teachers just want some input on what happens in our schools.

    As far as the union protecting all the “bad” teachers, that is their job. I don’t really think there are as many out there as some of you seem to think. CPS agreed to the due process that must be followed to remove teachers. As has been said before, the principal must start and follow through with the process. Is protecting unsatisfactory teachers always the best thing to do? Probably not, but that, along with insuring (ensuring?) fair and safe working conditions for members, is the function of the union. I might not always agree with their ideas, but in the end, I understand their purpose and appreciate what the union has fought and bargained for over the years for our profession.

  • 119. Bookworm  |  June 4, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    aw cpso I was just teasing about Angie being Rham. Brutal but interesting thread.

  • 120. junior  |  June 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    @118 justanothnerteacher said “As far as the union protecting all the “bad” teachers, that is their job.”

    Hmm…I must have missed that day in labor history class. I thought unions evolved from guilds, which were organizations that assured high standards of workmanship. Maybe that principle has gotten lost somewhere.

  • 121. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Oh c’mon – don’t kill my fantasy of Rahm commenting here! 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 122. CTU member  |  June 4, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    @ Junior/120

    Did you miss the quote marks around the word “bad” and what that implied?

  • 123. Mom4  |  June 4, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    75 — Major difference : imsa teachers are college level professors,not high school certified teachers.

  • 124. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 1:40 am

    As another viewpoint, this is the official CPS standpoint on the topic:

    CPS and CTU are in the early stages of a 75-day fact-finding process led by the independent fact- finder whose role is to analyze the CPS and CTU proposals before presenting a compromise proposal on July 16 that can serve as a new contract agreement for the CTU and CPS.

    As we have said, our teachers deserve a raise for the great work they are doing in the classroom every day. With a $3 billion projected deficit over the next three years, we can’t afford the 30% raise that has been proposed by the CTU, but they will receive a raise that is fair. But again, until the independent fact finder releases his report, no one will know what is included in the compromise proposal, including teachers that the CTU are asking to authorize a strike. Once teachers vote to strike, they don’t get a second chance to vote. Once they authorize it, union leadership has the right to strike without getting the input again of its members.

    A strike vote is not something to take lightly. This is an action that would impact every teachers, student and family in the district. The CTU has an obligation to its members and every student and taxpayer in this district to let this process play itself out and allow all members to see the independent compromise proposal before asking members to authorize a strike. Our teachers deserve a raise, but our students do not deserve a strike. We must wait for the compromise proposal by the independent fact finder so that we can achieve both goals.

  • 125. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Not sure I get the “of course we support Karen Lewis’ decision – we voted for her.” Many of us voted for Rahm, but sometimes the idea of how an elected official will implement things and the way they interact with people is different than you expect. Should every person who voted for Rahm automatically agree with/support every decision he makes? Seems doubtful.

    You may believe in her decision making because of her track record – that would make more sense to me, but not just because you/the teacher voted for her.

  • 126. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 1:49 am

    I have to say, the more we discuss the “bad” teachers, I do have to wonder how many there can be, and the effect removing them (or even improving them) could have on the whole system. I’m talking the kinds where everyone agree they’re bad.

    I think I feel that the CTU is really protecting the mediocre/slacker teachers, and that’s what bothers me. I’m now convinced from the comments here that a motivated principal could remove a “bad” teacher (although I have seen it take years to make it happen.) But I get bummed out about the teachers who are basically phoning it in every day, every year, but will get paid the same, raises the same, everything the same as some of the teachers who post here who make such an impressive effort. Doesn’t it make those “great” teachers mad to know that in some schools, perhaps in your own schools there are teachers making as much for putting in a lot less effort? That would bug me to no end at my job.

  • 127. EdgewaterMom  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:38 am

    I can’t believe that teachers don’t want to wait until July when they have all of the information and can make a decision based on the facts. This is a major decision that will impact their career, finances, and the lives of every CPS student and family. If teachers want more respect and want to be treated like professionals, then they should trust their fellow professionals to be willing to read through the information and make an informed decision, even in the summer.

    I know that I would not want to hand that decision over to anybody else, and I certainly would not want to hand it over to Karen Lewis. By voting yes now, you are basically saying “We can’t be bothered to wait for the facts and we want to let Karen Lewis make this decision for us.”

    As it stands now, aren’t the teachers basically saying that they are willing to strike if they do not get a 30% raise? I think that teachers may be surprised to find just how little support they have from the community if they vote to authorize a strike now and leave this decision up to Karen Lewis.

  • 128. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Teachers are smart enough to know what’s on the table, they know the facts. No matter how this gets discussed, the strike authorization will go ahead and they will have more than the needed 75%.

    As for bad Teachers, CPSO~I really (now this is just in the two schools where my boys are) I’ve never met any. I have met some that work tirelessly and give so much of their time.

    I guess, I would ask Rahm what he would do if he had the option to take a strike authorization vote when all of the ppl were there…but I pretty much think I know what my answer would be.

    CPS is in frantic mode.

  • 129. MSS  |  June 5, 2012 at 8:15 am

    As it stands now, aren’t the teachers basically saying that they are willing to strike if they do not get a 30% raise? I think that teachers may be surprised to find just how little support they have from the community

    Precisely the aim of SB7, to limit what we can strike over and portray us as simply greedy. Read more of the thread, and pllease do not take this simplistic and short sighted view. Just like we had no choice over what was put on SB 7 last January to castrate the CTU, we have no choice here on Wed. What other public educational district/institution in the US reserves the right to dismiss teachers on the judgment of one person and/or value added test score? Oh that’s right, the other black and brown districts

  • 130. HS Mom  |  June 5, 2012 at 8:23 am

    @109 Katy – Mom2 is not missing the point, she is making a point. A high school teacher claims that students will miss 23 days of school due to testing because “some say”. We have yet to see how 23 days of school will be missing at the HS or elementary level. According to prior posts, ISAT’s are being replaced with Common Core. Of course no tests are full day tests. So, where are the missing 23 days? Good question Mom2.

  • 131. anotherchicagopparent  |  June 5, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Is fact finding going over any issues in the new contract other than salary? If not, this is not really mediation.And fact finders won’t offer any suggestions on anything other than salary in the new contract.

    “May 1,2012 Fact Finding begins.Mediation fails and by law both sides went into ‘fact-finding’ which is a panel of a CTU representative, a CPS representative, and a professional arbiter who work together to compare educator salaries across urban school districts, financial considerations, and the employers’ lawful authority and will propose a fair settlement. This process lasts 75 days.”

  • 132. cpsemployee  |  June 5, 2012 at 8:37 am

    ISATs are currently in addition to the Quarterly Common Core assessments that were rolled out this year by CPS. (CPS is trying to prepare the students for when the IL switch to Common Core takes place.) ISATs will be replaced in 2014-2015 with the PAARC (may have acronym wrong) test. While there may be 23+ days where testing is going on it, does not last all day nor do all 23+ days apply to all students. 8th grade tests the most.

  • 133. HS Mom  |  June 5, 2012 at 8:46 am

    @126 – “bad” IMO can go beyond teaching ability. There are some very smart teachers who do not treat students fairly or equally.

    I do agree that the bigger threat to quality teaching is mediocrity. Teachers that are bored and spend class time on their laptops and phones.

    This is not teacher bashing. This is something that could be said about any profession. I love most of our teachers and feel that they deserve a big raise. I would also think that they would want to be paid more than those that pass the time. Actually, the ones I know do.

  • 134. HS Mom  |  June 5, 2012 at 8:51 am

    @132 Thank you for clarification

  • 135. mom2  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Thank you everyone for trying to help me understand some things about testing and about the process of letting go a tenured teacher.
    I was not trying to say something by discussing that tests don’t last all day. I agree that tons of testing, just for the sake of testing, does not help children learn and grow and love learning, etc. I was just trying to see how many new testing days or hours are planned to be added next year and why CPS feels that would be a good idea.

    In regards to my post asking about the process to let a tenured teacher go, I was asking the opposite question to what was answered. Is there a process for removing a tenured teacher despite this teacher being a friend or prior colleague of the current principal? If they are friends, I don’t know how the rest of the school community can have action taken to start the process (when the principal is not behind it). Does that make more sense?

    Teachers, please be careful with your strike authorization vote. Do you really think that sending a “message of unity” will actually force CPS to make offers to change the school system in areas other than the things that can be negotiated? Why do you think that? If this won’t force them to look at all these great ideas you have for the schools and the kids, why would you vote to strike and risk all that this brings?

    I think you could get parents behind you and would be able to show strength with parents if you had a plan that didn’t involve pension, length of school day and salaries and instead focused on the great things that some posters above expressed that would improve schools and education for all our kids (in great detail by the way – thank you). I know you can’t officially negotiate over these things, but you can still rally, send signed petitions, etc. Right?

  • 136. anotherchicagopparent  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:06 am

    @ mom2 I found this article that offers a bit more insight into some of the new testing. http://www.inthesetimes.com/ittlist/entry/12724/states_set_to_shift_away_from_nclb_toward._._.even_more_testing/

    Performance tasks are also being created to be given in the 4 core subjects in high school once at the beginning of the school year and once at the end of the school year. Elementary schools will have them but not exactly sure what subjects.
    http://www.cps.edu/sitecollectiondocuments/PerformanceTasks.pd

  • 137. Mayfair Dad  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:20 am

    @113: I have more faith in Rahm than I do in McQueen.

  • 138. anon  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

    CPS called an emergency principal meeting lastnight to tell them all how horrible their schools were.

  • 139. enraged  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:43 am

    At that emergency meeting, principals were told that the Board asked IL to increase the the new Common Core Assessment to make it 3X the difficulty level as the current ISAT!! I can only imagine the future ramifications of this on so many levels. My poor children… These are the things that we have to fight for to protect our children of in the contract. The fact-finding committee only looks at finances. Not at the other things that revolve around students, learning, and teachers in the contract. I am voting YES!

  • 140. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:47 am

    @ 61 chicagodad: “They [Lab School] focus on proven educational practices”

    Yes, selecting only the children of the rich and those with demonstrated ability/aptitude **is** a proven educational practice–it works quite well at the CPS selective enrollment schools, too.

    Let’s see Lab take that “proven” apporach to the “worst” (least able/most apathetic family/most absent) 1% of CPS students and make it work. And “making it work” would include the inability to kick them out.

    It’s like saying that Harvard has better graduation rates and better long term alumni “results” than the City College of Chicago–not only do they have a completely disparate student body, they have differnet missions. TOTALLY specious argument.

  • 141. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:48 am

    “These are the things that we have to fight for to protect our children of in the contract.”

    You have to fight to keep standards low?

    I assume that’s not what you meant, but that IS how it comes across, at least to me.

  • 142. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Was it a meeting for every principal at every school?

  • 143. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:58 am

    @88 SSI4:

    “#75~CPS parent~IMSA is a good school~but it’s not on the top 50.”

    Are you SERIOUSLY citing test scores (the PSAE, no less) as the basis for what makes a school “top 50”? Really?

  • 144. enraged  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:59 am

    sigh… a large reason that I often do not respond to this thread is because every aspect of every comment is picked apart to the point that we feel we have to defend every single comment.

    OF COURSE I DO NOT HAVE LOW STANDARDS FOR MY STUDENTS. ISAT is in itself a difficult assessment. So much so that the Board has found it so difficult that students only have to have a 24th percentile to be considered passing. THAT is what I call setting low standards for students. That changed a few years ago because we had so many students failing.

    I value the opinions here. I truly do. That is why I will continue to read. But I guess I will keep my opinions to myself. sad….

  • 145. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:04 am

    #142~Chris~yes, The Tribune’s online report card has been named one of the six winners for report cards http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/may/31/data-journalism-awards-winners

    #143~enraged~don’t stop posting…every person’s opinion is valuable. I don’t agree w/every1 (although I agree w/you), but I value their opinion.

  • 146. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Maybe I’m just crazy, but I don’t think the ‘we’re striking for the kids’ argument is going to get any traction.

  • 147. Peter  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I typically sympathize with unions and teachers. Karen Lewis is doing a massize disservice for teachers right now.

  • 148. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:14 am

    ” a large reason that I often do not respond to this thread is because every aspect of every comment is picked apart to the point that we feel we have to defend every single comment. ”

    I want to know (really, truly) what you meant–I don’t think that a “harder” test is a bad thing, in and of itself, and don’t understand why it is something worth fighting against. I said that I assumed that you did not mean the way it cam e across.

  • 149. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:15 am

    “#142~Chris~yes, The Tribune’s online report card has been named one of the six winners for report cards ”

    So, testing has some value, but you’re going to opt your kids out of all of it (except the AP tests, natch) next year?

  • 150. Frank Thompson  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Two things:

    First, voting yes for a strike gives our union the best amount of leverage in bargaining with the board. It is literally a no brainer. Anyone in any workplace will use whatever they can to bargain for compensation and work place environment.

    Second, I’m voting yes because of this idiot:

    John Edelman insulted me and my fellow coworkers. I am hoping that this yes vote shows him and ever other union busting crony out there that teachers deserve respect. Some of you parents may not respect the decision we make, and that is your choice, but teachers across this country sure will, and the Chicago Police and Fireman sure will, as well as every bargaining union out there. And frankly, those are the people I want respect from.

  • 151. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:16 am

    No, I never said that…plz don’t misquote me.

  • 152. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:18 am

    The above #150 reply was for #148~Chris

  • 153. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:19 am

    “I typically sympathize with unions and teachers. Karen Lewis is doing a massize disservice for teachers right now.”

    Could not agree more. Her rhetoric is extremely off-putting; CTU needs to realize that they are running a campaign with the *whole* citizenry of Chicago–not just teachers, not just CPS+Rahm, not just CPS parents, but EVERY taxpayer in the city. Make (or allow, with poor response to CPS/Rahm) 60% of them think that CTU is greedy and unreasonable, CTU loses, bad.

  • 154. enraged  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:19 am

    In CPS if a child does not test, they use the previous year’s test grades thus showing no growth for that year. It only penalizes the student/teacher to not test them, Chris. Even though I believe you were just being facetious.

  • 155. Family Friend  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:20 am

    The Common Core test should be much harder than the ISAT. The “meets standards” level of the ISAT is a joke. Only those who “exceed standards” are on track to be college-ready.

  • 156. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

    It’s obvious that CPS is in panic mode, with all those silly radio commercials. But Rahm brought this on w/Stand4Children, Advance IL and DFER.

  • 157. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:23 am

    “No, I never said that”

    You’re right, you’re only having them opt out of all but 1:

    “•150. SoxSideIrish4 | May 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    #144~they’ve already started this year, ~ My 9th grader has had waaaay 2many tests this year and still has another one on June 1st. That will be his 6th test. Next year we are only letting him take 1 test and that’s it. We will opt out of the others.”

  • 158. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Re 150+151:

    ” SoxSideIrish4 | May 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    #144~they’ve already started this year, ~ My 9th grader has had waaaay 2many tests this year and still has another one on June 1st. That will be his 6th test. Next year we are only letting him take 1 test and that’s it. We will opt out of the others.”

  • 159. NBCT Vet  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:28 am

    RE: STRIKE AUTHORIZATION

    1) CPS and the CTU are universes apart in contract negotiations. A strike authorization exerts real pressure on the Board to be reasonable. (No, their proposals are not reasonable.) Holding a vote like this is actually a routine and normal occurrence in bargaining processes.

    2) A yes vote actually *decreases* the likelihood of an eventual strike. The end goal is a mutually agreeable contract, not a strike.

    3) Union members will have the opportunity to vote on the Board’s final offer. A simple majority will decide whether it is accepted or rejected. Even if this final offer rejected, the 800 member, democratically elected CTU House of Delegates must vote to set a strike date. These representatives may decline to set a strike date (essentially nullifying a strike), postpone that decision in order to continue negotiations, or set a strike date at any time within the limits of the law.

  • 160. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Re 150-1:

    “SoxSideIrish4 | May 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    #144~they’ve already started this year, ~ My 9th grader has had waaaay 2many tests this year and still has another one on June 1st. That will be his 6th test. Next year we are only letting him take 1 test and that’s it. We will opt out of the others.”

  • 161. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:32 am

    @NBCT vet: very interesting. Thanks!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 162. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:43 am

    re: 150/1:

    Okay, all but one:

    “SoxSideIrish4 | May 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    #144~they’ve already started this year, ~ My 9th grader has had waaaay 2many tests this year and still has another one on June 1st. That will be his 6th test. Next year we are only letting him take 1 test and that’s it. We will opt out of the others.”

    By “1” did you mean a single day, or a multi-day set of tests?

  • 163. CPS Parent  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I agree with item number 2 @156. NBCT, the union can bargain with a confident voice, with less anxiety. CPS has to engage without arrogance, and less recalcitrance.

    I will have the opportunity to speak to a group of parents at my school soon and that will be my message.

  • 164. falconergrad  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:14 am

    @234 junior
    not impossible for the politicians who give themselves raises.

    “It’s impossible to have continuing compensation increases when the tax base that supports you has crumbled, and politicians have kicked the debt can as far down the road as it will go. Are most other workers earning less for more time? You bet they are.”

  • 165. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:31 am

    On the subject of merit pay. Merit pay is a sales pitch, a smoke screen and nothing more. It has failed as a concept and in implementation everywhere it has been tried. One of the foremost experts on workplace motivation says in no uncertain terms that merit pay for teachers is a bad idea. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/as-teacher-merit-pay-spreads-one-noted-voice-cries-it-doesnt-work/2012/02/14/gIQAtRpsFR_story.html?socialreader_check=0&denied=
    The only purpose of advocating for merit pay is to sell the idea of VAM based teacher evaluations, another snake oil solution to a blown out of proportion problem, the lie that “bad” teachers are our schools biggest most horrible problem and solving that would cure all else.
    The complete uselessness of VAM is the biggest flaw in the merit pay diversion. The fact is that no objective, consistent and accurate way exists to determine who qualifies for a bonus. As such it is no more than a lottery, and the house always wins big on those. So what you have is the claim that high performing teachers will be paid more for their performance, but the financial exposure for CPS is negligible since bonuses will be so random. If merit pay were a feasible concept then every SES school teacher would get it every year, as well as very many other great teachers working in our schools. Where’s the money for all those bonuses going to come from when CPS can’t even properly fund the extended day and thinks that one 2% raise for the next 5 years is a fair offer?
    The business community also has the same opinion of merit pay as Dan Pink, it doesn’t work. http://hbr.org/2012/01/tackling-business-problems/ar/1#.TvtyhA4E5ps.twitter.
    Elite private schools are also on the same page. http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/borrowing-wise-words-from-those-truly-market-based-private-independent-schools/
    The binary LIE of merit pay and test based evaluations is a sales pitch designed to turn your education tax dollars into testing/curriculum/ed material corporation profits by, among other things, producing high turn over in the teaching work force and therefore perpetuating the alleged need for test based evaluations. Every one who thinks that a revolving door of new, inexperienced teachers is a good idea for our kids raise your hands.

  • 166. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:43 am

    @159 falconergrad

    Aside from being irrelevant demagoguery, you appear to be wildy inaccurate, as lawmakers have cut their pay going on fours years in a row — from March HuffPo:

    “Legislation that would cut state lawmaker salaries and freeze raises otherwise outlined in Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposal advanced Thursday to the state House floor.

    The bill, proposed by state Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), was passed unanimously by the state Senate and is slated for consideration by the state House of Representatives, the Associated Press reports.

    Cutting some $3,100 from each state lawmaker’s salary, the plan marks lawmakers’ fourth straight year of pay cuts and is expected to save the state approximately $900,000, according to the AP.

    Kotowski, chairman of one of the state Senate’s budgetary committees, said of his legislation that “in these economic times, public servants must sacrifice.”

  • 167. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Right they decided not to give themselves a raise that would have kicked in July due to it being an election yr. They’ll get more nxt yr.

  • 168. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Gov. Pat Quinn and other Illinois lawmakers give themselves a pay raise http://www.examiner.com/article/gov-pat-quinn-and-other-illinois-lawmakers-give-themselves-a-pay-raise

  • 169. Parent of CPS student  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:56 am

    As parents, how do you feel about CPS NOT agreeing to cap classroom sizes? Does this not bother you that they do not want to place a limit on how many students are in each classroom?

    Also, it is admirable that our state legislatures are offering to take pay cuts, but how many have altered their own retirement plans and health benefits?

    How many at CPS have taken pay cuts or cut their own benefits?

    Each of these facts really bothers me as I think about teachers and my children.

  • 170. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    @94, Thanks for a real story on what the CTU and the vast majority of teachers all across America want for their students.
    @93, the additional testing is for the purpose of monitoring student “progress” as “created” by teachers to be used in evaluating teachers for job actions (firing). Here are links if you want to learn more on the subject of testing.
    http://www.fairtest.org/
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-faith-in-standardized-testing-industry-is-misplaced/2011/04/10/AFXIkSHD_blog.html
    http://willrichardson.com/post/13830805235/when-test-scores-become-a-commodity
    @145, based on all that I have learned about what passes for “reform” as dictated by the DOE, the Broad foundation, Stand on Children, StudentsLast and other false saviors, the strike is just as much if not more about what’s best for kids as it is about teachers. The interests of teachers are not in conflict with those of their students, they are congruent. This “all about the adults” thing is another big lie being disrespectfully inflicted on the teaching profession as a way of attacking the voice of union teachers in advocating for their students so that the profiteer voice is the only one heard. The lie becomes truth when applied to those false saviors.

  • 171. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    @163
    Actually, I think what you mean to say is that CPS alone will determine what the classroom cap is, not make it a part of the CTU contract.

    I think here’s where conflict of interest comes into play. If CPS has, for example, a 10% budget increase for teacher salaries over the next few years, then they can choose for example some of the following options (or a combination thereof):

    1. Hire 10% more teachers to reduce class sizes
    2. Hire 10% more teachers to add enrichment classes
    3. Keep staffing the same and give current teachers a 10% raise.

    I’m not sure the union is going to be negotiating for the same options that a parent would.

    Ultimately, this comes down to overall funding issues for education, and if parents want these issues to move, then they have to make their voice heard in Springfield through groups like RYH.

  • 172. CPS Parent  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    @164 junior RYH has a very “pro union” inclination as evidenced by Matt Farmer’s (he is on their board) participation in the recent CTU rally. Should we be concerned about that?

  • 173. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Matt is pro-union, I’d consider RYH more pro-school.
    In this case they and the union both agree on the concept of a quality day (esp if a longer day.)
    RYH pushed for a longer than 5.75 day, not sure how the union felt about that.
    So in regards to wanting more quality in the schools, they align. Probably on some other things too.
    I don’t know what they support the union unconditionally by any means. I get the sense the individuals have a range of opinions (but I don’t think you’ll find any “reformers” in the group.). Just my impression.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 174. Paul  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    That’s a bummer about the Raise Your Hand board member participating in the teachers union rally. I think RYH wants to appeal to a broad group of teachers and parents, but siding with the union on a strike authorization vote given the current pay rates and CPS proposed raises for teachers is the wrong way to go, in my opinion.

  • 175. inedgewater  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I feel for and support the teachers. This is all posturing from both ends and hopefully will come to some sort of a middle ground before it gets too out of hand. All the teachers I’ve had contact with, with 2 kids in CPS and 3 diff schools total, have been nothing but hard working and very concerned about the kids.

    Stand for Children, and all those other groups trying to undermine public education under the guise of reform, should be held at an arms length from all the stench that comes off them.

    We need to support the unions in as much as they support the very people who spend the majority of the day with our children. Think about that. Would you want an angry, tired, overwhelmed, and pissed off teacher molding your kid’s brain?

    We don’t want Chicago and/or IL to end up like Louisiana. Yikes.

  • 176. CPS Parent  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    @166. cpsobsessed I agree with you to some degree. My concern is since Mr. Farmer’s ad hominem attack on Ms. Pritzker RYH has lost the opportunity to work collegially with CPS. They may be in the “enemy” camp at this point from the CPS perspective.

    Their original mission was to work on “fair funding” creating a natural alliance with themselves and CPS. By venturing into all sorts of other issues education this symmetry has been lost.

  • 177. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    @164, the denial of the well established benefits of small class size are a way of cutting the teaching force as a way of increasing spending on technology as a substitute for teachers. It is also another way to diminish union strength by cutting their numbers.

    Of particular interest from the Class Size Matters dot ORG group, http://www.classsizematters.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/The-7-Myths-of-Class-Size-Reduction2.pdf

    “Many of the individuals who are driving education policy in this country, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Jeb Bush and Bill Gates, sent their own children to abundantly
    financed private schools where class sizes were 16 or less, and yet continue to insist that resources, equitable funding, and class size don’t matter — when all the evidence points to the contrary.” This “Do as I say not as I do.” phenomenon of class size hypocrisy by those in power can be seen everywhere.

  • 178. mom2  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Let me try to make sense of something here…Teachers are authorizing a strike, but not because what they want is a large pay increase (more than 2%), but in the hopes that by showing unity, this will force CPS to bring up other things in the negotiation (that most parents want) such as class size, art, music, PE, aids, testing and classroom supplies. They cannot bargain over any of those other things unless CPS brings them up. So, if CPS doesn’t bring them up, then a strike would and could only be about getting more money (but really that isn’t what this is all about even though it will be that way). Is that right?

  • 179. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    @165/166

    Agree with CPSO. RYH cut their teeth on the “No To 37” campaign, which was all about increasing school funding to keep class sizes from going to 37.

    I don’t see them out there with a “No to 2%” campaign, but I get the sense that they, and just about every other parent, including me — wants teachers to be fairly compensated. I’m sure there are a wide variety of ideas among parents and teachers about how one determines fair compensation, whether there is differentiation in pay, etc., and I don’t think any of those opinions prevents people from working together on consensus issues like state education funding levels.

    I think the vast majority of parents agree with what he outlined as a well-rounded vision for education — but I for one found his personal shots at Penny Pritzker a bit offensive, and I don’t share his faith that unquestioned support of the CTU leadership will necessarily lead to better education for CPS kids. Would I work with him on RYH issues like education funding, class sizes, arts/PE/enrichment, recess? Absolutely.

  • 180. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    @171, The “attack” on Pritzker called her on her hypocrisy in a completely accurate way, and therefore was not ad hominem. The comments spoke directly to the issues at hand and how her decisions on them differed based on whose kids were affected, hers vs ours.
    RYH is a parent organization populated by VERY smart, well informed people who are advocating for all of Chicago’s children. When they oppose something CPS or agree with the CTU it is based on facts and solid, proven research, not emotion or ideology. They react to anything that would be a threat to all of our children’s education by speaking truth to power, whoever that power may be.

  • 181. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    The RYH statement on the “negotiations” vis a vis SB7, a rational, centrist position if ever there was one.
    http://ilraiseyourhand.org/content/battle-between-cps-and-ctu-about-much-more-pay

  • 182. CPS Parent  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    @171. mom2 Yes, I think you have it right, however, the real threat of an authorized strike may cause CPS to open some areas for discussion. I think CPS and the mayor know that a strike would be viewed as a failure of their leadership by parents and the broader voting base.

  • 183. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    @173 mom2 see the link in 176 for your answer.

  • 184. Gunnery Sgt Hartman  |  June 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Just stop with the 2% contribution to the pensions. It’s absurd.

  • 185. DisneyMOM  |  June 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    @126. cpsobsessed
    “But I get bummed out about the teachers who are basically phoning it in every day, every year, but will get paid the same, raises the same, everything the same as some of the teachers who post here who make such an impressive effort. Doesn’t it make those “great” teachers mad to know that in some schools, perhaps in your own schools there are teachers making as much for putting in a lot less effort?”
    I think this happens more than teachers want to admit. When my mom was teacher, she suspected the principal was assigning the toughest children to her class room. When confronted the principal admitted it and said she only did it because she had the best discipline/class room management of the three teachers teaching fourth grade. One of the three was a veteran teacher with more years and pay who was just doing the minimum. It made my mother mad, but the principal’s hands are tied, she couldn’t do anything. My mom agreed that other teachers couldn’t handle this child as well and the education of the other students would suffer, but she was “rewarded” for superior teaching by a tougher classroom. In the private sector you expect to compensated, if you are given a tougher assignment and perform well compared to your coworkers. There must be some way to do merit increases. I wish the CTU would come up with some way to compensation superior effort or skill.

  • 186. enraged  |  June 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    You are spot on Chicagodad. I have been teaching for seventeen years. I have had classrooms of 40 and classrooms of 14. I bet you can guess who performed better. My style didn’t change much, only the amount of time I was able to put in with each student.

    The first question asked when looking for schools is generally “how many students in the class.” I can almost guarantee that was asked at the Lab school by our Mayor and Duncan himself.

  • 187. SutherlandParent  |  June 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    This was part of an email blast from our PTA yesterday, which has (not surprisingly) turned into a disputed issue among parents at our school–personally, I am not pleased about this and have emailed the PTA my concerns about the appropriateness of involving children: Wear Red on Wednesday
    On Wednesday June 6th, Chicago Public Schools teachers will be asked by their union whether they would support a walkout in September. Their vote on this issue puts pressure on CPS to negotiate teacher compensation for the longer school day as part of contract talks with the Chicago Teachers Union. Although teachers and parents alike hope this standoff will not end in a strike, it is important that our teachers know we are behind them and value the work they do for our children. Your PTA encourages you to send your children to school this Wednesday, June 6, wearing red to show support of our teachers.

  • 188. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Our school is wearing red shirts too. I heard every1 at Sutherland was too. I think that’s a great idea.

  • 189. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    just a repost with some of the details. http://ilraiseyourhand.org/content/battle-between-cps-and-ctu-about-much-more-pay

    CPS and CTU are in “fact-finding” but SB7 says the fact-finding panel can only address the issues that CPS opens up in the negotiations. From SB7 “A dispute or impasse over any Section 4.5 subject shall not be resolved through the procedures set forth in this Act, and the Board, mediator, or fact-finder has no jurisdiction over any Section 4.5 subject. The changes made to this subsection (b) by this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly are declarative of existing law.”

    In our opinion, this is what is creating the mess we are in and should be amended in SB7. We have mediators and fact-finders who are limited to discussing what the CPS/mayor determine eligible for discussion. These mediators can’t even make recommendations to improve the talks. CPS/CTU are at a peace table with so called “mediators” who can’t even recommend that they make peace.

  • 190. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I find it a bit hypocritical that schools and teachers forbid political expressions done individually by their students but are now using children for their own political objectives. But it’s all about the kids, right?

  • 191. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I don’t think matt was there as an RYH representative. I believe he was there as an education blogger. That’s how he was introduced, correct?
    It still may get fuzzy for people, but I don’t think he spoke on behalf of a group.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 192. HS Mom  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I totally think the red shirt thing is over the line on this. So if you don’t wear red you don’t support teachers?

    The teachers at our school did something like this a few years back and wore black armbands when Daley developed the Renaissance 2010 program. Did not appreciate it. Kids accept and respect what teachers say – I guess that’s the idea.

  • 193. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Wendy of RYH said that RYH was not invited to the rally, that Matt was invited on his own behalf.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 194. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    #186~no, if kids don’t want to or parents don’t want them to, then they shouldn’t wear red, that’s ok.

  • 195. HS Mom  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Oh yeah that’s really OK that some kids will be making a statement that they support CTU. I’m sure glad that teachers will feel like only certain kids/parents support them.

  • 196. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    @187
    So I assume by your logic you would be fine if CPS sent a letter home to all parents asking them to wear blue in support of Rahm and a longer school day?

    I say leave the kids out of it and don’t force them to choose sides. it’s not their fight.

  • 197. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    #189~I disagree…my son loves his teacher and supports her. This will show support.

  • 198. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    @190
    So, you would be OK with the Rahm letter?

  • 199. CPS Parent  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    186. cpsobsessed That’s good to know, still given that he is on their board, the ability for RYH to work with the CPS BOE has pretty much vaporized, but maybe that’s not important to them.

  • 200. Mom23  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    @165, 167, 184 RYH is no longer the organization it started out as and really is pro union at this point. They have turned over their board and they are basically the updated version of PURE. While they sound centrist, they are very predictable in their stance. They will slant things to the union viewpoint, very much like Matt Farmer does. A teacher told me that at a teacher meeting Karen Lewis introduced the head of RYH as someone she has called and texted every day for 2 years to win over. It is a shame. Looks like another group needs to start to represent parent voice and stay focused only on the parent voice. Maybe that is harder to do once you get into it. Nuff said.

  • 201. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    @190
    What about the teachers who want to vote ‘no’ on strike authorization? How do we know who they are and how do we support them?

  • 202. mom2  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Will teachers feel that any student not wearing red doesn’t support them? Will that be reflected in their class participation grade or will they fear that it might? If a child accidentally wears blue, will they be perceived as being in support of CPS? I think it is not a good idea for tons of reasons. And, by the way, my child loves and supports her teacher more than anything, but that doesn’t at all mean a thing about thinking a strike for more money (only thing they can bargain for) is a good idea. One is not related to the other – it really isn’t.

    This is sort of like saying that you support the troupes but not the war. People had all kinds of issues with that statement, yet it can certainly be true for some people.

  • 203. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    @193 Mom23
    What’s the basis for your statement that RYH is more pro-CTU now?

    I can see how they both would have been allied on reducing the 7.5 hour day to something more manageable, but now that it is 7 hours, I think the parent fervor on that issue has softened a bit.

  • 204. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    #193~mom23~I totally disagree w/you. I don’t think RYH is pro union or pro CPS~in everything that I’ve read by them, they have never sided one way or the other…just looking for fairness in education.

  • 205. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    @185, What forbidden political expressions by students are you referring to?

  • 206. CPS Parent  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    @196. junior regarding: “What’s the basis for your statement that RYH is more pro-CTU now?

    Having Mr. Farmer on the RYH Board would be one indicator.

  • 207. Mom23  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    @196, 197 I do like some of what ryh did earlier on with the no to 37 and recess. That was great. I see the recent information now as only being viewed through the lens of the ctu. They are the go to negative cps quote in the papers. I think they have negative quotes on just about everything. The new board members are very pro-union. When I read the website or emails (which I kind of just ignore now) it is the same talking points as the ctu. While I agree there is some common ground, I just do not view the organization as being objective. Then on top of it you have Karen Lewis comments and Matt Farmer rant. Not what I am looking for to advocate for me as a parent.

  • 208. SutherlandParent  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    @187 SSI4, I can assure you that not everyone at Sutherland will be wearing red shirts tomorrow–I’m not the only parent who is unhappy with my children being put in this situation. As others have pointed out, supporting a union strike does not equate to supporting our teachers. And yes, some parents at other schools on the 19th Ward have been pushing this as well.

  • 209. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    @198 Well, like having a candidate sticker on your lunchbox or a candidate sticker on your backpack.

  • 210. Mom23  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    CPSO @126. While I have a very personal and painful experience with an abusive teacher and many children including my child and I do think it is very difficult to get rid of these teachers and the ctu does protect them—-I really like your thought about the mediocre/slacker teachers. I see this happening too and it is very annoying. I think you are right that this is really who the ctu is protecting. I see teachers in schools that are turning around getting better students to work with, yet not upping their game to keep the kids challenged. I see those showing up and not differentiating learning because the parents will pick up the slack. I see those just going through the motions. It must drive the good teachers crazy! I really appreciate when my kids have a great teacher. It has not been often, but it is incredible.

    Of course, I agree with mom2 that it does not mean they should strike. Liking the good ones and thinking a strike vote it out of line are really two different things.

    Edgewater Mom, very well said on the strike!

  • 211. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    @200 Mom23
    Well, we’ll see how that translates. If they stray from their broad-based, consensus-issues approach, then they will lose some following.

  • 212. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Perhaps that might inhibit things, but just a month or so ago I *think* ryh was instrumental in getting the day down from 7.5. Not even sure their goals is to work with cps boe per se but to keep fighting for what’s good for the kids.
    Wendy is out of town until tomorrow but perhaps she’ll weigh in when she returns.

    But yes, feel free, anyone to start another parent group and report back on it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 213. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    @195, RYH and PURE are doing fine by me when it comes to advocating for my kids and by extension, all of Chicago’s and Americas kids. If RYH has moved closer to the union it is due to the union being a far better advocate for what’s best for our kids schools than Rahm, Brizard, or any in the ALEC backed, corporate reform top down hostile takeover camp. That being said, I do not agree it’s the case that they are merely “pro union”, and saying so don’t make it so. I support the work of RYH and PURE (and PAA) because they advocate for fact based solutions to the actual problems some parts of our education system face. They want parents to have a real voice, not lip service or less as the Broad Foundation trained Brizard to pursue while spinning to the contrary. His messaging has gotten slicker since he was run out of his last job in Rochester by parents, teachers and an elected school board. He was an abject failure there but Rahm brought him here as some kind of rock star?!?!? If Brizard was a teacher he’d never see the inside of a classroom again based on his job performance in Rochester. Why are you so anti union since the union has no say in curriculum, class size, testing, text books or anything else that happens in the class room? As I see it the teachers ARE the union and the teachers are the ones who not only work with our kids but are on the front lines in defending them and our wallets against snake oil profiteer schemes, the same thing RYH and PURE do. I’m sick and tired of the crypto teacher bashing which is all the attack on their unions is.

  • 214. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    @204, Cite instances where kids got in trouble for this and prove that this is official CPS policy. And that’s what it would have to be, a CPS policy, not school by school or from the union. This is another thing teachers have no say in unless it’s to enforce a policy mandated by CPS or the board.

  • 215. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I’m thinking of the impact it could make to have a sea of red shirts at school. I wonder what percent of cps parents actively support the union vesus those who don’t?
    Truly rhetorical question here, for the union people, why do you think people disagree with the union pov on these issues if they are so adunbantly clear cut to you?
    Why is stand for children (creepiest video of the year btw) and others trying to “bust unions.”
    Why do you guys feel people don’t get it, or want to change things? Meaning regular parents, not reformers.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 216. NBCT Vet  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Gunnery Sergeant, I’m a teacher. I contribute 9% of my annual compensation to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund. I have done so since my career began and I will continue to do so until the day I retire.

    The split between employer (7%) and employee (2%) is just window dressing to deal with various tax implications. The entire 9% comes out of my paycheck.

  • 217. Family Friend  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    @175: I agree that a strike would be viewed as a failure by Rahm and CPS, but I also think that agreeing to all or most of the union’s demands, especially on merit pay, would also be viewed as a failure.

  • 218. Donna  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    @178..It seems that there was a problem with the principal you described. Where was this person’s responsibility in the matter? I work for a principal who demands hard work, strong instruction and respects the staff. In turn, the staff works like crazy to make the school great.

    @203…What do you do in the school that you are able to observe teacher differentiation? And how have you specifically seen a teacher “up their game?”

  • 219. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    @207
    I have witnessed it. I don’t really care if you need me to prove it or if it is CPS policy or not. Your opinion is yours — don’t let those facts get in the way.

    My point holds either way. I don’t want my kid in a politicized environment where kids are asked to support a CTU strike.

    –“Teacher, what’s a strike?”
    –“Well, it’s like a lot of snow days in a row, except there is sun instead of snow”
    –“OK — I’m all for that!”

  • 220. HS Mom  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    @198 – don’t get your question. I don’t think that political expressions should be made by kids for or against teacher issues. Total erosion of impartiality.

  • 221. DisneyMOM  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    211-What could the principal do? She was a tenured teacher not bad enough to fire but resisted the principal effort to have her change her class room management. How does the principal motivate someone who is performing just good enough to not fire per union rules.

  • 222. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    –”Teacher, what’s a strike?”
    –”Well, it’s like a lot of snow days in a row, except there is sun instead of snow”
    –”OK — I’m all for that!”
    —————

    Oh, and at this point my kid jumps on the desk all Sally-Fields style, leading the class in a chant “U-nion! U-nion! U-nion!”

    And then the kids form a union for themselves demanding that they all get all ‘A’ grades and that they all get the same increase in their allowances and get to collectively bargain on bed times.

  • 223. justanotherteacher  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    @120 I guess maybe you might have missed it, or perhaps my teacher and text had a different slant. Unions may have evolved from guilds, but in that evolution their purpose and function evolved also. At least that was my understanding from the one labor law/history class that I took way back in college! Unions were established to protect the worker and establish a set of labor practices guaranteeing safe working conditions, employee rights, and a fair wage which are good things. I also recognize some of the more negative effects Unions have had on this country and the loss of many industries (steel, textiles, auto, etc.) On the other hand, it doesn’t exactly make me feel warm and fuzzy that many of the products available to me are made by 12 year olds working for pennies a day either in some third world country.

    Getting back to the topic – I belong to a collective bargaining unit. I can’t just go to my principal and present my case for why I deserve a raise or more of a raise than the teacher in the room down the hall.

    @178 Yes, this does happen quite a bit. Stronger teachers are put in benchmark grades, given the more difficult or challenged students, etc. I guess this might be the case in many professions – the more capable employee is given more responsibilty, more challenging assignments/projects. One would think that it only fair that these people are better compensated. Their boss knows they are capable and rewards them. Here’s my problem with that when trying to apply it to a classroom. More than likely (at least in my personal experience), the difficult and challenging students tend to score less when tested simply because of their challenges and issues. With the increase of inclusion of SPED students, some teachers have a higher percentage of these students to facilitate incusion. Even taking into account VAM, and other suggested metrics, my scores probably won’t be as high as the teacher who got the less challenged students. How is this going to reflect on me when evaluations and raises, or bonuses, etc. are handed out? My principal may know the situation, but if it’s heavily weighted to student performance, I will usually be screwed since he will only have a part in my evaluation. So in terms of rewarding teachers based on student performance, it can do exactly the opposite. I am not opposed to being held accountable for my performance as a teacher, but unless every every teacher is getting pretty much the same caliber of student, I see serious issues arising out of this.

  • 224. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Well put junior. If we had more money, some of these issues would go away. It’s one thing the union, many parents, and even cps itself agrees on. Shouldn’t we be able to make it happen?
    Or do we need political strategists like stand for children has?
    Sadly, I think that’s what it takes.
    Or perhaps the strike someone suggested before. Students AND teachers strike.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 225. mom2  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I really like the link in @174 – it does help clear some things up. That one makes it sound like most teachers aren’t looking for a pay increase at all. That they just want those things that they cannot bargain over.

    However, I don’t get that same impression about what teachers want when I hear Karen Lewis speak or Matt Farmer bash Penny Pritzker because she has money and the ability to send her kids to a school that obviously has more and better options (because it costs so much more). She can’t say she thinks all kids are entitled to that sort of education because we (the tax payers) simply cannot afford it.

    I wish there was more level headed speech out there. It might help more parents to understand this strike threat.

  • 226. SutherlandParent  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    @215–Exacty! My kids are young enough that they think a strike is the most awesome idea ever, the school day should be cut by 90 minutes and 10 days should be lopped off the calendar! We’ve talked about CPS/CTU issues, but they aren’t old enough to grasp any of the historical issues or pending implications for teachers or students (not sure I’m old enough some days, either…). Whether they wear the red shirts or not tomorrow, they will be making a statement they can’t take ownership for, and shouldn’t have to.

    I also know that some of the teachers that grade my kids are pro-union and will be voting for a strike tomorrow. But I don’t know about all of them. I truly don’t believe any of our teachers would “punish” my kids, regardless of the color of the shirt they wear. But it’s a very uncomfortable, unnecessary situation.

  • 227. HS Mom  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Junior, thanks for making me laugh.

  • 228. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Note to self: send child to school tomorrow with no shirt.

  • 229. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    @216 justanotherteacher

    You make some excellent points. I would think that there might be creative solutions to the dilemmas you pose regarding VAM. But there has to be a will, and there is more mistrust now than there is a desire to make it work. I really don’t think CPS is out to screw good teachers using VAM — I think they do really want to measure and reward actual quality, and I think they’d be responsive to improving the system. With all the data collection, there might be ways to track the actual specific cohort of students that a teacher gets. And perhaps there should be alternative avenues to getting bonus pay or highest rankings.

    Regarding the union history, even more recently, we all remember unions that advocated that their members provide “quality” — think of the electricians ads or the “look for the union label” campaign. I don’t think it’s a stretch to want to see unions foster and reward quality, rather than protect the lowest common denominator.

    Unfortunately, American union labor was decimated by free trade agreements that allowed foreign competitors to provide cheap goods at the expense of worker safety/standards and the environment. Teachers thus far have been insulated from foreign competition, though you could say that domestic competition is emerging in the shape of charters.

  • 230. Mom23  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    @206 Chicagodad You cannot hold the ctu harmless in the downward spiral of cps. Look at it from a functional and structural standpoint. They have been an integral part of the problem. CPS is also to blame, as are the politicians. CTU and other organizations like stand fund politicians to serve their needs. In all of this the children have been forgotten. So it often comes to a standstill, “everyone is to blame and no one is to blame”—-that seems to be why education is spinning its wheels and not moving forward. There have been some indications of progress like the longer day at 7 hours and mandating recess and common core. These are all solid improvements and without question the implementation of these will be key. Cps does not have a good track record of implementing anything—in fact it sucks at it—but I have to say that looking at the longer day implementation I am pretty impressed. To clarify, impressed compared to the past disasters, but it has been fairly smooth IMO.

    I am very disappointed that the ctu is calling the strike card now because in reality it will not help any of these initiatives succeed. I don’t understand why when it gets heated, the defensive posture of “teacher bashing” is used. I am not teacher bashing. The system is broken. CTU is certainly to blame. CPS is also to blame. Politicians are to blame. I think a lot of times it comes back to the ctu for me because pro union people like to hold them harmless in this whole thing which is just so illogical to me. CTU playing the victim card, just does not resonate with me when they hold so many cards. The “I want to have my cake and eat it too” or “I want to blame everyone but not be held accountable” are not what reasonable professionals do.

    Just to close on how I truly stand, I value the good teachers in the system and want the bad ones to get away from the children.

  • 231. Foureyes  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Merit pay…would be decided – 50% – by test scores
    As I see it.. (and as I listen to kids and talk to them everyday) the *only* test that the kids actually take seriously and actually study/prepare for is the ACT (I teach at a SEHS). We just gave the PLAN test today…for the 2nd time this year. It will be the precursor to ‘measure’ improvement.
    Hummmmm….tired/burnt out kids in hot classrooms….hum….will that show improvement? Seriously?
    And even the ACT (which the kids actually currently do *care* about)will be an issue soon as many colleges in 2014 will not even honor ACT scores. How will this whole ball of wax change? Oh…wait…there will be another test to replace it…of that we can be sure. The test companies are just waiting for a new opportunity to make money.
    Some percentage of the merit pay would be decided – 10% – by the students. I know that some students would be real/careful/and logical…but….some kids would not.
    IF you have tweens or teens…or if you remember back to those years in school…you might know/recognize how difficult and incredibly emotional they can be and how sometimes they can and do make bad and not so wise/thought out decisions. I can assure you that 16 year olds….(who are entirely capable to set up well orchestrated FB pages for the sole purpose of humilating a teacher) would entirely ‘flame’ a teacher. Especially if the teacher is ‘hard’. (and this was *why* they did in fact decide to flame and humiliate a certain teacher in my school…never mind that he helped them get 4s and 5s on AP US History – they did not care). I know this seems like ‘it could not happen’..but…I believe it would.
    then….I maintain…we are opening the doors for testing scandals ala Houston, DC, and many other places (where answers are ‘fed’). Not to mention merit pay will pit teachers against teachers and lead to culling classes. I have seen this culling happen with competitive and selfish AP teachers. The atmosphere was/is horrible and unprofessional. Teachers should be concentrating on collaboration and helping kids do better….not about about culling/creating their ‘mega’ class so that they look good on test scores.

  • 232. SutherlandParent  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Oh, I hadn’t thought of the no-shirt option 🙂 Of course, when they were asked to wear grey shirts last week to support brain cancer research, I completely forgot until the next day…

  • 233. GP  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    My wife and I are both teachers in CPS and we have three children who attend CPS. Many of you are wondering why we would vote to strike other than money. Well, this link is exactly how I feel so please take the time to listen. This is the education our students deserve, but Rahm and JCB refuse to give our students.

  • 234. westsideteacher  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I am responding as an 8-year CPS teacher who is neither fully pro-union nor pro-board. I am dismayed that we cannot have a rational, respectful discussion when it comes to how to best educate the children of Chicago.
    Part of this dysfunction comes from the mayor, the various CEO’s of Chicago Public Schools, the Board of Education, and the layers upon layers of administrative employees who have systematically disregarded, disrespected, and dismissed high-quality teachers in the system.
    The Union adds to the problem by refusing to discuss issues in a logical, thoughtful manner. Instead, they have gone on the offense to a disturbing degree.
    I wish that all parties involved could be more honest about the opportunities and challenges inherent in such a large school system.
    While I realize these points have been discussed before, I must mention that inept teachers can be let go without reason in either their first two years of teaching or with due process after that. It is no more of a process than many corporations have to dismiss unacceptable employees. A principal who does not realize that they are allowing a weak teacher to work in their building in two years is obviously not in charge of their school.
    Perhaps the focus should be more on principals and how the administration of CPS is run. Dedicated, organized, effective principals would go a long way in changing the entire system.
    Finally, we must all keep in mind that we are talking about a wide range of students and their families and socio-economic conditions. In no way am I asking to not be responsible for my students’ education, but can we all be honest that not all students come to school with the same background of support and resources?

  • 235. Foureyes  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    BTW…I think *any* teacher who would think less of a child/student because he/she does not wear the proper color shirt (or have the same political ideologies) and would let *that* affect the child should really do some serious self-evaluation and step ‘away’.
    I have many kids whose political beliefs are different than mine…I am always careful to remind my classes to consider all sides in a disagreement before making up their own mind.
    The problem with so much at stake now with CPS/CTU is that the general public does *not* know the whole story. I think this board does a great service as it allows people to ask questions and consider other points of views.
    I will be happy if my kids wear red tomorrow…but I will be equally happy if they were to wear purple, black, or yellow…heck….being in HS…I am happy if they are just wearing clothes that actually cover themselves (they *do* love to push the envelope when it comes to dress codes).
    As long as they are respectful to others and as long as they do their best in my class I don’t care about the color of their shirt.

