CPS New School Locator

August 17, 2012 at 6:37 am 128 comments

If you lived at CPS headquarters, South Loop would be your neighborhood school

So CPS has unveiled a very nice new tool for finding your neighborhood school as well as schools in your vicinity. (FYI, it’s located at the bottom right corner of CPS.edu.)
If you enter your address, it’ll show your neighborhood elementary school and high school and all other schools within an X mile radius.  If you choose 1.5 miles, you can see the magnets schools in which you’re in the proximity boundary.

This is also the first time the neighborhood school boundaries are clickable online like this.

Down at the bottom are other screening criteria so you can narrow to elementary or high school by different school types.

http://www.cps.edu/Schools/Find_a_school/Pages/schoollocator.aspx

The CPS tech guys also showed me how to use the school search tool here more efficiently:

http://cps.edu/Schools/Find_a_school/Pages/findaschool.aspx

For instance if you want to get a list of the Selective Enrollment high schools, select:
Grade Level: High Schools
School Type: Selective Enrollment

You can also select 2-4 schools from a list and choose “Compare” to line up some basic data about them.

**Give the new selector tool a try.  Is it giving you helpful information? Answering your current questions about schools? Letting search in a way that’s relevant?   There is a Feedback link on the locator page.  CPS says they’d truly like any input you have, so just click there to let them know.**

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Entry filed under: Applying to schools. Tags: .

School Uniforms in CPS: Love em’ or Hate em’ CPS Strikewatch 2012

128 Comments Add your own

  • 1. SoxSideIrish4  |  August 17, 2012 at 10:21 am

    This is a great tool~I looked it over yesterday when it came out. It would be most beneficial to families buying in our area. Every year ppl think they moved into our school area, come into the school to register and find out that they are not in the perimeter~one family was 1/2 block off and one family bought on the southside of the street of the dividing line.

  • 2. klm  |  August 17, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I only wish there was a concrete, easy-to-use map that lets people know which block, side of the street, etc., to buy or rent so that one’s kids can get into a (really good) SE school more easily, according to CPS Tier info.

    At least until the 2020 census changes things again.

    I did the math. The difference between for getting into Northside b/t a Tier4 and Tier 1 applicant is equivalent of getting/needing 32 or 22-23 on the ACT composite, according to percentiles. This disparity (which seems kinda’ huge to me –the difference between the median score at an Ivy League-type college and and a ‘less competetive’ school like Northern Illinois U., for example) is notable, so it would be nice to know where exactly one stands in order to be on the “right” side of this equation when looking for real estate. I know that there’s a “generalized” map, but I wish CPS would have a “Tier Finder” map along with the “school Locator” one, so that there’s less guessing, in some cases.

    I do NOT NOT NOT mean to start the whole debate about Tiers, their fairness, etc., it’s just that with the stakes being so high for many of us (i.e., either SE or magnets work or we’ll have to move to a suburb w/ guaranteed good schools), it would be kinda’ nice to know for sure how much of an advantage/disadvantage a particular address brings to the table.

  • 3. SoxSideIrish4  |  August 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

    #2~klm~does this help you? http://cpsmagnet.org/pdf/Census%20Tract%20–%20Map.pdf

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  August 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I did mention the Tier thing. I was kinda surprised to see Wards, Zipcode, CPS area, but not Tiers, which really rule our lives in the application process.
    They said that this is really a first iteration, and revisions and improvements will come along over time.

    Do you guys think it’s clear to a new user that the 2 Neighborhood schools listed (elem and HS) are the only schools you are assured a spot in? I guess anyone doing their homework would know this.

    Also, I suggested having a way to select say, only gifted school, only SE high schools, etc. That’s when they showed my how to better use the “find a school” tool on CPS.edu. But the map is just so easy and awesome, I want to do everything there now!

  • 5. klm  |  August 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @3

    Yes, thanks. But it still would be nice to be sure, since some of those colored areas are small. Some may want to know exactly which Tier an address is in “exactly”. I know that one can find out with a little investigation, but it would sure be nice to know where exactly one stands with CPS –which is the institution that will decide where kids are going to school, depending on which Tier they live, in many cases.

    Obviously, CPS is using a computerized “Tier Assignment” program, so it would be nice if they let us know about which Tier we are assigned (as of last year’s admissions season, I know that things can change from year to year), along with which neighborhood schools are designated, etc.

    Obviously, people in the Gold Coast are Tier 4, but some areas (e.g., Rogers Park) are so all over the place, some of us stressed-out parents want to know for 100% for sure.

  • 6. SoxSideIrish4  |  August 17, 2012 at 11:06 am

    #4~CPSO~If I was a new user, it would be clear to me that the 2 listed would be my neighborhood elem & HS.

    #5~klm~For me, the tier map is clear, but w/a little investigation as you suggested, I think all families can find their tier. But I understand the 100% knowing!

  • 7. CLB  |  August 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    This one http://www.cps.edu/Schools/Find_a_school/Pages/schoollocator.aspx
    has been around since 2010, when I used it. Unfortunately, it does not like too much info. If I put in “Mayer” I get the school. If I put in “Oscar Mayer” I get no results.

    The address based one is great. There was a version of this in 2010 but it was full of disclaimers and did not provide a clickable map.

    @3 The tier map is not fine-grained enough to be helpful. Some streets are not named even though they are tier dividing lines. You can go to the US Census website to identify tracts, but the process is not that easy there either and, of coures, it does not have CPS’s tier data.

  • 8. albany park mama  |  August 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    @CPS Obsessed – Did CPS mention if this is this new tool will be the official determination of what your proximity schools are? In the past, the school locator tool might say that you are in proximity, but the actual school may say otherwise. I have heard of this happening in the past a lot. I was actually told by the magnet school in our area that we were just outside of the 1.5 mile proximity cut-off while the old school locator said we were within proximity. This new tool also says that we are within proximity. Just wondering if this new tool resolves all of that old confusion? Thanks!

  • 9. RL Julia  |  August 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    This is totally picky but is there anyway to turn off the “shadow” you get when the school is displayed on the map (its like in a comicbook text bubble with a shadow that interferes with being able to look at the map underneath.

    Appreciate the comment about the tiers too. Other than that, it s awesome.

  • 10. Budlong Woods Mom (formerly Albany Park Mom)  |  August 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    For those who want to be 100% sure of their tier. Go to

    http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml

    click on the address search button on left hand side, this will give your your tract number, then go to

    http://cpsmagnet.org/ourpages/auto/2010/11/18/38613619/Summary%20of%20Census%20Tract%20Socioeconomic%20Data%20_with%20Number%20of%20School-Age%20Children_%202010%2012%2010.pdf

    and scroll through the list. This gives you the data for the “six factors” and the tier in the last column.

  • 11. LSMom  |  August 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    What a huge improvement over the old system! I agree that tier info would be helpful.

  • 12. For a friend  |  August 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Off topic. FYI: There’s an education forum next week put on by a parent group and the CTU. Here’s a link to the flyer.
    http://www.parents4teachers.net/uploads/Northside_Forum_flyer_8-21-12–full_sheet.doc

  • 13. Chris  |  August 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    There has been for a long time another type in your address locator here:

    http://schoollocator.cps.k12.il.us/viewer.htm (not working for me today; maybe they shut it down)

    The new interface is nicer, and the 1.5 mile radius is nice, and it’s user friendlier, but it isn’t an entirely new thing.

    Wasn’t everyone using that gis-based locator? Or was everyone relying on the stupid area maps showing the a-a boundaries?

  • 14. cpsobsessed  |  August 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    @Chris, yep that one has been shut down. I pointed out to them that the old one provided a list of the magnet that you were in proximity for. They didn’t believe me. 🙂 So that was my main suggestion for the new mapping site. CPS themselves told me that the 1.5 radius CAN be used to determine magnet proximity. So in theory, if you put in your address and a magnet comes up as within 1.5 miles, you *should* be in that schools proximity lottery.

    I don’t think everyone knew about the gis??-based locater. What’s gis, btw?

    I just was contacted by someone who bought a home and the agent told them they were in a certain discrict and they were not. So please, be careful and check it yourself!

  • 15. Paul  |  August 17, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I just realized that I’m now CTU obsessed. I am on the edge of my seat with this strike possibility. What is the CTU going to do?

  • 16. Chicago School GPS  |  August 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    For Tiers, Open City Apps is great for their clear, easy to use finder: http://cpstiers.opencityapps.org/

    For School Boundaries linked with Real Estate, definitely check out: https://schoolsparrow.com/

    Both are relatively new, so there may be some minor discrepancies, but they go a long way to helping families with the “Tier and School Boundary/Where do I buy?” dilemma.

  • 17. Ted  |  August 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Check out this tool for tier information:
    http://cpstiers.opencityapps.org/

  • 18. North Center Mom  |  August 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    #2 klm – From what I understand, the tiers change yearly., even though logic would indicate that they could only change with the once-a-decade census. For example, just last year a whole lot of north side tier 3’s became tier 4’s. I don’t think any location is a sure thing year by year.

  • 19. Megan  |  August 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Maybe in their future versions, there will be a way to sort your results, as well. Like if i wanted all my results to be sorted by school type, all the Magnets would be grouped together. Or if i wanted them sorted by Levels 1, 2, and 3. I think that would make the site even better, though it is very user friendly and helpful as is.