  • 236. Mom23  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Junior LOL!

    Also, yes, no shirt tomorrow. Let’s push the dress code policy 🙂

    @211 Donna. The way I know about differentiated learning and a teacher stepping up their game is because I am an involved parent. I am aware of my kids assignments, how they evolve (or not) as my next child comes up the pipe. I talk to the teachers. I talk to the principal. I volunteer in the classroom. I know what curriculums look like in a variety of cps schools, other states, the suburbs, other countries. It is not rocket science, but it certainly is an art.

  • 237. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    @206 chicagodad

    RE: RYH, PURE, CTU

    So, Karen Lewis makes fun of Duncan’s lisp, Woestehoff from PURE makes fun of Rahm missing half a finger, and now we have Farmer from RYH (speaking for himself, not the organization) bashing Pritzker.

    I think the baseline test of good public discourse should at minimum be whether your fifth grader would get reprimanded at school for saying the same thing.

  • 238. CPS Parent  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    @222. junior So I recently became aware that CPS has signed a $500,000 contract with http://battelleforkids.org/. looks like they are involved with Common Core, “Roster Verification”, Value Added. They are set up as a not-for-profit but are linked to Batelle one of the big players in government/military/industrial consulting. It looks like CPS is moving ahead full force with merit pay. This is what freaks out the teachers. Makes me uncomfortable too…

  • 239. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    @225, I read what you wrote but saw no answer to my question on what exactly the union has done wrong, on their contribution to the overall problem. What part of the broken system is the union to blame for? I have never heard any teacher say “I want to have my cake and eat it too” or “I want to blame everyone but not be held accountable” Everything I have read from teachers across America indicates they welcome accountability as long as it’s fair and accurate, something that the test based VAM component is totally not. Here is a somewhat long article that well describes how things are concerning education reform, both in Chicago and every where else. PURE, RYH and the CTU as well as many true grass roots parent groups across the country oppose this takeover and so do I.
    http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/?article=4240

  • 240. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    @232 CPSParent

    What makes you uncomfortable specifically? Are you just connecting dots in Glenn-Beck-like fashion to a perceived bogeyman?

    I looked at the partners they have listed on the site and there are diverse, reputable groups involved, including a teachers union.

    Sure, it’s good to know the source of information and look for motives and biases, but it’s a lot more important to examine concepts/ideas/facts/data/evidence — is there something objectionable about what they are doing besides the general apprehension with merit pay that we’ve already covered?

    I always try to assess ideological bias in whomever I’m dealing with, but truthfully, I have seen good and bad ideas come from all points of the ideological spectrum, so I’d rather stick to debating ideas and practices.

  • 241. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    @232 I think that the baseline should be that those we elect, whose salaries we pay and who spend our money should not lie to we the people they allege to serve and should not be making back room deals with their cronies. Rahm, Pritzker and Brizard all get a giant zero on that measure. One time minor insults like those you mention don’t even show up on the radar in the face of the ongoing corruption from the top that is a direct threat to our kids education.

  • 242. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    From CNN on what parents really want. Sounds just like what we want here, and also what we do not want. http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/06/08/gym.schools.parents/index.html

  • 243. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    @233 chicagodad

    I think you’re really overstretching by speaking for RYH. I have not seen them take a stance against charters.

  • 244. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    re: SB7:

    So, TONS of disinformation about what the bill did.

    Section 4.5 was amended–it’s not a new provision–and the ONLY things added to the “permissive negotiation” list were:

    “length of the work and school day, length of the work and school year”

    EVERYTHING ELSE was ALREADY in the “permissive negotiation” realm.

    That is A FACT!!

  • 245. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    @junior, here is a resource on VAM. I’m posting them individually to get around moderation delays. (CPSO has to sleep and have a life some time!)http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/leading-mathematician-debunks-value-added/2011/05/08/AFb999UG_blog.html

  • 246. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    @235 chicagodad

    Uh, Rahm/Brizard decreed our kids should have recess – hope that doesn’t threaten their education too much. I’ll take that as a first-year accomplishment and will keep evaluating from there and holding them accountable. Yeah, we’ve been handed fiscal nightmare from Daley Admin — let’s see how they cope.

  • 247. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    This one is part of a series on just how useless VAM was in NYC. http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org/2012/02/28/analyzing-released-nyc-value-added-data-part-2/

  • 248. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    re: SB7:

    So, the “blaming Rahm” crew saying he changed the rules to take:

    class size
    class staffing and assignment
    class schedules academic calendar
    hours and places of instruction
    pupil assessment policies

    out of the realm of negotiation is either (a) pathetically misinformed, or (b) lying to the rest of us.

    And, with that misinformation, they want to vote to authorize the liars to approve a strike. Brilliant!

  • 249. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    RYH and CTU want recess as well, and so do I.

  • 250. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    @243, those things are in SB 7, but it was not Rahm who pushed that through the state legislature. See the vid of Jonah Edelman above for that. These are policies that not coincidentally are being pushed by ALEC and other reform lobbyists and shills.

  • 251. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    ” It looks like CPS is moving ahead full force with merit pay. This is what freaks out the teachers.”

    Why? They like getting paid more for the “merit” of experience and the “merit” of an advanced degree. Why not the “merit” of how they actually do their job? Why NOT pay more for teachers to work in at-risk schools and actually accomplish something educational there? What are the teachers afraid of?

    **Totally** understand concern about the structure and evaluation methods, but they’re acting like little kids saying no, without any counter suggestion–not even a list of non-negotiatible “if it does this and avoids that, maybe”.

    “Makes me uncomfortable too…”

    Why???

  • 252. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    @243
    Ha-ha. CTU lip service for recess, while they argued that teachers should make up even more of the already-stacked Closed Campus decision committee. Truth is CTU reps and teachers blocked it for years. Old news — go back and read the last two years of discussion.

  • 253. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    @238, where did I say that RYH has an anti charter position? Didn’t happen.

  • 254. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    @247

    You said “PURE, RYH and the CTU as well as many true grass roots parent groups across the country oppose this takeover and so do I”

    I don’t think you should be speaking for them. Yes, RYH are smart people, and they’re capable of characterizing their own positions.

  • 255. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    @ 246 for the answer see #160 (awaiting moderation) here is one of the links from that. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/as-teacher-merit-pay-spreads-one-noted-voice-cries-it-doesnt-work/2012/02/14/gIQAtRpsFR_story.html?socialreader_check=0&denied=

  • 256. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    ” those things are in SB 7, but it was not Rahm who pushed that through the state legislature. See the vid of Jonah Edelman above for that. These are policies that not coincidentally are being pushed by ALEC and other reform lobbyists and shills.”

    No, they aren’t. They were the law BEFORE Rahm was elected. SB7 ADDED “length of the work and school day, length of the work and school year”, but everything ELSE was ALREADY THE LAW.

    Anyone who is telling you different is lying to you.

    Cite to a case from 2000 that cites the then language of Section 4.5:

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/il-court-of-appeals/1178999.html

    Search for 4.5, you’ll see that 4.5 (in 1998) provided:

    “[4.5(a)](4)Decisions to determine class size, class staffing and assignment, class schedules, academic calendar, hours and places of instruction, or pupil assessment policies, and the impact of these decisions on individual employees or the bargaining unit.

    * * *

    (b) The subject or matters described in subsection (a) are prohibited subjects of bargaining between an educational employer and an exclusive representative of its employees and, for the purpose of this Act, are within the sole authority of the educational employer to decide.”

    It is simply FALSE to assert that any of that changed in the past 18 months. JUST.NOT.TRUE.

  • 257. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    And one more on merit pay that speaks to Pritzkers hypocrisy. http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/borrowing-wise-words-from-those-truly-market-based-private-independent-schools/

  • 258. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    The link in #251 is a discussion of more than just merit pay, FYI

  • 259. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Argh, the stupid wordpress eats (or kicks to moderaion) my comments.

    The other stuff in Section 4.5 (other than work/school day & year) have been the law for over 15 years!! Anyone who asserts that that was changed in the last 18 months is LYING! Citation is available!

  • 260. anonymouseteacher  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    #228, I like you.

    On the topic of red t-shirts, I think it is not appropriate to ask our children or parents to come to school wearing items to support us or use school copy paper to do it. I am so uncomfortable with it, I won’t pass out the notices being sent out regarding the t-shirts. But treat a kid in front of me differently or badly because of it one way or the other? No freaking way. I’ve had kids threaten to kill me and have managed to love them and treat them fairly, I don’t think a t-shirt is going to be a problem.

    Re: striking. I see SB7 as putting both the CTU and CPS between a rock and hard place. Without voting to authorize a strike (totally different than voting to strike), the CTU has NO bargaining leverage and instantaneously, CPS gets whatever it wants, hands down, now with no more bargaining needed. With a strike authorization vote, there’ll be some bargaining and hopefully an actual strike down the line will be averted.

    Re: bad teachers and union protection. It can and does happen, I have seen it in every school I have worked in. I know of a teacher who assaulted a child and still it took years to remove her. There were witnesses who saw it all and there was more than one kid involved and more than one instance. It was the most disgusting thing I’d ever seen. At the same time, I don’t think “bad teachers” or even mediocre teachers are our biggest problem systemically. Still, it is one problem and it needs to be addressed, and other than catching people early, before they are tenured, I don’t know what the answer is. I do know that many people who start out great are literally obliterated by the system. Those great, new, young, excited teachers who are going to all the workshops and differentiating, etc,ten years down the line, at least some of them will be in the “I am just showing up category” because they probably have some kind of (I am making an analogy here that is a bit of a stretch,so take it lightly) teacher ptsd-like thing.
    Chicago is well known for burning through its best and brightest. When I graduated from college in another state and told my university advisor I was applying to teach in Chicago she looked at me in horror and said, “Please, don’t do that to yourself”. As well, I have worked in parochial schools and saw many bad teachers there. There was no union to protect them, but for whatever reason they were kept on for years. Perhaps something to do with not being able to hire anyone better due to the pay discrepancy in parochials.

    Merit pay concerns me because nothing is specified. No details are available. Just a “trust us” and we’ll work it out with a joint CTU/CPS commission. I am not opposed to merit pay in theory and I know all the reasons against it. But agreeing to a form of merit pay without knowing the details ahead of time feels a little bit like giving high school students an essay to write and saying, “do your best, you’ll see the rubric after your done, don’t worry, you’ll find out soon if you met the criteria”. Kids should ALWAYS know what the end goal is and how they’ll be graded and this should happen BEFORE an assignment or lesson happens. Same with teaching. Show me the rubric for earning merit pay so I can ensure I am doing exactly what my principal or the BOE or the state wants. Will it be fair? What tests will be used? How will VAM be weighted for homeless kids, ESL kids, kids living in poverty? (Because even though we would theoretically be measuring growth from point A to point B, kids at Jackson Language Academy should be making more growth per year due to parent income and parent involvement than a kid from south side neighborhood X due to the same reasons. Not an excuse, not saying teachers at south side neighborhood X can’t facilitate growth, but jeez, those deficits have to be factored in somehow.)

  • 261. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    The 1998 version of Section 4.5 read, in pertinent part:

    “§ 4.5.  Prohibited subjects of collective bargaining.

    (a) Notwithstanding the existence of any other provision in this Act or other law, collective bargaining between an educational employer whose territorial boundaries are coterminous with those of a city having a population in excess of 500,000 and an exclusive representative of its employees shall not include any of the following subjects:

    (4) Decisions to determine class size, class staffing and assignment, class schedules, academic calendar, hours and places of instruction, or pupil assessment policies, and the impact of these decisions on individual employees or the bargaining unit.

    * * *

    (b) The subject or matters described in subsection (a) are prohibited subjects of bargaining between an educational employer and an exclusive representative of its employees and, for the purpose of this Act, are within the sole authority of the educational employer to decide.”   115 ILCS 5/4.5(a)(4), (b) (West 1998).”

    This is not new. It is not Rahm, or Jonah Edleman. The current contract was negotiated with the same backdrop.

  • 262. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    @chicagodad

    You have any peer-reviewed statistics on the merit pay? I see the people in the comments of the blog you sent offering some critiques, suggesting that the VAM data correlations become statistically significant over 3-4 years.

  • 263. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    “You have any peer-reviewed statistics on the merit pay?”

    Also, do you have stats of *any* kind that cover all conceivable forms of merit pay?

  • 264. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    @253 anonymouse teacher

    Nice post. Regarding merit pay, it would probably be better if there was a pilot program for a while to get the kinks out, or at least, have it weighted accordingly. I think most teachers would need some assurance that it would not be used punitively without being well validated and without being used in conjunction with several other measures.

    Most parents who like the merit pay concept seem most concerned with getting rid of “bad teachers”. It seems that the process right now is onerous — at least, that’s what I and others have heard from principals. I have said repeatedly that there should be multiple different types of measures of performance (VAM, principal eval, observations, parent/student eval, etc.). If a teacher scores extremely low on all the different measures, then there should be an easy way to dismiss them.

    On the other hand, if people are concerned about the current validity of VAM, then you could set the bar at having strong scores in only, say, 3 of the 4 performance measures as the way to earn higher pay.

    Really, there are ways to make any system fair — at least a lot fairer than the current system. But, as you allude to, I think trust is a big issue.

    In terms of VAM itself, I do think it will need years of implementation and refinement before it is a strong tool.

  • 265. Chris  |  June 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    CPS–if they were *really* playing hardball–would call Karen Lewis’ bluff on “no merit pay, period” and suggest that there be one pay rate for all CPS teachers, since paying extra for experience and added education is a form of “merit pay”.

  • 266. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    @253 anonymouse teacher said

    “Re: striking. I see SB7 as putting both the CTU and CPS between a rock and hard place. Without voting to authorize a strike (totally different than voting to strike), the CTU has NO bargaining leverage and instantaneously, CPS gets whatever it wants, hands down, now with no more bargaining needed. With a strike authorization vote, there’ll be some bargaining and hopefully an actual strike down the line will be averted. ”
    —————

    But what you do have is the option to wait and see what the neutral mediator proposes. I realize that waiting might make it harder to reach the 75% threshold, but at least it will be an choice based on an actual proposal.

  • 267. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    @249 I can speak for those who speak for me by stating positions of theirs that are well known to me. I don’t care a whit about who you think I should speak for or not. I will not be balkanized by folks like you or fail to share what I know with others who are interested and think for themselves and can decide for themselves.

  • 268. mom2  |  June 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    For those teachers planning to vote yes on a strike authorization, are you prepared to actually strike if others at CTU decide this for you later? Regardless of your hope that this strike authorization might help you get some things you want and might help avoid a strike, by saying yes now, you are giving them that right to make you strike no matter what you think of the actual proposal offered in July. You give up all control.

  • 269. NBCT Vet  |  June 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    @258, junior and others

    There are many inaccuracies and misunderstandings of internal CTU procedures here and what this strike authorization means in the context of collective bargaining. That is not surprising, of course, the media has done a poor job getting at the realities of the vote and this is, after all, largely a parent blog. Let me see if I can help.

    Even after the 75% threshold is successfully reached this week teachers and staff will, in fact, make a choice based on an actual proposal.

    CTU members will have the opportunity to vote on a final CPS offer – likely arising out of the fact finding report – before any job action is implemented.

    If that final offer is rejected there still may not be a strike. The CTU House of Delegates, the Union’s democratically elected, representative and deliberative body will still need to call for a strike by setting a strike date within the limits of the law.

    While the 800 or so members of the House of Delegates may choose to set a date for job action, they may elect to set a strike date far in the future, postpone any decision on a walk-out indefinitely, or vote to send the CTU back to the bargaining table.

    The situation is not nearly as dire, as dramatic, or as damaging as CPS, the mayor, CEO Brizard, reformers, and the media make it out to be.

    I hope this helps.

  • 270. mom2  |  June 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    @Chris, thank you for the information on what has been in place for years vs. what is new about SB7. That is very interesting. I had no idea.

  • 271. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    @256 & 257, The whole point of my posts on merit pay is that it is already known to not work. http://www.danpink.com/archives/2011/03/does-giving-teachers-bonuses-improve-student-performance This article has links to many reputable studies. If this does not convince you then nothing will as you are not open to persuasion by facts. Plenty of data out there from the business world even more than from education. In particular look at the NYC example from the article. Big waste of time and money to prove what was already known. The business world won’t waste time and money on snake oil solutions, so why should our schools? Merit pay is a scam to leverage another scam, aka VAM.

  • 272. NBCT Vet  |  June 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Mom2 @ 264, you are completely, wholly, entirely, 100% incorrect. See my post @263.

    Mom2: “Regardless of your hope that this strike authorization might help you get some things you want and might help avoid a strike, by saying yes now, you are giving them that right to make you strike no matter what you think of the actual proposal offered in July. You give up all control.”

  • 273. FormerCPSteacher  |  June 5, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I used to work in CPS but now work in a district with merit-based pay. We don’t use test scores or AYP to judge progress toward the merit scale. Instead, we are evaluated by our peers (who know and understand what “good” teaching looks like) and go through a huge process of reflection about our contribution to the school. I’m posting this only to remind people that there are other options for merit-based pay that truly reflect the kind of teachers we all hope to see in the classrooms. I’m not sure CPS is willing to put in this kind of effort.

  • 274. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    @267 Please describe the merit pay “scale” system you are part of and also the peer review process in whatever you think is enough detail. What is your opinion of test based/value added based merit pay?

  • 275. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    @263 NBCT Vet
    By voting ‘yes’ on strike authorization, you give the HOD the authorization to vote to strike without further consultation of the membership. If the CTU has assured members that they will get another vote on the proposal, then, sure, I would take them at their word. However, I have not seen or heard any guarantees to that effect. Have you and could you share with the rest of us?

  • 276. NBCT Vet  |  June 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    @269 junior

    Yes, I have heard that the CTU will give all members the opportunity to vote a final CPS offer up or down.

  • 277. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    @chris, what I understood was upsetting about getting the merit pay company set up is that the contract hasn’t been settled yet. Teachers feel the negotiations will put an end to the merit pay perhaps but cps is moving ahead as though it’s a done deal before the bargaining process.
    Which is similar to the early strike vote.
    Making decisions before they’ve actually discussed anything….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 278. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    @270
    OK, if you’re confident about that. Still, by voting ‘yes’ you do lower the bar for a strike vote. If you are someone that trusts 51% of your members to make the right call on that, then you’re OK. But if you think that 51% may vote to strike when you wouldn’t want to, then I would think you would probably vote ‘no’.

  • 279. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    @271 CPSO
    Perhaps there is a contingency clause in the contract that would allow them to escape if no CTU agreement is reached. Or maybe this goes back to the supposed deal that CPS thought they had with CTU on the merit pay issue. Contract should be public document, no?

  • 280. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Wisc election now being called for Scott Walker.

  • 281. NBCT Vet  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    @271, cpsobsessed

    Forgive my cynicism, but CPS makes decisions before they’ve actually discussed anything all the time.

    Re: Merit Pay
    Merit pay in Chicago will not work. Any type of merit pay system (New Trier’s for instance) requires mutual trust and respect and a spirit of partnership. I have never in my career felt trusted or respected by the Board of Education, nor do I trust them even a whit.

    When I first entered CPS I did not join the Union and I thought “C’mon, how could CPS leadership be as bad as people say it is?” Unfortunately, every year I see CPS treatment of me and my profession become worse and worse. I had no idea it was so bad. Now I know.

    I promise, I’m not a cynic or a negative Nancy. I swear. I love my job. I love my school. I love my students. But CPS? Not so much. Sorry.

  • 282. parent  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Boo hoo……cry me a river. line up your daycare or babysitter. That is what you all are worried about. Just be honest.

  • 283. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I’m not worried because I have live in childcare.
    But yes, that is what people are concerned about and is exactly why the union knows it’ll work. Parents will get pissed and pressure the mayor to end it.
    Isn’t that the strength of the strike? Any strike. To cause a major inconvenience that creates pressure on the targeted group?
    I don’t see the boo hoo in it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 284. NBCT Vet  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    @272 junior

    A simple majority is what governs most popular votes. That’s the threshold for every other teacher union in Illinois in determining whether or not to authorize a strike.

    Chicago has been told it must play by different rules.

    A successful authorization of 75% followed by an up or down vote on a final CPS offer, if nothing else, simply puts the CTU on an even keel with every other district and union in the state. That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

    So, yes, I can live with a decision of a majority of our members. I can also live with a decision of our 800 member House of Delegates. It is an incredibly diverse and thoughtful body of locally elected representatives.

    I may not agree with every decision but I am comfortable playing the part of loyal opposition if it comes to that.

  • 285. parent  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    AT CPSOBSESSED
    “Not sure I get the “of course we support Karen Lewis’ decision – we voted for her.” Many of us voted for Rahm, but sometimes the idea of how an elected official will implement things and the way they interact with people is different than you expect. Should every person who voted for Rahm automatically agree with/support every decision he makes? Seems doubtful.”

    You are missing the point. The teacher was responding to posts that questioned why the teachers were in support of Karen Lewis. The anology was made that if you vote for someone you generally agree with their position, etc. it is ridiculous to assume that anyone agrees TOTALLY with someone they vote for, but the point was that teachers voted her in because they generally support what her position is. This position is not “doubtful”. You vote for someone you generally believe in, that was the meaning of this statement. Wouldn’t you agree this is usually the case?

  • 286. anonymouseteacher  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Is post 275 actually by the person who was originally posting at NBCT VET? It doesn’t sound like the same person who posted in 263.

  • 287. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    @parents, yeah I guess that is true. Except in Illinois where we get blindsided all the time 🙂
    Really I do agree with that.
    But I think what bothers people is that supporting karen lewis’ pov on things is supporting “just say no to everything.”
    As some others have mentioned, that is the perception that tends to come across.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 288. Dropping by  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    At 277 (cpsobsessed )

    then by gosh be honest parents! Teachers are good at smelling lies. At lot of the comments seem to boil down to an “inconveience” to parents. A few posts earlier mentioned that days lost to a strike could and will most likely be made up. So outside of the inconveience to parents I would love for someone to unemotionally tell me why the teacher bargaining is such a horrible thing? Am I missing something?

    The quick answer will be our taxes will go up to support the raises. This has not been mentioned as an option so ignoring this, why is giving teachers the raise a bad thing?

  • 289. cpsobsessed  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Well, I gave my 9yo son (in the tub now) a 1 minute overview of the red shirt story. He’s wearin a red shirt tomorrow. And not just for the time off (although that was very appealing.) He thinks the longer day should get more pay.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 290. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I just looked at a “merit pay” system that has been in place at New Trier since 1968. Guess what? No Value added, test based garbage. Didn’t exist then for one thing. Quote “Peer review is a cornerstone of the scale movement process.” They also have their own version of steps and lanes like CPS does now. Full story on R side of pg 3 in the link. http://org.newtrier.k12.il.us/parent/pdf/ppress_spring07.pdf

  • 291. Fed up  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I got the answer. I didn’t get a raise for the last three years so no one else should either, and certainly not teachers who are generally bad, barely educated, can’t get a real job babysitters (although I do send my kids to them for 5.5 hours a day, so um I guess I do trust them a little bit). On second thought, maybe they arent so bad because if they are what does that say about me as a parent? Um…I willingly send my kid to these “bad” teachers, day after day, year after year. Well as long as it’s free.

  • 292. Katy  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    @ at fed up,

    It does come off as bitterness when people keep mentioning how “no one else got raises”. Sounds like the complaint of a six year old…..Susie got more!!

  • 293. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    @284 chicagodad

    Have read through all your cites. Have seen some of it before.

    Here’s the conclusions of one strident opponent’s blog post:

    “None of this means that value-added models are worthless—they are not. But like all mathematical models, they need to be used with care and a full understanding of their limitations”

    To me it sounds like proponents and detractors might not be that far apart. I think the main issue is that teachers fear misuse and unreliable implementation of VAM because of mistrust of CPS. I do think that appropriately applied, VAM can be one component of a larger evaluation that identifies the very best and very worst at improving student learning.

    Generally, it seems that single year-to-year VAM variations can be large, but if you get enough data samples over multiple years, then statistical significance for VAM emerges.

    There are valid concerns about proliferations of VAM, such as creating more incentives for the teachers to narrow instruction, teach to the test and even cheat. That’s why I think it needs to be limited and combined with other measures. If VAM counts for only 25% of a teacher’s evaluation, then I don’t think it’s going to create highly distorted high-stakes incentives. Teachers are afraid of the slippery slope to a large reliance on VAM, and perhaps that’s precisely where they need an explicit agreement from CPS.

    Would be nice to see teacher evaluation based on both objective and subjective measures. If VAM is not a good objective measure, then what are the alternatives for objective measures? I have heard teachers complain about evaluations that rely solely on subjective measures. I think a good multi-variate system (see @259) can smooth out lots of the bumps.

  • 294. NBCT Vet  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Please keep in mind that CPS has imposed an evaluation system on the members of the CTU. They are the only district in the state empowered to do so.

    In Chicago, the law called for 90 days of negotiation and a near immediate implementation. Without agreement, CPS was allowed to impose its will on employees.

    Every other district in the state gets 180 days to negotiate a system and a few years to implement it. If no agreement is reached, evaluations default to a generic state created system.

    The different treatment Chicago teachers and students receive from our lawmakers is incredibly frustrating to me as a professional. This unequal treatment most definitely contributes to the severe lack of trust necessary for any type of merit pay system.

  • 295. WendyK  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    @170 Paul – this is Wendy from RYH. We understand why the ctu is taking the vote – if they wait until July all their members who are away and don’t vote will be counted as NO votes. This does not mean we want a strike in any way or that we support the request for a 30% raise. There are a lot of items in the current contract that are being likely being gutted and we think that if the city decides to open up the talks to issues beyond pay and beneifts the two sides will actually have a fair negotiation. There are “permissible” items that the city has full control over determining whether to include in the contract. If limited only to pay and benefits the ctu doesn’t have much to bargain over, but the choice is solely up the city to decide what will be included.

    Matt Farmer was invited as an individual to the ctu rally not as a RYH rep. I thought his speech was great and I don’t see how his speech in any way indicates that RYH supports a 30% raise. Someone mentioned that here, not sure who. He was just giving a speech on quality education in support of the ctu. These issues are not always so black and white but I think we get such poor info from the mainstream press it’s hard to get all these details. In general, our group understands why this vote is taking place and we think the issues go far beyond the raise issue and we want our kids in school in the fall but we understnad it’s a very complicated issue not being presented to us so clearly.

    in the end we hope that the city broadens the talks and that both sides find ways to compromise.

  • 296. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    @205
    Wendy, Just saw that Brizard mentioned that teachers can delay vote until August during their professional development week when they are back in school.

  • 297. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    @276.NBCT Vet
    So, I’m reading commentary around the web contradicting what you said, including statements by Brizard, that suggest that this CTU vote wil be the ONLY member vote. If you have anything documenting that CTU members will get a second shot at approving/rejecting a deal, please share.

  • 298. junior  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Here’s the CTU FAQ on the strike vote. Absolutely nothing in there about giving members a second vote:

    http://www.ctunet.com/blog/ctu-answers-more-questions-about-the-strike-authorization-vote

    Also copying here the part about the non-monetary things CTU is fighting for — just to compare in a few months what how many of these things that teachers are striking for actually come to fruition:

    “CTU is fighting for a variety of things that will help improve neighborhood schools, including smaller class sizes, air conditioning and heating repairs in schools; art, music, world languages and physical education instructors and classes in every single school; better school facilities; stipends for school supplies for needy students; and a host of other things that will improve the quality of education in our public schools.”

    Let’s get some bets going — which of these items will be negotiated in the final CTU contract? I’ll start the bidding at ‘none’.

  • 299. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    @296~why delay the vote until August, that would be too distracting. Get the strike authorization over and then we will know if they are going to strike in August not wait until then to start the process over. It’ll be over in a few days.

    I did hear those Dfer ads on the radio….The democrat party attys have told that group to stop using ‘democrat’ in their names. They didn’t get the txt msgs they had hoped for.

  • 300. chicagodad  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    @Chris, “merit pay” based on actual merit, such as advanced training and OTJ experience is quite different than “merit pay” based on invalid measures of student progress, which is what CPS is proposing. You continue to conflate the two by calling them both merit pay even though they are totally different methodologies. Teachers as well as other professionals like doctors and soldiers get better with practice and more training. Test based merit pay is a lottery.
    @junior, Those who developed VAM state that it takes those 3-4 years you mentioned for VAM to achieve a 75% accuracy rate, though recent events suggest this may be overly optimistic. Are you willing to accept a 25% error rate on any evaluation you might be subject to? Who would want to make a career of teaching if they could be unjustly fired due to an inaccurate evaluation system that misrepresented their performance? Who would accept a merit pay scheme based on a random result that is disconnected from actual performance?Why go with a divisive system when you have one like PAR that gets unions and management on the same page concerning teacher evaluations and firing those who need to go? PAR is also tops for improving teachers skills, something that VAM can’t even begin to do since it has no capability for that. PAR trusts, respects and empowers teachers professionalism, VAM has the opposite effect.

  • 301. Paul  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    @295 WendyK – I appreciate your view on these issues. And I know the mission of RYH is to advocate for more funding, quality programs, and an increased parent voice. But, I can’t figure out how keeping the current teacher contract provisions, ensuring a fair negotiation, and opening up the talks to issues beyond pay and benefits furthers those goals. Is that what the teachers union is advocating for in the new contract? Are those issues going to be addressed through a teacher strike? Does a stronger teacher union bring in more funding, improve programs, or increase parent voice? I know you’re walking a fine line with teachers and parents, and I share your hope that the talks are resolved. But, i don’t see the teachers union’s agenda aligning with what I’d like to see as a parent.

  • 302. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:04 am

    In my view, PAR is well proven and established as a system. VAM is years away from being ready for a beta test. We could be up and running with PAR long before VAM is ever actually ready to deploy full scale. The other great advantage of PAR is that the vast majority of money spent on it remains in the community where it is spent since it is paid out in wages to those who do the work (required to live in Chicago), while VAM/testing money leaves town in a steady stream never to return.

  • 303. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:22 am

    @junior, you really trust Brizard to accurately represent the unions positions and promises to it’s membership? SERIOUSLY??? LOL!
    @ Paul RYH is walking the line for parents (and teachers) as they are a parent based organization. The idea that just because a group of parents organizes and formalizes their advocacy for their kids schools suddenly makes them some kind of politicized entity is just silly.The idea that the natural alliance between parents and the teachers they know so well who they trust to educate their kids is some how significantly adversarial that you seem to hold is also silly. I see this fight as parents and teachers defending the kids against ill conceived policies imposed from above by those who have no clue.

  • 304. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:29 am

    @300 chicagodad

    I’m not suggesting that anyone get fired for a single metric. If you look at what I’ve said consistently for a year, I said there should be multiple various evaluations, both subjective and objective. I don’t have a specific problem with PAR, but I’d like to see some evidence that it works (and, yes, I read the previously referenced article).

    If you look at the Batelle site that was referenced, they do see VAM contributing to quality improvement, because they seem to feel that it can help identify the top teachers and therefore identify best practices to replicate. I think they are not using just VAM but other measures, too. My sense is that if you can show me a teacher who scores great in various dimensions of evaluation — both subjective and objective — then it’s hard for anyone to argue with rewarding them more and also using them as a model to improve practices. Likewise, if you have someone who scores poorly on VAM, principal evaluation, peer evaluation, and classroom observation — then it’s pretty hard to justify their continued employment without radical remediation.

    As for the majority in the middle — I don’t suggest VAM is a panacea. It shouldn’t count for more than a small percentage of the evaluation. Even if VAM is only 75% accurate — and I think it could possibly improve beyond that (if it is not already) — if VAM is only 25% of your score, then the impact of errors are not going make or break anyone’s evaluation. I think as it is used more, the models and methods will improve.

    One of the more interesting perspectives that may come out of this is that in fact, non-teacher factors that influence test scores are far greater than teacher factors (that’s why I think VAM is difficult to measure, because the VAM differences for most average teachers is small). Where VAM seems to be more useful is two specific cases — exceptionally good teachers and exceptionally bad teachers — both of which are very small categories. But those categories are important because important decisions are made based on those categories (i.e., best practices, promotions, and terminations).

  • 305. NBCT Vet  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:33 am

    @297-298 junior

    Mr. Brizard is correct that this will be the only strike authorization vote. But looking at that alone is misleading and only one portion of the larger picture.

    Assuming the 75% threshold is reached, it is correct that members will not vote again on strike authorization. That part will be done, there will be no second vote on a strike authorization.

    But members will have the opportunity to vote on a final CPS offer with the outcome determined by a simple majority. In the affirmative, that means a ratified contract. In the negative, that means something yet to be determined, but potentially a strike based on the prior authorization. Unions don’t typically strike unless they have rejected the employer’s last, best offer.

    The biggest reason to authorize a strike now is to create movement at the bargaining table. Without strong pressure from a unified CTU membership the Board simply has no incentive to negotiate at all.

    Thanks for your thoughtful commentary, research, and gentle inquisitions.

  • 306. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:38 am

    @303 chicagodad,

    Please, show me otherwise. The only official statement from anyone I have seen is from Brizard who mentioned that there will only be one vote for CTU members. If CTU disputes or contradicts that, I have not found it anywhere, and I even provided the link to their strike vote information. I’ve asked here for anyone to show me an information source that documents a second vote will occur, but I have not seen anything from anyone yet. I do treat statements of all politicians — whether it’s Brizard or Karen Lewis or blog posters — with skepticism. If anyone has anything definitive on this, please post.

  • 307. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:46 am

    @305
    That’s plausible. I don’t have reason to doubt you, but I’ve also seen blog posters be factually wrong (really!). It’s unfortunate though that the information about the process isn’t well documented somewhere so that people (teachers, parents, general public) can really understand the implications of a very important vote.

  • 308. Thesea  |  June 6, 2012 at 6:49 am

    @ 298/Junior,

    I will take that bet! Trust me teachers are ALWAYS concerned about class size and special classes like art, music, etc. having gone through three previous strikes I know how important class size is. Trust me, it will be in. After all why do you think we don’t have 40 kids to a room anymore? Teachers fought for it. Or maybe you think 40plus kids is an ideal learning environment?

  • 309. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:01 am

    @307, You’re right, I can’t find the process documented anywhere official, and it should be, just to make the process as transparent as possible. I have confirmed with my delegate (and have it in writing from him) that we will vote yay or nay on the final contract (which we always do) and that there will be a final delegate vote prior officiating the strike. If the majority votes to accept the final offer, there will be no delegate vote and no strike. If the majority votes to reject it, the delegates still have to vote for a strike. It’s a routine process, but you’re right, CTU should be doing a better job of publicizing the fact that there are two important votes prior to a strike actually happening.

  • […] The CTU Contract Negotation Thread CPSObsessed: I really don’t think that Rahm is using his free time to post on CPSObsessed.com under the psuedonym of Angie.  But that would be really cool if he were.  Hi Rahm!  Same for Karen Lewis.  If you’re reading, Hi Karen! […]

  • 311. WendyK  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:56 am

    @Paul – we are not advocating for the same contract. We are not making specific recommendations. We are just saying that we think there are many issues that need to be discussed between teachers and management and limiting the talks is not a good way to have a fair contract. We think both sides should have a voice in the contract, that is all. For us quality education means a strong teacher work force that is not completely demoralized. I see teachers fleeing CPS right now. We don’t want this. But we are not saying we advocate fully for whatever ctu’s requests are – we are saying the talks should be opened and both sides should compromise and come to a reasonable solution that benefits our kids.

  • 312. Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Glad my CPS school requires uniforms. How offensive that kids are being asked to wear red.

  • 313. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:19 am

    @308
    What are the class size caps defined in the current contract? Are you betting that these caps will be reduced? I’m willing to bet that class sizes will not be reduced, and I will give CTU full kudos if they are.

  • 314. Paul  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:19 am

    @WendyK that sounds good. I’m just concerned that in the big picture, the school system needs to build credibility with taxpayers. We need more funding from the state government. We need more money from city property taxes. At some point, the mayor and leadership of CPS, the teachers, the parents, and the public need to all pull in the same direction of improving our schools. That’s important for middle class families’ kids and especially for low-income families’ kids. And, to me, by constantly criticizing every mayor and CEO of CPS, and by blocking all the major attempts to improve the school system, the teachers union is not helping to build that credibility. I think a teachers strike could have the opposite effect and reduce credibility in the eyes of the public, and it could be a long time before there’s any significant increase in funding for public schools. As much as I like the teachers union rhetoric of voting to authorize a strike in order to correct all the wrongs with our school system, I’m concerned that CPS could compromise on pay and benefits, give teachers a 6%, 7%, or 8% raise, and do nothing else to improve the school system. And, I think the teachers union would accept that. That type of compromise has been the history between CPS and CTU that has led to some of the highest teacher pay in the country along with the shortest school day. It’s allowed teachers to vote against having recess in the schools even if the school has the playground and equipment for it. And, it’s led to a ridiculous school calendar with lots of days off for extra holidays, professional development days, and staff development days. A lot of that is supposed to change for next year, and it’s been led by CPS without the support of the teachers union. But, we’ll see what happens. One thing you can say about being a parent in CPS, it’s never boring!

  • 315. Joel  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I’m in such a conundrum: I wore my red UW Bucky shirt to work today in support of Scott Walker’s recall election victory, but now people are taking me to be a union supporter! Whatever shall I do?!

  • 316. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:30 am

    @315
    Try this — rethink your position on Scott Walker!

  • 317. CPS Parent  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:30 am

    WendyK, I as a parent certainly appreciate your evenhanded and positive voice on behalf of CPS parents and students.

    As a public school parent and student advocacy group, does RYH advocate for charter school parents and students as well? Do they have representation on your board? Are they included in your forums and discussions?

  • 318. mom2  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:46 am

    @Paul 314 – I agree! And, if we do get more funding or find money by breaking CPS into smaller pieces or eliminating some upper level positions or whatever, I want the money to go towards all those things that CTU can’t ask for – smaller class sizes, more aids, more help with special ed kids, art, music, PE…not towards a 7% raise for teachers to take home.

  • 319. mom2  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Oh, and way back in this thread, someone implied that the only bad thing that would happen if a strike took place is that some parents would have to find child care.

    For me, I have a child in high school so that isn’t necessarily an issue. However, my child will lose their summer job position if this strike happens. Job must start right after school gets out. If my child is still in school due to the strike, the job goes to someone else. You will be hurting kids, not just parents.

  • 320. Frank Thompson  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:01 am

    In the end, no matter what Paul, Junior, Angie, Mom2 or anyone else here says, we vote today. I voted yes and I believe 75% or more of my union will do the same. That is the reality. So if you want your kids in classes in the fall, call your alderman and your mayor and tell him it is time he and the board negotiate in good faith with the CTU. I can tell you this: I would be fine with a pay freeze, even with enough time added for recess in the day, if the following conditions were met: Freeze on health insurance and pension pick up. If I’m not getting a raise I certainly can’t afford a pay cut. A lift on the residency law. On my salary supporting a stay at home mom and two kids I cannot afford to buy a house in this city, but likely I could in the suburb. Provide art AND music to all elementary kids. Yes, both, because your kids deserve it. And pay teachers for extracurricular activities. Many plays, musicals, and concerts are produced by your neighborhood teacher without seeing a dime, no matter how many hours after school are spent. These teachers deserve to be paid for that time. CPS has the money to do this. 24% of all TIF money go to SES schools, not to mention the TIF funds that subsidize another Donald Trump (or any other millionaire) build something in the city.
    I’m not saying you have to fight for these things for me; I have my union for that. But you can tell the mayor that he needs to negotiate in good faith with the union. Otherwise, summer break will be extended for all.

  • 321. CPS Parent  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

    @318. mom2, a 7% raise can’t be funded by eliminating a few CPS administrators. 7% is about $150,000,000 per year. If the average CPS Clark Street employee salary is $100,000 that’s 1,500 people.

  • 322. Frank Thompson  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:10 am

    @ Paul, if the union does accept a 6-7 percent increase it is only because the board would refuse to negotiate anything else that could turn that 6-7 into an acceptable 2-3%.

  • 323. Parent and CPS employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:15 am

    @319: I believe one person said that, and it appeared (at least, to me) to be from someone whose goal was to agitate, not contribute productively to the conversation. More than one teacher posting here, on the other hand, has expressed regret about the struggle that a strike would impose on parents and students. I do not want a strike and dread the multiple ramifications that will result — the job difficulties it will cause parents, the interrupted education for the students, and many other ramifications (such as the one you’ve mentioned) that we have yet to realize. Mostly, though, I regret that the students at my sspamchool will miss out on the only sure meal a lot of them have access to — over 94% of my students receive free/reduced lunch, so that is a significant concern. Which is to say: I don’t take a strike lightly, nor do any of the teachers I work with. This is not an easy vote nor is it an easy decision but I ask you to take into consideration that the vast majority of teachers would not voice the sentiment that one person has voiced on this thread.

  • 324. CPS Parent  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

    @323. Parent and CPS employee, I appreciate your empathetic voice. I do believe that the Federal regulations which govern the free and reduced lunch program would require that meals be made available through other channels. Does anyone here know about that?

  • 325. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:37 am

    #319~mom2~we already no more than a handful of hs kids that will loose their jobs if their schools go the longer day…some kids need that money for transportation…just to get to school. That’s why schools need to have more autonomy…hs that are already excelling should be able to stay the same length of day.

  • 326. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:38 am

    *know*

  • 327. Mayfair Dad  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:49 am

    @ 320: Scott Walker is still the governor of Wisconsin for a reason. Taxpayers are tired of being held ransom by public employee unions who bankrupt our local governments with their bloated pensions, over-inflated salaries and protection of underperformers. Enough is enough. If you think parents are with you — go ahead and vote for a strike. You will find out how the vast majority of non-blogging parents really feel.

  • 328. Frank Thompson  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I did, Mayfair dad, and will do it again and again.

  • 329. Paul  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I’m thinking through my options as a CPS parent. At this point, I think we’ll plan to ride out a strike. My wife stays home, and she has a Master’s degree, and she can probably home school our primary-grade kids for awhile until the strike is resolved. If we decide not to ride out the strike, we could move our kids to a Catholic school, private school, or we could move to the suburbs. All expensive options for us at this point. Does anybody know if charter schools will stay open during a strike? Could we apply to one of those schools and enroll our kids there? I don’t think we would, but I’m just trying to think through all the options.

  • 331. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:59 am

    #29~Paul~yes Charter schools will be open, but I’m not sure abt AUSL charters. I dbt you’ll have to ride out a strike, this was just an authorization and I’m hopeful there will not be a strike but a fair contract.

  • 332. mom2  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Ugh on the “fair contract”. I don’t think anyone agrees with what that means and no one is allowed to officially say what that is (against the rules), so how can you get a “fair contract”?

  • 333. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:04 am

    #332~I don’t know. I just know that many kids will lose their part time jobs that they really need if they go the longer day…w/a 3hr commute, it’s long enough and they need their jobs.

  • 334. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Letter from Brizard CPS sent out:

    Dear Colleagues, Parents and Friends,

    I wanted to share today’s Sun Times editorial, entitled: CTU Risks Setting Teachers Hopes Too High, with you that outlines some key issues that Chicago Teacher’s Union members should consider before voting to authorize a strike. Father Michael Pfleger also wrote an op-ed in Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune urging members to wait until the independent fact finder’s compromise proposal has been issued before voting in support of a strike.

    Father Pfleger stated in his op-ed; “It is unfortunate that there is a rush to vote for a strike without letting the independent arbitrator submit a finding…A strike will most hurt the children, especially, the poor and working-class families.” Read the full op-ed here.

    Some of the key highlights of the Sun-Times editorial include:

    “As teachers cast their ballots this week, we hope they stop for a reality check. We fear that Lewis may have set expectations so high that members have nowhere to go but off the cliff.

    We are in tough economic times, as everyone is well aware. But nowhere in the CTU’s rhetoric is there a clear acknowledgment of the school board’s fiscal constraints. Instead, CTU leaves the impression that CPS’ only goal is to stick it to teachers. In many cases, CPS is proposing to reduce or roll back benefits because they have few other choices. The school system is bleeding money.

    Lewis won’t be able to deliver the moon for her members, and she owes it to them to prepare them for that eventuality.

    The CTU leadership also owes it to its members to be more honest about CPS’ initial contract offer. CTU continues to misrepresent key elements in a blatant attempt to cast the school system in the worst possible light. That may be helpful for getting over the hump in the strike authorization vote, but it is profoundly unhelpful in every other way. Also a mistake was the union’s decision to forgo hiring an independent third party to certify this week’s voting. We can only hope it doesn’t come back to haunt them.”

    Read the entire editorial by clicking here.

    My team and I are committed to reaching an agreement that is fair to members, taxpayers and our students. Our teachers deserve a raise, but our students do not deserve a strike. We must continue to work together, negotiate in good faith and let this process see itself through to achieve both goals.

    Thank you for all you do on behalf of our students.

    Sincerely,

    Jean-Claude Brizard
    Chief Executive Officer
    Chicago Public Schools

  • 335. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Here’s the Sun Times ed piece:
    http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/12992106-474/editorial-ctu-risks-setting-teachers-hopes-too-high.html?print=true

  • 336. RationalRationing  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Honestly ignorant – but serious – question – in the event of a seriously threatened strike (as opposed to this sabre-rattling in advance of negotiation) – what’s to prevent the Charter-loving Rahm and CPS from declaring ALL CPS schools charters? The competent teachers, as well as innumerable currently unemployed but educated professionals, would endure the anachronistic epithet of “scab” for a few weeks. Rahm would be on Newsweek and Time for this perceived radical bold move. Who would come to the CTU’s aid? Some grad students from Madison and OWS?

  • 337. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Wow CPS must be in panic mode if Brizard wrote that (well one of Rahm’s 16 PR ppl). He’s never been at a negotiation meeting, he’s ruining CPS just like he did in Rochester w/95 no confidence. The first thing the CEO did after him was make the classes small, and then hired 44 more teachers.

  • 338. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:23 am

    #337~scratch that~I thought Brizard wrote that…it was ed from Suntimes…

  • 339. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:24 am

    @304, VAM can only attempt to tell what happened, it has no capability to give the slightest indication of why or how it happened. I have yet to hear from either CPS or Battelle what will happen if the observation data conflicts with VAM, which will hold sway. In NYC, even though VAM was only supposed to count for 40%, the reality was that it was the deciding factor. This is unacceptable. Also unacceptable is using the VAM scores of some teachers to rank other teachers in subjects that are not tested by VAM such as art an PE, teachers who may not have the same students as those who get VAM evals. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/03/05/24darlinghammond_ep.h31.html?tkn=XSLF8dtEku7dtKu1xSZfeIqk1QmVLXJ5Fp0i&cmp=clp-edweek

  • 340. Paul  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:29 am

    It looks we’ll all be pursuing our own self-interest and battling for power. I don’t think Frank Thompson @320 has the best interest of the kids in mind. In times like these, I suppose I should focus on what’s good for my kids, not necessarily what’s good for all the other kids at the school or the city’s kids. I should focus on what’s good for my bottom line, not invest in the school or school system. An hour volunteering for my school is an hour I could be earning money or helping my individual child with their homework. A dollar donated to my school’s fundraiser is a dollar I could spend directly on my own kids. To fight what I think are ridiculous demands from the teachers union, I suppose I should join the right-wing billonaire-funded special interest groups that lobby Springfield and Washington and battle it out with the teachers union. Craziness.

  • 341. Frank Thompson  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Paul, you do what you gotta do and I’ll do what I gotta do. But I’ll tell you this: I have about 150 students that would disagree with your statement that I don’t want and do what’s best for my students. I see my students more IB after school hours than i do my own children during the week day. And most of that time is for 0 pay.

  • 342. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

    @304, sorry junior, I didn’t catch your idea that VAM has the least bad effects on the best and worst schools. That is actually NOT the case at all. Consider the best school, one we invent out of thin air by taking the 50 best teachers in the world and nothing but bright kids. There will still be a small range of scores, both student and teacher. To simplify, VAM grades teachers on a curve. There is a cut point on that curve below which a teacher is rated as unacceptable. The fact that, in our imaginary school no kid has a GPA lower than 5.0 (AP and honors grades) and no kid is less than 3 years ahead of standards is irrelevant. VAM ignores all that and just ranks the teachers in that school relative to each other. Those below the cut point, even if only by a small fraction of a percentage point are at risk of being fired. Remember that we have staffed the school with only the best of the best teachers. Now put this in a real world context and imagine the reactions of parents of N. Side and Payton kids to their schools constantly having new, unproven teachers marched through while the great teachers they know and respect can no longer teach their kids. Also, concerning that cut point, in a regular non imaginary school, how much of a difference is there between a teacher just above and just below the line, whose scores differ by that same small fraction of a percent? While I agree with the math folks who see VAM as eventually being a better tool to measure broad trends over large populations in many schools, it’s use as a measure of individual teachers is far to problematic, especially when other proven methods exist for that job. PS. The same thing applies to low performing schools with kids who are far behind. While teachers might bring them all ahead by a good amount, if the range between teachers is narrow then many of the great teachers we have managed to convince to teach there will be gone. Really bad for the kids and us all.

  • 343. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:04 am

    @342
    Didn’t read your full post, but it’s starts with a false statement/assumption about what I said. Didn’t say anything about best and worst schools. Gotta run.

  • 344. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:07 am

    @341, Paul can’t let go of the lie that teachers are only in it for the money and take no pride in their profession. This is one of the well disproven lies behind merit pay based on student performance, that teachers will “teach harder and better” if we only pay them more, and that will make all the difference we need cause nothing else has anything to do with how much kids learn.

  • 345. yup - teacher here  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Value Added is a very scary thing. Read this article from Huffington Post. Keep in mind not only is Brizard from NY but NY also ranks their teachers in the Post based on test scores. A glimpse into our possible future… perhaps.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/16/carolyn-abbott-the-worst-_n_1521933.html?ref=teachers

  • 346. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:10 am

    @342
    i think you are defining a straw-horse VAM system that is easily attacked. If you want to argue against a VAM system, argue against one that is well constructed and given proper weight. I haven’t seen anyone saying that VAM should be a singular metric in dismissals.