  • 20. albany park mama  |  August 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I didn’t think that tiers change annually. My understanding was that the tiers changed last year in response to the outcomes of the 2010 census.

  • 21. BuenaParkMom  |  August 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I personally think it really isn’t clear what school is your neighborhood attendance boundary school. You basically have to click on the school to get the map up to see it. Otherwise, I think to the uninitiated, it could look like any of those schools are “allowable” for your address. The neighborhood schools should at a minimum come up as the first two on the list. It would be even better if it had “Your neighborhood school where you are guaranteed admission” beside it.

  • 22. Katie  |  August 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I agree that tier info would be helpful. When home shopping it’s currently quite tedious to look up multiple possible addresses.

  • 23. Relieved mom  |  August 19, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Our tier changed after the first year (although that may be due to the addition of the sixth criteria. I think there were even more changes last year because of the census… I really don’t think you can ever be 100% sure that CPS isn’t going to tweak something else….

  • 24. LR  |  August 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Definitely an improvement from the old map; although I agree “current” Tier info would be helpful (they’d need to put a big disclaimer about how your Tier is subject to change based on updated census data). I know you can use other sources to find your Tier, but it would just be helpful to have everything in one place.

    @15: The strike is the big elephant in the room here. We are sitting here discussing uniforms and the new school locator, but I think the strike (or hopefully no strike) is the news we are all waiting for. The stories I have been able to dig up say that they have made progress on little issues, but have not gotten to any of the big issues like pay or evaluation/raises. As of yesterday, they are already printing strike signs in preparation. I think they will wait until the last second to give notice (10 days prior). By my calculation, if they intend to start the strike on Sept. 4th, that would be Aug. 25th. Since that is a Saturday, we will probably know by next Friday, the 24th. My question is, if they give notice of a strike, do they keep trying to negotiate during those 10 days?

  • 25. WRP Mom  |  August 19, 2012 at 8:10 am

    @20, Tiers have been used for 3 years now. So far, changes HAVE happened annually. After the 1st year, CPS did some tweaking and added a 6th criteria (school performance). My tier also changed for that 2nd year. Then last year, the 3rd year, they changed the tiers again with the 2010 census data, which affected a huge number of households. Although in theory tiers would only change once a decade, that has not been the case so far. I agree with 23, you never can tell with CPS.

  • 26. anonymouse teacher  |  August 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I think there won’t be a strike notification until the 27th. As I understand it, all the rank and file would have to vote AGAIN to approve the strike, and the 27th is when all teachers will be back at work in an official capacity. I think it would be too hard to reassemble an entire city’s worth of teachers on the 24th for a vote. (the vote taken back in June was the vote to approve the possibility of an actual vote later on–the vote to take the vote, which is silly, and I don’t understand that, but that’s what it was)

  • 27. NBCT Vet  |  August 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    @ anonymouse teacher
    re: strike vote clarification

    There will not be another strike vote by the members. A strike has already been authorized by 98% of voters, and 90% of the total CTU membership. (Interestingly, the fact finder specifically mentioned the importance of this overwhelming strike authorization vote in the development of his report.)

    At this point, upon the upcoming conclusion of a 30 day waiting period – I believe that happens this week, depending on when the formal paperwork was filed – a strike may be called by the House of Delegates, the roughly 800 member representative, deliberative body of the CTU.

    The downtown CTU leadership, contrary to media reports, does not call for a strike. The members do, via a membership strike authorization vote. That is followed by the representative House of Delegates making a decision (or not) to set a date for a strike. The Union must give notice to the Board 10 days in advance of a strike date.

    In the event of a strike we can expect the Board to appeal to the legislature and the courts in an effort to prohibit such action.

  • 28. anonymouse teacher  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    NBCT Vet, interesting. My rep said something totally different back in June. It probably wouldn’t have changed my vote, though.

    Do you happen to know, in case of a strike, do we all picket at our individual schools or do we go downtown?

  • 29. NBCT Vet  |  August 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Anonymouse, in the event of a strike I suspect most teachers will picket at their own schools, but I would expect a downtown presence, too.

  • 30. mom2  |  August 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    “NBCT Vet, interesting. My rep said something totally different back in June” – That’s a bit concerning. I hope people didn’t get incorrect information intentionally in order to get more people to vote yes for the strike authorization. I hope most teachers understood that they would not have a say in whether or not to strike once the full offer was made.

  • 31. OutsideLookingIn  |  August 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    FWIW – a track E teacher told me last week that the union rep who visited the school said a strike is “very likely”. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if a resolution is reached at midnight before a scheduled strike.

  • 32. NBCT Vet  |  August 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    @mom2

    I don’t think that level of misinformation, intentional or not, was a common occurrence. And given the amount and depth of information distributed and available to delegates and representatives I’m somewhat surprised by this confusion.

    In any case, the membership is in full and total control all the way through the process either directly via referendum (strike authorization vote, decision on some form of a final offer) or indirectly via the representative House of Delegates (setting a strike date).

    It can be hard for people not involved to understand that the CTU is committed wholeheartedly in words and in action to democratic and representative operations where power flows from the bottom up rather than the other way around, the latter, obviously, something we so often see in traditional American electoral politics.

  • 33. CPSYenta  |  August 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I’ll betcha a year of chartwell’s lunches that they strike. I would if I were so screwed by my union.

  • 34. NBCT Vet  |  August 19, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    @CPSYenta

    I’m confused. Teachers are screwed because of our Union? I don’t understand.

  • 35. Teacher4321  |  August 19, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    @12 is this meeting you post in addition to the one at the Sulzer Library? Or has that been moved to Old Town from Sulzer?

    Also- I do my part and read, but I knew there would not be another vote prior to striking. There will be one before we choose to accept or reject the contract, but first we have to have a contract.

    There is a House of Delegates meeting on Monday. I am not sure if this is informational or to start the 10 day notice. If you are a member of the CTU you can bring your card or paycheck to attend. Howeve, unless you are a delegate you cannot vote at HOD meetings. I am not a delegate.

  • 36. Relieved mom  |  August 19, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    My understanding from a CPS employee was that if there is a strike, it won’t be called until after the first of September. Something to do with how health insurance is set up. Anymouse, other teachers on this site – does that sound right? Just curious…

  • 37. NBCT Vet  |  August 19, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    @ Relieved mom

    If a strike becomes necessary, the 800 member House of Delegates will make the decision about when it occurs, but it is highly unlikely such an event would occur before September 1.

    Current health insurance policy covers Board employees through the end of a month if they are insured on the first of that month. How that impacts a strike date, I do not know.

    Of course, nature of these negotiations has been nasty and anything could happen.

    All sides, I think, are hoping a job action does not become necessary.

  • 38. Mayfair Dad  |  August 20, 2012 at 9:21 am

    In addition to a Tier confirmation, maybe the future school locator app will include a voiceover. Imagine Nelson from The Simpsons show telling you, “Ha ha, you’re screwed” as you type your Tier 4 address into the system.

    Re: the strike. I too remember reading something about the September date for health insurance purposes. Also a requirement to provide a 10-day prior intention to strike. Give parents 10 days to completely freak out and try to arrange child care.

  • 39. southie  |  August 20, 2012 at 11:16 am

    My god. The new Jones SE HS is huge. Seven floors at least. Lucky kids.

  • 40. cpsobsessed  |  August 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I’m sure we’ve discussed this – will that open more SEHS seats by having the new bldg?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 41. RL Julia  |  August 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I think – I know this is a little off topic but – are the Evanston/District 65 teachers contemplating a strike as well?

  • 43. cpsobsessed  |  August 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    From my evanston friend with 2 HS kids: I have heard but not been following closely.
    It seems to be focused more on programs and not on wages

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 44. NBCT Vet  |  August 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    re: Evanston

    A close relative of mine teaches in District 65. She concurs: similar to what’s happening with CPS/CTU the contemplation of a strike is focused very much on programs and improving schools rather than cash.

  • 45. southie  |  August 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks: “[Jones] is designed for 1,200 students and will be approximately 278,000 square feet with seven floors, plus a lower level. Interior amenities include: standard academic classrooms; computer labs; science labs; visual arts classrooms; performing arts classrooms; auditorium; college resource center; library/media resource center; gymnasium; natatorium with six-lane pool; fitness/weight room; kitchen and dining facility; nurse and student support service; and a state-of-the-art computer network.

    “The school will also feature an underground parking garage with 67 parking spaces.”

    Sweet,

  • 46. Mayfair Dad  |  August 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Just got an email from JC Brizard. An excerpt:

    “At Wednesday’s board meeting we will also be introducing a resolution that would authorize the development and implementation of a plan to provide supports to students and families in the event that the CTU chooses to strike. This resolution is simply a precautionary measure. We remain confident, especially given the recent progress at the bargaining table, that we will reach a fair contract agreement and avoid a strike. Just as we were able to reach an agreement around the Full School Day by a commitment to negotiate in good faith, we’re confident we can reach agreement on the other issues that remain on the table.

    While we still have work to do, the tone in negotiations has been positive and progress is being made. We all must remain committed to working hard and communicating every day in order to reach a fair contract as a strike would only hurt our kids and school communities. Our children cannot afford for that to happen and neither can we as a District.”

    I smell a strike coming.