  • 347. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:10 am

    @343 My bad, misread best and worst teachers.

  • 348. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:17 am

    @346, The problem is there are no “well constructed” VAM systems in place, just as there are no poor ones. VAM is a math formula, the problems come from how it’s results are used by bureaucrats even when VAM experts strongly advise them otherwise based on the fact that the results are not good enough for the purpose they are intended.

  • 349. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:21 am

    @345, thanks, yup – teacher here, for the real world example of my hypothetical model. The sad truth is that this is the best we can expect from VAM, starry eyed claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

  • 350. HS Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Joel – went for the green shirt today – prosperity! This whole saga would be much easier to deal with on both sides if there actually was some $$$.

    Paul – good points in 301 and 314 – Speaking of real estate taxes. The construction/real estate industry will be depressed for quite some time. Lots of heat on RE tax values.

  • 351. SutherlandParent  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    When it comes to the “inconvenience” factor of a strike, it will absolutely hit some families harder than others and impact the work schedules for students. But as a working parent with a spouse who also works, I find it a little insulting that some commentators say parents oppose a strike primarily because of daycare issues.

    I already have to arrange for daycare from June 18-Aug. 31. And the week of spring break. And Christmas break, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. And Veterans Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, President’s Day and Martin Luther King Day. Because, unlike those who work for CPS, we don’t get those days off.

    Sure, we have vacation time that we use when the kids are off school. But arranging for daycare isn’t exactly a new challenge.

  • 352. Mr. Silva  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    This was published on FirstClass by a friend of mine and I think sums up a lot about what teachers are feeling right now. I know I do.

    CEO Brizard,

    Thank you for sharing your concerns about the upcoming CTU strike authorization vote. I think a teacher perspective may help you better understand why we will overwhelming vote yes to the authorization this week.

    Though you often tell me how much you respect me and how much you support me, Board policies and CPS contract proposals do neither. If I felt respected and supported, in actions not words, if the thousands of other CTU members felt respected and supported, we would be at a very different place in our relationship, wouldn’t we. Unfortunately, the fact that you feel that you and CPS respect and support teachers and staff only serves to highlight how massively disconnected CPS leadership and the Board of Education are from classroom teachers, career service personnel, and the students we serve every day.

    When my CEO cannot be bothered to attend a single session in negotiations, a process for which dozens of teachers and career service employees have gladly volunteered, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When selective enrollment schools serving 1% of CPS students receive 24% of TIF funding spent on schools and I work in a neighborhood school, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When CPS contract proposals indicate that experience, education, and training are unimportant or even undesirable, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When 4% of my pay is taken (for the rest of my career – not just for one year) even though the Board budgeted for it, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When charter schools dump their least desirable and least successful students into my neighborhood school, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When CPS attempts to mandate a scripted curricula that has nothing to do with the needs of my students, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When CPS closes 100 schools since the start of my career with threats to close 100 more, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When privatized, non-union charter schools receive a disproportionate share of CPS capital funds and I work in a neighborhood school, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When entire swaths of the city of Chicago are left without access to a neighborhood school, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When Board policy terminates or pushes out the door thousands of our most valuable and veteran teachers (I’ll be one of those some day), I do not feel respected or supported.
    When CPS completely ignores my Union’s positive agenda and its vision for publicly funded public education (The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve), I do not feel respected or supported.
    When CPS takes enormous pension holidays and then complains about later balloon payments required to make up for it, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When the Board asks me to invest 15-20% more mandatory hours in exchange for 2% more pay, I do not feel respected or supported. (By the way, a recent U of I study found that Chicago teachers average about 58 hours of work per week.)
    When students coming in to my high school have never had the opportunity to take a music class in elementary school, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When my field trip request to a CPS sponsored event is rejected by CPS, I do not feel respected or supported. (Yes, this has actually happened.)
    When I am paid inaccurately over and over and over again and invest hours and hours into getting it corrected, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When CPS has offered teachers for years an embarrasingly meager 250 MB of online storage and a decades old communication and collaboration platform I do not feel respected or supported.
    When I cannot access GradeBook or Impact for hours on end, or I wait 13 minutes for a computer to boot up, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When wave after wave of unproven education reform initiatives du jour are foisted upon teachers, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When the temperatures hit 100 degrees on the third floor of our building at the beginning and end of the school year and over the summer, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When the district is so unstable it cannot even keep its most senior leaders in place much less retain outstanding teachers, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When grades are due a week before school ends, or we spend days on end on high stakes exams, or when other large portions of learning time are wasted but CPS wants to extend the school day and year without improving it or funding it, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When counselors and special education teachers are woefully overworked with caseloads far beyond those recommended by respective professional organizations, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When the Board dictates without discussion decisions on important issues like a longer day, a longer year, the number of classes I teach, the number of students I teach, class sizes, narrow test-prep curricula, etc., I do not feel respected or supported.

    I am sure other teachers and employees could add on to this short list and make it a long one, but for the sake of brevity I will stop here.

    Thank you for your respect and support and for sharing your concerns, but I have no choice but to vote yes. Though I expect to be fired or have my school closed or turned around or privatized or transformed or whatever else CPS intends to do to neighborhood schools next, I am confident I will still be teaching in CPS long after you and your team have moved on to greener pastures.

    Sincerely,
    Eric Skalinder, NBCT

  • 353. Paul  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    That letter sounds great. I would love for many of those problems to be resolved. I don’t think that threatening a teacher strike or actually conducting a teacher strike is going to solve them, unfortunately. Many of those issues can’t be included in a contract. Others cannot be paid for given the tight budget. I think it’s more likely that the threat of a strike or an actual strike will result in higher pay raises for teachers and less of a reduction in benefits for teachers. CPS will claim victory in working to compromise with teachers. CTU will claim victory with whatever progress they made in getting a raise above the 2% originally proposed by CPS. And, those problems will still be around for the forseeable future. Parents who have options will decide whether to stick with CPS or enroll their kids elsewhere. Parents without options will still be there.

  • 354. Frank Thompson  |  June 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Paul if you are right it is only because the board is unwilling to open the contract and negotiate over things in SB7. The union sure is. This leadership listens to the members and if the members are will to take pay concessions for qulity of workplace issues, the leadership will follow suit.

    If you want a better school for your kids, call the mayors office.

  • 355. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Paul, I agree @353. Let’s remember this post because I bet you are pretty much on the mark when all is said and done. You can be the oracle with the crytal ball 🙂

    @354 Frank and other teachers posting good ideas about a better educational environment. i would love this too. I have a question that just won’t go away. If there is such a passionate plea for this wonderful learning evnironment for my kids (which a strike will certainly not obtain), then where have the teachers been on this issue the last 20 years? You certainly have the power and the voice to influence things. As junior pointed out, when teachers had the chance to give purely to the kids for the kids sake with recess last year by moving open campus, you didn’t. How am I to believe you are being genuine now? EVERY single school was asked to add recess, but it was not mandated. No negotiations needed, no strike vote needed, it is in the current contract. Yet, teachers said no to giving students recess and in some instances it got quite ugly. Not because of budget, not because of facilities, not because of gangs. Simply because teachers did not want to.

  • 356. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    One addition to my 355 post, principals were at fault too in sweeping the recess opportunity under the rug to avoid conflict. As a person, I do not begrudge them wanting to keep peace. As a person, I do not begrudge teachers for wanting to have the shorter day. However, as a parent, I do begrude that recess was denied to my kids.

    How funny, I am sure I begrudge cps for something in the recess push last year, but they are the ones that pushed the policy, both Mazany and Brizard. Maybe they are “begrudgeless” on recess?

  • 357. Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Exactly what Mom23 says in post 355:

    “when teachers had the chance to give purely to the kids for the kids sake with recess last year by moving open campus, you didn’t.”

    That right there says it all about how many parents feel about CTU.

  • 358. Frank Thompson  |  June 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I can’t answer for those schools because I teach high school, but I know of many schools that unoficially do recess. Likely the union doesn’t do it because we are pretty big on agreement of doing things contractually so that it is in writing and protected. When the BOE circumvents the contract in individual schools, the whole divide and conquer thing happens pretty easily. Even so, there are a good deal of schools that find

    I don’t think any member agrees with 100% of what the union does, but I do think each member understand the it is easier to bargin untied then to beg individually.

  • 359. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Sorry Frank, but recess is right now–at this moment–in the contract that expires this month. Those that offer recess cut into instructional time or force kids to wolf down lunch to get a few minutes on the playgound. As a parent, it showed me lound and clear where my kids stand. I think there is an old thread that goes through this very issue?

  • 360. teacher in Englewood  |  June 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    How appropriate that I am reading this at this very moment. I am on my prep as gunshots ring out on the play lot behind me. We will not hear follow-up sirens, btw. It’s too common. Not an isolated incident I assure you. Last week a mom came to the school with a golf club to beat another mom on the play lot just before dismissal. Also not an isolated incident. We cannot have a recess that is safe. Our play lot is littered with broken glass and small bags of drug paraphernalia. We have been voicing this concern for YEARS. No one listens. No one cares. The only one who keeps coming back to make a difference in my neighborhood is the teachers. We extended our hours to make a difference. Now the Board has interfered to make that impossible for us (as mentioned in a previous thread). I am so tired of listening to the banter back and forth of hypothetical. Most are in well-to-do, or certainly better off than where I am at. We have tried to make a difference and been spat on by CPS in my opinion. It becomes tiresome to hear my profession become vilified over and over. I LOVE my job. I LOVE my children. I LOVE my school. That doesn’t mean that I have to love the contract that is being proposed and want better.

  • 361. teacher in Englewood  |  June 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    What do the kids do when gunshots ring out? They say, “they shootin'” and move away from the windows. They are so desensitized to it all. And sadly, so are the teachers.

  • 362. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    @357 Mom

    Yeah, sometimes CTU interests align with parent interests and sometimes they don’t. So, given a looming strike authorization, the question becomes what can parents do to encourage CTU to negotiate on items that are of common interest rather than items that are of conflicting interest. Parent political clout is on the rise and I’m sure we will be wooed by both sides. Let’s get our own list of demands in order.

  • 363. mom2  |  June 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    If Karen Lewis will publicly take Eric Skalinder’s list and say that the CTU will not ask for more than a 2% increase if at least some of these items are opened for discussion, that would be good.

  • 364. HS Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Paul, that about sums it up. With families and kids in the middle.

  • 365. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    As referenced by Mr Skalinder, here is the CTU proposal for how to improve our schools. CTU put it on the table, and it contains what a whole lot of us want for our kids schools. Now, will CPS open up the talks to these things? Let’s see. http://www.ctunet.com/blog/text/SCSD_Report-02-16-2012-1.pdf

  • 366. Paul  |  June 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    @365 chicagodad. I posted about that CTU proposal on another blog. I have read that report, and I like it. But, in my view, it’s a large wish list, it must be paid for, and that money will not fall out of the sky after the teachers strike. It has to be paid for by you and me and all the other working adults in this city. Reasonable salary demands from the union would be helpful here. Voting to authorize a strike because the raise isn’t big enough and because you feel disrepected and belittled is not helpful in achieving the goals of that CTU plan, in my opinion.

  • 367. karet  |  June 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Could someone explain what would happen if there is a strike? When would it start? How long do they typically last? (what has been the duration of past strikes?) How is the conflict eventually resolved?
    (I apologize for my ignorance!)

  • 368. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Paul, My answer to the funding issues is simple, TIF funds. Rahm recently spent $29 million on a high rise that has no tenants lined up, a deal started under Daley. http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2012/05/17/mayor-rahms-not-so-new-idea-tifs-for-the-rich While some of the other proposals the CTU makes on financing are about as likely to happen as teeth on a duck, the ideas are never the less sound.The money does exist, we have no say in what’s done with it even though it’s our money. The tower would still pay it’s taxes and could still be built without the TIF money. Our schools? Still twisting in the wind while being used to set us against each other on bogus funding issues. Hint on the national scene: no trickle down will happen as no jobs need be created since they already have the money. Creating jobs takes a lot more actual work than making capital gains in the rigged wall street casinos.

  • 369. Paul  |  June 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I like TIF funds going back to the schools. Is a teacher strike or threat of a strike likely to make that happen? Does the mayor, the city countil, or the taxpayers at large think that paying CPS teachers more is a good investment? Or, do they think that spending more tax money on higher teacher pay is not likely to improve the education of our children? It seems to me that bringing TIF funds back to the schools is a completely separate issue from the teachers striking for a better contract.

  • 370. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    #360~teacherinEnglewood~that’s just it, I remember when they closed the campus due to gangs/violence. i know those kids have become desensitized and that is so sad. I also know, and now the bd has agreed, that some schools can’t have recess in the coming yr.
    Stay strong, I think you’ll get MORE than 75%, but I also don’t think they’ll be a strike.

  • 371. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    #360~do your kids have art, pe, music, drama, world languages??

  • 372. CPS Parent  |  June 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    @368. chicagodad Someone will have to give us a primer on TIFF law but my understanding is that 1) TIFFs are controlled by state law 2) The resulting projects produce revenue for the city/county such as property taxes (even a high rise without tenants has to pay property taxes, which fund schools of course) 3) TIFF money can be used to secure bonds which is how CPS uses TIFF money but the bonds are issued against real property such as buildings.I don’t think TIFF funds can be used (by state law) to fund CPS’s operating budget.

  • 373. CPS Parent  |  June 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    *TIF* not TIFF

  • 374. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    @368
    You’re citing careless spending that was pushed through by Daley and City Council four years ago as evidence that we are now flush with money?

    The fact that we squandered money in the past is not evidence that we have tons of money, but it is evidence of what helped bring us into our current royal mess.

  • 375. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Paul, The strike is about not just teacher pay but funding the programs we all want for our schools. I have a problem with Rahm/CPS crying poor when the TIF fund is full of our cash. Here’s the Readers archive on TIF’s. Ben Joravsky is an expert on them. http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/the-chicago-reader-tif-archive/Content?oid=1180567

  • 376. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Here’s an article from Ben that’s much more to the point. http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/jean-claude-brizard-chicago-public-schools/Content?oid=3724688

  • 377. mom2  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    @Paul, I agree with your last two posts – 366 and 369. Thank you.

  • 378. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    SORRY, I couldn’t resist a quote from the article.
    “I can understand if you find this confusing. There’s really nothing like the Chicago TIF program anywhere in the free world. Yes, there are TIFs in other states, including New York. But your home state bars schools from sending money to the TIF kitty. They can’t do it even if they want to. What a funny concept: forcing schools to spend their money on schools.

    If, for instance, the mayor of Rochester wanted to create a TIF district in one of the wealthiest corners of town to funnel tax dollars to one of the wealthiest operations in town—as Mayor Daley did when he sent $15 million to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange—that’s his business. But he’d only be able to take the handout from the city’s share of tax dollars. New York law prevents him from adding school dollars to the mix. In Chicago, the law’s just the opposite: schools have to give up their money, whether they want to or not.”

  • 379. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    #376~chiccagodad~thanks for that link!

  • 380. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Say it ain’t so! Parents deeply concerned about their kids schools in the dark about TIF funds? Oh the horror of it all!

  • 381. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    @380
    Most everyone would like to see TIF money shifted more to school funding, but I’m not sure that has relevance to CTU negotiations.

  • 382. mom2  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Junior, I think that is the point. I just can’t correlate the CTU negotiations and threat of a strike, which so far can only be about very specific things (salary), and the wish for TIF money to take care of that long list of most of the other things that both teachers and parents would like for CPS schools.

  • 383. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    well it could be abt more if CPS would open up negotiations. Those specific things are what sb7 reads and that’s what Rahm wanted.

  • 384. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    @382
    Yeah, CTU/CPS talks are a labor negotiation, not a negotiation on education policy and spending. You can see potential mistakes in conflating the two with the recess/open-campus debacle. If this is where education policy is being created, then parents need to kick down the door and demand a seat at the table.

  • 385. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Please explain how it’s not relevant that CPS cries poor on the schools while it sends hundreds of millions per year to the TIF fund? It’s utterly completely totally relevant. The longer day an unfunded mandate, contractual raise of 4% denied, plenty of $$$$ for charters and testing, money to incentivize the longer day for early adopters but CPS has no money for what we want? Seriously, don’t you want the property tax dollars we pay that are supposed to go to our kids schools to actually get there?

  • 386. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    #385~chicagodad~you are soooo correct. Rahm wants and UNFUNDED 7 hr day…parents need to kick down his door and demand that he meets with them. In fact I think parents should start the kicking in of Rahm’s door as soon as possible. I will get some parents on that…thanks jr.

  • 387. mom2  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    “Seriously, don’t you want the property tax dollars we pay that are supposed to go to our kids schools to actually get there?” – Yes, but I don’t see that being brought up or it having anything to do with the CTU contract labor negotiations. I am pretty sure that is what we keep saying, but you aren’t hearing us.

  • 388. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    @385
    I do want to see increased funding, including TIFs, for schools. But it’s a public policy issue, not an issue for a process in which CPS and CTU divide up the pie behind closed doors.

  • 389. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Another thing parents should start doing is calling Rahm’s office and DEMANDING to meet w/him abt the UNFUNDED 7hr day. He can’t fund the 7.75 hr day and he want an UNFUNDED 7hr day. Parents must unite and kick his door down.

  • 390. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I meant he can’t fund the 5.75 day and he wants UNFUNDED 7hrs

  • 391. chicagodad  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Anyone who thinks this is not continuing under Rahm please call your doctor now! http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/the-schools-scam/Content?oid=922475

  • 392. Foureyes  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    @Karet $#367 – as no one has answered you…here is something for you to help you gain perspective.

    1980
    The CTU strikes for 10 days in response to delayed paydays resulting from low enrollment and escalating costs.
    • Approximately 473,000 students are affected by the CTU’s strike

    1983
    • The CTU strikes for 15 days, and teachers demand a 10% salary increase.
    • Approximately 436,000 students are affected by the CTU’s strike.

    1984
    • The CTU strikes for 10 days in response to the Board’s plan to cut medical benefits.
    • Approximately 450,000 students are affected by the CTU’s strike.

    1985
    • The CTU strikes for 2 days in support of its contract demands.

    1987
    • The CTU strikes for 19 days – the longest strike in the CTU’s history – after the parties reach a deadlock in salary negotiations.
    • Approximately 430,000 students are affected by the CTU’s strike.

    ALL lost time is made up…students would not lose instructional days. Usually those days are made up – by cutting out vacation holidays (i.e. winter/spring breaks) and extension of school year in June.

  • 393. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    @389 SSI4
    I think there must something wrong with your computer. Every time you type the word ‘unfunded’ it appears in all CAPS. It’s happened about the last 75 times in a row that you’ve posted that statement.

  • 394. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    #388~you’re right Jr. many things are going on behind closed doors and we need to kick down Rahm’s door. I plan on calling some parents this evening. We need to take action against the UNFUNDED 7hr day.

  • 395. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    @388
    Yes, good idea. Go make some phone calls. You might want to block the caller ID function before you start calling. Just sayin.

  • 396. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    @394

  • 397. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    My ID is blocked, it comes up private. But I’ve sent out some emails and will make some calls.

  • 398. Thesea  |  June 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I LOVE IT

    “When selective enrollment schools serving 1% of CPS students receive 24% of TIF funding spent on schools and I work in a neighborhood school, I do not feel respected or supported.”

  • 399. Thesea  |  June 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I agree….sour grapes.

    “It does come off as bitterness when people keep mentioning how “no one else got raises”. Sounds like the complaint of a six year old…..Susie got more!!”

  • 401. Angie  |  June 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    @392. Foureyes: How were these strikes resolved? Did the teachers get everything they wanted, or was there a compromise?

    It appears that every single strike was about getting more money or benefits for the teachers. But, what about the students? Was there ever a strike demanding things that affect only the children, such as art teachers and libraries that Matt Farmer talks about in his often reposted video? Those things did not disappear from schools overnight, so why didn’t CTU care about them until now?

  • 402. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    @teacher in englewood: how would you like to see cps address that recess problem? What needs to be done?
    Obviously a clean playground is a start. How to deal with the extreme non-safety issue?
    That is really horrible.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 403. UpsetHighSchoolStudent  |  June 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I sincerely wish that all non-teachers and “outsiders” would see that this strike authorization vote is NOT only about teacher compensation. This is all about getting a quality education; not removing art and music programs, not giving like 10 standardized tests a year, not funding schools; not handing out ridiculous demands but providing NO funding for any programs. You think this strike vote is bad and going to affect your kid in a bad way? Well guess what, if CPS is allowed to push teachers and schools around, I GUARANTEE you that students city-wide will get one hell of a CRAPPY education.
    How do I know this? I’m a high school student. I see it from the inside where parents are not. Emmanuel and Brizzard are FAR from the saints they cry out to be on TV and through their letters. They mean nothing to me. I know what a good education is (hello, I’m the one getting it!) and what they are offering (which we are VERY well informed about) is a load of….you get the point. Listen to the students. PLEASE. The media just likes to show the “30% raise” part (which btw is a lie, they’re not even asking for 24) but never the rest of the proposed contract.

  • 404. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    @cps parent: love the math! I wonder what the pension numbers look like.
    If cps can print some money, we’re good.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 405. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Anyone wanting to beat down rahm’s door, I’d not bother starting from scratch, but contact ryh on how to grow the force.
    One thing to be learned from the ctu — power in numbers!
    Lone phone calls don’t do it. Groups who speak to the media repeatedly do….
    The bigger the better.
    We all know we need the funding.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 406. Foureyes  |  June 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    @ Angie I don’t claim to be a professional labor organizer. I am a teacher. Karet had asked a question…(which no one else answered) and I tried to help her get that information. It is as simple as that.
    What I can tell you – and I am not a veteran teacher who has been in the system for 30 years…is that CTU – it appears – was run by an entirely different group of persons in recent years. When I first came into the system about 9 years ago – I would say most teachers trusted neither CPS nor CTU. That was the feeling that I had. When I used to read the union news – (before) I kind of felt like the leadership was just interested in photo opportunities. That was my perspective. I don’t feel like that now. This may be due to the fact that the persons who are in CTU leadership now were actually teachers (some of whom I have actually had the pleasure of teaching with). A great majority they have been in the ‘trenches’ – they come from a group called C.O.R.E. (Caucus of Rank and File Educators) Having actually been teachers – might account for why they came up with the plan “The Schools that Chicago Students deserve” and – I believe – accounts for why they are trying to bring up issues (like the art/music/etc) that have been ignored. I cannot answer questions about CTU persons of yore.

    I am a newer teacher and I come from out of state – so I cannot answer many questions due to my experience and due to my not being a Chicago native. Perhaps a veteran teacher can answer some of your questions.

  • 407. Mayfair Dad  |  June 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    @ 392 – you forgot to list the time CTU called a strike in favor of recess, or the time CTU threatened to walk out in support of a longer school day, or the time CTU staged a protest to demand free Pre-K for all children in Chicago…oops, my bad, never mind.

    Unions exist to protect the financial interests of union members. Job security is job # 1 for a union. Public employee unions have gotten fat feeding at the taxpayer trough, and now the pendulum is swinging the other way.

    Reagan had the right idea when he replaced the air traffic controllers. Don’t be surprised if Rahm does the same.

  • 408. Angie  |  June 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    The union reps may want to take a look at the comments for the Tribune article to see how the public feels about their vote. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-teachers-take-strike-authorization-vote-today-20120606,0,7317616.story

    I’m particularly curious about this one:

    “Mike_J at 1:30 PM June 6, 2012
    Go look at the stats- I think out of 95,000 teachers in chicago – about two, not two percent, but TWO tenured are fired for performance reasons per year.

    Ahh yes from the wall street journal:
    An award-winning study of Illinois school districts over an 18-year period found an average of two tenured teachers out of 95,000 were dismissed for underperformance each year…

    This cycle leads to what educators call “the dance of the lemons”—the practice of shuffling underperforming teachers from school to school. It’s easier to push a teacher to a school down the street than it is to push them out of the profession.

    I have also seen that it costs about 100k to fire a teacher – beause the union will almost always file a grievance and it has to work its way through the courts….”

    Can anyone confirm or deny this, preferrably with some kind of proof?

  • 409. Foureyes  |  June 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    @Mayfair Dad…as stated before…I am not a professional Labor organizer. I am a teacher. Please retract your claws. Thank you.

  • 410. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    @408: I must say (and I’ve been meaning to say this), I appreciate the civility (for the most part…there are, of course exceptions) of the discourse on CPSO vs. on the Trib. I admire people who can disagree and express it in a civil manner without insults, sarcasm, and snark. I don’t find it useful to read dissenting opinions when they’re poorly written and full of vitriol — and they’re much less likely to make me re-think my position or consider another side. However, I have learned a lot by reading the thoughtful back-and-forth in this thread, and I thank those of you who are able to express your opinion without belittling or insulting the other side.

    That said…since you sent me to the Trib, I fell into a vortex of reporting on this issue, and found this article, which I had not seen before. It surprised me, to say the least. 🙂
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-05-15/news/ct-met-rahm-school-poll0516-20120516_1_school-day-chicago-teachers-union-wgn-tv-poll

  • 411. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Foureyes, you are a member of the union and paying dues (which you have no choice and are forced to pay your dues). You are in a tough situation. I feel for ya and appreciate your comments. You will continue to feel the claws because you are either choosing to stand with your union or they are forcing you to stand with them. Either way, the claws come as a response to the absurd situation your union is putting you in. A strike will not bring anything to the table except discussion about compensation. A strike is not the way to get art, music or language. I do think the ctu is selling teachers a lie that they can make any of it happen with a strike. You can strike until the cows come home and the core problems that you cite will still be there.

    Mayfair Dad, glad to hear from you! Yes the Regan situation does come to mind. As a parent, I would certainly devote energy to helping the good teachers cross that line to keep their job and help the school find new teachers. Maybe that is the way to finally get the bad ones out of the system. Start over and keep the good ones. Wouldn’t that be great!

  • 412. anonymouseteacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    @407. Reagan was able to fire and replace the air traffic controllers because they were striking illegally, after a federal judge ordered them all to return to work and they refused. It is not illegal for CPS teachers to strike under the conditions that are happening now. I think you have a right to your opinion but firing us all can’t happen because of the laws that exist. Of course, as a citizen, you are free to try and change those laws should you feel strongly about them. I am sure some people would agree with you.

  • 413. Angie  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    @410. Parent and CPS Employee:

    “The latest poll of 700 registered Chicago voters was conducted May 2-10 and has an error margin of 3.7 percentage points, greater for subgroups.

    If teachers are going to teach longer hours, they should be paid more for it, the poll found. Sizable majorities of Chicago residents as a whole (86 percent) and public school parents (92 percent) agreed with that concept.”

    How does polling 700 of unverified voters translate into 86-92 percent of Chicago residents feeling the same? Were they even asked if they or someone in their family is a member of CTU?

  • 414. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Not sure, Angie, I wasn’t part of the poll..just linked it.

  • 415. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    @410 and Angie, the thing that strikes me about the poll is the question itself is leading and not accurate. Teachers are paid for a 7 hour day. The day is technically longer for the students next year but not the teachers. Although, I am not sure how the before school time panned out, so they maybe work about 30 more minutes? But then the next question that comes to mind is are they hourly or salary workers? From what teachers post, they work a lot of hours anyway, so all that is really happening is shifting some of those hours to the students instead of grading papers. If you have more time to teach, then you should be able to work smarter and not have to assign as much homework. There are ways to manage this that seems to be ignored. How does this warrant 30% raise or “29%” as Lewis clarified on chicago tonight, “we did not ask for 30%, we asked for 25%, plus 4%, plus 5% cost of living raise or 29% total”. Blah, this whole thing always become so circular.

  • 416. dropping by  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    This is done all the time Angie, it’s called a “sample”

  • 417. dropping by  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    @411, wrong. You do have a choice of being a member

  • 418. Funny  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    @407

    “Unions exist to protect the financial interests of union members. Job security is job # 1 for a union. Public employee unions have gotten fat feeding at the taxpayer trough, and now the pendulum is swinging the other way.
    Reagan had the right idea when he replaced the air traffic controllers. Don’t be surprised if Rahm does the same.”

    Good luck with this! I would love to see the average person spend one day in some of our fine “neighborhood school”

  • 419. Tax payer. and TEACHER  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    @407/ Mayfair dad.

    “Public employee unions have gotten fat feeding at the taxpayer trough, and now the pendulum is swinging the other way.”

    Geez….I thought I was a taxpayer as well, or at least that is what my tax return implies.

  • 420. Teacherjp  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Says mayfair dad-“Unions exist to protect the financial interests of union members. Job security is job # 1 for a union” SO? Your point is?

  • 421. anon1  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    @415 – OMG – I cannot believe they actually really are asking for 29%. I thought that must have been an exaggeration. They want tax payers to pay them 29% more after they have been receiving raises every year during this terrible economy.

    It isn’t whining to express that the majority of these people that CTU expects to dig into their pockets to pay more for teachers are the same people that have had either no raise or 2% at the most for many years (if they kept their jobs at all). I got my increase today – 1.5 percent and that is more than last year. I for one cannot afford to get a new car or fix the 10 year old one, pay for my insurance or send my child to college or take a vacation, let alone save for retirement. Even if this is a starting point for negotiations, it is outrageous. This tells me once again that it really is about money, no matter how many wonderful, well-meaning teachers post something different on this site.

    Oh, and I think teachers should be paid more if they work longer hours (so they match the length of school day in most other places at least). That sounds nice and fair. The poll doesn’t ask how much more – how about what CPS offered and says they can afford? That is more…

  • 422. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    @417 No kidding? Teachers can opt out of being a union member? A parent I know who became a teacher tried to not join the union and it didn’t work. She said she had to join. No choice, it is deducted from the paycheck. What is the source of your info? This puts things in a different light for me. Then why the heck have teachers been paying dues to a union that has not given them what they are asking for decades? I learn so much from this blog.

  • 423. Teacherjp  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Someone who gets it….

    “Personally.. My belief is that this is a contract issue, not a bad teacher/good teacher issue. Most of us do what is necessary to get the raise and working conditions we think we deserve. Teachers should be allowed the same right. I personally think both sides need to mediate this out of the sight of the media
    but I do not blame the teachers for fighting for what they think is fair. How can I, when every year I do the same thing at my annual job review? It is hypocritical if I blame them (we all do this with our bosses). Furthermore, the statement that “we pay their salaries” ignores the fact that they also contribute to their own salary, living, working, eating, owning homes in Chicago. Their spouses, kids, partners, parents, cousins, aunts, etc. etc..also contribute SO my point is as cps parents it rings false if we only look at our contribution as taxpayers. They and their families are just as valuable to chicago’s taxes as we are.”

  • 424. anonymouseteacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    @415, I wish I could just “work smarter” and not have to assign so much homework. One reason that cannot happen is because with Common Core coming, our standards for what kids need to know are going to increase dramatically. This means they’ll have even more homework than ever. I’ll do my part with the time I have at school and increase my input, but students will need to do more at home too. Plus, merit pay, whether teachers like it or not is coming. In some form or the other it is coming and it will be tied to test scores. If that is the case, I am going to expect even more of my students on top of the Common Core requirements. As my pay will be tied directly to my students’ performance, they will have to increase their workload as much as I will so I can ensure I will get that pay. Currently, I assign about one hour a week of total homework for my grade level. Next year, it will be at least 2-3 hours per week. College ready starts in prek. I am not being facetious or exaggerating. This is reality.

    It might seem like since teachers are putting in so much time already that they can now use some of that total time during the day to do some of that work, it doesn’t really work like that in reality. I teach an early primary grade and every second I am teaching I have to be present with them. It might also seem like kids will learn more during the longer day. Yes, they will, but as I said above, expectations have risen dramatically and so will the work load for all of us. For me, the more time I work with students, the more time I have to do ON TOP of that student time. Every additional hour in the classroom of face time literally means an additional 1-2 hours of time spent outside of that face time.

    I was totally dreading that extra work, but over the last few weeks I have kind of accepted it. My school is working on some exciting collaborative things and I am going to spend the summer aligning my curriculum and planning thematic units to address Common Core. Call me a nerd, but teaching 5 year olds to critically look at literature and examine what methodology an author uses to evoke emotions in a reader really does it for me! 🙂

  • 425. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    @415 — for high school, at least, yes, my official working day will be longer.. I think when you say that the day will be longer for students but not technically for teachers, you’re talking about the elementary schools with lunch at the end of the day, right? And as far as the poll question is worded, I thought it was pretty simple — should teachers be paid more if they’re being asked to work a longer day. I was surprised at the percentages in favor, given what I read on the blogs and message boards. And I in no way want to belittle your opinion or anyone else’s opinion on CPSO, but I think it’s important to note that the people who are fired up and angry are the ones who post more often on the Internet…there may be more parent support than I realize given that I get most of my parent reactions from this website. We have very, very little parent involvement at my school so I haven’t had many opportunities to hear how parents of my students feel about the contract issues.

  • 426. dropping by  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    @421- so because your raise sucked the teachers’ raise should also suck? This kind of comment is why some teachers feel that this is just “sour grapes” talking

  • 427. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    @415

    “Teachers are paid for a 7 hour day.”

    Perhaps this is true for high school, but as I have stated before I am paid for 6.25 hours, I work in an elementary school. I am contracted to be in school 30 minutes earlier than my children. My current “lunch” is at dismissal. That is unpaid.

    We will work 25 minutes before the students arrive from what I have read is being proposed. We will also be paid in advance and then owe the board 15 minutes of each day back at a later time, which seems interesting. This will be set aside for meetings either after school or on weekends.

  • 428. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    The problem with the poll (which as a marketing researcher I’d consider n=700 a sizable sample) is that it doesn’t address WHERE the money will come from. We have a fixed pot. Who doesn’t agree that teachers should be paid more if we could print money?

    If the state gives us more money, if the city gives us more money, it’s either more taxes or something else gets cuts that somebody else cares about just like we care about education.

    I know I’m stating the obvious, but if the question about “should teachers be paid more” was followed by “and then your propery taxes would rise” I suspect the answer would be different, no?

  • 429. Angie  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    @426. dropping by: “@421- so because your raise sucked the teachers’ raise should also suck?”

    Actually, yes, because he/she is the taxpayer paying for the teachers’ raise.

  • 430. Teacherjp  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    How many times does it have to be said that teachers contribute HEARTILY to taxes? We are taxpayers too.

  • 431. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    @422: Yes, you can opt out of the union. We have several non-union members on our faculty.

  • 432. Teacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    @ Angie

    Wah. Wah,Wah …….I got screwed by my boss, so everyone should get screwed. Wah, Wah, Wah……

  • 433. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    @424 Thanks for the insight. Common Core will be very good for the kids with dedicated teachers like you. Nerds rule! I can’t help but think how the mediocre teachers who just go through the motions will do. Hopefully the new merit pay system will weed them out. I am confident that junior and chicagodad can figure it out together 😉

  • 434. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I think the implied point in “I didn’t get a raise” is “the econonmy is still in the crapper so now isn’t really the time for people to be expecting hefty raises” (unless you are part of the 1% of course, they never seem to lose out.)
    Most people are grumbling but not striking as they ride out the economy.
    More pay for longer day, I get that. More pay for more pay during crummy economic times — harder to generate sympathy for.

  • 435. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    @428, point taken. But because so much of this has made me feel as though I’m in the defensive position, it was nice to see a few positive vibes come our way…lemme have that, will you? 🙂

  • 436. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    @415 also

    But then the next question that comes to mind is are they hourly or salary workers?

    I’m not sure how to answer that question. Technically I am salaried. However I swipe in and out of a machine every day as if I was hourly. However, if I swipe in early or out late I get paid for my 6.25 hour day.

    “From what teachers post, they work a lot of hours anyway, so all that is really happening is shifting some of those hours to the students instead of grading papers.”

    Yes we work many hours. I don’t grade papers for the grade/subject that I teach, however I do have lots of paperwork associated with my job. The paperwork is not going to go away simply because I am with students more. In fact the paperwork has increased greatly this year. Additionally, the systems CPS pays for for us to type this paperwork in are very unstable and break often causing us to do the work twice.

  • 437. Cps westside Teacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Mayfair dad would like all of us teachers replaced if we strike, so…who is ready to fill in? Show of hands please. And remember there are only so many SEHS around. Most of you ” we can do it better for cheaper” will end up in your average cps school.

    Show of hands please..

  • 438. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    @424 anonymouseteacher: I agree, you do always point out that a good teacher needs to put in more time to make things work. I pray that all th cps teachers are up to the common core task like you are…

  • 439. anonymouseteacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    We also have some non-union members in my school. Non-union members are mandated to contribute a small amount of their pay (maybe $20 a month?) to the CTU because even as non-union members, the benefits that protect members still benefit non-members. Some of those benefits include things like the right to grieve class sizes over a certain amount (though nothing will be done about it) and even the amount of pay one receives. Non-members benefit from the collective bargaining of the union regardless if they are members. I think I pay around $100 a month to the CTU (I could be wrong on that, though, I stopped looking at what goes where a while ago).

  • 440. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    @427 This is a typical misunderstanding on time. You are paid for 6.25 hours and take your .75 hour lunch at dismissal. You are fairly compensated for a 7 hour day. NO ONE in the private sector gets paid for lunch either, it is an OSHA requirement. The difference is salaried employees do not say, I work an 8 hour day, but am paid for 7 hours because I don’t get paid for lunch. No, we just say I work an 8 hour day. The difference is that for the most part, private sector can not choose to take their lunch at the end of the day. So it is fair to say teachers are compensated for a 7 hour day already. It makes the comparison apples to apples with the way most private sector and taxpayers would view it. I think it is a shame that ctu and cps are not clarifying points like this because they cause unnecessary disagreements.

  • 441. annon  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Cpsobsessed ,

    Please tell me where or when CTU ever said, ” More pay for more pay “? Unless I missed something the more pay is in reaction to more work and a longer day. Right?

  • 442. Teacherjp  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    @ mom23
    “We are fairly compensated” says who?

  • 443. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    I was under the impression that you pay the same amount union or “agency fee.”

    If you are an “agency fee” you have specific issues you can and cannot vote on.

  • 444. cpsmommy  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Illinois is not a “Right to Work” state. This means that you can refrain from joining the union, but you still have to pay dues, even if you are not a member.

  • 445. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    @440, I’m not sure if you’re just addressing the elementary school issue but, again, for high schools, we will be officially working longer hours next year than we do this year. The students’ day will be longer and the teachers’ day will be longer. There are additional full working days included in the school year as well. It’s not just that we’re “figuratively” working more and longer hours.

  • 446. Once a starry eyed teacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Looking at my sea of 2nd graders, half who want to be teachers just like me, or at least that is what they tell me as they hug me goodbye most afternoons, makes me extremely sad. I would hate to see these precious, smart, talented, full of potential young people enter a career as disrespected as mine. It is a real shame. I was like them once. I wish it was different, but when the “educated” start questioning the value of education and worth of teachers……well what hope do I have?

  • 447. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    @436, I would be insulted to have to punch a clock like you do. I suspect the reason you have to do that is to keep the bad and mediocre teachers clocked? However, good professional teachers are subject to it too. Or another reason may relate to this. My dad works in a govt office and has to palm in and out. I was told the reason for this is to stop the “ghost payroll” of the corrupt. He has to prove it is his showing up and leaving work every day.

  • 448. Once a starry eyed teacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    To be questioned, second guessed, judged without even being known or seen in my classroom is hard. I was Dean’s List four years at DePaul, awarded an academic scholarship, volunteered since high school in St. Vincent’s Day Care for underserved youth, but because I dare to ask for a raise I am vilified, accused of being a bad teacher, greedy, lazy, dumb, can’t get a “real job”, just the comments from this blog….wow. Wish I had a time machine.

  • 449. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    @442 Teacherjp. Read the above posts by Paul, he clearly shows how you are fairly compensated already. His numbers do not include your guaranteed pension benefit, which really about doubles your salary in real dollars over time. You should check out your pension brochure. There are examples there which read like a saturday night live skit, but are apparently true.

  • 450. UpsetHighSchoolStudent  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    @Once a starry eyed teacher I feel very much like you do. Since I’m in HS I have to start thinking about what I want to do with my life. Teachers have had a special impact on me and I have felt in my heart that I want to teach; it’s almost like this “super power” I have. But all the politics and hatred coming from others unfortunately make the career seem VERY undesirable…I wish it wasn’t that way though. But I appreciate all the teachers including you♥

  • 451. cps teachet  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    @447—-Really! To keep track of bad teachers? Don’t you think the screaming from a classroom of 30 kids with a missing teacher will signal that the teacher is not there? Please don’t drink the cps kozol aide without thinking it through first.

  • 452. teacherjp  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    @MOM23,
    Yeah I read his post AND I ask again, who says we are fairly compensated?

  • 453. Marched with king  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Starry eyed teacher– “I wish it was different, but when the “educated” start questioning the value of education and worth of teachers……well what hope”

    You are assuming that the commenters are educated. It is clear that they are not. Real educated people know the value and worth of education and teachers. Anyone who discounts the “worth”of education is NOT educated. I don’t care how many degrees they have. When you put a price on education you know we are in trouble as a society. It wasn’t so long ago when people were willing to die to be educated. Not we sit here arguing over what amounts to and average of a couple thousand dollars per teacher. True educators are rolling in their graves. Please who fought for education is rolling in their graves. People all over the world denied education would shake their heads in shame and wonder…they know the worth of education!

  • 454. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    @451 I was just speculating on the history of why this archaic act of time clock is still used. It would be interesting to find out why and odds are it does not apply today. Just like the silly way teachers were forced to compile sick days for maternity leave. That should be a welcome change for you.

    The “ghost payroll” thing has to do with someone on a payroll who gets paid and never shows up. There were a lot of instances back in the day of chicago politics with the first Daley. A “ghost payroller” was never a teacher yet on the payroll. It was the name of some guy who the politician owed a favor. So they would not have a class of kids screaming for them. Totally had to laugh at that image tho! I wonder if this the the “era” when the timeclock originated? A scandal hits the papers and then by the next year every city employee has to clock in and in the cps timewarp that never changed over the years.

  • 455. Marched with king  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    They moved closer and closer… Somebody started yelling… I tried to see a friendly face somewhere in the crowd—someone who maybe could help. I looked into the face of an old woman and it seemed a kind face, but when I looked at her again, she spat on me.[4]

    Woodrow Nilson Mann, the Mayor of Little Rock, asked President Eisenhower to send federal troops to enforce integration and protect the nine students. On September 24, the President ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army to Little Rock and federalized the entire 10,000 member Arkansas National Guard, taking it out of the hands of Faubus.

    How MUCH did this cost? Was it worth it? Hell yes….education is always worth it!

  • 456. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    @440

    I’m not asking to be paid for lunch. I was simply saying I get paid for a 6.25 hour day which is true. That’s what my paycheck reflects. I don’t understand why I would try to argue it was a 7 hour day, but I can sort of see your point if I wanted to compare myself to someone working 9-5 for the sake of an argument, but it would not dawn on me to do so.

    Next year this unpaid lunch will move to the middle of the day. I still will not be paid for it, which I understand. I am not arguing I should be. (Though CPS should then stop telling us we should “volunteer” to watch the children on our “duty free” lunch). It gets a bit confusing with the extra time thrown in to be banked.

    We will be in school 25 minutes before the children (instead of 30). We will be banking 15 minutes a day. Which will be put into our salary to be used later. We will apparently be working a 6.58 hour day, but really it will be a 6.83 hour day. So if we currently work a 6.25 hour day and next year will be working a 6.58 hour day, then we will be working longer with children. Still not getting paid for lunch. Still not planning on being paid for lunch. Just showing our hours will be longer.

  • 457. Angie  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    @452. teacherjp: “Yeah I read his post AND I ask again, who says we are fairly compensated?”

    Anyone who can do the math.

  • 458. Todd Pytel  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    “CTU – it appears – was run by an entirely different group of persons in recent years. When I first came into the system about 9 years ago – I would say most teachers trusted neither CPS nor CTU.”

    12-year veteran here, and I agree with this. CORE is not the CTU leadership of years past, though I wouldn’t fault non-teachers for not believing me. Put simply, CORE isn’t crooked. You can argue about whether they’re too aggressive, impolitic, myopic, etc. Maybe they are. But they’re not crooked. Someone mentioned upthread that Karen Lewis has plenty of money – in fact, she and the rest of the union executives set their own pay to be the same as it was in the classroom, prorated to a 49-week year. I think that’s fair, and it’s certainly far less than decades worth of CTU bosses paid themselves (even over the table, much less under the table).

    In particular, I know Jesse Sharkey – CTU’s negotiator – very well, and spent many hours discussing both teaching and educational policy with him long before he became influential within CTU. He cares deeply about students. He believes, as I do, that inequities in facilities and funding inevitably impact teacher quality and professionalism in schools serving disadvantaged populations, setting those students even further behind if not locking them into a permanent underclass altogether. He also knows perfectly well that the few teachers who aren’t meeting their responsibilites drag us all down. While he may ensure they receive due process, I have never seen him personally go to bat for a bad teacher.

    So, would CTU accept a contract that addressed a significant number of those non-compensation concerns (air conditioners, elementary art and music, reasonable class size, less testing, etc.) in exchange for a minimal 2% raise? I don’t know. Personally, I would accept a contract that addressed those issues and forego a raise altogether. But the union represents a lot of people who think differently, and the reality is that the leadership has to consider internal politics as well. That’s democracy for you. However, I will confidently state that those non-compensation issues matter to CTU (and teachers) a lot more than non-teacher observers might imagine. You don’t get near-100% strike authorization just because of money – we know we’re paid well at a time when many are struggling. You only get that kind of commitment when teachers feel that the entire fabric of public education is being torn apart, and that our supposed leaders are systematically undermining our goal of giving all students an opportunity in life. We chose our path in life because that goal is a noble one. We believe in it, and we will fight for it.

    Todd Pytel

  • 459. HS Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    @440 – You are absolutely right and something that I continually have to explain to my employees when they work 9-5:30 they are working a 7 1/2 hour day getting out early not working overtime for 1/5 hour.

    @425 – What amount of time will high school teachers add? I know students will add 1/2 hour for 4 days with 1 early release day for a small net increase in time. Not sure what how teacher hours change.

    I really don’t think that people here are sour grapes at all. Having worked in finance, I’ve seen tremendous financial wealth based upon who your family is, who you marry, luck and hard work. I don’t begrudge anyone their money. As far as those “idiot stockbrokers” go, right now they are some of the few customers that we have. They are the ones who buy the time-share at the school auction even when they don’t have a kid that goes to the school. They are the parents who write the checks when the school needs it. To me, sour grapes is when you roast Penny Pritzker over the coals instead of inviting her to understand and promote your goals.

  • 460. Marched with king  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    If there are bad teachers at your school, get involved, push the principal to get rid of them, force the teacher/principal to get with the program…….,,,,,,but don’t cloak this CPS/CTU money fight as anything more than a fight over money and what teachers/education is worth.

  • 461. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    @458: Wow. Thanks. Well said.

  • 462. Frank  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Angie….can you at least try to string a logical argument together?

  • 463. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    @456 Thank you for the detailing of the time. I am such a geek with that and I did not know how to find out this info. Just look to CPSO! I feel a very zen moment with you right now. I think we are on the same page about the lunch thing. It really makes me crazy why cps and ctu do not help articulate this stuff because it can be misconstrued so easily.

  • 464. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    @459: 30 minutes a day, I believe, although I’m still confused as, along with the additional time added, our day will start 45 minutes later than this year. Students will be released early on Wednesdays but teachers will not as that time is set apart for PD.

  • 465. Frank  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I love how we have selected to ignore “marched with king” well written posts. Says a lot. I for one will pause and think. Thank you.

  • 466. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    @MOM23

    I am told the time clocks have not always been around. They have been around since I have been in CPS with a few minor changes here and there in terms of the swiping procedure. I am not sure when they were initiated, perhaps any of the teachers who have been around longer than me and post here know the answer.

  • 467. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    @Mom23-

    I hope I did all of the calculations correctly, it took me awhile to wrap my brain around it all.

  • 468. HS Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    @464 thanks – I was wondering about that short day. It really sounds like a good plan to me. I hope you think so too. Most of our teachers work those hours now, they are wonderful. I know, this is a plus and people do not like to feel that they “have” to do it.

    And yes— get rid of the time clock.

    @446 – are you kidding? I look at my son’s kindergarten yearbook where he states that he wants to become a teacher. He now wants to go to law school. I am trying to get him back to teaching, much more security.

  • 469. anotherchicagoparent  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    @455 “marched with king” Not to go way off message here but Terrence Roberts of the Little Rock Nine was a guest speaker at my child’s school this year.It was one of the highlights of his school year.That night he eagerly told me all Mr Roberts had said and on his own he continued to look up more info online.Learning like that can never be measured by standardized tests.

  • 470. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    @once a starry eyed; reading your post I had a minor revelation, “yeah, what IS so wrong with people wanting a raise?” You’re right. People do deserve to ask/want/get and not be vilified.

    Then I remembered what hangs me up is the widget problem. Teachers all getting the same raise for showing up. I don’t think the current merit pay idea is good, but I somehow can’t stand to think of the hard working teachers who post here getting the same raise as some of the “less motivated” teachers who take some advantage of the tenure/difficult dismissal/low standards in some of the schools. I know I keep harping on it, it just doesn’t seem right.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 471. anonymouseteacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    @ 468, That’s funny, my daughter says she wants to teach and I am desperately hoping she’ll do anything else! I love my work, but would not choose it again if I had to do it over. I have this feeling like most people don’t want their kid to go into their profession because they know first hand what it is really like. My nurse friends all don’t want their kids to be nurses and the same for those who are cops. But, I guess they all do what they want to do no matter what we think, huh?