  • 47. cpsobsessed  |  August 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    That’s funny MFD. I read and thought “well it sounds like things are going well”. We will see….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 48. Paul  |  August 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I hope there’s no strike, but it looks likely to me. The CTU has scheduled a special meeting of their House of Delegates for Wednesday. They’re the ones that have to vote for a strike and set the date. And the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators has scheduled two meetings next week to discuss “Winning CTU Strikes.” The strike signs and t-shirts are printed. CTU has all teachers scheduled to picket at all Track E schools this week. CPS is making plans to support students and parents in the event of a strike. And, they’ve asked principals to report any labor activity to identify any illegal actions they could use in court if things go that way.

  • 49. LR  |  August 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    While I think CPS is trying to portray “optimism” I do not trust their point of view at all. I love how one-sided the news always is – particularly WGN. They only talked to CPS officials. How about getting a quote from a CTU spokesperson? How about trying to find out what is really going on behind closed doors? Thank you to Paul for giving us the real scoop.

  • 50. SoxSideIrish4  |  August 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I’m hoping they don’t strike, but it sounds like the negotiations are not going the way CPS has said~’positive’. I know abt the principals report abt CTU activity, but I doubt it would be used in court (more of a threat) bc CTU has some dirt on CPS they could use in court as well.But who knows? If they strike, it will prolly end in court.

    Does anyone know the #s for the first day of school for track e. 2 yrs ago it was around 86%, last yr it was 88%. I heard there was a lower turnout this year but don’t know the #%. Any info would be appreciated…they were suppose to be out last Friday.

  • 51. Mayfair Dad  |  August 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    My two-cents worth: CTU will give the mandated 10-day notice to CPS of their decision to strike in the next 48 hours. This will culminate in a massive Labor Day Rally on Navy Pier where other unions will come out in droves in support of the teachers. There will be a march. There will be speeches. Tom Morello might even play his guitar. Then an eleventh hour agreement will be brokered (mostly to spare Obama embarrassment) and school will open.

    The Oracle of Mayfair has spoken.

  • 52. Paul  |  August 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    And what will the eleventh hour agreement look like? Will it include wrap-around services for students severely impacted by poverty and violence? Will class sizes be reduced? Will the new teacher evaluation system exclude or reduce the impact of standardized test scores? What kind of a raise will teachers get? There’s got to be something in there for the teachers union.

    My guess is that the raise will be on the small side, 2 or 3 percent, and then there will be some type of additional guarantees about additional services for students in poverty, class sizes, and the use of test scores in teacher evaluations. That way, CPS can claim they talked teachers down to the smaller raise while giving students a longer day, and the CTU can claim that they threatened a strike for the good of the students, not just for a raise. It’s got to be a win-win to avoid a strike.

  • 53. anonymouse teacher  |  August 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Who asked about Evanston? I taught this summer in a program that also employed several Evanston teachers and those teachers are beyond angry. Not about pay so much, but really over reasonable policies and reasonable leadership. I said to the one teacher, “well at least you guys are better off than CPS teachers, you have some people who are thoughtful and know something about education”. The teacher responded, “not anymore we don’t”. My other friend teaches at Orrington and they’ve had gone through more principals in the last ten years than I’ve worked for my entire career. Evanston used to be known as a leader in education, but that isn’t really true anymore.

  • 54. HS Mom  |  August 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    @45 – just a reminder about the Jones building. Due to the footprint, it will be a vertical structure (the current building is 6 stories plus an annex and it only holds 800), The Gym. auditorium, pool and library all require 2 levels. I believe there will be 2 floors dedicated to classrooms and a dedicated space for special ed. Lucky – I suppose. Grateful – yes. Currently with no gym or workout room there is no PE class that involves throwing a ball. All sports are handled off campus and the kids commute. Imagine juggling the homework load and commuting to sports practice and games. There is no place for kids to study, there is no real computer lab. The new building will be state of the art and built to the new CPS green standards just like other new selective and neighborhood schools. Sounds sweet to me too.

    CPSO – more selective spots might become available. My guess is that it may be contingent on what happens with the old building.

  • 55. Bookworm  |  August 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Maybe the city should just go to a Chicago Park District sign up system for CPS and just forget all the neighborhood stuff, se testing and lottery. Let er rip til the server just crashes like right after you hope you got that judo class- just instead it’s high school…..
    It would make about as much sense. The locater is fun but it doesn’t mitigate any of the goofiness of finding a school.

    I hope the weather in September is nice for going to the playground just in case…..

  • 56. Paul  |  August 21, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Just saw in a Sun-Times article that CTU’s House of Delegates doesn’t have to vote to approve the strike. The CTU officials can give CPS the 10-day strike notice anytime. But, the House of Delegates has to vote to set a strike date. So, the strike date may not be set until the Thursday, 8/30 House of Delegates meeting. But, we could hear about the 10-day strike notice earlier than that.

  • 57. mom2  |  August 21, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Wow, so if the house of delegates decides that they approve of the final offer but CTU officials don’t like it and give the 10-day strike notice, what happens? The house of delegates never votes on the date and we just sit there waiting? Or was that original vote by teachers really a vote to let a tiny few people decide their fate? It sounds like there was a lot of misinformation given out early on so they could get the number of votes they needed.

  • 58. CPS Teacher  |  August 21, 2012 at 9:41 am

    @57…The original vote by teachers was an overwhelming vote to give authorization to strike. As a teacher, I do not feel that there was misinformation given out. The authorization is already there, the house of delegates will decide whether to set a strike date.

  • 59. Paul  |  August 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Yes. I think that if the House of Delegates decides they approve of the final offer, there’s no strike. The strike authorization vote let’s a tiny few people (CTU officials) decide whether to give the 10-day strike notice, but the House of Delegates has to set a date. I don’t think there’ll be much disagreement between the CTU officials and the House of Delegates. And I’m sure that’s what they’ll be talking about at their meeting tomorrow.

  • 60. NBCT Vet  |  August 21, 2012 at 10:30 am

    @mom2

    Take a deep breath. There’s no grand conspiracy to manipulate the masses and hand control over to a handful of people at the CTU. 98% of voter support does not happen by accident or through coercion. I know emotions are running high, but there are very clear and proper rational democratic procedures in place at the CTU.

    A 10-day strike notice is just a formality. Without the setting of a strike date there is no strike and teachers continue to work.

    Setting the date is the key to a potential strike actually occurring. Without the setting of a strike date there will be no strike.

    If the House of Delegates decides that they approve of a final offer then the membership will vote on that final offer.

    The leadership at the CTU takes its instructions and orders from the Delegates. The Delegates, about 800 strong and representing every school, take their instructions and orders from their close contact with the membership.

    I really hope to allay your fears. It is not a top down organization swelling with executive power. The CTU is membership driven and the power flows up the chain from the rank and file not the other way around.

  • 61. HSObsessed  |  August 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Re: Jones: My understanding is the current building holds 800, so there were 200 open spots each year. The new building will hold 1200, so there will be an additional 100 spots each year, starting with this coming year’s application cycle (for freshmen starting in the new building in fall 2013). Although there has been talk about neighborhood setasides, this was never passed.

  • 62. LR  |  August 21, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Now, this may be a bit technical, but it is just 10 days, not 10 business days, right? If my understanding is correct, my bet is we will hear of notice by Friday.

    I do know a bit about Evanston. We visited some friends this weekend who go to Oakton School. They said that they are trying to get rid of some specials teachers (arts, music), and go to a teacher share situation. In other words, each school would no longer have its own art and music teachers; instead, there would be one teacher whose time is split between two or more schools. I know they are not in favor of the proposed teacher share. I would be upset, too. It is a lousy way to save money. Taxes are high in Evanston. They should be able to afford specials teachers.

  • 63. mom2  |  August 21, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Thank you NBCT Vet. I hope you are correct. We all just want to avoid a strike and many of us want was is best for the kids. That means having wonderful teachers stay in CPS and manageable classrooms with facilities that don’t hinder learning, proper supplies, well rounded education, etc. We need all this in a system without a lot a funds to make it happen. I just hope the powers that be can agree on what is important and what is just beneficial to one group only.

  • 64. anonymouse teacher  |  August 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    @60, So just to confirm, then, there IS a final vote made by ALL teachers IF the delegates approve a contract offer? I think this is the piece that got lost in translation between me and my delegate. This is why I had been thinking that there would be another vote by all members. And if I am to understand, if the delegates reject the final offer, in that case, each teacher does not vote, only the delegates do?
    I do agree that there is no conspiracy here at all. To me, my vote to authorize a strike back in June was based on the fact that without it, we may not have been able to strike at all because we might not have gotten the percentage needed. I wanted to make sure I helped put the CTU, my union, in the best position possible to get the best package for teachers and the best conditions for students. Even if I had known for sure that I might not have another chance to vote personally, when it boils down to it, I put more faith in the delegates than in the board of ed. I don’t agree with all union policies, nor even all of what is being bargained for. But from my perspective, both me and my students are better served by real teachers, called delegates. Others are free to have a different opinion, of course.

  • 65. Danaidh  |  August 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    @62: State law governs the conditions necessary for a Union to strike, including “at least 10 days have elapsed after a notice of intent to strike has been given by the exclusive bargaining representative to the educational employer.”

    In other places of the law, “business” or “school” is placed in front of the word days. Since that is not done here, we should asssume that ten days is ten days.

    The ten day notice is also a minimum. The Union can give 15 or 22 or 37 days’ notice if it so desires. It just can’t give less than ten days.

    @56 and 59: The CTU Constitution & Bylaws governs this process. Votes by the HOD whether to strike are advisory only, and in any case is rendered moot in this case by the fact that the membership has already authorized the Union to call a strike.

    The Constitution gives to the House of Delegates the authority to set the date for the strike and to suspend a strike.

    My gut feeling is that the membership, the HOD, and the Union officers are all of like mind on the strike, if it becomes necessary.

  • 66. Patricia  |  August 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Can some of you help me understand what the strike would be about at this point of the negotiations? I ran into a teacher friend of mine who said the CTU conversations are still about pay, health insurance costs, pensions and resistance to merit pay.

    Is it about pay? The elementary teachers are not working one minute longer, status quo at 7 hours. HS working 13 minutes more. The offer on the table from CPS is 2%, which pretty much comes down to a COLA increase. Pretty generous in this economy.

    Is it about health insurance? Health insurance costs rise for everyone with no offsetting raise. Can anyone share exactly how much the heath insurance costs are rising or the change in plans & deductibles for teachers.

    Pensions? Pensions are certainly a problem that will drag the state into bankruptcy if not fixed. On Chicago Tonight, they indicated that the pension talks in Springfield will likely be delayed until after the election. Interestingly they pointed out that both Cullerton and Madigan, who stalled the process, got $95,000 campaign donations from the teachers unions the very same day they stalled. While it may be legal, it is certainly slimy.

    Merritt based pay? This is obviously a concern to CTU in order to keep tenure and treat all teachers the same regardless of performance. Interestingly, the teacher pointed out to me that she is not worried as much about this because it is phased in over 5 years. Also, I read that the CTU had a lot of discussion and input into the process.

    Hire back fired/laid off teachers? I also read Jessee Sharkey quoted as saying the automatic recall is as non-starter point for them. Which I assume means that they will strike over this point alone if necessary. So they want to have the teachers let go, have first crack at any openings? Isn’t it hard enough to get rid of a bad or mediocre teacher………..now they get first crack at openings? The good ones will find another job without this protection.

    Is the strike about stopping the expansion of charters? How will a strike resolve or stop that?

    Is the strike about being pissed off at Rahm? I think this point was already made with a 90% strike authorization vote. Why drag the kids down into the adult personality clashes?

    I am just trying to figure out exactly what the end game goals would be when the strike is called.

  • 67. SoxSideIrish4  |  August 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    One thing besides the ones #66~Patricia~mentioned that I know of is they are trying to keep the language in the contract the same for class size. I know of a school up North that has 49 kids in one 6thgrade class and that’s nuts!

  • 68. Teacher4321  |  August 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    The entire membership will get to cast a vote on whether to accept or reject the contract.

    There is a meeting and forum tonight at Old Town School of Folk Music. 5:30 to 8:00. Open to the public with a Q & A session. I encourage you to come ask your questions about the current state of contract negotiations.

  • 69. Teacher4321  |  August 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Oh and there is a House of Delegates meeting tomorrow.

  • 70. mom2  |  August 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Agree with Patricia’s comments and questions exactly and also SoxSideIrish4’s mention of class size. Anyone in the know care to respond to Patricia? I’m curious about this, too.

  • 71. mom2  |  August 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Or Teacher4321, maybe after your meeting, you can share. Thank you.

  • 72. George ABC  |  August 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Patricia, let’s see if I can help you answer some of your questions, which are legitimate.

    Question about pay? Yes the school day might not be longer at least for elementary teachers but the day will be harder for teachers. A new curriculum based upon common core is being implemented, which is more rigorous plus you have new unit planners that teachers are required to create all on their own time and dime. Not to mention the new REACH evaluation, which will ring havoc to the system. You also have the question in regards to the longer school year, which has not been settled yet.

    Question about pay & health care? CPS pays beginning teachers well, but deliberately neglects their seasoned teachers in regards to compensation. As for the 2% pay it’s already going to be eaten up when the health care costs are increased substantially for educators, especially those with children. Imagine your employer give you a $50 monthly raise but increases your health care premiums to $70. How fair is that? Is that what you call a real raise? It’s a net loss!

    Question about pensions? The Chicago Tonight that you mentioned is about state pensions, which has nothing to do with CPS teacher pensions. CPS pays for it’s own pensions, despite the fact that recently they keep skipping payments. However, everyone in the state of Illinois including Chicago taxpayers pay for all the pensions of every state employee including teachers in the suburbs. How fair is that taxpayers of Chicago are double taxed for teachers or other state employees? The powers to be in Springfield are trying to get the suburbs to pay for the cost of their own employee pensions in order to bring equality and fairness to the system not to mention save money on cost.

    Question about merit pay? CPS is trying to WALMARTIZE public education. In other words they are trying to get education on the cheap. 85% of CPS students are at the poverty level. How fair is it to attach teacher pay knowing very well the lack of socio-economic resources and parental involvement that many CPS student face?

    Question about laid off teachers? Many laid off teachers were laid of as a result of no fault of their own. Budget cuts, position closings or lack of certification. Just because a teacher was laid off doesn’t mean they were poor performing teachers. This is CPS way of getting around the rules and letting anyone go without just cause as required. CTU want’s stability and opportunity to get those experienced teachers back in to the classroom so that student can benefit from that experience rather than having a rookie trying to maintain control. Think of teachers as wine. The older it gets the better it becomes, more experience equals more knowledge and skill.

    Question about charters? Charters are an unproven educational experiment. There is no data that states that charter schools out perform public schools and that’s a fact! Charter results are a mixed bag of results even though they claim they are better. Funny thing is that the same charters that bragged about being better are the same ones underperforming compared to the local public schools. For every dollar spent on a charter school is a dollar taken out of the hands of children in the public school system. At a time when money is in short supply, does it make sense for CPS to increase their charter budget and take away from all the other public schools? How can CPS expand charter schools, when they can’t even afford to pay for it’s own existing public school? Charters were designed to work along side public schools on a small-scale level. They were never designed to replace public schools on a large-scale level! CPS is CANNABALIZING their own public schools!

    Question about strike? The CTU is about bringing a quality and better day for students and educators rather than CPS version on bringing a longer day. Too many MBA’s in CPS without any educational experience and knowledge are making life altering decisions that effect our students and teachers without fully comprehending the full impact their policies are having on the school system as a whole. The CTU wants to have input within the educational system they represent since they are the experts. After all, if you were sick who would you go to, a doctor right? If your car broke down, who would you go to, a mechanic right? The reason being since these are the people who are experts and trained for it. However, why is it that in Chicago politicians of city hall and CPS central office bureaucrats think they can run an educational system better than the experts (teachers & administrators) that work daily in the public school? These so called experts are driving the very system to the ground with a potential looming strike.

  • 73. Teacher4321  |  August 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    @mom 2-
    Not sure which meeting you are referring to, but I am not a delegate.

  • 74. Teacher4321  |  August 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    As for the other meeting I think it is being put on jointly by CTU and a parent group. I was going soley for my own knowledge so I didn’t bring a pen and paper- so I’ll try my best to remember anything I can.

  • 75. Mayfair Dad  |  August 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    @ George ABC. Thank you for reminding me why I think public employee unions are a horrible thing. Its called employment, not entitlement.

  • 76. Patricia  |  August 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    George ABC, thanks for your thoughtful comments. It is so fascinating how seemingly rational people can have such divergent views. Thanks to CPSO for giving us a respectful forum. Your reply raises some additional questions and I would appreciate your insight.

    Pay? Thank you for admitting that teachers are not working longer. I think there are a lot of your colleagues that do not understand this. Working harder? When a new product launches, when a new competitor enters a market, when shareholders are upset with the quarterly numbers, we all have no choice but to work harder. That is just part of having a job. The new common core is better for the students after years of NCLB dummying down the curriculum. I would hope teachers embrace this change. Aren’t 48 states committed to the new common core? Isn’t the whole country going to work “harder” to improve education? Also, my prior posts make it clear that I fully support the new calendar which is a complete collaboration with VIVA teachers, parents, faith based leaders, community groups and CPS. It is a great calendar and finally makes sense. PLEASE do not tell me that it will be a victim of negotiations. Do not make students suffer with a strike over pay.

    Health care? Let me give you some insight from the other side of the fence. Every year in the private sector employees go through “benefit selection”. EVERY SINGLE YEAR heath care costs go up with no off setting raise. Your options are to increase a deductible from $5000 to $7000 to keep the same rate or pay more for the same coverage. You expect taxpayers to solve healthcare for teachers? Do not make students suffer with a strike over healthcare.

    Pensions? Sorry, but the CTU has funded the downstate politicians as much as the other IL teacher union. The pension problem is a result of decades of unions funding political coffers. Now, you have an issue and you expect taxpayers to pay the price.? I really do not think that will fly. However, I do understand and agree that Chicago gets double charged. That will hardly solve the problem, but it is accurate. Do not make students suffer with a strike over pensions.

    Merit pay? I am sorry, but I just do not get tenure with no accountability. I understand there are valid external forces of poverty at play, but find it hard to believe we can’t find a solution. I think the CTU is protecting the lowest common denominator teacher and forcing them to be treated the same as the great teachers. I just do not get it. I have talked to great teachers who are chomping at the bit to have merit pay because they are sick of the mediocre slackers around them handing off students they did not teach. I was in California on vacation this summer and talked to an extended family relative who is a teacher and sees the same issues. Think about the dysfunctional work environment created by a bunch of people who behave for two years and then can NEVER be fired? From a sociology, anthropology, human behavior, MBA and common sense point of view, it is not a functional work environment. It just does not work. Do not make the students suffer with a strike over merit pay.