  • 472. mom2  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    “So, would CTU accept a contract that addressed a significant number of those non-compensation concerns (air conditioners, elementary art and music, reasonable class size, less testing, etc.) in exchange for a minimal 2% raise? I don’t know. Personally, I would accept a contract that addressed those issues and forego a raise altogether. But the union represents a lot of people who think differently, and the reality is that the leadership has to consider internal politics as well. That’s democracy for you. However, I will confidently state that those non-compensation issues matter to CTU (and teachers) a lot more than non-teacher observers might imagine. You don’t get near-100% strike authorization just because of money – we know we’re paid well at a time when many are struggling. ” – Thank you for stating this publicly. I so wish that Karen Lewis would state this, too. You would get so many more parents on your side if CTU and others stopped talking about deserving a raise and not being respected and publicly only talked about those things that you cannot bargain over in the actual talks (all the things that also benefit students). If you have it stated in writing that you would accept 2% if CPS offered some guarantee of some of the other items, parents would help force CPS to actually bring those things up during the negotiations. Right now, most people I know don’t believe that Karen Lewis really feels this way. They don’t believe it one single bit.

  • 473. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    @468: I am totally excited about the longer day (or will be once all of this is over with — it’s very nerve wracking for me). We have an amazing administrator (the first in my 7 years at this school — we’ve been through three principals in 7 years, two were absolutely horrible, this one is a wonder) (BTW, topic for new thread: how do principals escape so much blame in all of this??) who has innovative plans for restructuring the day. I’m a bit bummed about how late we’re going because it means I am going to miss out on after school activities (day care issues) but am excited to see how the new structure pans out. Thanks for asking.

  • 474. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Added for clarification — bummed not that the day is longer but because we’re starting 45 minutes later.

  • 475. mom1  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Marched with king– you did make me think

    Starry eyed teacher- I understand how it seems to the new, young, use to be excited teachers

  • 476. Paul  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    There is nothing wrong with wanting a raise. There is nothing wrong with asking for a raise. There is nothing wrong with a union bargaining for higher pay and benefits for its members. There is something wrong, in my opinion, with a union threatening to strike against a public school system in order to get more than a 2 percent raise.

    Generally, I’m all for unions playing hardball with their employers. In the marketplace, the end result may be an inferior product or higher costs for the product, or lower profits for the company. The problem here is that the inferior product is the education of my children. The higher cost is my tax bill. And, the lower profits is the fiscal health of the city.

  • 477. chicago vet  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    In the era of finding money for “pet projects- new soldier field, failed olympic bid, new lake shore drive, NATO, etc. etc. etc.

    It does ring false when the only option is a raise in taxes. As a lifelong (56 years) resident of chicago, it rings VERY false. We find money for any and everything in chicago-why not for the teachers?

    @ marched with king- I remember my parents (poor immigrants) fighting tooth and nail for my education. I agree, it is worth the cost.

  • 478. HS Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    @473 – awesome

  • 479. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    My Personal Worries About Merit Pay….

    I teach for a program that is in many schools city wide as a “cluster program” set up by the Office of Specialized Services.

    I know I am a dedicated and hardworking teacher and have made life alternating differences in the lives of my children. However I am completely skeptical about how the merit pay and value added procedures will work for teachers in my particular subject. I am not even convinced that many people at CPS understand my subject.

    I teach in an Early Childhood Special Education classroom. For those of you who do not know what ECSE is, this is a program that exists for young children with disabilities. You most likely know that we decide that children enter Kindergarten at 5 by 9/1. That means they are considered “age cycle 5.” Children can start in my classroom at “age cycle 2 (but are actually 3 years old).” There are different types of ECSE models and classrooms with different requirements, but I am not going to get into all of that. For the sake of my argument know that in these classrooms children can be anywhere between age cycle 2 and age cycle 4 for the “inclusive” classrooms and age cycle 2 – age cycle 5 for the “instructional” classrooms.

    Again these programs are “cluster” programs. Meaning the children are placed in these programs. They may happen to be at their neighborhood school and they may be at a school very far from their neighborhood. When they “age out” of their cluster program they may be sent to another cluster program, at a different school or back to their neighborhood school. From what I understand since I am in a “non-testing” subject, part of my pay will be determined based on the 3rd – 8th grade test scores at my school because theoretically they were once my students. Though in actuality there is a very slim chance my students will ever be the students that attend my school down the road.

    Currently CPS has the same coding for Age Cycle 2 and Age Cycle 3, they will both be marked as 3 year olds (so for the yet to be determined “performance tasks” they will be “graded” as 3 year olds for two years. Another flaw. Developmentally these children are most likely very different children even if their special needs are not taken into consideration a child who turned 3 on September 1st vs. one who turned 3 on June 1st are very different children.

    There are many important life skills worked on in ECSE classrooms that are most likely not going to be appropriate to be judged based on “performance tasks.” WIthout boring the readers, but providing enough examples during my average day, I work on skills such as:
    Potty Training, Communicating (Some of my children are Non-Verbal and communicate via simple pictures or gestures), Playing and turn-taking, many of my children have social skills needs.

    Additionally, my job is not based solely on my expertise. A typical day involves direct or consultative services from Speech, Social Work, Psych, Nursing (on the days the nurse is available), Psych, OT and PT. I also cannot forget the paraprofessionals that assist with the growth and development of my children. Those paraprofessionals which now must be justified with lengthy pieces of documentation such as toiling logs, logs to show how many times they are redirected, logs that show the mobility assistance for children with physical needs. Additionally, inclusive classrooms have the expertise of a general education teacher and special education teacher working together to meet the needs of the students. Collaboration is the key at the EC level. We work collaboratively in our programs how can I take the sole credit or discredit for a child succeeding or failing? In an inclusive setting how can the two teachers take the sole credit?

    I have many more questions about the “merit pay.” I am sure I will continue to come up with more.

    For now I will measure my success the little things. Such as the child who wasn’t potty trained in September being independent in the bathroom, the child that threw a tantrum every time they had to do a non-preferred activity now able to sustain attention to a teacher directed activity for 10 minutes with few prompts, the child that scribbled now able to draw a person with body parts and write his name, I could go on, but I need to do some IEP revisions due to the proposed longer school day.

  • 480. mommy  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    @ Paul
    “there is something wrong with asking for more than 2% raise”
    Why? Please explain.

  • 481. Paul  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    No. There’s nothing wrong with asking. There’s something wrong with striking.

  • 482. hazel  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I would like someone to answer “marched with king” question….How much is education worth?

  • 483. mommy  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Paul, still not explaining. Why is striking wrong?

  • 484. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    @473 and CPSO I am so glad to hear your excitement for the longer day and how it is working with your new principal! I got excited for the kids at your school just reading it.

    It really makes me think about what CPSO is “obsessing” about 😉 It takes a good principal and motivated teachers. (the longer day and common core are also key elements here) This is all happening at this school without negotiation or the threat of strike votes. It takes getting the lousy principals and mediocre teachers out of the system. Now I am obsessing about this too.

    I know it takes a thousand other things to be successful, but I am just obsessing about eliminating mediocrity.

  • 485. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I don’t understand the question about “how much is education worth?”.
    You want a dollar figure?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 486. mom1  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    CPSOBSESSED- I would love to hear your take on “marched with king’s” three earlier posts, since everyone has gone quiet it seems.

  • 487. hazel  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Well…. most seem to think 24% raise is too much. So a valid questions is how much are our teachers worth? We kinda need a dollar amount or percent? since most seem to think 24% or whatever is too much so how much is right. It seems ridiculous to say 24% is too much without knowing what is enough.

    So a teacher making 50,000 and 24% raise is about $ 12K so new salary is $ 62,000- is this too much? Or 2% 50K becomes 51K- a $1000 raise seems poor for the amount of work expected over a year.

    $80,000 (high end teacher) now makes about $100,000-too much? Or a 2% raise 80K becomes 81,600-unless my math is wacky??

  • 488. HS Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    @471 – with the excellent tutelage that our CPS kids get over the years I have no doubt they will land on their feet. Sometimes we lose sight of that.

  • 489. outside looking in  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    okay- is this right. I am trying to understand. A teacher making $50k, 10% would mean a new salary of 55K and 2% means 50K becomes 51K, for the extra hours of work over a school year?

    When you look at it this way, it is sort of a slap in the face, right?

  • 490. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Oh and for the record….

    I am not against a longer day, nor do I think most teachers are. I don’t feel like I have enough time in my day to fit it all in, and as mentioned above I teach Preschool.

    I am already at a school that is high performing and children at my school also have recess through all grades.

    I feel very fortunate to be where I am with the teachers I work with and the students I have.

    However as I have stated earlier, I have worked on the West Side. In a school in shambles. I know what it feels like to be there. I know what it feels like to be worried that at every second the board will come in and “turn around” the school. I know what it feels like to have a revolving door of children in and out of the classroom. I felt very guilty when I left that school initially.

    My school has needs, but not the same amount of needs as many other schools.

    I’m exhausted and it has been a long day. In summary, I want all CPS children to have a well rounded education. I think all schools want a longer day. However I want it to happen in a way that the children in high crime neighborhoods have safe, secure recess facilities, safe passages for the way to and from school especially in the dark. I also want those neighborhoods to be provided with high quality resources as mentioned above like parent education, job training etc. We have to focus on the neighborhoods not just the schools.

  • 491. cps teacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    By George you got it now!! 2% is a slap in the face. Put it this way. I make 57K, with the added hours my 2% raise equals $.63 an hour over the course of the school year. Yeah…I REALLY feel respected now!!

  • 492. cps teacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    And before anyone yells…yeah I know..we are not hourly employees, etc. etc. But at the end of the day that is what you say I am worth and expect me to smile and be happy with my .63 cents

  • 493. Angie  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    @479. CPSTEACHER4321: I would think that in your case, the evaluation should be based on students meeting their IEP goals. There are many SPED students in CPS, so this definitely needs to be addressed. Is there anything to that effect in either side’s contract proposal?

    Unfortunately, SPED teachers are not all created equal, either. There was a post from a SPED parent here whose child was shown Barney and Friends in their self-contained classroom all day long. Apparently, the teacher assumed that non-verbal kids will not be able to tell anyone about it.

  • 494. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Hazel, do not forget to include your guaranteed pension benefit in your compensation. In reality, it pretty much doubles your salary. It is in the teacher pension brochure. Also, don’t forget your are already paid for a 7 hour day and seemingly most teachers work more than that anyway. Also, timing is bad because the economy is is in shambles (but you did get 4% or more over the last 4 of 5 years of the current contract)—-2% is not a bad deal in these tough economic times.

  • 495. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Well, I read @453 at Home Depot and I didn’t really understand it. A lot of beautiful, yet ambiguous phrases. It could have meant “you guys are idiots for not wanting to pay teachers more”. It could have meant “you don’t respect teachers.” I’m not sure why “true educators” are rolling in their graves. I don’t know that education was all started based on funding.

    In @455 I was moved by this: “How MUCH did this cost? Was it worth it? Hell yes….education is always worth it!” Is that an MLK quote? that would carry a little more weigh to me than a CPSO commenter quote. But meaningful, nonetheless.

    It makes me think the teachers and the parents (more than a carload of RYH’ers) should do the “we’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore” thing. We should use the same sneaky tactics as the Stand freaks did.

    But I don’t think it should be part of the CTU negotiation process. Have a separate protest. I think. Heck, maybe this is the only way to get the politicians to pay attention. Parents will NEVER get 5000 people in one place on one day or bring the city to its knees with a strike. Maybe the teachers are the key.

    But I remain skeptical that the better-funded day would truly lead to a strike. If the mayor said “ok, you guys got your 29% but we can’t do all the other stuff” would the strike happen? I believe it’s being used as a bargaining tactic. (I fully believe teachers want it, even more than parents do, just not sure 75% of the union would vote to strike for that — nor should they be put in that situation. Because I just convinced myself that it shouldn’t be part of the negotiation.)

    Whew, lots to get out. I truly change my mind every 10 minutes reading these posts.

  • 496. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    @492 Can you please share your math on how you got to .63 cents?

  • 497. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Can someone remind me what the raise history has been for teachers? They got 4% for a few years but nothing last year?
    Did they get good raises when the economy was booming (becoming a distant memory….)

  • 498. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Also, I love whoever commented on the discussion here vs the Trib (and other paper’s commenters.) I agree – I cannot stand to read the random comments of people who post there. So nasty. I have really appreciated this discussion though, all sides of it.

  • 499. Another CPS teacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Mom23 – you need to check your facts. CPS teachers are NOT paid for a 7 hour day, but for a 6.25 hour day. At least that’s what it’s been on my paychecks. Do you know teachers who are paid for 7 hours, because I don’t. I do know teachers who work 10-12 hours a day, though.

  • 500. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    @499 please read earlier posts which outline the 7 hour day. It brings comparisons apples to apples as was already hashed out above. Sorry it is late and not up for groundhog day.

  • 501. teacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Cpso- shame on you! You know what s/he meant. It is offensive to discount someone’s history like this. I understand rhetoric but geez..poor taste. I have read your posts for years and you know what she? he? meant. poor taste

    “Well, I read @453 at Home Depot and I didn’t really understand it. A lot of beautiful, yet ambiguous phrases. It could have meant “you guys are idiots for not wanting to pay teachers more”. It could have meant “you don’t respect teachers.” I’m not sure why “true educators” are rolling in their graves. I don’t know that education was all started based on funding.”

  • 502. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    @441: re “more pay for more pay” I was referring to the 4% and 5% below. Especially the 4%. But really 5% COLA? What is inflation now?

    Lewis clarified on chicago tonight, “we did not ask for 30%, we asked for 25%, plus 4%, plus 5% cost of living raise or 29% total”.

  • 503. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    A lot of talk on the issue of pay. Here is some interesting context from an independent source comparing CPS to other districts:

    http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/2012/02/14/19850/record-teacher-pay

    The article mentions that Chicago ranks 13th in state districts in starting teacher pay, but it does not mention, as one commenter points out, that there are 1,100 districts.

  • 504. dropping by  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    @ 496. Mom23 | June 6, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    The math is easy enough. Additional hours divided by the 2% raise, minus .9% taxes.

  • 505. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    @501, I’m sorry, I really don’t get the key point of the argument. “You guys don’t value education” ?

    That is still vague to me. I guess I get more out of the argument-based, fact-based posts. Just my personal way of processing things.

    It was an insulting post in my opinion. Feel free to share what you thought the main point was. Why are true educators (also please clarify what that means) rolling in their graves? Help me out here.

  • 506. wsetside teacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Mom23-
    “Hazel, do not forget to include your guaranteed pension benefit in your compensation. In reality, it pretty much doubles your salary. It is in the teacher pension brochure. Also, don’t forget your are already paid for a 7 hour day and seemingly most teachers work more than that anyway. Also, timing is bad because the economy is is in shambles (but you did get 4% or more over the last 4 of 5 years of the current contract)—-2% is not a bad deal in these tough economic times

    Where are you getting these false facts? Stop drinking the cps punch. This is a factual LIE! Also, No we did NOT get 4% last year.

  • 507. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    @501 I really do not think cpso knew what you seem to think was so clear. When I read cpso post I felt much better because I did not get the marching with king post either. It is eloquent but completely vague and open to interpretation. Some parts did make me ponder. That is probably why there were not many comments about it.

  • 508. TeacherandParent  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    CEO Brizard,

    Thank you for sharing your concerns about the upcoming CTU strike authorization vote. I think a teacher’s perspective may help you better understand why we will overwhelmingly vote yes to the authorization this week.

    Though you often tell me how much you respect me and how much you support me, Board policies and CPS contract proposals do neither. If I felt respected and supported, in actions not words, if the thousands of other CTU members felt respected and supported, we would be at a very different place in our relationship, wouldn’t we.

    Unfortunately, the fact that you feel that you and CPS respect and support teachers and staff only serves to highlight how massively disconnected CPS leadership and the Board of Education are from classroom teachers, career service personnel, and the students we serve every day.

    When my CEO cannot be bothered to attend a single session in negotiations, a process for which dozens of teachers and career service employees have gladly volunteered, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When selective enrollment schools serving 1% of CPS students receive 24% of TIF funding spent on schools and I work in a neighborhood school, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When CPS contract proposals indicate that experience, education, and training are unimportant or even undesirable, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When 4% of my pay is taken (for the rest of my career – not just for one year) even though the Board budgeted for it, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When charter schools dump their least desirable and least successful students into my neighborhood school, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When CPS attempts to mandate a scripted curricula that has nothing to do with the needs of my students, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When CPS closes 100 schools since the start of my career with threats to close 100 more, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When privatized, non-union charter schools receive a disproportionate share of CPS capital funds and I work in a neighborhood school, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When entire swaths of the city of Chicago are left without access to a neighborhood school, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When Board policy terminates or pushes out the door thousands of our most valuable and veteran teachers (I’ll be one of those some day), I do not feel respected or supported.

    When CPS completely ignores my Union’s positive agenda and its vision for publicly funded public education (The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve), I do not feel respected or supported.

    When CPS takes enormous pension holidays and then complains about later balloon payments required to make up for it, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When the Board asks me to invest 15-20% more mandatory hours in exchange for 2% more pay, I do not feel respected or supported. (By the way, a recent U of I study found that Chicago teachers average about 58 hours of work per week.)

    When students coming in to my high school have never had the opportunity to take a music class in elementary school, I do not feel respected or supported.
    When my field trip request to a CPS sponsored event is rejected by CPS, I do not feel respected or supported. (Yes, this has actually happened.)

    When I am paid inaccurately over and over and over again and invest hours and hours into getting it corrected, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When CPS has offered teachers for years an embarrasingly meager 250 MB of online storage and a decades old communication and collaboration platform I do not feel respected or supported.

    When I cannot access GradeBook or Impact for hours on end, or I wait 13 minutes for a computer to boot up, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When wave after wave of unproven education reform initiatives du jour are foisted upon teachers, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When the temperatures hit 100 degrees on the third floor of our building at the beginning and end of the school year and over the summer, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When the district is so unstable it cannot even keep its most senior leaders in place much less retain outstanding teachers, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When grades are due a week before school ends, or we spend days on end on high stakes exams, or when other large portions of learning time are wasted but CPS wants to extend the school day and year without improving it or funding it, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When counselors and special education teachers are woefully overworked with caseloads far beyond those recommended by respective professional organizations, I do not feel respected or supported.

    When the Board dictates without discussion decisions on important issues like a longer day, a longer year, the number of classes I teach, the number of students I teach, class sizes, narrow test-prep curricula, etc., I do not feel respected or supported.

    I am sure other teachers and employees could add on to this short list and make it a long one, but for the sake of brevity I will stop here.

    Thank you for your respect and support and for sharing your concerns, but I have no choice but to vote yes. Though I expect to be fired or have my school closed or turned around or privatized or transformed or whatever else CPS intends to do to neighborhood schools next, I am confident I will still be teaching in CPS long after you and your team have moved on to greener pastures.

    Sincerely,
    Eric Skalinder, NBCT
    Kelly High School

  • 509. westside teacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    @507- came off as offensive. This is clearly a person who felt passionate about education and the history (fight for education and access) and CPSO post seemed very dismissive..

  • 510. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    @493
    “CPSTEACHER4321: I would think that in your case, the evaluation should be based on students meeting their IEP goals. There are many SPED students in CPS, so this definitely needs to be addressed. Is there anything to that effect in either side’s contract proposal?”

    I believe at my age we are considered a “non-tested subject” so the majority of my rating will be based on the 3rd- 8th grade tests.

    Part of it will be based on performance tasks. My understanding of performance tasks is that every child of the same age will be given the same performance.

    Currently the merit pay is not part of the negotiation process as mentioned above. This was a separate process. The process had to go on for 90 or so days and the Union had to accept the CPSs last best offer. Of course we are hoping we can continue to work this out.

    As for the IEP benchmarks being used. To some extent I agree and wished it was that simple, but initial IEPs are often very tough as children change so much at this age and often do not “perform” when they are initially assessed by the district. Many times we have to rely on parent reports, which are not always 100% accurate due to a variety of causes (sometimes parents over estimate skills, sometimes they under estimate, sometimes they are not understanding the jargon or what a skill “looks like”) This is also a worry about testing children so young. Additionally, not all IEPs for preschoolers are written by professionals with a background in preschool currently in CPS. So often times I end up with goals that are completely inappropriate. I then have to review/revise them once I get to know the student, but if my pay was based on an inappropriate goal set way beyond a child’s reach I would be upset. Also if I revised the goal to meet the child’s current level of functioning, would it look like I was “lowering my standards” for my pay?

    There are so many questions to be answered. So many “unique” situations that I am not sure have been taken into consideration.

    ECSE is a fairly large program, I don’t know how large. I’d imagine those that teach self-contained low incidence/autism/TMH and severe & profound at any age would have similar questions to me.

  • 511. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    @506 Not drinking any cps punch, but I sure can use a good stiff shot right now 😉 Read back on this post and a lot of the information is already articulated. Look at the pension brochure, to an outsider it seems comical, but it is the great benefits you get. I don’t begrudge that, but I do expect it to be included in total comp. Please notice I said 4% for 4 of the last 5 years, which fully acknowledges that you did not get it last year. Also note that the last 5 years we are pretty much in a depression. All facts.

  • 512. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I found the raise info. So no raise last year. 4% for 5 years before that. So yes, it is a LIE that teachers got a raise last year. But in that 5 year period, they’d have gotten a total of a 20% increase. Not sure if that should be relevant to the current situation or not…

    From Catalyst:
    Emanuel’s remark was a reference to the current contract, about to expire on June 30, under which teachers got a then-unheard of 4 percent annual raise for five years in addition to step and lane increases–but no longer school day, which Emanuel and Brizard have now made their top priority. (This school year, however, the school board voted not to give teachers their raise because of financial hardship.)

  • 513. cps mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Maybe “marched with king” wasnt clear enough so I will help her. If we think an added 2% to teachers’ salary is the worth/value of education ($1000 -$4000) based on the average cps teacher salary then we dont value education. Education should be valued more than this. We find many ways to fund other “stuff” why not education. Hope this is clear. Hope I did not misspeak-marched with king- I got your point.

  • 514. UpsetHighSchoolStudent  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    @Frank it seems like a lot of commentators steer clear of “deeper” comments and stuff that brings up topics OTHER than the argument of teacher compensation. My comments, as a concerned student, were also ignored.

  • 515. westside teacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    CPSO-
    “I found the raise info. So no raise last year. 4% for 5 years before that. So yes, it is a LIE that teachers got a raise last year. But in that 5 year period, they’d have gotten a total of a 20% increase. Not sure if that should be relevant to the current situation or no”

    This does not equal a 20% increase. This is not how you get 20%-sorry

  • 516. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    @504 thanks for more detail. Can you share how many extra hours you are using? I see now you are using the 9% tax rate which we all have to pay the tax man, so I would not have included that and blamed cps for you having to pay uncle sam. That would be a whole other thread! I really appreciate sharing the details and formulas. So often it seems that people are not looking apples to apples.

  • 517. junior  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    @515
    …and of course you haven’t included step and lane increases.

  • 518. Mom23  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    @515 you are right it comes out to MORE than 20% because you compound on the 4% each year as it is added. Right?

  • 519. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    @513 ah, that is lingo I can understand! I think I need numbers, not poetic language.
    So education was highly valued during the 5 years with raises but now it is not valued? It’s a budgeting issue to me. I’m all for cutting other stuff to fund education. How do we make that happen?

  • 520. charlie's dad  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    math skills are lacking. This is not how you get 20%. We need teachers more than ever. 🙂

    Can anyone tell what’s wrong with how they are incorrectly assuming a 20% raise? Anyone?

  • 521. dropping by  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    lol- 6th grade math question.

  • 522. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    @515:
    Year 0 $50,000
    Year 1 $52,000
    Year 2 $54,080
    Year 3 $56,243
    Year 4 $58,493
    Year 5 $60,833

    Total increase in 5 years $10,833 / $50,000 = 22%

    Am I calculating that wrong? Or did it work differently than that?

  • 523. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Going on the dog walk, but I’m dying to see what the answer is to the 4% x 5 year raise questions when I get back! Curse you for keeping us in suspense!

  • 524. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    If I got it wrong, I blame Everyday Math!

  • 525. anonymouseteacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I would be interested to know what the salaries are of posters on this board, what the educational levels are and how many years in field. I understand that lately, many people have not gotten much, if anything, in terms of raises. I am curious, how much in raises did people get when times where great, and how much in bonuses and how much did folks spend to purchase supplies and other items for their workplaces?
    Maybe no one will be willing to share, but here are my stats:
    Teacher, 63K per year, 18 years in the field (I’ve changed districts a few times and CPS only allows 2 years of experience to be “carried in”, thus I am not on the higher end of the scale as I should be) with a graduate degree. Average amount contributed to my workplace each year? $2500. Just so no one thinks I have forgotten, yes, I do not have to work summers, though I often do, paid and unpaid at various times and levels, sometimes working on curriculum, sometimes working for private educational institutions.

  • 526. dropping by  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:45 pm

  • 527. another cps mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    $50K/yr from 9-5 job, 1% raise in past three years, before that 3-4 % raises, 6 wks vacay, 10 sick days, holidays, good med insurance, no promotion opportunities, 20 yrs with employer, prior career 15 yrs to $40k (not adjusted for inflation), elite HS, undergrad and grad degrees, continuously FT working mom, 50yo, married, one kid in CPS, don’t spend a dime on work material save a bit of professional development & some donuts to share, considering another grad degree for third career through employer’s ed benefit. Have taught college and taught teens in a community org. Teaching in CPS would be too hard for me.

  • 528. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Um, math people? Hello……?

  • 529. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Love the 70’s video btw. Ok, I gotta get off this computer…

  • 530. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    And Then There Are Times When We Are Hourly….

    Hourly vs. Salary….

    Last post and then I must go to bed and I am falling asleep typing so I hope this makes sense….

    Two more places hourly vs. salary go into play.

    1) Extra duties: If I work extra hours for the board meaning if I teach summer school, which I don’t think I’ll ever do again after last years 109 actual temperature and 130 degree temperature in the buildings, but anyway I get paid my hourly rate of pay. If we don’t get a raise based on our current increase by days and hours and take a pay cut, we will make less doing things like teaching summer school or working after school for projects “above and beyond” so to speak. So in this case we’re hourly employees. Oh and the dirty little secret about summer school is that you work the same hours of the kids, at least for Special Education. So you have no on the clock to complete paperwork, but lots to do.

    2) Pension, which I need to get a better understanding of how it works. I know they take money out of my paycheck for it every month and the amount is based on my salary and eventually your hourly rate has to do something with this long term- but I’m ashamed to say at this moment in time I don’t 100% understand it. I also have little faith in the State of Illinois and City of Chicago not continuing to borrow against it to the point that I’ll lose all my money invested in it as well as the money due to me per the contract when I retire.

  • 531. mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    I don’t think a salary comparison will work in CTU’s favor. If you annualized what you earn and factor in the benefits you receive in terms of things like sick time payouts and healthcare contributions I believe you will come out ahead of many, many professionals with advanced degrees and similar years of experience. Then there is the complete lack of job security in much of the private sector. I have 15+ years of experience in my field and have always been considered a high performer. My reality is that I can be let go at anytime with minimal severance and I have colleagues with at least as much experience that are being laid off and replaced by workers overseas. I am highly sympathetic to teacher complaints regarding class size, facilities issues, lack of support staff, poorly thought out administrative mandates and other matters. However, when it comes to salary, benefits and tenure I think you are misinformed about what others earn and will have a harder time finding sympathetic listeners.

  • 532. taxman  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    @525
    Sounds like an exercise in futility. Should we add retirement benefits, health benefits, other benefits, working conditions, supervisory duties, etc.

    How do you calculate the worth of a person’s work? There are deep historical divides on this question — from each according to their ability and to each according to their need? Or, let the free market decide? Or, meritocracy (whatever that means to you)? Or, whatever my union can negotiate for me?

    Looking at teacher pay, where does it place in the American populace? An average teacher salary in CPS is roughly $75K (for a less than full-time job), with some pretty good benefits, particularly pension, which few others have. For a single person, the salary puts you in the 95th percentile of U.S. incomes. If you have two teachers married filing jointly at the average salary, compared to other married filing jointly couples, the two teachers would be in the 81-82 percentile. If you compare the $150K to all U.S. households, you’d be above 90 percentile. And, arguably, these are not “full-time” positions if you don’t work year-round.

    http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=2362

    Do we value CPS teachers enough? I don’t know, but we seem to value them more than we value most other workers.

  • 533. anonymouseteacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    @531, I am not sure how you drew the conclusion that I am misinformed. I actually feel like I have no basis from which to draw any comparison at all. I simply do not know what other people make, which is why I posted the question. As well, the comparison is for me personally, not for the CTU. Of course there are always “extras” in every profession. Feel free to put that in your stat if you choose to post it.
    As well, regarding job security, teachers still have a little bit, but CPS has been getting good at dismissing their more expensive teachers-regardless of their effectiveness– through school closings. And SB7 has pretty much eliminated all job security, so we don’t really have that anymore, either. I can only assume that this fall when the law kicks in to its full effect that hundreds of older, more expensive teachers will be dismissed, regardless of their job performance, simply because the district needs to save money. (though I am sure it will be done under the guise of performance or merit)

    I am not really looking for sympathy, it is more of a “hmm, tell me how it is for you” kind of thing. Teacher salary and compensation is information readily available, but other professions are not. I am curious.

  • 534. SutherlandParent  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    @525, really appreciate your willingness to share, but I think part of the disagreements over fair compensation for teachers lies in the difference between salary and total compensation. An apples-to-apples comparison of teachers, lawyers or our mythic idiot stockbrokers should really include more than just cash and encompass items such as health insurance, tuition reimbursement, paid vacation days, pension contributions, 401(k) matches, etc.

  • 535. anonymouseteacher  |  June 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    @534,I guess so. I’d love to do an excel sheet breakdown of all that and compare what I make to what other professions make though. It is very interesting to me!
    Fwiw, I think most people understand that pensions as they now exist are not sustainable. Am I the only one who assumes all current city and government workers under the age of 50 will likely never see a pension, period? I know I am promised a pension, I know I pay into one as does the state and the city, but I don’t believe I will get one when I retire, which is part of how I view my salary. I never really include it, mentally, when I add it up because I just assume it will go bankrupt by the time I am 70 and can’t teach anymore.
    In terms of benefits, I totally know how lucky I am!! One friend pays 1K per month for her single payer medical insurance which is really awful.
    But we don’t have to discuss it if no one wishes to! I don’t blame anyone for that. It is uncomfortable having people know every detail about what you make and dissect it into bits, I know this from personal experience. All part of working for city government I guess.

  • 536. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:10 am

    No one told me there would be math on this blog.

    What I’m hearing from teachers is that they feel an increasing lack of power over how and what they teach. The raise and hours are just two more things on top of it all. And the idea of a merit system when you feel powerless over the outcome? Not a good feeling.

    I’m an independent contractor who works from home. No raises, no bonuses, no healthcare, no pension. Sometimes I work 90 hours a week for months on end, and sometimes I have a dry spell. But I feel in control over how I work and that’s priceless to me.

  • 537. Frank  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:37 am

    I noticed that no one volunteered to replace all the teachers Mayfair Dad thought should be fired by the mayor if they strike. I wonder why?

  • 538. EdgewaterMom  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:37 am

    @458 Thank you for that well-written post. I really wish that more teachers felt the way that you do when you say “So, would CTU accept a contract that addressed a significant number of those non-compensation concerns (air conditioners, elementary art and music, reasonable class size, less testing, etc.) in exchange for a minimal 2% raise? I don’t know. Personally, I would accept a contract that addressed those issues and forego a raise altogether.”

    When the union asks for a 29% raise, it is really difficult to believe that it is not all about the money.

  • 539. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Three things: @535 re: pensions — yes, like you, I don’t count my pension as a perk of my job. The pension won’t be there in 24 years, when I could retire with it, supposedly, fully funded. Because teachers don’t pay into social security (which, heck, may not be there in 24 years either), my retirement funding is pretty much all my responsibility at this point.

    That said, #2: I don’t think I’m paid poorly at all. This is a second career for me. I came from the corporate world and took a considerable cut in pay to enter education because I was at a point in my life where I wanted to try and contribute something more tangible to society through my job. Though I took a pay cut, I have never thought the pay was bad — then again, I don’t think I’m paid too much for what I do. As Goldilocks would say, I feel it is just right. But my work day and work year has been extended. It is an important distinction to note that until we hit the 24% mark (which I am in NO WAY saying we should ask for or expect to get), it is not a raise, it is an adjustment in pay in order to compensate for the additional time we are being asked to work. Again, I am not asking for 24% nor is money the only issue in play for me in this negotiating situation, but we’ve been using the word “raise” and that is, in fact, not really accurate.

    Shoot. I had a third thing but it’s 6:37, I can’t remember it, and I have to go. It will come to me.

  • 540. On myway to teach  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:39 am

    How much is being able to pee when you feel like it “worth”? Sorry to be crude, but theses are “perks” of most jobs. And yes for teachers being able to pee unfortunatly has become a perk.

  • 541. On myway to teach  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Oops, …’these’

  • 542. On myway to teach  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:42 am

    @538- It is like comedy hour….how many times does it have to be stated the STATE LAW dictates what we can officially neog.

  • 543. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Also, re: pensions — and someone who is smarter than me should chime in on this, because I’m woefully ignorant of the details — hasn’t there been a pension holiday for going on for a while? And does that mean the system hasn’t been paying into the pensions for that long? Again, because I’m not counting on it for myself, I admit I haven’t been paying that much attention.

  • 544. On myway to teach  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Am a teacher, I make $47,000, a 2% raise means I make $940 dollars more for the added hours and responsibilities, any way to look at it it stinks.

  • 545. EdgewaterMom  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I have a question about the letter that the CTU posted to parents on their website http://www.ctunet.com/delegates/resources/text/ParentLetterJune6.pdf I don’t understand exactly what they are asking for when they say “Job security—Chicago Teachers are virtually the only public school employees in Illinois who can lose their job due to no fault of their own (such as a school closing) and have no meaningful recall rights. We are proposing a simple recall provision.”

    What is the recall provision? What do they want to happen if a school is closed? I assume that if a school is closed then employees would have to apply to work at another school (but I actually have no idea what happens).

  • 546. CPSTEACHER4321  |  June 7, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Running out the door- but some food for thought for this morning. Google our CEO and lawsuit. There are quite a few lawsuits that “the broke” CPS is paying for for him. Hopefully I’ll have time to post more details tonight.

  • 547. Joel  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Great reading this morning…
    Here’s a simple proposal: eliminate compulsory public education. Then there are no complaints about property taxes, bad teachers, raises, fair compensation, summers off, test scores. Since people are so enthusiastic on trashing the profession, let’s eliminate it as a profession.
    And parents can spend some of their extra time reading Emerson and reminding themselves of their duty. If parents of the wealthy want to create private institutions in which to educate their offspring, they can have complete control over hours worked, compensation, etc. They can hire and fire at will. They can run the show.
    Last time I checked, it was not an inalienable right that America provide an education for your children. It might be in the best interest, but it is not a right that you have.
    I’ve talked often of breaking up CPS into smaller units, and I still believe that this is the way forward. But I’d rather just eliminate the whole thing and let people sink or swim. Then we don’t have to waste all of our busy working time going back and forth on a website, we can spend some time and teach our children well and feed their dreams.
    It’s not about money, it’s about respect.

  • 548. single mom  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:22 am

    @525 to answer in a broad brush sort of way (without considering benefits/hours). I make less than $50,000 and am barely making it. I have a masters degree and did a career change roughly 10 years ago. My salary peaked in 2007 at $65,000. I have no health insurance and my kid is covered under “All Kids”. Of my friends with various degrees and 20+ experience most make less than $100,000. On the high end a single woman working for a hedge fund company well into 6 figures having attended community college and on the low end a couple, both brilliant, both architects, both went to excellent universities, both unemployed.

    I believe that teachers, just like hard working individuals in other professions deserve raises. It should be what we can afford – o% to 8% (no way 29%). Teachers breaking down raises to the smallest increment possible to demonstrate that they are belittled and disrespected is quite frankly sad to see.

    I also believe that given a choice between taking a raise and saving teacher jobs, it’s a no-brainer, the lives of families in tough times need to be considered.

    I find Kings comments above to be insulting.

  • 549. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I kinda like that, joel.
    Although in many ways it’s sort of happening. Low income kids leave schools with a minimal education and well off familes find ways to pay for something better. So yeah, why not eliminate it and save a ton of govt $? We can spend it on weapons!

    What do you think have been the main contributors to the lack of respect that teachers feel? The rise of the reform movement? Or something more internal in our system? Or both? Or everything?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 550. mom2  |  June 7, 2012 at 9:09 am

    So, if you can’t negotiate about the things you claim to really want, then a strike can’t be about anything you really want or the strike is really about money.

    Some teachers keep bringing up not feeling respected when they are “fairly compensated” but then they say that they realize respect does not equal money. Conflicting statements here.

    It is a fact that a 1% raise or even a 5% raise (which most of us in the private sector haven’t received that much in years or ever) will never look like much when you break it down into dollars per year or especially cents per hour. It doesn’t look good for anyone. Again, an employer even giving you any increase is a good thing not a bad thing and certainly doesn’t mean they don’t respect or value you. I’m told that over and over here at my job. “Be happy you have a job”.

    The other lists of things that CPS has done over the years or not done over the years, unrelated to pay, are certainly things that can lead someone to not feel respected or valued. I would like to see some of that change, and especially the things that personally affect my children, but have no clue how anyone can think that these things will now be addressed because teachers are threatening to strike over their contract. It isn’t a comedy, there is a disconnect here. Help me understand, step by step, how CPS will change those things before August because you are threatening to strike.

  • 551. Joel  |  June 7, 2012 at 9:10 am

    CPSO, to just scratch the surface of your questions, I think it is a melange of contributors from both sides. (In no particular order, although I think the first is a huge issue at least in terms of perception)
    1) The teaching profession has been handicapped by the ease of which someone can earn their certification. Make the cutoffs legitimately difficult. Right now, if you are breathing and have been out of a coma for an hour, you can become a teacher (not to say you’ll be a good one, but you can get hired and pull a paycheck). It’s one of the most embarrassing things about the profession and I often skip over telling people the school I got my education master’s and just tell them my undergrad and literature master’s schools.
    2) The rise of the developed, modern era, where both parents are working (school becomes de facto parent) or no parent is working (school becomes de facto parent). Shift of responsibility to teacher to do everything. This works when parents also trust teachers (I remember a teacher telling my parents about something I did in class-they didn’t even ask me to confirm or deny it. I got a beating, because the teacher’s word was gospel) but now, parents look at teachers with a suspicious eye and wonder how we’re f*cking up their precious kids.
    3) Academia and intellectualism is not something that is revered in America. We simply don’t care or value intelligence. We like wardrobe malfunctions, the Kardashians, and paying tons of money to people to play games. Other societies do that too, but they still value and respect the “intellectual”. Not gonna change that one.
    4) It’s America, so there must be money to be made, right?! Education companies developing product that makes them tons of cash; cronyism and the usual nonsense that comes with any large bureaucracy allowing products to be bought that are unneccesary.
    5) At the end of the day, the reform movement, teachers, unions, CPS, whoever all MEAN well. I truly believe that. In their eyes, each is doing what is right for the kids. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work on a large scale. Education and teaching works best in the smallest settings. You can’t “factory” kids and then expect them to reach their full potential. They need individualized attention-this used to be the parent, but now it’s 1/30 of 45 minutes of their English class. Only a few will be successful in this environment. Some, who are raised to value education, can succeed in any environment. Most engineers start out in lecture courses of 300-400 and do just fine. But for many, the self-discipline is simply not there (even at university level).

    I don’t have any answers to these. My solutions do tend to lean towards at least breaking down the big urban districts so that accountability, ownership, and responsibility from the quartet of players (student, teacher, parent, admin) can reign. I don’t think I will ever have children, but if I did, they would be raised in a community that has a small and dedicated district. I liked how I turned out. I put most of that down to where I was raised and the schools I attended. But it isn’t for everyone. And that’s just the crux of public education, isn’t it? That the very nature of what it needs to be successful, individualization, is so opposite to what we are heading towards.

  • 552. mom2  |  June 7, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Oh, and yes, a raise or more money for working an extra 30 minutes, is really the same thing. It is still more money when looked at it from outside. I understand you see it differently, but again, for most individuals that are salaried, you work as long as is needed to get the job done and you are not offered more money even if you have to work longer or more often.

  • 553. mom2  |  June 7, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I agree that CPS should be broken into smaller districts.

    (Oh, and my last post, I do think teachers should get a small increase if we can afford it. I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t value teachers – I love and respect the profession and nearly all of the teachers I and my children have had over the years).

  • 554. LR  |  June 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Joel – I agree about breaking CPS up, to some extent. There is a reason why education is not run on a national level. It is primarily State, with many decisions being made “locally” by school boards. It is because what works in Long Grove is different than what works in Cicero is different than what works in Springfield…and so on. I don’t know about entirely breaking CPS up. I am in favor of some things being driven by CPS, but would like to see it broken up into smaller chunks, so it is more like we have 8-10 suburbs than one big city where we are trying to have one solution as the answer to everyone’s problems.

  • 555. Tom  |  June 7, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I’m really making less and less over the years at my employer.

    No raises for at least four years. Yet health insurance costs more. Medical co-pays higher. Worse yet friends with advanced degrees and many years of service are out of work.

    I wouldn’t strike.

    The ire of the unemployed and under-employed and those of us having to work 2 jobs now will bite you in the ass.

  • 556. Angie  |  June 7, 2012 at 9:56 am

    @510. CPSTEACHER4321: “As for the IEP benchmarks being used. To some extent I agree and wished it was that simple, but initial IEPs are often very tough as children change so much at this age and often do not “perform” when they are initially assessed by the district. Many times we have to rely on parent reports, which are not always 100% accurate due to a variety of causes (sometimes parents over estimate skills, sometimes they under estimate, sometimes they are not understanding the jargon or what a skill “looks like”) This is also a worry about testing children so young. Additionally, not all IEPs for preschoolers are written by professionals with a background in preschool currently in CPS. So often times I end up with goals that are completely inappropriate. I then have to review/revise them once I get to know the student, but if my pay was based on an inappropriate goal set way beyond a child’s reach I would be upset. Also if I revised the goal to meet the child’s current level of functioning, would it look like I was “lowering my standards” for my pay? ”

    I understand what you’re saying. My kid had a complete meltdown at the IEP evaluation, and was given a placement in the self-contained deaf classroom based only on my report and the statements from his Early Intervention therapists. Then, when he started school, it became clear that the placement was correct, and his goals were adjusted in the first quarterly benchmark paperwork. Then the new goals were set based on that, and so on.

    I think this would be a good way to set up the SPED teacher evaluation. Give the new student some time to get used to being in school, rework the initial goals based on the teachers’ and therapists’ observations of him in the first quarter, and use the quarterly or yearly growth results from that point forward for teacher evaluation.

  • 557. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 10:11 am

    @441: So is the 25% for the longer day, 4% an annual raise, and 5% COLA?
    Or is it all for the longer day?

    Lewis clarified on chicago tonight, “we did not ask for 30%, we asked for 25%, plus 4%, plus 5% cost of living raise or 29% total”.

  • 558. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Nice piece, Joel. Depressing, but nicely thought out.
    I think you’ve sold me on the smaller districts….

  • 559. cps alum  |  June 7, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Doesn’t anyone think that the 30% raise is just a technique to try to get the BOE to open discussion to the class size and other issues that the CTU is prevented from brining up? I really don’t believe that the CTU ever expected a raise of 30%. I’d be surprized to hear that they expect a raise of 10%. I think they just had to start high because that is the only way to force the real issues that impact the classroom.

  • 560. had it  |  June 7, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Why should the CTU get to decide education policy in this city? Or have any say whatsoever? Don’t we have a BOE that answers to the voting taxpayers? The staff in charge! Why, because they have a degree in education!?

    Right! Certainly. Lets let the police (the staff) decide the law too, since they deal directly with the criminals!

    Or how about lets let the firefighters decide the best policy when it comes to which house to save.

    Or hey, why not let all of the private sector accountants in the city decide, whats best for the city budget!

    No wait, let the wait staff at all city restuarants decide the health policies for everyone in the city. Let them pick standard price of food and dictate a set tip!

    These are all trained proffssionals, they work with the people they serve right, so they should know best right.

    I have at the same comopnay in the same job for thirteen years. I have client contact, a small staff, a few college degrees..yet I have never been brought to board of director meeting to see what we the staff demands because we know what is best for the clients! I know exaclty the response I’d get if I asked for a 30% raise, demanded un caped rolled over unused sick days,refused to work overtime and demanded a say in the company policy! I’d be shown the door right quick.

    The unions were supposed to make sure you were getting a lunch break, had sanitary conditions and not forced to chose life and limb over providing for your family. When did it become a terrorist (yes that’s right, holding working families with children hostage counts) organization all because some teachers want more!

    Get with reality please.

  • 561. Mayfair Dad  |  June 7, 2012 at 10:35 am

    From the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics:

    2011 union membership rate, of all wage and salary workers in the US: 11.8%

    Highlights from the 2011 data:

    • Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (37.0%) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.9%)

    • Workers in education, training, and library occupations had the highest unionization rate, at 36.8%, while the lowest rate occurred in sales and related occupations (3.0%)

    • Black workers were more likely to be union members than were white, Asian, or Hispanic workers.

    • Among states, New York continued to have the highest union membership rate (24.1%) and North Carolina again had the lowest rate (2.9%)

    • Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had median weekly earnings of $938, while those who were not union members had median weekly earnings of $729

    • By age, the union membership rate was highest among workers 55 to 64 years old (15.7%). The lowest union membership rate occurred among those ages 16 to 24 (4.4%)

  • 562. mom2  |  June 7, 2012 at 10:45 am

    @559 – I think some people believe the 30% is a “technique” but I don’t see why anyone thinks CPS will open discussions on class size or other things because they are asking for 30% more money. I still don’t understand the logic or the step by step process that people envision happening as negotiations take place that will drive the offers to these other things. I hope they do, but I just don’t see it.

  • 563. factman  |  June 7, 2012 at 10:58 am

    FACT: Average CPS salary $69,000 (source: Tribune article)
    FACT: Average Teacher salary nationally $55,350 (source: nces.ed.gov)
    FACT: Chicago students spend 22% less time in class than the national average (source: CPS)
    FACT: Chicago cost of living is 14% higher than national average

    To summarize – Chicago teachers get paid 24.7% more than the national average to work 22% less than the national average. Adjusting for cost of living Chicago teachers should be making $49,217 per year ($55,350×1.14x.78). If we increase the school day to be in line with the national average Chicago teachers should make $63,100.

    The above statistics (which are FACTS) show why there will be no support from Chicago residents for a CTU strike.

  • 564. chicagodad  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:04 am

    @ 560, the Chicago BOE does not in any way answer to the tax payer, it only answers to the mayor that appointed them. This is why we need an elected board. I still can’t believe you think the BOE gives a rats ass what we think.

  • 565. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I can’t remember who wrote it, but some1 wrote that CPS should be divided up into smaller districts…I think this will happen. Since Rahm is dictating CPS as a one size fits all, many parents won’t stand for that. Many of the the programs he wants to incorporate into CPS is from data where other states have done in districts in small increments and fully funded. Making CPS a one size fits all will prolly see CPS districts be broken up and will be a good thing.

  • 566. had it  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:13 am

    The mayor is an elected official, he answers to us. Therefore his BOE has to answer to him. Either way its a public body. BOE seems to care more about us than the CTU. Even if BOE cares nothing either way, at least it is not adverse as the CTU is.

  • 567. chicagodad  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Why is a group from NYC robo-calling me to tell me to ask the CTU to not vote on strike authorization till the arbitrator is done? A group whose board is made up of bankers and financial types? The flood of corporate disinformation begins.

  • 568. EdgewaterMom  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:21 am

    @567 This is the group that just robo-called me http://edreform.org/about/purpose/#services. Who is paying them to do this?! Even though I may agree with the sentiment of the call, I find it obnoxious and I really want to know who is paying for it.

  • 569. Angie  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:28 am

    @567. chicagodad: “Why is a group from NYC robo-calling me to tell me to ask the CTU to not vote on strike authorization till the arbitrator is done?”

    How is this different from CTU asking the children to wear red to support the strike vote?

  • 570. teacher in Englewood  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Yesterday someone asked about previous strike duration. Not sure if it was answered as I honestly couldn’t keep up with all the posts.
    STRIKE HISTORY:
    1969 – 1 month
    1971 – 4 days
    1972 – 12 days
    1975 – 11 days
    1983 – 15 days
    1984 – 10 days
    1985 – 2 days
    1987 – 19 days

  • 571. EdgewaterMom  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:32 am

    @569 Angie. I believe both actions (asking children to wear red shirts) and the robo-calls are wrong.

  • 572. LR  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:42 am

    @564: Amen to that.
    @563: Although I’m not looking forward to a strike (still glass half full hoping both sides come to their senses), I understand why they are getting the authorization now. Otherwise CTU has no teeth when they are “negotiating” – and I put that in quotes because as many have pointed out, there is question as to how much negotiating they can actually do. Your facts listed above, while interesting, cause me no ill feelings towards CPS teachers. If we bring the day up to 6.5 hours, which is in line with the national average, I have no problem with our teachers being on the high side of the average pay. They have a harder job, for the most part, and deal with more crap than average. Period. A 30% raise? No. But then again, I suspect CTU is asking for that as a strategy to point out that CPS cannot afford what they are asking for.

  • 573. SutherlandParent  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Well, I wasn’t happy about the kids being asked to wear red to school (which apparently very few kids did), and I’m not happy about the robocall I just got, either. According to Media Matters, which is not a group I’m familiar with, funders of the Center for Education Reform between 1994-2008 include:
    Carthage Foundation $25,000
    Gilder Foundation $46,000
    Heritage Foundation, The $2,500
    Hickory Foundation $65,500
    JM Foundation $45,000
    Jaquelin Hume Foundation $1,460,000
    John M. Olin Foundation $285,000
    Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation $586,860
    Randolph Foundation $6,000
    Roe Foundation $108,000
    Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation $350,000
    Scaife Family Foundation $198,600
    Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation $16,000
    Thomas B. Fordham Foundation $3,000
    Walton Family Foundation $5,865,355

    Sorry I haven’t had the time to try to find more current info.