    Laid off teachers? Yes, the good ones should be hired back. I believe they will be hired back without this protection. The protection only really protects the lousy teachers. Also, I called a teacher friend of mine and I am wrong about this negotiation point. Apparently, CTU is pushing to FORCE principals to hire displaced teachers. WHAT? This blog has clearly stated that principals that are good can manage their teachers and get rid of bad/mediocre ones. OK, let’s say this is true, which it probably is….why take away hiring decisions from a principal? This is a hidden BAD negotiation point that will really screw the kids when the pension cliff is realized and many teachers are laid off. No way do I support this. Do not make students suffer with a strike to protect adult jobs.

    Charters? I am charter neutral and welcome choice. This is an ideological point that a strike will never resolve. Did you ever think that the reason charters are more attractive is because they are more flexible to try new things? CTU can make charters completely unnecessary by being more flexible instead of trying to force everyone to mediocrity. Also, the catholic schools, while not charters, have great success……..lessons to be learned from them. Sorry, can’t jump on your bandwagon here. Do not make students suffer with a strike over charters.

    Strike? Sorry George ABC, these issues have nothing to do with students and providing a better day. It is about benefits for teachers, the adults. Pay, health care, pensions, merit pay. I do not begrudge you for fighting for adult things. But do not make students suffer with a strike for the adults. Let them be kids, let them learn and let them start school on September 4th.

  • 77. CPSTEACHER4321  |  August 21, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I originally posted the information about the meeting (which has been posted several times) so that those on the board were aware of the meeting and able to attend if they so choose. I didn’t realize others were expecting a report, so I did the best I can with my iPhone. I clearly could not gather all of the information, but I brought back some. The room at the Old Town School of Folk Music was filled to capacity.

    I am not sure who was in charge of the meeting. I feel like “Parents 4 Teachers” and the union were joint hosts. The website parents 4 teachers provided was http://www.parents4teachers.net. Hopefully their website has a flyer for you to see.

    The “Chicago Teacher Solidarity Campaign” is hosting a similar meeting on 8/29 @6:30 77 W Washington.

    Speakers at the meeting on the panel included two parents (one as a host and one as a panelist), two members from the CTU and a student from Roosevelt High School. The panelists each had a short speech and then it was open for questions.

    As I was sitting and listening to the meeting, I had an overall feeling that really deep down inside the Union and this particular parent organization are fighting for exactly what every parent on this board and every teacher on this board is searching for. The search for HIGH QUALITY SCHOOLS FOR ALL STUDENTS. The stress was on making EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD school a good school and a “choice.” While I think this has been reiterated over and over on this board by many of the teachers who choose to post here, I am not sure that the sense of what we are fighting for is actually getting through to those readers on this board.

    There were several other fliers handed out.

    To answer Patricia’s questions from earlier. Although I don’t feel that the statements are much different than the statements many of the teachers have already made on the board. Again I’m not going to type everything up, but a summary.

    The union’s flier emphasized it is seeking:
    *Reduced Class Size
    *Social Services For Students (more nurses, social workers, counselors)
    *Invest In All Schools
    *Support Teachers As Professionals

    It was repeatedly emphasized that the union is fighting for the issues that have been raised over and over again.

    They also handed out their “Schools Children Deserve” http://www.ctunet.com/quest-center/research/the-schools-chicagos-students-deserve

    It is research based. Take the time to read it if you have not already or at least read the PDF short version.

    My notes from panelists and speakers:
    I only took notes on the list the () are from my memory about etc. points.
    Things yet to be settled in the contract:
    Class size (to make it stay in the contract and to be put into language where it can be enforced)
    We have the 5th largest class size in the state
    Funding for Charters vs. CPS (Charter schools are receiving an increase in funds while CPS is getting a decrease).
    Budget for Facilities (Right now when many schools don’t have lunchrooms, libraries or playgrounds, CPS is cutting funding by 85% for buildings while Charters are getting more money and new facilities- UNO is apparently getting money from CPS and the State and their budget is not made public.)
    Staffing for services like social workers/nurses
    Last school year we had 15,000 homeless students with minimal support for them.
    Inequity between Charters, Magnets, Contract, Neighborhood schools
    Retention of quality teachers

    So far on the longer day:
    Teachers have been watching children on their “duty free” lunch due to inadequate staffing
    Hammond Elementary – has been housing all of their children in the auditorium for “recess” because they lack a playground, safe space and staffing for recess.
    Some of the vacancies posted for the 477 positions appear to be fake and not existent. *An aside, I know through the old system many years ago CPS used to often have not real vacancies listed, my principal would get calls for positions all the time that he did not have, but were listed on the CPS website. He’d make it into a joke by saying, “someone called for your job.” It happened frequently.

    More on the contract:
    The boards still has most of the contract to go through.
    One example of a long discussion was around the fact that the board did not understand why children needed textbooks on the first day of school.
    There has been a proposed 47% increase on health care.
    They have also alluded to the fact that there will be no raise.

    Apparently there is a plan in the books to turn 250 schools into charter schools in the next few years. *I have heard this rumor already, but last time I heard this it was for 100*

    The “MC” commented that he wanted to open up the discussion to a discussion and wished to hear from those who agreed and those who disagreed with comments made thus far and wished to have a fair discussion.

    I couldn’t keep up with all of the questions/comments.

    A PSRP (aides, clerks, etc.) mentioned that negotiations thus far have only applied to teachers. They are now working longer days too. The union speaker said that this could be a way to work on fixing the recess staffing issue happening at schools if enough PSRPs were available. Most PSRP issues have not been dealt with or discussed.

    A speaker from the audience said that this educational issue is happening nationwide right now, not just Chicago.

    A speaker mentioned that this is not just a battle for a contract, but what we want the school system to be for ALL CHILDREN.

    A speaker discussed that we have a two tiered school system. Some schools have no libraries, playgrounds, their textbooks are outdated. And we must stand up for ALL children not just the children of the North Side or wealthy or good neighborhoods etc.

    A teacher who mentioned going into his school today to set his classroom up, ended up leading a parent meeting because 100 parents showed up and were unaware that the contract has not been settled yet. (I am not sure I am getting the story 100% correct). Apparently the Spanish media has been stating that the contract has been settled though and this was the cause for confusion. He also spoke to the press and will be on the news tonight I assume (Spanish Channel).

    As an aside- ABC 7 was also there. Both news crews left before the meeting even started.

    Next speaker said he worked in Mental Health and applied to be an aide and ended up at a charter school. He mentioned he went to CPS and asked the panel if they thought parents knew the disparities between charters and CPS.
    The panel responded by saying that in some neighborhoods, Charters have moved into CPS buildings that were brand new and then turned over and parents are seeking the “new buildings, with new technology.” Meanwhile, public schools are being deprived of resources. Someone said lets fight to make all schools like Whitney Young, desirable.

    A parent said that she sees that Rahm is trying hard to divide teachers and parents to get what he wants.

    The “MC” responded that we need to let Rahm and CPS know that nobody wants a strike and that parents should pressure Rahm to reach an agreement. One with fair and equitable schools.

    The Parents 4 Teachers has a plan (hopefully also on the website) to have people call the board on August 30, September 6 and 13 to ask for:
    Lower class size
    Fair compensation for teachers; not test-score based pay
    A rich curriculum; a better day, not just a longer day
    Fully resource all schools equitably; No to two tiers
    More social workers, psychologists, nurses and counselors

    A parent asked what is the plan for a strike for childcare. The union said that several community partners are preparing for this. There have been community groups, churches, etc. that have agreed to take children if the need arises. They also said they will post this information on the website if it is needed. Rogers Park already has organized their own plan as a neighborhood.

    There was of course much more discussed, but that was the best I could do…

  • 78. CPSTEACHER4321  |  August 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    apparently my summary is awaiting moderation- I did the best I could…

  • 79. SutherlandParent  |  August 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    If a strike happens, I’ve heard from parents at a regional gifted center that plans to keep their school running with parent volunteers, as long as the strike lasts. I don’t have kids at the school, so I don’t really have a pony in that race (and there is no way we have enough parent volunteers to “teach” the 750+ kids at our school, even if we had parents’ support for the idea). But I’d be conflicted about sending my kids across a picket line, regardless of how I feel about the reasons for striking. And is that even legal? Just curious if other schools are planning anything similar.

  • 80. SutherlandParent  |  August 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    And regarding Patricia’s point @76, “Apparently, CTU is pushing to FORCE principals to hire displaced teachers.” I know several teachers looking to get back into CPS after taking a few years off to raise families, and they have basically been told they are out of luck. Regardless of their skills or previous performance, the people they talk to say that jobs are only going to displaced teachers. If that’s true, it is extremely discouraging.

  • 81. Don Justice  |  August 22, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Hmmm… not working longer?? My friend teaches high school. Last year he had to be in the building from 8 to 2:45. This year, 8 to 3:25. That looks longer to me.

  • 82. SoxSideIrish4  |  August 22, 2012 at 4:30 am

    So far, from all the parents I have spoke with, no one will allow their children to cross the picket line should a strike occur and neither will I.