  • 574. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I have a concern about splitting CPS into smaller districts based on geographic differences. And specifically, that concern is segregation.

    One could make the argument that we’d actually be better off if we made a larger district that included the more affluent suburbs, so that we achieve a more robust tax/funding base. Wasn’t that the whole point of the kids taking a bus and protesting at New Trier?

  • 575. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I have no problem with getting a robocall. The audience is adults, it is free speech, and it is easy enough to delete/ignore. (I do have a problem with the unregulated/unlimited funding that will generate tons of these calls in the fall.) A robocall however does not ask kids to make a partisan political statement (which they probably don’t even fully understand) within the environment that they are required to be in. Big difference.

  • 576. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I just wish the Ed Reform Now would put the money into schools, if they were really for the education and kids. But they aren’t they are deformers, so I expect robocalls. Unfortunately the person Jennifer who called me wasn’t ‘smart’ and couldn’t answer ?s.

    I have no concerns w/splitting CPS. I’m sure that someone is looking into that. As for segregation…how could that affect it? I believe CPS is only 9% white. But I think CPS splitting would be good and then schools could really be looked at for their specific needs, instead of one size fits all.

  • 577. a dad  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I do mind getting a robocall, on my business line no less, which is funded by the Center for Education Reform. Based in Washington DC. and whose board memebers include:

    Tim Barton, Frank Bonsal III, Kara Cheseby, Gisele Huff, Jerry Hume,
    Michael Moe, and Chris Whittle – all of whom have huge financial stakes in technology based education systems, new curiculum models and charters.

    Unfortunately, this is not about what is best for every CPS student.

  • 578. mom2  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I’m for splitting it up, even if they change some rules and put the taxes from all areas (and even suburbs) into one pool of money (so the poor don’t end up with less than they have now). I just hate the one size fits all approach when the schools and students in the city have such vastly different needs and concerns, etc.

  • 579. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    @577
    So, robocalls are OK as long as they are from someone whose ideas you agree with?

  • 580. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    to clarify about WHO is paying for the robocalls, what I’ve learned from the Brill book about the recent events in the reform movement is that these Pro-Reform groups DFER, Stand for Children are really committed to reform activities (they favor merit based pay, easier termination of teachers, charters and they are generally opposed to the strict union rules about everything — the NYC teacher contract is something like 168 pages long.)

    They are private non-profit groups who raise money from rich wall street people as well as people like Bill Gates and the Walton (Walmart) family who support reform. So they use this money to influence political events (which is what that creep Stand for Children video was about.) They are very politically savvy and have the money to make things happen.

    I’m not saying I agree or disagree with what they believe in. I’m mixed. But I find their tactics bothersome.

    They are sort of the far opposite extreme of the CTU, even moreso than CPS is.

  • 581. Mayfair Dad  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    @ 574: On a statewide basis, it makes a lot of sense to consolidate school districts. Some school districts consist of one school with less than 100 kids. As a general rule, Illinois has many more units of government than it needs, way more than similar-sized states. Tens of millions of tax dollars could be saved annually by eliminating redundant/useless units of government.

    But the idea of dividing CPS into smaller units has merit, I think. Since the US Supreme Court has told us to ignore skin color, perhaps we could gerrymander four smaller school districts along geographic lines with equal amounts of socioeconomic tier 1, 2, 3, 4 students.

    Isn’t CPS broken down into 5 administrative territories already? What point does that serve?

  • 582. midschlSCIENCE  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    @563 Fact # 3 distorted time in school and instructional time are two different aspects of school. CPS is comparable to other large districts for instructional time

  • 583. old irving preschool mom  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    My fear about splitting CPS into 5 regions is that it could limit choice of schools. For example, could I still apply to STEM, Jackson, or Skinner West if I live on the North side? Of course, if CPS was able to meet our family’s needs better, perhaps I wouldn’t need to drive across town to send my child to school . . .

    This would make CPS schools even more segregated . . . .

  • 584. EdgewaterMom  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    @580 Thanks for that info CPSO. I agree with you – I sort of agree with some of the things they stand for, but I do not like their tactics. How are they getting our phone numbers?

  • 585. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    @581
    I don’t see it. Good luck getting a diverse district out of the sea of Tier 4 on the north side. And if you did, then you’d probably have schools with very different needs anyway, so you’d be stuck with the same dilemma — how to create rules/policies across the district that meet the needs of very differing schools.

    The issue is giving more autonomy at the school level. As they say, with freedom comes responsibility. Give the schools the freedom to do what’s best, and then make them accountable to standards. Those that don’t perform accordingly (and I don’t mean raw test scores) lose autonomy and must adhere to stricter policies.

    I guess this is akin to what they did with AMPS schools (are those totally eliminated now?) — so they are going in the wrong direction on this.

  • 586. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    @584: Good question about the phone numbers. I doubt (but ya never know) if CPS releases them. They could be buying lists of people in the city with kids or just calling any households. Or in certain neighborhoods. They telemarketing/survey list phone number market used to be huge – now replaced to a large degree by the internet.

  • 587. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    #581~I think CPS could be split into several districts ~may be more than 4, within neighborhoods. Each school district would look at their own needs and have the autonomy to provide what is needed. I’ve heard someone talk the other night abt this, but it wasn’t on the tier system you suggested. But I do see communities coming together to gain more knowledge on it.

    #585~yes AMPS are gone~CPS went in the wrong direction. Actually AMPS was like CPS being split. Too bad it they took it away. But it gave a good format for how to split the district.

  • 588. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    @563
    According to CPS, the average teacher salary is $74,839.

    http://www.cps.edu/about_cps/at-a-glance/pages/stats_and_facts.aspx

  • 589. Chris  |  June 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    “Paul if you are right it is only because the board is unwilling to open the contract and negotiate over things in SB7.”

    The ONLY thing added to the “no open negotiation” list was length of day and length of year.

    Any info to the contrary is a LIE!!!

    Why will the folks supporting CTU not tell the truth about his FACT??

  • 590. CPS Parent  |  June 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    @585. junior Regarding AMPS schools, yes, the name is gone but the school level benefits still exist for those schools such as more autonomy over school level spending. My understanding is that CPS is moving towards more school autonomy for all schools. The increase in discretionary funds given to schools in this year’s budget was a step. So was the school level decision making as to how the longer day is used.

    I agree that “breaking up” CPS into smaller districts is going backwards and will balkanize this city even further.

  • 591. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I do beleive that the day I met with Brizard recently for the bloggers meeting, he mentioned wanting to give schools more budget autonomy. Not it is all regimented into specific buckets for salaries, materials, supplies. It is such a nightmare for principals.
    He was talking more about giving each school their total budget and letting them decide how to split it up and what to spend it on.

  • 592. CPS Parent  |  June 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    @591. cpsobsessed Yes, that was one of the benefits for AMPS schools, which was considered a “reward” for well run schools. In essence it could be regarded as a pilot program that is now deemed to be a good approach for all schools. My student’s school was an AMPS school.

  • 594. CPS Parent  |  June 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    One of the benefits of the AMPS approach for our school is that the number of administrative staff could made as lean as possible. For example we do not have an “attendance clerk” since attendance is not an issue. We only have one secretary versus the 2 allotted if going by school size. We do have a business manager to manage the schools budget professionally. We have more than the allotted number of guidance counselors but they have no support staff.

    We have been told that our school has the smallest ratio of administrative staff vs. teaching staff in the system. As far as staffing there is zero fat at this point.

  • 595. Paul  |  June 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    There is some good reporting on chicagobusiness.com. In addition to the article @593 local posted above, this one is fairly middle-of-the-road on the strike issue: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120606/BLOGS02/120609893/teachers-union-faces-dilemma-as-strike-vote-nears

  • 596. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    @593
    “Study” cited shows a lot of bias.

  • 597. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    #594~yes, one of the things brought up on splitting CPS at a meeting I was at was autonomy in hiring positions and how to use budget. I think CPS becoming small districts can only enhance schools to what would be most beneficial in their schools. But in the press when Brizard was asked abt AMPS he said they were too crooked…so breaking CPS into smaller districts could help corruption and then they would have their own school boards.

  • 598. HS Mom  |  June 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    @559 – 29% as the opening offer used as a tactic gives me cause to worry for teachers. I truly wonder how this move will give them leverage. I would be concerned about giving CTU absolute power. I guess I’ll put my concerns on hold until the factfinders proposal. Looks like things are heating up.

  • 599. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    llinois Education Labor Relations Bd rebuffs CPS’ attempt 2 interfere with CTU strike authorization vote http://www.ctunet.com/blog/illinois-education-labor-relations-board-rebuffs-cps-attempt-to-interfere-with-ctu-strike-authorization-vote

  • 600. MsJaseeka  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    How will book club work? I suggest Lisa Delpit’s new book “Multiplication Is for White People”: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children

    Just bought it and seems to be a critique worth examining!

  • 601. chicagodad  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Mayfairdad, consolidating some of the districts will be impossible. In the northern suburbs, Parents with a lot of money and a strong sense of entitlement would fight to the death over this, since they like to be able to just pick up the phone and get instant service. I’ve listened in (with permission!) to conversations with some parents and administrators who throw up their hands at this, but are still glad to work in districts very well funded by their property taxes. “Private” public schools.

  • 602. chicagodad  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    @ 577, a dad, THANKS for the additional info on who is behind the robo calls and what their stake is in this whole mess. Major conflict of interest.

  • 603. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    #600~chicagodad~I believe CPS district being split up into small districts w/re: to neighborhood would work and might happen.

  • 604. chicagodad  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    @569, because the people making the robo calls have a MAJOR financial stake in setting the reform agenda, while wearing red is supporting teachers right to bargain about relevant issues that right having been taken away by SB 7. The robo callers are trying to grab a huge market share by lying to parents.

  • 605. IB obsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    @588 Junior, average salary figures are so misleading for many professions. The higher paid few inflate the figure for the many rank and file. Also, people seem to think.’average’ means ‘common’, as in ‘it is common to find a CPS teacher who pulls in 74,800 a year,. It is not. Median salary figures give a more accurate picture.

  • 606. Angie  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    @604. chicagodad: So? CTU is trying to assert it’s power by lying to both parents and teachers. I’ll take robocallers, thankyouverymuch.

  • 607. Mch  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    It is appalling that someone like KL is allowed to pretend she speaks for those responsible for nurturing our children. It’s even worse if you think (as many do) that she actually does. Her character and her positions betray her true goals: grab headlines and money for herself and her cronies at any price. People in this city are waking up fast though, and her 10 seconds are almost up.

  • 608. IB obsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    About the robo calls-didn’t someone complain here about receiving a call from a CPS number encouraging them to enroll their child in a charter? I’m not getting any education robo calls, maybe because CPS doesn’t have my number to release?

  • 609. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Rahm was suppose to have a questions & answer 2 day and cancelled it~probably bc CPS lost. http://www.ctunet.com/blog/illinois-education-labor-relations-board-rebuffs-cps-attempt-to-interfere-with-ctu-strike-authorization-vote

  • 610. chicagodad  |  June 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    @606, CTU is out in the open about who they are, what they want and why. I do not see that they have lied to parents or teachers in any even minimally significant way. But go ahead, tell us how they have lied to their own membership. In addition, they are asserting their legitimate power to bargain in spite of the way that bargaining power has been constrained by SB 7. CTU is not trying to profit from our kids, in fact it’s not possible for them to extract profits from CPS. Ed Reform Now? Totally profit driven, a national organization deceiving parents to gain access to tax dollars spent on education via the sale of “products” that will do nothing but see less money spent on things that actually result in learning. Angie, if you think that a corporation will define a rich, unbiased curriculum for your kids then cut them a check.

  • 611. chicagodad  |  June 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    @607 ROFLMAO! Karen Lewis does not pretend to speak for teachers, she does speak for them as that is exactly what they elected her to do! Hate unions much? Hate democracy when you don’t like the outcome? Go ahead, amuse me some more by explaining exactly how she grabs all that cash for herself and her cronies without it getting into the lame stream media and her going to jail. How much has she grabbed so far? Where did it come from? I’ll make a tin foil hat for myself so I can read your responses to these questions.

  • 612. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    @605 IB Obsessed
    I disagree. It’s not like there’s like 1,000 teachers making half a million each who skew the data. According to Sun-Times, just a little over 1 percent have hit the $100K mark. Personally, I think median can be very deceiving, but if you have that figure, please cite.The more info, the better.

  • 613. sandersrockets  |  June 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    The salary also adds the government added pension. When I look up my own salary it is inflated by the government subsidizes portion. I am certain that that is the number the average is using as well. Scary thought now that we know the pension truth…

  • 614. Angie  |  June 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    @610. chicagodad :”@606, CTU is out in the open about who they are, what they want and why. I do not see that they have lied to parents or teachers in any even minimally significant way.”

    CTU is lying about SB7, and the terms of CPS contract proposal which none of the teachers for some inexplicable reason are allowed to see. This may be pretty insignificant to the union leadership, but I have to disagree when school children are being used as the pawns in their game.

  • 615. mom2  |  June 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Hmm, the last several comments and links are all about money again. I thought that money wasn’t the thing that teachers really wanted and that it was all for the kids?

  • 616. a dad  |  June 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    @579 – I didn’t say I disagreed with their ideas did I? I merely stated that they have a huge financial stake in technology based education systems, new curriculum models and charters. Therefore, their reason for creating the organization which made the robocall might not be so altruistic. I hate all robocalls – I think they’re obnoxious and they tied up my business phone line.

  • 617. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    @613
    You are correct. The $75K average salary includes 7% pension. Without pension, the average salary is right about $70K.

  • 618. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    How is the union lying about SB7?

    Also, I don’t think anyone in the union has said it it *only* about the kids, right?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 619. Angie  |  June 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    @618. cpsobsessed: scroll up to posts # 244, 248, 256, 259, 261.

  • 620. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    @Angie- thanks for listing those. Ok I get the SB7 part.
    CTU is claiming that Rahm is keeping those things out of the bargaining process? Or “people” are saying that the union is saying this (just trying to be clear.)

  • 621. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    @Chicagodad, how are you getting that Education Reform Now is profit driven?

  • 622. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    @620 — okay, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the issue is that those items ARE kept out of the bargaining process unless CPS puts them on the table, but some attribute that to a recent change as a result of SB7 when, in fact, it has been a rule for multiple years at this point. I think that SB7 added longer school day and year to the list of items that can’t be negotiated unless CPS offers them up for negotiation. Am I correct?

  • 623. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    here’s what Chris posted above. unclear if even CPS can negotiate on it:

    “[4.5(a)](4)Decisions to determine class size, class staffing and assignment, class schedules, academic calendar, hours and places of instruction, or pupil assessment policies, and the impact of these decisions on individual employees or the bargaining unit.

    * * *

    (b) The subject or matters described in subsection (a) are prohibited subjects of bargaining between an educational employer and an exclusive representative of its employees and, for the purpose of this Act, are within the sole authority of the educational employer to decide.”

  • 624. Angie  |  June 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    @620. cpsobsessed: I have seen a lot of lies about SB7 posted here and on other sites. I suspect that at least some of these posters are union reps deliberately trying to misinform the public.

  • 625. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    @623 — doesn’t “are within the sole authority of the educational employer to decide” mean that CPS COULD leverage some of those items in a contract negotiation if they choose to? That’s how I understand that, at least, and I am in complete agreement with what Todd wrote about it upthread:

    “So, would CTU accept a contract that addressed a significant number of those non-compensation concerns (air conditioners, elementary art and music, reasonable class size, less testing, etc.) in exchange for a minimal 2% raise? I don’t know. Personally, I would accept a contract that addressed those issues and forego a raise altogether.”

  • 626. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    @623/625

    I’m more with CPSO. The language says to me that CPS *cannot* open those issues to negotiation with CTU. If that indeed is the case, then yes, we have some very significant lies being spread by CTU and others.

    Sounds like the talks are going to be salaries and HVAC. For the record, I’m pro-HVAC.

  • 627. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    What’s HVAC (other than heating, venilation, and air conditioning?)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 628. CPS Parent  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I interpret as follows – if CPS wishes to keep “sole authority” it has that right. If it chooses for ts authority to be influenced by discussion with the CTU (or anyone else for that matter) it can do so.

  • 629. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    @627
    HVAC is a just an astroturf corporate ed deform group, called Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditiong.

  • 630. not ok  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I wore some red to school. No one asked me to. None of my teachers asked me to. I did it out of my pure will! why? Because I am VERY well informed and I support my teachers. They’re not as crazy as you think they are. They know 30% is absurd, I’ve heard them say it, and they are not asking for that. and quite frankly, I have no problem supporting them. If anything, students for the most part didn’t even hear about the “wear red to school” thing. Just thought you guys should know…

  • 631. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    @628, agreed.

  • 632. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    My son said nobody at his school mentioned the red either. He said a few teachers, including his, wore red. And a few kids in the class did but I have no idea if it was random or not. He chose to wear red and I like to support conscientious objectors so I felt ok about it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 633. sigh  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    @615 if you haven’t noticed, it’s very much the PUBLIC who keeps bringing up the issue of money. Teachers have the right to clarify and defend. It seems like anytime kids are brought up, it gets ignored.

  • 634. not ok  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    @cpsobsessed I would put my money on random. But yes, several teachers did wear red but it’s their cause so it’s ok I guess..

  • 635. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    @623 cpso

    Now, I’m really confused. I can’t find that language (that Chris posted) in SB7; however, that language does exist in the old law. I’m withholding judgment on this one until there’s more clarity.

    In the meantime, I came across an interesting summary of SB7 on the CTU site in which they appear to affirm Brizard’s interpretation of SB7, suggesting that they are not acting in the spirit of the law by holding their strike vote *before* fact finding:
    —————

    Strike Rights

    Fact finding: The creation of a three panel board that will look at the final offers from the Board of Education and CTU, publish those offers and study the validity of the different claims. The fact finding process will take over 75 days to complete.

    If fact finding does not produce a resolution, then CTU members can vote to strike. In order to authorize a strike 75% of all our bargaining unit members must vote for it.

    —-

    http://www.ctunet.com/legislative/sb7

  • 636. sigh  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    @614 School children are already pawns in CPS’ “reform game”….soon to be factory workers.

  • 637. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    @junior: I think the fine line is that they are not voting to strike. They’re voting to give the CTU the authority to vote for them.
    Seems like a loophole.
    But also seems unfair to teachers to place the voting period in the summer (and perhaps was a goal of SB7?) I’m not usually so conspiracy theory, but they (children stand) were so sneaky…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 638. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    @637 cpso

    I disagree. This is the only strike authorization vote by members. The only other vote would be an accept/reject of the final contract offer, and even a ‘reject’ vote at that point is not a strike vote.

  • 639. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    @635 and @637: I agree with junior — I don’t think the law’s authors ever intended the strike authorization vote to come before the results of the fact-finding committee, but they apparently didn’t safeguard that by forbidding it in the law. And yes, CPSO, I think it was intentional that that vote would come sometime mid-summer. Sneaky on both sides, if you ask me.

  • 640. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I believe we clarified the strike process earlier in the thread.

    If CTU members authorize a strike now, then the decision to strike will be solely in the hands of the CTU leadership. If the leadership decides to strike, then the CTU HOD votes to set the strike date.

    That’s the best information I have found, but oddly, no one has been able to cite official policy anywhere.

  • 641. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    @639 Parent and CPS Employee

    What about Brizard’s argument that they can vote when they come back in August?

  • 642. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Well, let’s be honest. I believe the union’s intent by voting now was to put the screws to CPS, to put it bluntly, so waiting until August was contrary to their cause. Hate it or love it (I have a feeling I know which you’d choose), it was a negotiating tactic to show that they have the 75% necessary to trigger a strike – and there is apparently no rule, clause, or law that prohibits them timing it this way. But I must take issue with @640 — there are two more votes prior to a strike happening: an all-union member vote rejecting or accepting the contract with a simple majority rules outcome, and then a delegate vote confirming whether or not to strike. I can’t find the process anywhere on the CTU site, but the wording given to me by my delegate in an e-mail is almost word-for-word what NBCT quoted upthread, so it must be in writing somewhere…I just can’t find it.

  • 643. CPS Parent  |  June 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I thought the delegate vote at the end of the process would be concerning the setting of the date of the strike. Technically they could delay that vote ad infinitum thereby avoiding a strike.

  • 644. mom2  |  June 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    @633 sigh – I think the reason you feel more people are discussing money and not things for the children is because we all appear to agree that those things are good ideas and CPS should take action. When there is agreement, there is rarely discussion about it. Most parents want what will benefit their kids and those things benefit kids and teachers. Oh, how I wish that could be the things that they spend their money on next year (rather than more take home pay for teachers and lawyers to fight battles, and large contracts for food that kids at some schools will never eat, etc.)

  • 645. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    @642
    Technically, I don’t think the HOD gets to vote whether to strike or not. Only to set the date. Perhaps the CTU bylaws would shed light on how that works.

    I don’t ‘hate’ the strategy, it is understandable. But I do dislike that it increases the chance for a strike. And no one wants a strike, right?

  • 646. CPS Parent  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    @645

    It gives the CTU more bargaining power which, depending on who you are on this board, is either good or bad.

    It decreases the odds for a strike since it forces CPS into a more conciliatory positions and a suitable compromise agreement is more likely. No one here wants a strike.

  • 647. chicagodad  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    CPSO, It’s like former AUSL members on the BOE being no conflict of interest in school closings since they don’t work there any more. When a group that has a direct financial interest in selling products and services to schools contacts parents to get them to advocate for a position that will result in them getting business from those schools, that to me is profit driven. see “a dad” ‘s post above (somewhere) Here is a large article for some background. http://www.scribd.com/doc/2304695/The-Corporate-Surge-Against-Public-Schools

  • 648. CPS Parent  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    AUSL is a not-for-profit. You can make a donation here: http://www.ausl-chicago.org/support-donors.html

  • 649. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    @ChicagoDad – One paragraph in and I can tell this article is slanted. It’s not obvious?
    I’m curious to read it, but I have a hard time believing facts when it starts like this:
    Millions of students turned into the street? Reformers want that? Really?

    That report, funded in large part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and signed by abipartisan collection of prominent politicians, businesspeople, and urban schoolsuperintendents, called for a series of measures including: (a) replacing public schools withwhat the report called “contract schools”, which would be charter schools writ large; (b)eliminating nearly all the powers of local school boards—their role would be to write and signthe authorizing agreements for the “contract schools; (c) eliminating teacher pensions andslashing health benefits; and (d) forcing all 10
    th graders to take a high school exit examinationbased on 12
    th grade skills, and terminating the education of those who failed (i.e., throwingmillions of students out into the streets as they turn 16).These measures, taken together, would effectively cripple public control of public education.They would dangerously weaken the power of teacher unions,

  • 650. junior  |  June 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    @646
    It puts the decision in the hands of the CTU leadership, which seems to be far more hostile to CPS than the rank-and-file. I just have had the sense for a long time that Karen Lewis would love to lead a CTU strike. Her personal and political disdain for Duncan, Rahm and Obama administration policies are pretty evident.

  • 651. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    @Westsideteacher: You were gonna help me out with that math about the raise calculation? Any other teachers who can set me straight? I really want to believe that CPS teachers are right on this one….

  • 652. CPS Parent  |  June 7, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    @650

    Well, she was duly elected. At least teachers know with her in the room they will get a good fight.

    Whomever is negotiating for CPS is motivated by the wrath-of-Rham.

    Would love to be a fly on the wall…

    OK, gonna have my milk and cookies and see you all tomorrow.

  • 653. NBCT Vet  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Re: what comes next

    Just to be clear about this authorization, it does not put a strike in the hands of the officers of the CTU. It puts a potential strike 1) in the hands of the membership when they vote the Board’s final offer up or down by a simple majority, and then 2) in the hands of the 800 member, locally elected, representative House of Delegates when they decide whether to set a strike date or head back to the negotiating table.

    It is also important to remember that CPS has the power to avert a strike at any time by offering a contract that a majority of its employees support.

  • 654. Mom73  |  June 8, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Random thought, but does anyone else think it is strange that the cook county tax bills are coming out on time and due right around the time that the strike will occur. First time they were not late as long as I can remember.
    I think parents and teachers need to come together to make this negotiation successful. Bickering about if kids have recess is not helping. There is a whole group of registers voters who are upset at city spending and Karen Lewis is not helping the CTU by asking about a 29% raise. There is a huge majority of voters who will not be affected by a CTU strike ( no kids or kids in Private) who are pushing Rahm to take a hard line with the teachers and the other public unions.
    I can get behind most of the CTU demands here. I agree that teachers are unappreciated and the CPS board should treat them with more respect. I will even march and support if I feel that my concerns are heard. However, I will not support the shortest day of the state and paying all teachers regardless of performance above market rate.

  • 655. NBCT Vet  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:04 am

    The CTU request for a 29% more pay breaks down like this:

    A) 20% based on a 20% increase in mandatory work hours
    B) 4% covering what the Board took away from members this year
    C) 5% actual raise

  • 656. mom2  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:21 am

    What exactly should be in this contract that will take care of the wishes of the CTU, if it isn’t a raise over 2%? How do you put treating with respect into a contract? I want the words of the contract so I can see how CPS can offer it. A promise that…

    Teachers, Thank you in advance.

  • 657. CLB  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Does anyone have a link to documents by CTU and CPS detailing their initial proposals. I read lots of claims of what each side has offered but never any primary source from the parties.

  • 658. factman  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:32 am

    @655 So they want a 20% raise just to get their instruction time in line with the rest of the nation? And then they want additional raises to their already way above average pay? It’s not going to fly with taxpayers. I have children (not school age yet) and I think this is crazy. I can’t imagine what taxpayers without children (or out of school) think about this.

  • 659. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

    @NBCT: well, that makes sense as a high starting point.

    The 20percent. 5.75 to 7 hours? I thought the teachers won’t “work” the full 7 hours.
    Do you feel it is a 20perc rise?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 660. CPS Parent  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

    @659 I think what you are thinking of is the 45 minute “duty free” lunch which teachers consider paid time but is — duty free.

    I would bet that CPS wants to get away from that concept and handle lunch the way it is dealt with in the salaried wage earner business world context – a set time allowed for lunch perhaps 30 minutes with some flexibility as to when that occurs during the day and with some expectation that it be not be entirely “duty free” occasionally. Similar to a “lunch meeting” in the business world.

  • 661. cpsmommy  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:06 am

    @658: Many (most?) high schools in Chicago are already 8AM-3PM…this is very consistent if not longer than suburban schools and the rest of the nation.

  • 662. Mom73  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:27 am

    @661. cpsmommy Sorry I am confused. If the HS are 8-3 or 7 hours, Isn’t that what Rahm is pushing for, so there shouldn’t be an increase in hours. I’m sorry my daughters in elementary school, I really know nothing about HS.
    8-3 to seems like a very common time in the suburbs. My friends school in District 230 has exactly those hours.

  • 663. School Day  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:34 am

    @Mom73

    The elementary school day will be 7 hours long, though teachers will work 7 hours and 40 minutes each day.

    The high school day will be 7.5 hours long, though teachers will work 7 hours and 40 minutes each day.

  • 664. Joel  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:35 am

    HS currently are 8-3. Next year will be 8-3.30. However, we were told that the only thing we were not able to do with the extra time is to add it to classes. So at our school, we will have a seminar that is centered on social-emotional learning. God help any kid that would have to learn that from me 🙂

  • 665. Mom73  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:52 am

    664. Ugh social-emotional learning, you got to be kidding. I can get behind the teachers on that one. I guess I am still confused on the math, but how does and extra 1/2 hour equal 20%? If CPS went back to the 8-3 hours would the HS teachers only ask for a 9% raise.

  • 666. Chris  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

    “The 20percent. 5.75 to 7 hours? I thought the teachers won’t “work” the full 7 hours.
    Do you feel it is a 20perc rise?”

    If you pencil out all the math–including the extra ten days–it’s somewhere in the 12-15% range of increased time.

    That the teachers will no longer be allowed to shift “lunch” to the end of the day and leave “early” should not count.

  • 667. Joel  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:02 am

    @664. Agree with your confusion about the massive raise. For HS teachers, all the talk of longer day hasn’t really ruffled many feathers minus the fact that we couldn’t add time to core subject time. I think it may be a tactic to split HS/Elementary teachers, if I’m going to go a conspiracy theory route.
    If I work .5 more, pay me the .5. Toss is a few % increase for shafting last year, and I’m happy. It’s not rocket surgery!

    Also, just on a side note about people lambasting bad teachers. Listen, if a bad teacher exists in a school, that is not their fault. Most bad teachers are just stupid, ignorant, and lazy, not intentionally malicious and malevolent. Principals have 3 years to fire at will, no reason needed, any teacher they want. If a principal can’t figure out a bad teacher in 3 years, perhaps the teacher isn’t the only one that needs to be fired. And the E3 process isn’t odious or difficult. Laziness on the part of principals is no excuse for the public to be able to say there is a bad teacher in my school. If you have a bad teacher, you go to the principal and tell them to do what they need to do to get that teacher the f*ck out of there. If the majority of parents of a class are doing this and the principal doesn’t do it, then you might see where the true problem lies.

  • 668. Chris  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

    re: SB7 and the old law:

    Sorry for the confusion created by quoting the 1998 version of 4.5(b). That provision had been amended at some time b/t 1998 and 2010 to read:

    “The subject or matters described in subsection (a) are
    permissive subjects of bargaining between an educational
    employer and an exclusive representative of its employees and,
    for the purpose of this Act, are within the sole discretion of
    the educational employer to decide to bargain, provided that
    the educational employer is required to bargain over the impact
    of a decision concerning such subject or matter on the
    bargaining unit upon request by the exclusive representative.”

    This was NOT a change made by SB7.

    I think that the disinformation about what was in SB7 is being spread to take advantage of a perception among many Chicagoans that Rahm is a tyrant, and that he changed the rules of negotiating with CTU in a completely unfair way. I don’t have a strong opinion about the fairness of the change in the strike authorization rules, but w/r/t to the “permissive negotiation” provisions, the ONLY thing SB& (and, therefore “Rahm”) changed was to put hours and days into the control of CPS, which I (obviously) think is a reasonable change.

  • 669. CPS Parent  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:09 am

    @664. Joel At the high school where my son attend, all extracurricular activities including clubs, academic teams, sports will use the extra time which will be at the end of the day. Some students will be required to participate in tutoring for subjects they are not doing well in. Perhaps you could interest your school in this type of plan

  • 670. HS Mom  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:24 am

    @665 – time will be used differently at different schools. Many are going to a block schedule creating a block of time for “college knowledge”, freshman and career guidance, tutoring/intervention, – and more – even pep rallies – things that exist now but currently take the place of class. This is not “kill time for the sake of extending time”. Block scheduling will add to the length of time for every subject. This is something that you should inquire about when time comes to look at high schools. There will be one early release day for students not teachers which according to PP means that teachers add 1/2 hour every day. I don’t think the 20% adds up for HS any way you look at it. But I do find the justification interesting. At least it doesn’t seem like a random request anymore.

  • 671. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:27 am

    It seems like DFER’s robocalls didn’t really do anything w/texting ‘compromise’ since they wont tell media how may txts they received. Stand 4 Children claims they have 1,000s of parents but only 365 signed their petition.

    Any way we banter back and forth all day…looks like CTU has it’s numbers…

  • 672. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Per the current contract that is about to expire, the “regular school day for elementary teachers” is 8:30am – 3:30pm, which includes a 45 minute duty free lunch. (yes, I know teachers take work home daily and on the weekends so they actually work more than this. And I know that they are allowed to take their lunch at 2:45 and leave.)

    In the private sector, it is similar to the salaried professional whose regular working day is typically 8:30am – 5:30pm, which includes one hour of a lunch break. (again, I know that salaried workers in the private sector often work through lunch, stay late, take work home)

    I’m just trying to get the definition of terms straight in my head.

    My questions are:
    1. What is the new “regular school day for teachers”? Is this 7 hours and 40 minutes or is it 8 hours and 25 minutes?
    2. Is Karen Lewis’ definition of a “work day” the same as the contract’s language for “regular school day for teachers”?

    If the new regular school day for teachers definition is the same as the “work day” definition that Karen Lewis references, then a 20 percent increase in the work day would mean that teachers hours would be at school for regular hours 8 hours and 25 minutes a day.

    Note: I am not skilled in math, so please correct these figures if I’ve miscalculated.

    My source of information is page 17 of the ctu cps contract for 2007-2012.

  • 673. mom2  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:32 am

    At Lane, students received a massive list of possible enrichment period classes. Each class is one quarter in length. Some students will be assigned specific classes and some will be student’s choice. The classes ranged from things such as various AP class tutoring, extra time for sports teams to practice or meet, cultural groups, arts and music classes, 9 literature courses, leisure courses like film study, math games and culinary arts, personal development like business, public speaking, stock market, technology, science, social science and recreation/sports like fitness, racquetball and yoga. I think the number of choices will go down once they get a sense of student interest. This might be a good thing!

  • 674. CPS Parent  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:36 am

    @673. mom2 – Sounds fantastic and similar to our school and it can be done without additional funding. We were told that this approach is exactly what the BOE was hoping for from all high schools.

  • 675. Angie  |  June 8, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    @671. SoxSideIrish4: “It seems like DFER’s robocalls didn’t really do anything w/texting ‘compromise’ since they wont tell media how may txts they received.”

    They are going about it the wrong way. It should have been done like some political robo-surveys: press 1 if you agree, press 2 if you disagree, etc.

  • 676. HS Mom  |  June 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Angie – don’t think that would work either since I’m assuming that they get majority answering machines.

  • 677. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Tired of all the CTU/CPS talk? Here’s something completely different…

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/high-school-graduation-speaker-tells-students-not-special-145709954.html

  • 678. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    If the new regular school day for elementary school teacher is changing from 8:30-3:30. (see my earlier post) and the new regular school day for for elementary teachers will be 40 minutes longer, the impact on teachers is:

    1. An additional 40 minutes of time added to the total school day for teachers– part of this includes additional instruction time.
    2. Additional prep time required, beyond regular school day, to plan for additional minutes of instruction time.
    3. The loss of a flexible scheduling benefit that allowed teachers to take lunch at the end of the school day and leave 45 minutes before the regular school day for teachers ended. This loss may have a negative impact on financial and work/life balance.

    Again, I’m not sure if Karen Lewis considers the current work day to be 7 hours or 6.25 hours or something else. Or whether she considers the new one to be 7 hours and 40 minutes or something else, so not sure about the calculation on the 20 percent increase in work day that she cites.

    It is appropriate for teachers to receive, at a bare minimum, the 4 percent increase that was delayed from last year, including all the money that they did not receive as part of that increase over the past year. That is from a prior contract, I believe, and must be met.

    Whether teachers should receive an additional raise beyond that for future years… I’m guessing that this is the 2 percent that cps was offering but I don’t know that to be true at all. Lots of folks get no raises or have lost their jobs. Do they deserve to get a rai of some kind? Probably. But CPS doesn’t appear to have much money on hand.

    Whether teachers should receive additional salary increase due to the changes in hours, instruction time, prep time and loss of flexible scheduling for lunch….clearly everyone has a passionate opinion about this one! Do they deserve it? Probably. But the reality is that there is no money for this. Workers in the private sector are very familiar with this reality…lost jobs, longstanding unemployment, additional work for no additional pay, doing more with less.

    Sorry for the long post.

  • 679. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    But it seems like many elem schools have hours of 9 to 2:45 currently.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 680. chicagodad  |  June 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    The money exists, just not in the right places, not where it will do any good. There is no shortage of wealth in America, just a rigged tax system that keeps it from circulating. http://www.epi.org/epinews/

  • 681. chicagodad  |  June 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Sorry, wrong link done on the fly. http://www.epi.org/news/union-membership-declines-inequality-rises/

  • 682. chicagodad  |  June 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    http://www.epi.org/news/workers-benefited-productivity-growth-decades/

  • 683. chicagodad  |  June 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Interactive graph. http://stateofworkingamerica.org/who-gains/#/?start=2001&end=2008

  • 684. Paul  |  June 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Does anybody think that teachers might be better off if they don’t muster the 75% strike authorization vote? I’m thinking that Rahm might really try to put the screws to the teachers, call their bluff, and dare them to strike if they make the threshold. On the other hand, if the union comes close to the 75% but don’t make it, the public might sympathize with the teachers and call for a higher offer from CPS. I’m trying to gauge whether the public would be more sympathetic with teachers if they win or if they lose. It’s probably a mute point. I believe it when the teachers say they’ll get the 75%. I just don’t know if that’ll be a good thing for them.

  • 685. chicagodad  |  June 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    “there will be no formal consequences for poor results.” WTF????

    For a look at ed “reform” (total privatization) in Louisiana……… One paragraph REALLY stood out.

    “White said he will leave it to principals to ensure curricula cover all necessary subjects, and to parents to judge quality. Private schools are not required to give state standardized tests, but starting next year, any student on a voucher will have to take the tests. Each private school must then report individual results to parents and aggregate results to the state, but there will be no formal consequences for poor results.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/01/us-education-vouchers-idUSBRE8501G020120601

  • 686. chicagodad  |  June 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    “In addition, higher-need districts require additional program/service supports for helping kids from disadvantaged backgrounds (including smaller classes in early grades) while still maintaining advanced and enriched course options. Using these guidelines, Baker lists the biggest losers, finding Chicago, Philadelphia, and Bridgeport, Connecticut to be among the least well-funded cities, all with much higher poverty than their surroundings.”

    From Public Education Network http://tinyurl.com/c5lcvxt

  • 687. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    @680 chicagodad

    You are correct — our tax system has shifted disproportionately to middle and working class and we are particularly regressive in Illinois. That’s why when teachers get a raise it will come out of the pockets of people who generally make less then them.

  • 688. Teach  |  June 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I would gladly give up more money for better working conditions, a solid layoff and recall policy, greater control over my classroom and curricula, less high stakes testing, smaller class sizes, and unbiased and reliable evaluation processes.

    I’d also like more equitable funding based on student needs versus the current slash and burn tactics CPS uses to foster the closure of neighborhood schools.

  • 689. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    @679 – The difference is that current school hours for Kids currently are 9am-2:45pm. But the “regular school hours for elementary Teachers” are stated as 8:30-3:30 in the current cps/ctu contract.

    The kids have a shorter day than the teachers.

  • 690. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I’m so curious about the vote. 75 percent is a lot to get. When will we find out?

    I really wouldn’t mind surprising the SB7 weasels who thought it could never happen.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 691. Chris  |  June 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    “The kids have a shorter day than the teachers.”

    And always will. Teachers *need* to be there at least a little more than the kids.
    “less high stakes testing”

    What–currently–are the stakes in the so-called “high stakes” testing? Is it just the possibility of school turnaround? Truly an honest question.

  • 692. Angie  |  June 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I wouldn’t mind surprising Karen Lewis with a negative vote. Too bad the SB7 people left the loophole for the retiring teachers’ vote. The voting should have been restricted only to those affected by the new contract.

  • 693. Paul  |  June 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Yes. As I understand it, the teacher day is 8:30am to 3:30pm. In most elementary schools, the teachers have voted for years to take their 45 minute lunch break at the end of the day. So, the school day ends at 2:45pm. Then, the teachers have a 30 minute prep period that takes place before school, so the day starts 30 minutes later at 9:00am. And, that’s why Chicago has one of the shortest school days in the country: 9:00am-2:45pm (5 hours and 45 minutes), and it’s why many schools have no recess, only 10 or 20 minutes for lunch, and/or do not meet state requirements for instruction time per day. Those hours, and the ability of teachers to vote for their lunch to take place at the end of the day, were the result of a negotiated contract between CPS and CTU. And, it’s one of the examples Rahm gave for how CPS and CTU struck a deal and “the kids got the shaft.” Hence the longer day push, the teacher outrage, and strike authorization vote.

  • 694. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Gotta say, I have typically felt that way about ms lewis. But at least she’s upfront about what she/they want.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 695. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    @652 CPS Parent

    My guess is that Rahm is just going to hand over the fact finder’s compromise proposal and say ‘that’s our final offer — vote it up or down.’?

    We have two sides itching for a strike, each dug in and thinking they can benefit.

  • 696. mom2  |  June 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Junior, if you are right and the teachers strike, I still want to know what it is exactly that the want. There are many teachers on here that have posted lists of very different sorts of demands, totally unrelated to salary or personal gain. Some have even said they would forgo a raise or want nothing more than the 2% offered. But, what I don’t get is how they think those things could be worded into this contract that they want to strike over.

    I posted above, “What exactly should be in this contract that will take care of the wishes of the CTU, if it isn’t a raise over 2%? How do you put treating with respect into a contract? I want the words of the contract so I can see how CPS can offer it.
    “A promise that…” what?

  • 697. CPS momma  |  June 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    “You are correct — our tax system has shifted disproportionately to middle and working class and we are particularly regressive in Illinois. That’s why when teachers get a raise it will come out of the pockets of people who generally make less then them.”

    Given our democracy, is it not the citizenry who have created and accepted this regressive tax system? If so, then I guess they’ve made their bed and have to sleep in it. The citizenry voted in the lawmakers.

  • 698. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    @694 cpso / @696 mom2

    Not sure about Lewis being up front. The nature of her game is political and she’s playing it just like anyone would. Sure, it’s easy for her to put forth a laundry list of ideals that we’d like any public school system to have, thus appearing to be all things to all people (it’s especially easy when few of those things can actually be included in the negotiations). Isn’t that what all politicians do?

    As for what she really wants, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what is emphasized and what is jettisoned during the talks. In the end, she can always say she went to bat for all sorts of ideals like class sizes, art/music/PE/etc but Rahm would not put them on the table — and SB7 seems to lets her wash her hands of all that responsibility. It’s not a bad position to be in politically.

    She is already getting an independent compromise offer from the fact-finder, so if she tries to lead a strike for more than that, then I fear the teachers are going to catch hell in backlash. As for whether there will be a strike, your guess is as good as mine at this point. If the fact finder comes back with a 3% raise, will KL be able to pull her troops back from the cliff after arguing they deserve 29%? Can she sell that to her people as a win? Sun-Times hit the nail on the head about her setting expectations (too) high.

    From Rahm’s point of view, CTU will already be getting a compromise through fact-finding. He’s not going to give anything more, unless he was already planning on giving it. And given his political savvy, he’s probably got some tricks up his sleeve. He could throw here a face-saving bone by including a class size maximum that basically codifies the status quo, or he could lop a few minutes off the longer day. He’s as dug in as she is in the sense that he is asking all City labor to take concessions. They will have to craft some smoke and mirrors into the contract that they both can sell to their constituencies.

  • 699. chicagodad  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    @CPS momma, When a large majority of taxpayers/voters of both parties say they want a tax increase on the very rich and the politicians don’t listen, the blame lies with the politicians and the lobbyists. Same for the give away to big pharma. Before all that, schools are paid for by local property taxes and the return of federal money. When the schools have to turn over hundreds of millions every year to be put into the TIF fund and then beg the mayor for it back (if they dare) while as a taxing body raising all our taxes to make up the short fall, and when federal ed dollars are tied to the lobbyist sourced NCLB and RTTT policies that see the money come in and then go right back out, is it any mystery that CPS cries poor? Do you seriously think the American voter has any real say in financial policy by voting every couple of years? Sheesh! Read the link for info on the giant TIF slush fund Rahm happily inherited from Daley. http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/the-schools-scam/Content?oid=922475

  • 700. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Good point, Junior. I thought that as I wrote it, but we all know Rahm and KL are using bargaining/negotiation tactics. Ultimately, we know KL WANTS more pay, no merit stuff, etc and would like to have all the funded stuff too. We know what Rahm wants.

    To me the SB7 group could have let people know what they were doing rather than work to sneak it through so purposefully. I don’t know why they piss me off so much. Well, I do — it just makes me hate politics and lobbying and all that stuff. It works the opposite of how it’s supposed to, it seems.

  • 701. mom2  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    thank you, Junior.

  • 702. chicagodad  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    @692 Angie do you think that a non vote counting as a no vote is the right way to do things in America? Then again, maybe if there was a requirement that 75% voluntary voter participation had to happen for all politicians in any election to actually be elected, they would do things a bit differently and actually work for us. Yeah, nice fantasy, I know.

  • 703. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    So this my take on how teachers might be thinking about the “respect” stuff. What I heard this week was something like:

    “Chicago has always been a tough place to be a teacher. The funding is dismal, the admin is scattered and bureacratic, the curriculum isn’t great, many of the schools are in bad neighborhoods, many of the parents don’t contribute to educating their kids. BUT, CPS pays fairly well and the hours are good so it’s an acceptable tradeoff.

    Also, we have a large group of kids who’s socio economic status is making CPS’ scores look pretty dismal. We all know what the MAIN problem is with the system — low funding + low SE status of nearly 90% of the students. Now, suddenly, the teachers are being blamed for the ills of the district and are under scrutiny like never before for these crummy results. The bad test scores are almost perfectly correlated with school income levels, yet you’re blaming the teachers??

    On top of that, you’re asking us to teach a longer day. You want this unproven merit pay thing to happen. We’re having tougher standards via common core. And for that, you propose a measley raise? No way. We can’t negotiate for many of the things we want, but if you want to squeeze all this out of us and continue to have us work under these conditions, w’ere gonna demand more money to keep it as an acceptable trade-off.”

  • 704. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    #703~CPS0~ One thing that many teachers felt disrespected and let down by Rahm was when he went behind their backs and tried to get individual schools to go 7.5hrs. Many teachers knew the longer day was coming…most schools had to plan on how to implement it…Many principals and teachers felt that this year should have been the planning yr. Many of these ppl voted for Rahm and thought he & Brizard would work w/them. I think teachers feel that Brizard ignored them.

  • 705. Angie  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    @702. chicagodad: “@692 Angie do you think that a non vote counting as a no vote is the right way to do things in America?”

    What’s the difference? The teachers who support the strike are going to make every effort to vote, anyway. And those who don’t support it may find it uncomfortable to vote no under the watchful eye of the union reps.

  • 706. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    @703 cpso
    I certainly agree with some of that, not all. I know teachers who have moved to the suburbs for less pay and better working environment.

    A couple of things to mull over —

    1. Working conditions in CPS vary dramatically from school to school. Why are we paying everyone on the same scale? Some teachers deserve combat pay.

    2. I have to question whether CPS funding is actually “dismal.” Sometimes the end product is “dismal,” but we’re getting $13,000 per year per kid. Last time I checked CPS was about average (or little higher) in the state for per-pupil funding. Do we get back a good value for that money? Are CPS programs average or above-average for our state? Has anyone done any good analyses to see how our costs/spending compares to other districts?

  • 707. HS Mom  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    @698 Junior – and add to that, anything Rahm does will look like gold compared to what is happening in Wisconsin and the pokes Romney is taking to Obama’s economic policies.

  • 708. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    This is interestingly fishy…I had been watching Stand 4 Children’s petition for days and it has been 365 and now all of a sudden since I posted on here…it suddenly has a much larger number…love it….I knew it would happen…that’s why I don’t trust online petitons…even paid pastors can input info. Just another reason not to trust astroturf grps.

  • 709. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    NBC is reporting when CTU gives it’s numbers on Monday, more than 90% have voted yes for authorization. CPS would not comment. You know those teachers must have felt bashed and let down by Rahm to go that high.

  • 710. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    #706~junior~no way is it $13,000 in my kid’s school…not even close. I’ve seen the numbers for my schools.

  • 711. NBCT Vet  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    @696 mom2 re: respect

    There is a portion of the Agreement between CTU and CPS called the Preamble that addresses general issues of respect and good faith. However, there are also concrete examples directly related to respect.

    For instance, Article 9-8.1: “Each school shall provide a desk and a chair for the Computer Technicians and Technology Coordinators I, II and III. Telephone service and computer access shall be available.”

    Why does such an item exist? It exists because technology coordinators and technicians obviously need a desk, a chair, telephone service, and computer access to technology coordinators. Failure to provide those basic things is, to me, a clear sign of professional disrespect.

    A new example might look something like this: “Each classroom shall have a functional computer with internet access.” All attendance and grade tracking is performed online. Many schools have gone paperless, instead utilizing e-mail and digital collaboration tools. Few schools have computer lab space adequate to address the needs of both students and faculty. Failing to provide even a single computer in a classroom is, to me, a clear sign of professional disrespect.

    Other possible examples? “Class size shall be limited to the number of desks or chairs that will fit in the classroom.” I have taught classes where students had to stand or sit on the floor. I have taught in the hallway when no classroom at all was available. These things are, to me, a sign of professional disrespect.

    I also find it disrespectful of my time that CPS requires the completion of 3 different forms for a field trip request, each one containing nearly identical information but in different formats and different order.

    I think there are large issues and small issues of professional disrespect that can be addressed in very specific ways. Things like reasonable class sizes, up to date technology, functional heat and/or a/c, adequate classroom space, sufficient work day time for collaboration and preparation, actually having a work space, and enough text books for every student all show professional respect to workers in the schools.

  • 712. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I thought the per pupil funding was about 9k or so. That doesn’t go directly to the school though – I think it includes salaries, maybe building costs, bussing, etc.
    I was told once by Arne (who was awesome if I haven’t mentioned that 100 times) that in I’ll, chicago is about in the middle for funding. Many downstate districts are worse off.
    I imagine the teachers’ pay being relaitvely high (based on prev postings) eats up a decent share of that?
    We DO know that Illinois is dismal in that it ranks #49 or so in funding. So us being middle of the pack in a state that ranks 49….I’d day we’re in the dismal range or close.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 713. mom2  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    @NBCT Vet – thank you so much for some specific examples. I think those are great and would love to see words like that in a contract. I personally know the technology issues in CPS are crazy. What’s with the email system? Why isn’t everyone just using gmail? Why is it so difficult to get online and input grades? Some teachers seem to be able to handle it very well and are quite up to date but many teachers are months behind (I keep waiting and checking) and I’m sure some of that is a technology issue and not just a lazy teacher. It’s almost a “duh” moment when I think about some of what you might have to put in words in a contract, but those make sense.