  • 83. Paul  |  August 22, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Should we all just fight for more stuff and pretend that we don’t have to pay for it? Should we pretend that there is no budget that CPS and every other organization has to meet? Should we pretend that there are no trade offs when we decide to spend more money in a certain area? Does anybody know about the gargantuan debts and deficits that our federal, state, county, city, and school systems are currently running? When CPS negotiates with the union and raises property taxes to the maximum extent possible and cuts the facilities budget to the bone in order to pay for it, are we supposed to pretend that taxpayers will think that’s money well spent and that facilities will be just fine without spending any money on them?

  • 84. Paul  |  August 22, 2012 at 8:08 am

    As a point of comparison, Obama just extended the 2-year pay freeze for federal employees through this Spring. He had proposed a 0.5% across-the-board raise, but said that because of the economic downturn and to keep our nation on a sustainable fiscal course, he’s keeping it at 0%. Should they have a right to strike? Should they shut down federal services? I’m sure they could argue that it’s for the good of the American people.

  • 85. CPSTEACHER4321  |  August 22, 2012 at 8:36 am

    “Should we all just fight for more stuff and pretend that we don’t have to pay for it? Should we pretend that there is no budget that CPS and every other organization has to meet? Should we pretend that there are no trade offs when we decide to spend more money in a certain area? Does anybody know about the gargantuan debts and deficits that our federal, state, county, city, and school systems are currently running? When CPS negotiates with the union and raises property taxes to the maximum extent possible and cuts the facilities budget to the bone in order to pay for it, are we supposed to pretend that taxpayers will think that’s money well spent and that facilities will be just fine without spending any money on them?”

    I think that teachers agree that there is an actually deficit at the moment. The hard part to swallow is that the board has cried wolf to us for so long that many times they are not believed by the workers.

    Also- the boards has been proved to shift money around to make itself look broke. (See how the police got money this year from CPS that was supposedly owed to them and equaled the 4% raise).

    Read back a few years when the city was trying to get for the Olympics and see where school board money was going to.

    Things on the table are subject to compromise- they need to be discussed- they haven’t even been DISCUSSED. In 9 months.

    I think there are trade offs- I don’t think anyone thinks there are not trade offs. I also think that the TIF spending and charter spending issues need to be looked into and presented in a way that taxpayers understand what is really happening to their taxes.

    The union agrees with you that it is not fair that there is no money being spent on capital funding.

    I just honestly wish that everyone on this board would take a deep breath and not turn the discussions into union bashing. I could be proved otherwise at a later date, I sure hope I’m not- or I will eat my words- but I really feel like this union and the rank and file (people like me) are fighting very hard to get ALL CHILDREN in CPS the best education possible. However we need support of parents to step back and say “This isn’t right” to the board too. We have to care about our future and our future is being created and molded in all schools in CPS- not just selective enrollment and magnet schools. The union also wants you to think your neighborhood school is an attractive option because the union wants your school to have fair funding and extra positions like magnet and selective enrollment schools.

    Show up at some of the grass roots meetings taking place, ask questions. Bring up your concerns. Union representatives as well as parents have been showing up to many of the meetings all summer including neighborhood organizations, board meetings and budget meetings.

    @CPSObsessed. The parents group at the meeting last night was asking for organizations that wanted to have discussions like the one that happened last night at Old Town. I think you would have to have a space in mind and I am not sure how many people showed up for your book club, but perhaps you could invite them to your next book club? Maybe someone else would offer up a space or venue to have a meeting?

  • 86. NBCT Vet  |  August 22, 2012 at 8:41 am

    @83 Paul

    You’re asking good questions, but for me the current situation is less a crisis of cash (though this is, admittedly, a difficult time) and more a crisis of priorities. A budget is a moral document that reflects the values of its creators, especially, I think, in the case of education policy.

    In the midst of this financial crunch they have chosen to spend it on, in my opinion, some unwise priorities. Nearly $100 million on high stakes standardized tests that don’t tell us much beyond the income level of our students. Over $300 million per year to close schools, fire career teachers en masse, and open new, primarily selective schools operated by private organizations driven by ideology rather than sound academic research. 41% of its budget on classroom teachers. (Only a few years ago that figure was 48%, many years ago it was closer to 60%.) Tens of millions on high stakes derivatives and other risky investment deals. Rent subsidization (i.e., $1/year) for non-CPS schools. Bloated upper level management that 20 or so years ago was 1/3 the size it is now. Spending billions in pension payments on other things over the span of 10 years. Hundreds of millions on mandated curricula that has no been scrapped. Hundreds of millions on various other top-down academic or support initiatives that had no proven track record and, not surprisingly, failed and were cancelled. (This is the policy fad du jour problem that drives so many teachers crazy.) Who knows how much money dealing with incredibly high turnover in upper level management which literally destabilizes the entire system.

    So, no, negotiations and budget decisions do not happen in a vacuum, but I think it is important to acknowledge that the Board’s hands are not exactly tied. Year after year they have made financial choices that have crippled and continue to cripple the system.

  • 87. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:26 am

    @86 NBCT Vet Did all the teachers forget that they got 18-48% pay raises over the last 5 years during the “Great Recession”? It is very frustrating that depending on the day, there is selective anmensia. Somehow the board found a way to fund those raises with no complaints from recipients.

    Then there is an outcry to get paid for every minute extra. So the interim agreement is that teachers work status quo, 7 hours in elementary and 13 minutes more in HS. Seems like that issue is resolved………….but NO, now the outcry is “but we are working harder” so we should be paid more.

    Then there is a bandwagon (a good one) to add enrichment of arts, language, etc. 477 teachers are hired at a cost of $50 millinon. AND it is from the pool of displaced teachers. Seems like a win-win. Now the CTU is pushing to force principals to hire from the lousy teacher pool all the time. (I believe there are good teachers in the pools, but as I have said repeatedly, the good ones will find jobs without this protection.)

    At some point it is no longer genuine.

  • 88. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:35 am

    @Teacher4321 Thank you for the notes and I can tell you genuinely want the system to improve. Did by chance anyone give an actual number on healthcare? They said 47% more, but if you go from $20 a month to $40, it is a 100% increase, but still way under the norm. My guess is that it is still way under what most pay for healthcare, but 47% sounds more drastic.

    Also, I am curious at the discussion about equity at all schools. I completely agree. The issue I have yet to figure out is that at schools that are stuggling and high poverty, have gotten a heck of a lot more money every single year. I still do not understand why they do not have a music teacher, books and curriculum. Many schools have parents raise money for additional programs because they do not get the SGSA state funding based on free and reduced lunch.

  • 89. George ABC  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Patricia, you make some good points in regards to some of the questions you bring up and I thank you for your thoughtful contribution to a healthy open discussion. However, there are some areas that come to mind for example, educators of Chicago are fighting for a better day. The original plan of CPS was to extend the day and make the classes longer without any classes that support the arts etc. There are schools within the system with no world language teachers, no art, no gym , no library, no technology what so ever. Basically that is an outrage! There are schools with only one social worker, nurse or counselor that deal with hundreds of students. The interim agreement reached by both sides, requires principals to hire these teachers to enrich the curriculum and provide additional support services to these students, which equals to a better quality day.

    As for your statement that CTU makes schools inflexible or more mediocrity is inaccurate. The school district sets the policy, procedures and rules within the school. The reason charter schools are flexible is because by law they are free from school district policies, procedures, and rules. In many cases the charter schools are more free to do what they want since they are not burdened by school district policies, not union policies. Many people tend to get that argument confused.

    As for the catholic school argument equaling great success, I have one word for you “choice”. Catholic schools have the power to remove any student that doesn’t follow their rules. Catholic schools are free from state laws or the city bureaucracy or policies that are in place that as you state offer flexibility. The same argument can be made with charter schools as well. But I bet you on this that there are great CPS schools that can take on any private or charter school. After all, the number one school in the state is a CPS school. Nice try though ☺

    As for no accountability, I think you might have forgotten Illinois law SB-7. SB-7 makes it difficult for teachers to get tenure status. Plus there is a misconception out there that tenure is this all-powerful way of ensuring life long jobs for educators. That might’ve been the case back in the day but not today. Tenure means due process for example like our legal system. Principals today as a result of SB-7 can remove (fire) any teacher including those with tenure who have 2 poor evaluations. SB-7 reminds educators to bring out their A-game all the time. As a result, there is accountability within the school system.

    The pension problem today was not the fault of the unions, but of politicians who kept kicking the can of neglecting to fully paying in to the funds decades in to the future. When the good times were rolling in the economy, no worries about the pensions since tax payer money was coming in. Now that the Great Recession has gripped our nation, politicians are looking to take away or break the promise that they made to educators, which is no fault of their own. Teachers pay and contribute in to their pension funds, why not CPS or the state? You mentioned healthcare, and well….all I can say is maybe Obama care will help alleviate the cost for everyone ☺

    The argument that teachers are not working longer has been misinterpreted. Technically, they might not being working additional minutes (except high school), however, they have always worked longer for free. It’s interesting to listen to people’s perspectives that they think educators have it so good since they only work 6-7 hours a day without realizing that most educators contribute 2-3 hours additional every day. As a result, educators work just as long, just as hard as their counterparts in the private sector.

    I don’t think there is any teacher out there that really wants to strike. However, educators should not give up on areas that can stabilize & improve schools. Too many people have the belief that well if I didn’t get a raise or have a job than why should you during these difficult economic times. It’s like that old saying misery loves company. The 18%-48% increase you state was a result of years of teachers being underpaid in the profession. People tend to forget that little fact! This contract process has been dragged out for 15 months. There are so many issues that don’t involve money that CPS can easily come to a mutual beneficial agreement with the CTU. Let’s hope both sides can come together and find the strength and courage to resolve all issues.