  • 714. anonymouseteacher  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    @706, I’d move to the suburbs for less pay and a better working environment in a heartbeat, though, right now there are no jobs. Schools are getting thousands of resumes for handfuls of openings and in the end, only interviewing internal candidates anyway.
    But, I can say, about a dozen years ago I left a very high paying suburb for what seemed like good reasons at the time. Looking back, I should have simply asked for a transfer within the district instead. I would be making 25K more than I do now working for Chicago, with nearly half the class size and much more support. Some teachers leave Chicago for MORE pay and better working conditions. Suburban schools tend to start their less experienced teachers making less and end up paying their veterans more. If I could go back and undo that decision I made 12 years ago, I would, in a second.

  • 715. xian  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Hi, just checking in here. I’m a teacher at a SW side high school.

    I was there from day one with the CORE crew and I can assure you we are 100% about community collaboration and what’s best for the students. In fact, anyone following the union election will know that we were bashed constantly for this, “A union is for teachers, not for the community” and UPC insisted that most teachers felt this way.

    We won the election about 60/40.

    In the current situation it’s similar. If all we cared about were wages and benefits, then we could negotiate that without a strike vote.

    I can’t speak for everyone, but based on the conversations I’ve had, the vast majority of us voted YES for reasons other than salary or benefits. A few were pissed that CPS broke the contractual raise and then spent a ton of money on bribed and other patronage contracts.

    But it’s really impossible to teach in a classroom with 50 kids and 95 on the thermostat without feeling empathy for the kids you sacrifice your own family time to support everyday. It’s hard to teach every day, it’s harder to bury the beautiful children you teach because the conditions in the city are so rough and so little is being done to support them.

    I hope that people will call our bluff on this one–ask Raise Your Hand who have come out strong with community centered asks for schools, and who has sided with them more, CPS or CTU?

    Much love!

  • 716. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    @712
    When you say that Illinois is 49 in funding (and I believe even that number has changed), that does not refer to our dollar funding of education, it refers to the percent of funding that comes from the state versus local taxes. You could be 49 in that number, but #1 in actual total funding. Our actual number I believe is in the 30’s.

    It is a common misconception and I have seen it spread even by RYH types, who should know better.

  • 717. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    @708 SSI4

    I guess you must be “misremembering”.

    The exact figure is $13,078 per pupil, per this document:

    http://www.cps.edu/about_cps/at-a-glance/pages/stats_and_facts.aspx

  • 718. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    @junior – but if our state funding is the lowest, (or close to) doesn’t that mean were going to have the biggest discrepancies by locality? So deerfield has a ton of funding (or they can if they want it) while the poor farm communities are screwed.
    Actually THAT is the shameful art to me about being at the bottom of that list.
    But it does sound like cps ends up roughly in the middle somewhere.
    Although I feel like compared to other urban districts we’re a few thousand per kid lower (while our teacher pay is higher supposedly?)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 719. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Yea, that is DEF higher than I’ve ever seen. I really recall about $9.9k but maybe that was several yrs ago?
    That doesn’t seem so low, does it?
    I’m not trying to poke the teachers, BUT…
    My first thought is “why can the privates do it for that price, quite well?”. But they don’t have the high teacher salaries that cps does. Or old buildings, or janitor unions, or under-enrolled buildings, or PR departments, or security staff, etc etc etc.)
    I suspect this is why we have big classes and minimal school supplies. There isn’t a lot of money left once we pay our overhead….
    Right?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 720. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    #717~junior~ha! not misremembering…CPS has a lot of misrepresentation on their website. I have the actual document that has the breakdown of every school in the district. My kid’s school gets abt $7,500~no where NEAR #13,000 (that’s an average) and they have many schools where it’s a lot higher.

  • 721. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    @720

    You’re not looking at a comparable

    Illinois average is $11,537
    CPS is $13,078

    Straight from the legally mandated report cards.

    http://iirc.niu.edu/State.aspx

    My point is — and what we should be concerned about as parents — why do we get so little for so much? Seems like an important question to answer.

  • 722. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    #721~I have the breakdown for each school for this yr. CPS avg is 13,078, my kids school is way below that. Some schools are much higher. Thus the avg, but much higher than my kid’s school.

  • 723. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    @720 SSI4
    Please share your document. I’ve shared multiple sources now.

  • 724. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    #720~mine isn’t online, it’s a hard copy.

  • 725. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    @sox: I think the 13k includes stuff like brizard’s salary, PR, etc. So no school is gonna get $13k x number of kids. It’ll be way less.
    I think….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 726. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    @722
    Schools should not vary that much. There are differences from poverty funds, but they aren’t drastic. Each CPS school’s budget is based on the number of pupils.

  • 727. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    #725 & #726~ some schools get get a large difference. It is not per pupil, that what they are hoping to do in 2014 (ask Brizard yourself) they get a block of money, but not per pupil.

  • 728. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Back to my question… why do we get so little for so much? Anyone have a CPS budget breakdown of where the money goes? C’mon, I know you all know how to use Google.

  • 729. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    If you look at Edison School and break it down per pupil you will get abt $8,739 a student. That would not be hard to find out if I’m stating truth.

  • 730. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Sorry. Let’s stick with documented facts, shall we? Why do students in the CPS district appear to have below-average resources/programming when district per-pupil funding is a little above average? Anyone? Anyone?

    Oh, I see it’s the weekend. Class dismissed. Please do some research for Monday. I’m offline now. Cya

  • 731. Paul  |  June 8, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I don’t have a breakdown handy, but I believe there is a lot of money spent on salaries and benefits, legacy pensions, and maintenance for 100s of old buildings. The other statistic that causes concern from a taxpayer perspective is the decline in student enrollment over time accompanied by the increase in the school budget. I don’t have that handy either, but it wasn’t pretty.

    It seems that everyone agrees there are inefficiencies in the system. We seem to be overpaying for some things and underpaying for others. Meanwhile the schools seem to generally underperform. The major efforts I’ve seen to address these inefficiencies are usually fought tooth and nail by those affected, and they generally seem to win. When CPS takes steps to close or turnaround the most underperforming or underenrolled schools in the district, there is a huge outcry against it. While many of us disagree about how much of a raise teachers should get this, I think most of us would agree that some great teachers should get big raises and some bad teachers are already overpaid. But, there is a huge fight against any type of merit pay or differentiated pay that would seek to reward teachers for anything other than seniority and advanced degrees. In my opinion, that’s our bigger problem with attracting higher taxpayer investment in public schools. To the taxpayer, it looks like we’re not spending money wisely, and that’s probably true.

  • 732. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Edison School broken down per pupil is abt $8739. That is documented and could be verified easily.

  • 733. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Sorry, junior, I’ve been looking but haven’t really found anything. A per-student breakdown per school would be really interesting, though. I can’t find one anywhere online.

    Paul, I agree with a lot of 731 and appreciate the even-handed post.

  • 734. Paul  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I found that statistic. It’s from a Tribune article from last August.

    “According to the Illinois State Board of Education, CPS enrollment has shrunk by more than 22,000 students since the 2000-01 school year, a reflection of Chicago’s declining population and the rise of alternative education choices in the city. Meanwhile, the district’s general operating expenses have grown by almost $2 billion. That’s a 5 percent drop in enrollment and a 47 percent jump in expenses.”

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-08-19/news/ct-met-cps-budget-0819-20110819_1_jean-claude-brizard-new-cps-central-office

  • 735. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Oh, also wanted to say that Lane’s use of the extra time sounds AWESOME and makes me wish I was a high school student again. We’re going block schedule, which I think will be wonderful, and using some of the extra time for social-emotional learning, which, it seems, might seem silly to some — but research strongly suggests that schools that implement a solid social-emotional curriculum can improve attendance, grades, discipline, and test scores (here’s a little light reading for your weekend if you’re interested: http://casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/elias_zins.pdf). Our population is largely made up of at-risk students who need additional support like this…so I really hope that making the day shorter than 7.5 hours is not going to be one of the offers made in July, because I’m kind of getting excited about this.

  • 736. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    You can see the budgets for each individual school here and divide by student enrollment at the school.
    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/SchoolSegmentReports.pdf

    I think only 75 percent of the budget goes directly to schools, so that may account for the discrepancy between the 13k vs. 9k per student.

    Not sure.

  • 737. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Its funny because when you read tha trib article from last summer about brizard’s plans to make those changes, they sounds fairly positive and innocuous, yet they’ll all been battled since they cut at a deeper level than the article implies.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 738. Chicago Mama  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    @730: I suspect it’s because of mismanagement at the school level, although certainly there is mismanagement at the district level as well. But when the ROI is abysmal at the individual school level, I tend to think blame lies with the individual school administration. I also think that it’s really difficult to read the budget even as a relatively informed person, since both sources of income and outputs are written in accounting code. And if a principal is mismanaging, it’s in his or her best interests not to share that information.

    Don’t know how old this is and it would require lots of calc, but it’s easy enough to get the per-pupil spend from the “school-based budgeting” PDF on CPS’s site: http://cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/SchoolSegmentReports.pdf

  • 739. HS Mom  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    @735. Me too. Looking from the outside (to steal someone’s name), I think the elementary day at 7 hours is a good amount of time to get things accomplished. If time needs to be shaved, why not 1 early release day – kids would see it as a break, teachers could use it for PD. I’m just thinking back to a 4th grade state project where I wound up taking 2 days off work to see because only 1 and a half kids could present before they ran off to the next subject.

    Paul – I wonder if the 49% jump is for a 10 year period – 5% per year would be about right.

  • 740. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    @736, thanks, that’s some fascinating reading. For my school, the sped population estimation is off by nearly 10%. Interesting.

  • 741. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    #735~you may want to read this : http://www.eqi.org/elias.htm I don’t think social-emotional learning is silly esp. re: at-risk students.
    Your reason for going 7.5 is the reason I believe CPS will be split up into districts~it needs more autonomy. Where one school doesn’t have at risk and wouldn’t need the time, your school might. CPS can’t be a one size fits all, unfortunately that’s the way Rahm is going.

  • 742. HS Mom  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    http://www.isbe.net/finance/verification.htm

    here’s the $13,000 number off the state of Illinois website

  • 743. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Right but that is average…so some school are getting lower and some much higher to make that average. Edison is getting $8739, per my copy and my friend whose children go there.

  • 744. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Speaking of stats, I found a new features that shows the top commenters among the last 1000 comments. Prize goes to…Junior!

    Junior 91
    Me 81
    Chicagodad 74
    SoxSideIrish4 73
    Mom2 46
    CPS Parent 34
    HS Mom 31

  • 745. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Day with the most views: March 26, 2012 25,685 views.
    That was the week the elem gifted/classical and magnet letter mailed.

  • 746. HS Mom  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    The link in 742 – click on links at the bottom of the page and you will get per student spending for Illinois schools other than Chicago.

  • 747. HS Mom  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Go Junior! (just added 1 to my tally)

  • 748. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    We appear to have high Operating costs. Out of 387 schools in IL we rank #15 on per pupil total costs (that’s the $13.6k).
    In the Tuition costs (what you’d charge an outsider to cover their costs) we rank #67/387 in IL at $9,100. I can’t figure out what the Operating costs have, but whatever they are, we seem to be high on them.

    Tuition Costs:
    Niles $22k
    Lake Forest $21k
    Northfield HS $21k
    New Trier HS $21k
    Winnetka $20k
    Evanston HS $19k
    Kennilworth $17k
    Adlai Stevenson HS $16k
    Northbrook/Glenview $15k
    Skokie $13k
    Deerfield $13k
    ***CPS $9k***
    Macomb $8k
    Joliet $7k
    Lots of towns I never heard of $6k – $4k

  • 749. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    @743 SSI
    Nope. Not a chance. You’re not comparing apples to apples.You may have some figure on a piece of paper, but it does not include the same items as the $13,000 number. You can’t compare those numbers, and you do a public disservice by implying that some CPS schools get more than $13,000, while others get $8,700. That is absolutely not the case and just playing loose with the facts (again).

  • 750. junior  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Here it is:

    State of Illinois Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $6,773
    CPS Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $7,946

    State of Illinois Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $11,537
    CPS Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $13,078

    Any way you want to slice it, CPS spends a little above average per student than the rest of the state. Are we getting our money’s worth?

  • 751. xian  |  June 9, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Junior and everyone: You can find the budget book here:
    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/FY12FinalBudgetBook.pdf

    It is false to say “Any way you slice it, CPS spends a little above average per student”.

    Any contextualized reading of the budget would take into account the cost of living (and paying for standard resources) in the city of Chicago as compared to the rest of the state. So if we are slightly above average in absolute spending, that’s not saying too much.

    If you look at the school breakdowns starting on page 49, you’ll see quite a bit of variability in the spending/pupil breakdown. For example, Young Elementary school spends about 8,271 per student total, while York Alternative spends about 24,868 per student.This difference is accounted for by the diversity in types of student populations and their associated needs.

    But it does fit the scenario that Junior is addressing.

  • 752. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 9, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Thanks Xian! Very informative. I did find a document that broke down each elementary school even more starting on page 213. (High schools are on 212) and shows the per pupil. http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/FY11_CAFR.pdf On page 216 it clearly states Edison is receiving $8739. I realize unlike Xian’s, this is 2011, but it is much more clear for the average person to understand how CPS breaks down their block of money for schools.

  • 753. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Sun Times reports that the CTU vote results will be reported on Monday.

  • 754. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 9:18 am

    FY 2012 CPS budget reports a reduction of $75K in central office admin and non-classroom spending.

  • 755. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Yikes, the introductory letter to the budget is depressing. Thanks for finding it, Xian.
    Funding is down, expenses are up.
    There’s got to be some kind of compromise on both sides, people.
    Something that is fair to teachers given the current economic situations….

  • 756. junior  |  June 9, 2012 at 11:10 am

    @751 xain
    It is not false. If you want to adjust “contextually” for “cost of living” — (and arguably only some of CPS cost centers would be expected to vary because due to cost of living), then you need to start making other contextual adjustments as well — such as adjusting for the expected economy of scale savings that CPS should have compared to most districts that have only a small number of schools.

    There is some variation from school to school in instructional spending, but certainly not typically to the extent that you characterize by citing an exceptional case such as York, a school within Cook County Jail. I know there is a funding formula, based largely on school enrollement — if anyone can share that, then I think that’s a more fair way of characterizing how funds are divided between schools.

    CPS funding is not ‘dismal’ — it’s about average to slightly above average in a state whose total funding level is about average. So, let’s keep asking the question — is the quality of education comparable to other districts? I think it’s an important question.

    In terms of educational outcomes, obviously it’s a more complicated question — you would have to compare CPS to districts of comparable SE demographics. But, in terms of services, how does CPS compare with other districts in providing music/gym/art/recess/supplies/books/technology?

    @752 SSI
    You keep citing figures for instructional expenses, which are not compare with the$13K total operating expense numbers that I have been using to compare with other districts. You can keep repeating it, but it does not make it a valid number. If you want to use instructional spending to compare to other districts, then use the same number from other districts, as I did above — with the exact same conclusion: CPS spends a bit more than the average Illinois state district.

    It would be interesting to see the calculation of Illinois state averages with the Chicago data removed, since the size of CPS skews the Illinois per-pupil spending average upwards. I think we might be looking at a CPS number that’s close to 20% more than the rest of the state.

  • 757. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 11:17 am

    @junior- to your point, I don’t even know that we can compare to other illinois schools since our size and situation is such an outlyer.
    In theory some combo of illinois vs other urban districts makes sense. But that is beyond my scope.
    No other illinois district has the huge number of low income urban kids to educate that we do so it’s so hard to compare us to anyone else in the state, I suspect.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 758. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I’m not comparing CPS w/other districts…that’s from CPS, it stands on it’s own

  • 759. junior  |  June 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    @758
    Great. So, what was your point of bringing it up?

  • 760. junior  |  June 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    @757 cpso
    You have a few districts — Waukegan, Peoria, Rockford — that approach the CPS poverty level, but I agree — beyond scope here. I don’t want to get into comparing educational outcomes.

    I’m more interested in comparing the level of programs/services our kids receive. I think those would be more independent of socioeconomics. Comparing to other large urban districts is valid, too — I just thought folks might be more familiar with services in other Illinois districts.

  • 761. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    What are examples of programs/ services? Not sure what that refers to…

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  • 762. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    #759 I brought it up bc it’s relevant to this discussion. Some ppl think schools are getting are getting underfunded…it’s a comparison of schools. they can look at http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/FY11_CAFR.pdf find their school and their related neighborhood schools. NO district has the scope of poverty that Chicago has. Bc CPS is so big, and has such a higher poverty base than IL avg, you can’t really compare it to other districts…but it can be compared to CPS as a whole and and school by school.

  • 763. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Does anyone have a link to Sun-Times ranking of Chicago schools? It’ll be interesting to see how spending per student relates to school’s performance.

  • 764. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I looked at the budget for my son’s school but there are so many variables — 6 preK classes, gifted probems grades k-4, fairly big spec ed program. Seems like those things could throw an avereage number out of whack. I’ll have to look more later to see how some diff schools compare…

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  • 765. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    #763~Angie~this link is for the top 50 elementary schools in Chicago
    http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/8474318-418/the-top-50-elementary-schools-in-the-chicago-area.html

  • 766. chicagodad  |  June 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Angie, just FYI on spending per student at SES, many are among the most poorly funded in the system as they often have very low free and reduced lunch numbers. Brizard acknowledged this as a problem on WBEZ’s Schools On the Line, but I’ve yet to hear if he has any solutions to offer. As a result, parents at those schools must do fund raising to get the basic needs of the kids met. Another public/private conundrum of the SES. Just my 2 cents on a related issue, SES are significantly different than true gifted programs, which to my knowledge CPS doesn’t actually have in spite of some SES schools having “gifted” in their names. Any gifted component of those schools is the result of the teachers understanding what gifted actually is and being experienced in those schools, knowing how to work with gifted kids.

  • 767. chicagodad  |  June 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    @744 Me and my big mouth! LOL

  • 768. chicagodad  |  June 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    @705 Angie we get that you hate unions, but please directly answer my question, “Do you think that counting a non vote as a no vote is the right way to do thins in America?” FYI, there have been outside groups monitoring the voting, and to my knowledge no issues have been reported. As to “those who don’t support it may find it uncomfortable to vote no under the watchful eye of the union reps.” Voting is by secret ballot. Please put aside your fantasy world of union thuggery and deal with the actual situation, and BTW, answer the question.

  • 769. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Can I answer?? 🙂
    I’d be for it if every voter was automatically registered, voting booths were in the smallish building of every single workplace of every single american, and open for 5 day — which was the union conditions.

    In theory though – no. It’s obviously wrong. Didn’t SB7 require illinois politiciaians to vote to approve it? I’m still unclear on how that could have been approved.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 770. chicagodad  |  June 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    A good article on “differentiated pay” vs. “merit pay”. I would support this: “My favorite term is differentiated pay, with the differentiation on grounds that are both plausible and credible to teachers,” says Urbanski, whose Rochester union has more than two decades of experience with negotiating contracts outside the traditional pay structure. At this point, according to Urbanski, the district has four tiers of teachers, each with differing salary ranges and obligations: intern, resident, professional, and lead teacher.

    http://www.rethinkingschools.org/special_reports/quality_teachers/24_01_pay.shtml

    Certainly NOT what this! “Florida is the poster child of how to do alternative pay the wrong way,” notes Carlson. “They made every mistake you could think of.”

    There was no teacher involvement in the program’s creation or implementation, and no attempt to gather data on whether the program met its goals.Additional pay was limited to a minority percentage of teachers, merit was determined largely by standardized test scores, districts had little ability to modify the program, and the pot of money was predetermined—so if more teachers became eligible, they received a smaller amount of money.

  • 771. chicagodad  |  June 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    A few lines on “performance pay” in the private sector.

    A study released in May by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), “Teachers, Performance Pay, and Accountability,” found that “relatively few private sector workers have pay that varies in a direct, formulaic way with their productivity, and that the share of such workers is probably declining.”

    The EPI study on the private sector and performance pay is not a quick read—it’s 118 pages, and incorporates a variety of studies with differing definitions of performance pay. Its section on education refers primarily to plans driven by standardized test results, and thus some might argue it does not encompass the range of proposals in local districts throughout the country. Overall, however, the study is a much-needed collection of data on performance pay in the private sector and what lessons there might be for public education.

    Performance pay now covers only about one in seven workers and accounts for only a small part of their pay, according to the report.

    There is only one sector where performance pay structures are increasing: According to the study, expansion in performance pay in the private sector “is largely a non-union, male phenomenon concentrated among managers and professionals and in finance, insurance, and real estate.”

  • 772. xian  |  June 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    “It is not false. If you want to adjust “contextually” for “cost of living” — (and arguably only some of CPS cost centers would be expected to vary because due to cost of living), then you need to start making other contextual adjustments as well — such as adjusting for the expected economy of scale savings that CPS should have compared to most districts that have only a small number of schools. ”

    Well, that would certainly be “one way to slice it”, but at this point, we’re parsing semantics. I would say that your last sentence doesn’t link up well since economy of scale savings are not applicable in corrupt systems where that economy of size is merely a greater magnitude of profit for one’s cronies and would be something that with an appointed school board, the average educator and the union have zero influence on.

    So we lose on both ends–higher costs, and lessened savings due to corruption.

    As to the quality of schooling in the district, I think it’s just different. By my standards–total impact on the child–I think that we in a low-performing neighborhood school are doing far more to educate than those in New Trier or a selective enrollment school. We see more successes than others would be able to attain in the environment we are in, so I think we are doing well.

    I love my kids though, and I want all of them to succeed, so I would like to improve. But that’s done through collaboration with parents and community, not pouring more millions into unscientific strategies like merit pay, high stakes testing and scripted curriculum to name a few of CPSs failed past programs.

  • 773. chicagodad  |  June 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    @769, I LOVE your answer, assuming I’m correctly seeing the difference twixt the union vote and how we vote politicians into office. To me, with what I’m assuming is 20/20 hindsight, the 75% rule in SB 7 was a poorly informed fantasy on how to gain control of teaching that backfired in a BIG and ultimately useful way. It had the unintended consequence of forcing union membership to pay attention and be involved, something I guess Edelman never thought would happen. The anti union folks would have been better off leaving things as they were as a way to secretly support weak or co-opted candidates! Such is the blind the arrogance of the overreach.

  • 774. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    So, I picked a few neighborhood schools and did some math using the budget link from @738. Chicago Mama and Sun-Times school ranking link from @765. SoxSideIrish4.

    I used the current enrollment numbers, and the total number of Pre-K and K-12 students per school, because I don’t know if there is a difference in funding between them. School’s rank is calculated by Sun-Times among the 2192 ranked elementary schools.

    School Rank Budget # of students Spending per student

    Lincoln 11 6,807,967 741 9,187

    Blaine 103 8,260,945 917 9,008

    Burr 1127 4,305,635 355 12,128

    Columbus 748 3,551,661 328 10,828

    Whistler 1953 6,207,202 409 15,176

    Schmid 1941 3,528,697 209 16,883

    Manierre 2055 6,284,718 458 13,722

    Would somebody explain why the schools with the highest funding per student show the lowest results? I’m guessing that the teachers who post about paying for crayons and paper out of their own money teach in schools like these. So, where, exactly, the additional funds for each student are being spent in these schools?

  • 775. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Hopefully this formatting works better

    School Rank Budget # of students Spending per student

    Lincoln 11 6,807,967 741 9,187

    Blaine 103 8,260,945 917 9,008

    Burr 1127 4,305,635 355 12,128

    Columbus 748 3,551,661 328 10,828

    Whistler 1953 6,207,202 409 15,176

    Schmid 1941 3,528,697 209 16,883

    Manierre 2055 6,284,718 458 13,722

  • 776. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Oh, well, I guess this site does not like extra spacing. Hope the numbers make sense they way they are.

  • 777. anonymouseteacher  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    The not-so-closely-guarded news to be released on Monday is that 90%+ of all teachers total, including those who did not vote in that number, voted to authorize a strike vote. Given that no group will ever get 100% of its membership voting, it could be assumed that nearly every single teacher who voted this week, voted to authorize it.
    Take away last year’s raise, offer pretty much nothing the next 5 years, introduce merit pay by the option of lowering everyone’s salary down to one low base pay with no guarantee that those teacher’s who meet certain criteria (and no definition available of what that criteria will be) will receive that merit pay, increase insurance premiums and increase pension obligations and extend the school day ALL AT THE SAME TIME will result in the kind of vote totals we saw this past week.

  • 778. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    A non-vote shouldn’t be considered either a yes or no vote. I consider a non-vote to say, I can’t decide, or I don’t like either choice or whatever, and should be counted as a non-vote.

    But the way it is set up here, essentially non-voters were informed in advance, though without their consent, that their non-vote will be by proxy a no vote. Knowing this, if a person knew he was going to vote no, he didn’t need to vote anyhow.

    My guess is that more than 90 percent of the people who filled out a ballot voted to strike.

    But back to the question, “Was it fair?” No matter what, at least one person in a crowd probably will find any decision to be unfair unless he/she was the decision-maker.

  • 779. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    @768. chicagodad: “@705 Angie we get that you hate unions, but please directly answer my question, “Do you think that counting a non vote as a no vote is the right way to do thins in America?””

    I have to agree with @769. cpsobsessed that if the teachers cannot be bothered to take a few minutes to vote in their own school, without having to register or stand in line at the polling place, then their non-voting might as well count as no.

    As for the union trying to influence things, in the article about Karen Lewis voting in her old school it was said that the union reps checked each teachers name against the list and were standing right there as the teachers voted. Was that the case in many schools? It may be easy enough to guess the vote even by the body language. Let’s say teacher A gets the ballot, quickly marks it right then and there, and puts it in the envelope. Meanwhile, teacher B gets the ballot, tries to find a private spot away from the reps, and avoids making the eye contact with them. Can you guess how these two voted?

  • 780. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    As Rahm said in an article the other day, he feels confident they will find common ground. I feel that way too and I also feel the contract w/be finalized a lot sooner than later.

  • 781. chicagodad  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    @774 To try to answer your question, the schools with the highest funding are prob. the schools with the most free and reduced lunch kids, AKA poor. They spend the money on basics and SPED and other services that their populations need. It’s better to understand the spending difference as the better schools getting and spending less. They get better results since far more of their kids show up from home ready, willing and able to learn. They could do even better with even a small increase. I’ve heard that the administrations in the good, low funded schools have to make some very tough choices on what to spend on, having no where near what’s needed to do all or even most of the things that would be great for their kids. Sorry, but I can give no insight on what the funding formula is, proportion of city vs. state vs. federal money, targeted programs and grants, etc.

  • 782. local  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    As someone who has voted in union elections (not CTU, however), I can report that the choice I made on my ballots have felt private and no one “strong-armed” me one way or the other. My elections have always felt fair and democratic. It’s a bit insulting that Brizard is going on about CTU strike authorization vote implying he suspects teachers — the teachers in his system — of being unethical. Sheesh.

  • 783. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    @789 Angie – regarding teachers A and B: clearly teacher B is convinced that Rahm Emmanuel himself has planted microscopic cameras near the ballot boxes to record the names of Yes-voters. Teacher A wants to hurry up and vote No before someone recognizes that he is in fact Brizzard in disguise!

  • 784. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Also it seems like the smaller schools are higher cost per kid. There are so many inefficiencies in those small schools. The building and admin and janitor and elect and heating still costs almost the same as if the school has twice as many kids (assuming that stuff is factored in.)
    That’s why cps wants to close under-enrolled low-performing schools. At some point it’s crazy to keep them open.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 785. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    @777. anonymouseteacher: If I were Rahm, I would say ‘Go ahead, make my day!’ and start the PR machine rolling.

    I bet the general public has no idea that the teachers demanded the 29% pay raise and zero accountability for the results of their work, and immediately voted to strike when the mayor refused to meet these terms. Let’s see how much good will this will get you from the taxpayers.

  • 786. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    While some schools get a bit more money if they are a magnet school or if they have X amount of kids, I do believe that the significant amount of money in poorer schools are for free lunches. In fact when they started the free breakfasts this year, some schools didn’t need and wanted the money they could have used instead to buy things but even though the breakfasts became ‘optional’ in some schools, I dont think they received any additional funds.

  • 787. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I meant 779.

  • 788. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I do think I recall the decatur principal on a tour talk about how low-funded they are given a low percent of free lunch kids (when people asked about some possible school improvements.)

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  • 789. chicagodad  |  June 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    @779 I’ll let CPSO correct you authoritatively, but to me it seems obvious that you misinterpreted her answer and/or didn’t understand my post that she refers to in the first place. Why don’t you just answer yes or no? Simple and done. I’m sure the union reps were checking names in ALL schools to see what percentage of the membership voted. Anything wrong with them knowing that? Especially when they have to get to 75%? Your concerns about union coercion of it’s members are at best what ifs, nothing more. CPS has requested that the ed labor relations board preserve all documents pertaining to the strike vote. Bottom line, as reported all over, SECRET BALLOT. Any reports of fraud or intimidation from all the reporters watching? Crickets.

  • 790. NBCT Vet  |  June 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    @ Angie

    re: Union voting

    I voted in total secrecy away from my colleagues. I voted yes. Other teachers voted, yes and no, in open view of others in the area. We were each able to vote comfortable given our own preferences for privacy. The Karen Lewis vote was a media event and not indicative of routine practice. Teacher names were checked against a list to keep track of who voted. After all, it would be inappropriate for someone to vote twice.

    re: accountability

    I am accountable for my work every day. I am accountable to my students first and foremost. I am accountable to their parents, to my colleagues and department chair, to my assistant principals, and, ultimately, to my principal who, if he does not find my performance satisfactory, may terminate me from my teaching position through a very simple process. Teachers are no less accountable for results than any other profession.

    re: strike

    The Union did not vote to strike. The Union voted to show the Board of Education its intense solidarity to try to create movement at the bargaining table and, should CPS not offer a palatable contract in the future, allow for a job action through representative, democratric decision making.

    re: Union demands

    I would not call the 29% figure a raise. 20% of that figure is tied to paying teachers 20% more for 20% more work. 4% comes from what the Board denied teachers from this year’s contract. And 5% is an actual raise that is a starting point for negotiations just like the CPS offer of 2%. No one with any foundation in reality thinks 29% is going to happen, though I think CPS does believe 2% is possible. Without experience in negotiations like these it can be easy to misinterpret the posturing involved from both sides of the table.

  • 791. chicagodad  |  June 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    @785 How in the world do you get the idea that teachers want ZERO accountability just because they oppose the test based component of the accountability system CPS is proposing because it’s not fair and accurate? I have NEVER heard of any teacher wanting zero accountability, just fairness and accuracy which they and their unions welcome. The only place I’ve heard of that has put out a zero accountability claim is Louisiana, who will not hold private, religious schools receiving tax payer funded vouchers to any performance standards. Go figure.

  • 792. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    @ 786. SoxSideIrish4: “While some schools get a bit more money if they are a magnet school or if they have X amount of kids, I do believe that the significant amount of money in poorer schools are for free lunches.”

    Are schools paying for free lunch out of their own budget?

    The only category that seems to fit that on the budget document is “Food Services”, but even if I deduct that from the total budget, per student spending does not change much. For Blaine, with the lowest spending, it drops to $8,721, while for Schmid it changes to $16,190.

  • 793. chicagodad  |  June 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    NBCT Vet, Thanks for all the good front line info and testimonials. In addition to supporting our teachers, many parents are now supporting an elected school board as well. Watch for that movement to grow while being vociferously fought by the deep pockets of the corporatists. I’m still pissed at Cawley for having the unmitigated gall to say that there’s no proof that class size matters.

  • 794. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    @790. NBCT Vet and 791. chicagodad:

    As I said, that’s how I would *spin* it for the public. The 29% figure is on the table, the merit pay is rejected along with the 35 million that would have come with it, and the strike vote is in. It’s too late to backpedal now and start explaining that you did not really mean it in this way.

    “Why don’t you just answer yes or no? Simple and done.”

    Yes, it is the right way to count the votes for a simple yes or no question. Happy now?

  • 795. NBCT Vet  |  June 9, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    @ 794, Angie

    I don’t understand your comment about backpedaling.
    What do you mean?

  • 796. HS Mom  |  June 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    @768 – This confuses me. Don’t the SB7 rules dictate that CTU needs 75% of its total membership to achieve a vote. That would mean 75% “yes” and nothing else. So a “no” or a non-vote is not a “yes”. In a post above it seems that some teachers do not want to be in the union but must pay dues. Not sure how it works but I’m sure there would be a number of reasons teachers would not vote at all.

  • 797. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    @795. NBCT Vet: Maybe backpedaling isn’t the right word for it, but I mean the explanation of how 29% really means only a 5%, and everything else is for this or that, and BTW all of it is only a starting point and can be easlily misenterpreted, etc. The bottom line is that rather than going back to the negotiating table, the union voted to strike, so this can be considered the final offer from their side.

  • 798. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    #792~Angie~I’m not sure how that gets budgeted. But look at how much larger the population is at Blaine than Schmid…another possibility is that Schmid has more speds than Blaine and that would be more money for Schmid per student. I had to look here http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/FY11_CAFR.pdf It;s from 2011 bc the final won’t be out b4 dec 2012. There is still abt a 5,000 discreptancy but that’s for prolly for free lunch and sped.

  • 799. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    #797~Angie~ cps/ctu never left the table.

  • 800. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    So is the question whether more funding equals higher outcomes?

    I so wish at just ONE “bad” cps school, they”d experiment with a bunch of funding, small classes, reading specialists, even longer hours etc to see if over a few year that would work. Bring in a few of cps’ best teachers, a great principal – give it a try to see if that works. Then we could at least see if more funding would make a difference in our system.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 801. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    #800~CPSO~the answer would be ‘no’ bc some of the high funding for speds services~doesn’t equate a high outcome, but the money is needed for them.

  • 802. NBCT Vet  |  June 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    @797 Angie,

    I am not sure how to be any more clear: the CTU did not vote to strike. Read my comment @159 for more details.

    I am equally unsure from where your misinformation originates:

    The Union cannot go back to the negotiating table because the Union has not left the negotiating table. Though the fact-finder is working on compiling a report, contract negotiations are ongoing. They have not stopped.

    The Board of Education can end negotiations at any time by offering a contract that is acceptable to a simple majority of its CTU employees.

  • 803. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    @802. NBCT Vet: Do you understand what spin means? Google it, or better yet, ask Karen Lewis.

    Who said that all of it has to be true? Surely not the union which has been feeding lies to its members?

  • 804. Paul  |  June 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    @800 cpsobsessed. I’m not an expert on these issues, but it sounds like they’re trying some of those approaches with the various types of turnaround efforts, e.g. the AUSL model (see link below).

    I looked into class size awhile back, and my understand of the research consensus at that time was that class size does make a difference. However, the class size has got to be significantly lower. In other words, reducing a class size from 30 down to 25 won’t make a difference. But, reducing a class size from 30 to 12 or 15 will. They used to have some research links on the Bell Elementary school Website because they had discussions about it. I don’t think we’ll have class sizes that low because it would double the cost of education. So, I think we’re stuck with trying to find other ways of making improvements.

    http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/news/2012/02/03/19811/ausl-progress-not-magic

  • 805. NBCT Vet  |  June 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    @803 Angie,

    Though I am not offended, I would prefer to continue this discussion without the snark.

    Spin involves interpretation and, either implicitly or explicitly, value judgement. I am generally just trying to lay out factual realities – like the fact that negotiations are ongoing despite your claims (and the claims of demonstrably false radio ads) to the contrary.

    The informational details I have provided here are facts. I hope these details, probably unknown to most, can help the readers of this blog come to their own conclusions about the realities that exist in contract negotiations and, at the same time, overcome the somewhat predictable media spin from both sides.

    What leads you to believe that the CTU and Karen Lewis have been lying to the elected representatives and overall membersship of the Union? What evidence of any kind can you provide to substantiate such a wild claim?

  • 806. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    @805. NBCT Vet: At this point, the only acceptable evidence would be the actual, authentic CPS proposal. Can you provide it for us?

    Without it, one can choose to believe the CTU claims or the rebuttal on CPS site. I, obviously, choose to believe the latter.

  • 807. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Angie, I feel as like you were participating in the conversation thoughtfully for a string of posts but have now gone back to ad hominem attacks on the union and its constituency. We get it. You hate the union. I think there are some facts that are indisputable, though, and what I hear NBCT saying is that one of those facts is that no one has “left the table” vis a vis the negotiation process. Nor has the union “voted to strike.” These are facts, not attempts to spin a more palatable truth.

  • 808. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Isn’t school funding linked to number of students who qualify for free/reduced lunches (i.e., low income students)? Isn’t that why getting those free lunch forms in at the beginning of each school year is so important to those schools that have a large population of low income students? And since we know that low income generally = lower test scores, and low income = more federal funding, that would account for poorer performing schools despite more funding. Am I way off the mark and/or stating the obvious?

  • 809. NBCT Vet  |  June 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    @806 Angie,

    Most of the issues I have addressed do not deal with the Board’s contract proposals but rather with fundamental factual and procedural information. I think you are perhaps conflating, confusing, or combining multiple threads in this post.

    Why would I have a copy of the Board’s actual, authentic proposal? Even if I did, there are strict rules about what can and cannot be shared with the public during private negotiations. If you would like to read the Board’s actual proposals then that is something to ask CPS about, not a teacher.

    So, on what information exactly do you base your belief that the Union is lying to its approximately 30,000 members? Maybe we can look together at a an example of this alleged deceit and dishonesty in more detail. Care to share?

  • 810. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    @parent and CPS emp: that’s what I’d assume as well at a general level.
    It may be stating the obvious among certain cps-knowledgable geeks like us, but it’s worth noting, for sure.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 811. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Nice to see some good news every now and then…
    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news%2Flocal&id=8695466

    My high school graduated the largest class of seniors in 10 years this week.

  • 812. Angie  |  June 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    @809. NBCT Vet: Here is the CPS bargaining information page: http://cps.edu/Pages/collectivebargaininginformation.aspx

    Look at Setting the Facts Straight posts from May 10 and May 24.

  • 813. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    May 10th is a link to an editorial from someone who wishes the CTU would wait and conduct the strike authorization vote after the independent panel releases its findings. It has nothing to do with CTU lying or distorting the facts.

    I read the May 24th entry a couple of days ago — in a lot of instances, what CPS calls “misleading,” I call stating facts with no attempt at explanation. For example, the paragraph about ending the banking of sick days (which I am personally for) and the increase in family health insurance premiums…CPS’ rebuttal to that is basically an explanation of why they’re doing those two things. There’s nothing misleading about the CTU’s claims on that issue. Same thing with the info of raises. CPS is just explaining in more detail what the CTU is stating. I don’t know enough about the elementary school situation to know whether or not teachers will end up with less planning time — I know it’s not true for HS. But when the CTU says elementary teachers will be “forced” to spend more time planning on nights and weekends, no one reading that would actually think they’re trying to say that CPS is trying to force teachers to do that — i.e., build it into the contract, but instead, that because of decreased planning time, teachers will have to find that time on their own. Yet in its rebuttal, CPS is trying to imply that that’s what the CTU is saying.

    On the class size issue — I do wonder who is telling the truth on this one, because the implication from the CTU is that they’re refraining from putting anything in writing regarding class sizes and my own inference from that is, hey, they have to get funding for this longer day somewhere, so there’s probably going to be some class size increases. It’s one of the things that I personally consider a sticking point. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t know who to trust on that particular issue. It is a huge problem at my school, where some classes have 32-34 kids.

  • 814. NBCT Vet  |  June 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    @812 Angie,

    Yes, I’ve read that page. But it does not contain contractual language. It does contain the Board’s and the Union’s spin on that language. But if you read carefully, the Board’s interpretations do not generally contradict CTU claims.

    For example, the Union says the Board wants to “implement a ‘wellness program’ that would Increase your health care costs unless you participate, if you smoke, etc.”

    CPS says “…costs to an employee will increase as a result of the wellness program is if an employee chooses to “opt out” of the program or the employee or spouse is a tobacco user. An employee would then be required to pay the “opt out” fee or a tobacco user’s premium.”

    So, the Board confirms the CTU claim, but with fancier language and a few details. This happens many times on the page. And when it does not happen the Board often sidesteps the issues.

    For example, the Union says the Board wants to “move to ‘merit pay’ while getting rid of lanes and step increases.”

    CPS calls merit pay “differentiated compensation”. Regardless of what we call it, one way or another it results in pay based on evaluation (merit) which is or will be based in significant part on the results of high stakes standardized exams.

    That is not to say that differentiated compensation is only and strictly merit pay, but it would certainly encompass merit pay.

    CPS also fails to rebut the Union statement that this new pay system would eliminate pay based on experience and education or training because their proposal does, in fact, eliminate steps (experience) and lanes (education and training).

  • 815. anonymouseteacher  |  June 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    @814, you said what I was trying to formulate in my head, but couldn’t. The info on that page is not contractual language, rather spin or parts of the contract while strategically leaving out of massaging pieces that are unruly or don’t reflect positively on the Board. (just as what is on the CTU page is spin on their actual proposals)
    Reality is, in contentious contract negotiation times, it is typical for both sides to spin. I am not sure I’d say either side is telling the whole, specific truth or that either side is outright lying. My personal perspective is neither side is being completely honest nor is either side to be completely trusted. Neither side is all bad or all good.
    Both sides are going to do whatever it takes to get their positions met. It is easy for all of us to say, one side has the children in mind and the other is greedy. I am not sure it is so black and white.
    I hope my personal vote to authorize a strike helps to bring both sides to the table and hammer this out in a way where all stakeholders get part of what they are asking for and we can get back to the work of teaching and learning.

  • 816. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I’m with you, AMTeacher.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 817. YaleGrad  |  June 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I would have to say that the Union would have a strong challenge to the legality and constitutionality of any law that by default someone who doesn’t vote equates to one of the options on the ballot. There is no doubt that if I were in a position to where I could not physically vote and my name was attributed to a “no” vote, therefore violating my right to privacy in a voting process, there would be a lawsuit. And I think every teacher who did not vote or were unable to vote should pursue a class action lawsuit against the state and challenge the constitutionality of the law. Voting or not voting has always been an individual’s right to exercise one way or another. If I don’t feel comfortable about either candidate I should have the right to defer to the other voters by not voting at all, as opposed to not voting where my vote defaults to one of the candidates (options) on the ballot. While the wording of the law that requires 75% of a membership to vote in favor of a strike does not in itself seem unconstitutional, I would say that this unprecedented voting requirement infringes upon the privacy rights, among other things, of those who had chosen not to vote or could not vote, since individuals have access to seeing their name on a master roster listed as not voting and thus a “no” vote.

  • 818. Mom2  |  June 10, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Angie,

    You are so misinformed, at times it is comical other times just sad.

  • 819. Mom2  |  June 10, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Incentive programs for schools, teachers and students aimed at raising standardized test scores are largely unproductive in generating increased student achievement, according to a new report researched by an expert panel of the National Research Council.

    The report said that standardized tests commonly used in schools to measure student performance — including high school exit exams and tests in various grades mandated by former president Bush’s No Child Left Behind law — “fall short of providing a complete measure of desired educational outcomes in many ways,” according to a summary of the lengthy document.

  • 820. cpsobsessed  |  June 10, 2012 at 9:02 am

    trying to link to DFER robocall without any luck…

  • 821. HS Mom  |  June 10, 2012 at 9:22 am

    @817 -It depends. What if they are not counted as a “no” but just not counted as a “yes”. My understanding is that they still need 75% of the total membership to be “yes” any way you look at it.

    Who is going to pay for these :”class action law suits” at a time when we are looking to find money for the school system. Taxpayers, city, state, teachers in the form of lower offer, familes in the form of fewer services?

  • 822. HS Mom  |  June 10, 2012 at 9:35 am

    @818 and 819 sure do NOT sound like mom2. There is only one person it could be and everyone knows who that is. Using the moniker of another to get your point across is pretty low.

  • 823. local  |  June 10, 2012 at 10:18 am

    “I’m still pissed at Cawley for having the unmitigated gall to say that there’s no proof that class size matters.”

    I’d love to see the storm that would break loose if class sizes in his home-district jumped to 35 and up. You know he doesn’t LIVE in Chicago, right? He lives up on the north shore. Sweet for his kid (adopted).

  • 824. chicagodad  |  June 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

    @804 http://www.classsizematters.org/ is the go to source for info on class size.
    “D. McLaughlin and Gili Drori, School-Level Correlates of Academic Achievement, U.S. Dept. of Education, 2000. The most authoritative study showing the importance of class size is in all grades, analyzing the achievement levels of students in 2,561 schools , as measured by performance on the NAEP (national) exams. After controlling for student background, the only objective factor found to be positively correlated with student performance was class size, not school size, not teacher qualifications, nor any other variable that the researchers could identify. Student achievement was even more strongly linked to smaller classes in the upper rather than the lower grades.”

  • 825. chicagodad  |  June 10, 2012 at 10:39 am

    @817, great analysis, and I hope a lawsuit happens. I think that a judge could throw out that rule alone as being unconstitutional on a prima fascia basis. It would never make it to a jury, no need.

  • 826. HS Mom  |  June 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

    “since individuals have access to seeing their name on a master roster listed as not voting and thus a “no” vote”

    Please cite the document that states that not voting is counted as a “no” vote.

    Exactly who has access to a master roster to see who has not voted.

  • 827. chicagodad  |  June 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Article with links on the many problems of VAM portion of CPS teacher evaluation proposal.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/researchers-blast-chicago-teacher-evaluation-reform/2012/03/28/gIQApdOfgS_blog.html

    c. Assessments designed to evaluate student learning are not necessarily valid for measuring teacher effectiveness or student learning growth. [5] Using them to measure the latter is akin to using a meter stick to weigh a person: you might be able to develop a formula that links height and weight, but there will be plenty of error in your calculations.

  • 828. chicagodad  |  June 10, 2012 at 11:01 am

    DOES ANYONE HAVE A SOURCE FOR THIS? One set of data that I have not been able to find is on schools that have been “turned around” multiple times. Orr on the west side is probably the poster child for this, having gone thru it at least 5 times, with AUSL itself having been turned around there and then given a second chance. I wonder if CPS collects this statistic or not.

  • 829. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    HS Mom:
    http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/13047161-418/teachers-union-accuses-cps-of-trying-to-sabotage-strike-authorization-vote.html

    From the article: “A ‘yes’’ vote from at least 75 percent of all members is needed to authorize the House of Delegates to set a strike date if needed in the future. Failure to vote counts as a “no” vote under a new law affecting only Chicago teachers.”

    CTU members sign the roster as they vote, so anyone voting sees who has signed and who hasn’t. Additionally, the Delegate and Associate Delegate of each school would be aware of who had voted and who had not.

  • 830. local  |  June 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    In union votes, you have to check in to ensure the person voting is a member. Just like when you vote in a political election, only registered voters can cast a vote and you have to check in.

  • 831. Mom23  |  June 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Junior for president! Or better yet, let’s just let junior be the arbitrator. Thanks for all the thoughtful, rational and factual posts.

  • 832. sandersrockets  |  June 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    We can see WHO votes not HOW they vote. Thank you “Parent and CPS Employee” I read that article too.

  • 833. local  |  June 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Not sure if agency folks can vote, or just members, of the CTU. Anyone know?

  • 834. local  |  June 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Here’s some good info from Comments at Catalyst. It’s by Rod Estvan, who is wicked-smart:

    re: IERLB ruling

    The IERLB has had plenty of time to develop administrative rules related to SB7 and it failed to do so. The decision by the IERLB therefore is correct. The level of this body’s authority in relation to this vote mandated by SB7 is completely unclear because the IELRB has not put forward any administrative regulations in relation to this aspect of the SB7 legislation. Specifically “PART 1130 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND IMPASSE RESOLUTION” the section of the relevant administrative rules were not updated.

    As I was correctly quoted in the Tribune on June 6: “We have something that involves public education but the rules are so amorphous that it can be interpreted any which way.” No matter how one examines this law, it is a mess. The presumption of the existing law is that teachers unions themselves control the strike voting process because they are private membership organizations subject to their own internal rules. CPS appears now to be arguing that because SB7 defined the vote percentage for a strike the entire process is subject to public review or at least to review by the employer. All of this should have been anticipated by the IELRB and appropriate rules should have been developed and subjected to the JCAR rules review process. In stating this I am not suggesting that any developed rule give the employer over sight authority relating to this vote.

    The complete incompetence of the IELRB is manifest in relation to this issue, but there is a reason for this. This body is understaffed and if you go to the state audit you can see this for your self [http://auditor.illinois.gov/Audit-Reports/Compliance-Agency-List/ELRB/FY11-ELRB-Comp-Full.pdf].

    The Act (115 ILCS 5/5(f)) requires the IELRB to employ a minimum of 8 attorneys and 5 investigators. As of June 30, 2011 the Board employed 6 attorneys and 2 investigators.
    Board management stated to auditors that they lacked funding to employ the required number of attorneys and investigators.

    The Illinois General Assembly effectively passed a law and that same body refused to appropriately fund the agency required to implement it. From 2009 to 2011 the General Assembly has cut funding to the IELRB by 10.8%.

    Rod Estvan (SOURCE: http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/2012/06/07/20166/cps-union-wage-legal-battle-over-strike-vote#comment-36231)

  • 835. mom2  |  June 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    “@818 and 819 sure do NOT sound like mom2. There is only one person it could be and everyone knows who that is. Using the moniker of another to get your point across is pretty low.” – You are correct. 818 and 819 are not posted by me, the “first” mom2 – lol. Thanks for noticing the difference in approach.