  • 90. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:44 am

    BTW, of course I would cross the picket line to bring my children to school and they better not be harassed. Teachers have chosen the right to strike and my kids have a right to go to school. From what I see actually being fought for by the union (not what they are saying that sounds good to parents), it is not my fight.

  • 91. Teacher4321  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:53 am

    @ Patricia,
    I believe that many schools that get SGSA funds are also on probation and once this happens the area office dictated what they do with their funds and much of it involves more testing materials and test prep.

  • 92. Teacher4321  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I will also remind you that SB7 has changed what the union can actually fight for and the board is welcomed to open the discussion to other ideas that the union has brought up repeatedly and is not out there just to please parents. I am sorry it continues to be perceived that way.

    PS – I appear to have 2 user names somehow.
    Both are me.

  • 93. mom2  |  August 22, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I am enjoying your professional discussion on this issue. Right now I am leaning towards full agreement with the comments and questions from Patricia, but I appreciate reading the other perspective.

    I agree that the CPS rules make it difficult to compare with charters. But, if some charters work better for some neighborhoods, due to whatever reasons, then it is good to have that choice. In one breath people say that charters don’t help kids and in the next breath they complain when someone says a charter school is doing better than the neighborhood and they say it is because they don’t have to follow the same rules. To me, that indicates there are times when charters are a good choice to have. No one is blaming teachers for this.

    I agree that teachers work more hours than just the school time. I really don’t think most people believe teachers only work while at school, but we keep hearing that as an argument for more money. A teacher’s job has always been more than just the school day and year. They’ve always been paid for that job, and paid very well with many raises during seriously poor economic times, so this isn’t something new for this year that should be part of negotiations.

    While we wait for the government to help figure out how to lower health care costs for everyone, the costs are going up and up and have for years. Private sector people may have gotten a 0-4% raise over these years, but the health care that they have had to pay for has certainly gone up more than that. You are not guaranteed to come home at the end of the day with more or even the same amount of money every year. It doesn’t work that way.

    George ABC, “There are so many issues that don’t involve money that CPS can easily come to a mutual beneficial agreement with the CTU. ” – Please list all items that don’t involve money. While I agree that there can be some additional funds by getting rid of layers or shifting some things around, I do believe the city has a lack of funds and it isn’t just hidden somewhere. So I would love to know the things we can do to make the school day better without extra money.

  • 94. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

    @ Mom2. Well stated points. I agree.

    @ George ABC. Thanks for the enriching conversation. I will spare everyone a long reply because there are valid counter points that have already been stated in various threads. I always feel bad having a really long post.

  • 95. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 11:25 am

    @79 Southerland parent. What RGC is doing this? What a great idea. Can you share or will this cause parents to get rats in their mailbox 😉

    @ Paul. Thanks for the fiscal reality check. It is easy to forget that there is not a money printing machine down in Springfield 😉

  • 96. Chris  |  August 22, 2012 at 11:38 am

    “I don’t think everyone knew about the gis??-based locater. What’s gis, btw?”

    Geographic Information System(s). Really useful stuff.

    “I just was contacted by someone who bought a home and the agent told them they were in a certain discrict and they were not. So please, be careful and check it yourself!”

    *NEVER* trust a real estate agent who you don’t know well enough to trust about non-real estate stuff. Recipe for disaster.

  • 97. Chris  |  August 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

    “I will also remind you that SB7 has changed what the union can actually fight for”

    No, it did NOT. The limitations on matters that can be negotiated was in the state law *before* SB7. As they say, you can look it up. You can even find it on this site–I’ve posted about it many times.

    On this point, the limits on negotiation were put in place at Daley’s behest, not the new regime.

  • 98. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    @ CPSTeacher4321 I noticed this in your meeting summary, “The Parents 4 Teachers has a plan to have people call the board on August 30, September 6 and 13”

    Does this mean a strike is already planned and just not made public yet? School starts Sept 4th, so they are working very closely with CTU on strike plans? I am curious how this was postioned.

  • 99. Paul  |  August 22, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    It looks like CPS’s budget takes the money they planned in raises to teachers and uses it to hire more teachers that the union wanted for the longer day. “To fund the additional 500 teachers added through the recent landmark agreement reached between CPS and the Chicago Teacher’s Union to implement the Full School Day, the budget calls for the use of $46 million previously targeted to cover two percent employee salary increases.” So, there’s no raise in the current budget for teachers. That has got to be the reason for the contract deadlock.

    And, it looks like the first step in Mayfair Dad’s prediction is coming true, except the Labor Day rally will be at Daley Plaza instead of Navy Pier. http://www.ctunet.com/blog/labor-day-solidarity-rally

  • 100. Mayfair Dad  |  August 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    http://www.ctunet.com/blog/labor-day-solidarity-rally
    “Co-Sponsors include: Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 • American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 • National Nurses United (NNU) • United Electrical Workers (UE) Western Region • National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 11 • SEIU Local 1 • UNITE-HERE Local 1 • SEIU Health Care Illinois-Indiana • List in formation…”

  • 101. CPSTEACHER4321  |  August 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    @ CPSTeacher4321 I noticed this in your meeting summary, “The Parents 4 Teachers has a plan to have people call the board on August 30, September 6 and 13″
    Does this mean a strike is already planned and just not made public yet? School starts Sept 4th, so they are working very closely with CTU on strike plans? I am curious how this was postioned.

    What does making phone calls have to do with the strike plan?

    I am confused and late for some plans I have. Please clarify as I don’t see how one has to do with another.

  • 102. anonymouse teacher  |  August 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    At this point, I think one issue not mentioned here that will need to be resolved before a contract is accepted is appropriate recess supervision. This is a big issue at Track E schools. In order to keep raises very low, as many people have suggested is appropriate, schools must guarantee that except for the most extreme emergencies (the days when 20% of the staff is out with the flu) that teachers will not have to do recess duty. Many of the Track E schools have not been able to give their teachers a duty free lunch and that is an issue.
    Schools with large parent supports in place might be able to staff recess supervision partly with volunteers, yes. My school, like some others, cannot. We tried it last year and it was a total failure for lunch supervision. We’ve worked every single piece of the schedule and it is precarious–my principal has even brought in scheduling gurus to help. If one person is absent, there’s a problem. If the board is unable to give more than a 2% raise, for sure, they must pay for adequate staffing to ensure that duty free lunch is a reality 99% of the time. This will likely mean more dollars to hire whoever to staff it.

  • 103. Danaidh  |  August 22, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Chris @97 is partly right and partly wrong.

    Section 4 of the Educational Labor Relations act stipulates the rights of employers not to bargain over “matters of inherent managerial policy” which applies to all districts in Illinois. The 1995 Amendatory Act inserted Section 4.5—which applies only to Chicago—adding several topics, such as class size, that became prohibited subjects of collective bargaining. (Although every other district in the state could bargain over them.)

    By 2003, the CTU was successful in getting the legislature to amend Section 4.5, making the topics “permissive” rather than “prohibited.” This meant that CPS could *choose* whether or not to bargain over the subjects.

    In the 2003 and 2007 contracts CPS did choose to include several of the subjects in collective bargaining.

    SB7 added two more subjects to Section 4.5—length of the school day and length of the school year, and the Emmanuel Administration heavily lobbied for this change. The two subjects were not part of the law during the Daley Administration. CPS, thus far, has resolutely refused to bargain over the subjects of Section 4.5. That is a change of policy under Rahm Emmanuel’s unelected Board of Education.

  • 104. SoxSideIrish4  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    #90~Patricia~I just wanted to say that I was one of the parents (one of many in my area) who will not cross or allow my kids to cross a picket line. CPS has already said that no instruction will be taught since only teachers can teach, the places they are looking into~parks, centers, art places…this would be a place for kids to go and Administration will be there to supervise but no teaching will be conducted. This sounds like a free 4 all…ill planned ~ as they have no idea what this would create. Although for moms who aren’t stay-at-home moms, I’m sure this would help them out. They are looking into places so parents/kids don’t have to cross the picket line. I’m wondering would you consider sending your kids to a charter as they will be opened during a strike? I couldn’t as our neighborhood school is fantastic and to me charters are too experimental and high w/attrition rate. Right now, I’m hoping they don’t strike, but preparing that there will be one.

  • 105. mom2  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    If there is a strike, given this economy and the longer school day no longer being “longer” for teachers, I think teachers/the CTU will lose in the public relations department and whatever gains they have made in getting people on their side will be lost. I hate to see that for all of us. I was just starting to feel a “kumbaya” spirit with everyone.

  • 106. SutherlandParent  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    @95 Patricia, regarding the school that is planning to stay open with parents in charge, I’d rather not say, just because I’ve only heard about it second hand (although from reliable sources, as they say). I wonder if there will be one of those giant inflatable rats out front if they follow through with the plan!

  • 107. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    @101 CPSteacher4321 Sorry if I was not clear. It is an issue of timing that I am questioning. Are the calls to influence current negotiations? If so, then why wait until Aug 30th and then schedule calls after school starts Sept 6th and 13th? It sounds as if it is a plan for “when” the strike happens rather than “let’s try to prevent a strike.”

    This is kind of moot at this point since it looks like a strike is going to be called.

  • 108. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    @104 soxsideirish4 To me there is a difference in “not crossing a picket line” vs. “not sending my kid to school because no instruction is happening anyway.” I would cross a picket line with no problem and not begrudge anyone for picketing.

    The administrators and non-teachers at my kids school would do a fine job during a strike, although it would certainly be preferable to not have a strike. It would not be a free-4-all. Maybe they can’t technically conduct “instruction”, that does not mean the kids can’t learn anything. Plus, maybe parents will assist and we can all do “homeschooling at school”.

    I am happy with my kids schools, so no need to switch to a charter. Plus, there are not any close to me. However, if the strike drags into next school year, maybe there will be a lot more charters to choose from and I would reconsider 😉

  • 109. Don Justice  |  August 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    (1) The school day is longer for teachers. 10 extra instructional days and 2 cancelled holidays. Also, for instance, LVLHS used to have a schedule of 8 to 2:36. Now, it’s 8 to 3:15.

    (2) Anybody’s kid yet to take the idiotic REACH assessments that will be tied to teacher compensation? A friend of mine showed the literacy one to me. I’m pissed my children will have to sit through that crap and instructed them to refuse to write anything down. The literacy assessment is ridiculous. You could get the highest score the rubric allows without writing a complete sentence or spelling a single word correctly.

    (3) Who is this moron Theresa Placencia of the Westside Network? What kind of school system puts a woman who dresses like a cheap hooker and is the former principal of Farragut in charge of Whitney Young, Westinghouse, et al. As long as she’s employed, there should be no question as to teacher effectiveness. Let’s rate Network chief effectiveness, instead. Listen to her talk — a box of rocks has more brains.

  • 110. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    @106 Sutherland Parent. I completely respect your sensitivity to the situation and not revealing the school name. I have to say that it is a very intriguing idea. Parents can keep things going for their children and let the teachers do what they feel they need to do. As a parent, it is time to start thinking about Plan B. What a shame after so much progress for the students.

    Just saw on the news that the HOD gave Lewis the authority to issue a 10 day strike order. It really seems like this has been the plan all along.

  • 111. Cake for all!  |  August 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Patricia, you are happy with your school because of things the teachers do. Not the actual building itself, correct?

    The school is the students and teachers. The community. All parts. Do you really think without the teachers it will be ok? Obviously not as you see a need for another option if your teachers, an integral part of your school community, do not come back.

    Also I’d be weary of anything that popped up that quick, if it actually happened. Charters like that are in it for the money not for the kids. It takes a long time to build a good school. You’ d be back at your old school as soon as your teachers came back.

  • 112. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    @111 Cake for all. That is not what I meant at all. As I said, of course it would be better if there was no strike. Of course it is a school community. My point in saying it will be “OK” is in response to soxsideirish4 saying that it will be a free-4-all. My kids school administrators and non-teachers would do a fine job holding down the fort until the strike is over. That is what I meant. NOT that they can pick up and teach for all the teachers. However, I do think parents can bridge the gap and get some homeschooling done at school so it is not a burden on the kids to catch up once the strike is over.

    Also, not sure what you are asking in your first sentence. I am happy with their schools for a number of reasons. Some are what certain teachers do, but there are many other things that are not related to a teacher. Not sure what your question is getting at.

  • 113. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    @109 Don Justice. See my post from a different string about the additional days for students.

    Regarding the calendar and 10 additional “student” days of attendance. It seems to again be an issue of “teacher time” vs. “student time.” It is 10 more days for the students, but not for the teachers. When comparing the 2011-12 to 2012-13 calendars I get the following:
    Holidays = 10 old; 8 new
    Teacher Institute = 5 old; 4 new
    Professional Dev = 3 old; 6 new
    Staff Dev = 5 old; 0 new
    A loss of the 2 holidays of Columbus and Pulaski. More PD time and it takes place when students are not in school anyway. One less teacher institute day (now aligned to when quarters end). Staff development now takes place ongoing during the year instead of full days of student non attendance.

  • 114. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    @ cake for all

    BTW–my comment about more charters if a strike drags into a full school year was meant to be sarcastic, thus the :-).

  • 115. CPSTEACHER4321  |  August 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    @101 CPSteacher4321 Sorry if I was not clear. It is an issue of timing that I am questioning. Are the calls to influence current negotiations? If so, then why wait until Aug 30th and then schedule calls after school starts Sept 6th and 13th? It sounds as if it is a plan for “when” the strike happens rather than “let’s try to prevent a strike.”
    This is kind of moot at this point since it looks like a strike is going to be called.

    The phone call dates were set by the board. Apparently J.C. Is having call in sessions. You can call in too. The parents running the meeting did not set the dates- the board did.

    Parents were simply suggestion topics that could be had during these call in sessions.

  • 116. Patricia  |  August 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    OK, I did not understand that. Got it. Thanks for the clarification 🙂

  • 117. cpsobsessed  |  August 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    When you guys are ready, I’ve got a dedicated Strike Watch thread up so it’s easier to find…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 118. CPSTEACHER4321  |  August 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Also a strike has not been called. Karen was authorized to call the 10 day notice if/when she sees fit. Another union meeting is set up for next week.

    The 10 day notice does not mean a strike. It also doesn’t mean the strike must happen 10 days after the notice is given.

  • 119. Tchr  |  August 22, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    How is the school day not longer???

    Last year I was paid from 8:30 to 3:00. The kids were there at 9:00. I set breakfast out for my students before they got there. Gasp! I had required work to do during my open prep- no copying or drinking coffee for me. At 3:00pm when their day was out and my “45 min after school prep” began, I walked my students out and waited an additional 20 mins ( for free during MY “prep”) for them to be picked up.

    NOW school starts at 8:15 for me AND my kids. But wait! I have to start my day before 8:15 to still set out breakfast (and do other prep things for my day, again not and never including making coffee or gossiping with coworkers or anything else most people do when they first arrive to their office).

    Our school has not hired all the resource teachers yet. I have had to watch my students during my guaranteed hour prep. If someone is absent, I have had to watch them. There are 2 staff members staffed to watch120kids in lunch. Of course I am not going to let that happen- I stay at lunch because it is still expected by my admin team. Again, there goes my duty free lunch. Those 2 people are supposed to watch the 120 kids at recess. Again- just an accident and lawsuit waiting to happen. I lose my prep while kids are at recess and I watch them to make sure they are safe.

    TELL ME AGAIN HOW I AM NOT WORKING MORE HOURS THAN I AM BEING PAID???? This does not even include everything I do after the kids leave, when I go home, or on weekends. It is so frustrating when people don’t see that what CPS says on paper is not what really goes on in the schools.

  • 120. Tchr  |  August 23, 2012 at 12:00 am

    And we get out at 3:15. And I wait 20 mins again for all students to be picked up, Patricia.

    So last year my hours were 8:30 to 3:00 and stayed with kids until 3:20. Now my hours are 8:15 to 3:15 but I am doing required work from 8 to 3:35. And the prep time I am supposed to get is eaten up because we are understaffed.

    Patricia, I guess this comment is aimed towards you because you have said numerous times in above statements that my school hours have not increased. Do you see that they have?

  • 121. Tchr  |  August 23, 2012 at 12:02 am

    AND because I am not getting that prep time during my day, I am at school at about 7am everyday till about 5 or 6 o’clock every night.

  • 122. NBCT Vet  |  August 23, 2012 at 4:33 am

    @ Patricia

    The 10 day strike order does not mean a strike will necessarily happen or is imminent. It is a legal hoop to jump through. After the 10 day notice is given there are many options available: There could be a strike in 10 days. There could be no strike at all. There could be a strike in November, or March, or July. The notice is purely a formality. All it really does is give the Union the option to strike should that become necessary.

    Re: “The HOD gave Lewis the authority to issue a 10 day strike order. It really seems like this has been the plan all along.”

    Can you share a bit why you think this seems to have been the plan all along?

  • 123. CPS Teacher  |  August 23, 2012 at 8:06 am

    @109…I just laughed out loud. I spent an hour going through my schools REACH performance tasks plan. What a joke. As a 15 year teacher, with a masters in pure mathematics and one in education, I am appalled at what is going on in our schools. If the dumbing down with IDS was bad, this is a nightmare. Parents, speak out. Support teachers…they are supporting your kids, strike or no strike.

    Regarding recess: It seems the board suddenly found another $12 million to put towards a private company to oversee recess, increasing the total contract to $24 million. The certainly seem to find money when they want to.

  • 124. RL Julia  |  August 23, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Tchr – I feel for you. What I think people need to know (and I wouldn’t presume to speak for you here) is that what you are describing is a problem that more money in salary to you – isn’t going to fix. Would it be safe to say that teachers may be inspired to strike for better working conditions/support?

    Having encountered similar situations in my work life, I know that a larger salary can only buy a certain amount of my quiet if the dysfunctional workplace remains – but I think this is an important distinction to make. It is not entirely about the length of the day, it’s about the quality of that day and amount of support and resources given to teachers during that day to allow them to do their jobs to the fullest. Am I getting it?

  • 125. Chris  |  August 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    “SB7 added two more subjects to Section 4.5—length of the school day and length of the school year, and the Emmanuel Administration heavily lobbied for this change.”

    You’re right.

    Just so tired of the acting like the law changed everything, and the intentional misinformation surrounding it.

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