  • 836. CarolA  |  June 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I’ve read quite a few of the comments and haven’t found one that centers on the fact the the contract proposal from CPS has one major flaw for me as a classroom teacher. CPS is asking us to sign a “blank check” regarding the differentiated pay scale. There aren’t any details. The committee to talk about it won’t be formed until January 2013 per the CPS website. What am I voting to strike about? I’m voting to strike because I can’t sign a contract that has details missing. I’m all in favor of teachers getting more pay if they work in a high risk neighborhood. I’m sure there’s much more to it than that. I have to write lesson plans for every day. Why doesn’t CPS have a plan for this before we sign the contract. Also, there is a plan in place currently to get rid of “bad teachers” but it takes a lot of work on the part of the principal. It works. My principal has succeeded in getting rid of two already. However, he seems to be selecting those that CAN retire so, in the end, they retire rather than be fired and his record is clean. It’s a nasty process, but it’s there if a principal wants to use it.

  • 837. chicagodad  |  June 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    @836, so it seems that even the “negotiation” on pay is rigged and that the CTU can’t bargain about that in it’s entirety. Any wonder there’s support for a strike?
    @835, then who is it? doing this is totally wrong, and whoever is needs to stop and I politely suggest that they leave the thread..

  • 838. anonymouseteacher  |  June 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    @836, that whole “blank check” thing is a major issue for me!

  • 839. Mom23  |  June 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I get that teachers want definition on merit pay, but it seems CTU will resist regardless and did participate in over 30 meetings and then pulled out and now the $35 million dollar grant is gone. I do think a system can be designed that is fair. Let’s put junior and chicagodad on it 🙂 I bet they can come up with an answer. It isn’t rocket science and there are all kinds of measurement systems in place around the world in many industries. Maybe both sides should be looking at examples outside of education. Even looking at thorough quality control structures or the widely recognized certifications. The name is escaping me right now, but Drucker style quality measurements. We have to think outside the box to improve education.

    Interesting that some teachers posting here are voting to strike based on nothing defined. You don’t even know what the final offers are. Kind of a double standard, no?

    One thing that has popped up in this thread is troubling. Saying “fair lay off policy” and what happens when a school closes. This smells like yet another attempt to protect bad teachers and make it very difficult to get them away from the children. The teachers already have the ability to reapply for their job in a turnaround situation. This is very suspicious to me and I worry it will quietly be pushed through in negotiations and then the kids in those awful performing schools will be caught in even more red tape. It is a red herring that ctu is pushing through. I am sure there are many more we don’t even know about.

  • 840. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Did some1 take Mom2’s name and post? Someone took my old name, that’s why I had to get a new one, but I hadn’t posted for so long, that must have been the reason. Now either sum1 was impersonating the real Mom2 or the other Mom2 didn’t know there already was a Mom2 on here. That’s suspect to me.

    I doubt it will even come to a strike. I don’t think Rahm or Lewis want one, but hopefully they will come to ‘fair’ terms whatever that means to them. I think both side should be looking at the poor performing schools that don’t have wrap around services. Just my 2 pennies.

  • 841. NBCT Vet  |  June 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    @839 Mom23,

    re: merit pay

    My feeling is that the vast majority of teachers are opposed to merit pay of any kind. A big reason for this opposition is the tremendous insecurity inherent to CPS, insecurity that merit pay would likely exacerbate, and the intensity and high level of distrust teachers have towards the Board. The CPS rationale for merit pay is also historically troubling – they view it as a way to improve education outcomes. Every study I have ever seen of merit pay indicates that it does not improve achievement.

    re: strike

    Teachers have not voted to strike. They have voted to authorize a strike in the even one becomes necessary. And there is no double standard. Teachers will vote a final Board offer up or down based on a simple majority vote. If a majority approves, then the contract is settled. See my comment @159 for details.

    re: fair layoffs

    Every unionized school district in Illinois, to my knowledge, has a layoff and recall policy. While CPS has a layoff policy – a problematic one at that – it does not have a recall policy. That needs to change, but CPS has declined to provide a recall policy.

    The layoff policy leads to the termination of many teachers in our most struggling schools. A large number schools have been closed or turned around over the last 8 years affecting thousands of teachers who were terminated through no fault of their own. Their mistake was simply trying to educate students in the most difficult circumstances possible.

    There are procedures and processes currently in place to remove unsatisfactory teachers based on evaluations. These procedures are simple. The content of evaluations leading to a dismissal cannot be challenged on a contractual basis.

    Principals have historically declined to use these procedures except under the most extreme circumstances – often because there has been a shortage of educators. (In this environment of austerity there is a glut of teachers.) I know of many cases personally where the principal evaluation portion was abused for political or petty personal motives, one reason why a meaningful evaluation system with multiple measures is important.

    My principal has used evaluations and due process to very good effect in terminating unsatisfactory teachers. Though current evaluations are simplistic and totally arbitrary, the procedures to remove a poor teacher are not. Tenure protections in Chicago are amazingly weak compared to most suburban policies.

    Ultimately, I do not think that bad teachers are the biggest problem, or even among the most significant problems, that ails the Chicago Public Schools.

  • 842. CarolA  |  June 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    @839: The point is that the final offer will not have any more details about the differentiated pay scale since a committee will not even be formed until after a contract is signed. To me that’s a blank check. I agree that a new system for evaluation is necessary. CPS has had all year to plan for this. The new evaluation has some flaws. One is that if you are a primary teacher or a specials (gym, music, library, counselor) teacher, your evaluation will be based on the test scores of the school. That means one could be a fantastic teacher in an underachieving school and get a bad evaluation. Try going to another school with that. Each teacher should be evaluated on their own skills. There should also be some accountability for parents to work with their children at home. This is true particularly at the primary level. So many times my students tell me that no one at home is reading with them. Some parents think that if you tell them to read, the students read. What they don’t understand is that just because they are looking at a book doesn’t mean they are reading it. I also have students who do not come to school every day. They cannot learn if they are not in class. One student has been absent at least 1 day each week. The days the student does come he/she is over 1 hour late. Will the test scores of that child be cross-referred to the attendance before making me responsible for the lacking of learning?

  • 843. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Mom23, you said: “Interesting that some teachers posting here are voting to strike based on nothing defined.” I’ll skip the part about how we didn’t “vote to strike” — NBCT addressed it (yet again) in post 841 — and just add that the fact that so much of what CPS is offering is so vague, nebulous, and uncertain is exactly the problem. You hit it right on the head.

  • 844. Mom23  |  June 10, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    @841-843

    My point about the strike vote is that you are giving a “blank check” to Karen Lewis and the house of delegates. Yes, thanks for the correction, it is a “strike authorization” vote, but it is being thrown around to have the impact of a strike. AND you are handing over the decision to strike before you know the details of the final offer. That is a “blank check”.

    Totally disagree about getting rid of bad teachers as I have posted before and I have first hand experience so no need to re-hash it to me. You will not convince me. Of course, teachers “play nice” the first few years to make it through to tenure status. After that, the true dismal performance and abuse comes out, but by then they have the tenure shield.

    Thanks for more info on the recall policy. This confirms my concern that more red tape to prevent poor performing schools to try new things and improve. Those poor kids. And by doing this, the ctu is just furthering the push to charters. If ctu instead was more progressive with trying new things to improve poor performing schools and actually measuring things to see what works and what doesn’t, there would be no need for charters. Again, ctu completely missing the point and misdirecting teachers on what the true impacts will be on the negotiation.

    The merit pay needs to happen. The measurements need to be fair. Go get em’ junior and chicagodad! I know you can some up with a solution 🙂 In my profession, there are good bosses and bad bosses. Sometimes the bad ones screw ya over. You either get a new job or get rid of that boss. In every case, there has been an evaluation system to motivate or demotivate an employee from staying or going. I am not sure how you can improve education without quality measures. I do think the good teachers will do fine in an evaluation system. The ctu is just trying to protect the worst in the system by denying any type of merit pay.

  • 845. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Mom22, it is not a “blank check” if I and 24,499 of my fellow CTU members will get the opportunity to vote on whether we accept the terms of the contract when it is finally offered (which we will). See any of NBCT’s excellent posts on this subject (there must be 10 at this point) for more detailed explanation.

  • 846. Parent and CPS Employee  |  June 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Sorry, meant Mom23.

  • 847. anonymouseteacher  |  June 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    @839, we may not know the final offer, but we will and we will have the opportunity to vote on it come the fall. If we did not authorize a strike vote now, we would have to simply agree to anything the board offered with no ability to counter offer. Why would the BOE even bother to negotiate if we had no ability to strike? They wouldn’t. So, now we have the ability to strike and the BOE must negotiate at least some. Without the strike authorization vote, we would definitely be giving the BOE a blank check to do whatever it liked. I guess I don’t understand what is so hard to understand about this. I do get that people don’t want the CTU to have the ability to strike at all and I suspect that therein lies the inability to understand. My own children attempt this tactic on me all the time, pretending to misunderstand my words when they don’t like what I am telling them. No we are NOT handing over the decision to strike to Lewis or the house of delegates. We all, each individual teacher, will have the chance to vote on the final offer when it comes in.
    And 844, the issue is not as simple with bad bosses and good bosses in CPS. In CPS, if you get fired, you are pretty much done. No one will hire a teacher ANYWHERE that has ever lost their job for any reason. (unless you happen to be in the two biggest shortage areas, sped and bilingual and then maybe) In other professions, you might be able to be rehired. In teaching, it simply isn’t done. You can’t simply get a new boss or a new job. If you are fired from CPS, you will never work in CPS again. Ever. That’s a huge area you’d be banned from. I suppose someone might be able to move out of state, maybe, and lie about why they hadn’t worked for a year or so, but really, in teaching, the rule is: you can never quit mid-year and you can never get fired if you ever want to teach again.

  • 848. Paul  |  June 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Jacqueline Edelberg, the neighborhood Mom that helped turnaround Nettelhorst school, wrote a good article about the strike today. She basically says that she loves and respects teachers, but asks them not to strike because it may undo the progress they’ve made over the last 10 years:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacqueline-edelberg/chicago-teacher-strike_b_1583926.html

  • 849. chitownmom1  |  June 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I heard that the vote to strike was high at Nettelhorst. Can anyone confirm this?

  • 850. cpsobsessed  |  June 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Well word seems to be that it was high everywhere… Guess we will know tomorrow.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 851. anonymouseteacher  |  June 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    My school, as did many, many others, had 100% totals.

  • 852. liza  |  June 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    @mom23 I don’t think you have the right idea about what goes on at underperforming schools or exactly what power the CTU has in determining curriculum and instruction. They do not get to pick instructional strategies,materials or programs. The network (formerly area) mandates what texts we use, how the material is delivered, how our classrooms look, and have a say in just about everything we do. In the last six years, I have had two different math programs, two different reading programs, a new writing program, and the list goes on. One network/area head leaves and the new one wants entirely new programs. I had worked on developing the old SIPAA programs for several years, and after what was mandated by the area in terms of buying new materials, teacher training etc., we had usually about 20Kor so left.. I won’t even begin to go into the cost of the materials and training that was needed to meet the whims of a person who would ususally be removed or left within a couple of years. So along with the exorbitant cost of the programs, there was also no continuity for students. We don’t just get to fly by the seat of our pants, nor do we have much input into what might actually help our students. I think this is one thing teachers would love to have, some input into what our students need and what instuctional strategies and programs might make real differences. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

    As far as firing teachers, you might want to think a little more about whether or not you were just sloughed off by the principal – if the abuse was as bad as you imply (and I have no reason to think otherwise), I can’t imagine why no action was taken. I can’t help thinking that there was something off. Not knowing what steps were taken by the principal, etc., I wonder did she/he follow procedure. I’m also curious if the teacher is still working at that particular school. If that’s the case, it might have been that the principal truly didn’t feel that the teacher was abusive or was as dismal as you found her/him to be. I’m truly sorry that you had such a bad experience, but it seems to have colored your whole perspective on teachers and education. That doesn’t seem really right somehow.

    As far as the merit pay grant, I thought I read that the former CTU regime agreed to work on this, but when this team was elected, they told CPS they would not participate in the process (and no, I didn’t read it in the Union paper!). I do agree with you on the fact the union should have worked on this collaboratively with CPS – it’s not like we all didn’t see this coming down the road. Maybe they had their reasons. See, we teachers are allowed to think for ourselves when it comes to CTU policies and decisions:)

  • 853. sigh  |  June 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    excellent response!(:

  • 854. sigh  |  June 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    here’s my opinion on metirt pay: it wouldn’t work and I don’t need some scientific study to tell me that. Anyone with open eyes can see it. It’s not a good way of weeding out “bad” teachers. Somehow I feel students would feel a lot more pressured to get high marks on state exams. Or at least that would be in HS where some kids actually care about there teachers. I don’t think it is right to place that burden on kids. Just my 2 cents here.

  • 855. sigh  |  June 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    *their

  • 856. chicagodad  |  June 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    @ mom23 Once again here’s some stuff on why merit pay is totally BOGUS, both from a motivational and a practical/data standpoint. Links will be separate for the sake of speed. http://hbr.org/2012/01/tackling-business-problems/ar/1#.TvtyhA4E5ps.twitter

  • 860. chicagodad  |  June 10, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    The bottom line is that merit pay based on “student growth” as measured by VAM is no better than a lottery. Here’s a story on the right way to evaluate teachers. It’s gaining ground as more people decide they can’t waste scarce resources on garbage that just doesn’t work. I’ve posted this MANY times but only CPSO seems to have actually read it. Of particular note to we who are facing a possible teachers strike is the way the teachers, their union, principals and administration are all totally on the same page with this and guess what, the kids benefit the most! Read it and tell us if you think it’s a good idea or not. I’ll bet you a tall cold one of your choice that the CTU would jump on doing this while CPS would completely balk. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/06/education/06oneducation.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp

  • 861. chicagodad  |  June 10, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    http://epi.3cdn.net/b9667271ee6c154195_t9m6iij8k.pdf
    Problems with the Use of
    Student Test Scores to
    Evaluate Teachers

  • 862. The Teachers Got the 75%  |  June 11, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Oh boy the teachers did it! I am happy for them!
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-teachers-union-more-than-75-percent-vote-to-authorize-strike-20120610,0,1382720.story

  • 863. Don Justice  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Ah, just a nice, impartial “CPS mommy” in the Huffington Post… who happens to be the author of a book on school “reform” featuring a forward by Arne Duncan and contributions from Rahm Emanuel. Give me a break.” Nettlehurst was almost 100% for the strike. You want more work, then we want more pay. Simple.

  • 864. cpsobsessed  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:14 am

    There is no WAY the nettelhorst book was about “reform” the way reform is defined these day. Seriously, back that up with some actual content from the book. So people who don’t want a strike are reformers?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 865. mom2  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:18 am

    @863 – your statement is all about money for you when the city, CPS and the tax payers that pay for you are broke. It’s posts like yours that “prove” that teachers don’t really care about the kids and all the other things beyond more pay that some of the very thoughtful posters on this site have brought up in the past. You are hurting your cause.

  • 866. cpsobsessed  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:27 am

    @chicagodad; is one of those the freakonomics article? That’s the one I’m most interested to read.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 867. Cps mom and teacher  |  June 11, 2012 at 8:19 am

    From the Huff Post article “Let’s be clear: I love, love, l-o-v-e teachers. The teachers at my kids’ neighborhood elementary school, Nettelhost, individually, and collectively, represent everything that’s right with public education. So much so, I’d put their education on par with any private school in this country — our teachers are that good.”

    If you truly believe this, then you should support these teachers. Trust that they know what is right. I did hear they voted to strike, much like the rest of the city. Why wouldn’t these “great” teachers know what is best for the school, students and themselves? I found this article insulting to the teachers at the school she so highly praises.

  • 868. cpsobsessed  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:01 am

    To me, I feel like being good at one’s profession and collective bargaining are two separate things. Which is why when people say “the union isn’t acting in the best interest of the kids” I don’the get outraged. The union is there to protect teachers and get them the best deal possible. *Ideally* they’re acting for the kids too, but that’s not why unions exist and I get that.

    I love that the teachers at my son’s school voted last year to give the kids recess by moving their own lunch to the middle of the day, extending the school day.

    I hate that only a handful of schools in “safe” neighborhoods chose to do this, ostensibly empowered by the union.

    I think there are many other similar examples….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 869. HS Mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:17 am

    @829 – thanks for that link. Not that it really matters now but my question was about where does it say in the law about a non vote being counted as “no”. I’m guessing if you’re going to sue for this that there needs to be some law or right taken away. Looked for it – don’t see it.

  • 870. Mom23  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

    @863 Just curious, you say, “You want more work, then we want more pay. Simple.” Does that mean that the students can get “back pay” in the form of hours over the last 20 plus years that they were robbed recess and a longer lunch? Or “back pay” to students for how all those days off that have been taken away over the years in contract negotiation?. I would be all for that and then it will even out in about 15 years and then you can get your raise………and your pension.

    Someone asked for an example of wanting to have your cake and eat it too. This is a good one.

    I fully understand why the ctu and teachers are using the strike authorization vote as a negotiatiion tactic. What bugs me is pretending that it is for the kids when it isn’t.

  • 871. HS Mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

    @852 – This is not 1 case of 1 abusive teacher. Let’s stop blaming the principal for doing nothing. It is next to impossible for any principal to get rid of a bad teacher. Let’s not pretend that problems don’t exist – abuse, unskilled in the profession or subject, abuse of power (favoritism, discrimination, unreasonable expectations/demands), uninvolved in the class doing the minimum. Complaints are swept under the rug, some teachers get moved around others just keep doing the same thing year after year. Total protection by the union. Why should a kid have to go a whole year with their head down feeling like a failure or go a whole year having learned nothing. Where is their “due process”.

  • 872. Mom23  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:53 am

    @852 Liza. When a school is not performing, of course you are going to get more dictated from the top. The schools that perform better are not subject to the same degree of control. If the school was perfroming and improving, then you would have more autonomy. I am not saying cps does a good job in every instance, but they should certainly be putting the clamps down on schools that in all honesty suck for the students. It doesn’t suck because of the teachers, although that may be part of the problem (but I suspect some of the best teachers we have may be in those school and those teachers would be re-hired at the turnaround or another school). it does suck because of poverty, gangs and parents who do not or simply cannot make education a priotiy. My point is that the ctu does NOT approach this as a collaboration to figure out how to try new things and improve. They put restrictive measures in place to only protect the employment of those teachers. It has nothing to do with improving the educational enviornment and in fact restricts the ability to try new things. This is why charters are attractive. Yes, cps does dictate a lot in these situations in a large part because it has to follow the union protocol. If it does not then it takes even longer to turn around a low performing school. The poor students stuck in these schools are literally robbed of their education because it takes 5-10 years to happen. Those poor kids are lost. This is why I am very worried about the recall discussion in this negotiation. It will likely simply add more red tape instead of offering solutions.

    I do not begudge ctu for protecting its teachers regardless of if they are good or bad, that is the only thing they do. Although, I do think it is the root of the problem with education and that does drive me insane as a parent.

    I agree with CPSO that it just does not make sense to have a union in education. It just puts up too many roadblocks to improvement. It sounds like you would love to collaborate to find solutions to improve a bad school. I bet a lot of the good teachers do too, but the union process does not allow for this. This is really harming the education options for the students.

  • 873. NBCT Vet  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:59 am

    @872 HS Mom,

    I’ve never understood the claim that it is impossible to fire teachers in CPS. My principal has done it many times over my years at the school without any trouble at all. He simply performs the evaluations, files the paperwork, and follows the process.

    He has not gone crazy with it like at some principals where teachers feel persecuted as a new leader tries to replace large portions of the staff. Our principal has done it when warranted and the other staff support it. And, there is nothing the Union can do about it.

    If my principal can do it without any trouble at all, then why can’t others?

  • 874. Mom23  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

    HS Mom, thanks for responding to the “getting rid of bad teachers” question. I was struggling how to respond without putting my child in a dangerous position by giving too much information of the circumstance. You did a much better job calling it like it is for the whole system, not just my kid.

    At the soccer fields yesterday, a special ed student teacher told me of horrid abuse at a school she was at. She told on the bad teachers and guess what, they are still there taping the poor kids arms down in a wheel chair and swearing at the kid who can’t verbalize. It makes me literally sick to my stomach that as a society we have allowed an environment like this to flourish. This is one of the greatest accomplishments of the CTU, I hope it makes those union members proud.

    My kid is not special needs, so maybe I should feel lucky? NO, I should not feel lucky just because my kid could tell me of the abuse. The atrocity is that both these abusive teachers are still there.

  • 875. Cps mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

    @870…Where is it stated that they are owed a longer lunch? I don’t get that. Is this a right?

  • 876. Mayfair Dad  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

    IMHO, it is a forgone conclusion CTU will strike this Fall. I don’t think they would have come this far if they weren’t prepared to pull the trigger. I think Rahm wants the union to strike so he can exploit the parent’s ire to push through his final version of the deal. It will get ugly, and it will have national implications. Rahm won’t blink – its not in his nature.

    I read on this thread the longest CTU strike in memory was 19 days. So figure on the first 2-3 weeks of school cancelled due to strike. Maybe a federal mediator will be brought in to force a settlement.

    Big money on both sides pushing their agenda. Before this is over, it will make the Scott Walker recall vote look like a PTA bake sale.

    Happy Monday everybody 🙂

  • 877. Mom23  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:09 am

    @875, maybe you did not understand what I meant? A longer lunch for the students, not the teachers. As a parent, I do feel children should not have to shove food down in 5-10 minutes to be able to get a few minutes (and I mean a few) to run around on a playground.

  • 878. HS Mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:11 am

    @873 Firings for performance (or lack of it) don’t occur period. I can only believe that this is due to the threat of lawsuit by CTU. If your school does it then I guess that accounts for the 4? (have also heard the number 2) firings that happened last year. Firings can also be disguised as retirement, transfers or lay offs – but out and out firings – have never seen one personally.

  • 879. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Who is DFER: They want to shift the political debate by getting the Democratic Party to back innovations such as merit pay for teachers, a longer school day, and charter schools.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/01/1087992/-DFER-and-Education-Policies

  • 880. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

    #874~Mom23~if you know a child is being hurt and don’t report it to the police, YOU are to blame for it continuing. If you know of ANY action at a school that hurts a child, you should report it immediately to the police.

    #876~MayFair Dad~they’ll be a contract in place be Fall. Obama already said he does NOT want a strike and his you tube vid for the week is all abt how he want to hire more teachers and how valuable they are.

    #878~HSMom, the principal at my son’s school had to fire a teacher (it was a teacher fresh out of college) a few yrs back. It was unfortunate but necessary. Our principal had no qualms abt it. Also when our new principal took over, this principal fired a teacher (who had been their a long time)~I don’t know the reason. Teachers do get fired.

  • 881. Paul  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:27 am

    @876 Mayfair Dad, I think you’re probably right about how it’s going to go down. And, I am figuring on the first few weeks of school being cancelled. But, I’m also concerned that it might go the other way. With the national election figuring into the picture, and Rahm working to help Obama get reelected, there may be a lot of pressure on Rahm to ensure peace so unions continue to work for Obama’s reelection. The direction from Rahm under that scenario would be to compromise on pay and scale back the reforms. Give larger raises to teachers, go back to the short school day, and kick the can down the road.

  • 882. Mom23  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:37 am

    SSI4, I am going to ignore your ignorance about abusive teachers and blaming me for it. Not taking that bait.

    However, you gave me a great idea. Every child and parent should use technology to record teacher abuse, mediocrity, apathetic going through the motions. Record good teachers too. I phones, recorders, you name it, get the proof. I have no doubt there is plenty of material in cps to go viral on you tube.

  • 883. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:45 am

    #882~Mom23~if you know a child is being hurt, call the police. There’s not bait to take. I’m not arguing w/you. If you know a teacher is hurting a child, report it immediately.

  • 884. Mom23  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:48 am

    SSI4, been down that road…………..to nowhere. The union total protection.

  • 885. another CPS mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Interesting comments over at District 299 blog on that HuffPo piece by Jacqueline Edelberg…

    http://www.chicagonow.com/district-299-chicago-public-schools-blog/2012/06/no-votes-day-3/#comment-15576

  • 886. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:50 am

    #884~Mom23~not if the police are involved. Call the police, state your concerns and what you know. No child should be a victim of someone they trust. Call the police.

  • 887. another CPS mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:50 am

    884. Mom23 | June 11, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Did you report abuse to DCFS?

  • 888. another CPS mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Guys, before recording stuff, check out Illinois felony eavesdropping law. Just saying.

  • 889. IB obsessed  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Reading this thread should quiet any amazement anyone might have that Catholic school teachers tolerate their crap salaries.

  • 890. another CPS mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:55 am

    FWIW, I don’t think there will be a strike. I think a contract will be created that teachers approve. IMHO.

  • 891. another CPS mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

    If Brizard wanted to, he could stop abuses to students with disabilities. It’s low-hanging fruit, imho. I’ve seen no will on that front from him, however.

  • 892. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I’m just saying if Mom23 has knowledge a child is being hurt in school by a teacher, she should report it immediately to the police. The police will then get DCFS involved. I wouldn’t wait a minute to call and report it if I thought a child was being abused.

  • 893. Mom73  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:22 am

    881. Paul- My guess is that if this looks like it will go to a strike, Obama will pressure The CTU and Rahm to come up for something they can deal with for a year or two, with the promise he will stay out of it next time.

    I think the CTU will be pressured to take the short term compromise.
    The last thing Nationwide teacher unions want is for Karen Lewis to get National airtime. She doesn’t play well in Chicago, in red or purple states she is toxic. There are alot of initatives out there like in Wisconsin, They don’t need more gas to the anti-union fire that is out there. Rahm is do it for Obama and maybe some $$ Obama can send his way.

    So in my prediction is that in two years, we will be doing this all again. But it will be a local story, which would be better for all.

  • 894. Chicago Mama  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:23 am

    @867. I feel the same way.

    but the same argument applies to the teachers who voted for the longer day back in September.

  • 895. Paul  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

    @893 Mom73, that makes sense to me. Although, the thought of doing this all again in two years makes me physically ill.

  • 896. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Well why is Brizard getting a 15% bonus above his $250,000 salaray for next yr.

    His contract w/CPS pg2 http://www.scribd.com/doc/58563726/Jean-Claude-Brizard-s-Draft-Contract

  • 897. Mayfair Dad  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:35 am

    @ 881 & 893: Insightful comments on the Obama factor in this looming public employee union strike, and I use public employee union instead of teachers’ to amplify my point. This is not a referendum on how children get educated, it is a larger movement to diminish the influence of public employee unions on local, state and federal budgets. Obama practically sat on his hands as the Scott Walker drama played out, so it will be very interesting to see how visible he is when the sh!t hits the fan this Fall. I still smell a strike coming – Rahm is a very stubborn man – but maybe very short lived and mediated behind the scenes by White House operatives, i.e. Valerie Jarrett.

  • 898. cpsmama  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

    @880- SSI4- non-tenured teachers (ie a few yrs out of college) can be easily let go and are frequently “fired”. Its the tenured teachers who are nearly impossible to fire even for things like sleeping the in classroom (sad but true story that happened repeatedly at my child’s SEES);

    FWIW, I am expecting a strike but hoping it doesn’t actually happen. The impact of a strike will be awful for all, but as a parent of a HS student, I think it will be particularly devastating for (1) HS seniors trying to get their college apps in and (2) fall sport athletes who need a scholarship to go to college. A CTU strike could be life-altering for these kids 😦

  • 899. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

    #898~cpsmama~youre right it’s easy to fire a non-tenured teacher. However our new principal did fire a tenure teacher~she did not get to retire (too young) but was fired.

    Actually at our SEHS, a longer day will truly impact the sports. But I’m more worried abt the many we know whol will lose job and need that money to pay for transportation to and from school. Bc of the longer day, they will lose their jobs.

  • 900. HS Mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

    @898 – I hear you. We will likely steer clear of A/P classes this year. Chicago already starts 2 weeks later than suburban HS’s and the work load/catch up will be too overwhelming. This will be a good year to just focus on outside prep for ACT and bringing up the GPA.

  • 901. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:59 am

    #900~HS Mom~isn’t your hs already scheduled for classes for next year. I thought all the high schools were already done in January for next yr. When does your school schedule classes?

  • 902. EdgewaterMom  |  June 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    @899 SoxSideIrish Who will lose their job because of the longer day?

  • 903. Mom23  |  June 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    @893 Mom73 and @897 MayfairDad. Good insight with the Obama factor. You are right, it really has nothing to do with education or the kids and everything to do with politics and the larger labor vs. anti-labor movement. I was kind of hopeful that we would not get into a kick the can down the road situation and for once have some resolution on key issues. Time to prepare for a strike and hope it is short lived. Paul, I am with you 100%, doing this again in two years—–ughhh!

  • 904. NBCT Vet  |  June 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Any abuse should be reported to the CPS Inspector General and to the police so those two parties can take appropriate action. Any teacher who abuses a student should be removed from the classroom by the police or by CPS.

    The Union is not responsible in any way for keeping a teacher in the classroom after that kind of conduct. So, what does the Union do in that type of situation?

    The Union ensures that the teacher receives due process. That’s all. What does that mean? The teacher is investigated by the CPS Inspector General and is entitled to Union representation. That representative essentially functions as an observer. The teacher is required to answer any and all questions about the incident. A teacher who declines to answer those questions can terminated. The Inspector General interviews students and otherwise investigates the allegations.

    If the Inspector General determines the allegations are unfounded then the charges are dropped, but there is still a record of those allegations. If the Inspector General determines the allegations are founded then CPS Law takes appropriate action.

    CPS may also, at its discretion, remove a teacher from the classroom while the investigation is taking place.

    Nowhere in this process is there any way for the Union to keep a teacher in the classroom against the will of CPS. If someone can cite a Union contractual right to keep a teacher under investigation for abuse in the classroom against the wishes of the Board I would like to read it.

  • 905. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    @904~NBCT~I understand that~that’s why I don’t understand why Mom23 wont call the police to help that kid if a child is being hurt it should be report immediately. I don’t understand why she would be fixated on strike and not helping a child.

    #902~edgewatermom~several kids who have part time jobs will lose them due to the longer day.

  • 906. Mom23  |  June 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    @905 soxside, do not assume anything about what I have and have not done. I know what I have done and I know the ugly underbelly of trying to do right by the kids. I am not going to give any details on this blog because I need to protect my child.

  • 907. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    #906~Mom23~in #874, you stated a teach reported~you never said you called the police. I understand you have to protect your child. I also understand that if an adult knows abt a situtation that was not taking care of at the school level, and a child is being harmed, that adult should call police~you don’t have to give your name.
    Even though we disagree at times, I still respected your thoughts…now we just disagree.

  • 908. For Qualified Teachers in every CPS classroom  |  June 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    As a CPS parent and former CPS teacher at a neighborhood school, I am always dismayed when Nettelhorst is held up as a replicable example of a turnaround school. While it is wonderful for the few hundred students of Ms. Edelberg and the wealthy parents that live in east Lakeview to have “turned” around their school, it is really disingenuous to use it as a model for neighborhood school reform. Thousands of private funds have gone into the Nettelhorst turnaround because many of the wealthy parents have connections (e.g. Blackhawks donation, chef donations for cafeteria renovations). Also, the quiet story is that the “new” mostly white and affluent parents basically kicked out the African American students over the past 5-6 years that used to go there back when it was underenrolled and no one in the neighborhood would send their kids there. As the first grader on my kid’s soccer team told me last fall when I mentioned I used to live near his school, and I quote, “Did you live there back when the bad kids went there?” What six year old says things like that unless he’s heard it from the parents. From the mouths of babes. Same thing happened when InterAmerican shared the building and then took over their new school site a few years back by Wrigley field. This type of school reform has winners and losers and doesn’t deal with the complicated issues that go on in neighborhood schools in poor neighborhoods.

    Real school reform will involve greater societal reform to deal with the many issues that plague neighborhoods around Chicago. And while I fully congratulate the parents of Nettelhorst on their success and their ability to go to their neighborhood school in Lakeview, it’s not a realistic road for most CPS schools in need of reform. Reading Diane Ravitch’s book in the CPS Obsessed book club will highlight the need for many other reforms alongside teacher-generated education reforms in order to really make a difference and create comprehensive reform.

    Oh yeah – one more statistic for food for thought on unions. Interestingly, the six US states that have state laws banning teacher unions rank in the very bottom on student outcomes/scores (#44 – #50). So if we’re going to be data-driven, it would seem to be the case that strong teacher unions are correlated with stronger educational outcomes for kids. To quote a sign from a recent protest in New York City – Teachers’ Working Conditions are Your Kids’ Learning Conditions!

  • 909. SutherlandParent  |  June 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Great point, #868 CPSO–“The union is there to protect teachers and get them the best deal possible. *Ideally* they’re acting for the kids too, but that’s not why unions exist and I get that.”

    Let’s be serious–what’s best for teachers and the union isn’t always what’s best for students (back to the closed campus, and there was no way the teachers at our very safe school were ever gonna vote to open it…). But somehow, we’ve developed into a dynamic where teachers feel they have to insist otherwise.

    So how do we get away from this? I’ve seen some joking comments here about forming a parents’ union, but maybe that’s one solution–give some sort of meaningful voice/negotiating power to a group that is free to advocate solely for the best interests of the students, without worrying about how that will impact pay, benefits, etc.

  • 910. EdgewaterMom  |  June 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    @909 SutherlandParent. That is a really interesting thought! It probably would not end up being a real union though, more like a political group.

    I also find it hard to get past the fact the teachers at our very safe school refused to move their lunch hour back to the middle of the day so that all students could have recess. I understand why they liked their short day, but you really could not argue that it was in the best interest of the students.

  • 911. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    CPSO, thanks for the tip on Freakonomics articles. Found it (below) Pretty much corresponds to what I have been saying, including the fence sitting by those in favor of the concept but who dislike the details, Guthrie, who had only talking points rather than ideas to offer was not a useful inclusion.
    http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/09/20/the-debate-over-teacher-merit-pay-a-freakonomics-quorum/

  • 912. Recess Info  |  June 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Years ago the Board pushed the current policy that has resulted in an early dismissal for elementary school students. By moving faculty lunch to the end of the day and releasing students earlier, rather than incorporating recess into the school day, CPS saved significant amounts of money because they did not have to pay anyone to supervise recess while the teachers were on a lunch break.

  • 913. Recess Info correction  |  June 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Correction on Recess Info. My understanding (which I know way to intimately because I tried in vain to get my kids recess) is that the closed campus was proposed for a very small handful of schools, but then all the schools that did not need it walked through the contract loop hole. Negotiations have dangerous implications.

    Schools that have recess and never gave it up, do not have increased costs.

    Regardless of the past, the simple fact in the present is that teachers did not to give kids recess when they had the chance.

  • 914. cpsobsessed  |  June 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    for the record, I didn’t actually say we should eliminate unions. I think for government workers who are at the mercy of shrinking budgets there will continue to be a need to prevent them getting screwed and being asked to do their work for charitable reasons, rather than expecting fair (if not good) compensation.

    I have a friend who wants to move to Arizona. He husband is a teacher in LA public schools, but AZ offers no health insurance to teachers. None. You basically have to have a spouse with insurance to be a teacher there. No idea if they are unionized or not…

    I sort of netted out in the same place that Steven Brill did at the end of his book. After talking up the charters and bashing the unions, he concluded that the GOOD charters succeed in large part because the teachers/admin there are busting their butts 24/7 at a pace that isn’t realistic for every public school in the country. It’s not “scalable.” And that the unions need to be part of the solution, not totally obliterated. There’s great power for good there, if we find the middle ground.

    In Chicago, I think CPS is asking for a LOT all at one time. But the union is saying a lot of “NO” to what feels like literally everything.

    As Wendy Katten from RYH has said, I hope both sides can talk productively to find that middle ground.

  • 915. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    @896 SSI4 – the link didn’t say Brizzard was getting a 15 percent bonus. It just said that the Board could give him up to 15 percent as a merit-based bonus depending on whether he had met or exceeded his long list of Performance Goals. One of the first goals on this list is for him to raise the percent of third graders who meet or exceed reading standards on the ISAT to 70 percent. How the heck is he going to do this?

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think he’s getting anywhere near that 15 percent, if any bonus at all.

    His salary sure is nice though.

  • 916. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks, 908, It does not get any clearer than this: To quote a sign from a recent protest in New York City – Teachers’ Working Conditions are Your Kids’ Learning Conditions!

  • 917. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    #915~he had to raise the grad rate from 56% to 60%~media is saying CPS highest grad class~60%…he’ll get that 15%. just my2 pennies.

  • 918. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Back to that robo call thing, Just got an email from my kids school that they were obviously forced to send out by CPS. Not on the school letterhead. It asks for our contact info. Everyones school already has this. Why does CPS need to burden the schools at the end of the year by making the schools collect info CPS should already have and then send it to CPS? Do the CPS data systems suck that badly, (YES!)or is this for more robo calls and spam? (YES!)

  • 919. Mom23  |  June 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    SSI4, now I get it. Thanks for posting the number of my post. You are talking about the special needs abuse I mentioned, not my kids situation. Yes, I agree and police is a good idea. I do not know the name of the school and not sure I can find that out. I thought you were asking me to dive into my kids situation, which I won’t.

  • 920. SutherlandParent  |  June 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    @910, I’m not really proposing that parents unionize! And I want to clarify that I certainly don’t think CPS is always acting in the best interests of students, either. Closed campus wouldn’t have happened without sign-off from the Board of Ed. Maybe if we had an elected Board, I would feel that I had some voice in the direction of CPS. Although probably not, since I have a spectacularly bad record of voting for candidates who actually win…

    Maybe we need to push for parent representatives on the BOE?

  • 921. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    “Parents 4 Teachers statement on 90 percent strike authorization vote

    Today is a good day for parents and students across this city because our teachers have bravely stood up and said no to the status quo at CPS. Despite an unprecedented and shameless 11th-hour assault on our teachers, they took a stand and said yes to smaller classes, a better day—not just a longer day—and a new vision for our children’s education.

    While no one wants a strike—not teachers, not parents, and not students—the board’s intransigence has taken us to the brink of one. The current contract offer from CPS is an insult. No wonder it’s been resoundingly rejected. The ball is now in the mayor and the board’s court to negotiate a fair contract that’s in the best interest of our teachers and our children.

    This vote puts to rest any notion that CPS can strong arm teachers and parents into accepting more of the same failed policies. As parents, we know the needs of our teachers and our kids go hand in hand. But throughout the contract talks, CPS has tried to portray teachers as villains, out only for better pay and benefits. And in a disgraceful letter to parents last week, Mr. Brizard threw salt on the wound by claiming teachers were harming students by conducting the vote.

    But nothing could be farther from the truth. Parents know that teachers are fighting for the things that really matter for our kids: smaller class sizes; art, music and foreign language for all students; more counselors, social workers and nurses for kids; the retention of experienced teachers; well-stocked libraries in all schools; and safe school buildings that don’t freeze in the winter or overheat in the summer.

    These are the hallmarks of the education the mayor and CPS board members take for granted for their own kids. Parents and teachers have been demanding these same opportunities for all Chicago’s children—north side, west side, south side—for years, but those pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

    This strike authorization vote is a wake-up call for CPS and the mayor. Stop demonizing teachers. Stop blaming them for problems the system created. Stop tying their hands and setting them up to fail. You cannot put our children first, if you put their teachers last.”

  • 922. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    CPSO, I forgot about this resource for info on VAM. CAUTION! There is a TON of info here. http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2010/06/28/the-best-resources-for-learning-about-the-value-added-approach-towards-teacher-evaluation/

  • 923. junior  |  June 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Parents 4 Teachers forgot to add that all the teachers strikes in Chicago history have resulted in tremendous advancements and benefits for the students of CPS, making us one of the leading school districts in the country.

  • 924. liza  |  June 11, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    When I began teaching (way back in the ice age), the first school I worked at was one of the last in CPS to have an open campus – over 90% of the students walked home for lunch. There was a morning and afternoon recess (15 min?). The school was pushed, yes I mean pushed, by CPS to change to the closed campus model. There were several reasons. First, desegregration of schools was mandated and bussing students out of their neighborhood schools began. Obviously, these kids were unable to walk back home for lunch. Secondly, the Federal Gov’t. began the “free” lunch program. Lastly, there were less and less stay at home moms and more and more students stayed at school to eat their lunch in a pretty gross basement. With the increased number of students eating at school, setting up some type of real lunchroom to serve the federally funded meals, and not enough available staff to supervise the “eat in” students there really was no choice. When there were not that many kids eating their bag lunches brought from home, the AP and counselor could monitor students and take their own duty free lunch later or earlier, whatever worked best for them. Teachers at this school were reluctant to change the format of the day, but eventually CPS pushed the change. On top of that, things in certain neighborhoods became more dangerous. The open campus pretty much became extinct with the death of a pretty young child (Dantrell Davis, maybe?) being shot pretty much right in front of the school he attended. Before jumping to the conclusion that it was all the Union and the teachers screwing the kids so they lost recess and a longer lunch, you have to consider the historical factors that influenced the push for closed campus. CPS pushed this and sold it to the teachers by allowing us to get out earlier. Do you really think CPS wanted to lose out on all that Federal money the lunch program brought in? I, personally, can’t wait for my lunch to be put back in the middle of the day. I loved that schedule! Both students and teachers need some down time during the day.

  • 925. Mom23  |  June 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Fascinating historical perspective on recess. Thank you. It does not help me understand why so many teachers when finally offered the option to move their lunch the end of last school year clearly did not. You can’t blame history, the mayor, the board, or cps leaders. All of them supported and asked schools to move the teacher lunch. It was essentially up to the teachers to make the change of their own free will. It was a pure option, not tainted by negotiation. Yet, a tiny number of schools moved. I am glad that recess is now a mandate for next year. Although, with the power to strike, I wonder if the kids will once again be denied recess in negotiations?

  • 926. junior  |  June 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    @924 said:

    “CPS Pushed the change”

    Uh, not sure, but the CTU contract gave teachers power over the actual decision, not CPS.

    And when CPS recently pushed to change back to an open campus with lunch/recess, it was the teachers we saw pushing back (rather strongly).

  • 927. NBCT Vet  |  June 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    A minor detail: there is no “CTU contract”.

    There is an Agreement between the Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union. Both parties are equally responsible for the contents of that Agreement.

    re: recess

    Also keep in mind that many schools do not have recess facilities at all, some have poor facilities, and others are in neighborhoods where teachers, administrators, or parents have legitimate safety concerns. Some principals ask teachers not to change schedules. The local administration must also provide monitors for recess. That responsibility often means teachers are asked to volunteer prep or collaboration time, already in rare supply, to supervise recess.

    There are many reasons why a building decide to forego recess in the middle of the day, not just the evil, greedy teachers.

    I am still glad that recess will be back in the middle of the day next year. It’s definitely the appropriate thing to do for students. I just hope CPS can find a way to do it right.

  • 928. Mom23  |  June 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    NBCT vet @927. While those are some legit excuses about recess (all of which can be resolved), teachers shut out the option very harshly in schools where none of those factors apply.

    I hope you are right that it will be back next year. As of now it is mandated. It certainly won’t be back if there is a “choice” to not include recess.

  • 929. teacher in Englewood  |  June 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Re: higher graduation rate
    One MAJOR factor graduation rate increased this year is because truant students were not forced to go to summer school and allowed to graduate. In years past students who had more than 9 days of unexcused absence had to attend summer school. This year they did not look at absence just test scores, final grades in math and reading/language arts and age.

  • 930. CarolA  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Teachers love recess too. We’ve had it at our school as an “off the record” type of thing. As a primary teacher, giving students a short recess saves our entire afternoon. They are able to stay on task better. However, keep in mind, teachers supervise recess. At my school (and many others) we do not have a full time nurse, so when students get hurt, the office secretary or asst principal must take care of the problem. Students often don’t know how to play these days. They think chasing each other and grabbing arms while wrestling to the ground is fun. It’s dangerous. In order to have a more organized recess, TEACHERS, not CPS, bought balls, jump ropes, hoops, and other misc. items. In another area for inside recess, we bought building blocks, toy trucks and cars, play doh, legos, etc. I buy the band-aids for my students. I’m not complaining. I’m just stating facts that people may not realize.

  • 931. local  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I would think that parents who are new to CPS, or who don’t have insider information, would be more curious about how circumstances (such as closed campus, etc.) came to be in CPS. It’s wise to know the history. Good to ask more questions to replace assumptions.

  • 932. local  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Back in the ’70s, us CPS high schoolers tried to create a union for STUDENTS. Wouldn’t that be somethin’?

  • 933. local  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Cool. Anyone live near Hass Park?

    “…Tonight at 7pm I will be part of a panel being sponsored by Raise Your Hand in the field house at Hass Park and I am going to discuss hopefully in some detail the major problems inherent in SB7 and how I see this issue as having increased the possibility of a strike rather than having reduced it. I fully intend on speaking directly to many of issues Dr. Edelberg raises in her thoughtful commentary. — Rod Estvan”

    (from dist299blog)

  • 934. local  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    BTW, I think he used the phrase “thoughtful commentary” satirically.

  • 935. bill  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    @867 i totally agree also. well said!

  • 936. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    @928 “teachers shut out the option very harshly in schools where none of those factors apply.” Please explain the very harshly part and tell us the schools where this happened.
    @923 The past strikes you mentioned did not occur in such a nation wide anti teacher environment. An even greater case can be made on the abject failure of 17 years of mayoral control, of R2010, turn around’s, closings and restructuring that were actually supposed to be about improving the schools. These things were ongoing and if anything, set us back. The strikes back then, so far as I know, were not about school reform and policy issues the way they are now, so any comparison based on that is not valid. Apples to oranges.

  • 937. HS Mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    @929 Englewood teacher – thank God for that. One other detail that may impact, summer school has been eliminated at many schools due to lack of funding. Options for students looking to make up failing classes is very limited.

  • 938. dropping by  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    at mom2 or whomever- didn’t it enter your mind that Mom2 was not trying to “copy” you. After all there are almost a 1000 comments?!?!? the world does not revolve around you!!

  • 939. anonymouseteacher  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    I think the recess thing is a done deal, even though the BOE is not funding it at all (just like many other mandates are not funded, typical CPS style). The sections of the city that are safe will have it and the sections that are not might not. I will not be surprised when we hear of CPS kids being shot and killed during recess time in the parts of the city most people like to ignore. I hope that doesn’t happen, but I won’t be surprised if it does.

    The school where I work is taking money from the budget line for instructional personnel to hire an outside group to staff recess, since we have had multiple “scheduling” experts come in and no one can figure out how to run our schedule without more bodies. It will mean less Art or PE, but, personally I think recess is worth it. It would be nice, though, if our city could figure out how to afford both.

  • 940. sandersrockets  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    @937 HS Mom, about graduation, whether it’s good or bad, who knows, but I do think that Brizard and the Mayor are excitedly reporting numbers making it seem as if it’s because of an increase in achievement when in fact it’s just a shuffling of children.

  • 941. mom2  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    @dropping by, why on Earth would you get so upset about my post? Someone else asked if Mom2 was the same person as the mom2 that posts here quite often. I just confirmed that it wasn’t me. That’s it. Nothing else at all.

    Of course it is very possible that a few people could pick the same name and wouldn’t even realize it. I wasn’t at all bothered by it – I was just answering a post from someone else. Relax.

  • 942. HS Mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    @940 – OK then, we haven’t made any progress. That’s a good thing? Isn’t this about the kids? Shouldn’t we be happy that they are able to graduate without barriers and technicalities? If it was that easy to raise the grad rate, why wasn’t it done before? Teachers have nothing to do with increased achievement? Sorry about all the questions, I’m just floored that every piece of good news has to be met with scrutiny and defamation. Can’t we just say “good job” everyone especially those students that graduated this week?

  • 943. HS Mom  |  June 11, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    dropping by – that was me. Mom2 has very well mannered, good intentioned and informative posts. It was no coincidence that her name was put on 2 totally uncharacteristic posts in a long thread that she has been the only “Mom2” commenting in. I am calling it. Not good and not productive to the conversation.

  • 944. anonymouseteacher  |  June 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    @942, I believe the reaction you are getting is because saying our grad rate increased without telling that the requirements changed is similar to when there was an increase in kids passing the ISAT, but no one mentioned that the number of questions required to pass was lowered.
    Brizard will get more money due to this change in requirements, this lowering of the standard. I think it is fine to drop the attendance requirement, we don’t have control over that anyway, but I don’t agree that Brizard should get any extra pay for that, since he didn’t actually increase the grad rate. He just changed the rules.

  • 945. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I posted this earlier that Brizard will get 15% over his $250,000 for hitting the mark of 60% grad rate

    His contract w/CPS pg2 http://www.scribd.com/doc/58563726/Jean-Claude-Brizard-s-Draft-Contract

  • 946. IB obsessed  |  June 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Anyone else hear a report on WBBM about a group gathering signatures in support of returning to an ELECTED BOE, instead of a group of appointees? What would it take for this to become a reality (I”m sure petition isn’t really going to do it)

  • 947. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Brizard’s contract shows almost 30 Performance Goals that he is expected to meet or exceed. I don’t think he automatically gets the maximum allowed 15 percent merit-based bonus for meeting just 1 goal.

  • 948. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    @944 They changed the rules in Florida in a similar manner as a way of declaring victory for students as measured by the FCAT. All this while more and more Fla. districts are joining the open rebellion against testing.

  • 949. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    @946, it is happening. A broad coalition of parent and community groups has begun this effort. KOCO and RYH are among them, as is Parents 4 Teachers and others. CODE, Communities Organized for Democracy in Education http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/06/09/parents-teachers-begin-citywide-petition-for-elected-school-board/

  • 950. SutherlandParent  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    @936 Chicagodad, “teachers shut out the option very harshly in schools where none of those factors apply.” Please explain the very harshly part and tell us the schools where this happened.

    I’d say, this is what happened at our school. A perfectly safe neighborhood, a nice playground, plenty of room to run around. We don’t get Title I funding, so I can’t believe there was some conspiracy from the BOE to close the campus in order to get more free/reduced lunch funds.

    And yet, we have a closed campus. Some teachers do recess informally, others almost never do it. When the kids get recess, they may have only 10 minutes for lunch. Perhaps it wasn’t “harsh,” but the teachers seemed to have no intention of bringing it to a vote. Parents were just beginning to try to figure out this whole “open campus” idea when SB7 passed.

    This is what makes me crazy when the CTU says it’s all about the kids. I believe most teachers are dedicated to their jobs, work hard and deserve to be treated and paid like professionals. But their union is not negotiating 100% for the best interests of the kids, and I’d respect the union more if it would be upfront about that. We’re not getting anywhere with this back and forth.

  • 951. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Should Chicago Have an Elected Representative School Board?
    A Look at the Evidence http://www.uic.edu/educ/ceje/articles/Printed%20school%20board%20report.pdf

  • 952. Elected school board  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Be careful what you wish for. See the winner on the Harvey school board. See Proviso school board disaster too. I understand Kimberly Lightfoot was exposed for political favors to keep the proviso board shielding its questionable finances.

    Would I want a board that is elected from funding of the ctu or the national reform groups? That won’t help. The current board is accountable to the mayor we elected.

  • 953. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    @950 Since it happened at your school, could you tell us about any discussions that were had on the topic between teachers and the principal? Parents? Sounds like poor leadership from the principal. Also, what makes me crazy is when the point about a teachers working conditions being the kids learning conditions is not understood as big part of the dynamic, when that idea is left out.. Sure, a part of today is about money, but when the teachers are forbidden from bargaining on anything but that unless CPS puts it on the table, on issues that directly affect their ability to teach, are forbidden by law to advocate for their students best interests, I have a HUGE problem with that. With all the testimonials we’ve read here and all the stories we know about tons of teachers who regularly go above and beyond for their kids, the constant repetition of teachers being somehow only out for themselves or not really seriously wanting whats right for students is absurd. I don’t buy it at all.

  • 954. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    New FB site of CODE, pushing for an elected school board. https://www.facebook.com/CommunitiesOrganizedForDemocracyInEducation

  • 955. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    One big thing stated at the CODE meeting was the need to exclude money from elections for the school board. As I understand it, they want candidates to run based only on their positions on relevant issues, much like our LSC’s are elected.

  • 956. Cps teach  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Jonah Edelman of Stand for Children bragged last year that “the union cannot strike in Chicago. They will never be able to muster the 75 percent threshold needed to strike.’’

    How does crow taste?

  • 957. chicagodad  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    @952 “The current board is accountable to the mayor we elected.” And is not accountable to the parents or other tax payers in any meaningful way at all . Neither is the mayor. Since 1995 we have had stagnation, waste and destruction under mayoral control of the schools. The mayors have set the agenda and policies through the BOE and together they own the results. Teachers and parents have had little effective input, even when they had facts on their side. I’d much rather read the resume and position papers of 25 candidates and decide for myself who’s best suited for the job. I trust others to do the same. I would fully support there being no candidate endorsements allowed by anyone. Nothing but what comes from the candidates and no attack ads or debates. Individual interviews posted at a common site are fine, and all that’s needed. We can all talk about what’s presented, but no campaign organizations, nothing like that at all. Daley and Rahm have jumped the shark. We the people can do a way better job than they did.

  • 958. SkinnerMom37  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Almost 26,000 teachers, and 90% appearing to be unhappy with the state of cps and/nego. Surely they all can’t be to quote an early comment “lousy, bad teachers” who want no accountability. SURELY one would have to admit that there is something wrong with the system, and it isnot necessarily the teachers.

  • 959. SkinnerMom37  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Seeing what we have now, I will gladly risk my chances with an elected school board

  • 960. Katy  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    @Skinner mom,

    I am with you. I refuse to believe that this many teachers are
    a. Uniformed
    B. greedy
    C. Lazy
    D. Pawns
    E. or any of the other negative comments directed at teachers in this thread alone.

    Thoughts CPSOBSESSED?

    Total Membership 26,502.
    Members Voting “Yes” 23,780 = 89.73%.
    Members Voting “No” 482 = 1.82%.
    Members Casting Votes 24,262 = 91.55%. Members

  • 961. Chicago Mama  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    @chicagodad, it’s not that I am “against” an elected BOE, but I don’t see how it will really change anything. And I don’t see the ideal that you describe effectively lasting within the Chicago political machine.

    Also, voter turnout for the mayoral election was bad; it’s not going to be any better for BoE candidates. IMO, a very small percentage of people are going to read the candidate statements for BoE elections. I think an elected school board moves the bar from aristocracy to oligarchy.

  • 962. Hazel  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I can’t get my family of five to agree on a dinner choice, it is pretty impressive (although a strike will stink for me). I am proud of my kids teachers for standing up for what they believed in. It wasn’t just about money (my opinion) because certainly the new teachers (1-3 years) would worry about the lost salary of a strike. It appears to be about more. Maybe we (CPS, tax payers, parents, etc) need to start listening.

  • 963. junior  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    @955
    Except that our Supreme Court has ruled that money is speech and excluding money would be unconstitutional.

    Do you all really want to take the current political contentiousness and extend it as a permanent reality with an elected board? The people who will be elected will be representative of entrenched interest groups, whether it’s Stand, Rahm, CTU, charters and other political hacks. Joe Parent will not have the resources to compete with interest groups.

    At least in the current environment, we know where the buck stops. Responsibility and accountability is with Rahm, and voters can express their preferences in the next election. Do we want the same system that elects judges to elect BOE — i.e, whoever has the best machine to turn out the vote, and have an electorate that is uninformed about the issues picking random names on the ballot based gender, ethnicity or like picking race horses off the book.

    I like the fact that change can happen quickly — whether it’s Rahm declaring we will have recess or announcing the creation of new IB schools. And he owns those decisions and is responsible for them. Not like our elected representatives in the state legislature and U.S. Congress, who accept no responsibility and continually point the blame at the other party, while kicking the tough decisions down the road to the future generations. No thanks on that.

  • 964. junior  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    ” I’d much rather read the resume and position papers of 25 candidates and decide for myself who’s best suited for the job. I trust others to do the same. I would fully support there being no candidate endorsements allowed by anyone. Nothing but what comes from the candidates and no attack ads or debates. ”

    First thing you should read is the United States Constitution.

  • 965. teacher in Englewood  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Hazel!! You are hilarious! I also have a family of five and agree completely. I laughed out loud. 🙂 Thanks for the laugh (and statement of fact) as my last look here for the night.

  • 966. junior  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    @953 chicagodad

    RE: recess

    There are many past threads here and at RYH describing the hostility parents encountered when trying to raise the issue of recess. Violations of open meetings act, refusal to hold forums, refusal to release votes, etc.

    Feel free to read all those threads instead of asking folks to regurgitate it here.

  • 967. LR  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    @961: There may be a small turnout for BOE elections, but I think the people that do vote will be well-informed. And although I don’t think having an elected board is some magic bullet that will solve all of CPS’s problems, I do think it will help to have a school board that is accountable to us and not just to the mayor. Right now the mayor can push any agenda he wants to. If he wants to have 10 hour school days and eliminate all specials, what’s to stop him (besides the fact that he himself may not get re-elected)? Obviously, even with an elected board, we won’t love every decision that they make. But, at least we will have a voice.

  • 968. junior  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    @936 chicagodad said:
    “The past strikes you mentioned did not occur in such a nation wide anti teacher environment. … The strikes back then, so far as I know, were not about school reform and policy issues the way they are now, so any comparison based on that is not valid. Apples to oranges.?”

    So, you’re basically saying “this time the strike will be different than all those other strikes.”

    However, the biggest difference is that in the past teachers could bargain about all kinds of things that could benefit kids, and now we have a law that more severely limits what teachers can bargain for. Sure. OK. We’ll just trust that things will be “about the kids” this time. I’m so relieved to hear that the teachers are striking for the kids.

  • 969. junior  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    @967 LR
    Small turnout = control by interest groups.

  • 970. junior  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    LR said: “If he wants to have 10 hour school days and eliminate all specials, what’s to stop him”

    Well, what stops him is accountability to his constituents, which is exactly why he was responsive to parents wanting the day reduced from 7.5 hours.

  • 971. Don Justice  |  June 12, 2012 at 5:55 am

    As to recess: teachers want to have it, but we don’t want to supervise it to add duties to our already full plates. There are supposed to be playground supervisors but the Board allocated 0 dollars to hire them. So, principals were trying to strong arm teachers to “volunteer.” Why should we work extra time with no compensation? Anybody who is doing so, even in this economic climate, is a sucker. Private sector workers need to fight back and refuse to keep doing 2 jobs for the pay of one. The company is profitable to the owners and the CEO on the backs of exploited workers who don’t have the guts to speak up.

  • 972. Don Justice  |  June 12, 2012 at 5:57 am

    One of Buzzard’s goals was to hit a 60% grad rate. One of the issues is that he’s threatened schools through his performance policy that they need to hit that rate or else. Thus, principals threaten teachers, and teachers just pass undeserving students. So what if more students graduate if society finds these students don’t have the skills to have earned that high school diploma?

  • 973. Mom73  |  June 12, 2012 at 6:12 am

    971. Don Justice In the private sectors that how your job goes to India or Texas. Its happened in my company to all professional professions (accounting , technology, etc). Comments like these prove teacher are out of touch with reality of working in the private sector.

  • 974. NBCT Vet  |  June 12, 2012 at 6:29 am

    re: bargaining restrictions

    I know others (Chris in particular @244, 248, 256) have posted eloquently about SB7 and Section 4.5. While SB7 changed a few things dramatically, the biggest change of all is the negotiation position of the Board.

    We should remember that these laws don’t so much limit bargaining as much as they give the Board discretion over what is or is not negotiable. The really large majority of non-compensatory subjects are permissive rather than prohibited.

    Historically, the Board, under Mayor Daley, negotiated over many, many permissive subjects. Under Mayor Emanuel, of course, CPS has decided to draw a hard line and refuses to bargain over anything but compensation.

    So, while the law has changed a bit, it is the CPS stance at the bargaining table that has changed most of all.

  • 975. Mom23  |  June 12, 2012 at 6:45 am

    @974 So we are in a fantastic position from all the years Daley negotiated with the ctu? I forgot all schools have recess, art and music already. I

  • 976. Don Justice  |  June 12, 2012 at 6:46 am

    @973. Then fight. Publicize it. Picket the company. Get a boycott together. Do you really think that American consumers want to reward a company that moves overseas? BTW, I’m a lawyer who represents corporation in Employment and Labor actions. I know how to fight battles, and I know what suckers workers are. I’ve spent the last 2 decades teaching corporations how to legally discriminate.

  • 977. Mom73  |  June 12, 2012 at 7:02 am

    976. Don Justice WTF, so you are part of the problem. So I will stick my neck out and you will represent the company to fire me. I am not that big of a sucker

  • 978. cpsemployee  |  June 12, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Can we maybe start a new topic on what we are all hoping to see the new CPS/CTU agreement provide? The strike authorization has occurred – let’s now talk about what the different sides want in that new agreement so that hopefully all parties are heard and all can come to an agreement. (I know, “agreement” used multiple times in one paragraph!)

    Let’s not waste any more time fighting about things that are a done deal like recess (which, btw, my school voted for and we are one of the few open campus schools and in a crummy neighborhood to boot).

    What do parents want to see in their schools? What do teachers want to see? (I know too well what CPS wants to see!)

  • 979. Mom73  |  June 12, 2012 at 8:49 am

    978. cpsemployee-Why do you feel that recess is a done deal? My daughters safe school doesn’t have recess. We have the funding to have recess supervised by support or other staff so the teachers can take their lunch. Talking with admin folks they only hangup is that teachers want to leave early. Also, the union pushed them not to vote to have the recess to give them more bargining power.
    Personally, I don’t think anything is done until the contract is signed.

  • 980. Mayfair Dad  |  June 12, 2012 at 8:50 am

    @ 950 Sutherland Parent, who wrote: “This is what makes me crazy when the CTU says it’s all about the kids. I believe most teachers are dedicated to their jobs, work hard and deserve to be treated and paid like professionals. But their union is not negotiating 100% for the best interests of the kids, and I’d respect the union more if it would be upfront about that.”

    Bingo. I’ll do the math. Eliminated 4% raise promised by previous mayor + extended work day to align with national average = CTU on strike for a bigger paycheck. Period.

    Everything else is window dressing. The so-called position paper “The Schools Our Children Deserve” is a slick marketing piece created by a public relations agency to capture the hearts and minds of parents. The tech-savvy senior copywriter assigned to the project obviously scoured blogs like this one to articulate the proper tone/ hot buttons to elicit the desired response by parents.

    Do I believe many (most) teachers want a better educational experience and outcome for our kids? Sure. But that’s not what this strike is about. Its about paychecks. Just like having one of the shortest school days in the country and denying our kids recess was about working shorter hours for more money. This recent epiphany that CTU actually cares about school reform is so phony its laughable.

  • 981. Mayfair Dad  |  June 12, 2012 at 9:03 am

    While I’m on a roll, read this:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/302155/what-wisconsin-means-charles-krauthammer#

    CTU has effectively (albeit insincerely) tried to change the conversation to something other than union members’job security and larger paychecks. Didn’t work in Wisconsin and it won’t work in Chicago.

  • 982. HS Mom  |  June 12, 2012 at 9:13 am

    So Don, using your skills for CTU now?

  • 983. HS Mom  |  June 12, 2012 at 9:36 am

    @953 – I think teachers are valued and a critical voice for education policy and, for the most part, true advocates for children. I think many parents are taken aback by the representatives of teachers who focus on salary and other issues that benefits teachers. The school system needs change in a timely manner in order to bring the most benefit to kids who are now in the system. Big things need to happen quickly (on a budget, of course). I agree that those decisions need to be made by the executives.

    I would like to see a representative panel of teachers (similar to the blue ribbon idea) that would look at the various education issues and act as advisory to CPS execs.

    Thank you Junior and Mayfair Dad for being so upfront and supportive of parents issues.

  • 984. NBCT Vet  |  June 12, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I encourage everyone to read the CTU’s vision for public education in Chicago: The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve. Despite Mayfair Dad’s cynical outlook this important document sets a legitimate and sincere positive agenda that teachers, parents, and students alike can support.

    Two years ago, the current CTU leadership were all in the classroom. Before election, this leadership fought fiercely for student and community needs. That hasn’t changed now that they hold elected office. This is a very, very different type of leadership than the Union has seen in decades – one that believes in partnering with and helping parents, communities, and students not just teachers.

    Though the phrase social justice often gets a bad rap, teachers by their very nature are committed to the type of equity, opportunity, and democracy the concept embodies.

    The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve not only articulates a better, richer, more equitable education for the children of Chicago, one with which the vast majority of parents would agree, it also illustrates exactly how to pay for it in this difficult economic climate.

  • 985. Patricia  |  June 12, 2012 at 9:58 am

    With the longer day, the teachers are being asked to stay in the building only 9.5% longer. There is no way it is 20%.

    Maybe the first step in arbitration is to check the math. See we already save 10% of the ask which brings us down to 19% ask.

    Then we can take that 19% and deduct the 4% that CTU is asking for from denied raise last year. Teachers compounded got 17% raise over the prior 4 years of the 5 year contract when the economy sank. Be lucky and thankful you got 17%+ during that time and let the 4% go. This brings us to 14%.

    CTU asking for 5% COLA (cost of living increase) is fantasy land. Or they are saying it is a “raise”. Wake up and read the economy. The 2% from CPS seems more than fair on this one. So give the 2% and minus 3%, brings us to 11%.

    This is where true arbitratioin starts. 11% for CTU and 2% for CPS. The question then becomes, do teachers deserve more than 2% raise to work a 7 hour 40 minute day for at most 193 days per year? (the kids get 180 days and state law says 193 for teachers, although not sure they work 193).

    Next on the list “benefits”. Normal family medical coverage costs about $1000 per month for a $5K deductible. Teachers, if you have any better deal than that, take it.

    Next on the list merit based pay or “being evaluated on job performance”. I am a parent and put the kids first. So I am bias on this. I want not only the bad teachers gone, but the mediocre who call it in gone too. I want the good and great teachers to excel in pay, perks and motivation. I don’t see the CTU motivated to do anything but protect the lowest common denominator teacher. IMO, the core of the problem in education.

    This recall red herring is troubling. Don’t make it even harder to close a crappy school for the kids. Instead allow flexibility to truly turn these schools around BEFORE you need to officially make them a “turn around”. There is already so much red tape and CTU adding to it does not help the students and makes them suffer in a poor educational environment even longer. CTU please be part of the solution to this problem!

    Class size. While a very sexy thing appealing to parents, I do not see how it makes sense in reality. Going from 32 to 28, not a material difference. Yes, if you can get 18-20, that would make an impact. Also, in overcrowded schools there is no where to put additional classrooms and having other schools that are fine now space wise, all of a sudden find 5 extra classrooms? Is CTU proposing building MORE brick and mortar? Beyond the prohbitive cost of this option, I don’t see it going anywhere beyond a sound-bite.

    Art, music, pe, drama, language. Now here is where some traction can be made. I would rather pay for more teachers to provide these subjects than give additional pay to current—well paid—teachers. As a union that is firmly together (quite impressive by the way), are they in unison to forego some percentage points in raise to hire more PE teachers for example? I think this is where some good things can happen if both parties are truly trying to do what they can in realistic terms.

  • 986. Mayfair Dad  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:08 am

    @ 985 – great post.

  • 987. chicagodad  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:12 am

    @ 963, waiting till the next election is waiting much too long.
    @968 CTU cannot bargain on “kid issues” unless CPS puts them on the table, so the ball’s totally in CPS’s court. Since they have as yet refused to put those issues on the table they own the failure to put them in writing for not just the teachers but for us all. If the CTU is bluffing as you say and really are happy about only bargaining for pay since that’s all they really want, and loves that SB 7 made that so, then let’s see CPS call their bluff and put those issues on the table. The CTU has, and if, as Sutherland Parent says “The so-called position paper “The Schools Our Children Deserve” is a slick marketing piece created by a public relations agency to capture the hearts and minds of parents.” then again, CPS can torpedo the union by putting that on the table. The risk to CPS is that the CTU then says “finally!” and proceeds to bargain for what parents want and for what was in that “so called” position paper. CPS has backed itself into a corner on this, so they will never bargain for those things, preferring instead to do whatever they will do afterwards without the union, even if it’s some or all of the kid centered stuff the union wanted on the table. Given the upsized propaganda dept. CPS has built, they will then claim that they, not the union are responsible for doing this and hope we all forget that they didn’t work with the union on those issues when they could have. CPS / Brizard is making use of the designed, intended purpose of SB 7, busting the union and minimizing it’s power by driving a wedge between parents and teachers. SB 7 takes power away from educators and puts it in the hands of greedy, power hungry bureaucrats who don’t give a rats ass about our kids or about parents input on our schools. Those bureaucrats want us to see them, not the teachers as the ones advocating for and educating our kids, even though most all of them never set foot in a class room and have no background in education. Go ahead, try, as a parent, to hold any bureaucrat accountable in any manner in any real time way. You can’t do it. The system they built prevents that. For them It’s heads I win, tails you loose.

  • 988. Patricia  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Another point in negotiation—Air Conditioning. This is a win-win option. Use Rahm’s new infrastructure trust. Kids and teachers get decent classroom temp. Create jobs for HVAC and retrofit—make them energy efficient to keep Bill Clinton happy 😉

    Heck, then CPS can easily move everyone to the same year round calendar.

    No need to fight about this one, let’s solve it! What else is out there for negotiation? We can solve all the problems and then send the arbitrator to cpsobsessed for the answers.

  • 989. Columbia Attorney  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

    This whole issue with the CPS vs. CTU is reminiscent of segregation in the south where people are arguing that the cheap small water fountain for blacks is just as good as the more expensive larger water fountain for whites. Anyone with intelligence and does their research can conclude that there is a conspiracy with the 1% to obtain tax payers money used to fund public education, as part of a larger conspiracy to obtain all the money any which way. Why do you think the 1% keeps getting richer? Because the public either lacks intelligence to undercover conspiracies or they simply don’t care about minority families getting screwed over.

    In Chicago we are dealing with a majority of students who are minorities and why anyone would not want the most experienced teachers in the classroom to teach these students not only violates the spirit of the No Child Left Behind Act but also just stinks of the same type of water fountain racism in the south. And all at the expense of tax payers who aren’t educated enough to see the real motivation of the 1%. Trust me, they could care less about minority students, just the tax payers money. Which school district in Illinois has the largest budget? Which school district has the most minorities? Which school district has a higher threshold to strike? By hiring cheaper teachers they can shift the extra money over so that people like UNO’s Juan Rangel, who as CEO of only 11 schools, makes just as much if not more than CEO Brizard who has over 500. Follow the money.

    You are not going to get very good teachers to work in Chicago without job security. Would a rich person hire two cheap inexperienced baby sitters as opposed to one who is proven, well known, and trustworthy? Would two cheaper coaches have worked better than paying one Phil Jackson when the Bulls won six World Championships? Bad teachers are the exception and not the norm. Do they fire all the postal workers because one goes postal? Using a few bad apples is a poor excuse to attack an entire profession. Perhaps they should outlaw marriages because people get divorced or outlaw parents from having children because some go astray into a life of crime.

    Charter schools do not CAUSE students to perform better than neighborhood school students. Anyone can create a RELATIONSHIP between higher test scores and charter schools. All you have to do is attract the better students and dump the lower performing students to the neighborhood schools. But unless all variables are accounted for the define why one student is “smarter” than another, there is no justification whatsoever to promote the inner workings of a charter schools as to the CAUSE of why some of them score higher than the district average. The learning process goes well beyond the school walls and the most significant factor in the students capability to learn is the learning environment outside of the school walls, or their home environment. Studies clearly show that high poverty areas are at a significant disadvantage than those counterparts who live in affluent neighborhoods.

    If you can’t afford a 30% raise to pay for the extra work that teachers would be required to do then the mayor should not have forced a longer schedule on them. That is where the mistake was made. How would any of you like it if your boss told you that you had to start coming in an hour early but you wouldn’t receive any more pay for it? And there is a difference between working mandated hours and volunteer hours. I don’t care about the extra hours that people put in private world. Teachers are government employees. Everything has to be done contractually. More work more pay. It is that simple. If you can’t afford it then you don’t force more work upon your employees. Rahm needs a ton of lessons on leadership and black people need to get out and make an educated vote. I would have never voted for Rahm if I lived in Chicago. You can no longer trust anyone in the 1%. Chicago needs someone who can relate to everyone, rich and poor, to lead them in the right direction.

    If you don’t like the unions you certainly won’t like the school system and the type of quality students you’ll end up with without them with the cheap teachers. Crime is already on the rise and it will only get worse. Who will hold Rahm accountable and the school board 10 years from now when Chicago has become the worst school system in the WORLD.

  • 990. Mom73  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:28 am

    985. Patricia I agree, well said.

  • 991. chicagodad  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

    @985 7 hours (longer day) minus 5 3/4 hours(current day) = 1 1/4 hours. 1 1/4 is 21.74% of 5.75, not 9.5% The rest of your post is equally “accurate”. FYI, research shows that any reduction in class size has benefits as the relationship is linear, meaning every single reduction makes an improvement. See “Is there a threshold effect in reducing class size?” http://www.classsizematters.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/threshold-effect-issue-v3.pdf

  • 992. IB obsessed  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

    “Do we want the same system that elects judges to elect BOE — i.e, whoever has the best machine to turn out the vote, and have an electorate that is uninformed about the issues picking random names on the ballot based gender, ethnicity or like picking race horses off the book. ”

    Sure you want really want to stand by this view in all its implications Junior? Surprising for one who extols reading of the Constitution. Not ready to give up on democracy yet, personally. None of what you predict is inevitable

  • 993. HS Mom  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:40 am

    985/988 – sounds reasonable to me. Very good!

  • 994. EdgewaterMom  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:46 am

    @989 Columbia Attorney Your statements contradict themselves. You say “How would any of you like it if your boss told you that you had to start coming in an hour early but you wouldn’t receive any more pay for it?” and then you say “I don’t care about the extra hours that people put in private world. ” Those of us who do work in the private world are asked to work extra hours all of the time – it’s part of the business.

    Not only am I sometimes asked to work extra hours, a few years ago all employees had to take a 5% pay REDUCTION (and management took a 10% reduction) because the economy was doing so poorly and this was the only way to avoid laying off workers. I think my company made the right decision, even though it hurt me financially.

    I think that teachers work hard and should be well compensated, and I think that they are. Obviously I am not saying that I expect teachers to accept a reduction, however, they do have to be willing to deal with the reality of our current economy. They also have to realize that they are well compensated, even though they currently have one of the shortest working days in public education. The fact that their working day is now going to be on par with most other districts does not necessarily mean they should get a huge jump in salary.

  • 995. another CPS mom  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Is there any — any?! — definitive breakdown all the #s involved with the longer day issue — hours worked/hours on campus/related pay/FTEs/etc. By now, is there not a completely accurate account of the stats? If so, could someone please link me to it? I love the marketplace of ideas, but by now, you’d think there’d be some consensus (although finding it in the media is like finding a needle in a haystack, apparently).

  • 996. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

    #989~you are correct~we can’t have those cheap teacher teaching our kids so that charters networks and their leaders get more money.

    #985~Patricia sounds ridiculous, if there could be less kids in my kids classes, I want less. I don’t care if it’s from 32 to 28, just makes sense. Do you work for CPS?

  • 997. Paul  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I agree with Patricia on her posts, and I like her constructive approach.

    There is a difference between the teacher work day and the length of the school day. The current teacher work day in elementary schools is 6 hours and 15 minutes, not 5 hours and 45 minutes. Teachers must arrive 30 minutes early for prep time or faculty meetings, in most cases. The longer day plan includes a 45 minute lunch for teachers that is unpaid non-duty time, currently taken at the end of the day in most schools. That accounts for the difference between 21.74% and 9.5%.

    I don’t understand when teachers say they work an average of 60 hours per week during the school year (which I believe is true for many teachers) and at the same time object to an increase in their required hours from 30 hours and 45 minutes per week to 38 hours and 40 minutes week. If I worked 60 hours a week, and my boss told me that I would now be required to work 38 hours and 40 minutes a week, I’d say “no problem.” I already do that.

  • 998. another CPS mom  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

    @980 “This recent epiphany that CTU actually cares about school reform is so phony its laughable.”

    Wow. I completely disagree. But, there you have it.

  • 999. Columbia Attorney  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:59 am

    @985. “Next on the list merit based pay or “being evaluated on job performance”. I am a parent and put the kids first. So I am bias on this. I want not only the bad teachers gone, but the mediocre who call it in gone too. I want the good and great teachers to excel in pay, perks and motivation. I don’t see the CTU motivated to do anything but protect the lowest common denominator teacher. IMO, the core of the problem in education.”

    This is what you don’t understand. The learning process occurs primarily through three variables: The quality of instruction; the ability and/or willingness of an individual to learn; and the length of time an individual is exposed to instruction. All three are interrelated and go far beyond the classroom walls. In fact, it is well documented that children from low poverty areas are already a year behind those from wealthy areas before they even hit the classroom.

    Unfortunately, due to the fact that the teacher evaluation system has mostly been subjective and the idea of using test scores as part of a teacher’s evaluation is fairly new, there is no evaluation system out there that correctly controls all the variables of the learning process that could accurately distinguish good teachers from bad teachers. This means that a good teacher could end up fired while a bad teacher could get a raise. Educated and intelligent teachers aren’t going to be attracted to any system, especially working in high-poverty schools, with an indiscriminate evaluation system that could label a great teacher as bad.

    Think of the learning process as this way between high poverty and low poverty children. You have two basketball coaches, each with 28 kids. Coach A get 28 balls, 1 indoor gym with 8 baskets to train his kids, and the parents hire private coaches when they aren’t being coached. Coach B gets 1 ball (occasionally spends money out of his own pocket to get more), 1 outdoor gym with 2 baskets, and the parents can’t afford private coaching. When it rains the coach cannot instruct. What’s worse is that the great coach isn’t allowed to use his magical training formula because he is told that he must do it like Coach A since his students test better at the end of the training. Even the greatest of coaches isn’t going to keep par with Coach A with the resources of Coach B. But Coach B gets labeled as a failure even though he trained them as he was told, investors invest less in him and any other additional resources, and he gets fired along with anyone who is stupid enough to replace him. Does this sound fair? Well, that is exactly what is happening in the CPS. The CPS wants all teachers to be successful as Coach A or be fired but is only willing to provide the sources for Coach B.

    No great teacher is going to be attracted to a school district that doesn’t give them the necessary resources to be successful. CPS kids will get stuck with new, inexperienced, and bad teachers year in and year out. Now you understand why over 90% of teachers voted to strike. What CPS is offering would make it impossible for any truly great teacher to be identified as successful. Now that is bad for kids.

    Last but not least, you say the Union protects the bad teachers. They don’t protect bad teachers, they are fighting against a system that wrongly identifies great teachers as bad. The real problem with the CPS is leadership. Bad mayor, bad CEO, bad attorneys, overpaid bad principals, overpaid bad administrators in central office, and a board of education who rarely hold leadership accountable.

  • 1000. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:04 am

    What’s going on w/the election for a new school board…something was on the news abt it…many communities joining in. Is any1 involved?

  • 1001. cpsobsessed  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I hadn’t realized there was a whole detailed document on the CTU’s recommendcations for system improvement that included funding information. This refers to:

    TIF $
    End corporate subsidies and loopholes
    Progressive taxation (more burden on higher income people)

    I think it makes sense to many of us but it’s not as though everyone in the city /state would agree with making those changes. Many people in the city who dno’t have kids have different funding priorities. Many don’t feel that funding schools to help disadvantaged kids is necessarily a good use of spending. It’s just not that easy. Given the state/city budget, an increase spending in one place is going to come at the expense of funding something else. And getting agreement on what that should be and where the money comes from isnt’ as simple as transferring money from your savings to your checking acount.

    It makese sense to us, because we’re all here debating this because we value education. I think we can learn a lesson from the SB7 people – tactical political fights. The Amaya Pawar district wanted an Alderman who values education and got one (admittedly, his predecssor, Schulter also sent TIF money to schools.) I would love to see more elections go the same way.

  • 1002. chicagodad  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:05 am

    5 3/4 hours is what’s in the current contract, 7 hours is the new number. Don’t pretend teachers get paid for more than what the contract states.

  • 1003. Paul  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:09 am

    @1002 chicagodad, 7 hours is in the current contract. The new number is 7 hours and 40 minutes…we may need a fact-finder. 😉

  • 1004. chicagodad  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

    @997 HUH???? The longer day requires teachers to spend more time in the school than they do now, and as such they will work more hours during the week. Your idea that your boss saying that you will work 7 hours and 55 minutes more and you saying that means you will still work 60 hours since you already do is just plain silly. Go ahead, tell that boss “Great, so I’ll be working the exact same hours as I do now.” Are you really saying that the longer day will be a wash? Or that less work will be done outside the workplace as a result of the longer day? LOL!

  • 1005. chicagodad  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

    5 3/4 hours is what Rahm has been saying the current school day is. Ooooops, did he lie?

  • 1006. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:23 am

    5.75 is for the kids. The teachers contract is 7hrs

  • 1007. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:24 am

    But they get paid for 6.25 hrs (45 minute lunch)

  • 1008. Sick of CTU  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:27 am

    He didn’t lie, he stated the actuality – many teachers hot-tail it home to “take lunch” at 1:45 pm – not working the the hours in the contract. Forcing her beloved students to gulp down lunch and forsake recess.

  • 1009. HS Mom  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:28 am

    @1005 He is talking student day not teacher day.

  • 1010. Mom73  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

    1005. chicagodad -You understand this issues better than that. Lets keep this post real. We all know that some elementary schools teachers and HS work different hours.
    From what I hear the real issue is how to pay for support staff so that teachers can get their lunch during the middle of the day and the teachers work day with kids won’t increase as much.

  • 1011. Columbia Attorney  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:45 am

    @994. There’s no contradiction. The point I was trying to make was that you cannot fairly compare the hours that individuals work in the private sector to those who work in the public sector to justify that public workers should be forced to work longer hours without the proper hourly wage adjustment. Teachers are paid for 6.25 hours a day. If they miss a day of work without excuse, they lose 6.25 hours worth of pay based on their salary. So lets say a teacher gets $45 an hour. Their daily pay would be $281.25. Let’s say under Rahm’s proposal teachers must now work 7.5 hours a day. That’s a 20% increase in hours but he only wants to give a 2% increase. Now the teacher gets a “raise” to $286.87 but the new hourly wage is a pay cut to $38.25. That’s a 15% pay cut. So what Rahm really is doing is disguising a 15% pay cut into a 2% raise. Otherwise he’d have to hire more teachers if the 6.25 daily hours remained. And what if they go to 7.5 hours a day with the 2% raise and then something happened to where they went back to the 6.25 hours. Rahm would cut salaries by 15% and the public would be screaming that teachers should have their salaries cut by the amount of less work they do. The bottom line is that the mayor should know that you don’t buy things on credit if you don’t have the money to pay the credit card off.

    As far as elected vs. appointed school board goes, it really depends on how good the mayor is. If you have a good mayor but four bad elected board members, then the idea of a mayor appointed board sounds good. But if you have a bad mayor whose appointed board members are rubber stamps then the idea of an elected board sounds better. A good mayor will usually equate to a good appointed school board. A bad mayor will equate to a bad appointed school board. You don’t know what you’ll get with an elected school board. All a special interest group needs is to support and win the seats for four members that will vote to their agenda. I’d rather see most policies established at the state level where it applies to all school districts, not just those above 500,000 people (Chicago), to where neither an appointed or elected board has the authority to override. I’d like to see salaries equal across the state with some fluctuations due to cost of living and working in hard to staff positions or low-income schools. Recall procedures equal across the state, etc. The recall procedures seem to work well in other school districts, there’s no reason why it can’t be implemented in Chicago just as effectively, except that older, more experienced, and higher salaried teachers are too good for minority-based schools in a racist city like Chicago. Didn’t Martin Luther King, Jr. state that Chicago was more racist than all the cities in the south when he visited the city?

  • 1012. Mom73  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:53 am

    1011. Columbia Attorney-Am I missing something? The time for elementary went down to 7 hours so its only a 12% increase (6.25-7) assuming lunch can be supervised by non-teachers support staff. From what I hear HS already worked more hours so they are going up 1/2 hour or 6.25%. I just don’t understand the 20% global increase.

    If I have anything wrong let me know. This time increase is very confusing to me.

  • 1013. HS Mom  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

    @1012 – close you are talking student time as opposed to teacher time. I think Paul has it right 7 40 min vs 7 and 1/2 more for HS. There is no calculation that comes close to 20%.

  • 1014. Paul  |  June 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Current school day = 5 hours 45 min.
    Planned school day for next year = 7 hours

    Current teacher work day = 7 hours (ncludes 45 min. unpaid lunch taken after school day in most schools, teacher can leave school if they wish)
    Planned teacher work day for next year = 7 hours 40 min. (includes 45 minute unpaid lunch)

  • 1015. Columbia Attorney  |  June 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    @1012. Someone else would have to answer the question as far as the exact amount of hours that teachers would be mandated to work above the 6.25 hours for next. I’m assuming it is the amount of hours they must be in the building minus their lunch break. Whatever it is I believe it came out to be above 20% of additional work-related time for teachers. Note that I said “work-related.” I believe High School teachers would either have longer class periods or have an additional class. The scenario I gave was just an example, I don’t believe those are the real numbers but based on the example the 15% decrease in pay as far the hourly wage goes would probably be an accurate reflection of what Rahm is trying to impose on the CTU.

  • 1016. Paul  |  June 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    The 20 percent comes from counting the unpaid lunch as work time.

    The current contract requires teachers to work for 7 hours a day, but it allows them to take their 45 minute unpaid lunch at the end of the day off school grounds. So, the teachers union doesn’t count that 45 minutes as a part of their work day. The planned school day for next year requires teachers to take their 45 minute unpaid lunch on school grounds, so according to the teachers union, that counts as a part of their work day. The teachers are going from a 6 hour 15 minute day to a 7 hour 40 minute day. An increase of 1 hour 25 minutes, or 23 percent (if you count their unpaid lunch as work time).

  • 1017. Patricia  |  June 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Columbia Attorney, you have mastered the legal art of ensuring you bill plenty of hours 😉 I do enjoy reading your long posts.

    Interesting insights, but your math is off on the hours. Teachers are currently compensated for 7 hours. I think there is a bunch on this string about it further up.

  • 1018. cpsobsessed  |  June 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I tink Paul may have nailed it!

    Questions:
    So 7 hour, 40 min day, teachers have to arrive 40 min before students?

    Doe they have to stay on site for lunch? Can they not run an errand or go grab some lunch?

  • 1019. Patricia  |  June 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Paul is the man with the numbers!

    My understanding is that teachers arrive 30 minutes before first bell and remain 10 after?

    Yes, teachers can go off site for lunch. I have seen my kids teacher at the dry cleaners and respected the fact she was on her own time. Also a nice opportunity to grab luch with a co-worker and decompress as we know kids have crazy days—like the day after halloween when they all have sugar hangovers.

    There is some wierd banking thing too that I think aligns the one hour planning time daily for teachers with the fact that most schools are on 15 minute class incraments or 45 minute periods. So for teachers to get 1 hour PD each day, they get “one period” or 45 minutes (in addition to the duty free lunch) and THEN bank that 15 minutes per day where the principal can have teacher meetings or collaborations. I am not 100% sure how this works so maybe some on this blog can help clarify. Another way to do this is to have 20 minute segments so the class times can be 40 or 60 minutes. One of my kids schools does this and it is great to have a 60 minute block for science lab or math and 40 minutes for music or technology. But, my two other kids have 45 minute class times, so 15 minute incraments may be the scheduling norm for cps.

  • 1020. junior  |  June 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    @985 patricia

    Agree completely. Nice post.

    @992 IB Obsessed said:

    “Sure you want really want to stand by this view in all its implications Junior? Surprising for one who extols reading of the Constitution. Not ready to give up on democracy yet, personally. None of what you predict is inevitable”

    No, not giving up on democracy, but I prefer accountability through a mayoral election, which is broader-based with a more engaged and informed electorate. Could you imagine what the current negotiations would look like if a CTU-controlled BOE was in place?

    CTU: “We feel we deserve a 30% raise”
    BOE: “What?!! We can’t agree to that!”
    CTU: “OK, what’s your offer?”
    BOE: “How about 45%?”
    CTU: “Hmmm… let us think about it… How about 50%? For the kids.”
    BOE: “Well, as long as it’s for the kids…”

  • 1021. CarolA  |  June 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    It’s my understanding that we will “bank” 15 minutes each day at the beginning of the day in order to stay 75 miinutes after the school day one day a week. As an example: Let’s say I start getting paid at 7:15 with the students starting at 7:45. Technically, I won’t come in until 7:30 and those 15 minutes from 7:15-7:30 will get banked so I can stay longer on another day. The problem is that MOST teachers come in way before they are “on the clock”. Currently, I don’t get paid until 8:00, with the students starting at 8:30, but I’m at school every day at 7:00 to get ready for the day. There is no way any good teacher can get ready for the day in 15 minutes before class each day. So, we basically lose out on the banking thing. I hope this makes sense.

  • 1022. ChiTown Mom  |  June 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    @985 Class size.” While a very sexy thing appealing to parents, I do not see how it makes sense in reality. Going from 32 to 28, not a material difference. Yes, if you can get 18-20, that would make an impact. Also, in overcrowded schools there is no where to put additional classrooms and having other schools that are fine now space wise, all of a sudden find 5 extra classrooms? Is CTU proposing building MORE brick and mortar? Beyond the prohbitive cost of this option, I don’t see it going anywhere beyond a sound-bite. ”

    Hmmm…this is where you lost me. Sorry, class size is not a sexy thing. It is reality. Check out facts on high performing suburban schools. Rarely do you see the same numbers chicago puts out. Why do you think that is? Because smart, educated parents who care about their kids do not tolerate it. They don’t find it “sexy.” Ugh.

  • 1023. Joel  |  June 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    HS teachers are compensated for 6.25 hours, Patrcia.

  • 1024. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Looks like the elected bd of ed may become a reality the news reported that one precinct has enough just from the kick off and now the kick off in each ward will start. Is any1 a part of this?

  • 1025. Mayfair Dad  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    @ 1022 ChiTown Mom

    I don’t think anyone finds under-performing overcrowded urban schools filled with poverty and all its attendant problems sexy either. Patricia was correctly pointing out the economic realities facing our cash-strapped school system with regard to class size. Sure, smaller is better (and makes for snappier slogans on red tee-shirts) but is it the “hill to die for” when negotiating this contract? I vote no.

  • 1026. n00b  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I’m really trying to figure this out. I know the contract being negotiated is contains many issues, but the one I am thinking about here is pay. (I’m getting all the numbers below off of the CPS website. In full disclosure I suspect I’ve made a math error somewhere in here.)

    Currently, CPS teachers (note- not all teachers in the nation) work a 6.25 hour work day (that includes a lunch and prep period) for 38.6 weeks a year. This adds up to 1,206.25 hours a year of work. This doesn’t include teachers taking time off. A “traditional” employee works 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year (not counting vacation and sick time). This adds up to 2,080 hours a year. With FSD, the number of hours a year a teacher will work will jump to approximately 1,400- still almost 700 hours shy of the traditional employee.

    Based on the current work day/week/year, a FIRST YEAR teacher with just a bachelors degree in CPS earns $47,268 (i.e. everyone else in the system makes more), which equates to ~ $39.18/hour. Not a bad starting hourly wage right out of college. That same teacher, 15 years (and no additional formal education) later, will make ~$66/hour. Give that teacher a doctorate, and they earn ~$74/hour. That seems competitive, considering nurses, psychologists, and even attorneys (who also require further schooling) can earn similar rates. For comparison, the average US wage for 2012 has hovered right above $23/hour.

    Next year, teachers are being asked to work (at the elementary level) approximately one hour longer per day. This will equate to new hourly rates of ~$34/hour for the first year teacher with a bachelors, ~$57/hour at max years, and ~$66/hour at max years and education.

    So. A drop of $5-$10/hour for teachers (assuming NO raises come through).

    However, teachers in CPS will STILL work 45 minutes LESS a day (which adds up to 680.75 hours LESS a year) than the “traditional” 8-hour employee (and this doesn’t even take into account lunch and prep- a luxury many other serious professions do not enjoy).

    Given the comparatively smaller amount of hours CPS teachers work than most other professions, and given the highly competitive hourly wages (even after FSD), on what basis is the Union demanding an increase in pay? At $35, $57, and $66/hour, I’m having a hard time understanding where teachers are being taken advantage of? Meanwhile, our city faces massive deficits, people in all industries are losing jobs, and the global economy is STILL struggling to right itself.

    I’ll be the first to admit my relative lack of understanding about the issues, but I just don’t get it.

    CPS teachers are paid competitively, receive almost 15 weeks off a year in vacation (not counting holidays, personal vacation, etc.), and work a shorter day than most professions. What’s the complaint?

  • 1027. Patricia  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    @1022 Two issues with class size, one theoretical, the other practical. On a theoretical level, there are also studies that show you have to get pretty small to really make a difference (i.e. 15-18 kids). That said, I also get that any reduction can help in some classrooms.

    The practial side is really what I am trying to get at. So if you have 2 classes of 32 and you go to 28, what do you do with those 8 kids? Unless you get really low on numbers, it doesn’t help. And in already overcrowded schools, where are you getting more classrooms? Reality is that there is no way this state can afford a significant enough cut.

    There are cases where it is far more extreme, with closer to 40 kids. The CTU and CPS should have been focusing solely on these schools in non-negotiation years and find a solution.

    If we could get to 18 kids—that would be sexy.

  • 1028. CPSnope  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    1027 – 18 kids ? move to the suburbs.

  • 1029. Patricia  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Joel–are you the same one who had the shirt posts above? if so, what color today 🙂

    It is 7 hours when you move your lunch to the middle of the day. I think Paul explained it well above. You do not technically get paid for lunch, but no one gets paid for lunch in a salary position. It is just part of the work day. I think this is a big point of confusion due to public and private sector viewing lunch differently and more so probably because 6.25 is printed on your paycheck. Some teachers pointed that out above and I think that is where the confusion starts. I am pretty sure it is the same for HS teachers.

  • 1030. Kel  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Rahm doesn’t play around. I hope he doesn’t pull the CTU’s bluff and fire all the teachers that voted to strike. There are a ton of qualified teachers that will be MORE than happy to take their place. I don’t agree with the teachers reasoning to strike, but I hope we don’t lose the good teachers in all this craziness. Do teachers deserve a 30% (or 24% is what I am hearing on other websites) raise? HELL NO!!! Every year, I get a 2.5 or 3% raise TOPS. I don’t get overtime (salaried), and I come in on weekends and stay late to get the job done. My mom was a CPS teacher, and I saw the amount of work that goes into the job. She never complained and was just happy to have a JOB!!!

  • 1031. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    #1027~Patricia~There are cases where it is far more extreme, with closer to 40 kids. The CTU and CPS should have been focusing solely on these schools in non-negotiation years and find a solution. ~

    You’re right and they had the opportunity and I don’t know how they didn’t do it. I think class size is not suppose to go over 36 kids ~legally, but it has in many schools. I don’t know why those schools are being dealt with.

    1025~Mayfair Dad~it is a hill I’d go over. How many kids are in your kids’ classes. It makes a difference in educating.

  • 1032. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    1030~Kel~he can’t fire them, it’s a legal strike. He could only fire them if they didn’t get the majority and then decided to strike. He has to hold up his end of the deal and work w/CTU and that’s what he said he wants to do today~get back to bargaining to have a pre-strike contract. I think they’ll reach it.

  • 1033. Columbia Attorney  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    @1026. Why not compare teachers with Doctors and Lawyers? On the other hand, why not just compare a teacher’s salary with someone who works for minimum wage at McDonalds and say they are getting fair compensation? Imagine the quality of doctors we would have if we paid them minimum wage! If you don’t value a quality teacher in front of children for 13 plus years of Pre-K through 12 education then I would say you don’t value your kid at all. I would say that anyone working with kids, given the impact they can have on their entire life, should be considered higher than a “traditional” employee if they expect our youth to keep the United States as the top country in the world. I think one of the reasons why we don’t have better leaders to elect as President and why there is so much corruption in government is because of the lack of leadership skills our kids are taught in the school system. Getting rid of veteran teachers to be replaced by cheaper younger teachers who spend their weekends partying it up and posting the images on Facebook where their students are friends with them and can see their example is the direction that will ultimately lead this country to ruin.

    Here’s a good question. Let’s say you have an excellent babysitter who does all these little extra things for your child. You promise them $20 an hour but later only pay them $15, claiming you don’t have money, but then they find out later you wasted $5 extra on liquor. Why would anyone expect this babysitter to continue to do all these little extra things for your child? Because, as Emanuel and Brizard say, it’s all about the kids, right? But if it was really all about the kids, why aren’t Emanuel and Brizard making sure the teachers are taken care of and have all the necessary resources they need? Why aren’t they trying to ensure the teachers have a contract that will allow them to feel secure about their profession and happy when they stand in front of 30 kids? I don’t want a disgruntled babysitter taking care of my kids. I’m going to make sure my babysitter is happy, well-taken care of, paid, etc. etc. by ensuring they have everything they need to take care of my child. It works the same way with teachers and the CPS simply is doing everything they can to make discourage great teachers from staying or coming.

  • 1034. OutsideLookingIn  |  June 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I agree with Patricia on the issue of class size reduction. If, for example, it is decided that there can only be 20 kids in a classroom for first grade, and you have four classroom for a total of 160 first graders at a neighborhood school that must be accommodated, where do you put the 80 extra first graders? Do you put up a walls to divide each current classroom in half? Build an addition onto the school? Put the kids in trailer classrooms? It’s not like a SEES where you can limit enrollment.

    I hate the idea of large class sizes also, by the way.

  • 1035. Mom73  |  June 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    1033. Columbia Attorney- cheaper younger teachers who spend their weekends partying it up and posting the images on Facebook where their students are friends with them and can see their example is the direction that will ultimately lead this country to ruin.

    This is overly harsh. Most young teachers are working hard, very conscious of keep their private life private. Its a hard first year job, it takes alot of experience to learn the craft. Veterns should be respected but lets not trash first year teachers. There will always be new young employees. If this a problem we should be debating a social media policy not a 30% increase

  • 1036. Full Time Job  |  June 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    First, a full time job does not mean 8 hours of work per day. That 8 hours has some sort of lunch time and a break or two built into it. So, to compare 8 hour workdays to a 6.25 hour teacher work day that does not include lunch time or breaks is inappropriate.

    The University of Illinois recently completed a study (Bruno & Manzo) that found the average CPS teacher works 58 hours per week over 38.6 weeks. Before summer hours are even included that puts Chicago teachers at 2,239 hours per year, well above a full time job at 40 hours per week over 50 weeks of the year.

    The current 6.25 hours per day, which does not include lunch, represents mandatory work hours and the number of hours teachers are paid for each day. Now, I happen to think that 58 hr/wk figure seems a bit high, but teachers obviously work well beyond those contractual 6.25 hours per day.

    I know some people don’t like to hear it, but teaching is a full time job.

  • 1037. cpsobsessed  |  June 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    @Noob: I think your calculations hold up as a starting point. One thing to keep in mind is the minimal level of homework grading required adds at least 5-10 hours a week. I look at my son’s teacher having to grade 28 projects at a time, 28×2 worksheets a night minimum (with messy writing). Getting back thoughtful responses takes time. High school must be an even bigger committment.

    There are pros and cons in every profession and every company (CPS being a bureacratic, underfunded, company.) Obivously teaching has tradiionally provided many benefits as well.

    I WANT to be able to say “yes” to the teachers. It could only help in the long run if teachers were paid really well. It could only help if we got funding for all the stuff the CTU says we need. I agree with all of them. The money just is not there for the foreseeable future. There has to be some way of compromising to do the best we can with the money we’ve got.

  • 1038. Mayfair Dad  |  June 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    @ 1033: I’m guessing the majority of teachers on this thread made a scrunched up, just smelled a fart expression when they read your post comparing teachers to babysitters.

    I like the idea of comparing teachers to lawyers and doctors, although lawyers and doctors don’t belong to public employee unions, they belong to professional associations like most other white collar, college educa