Chicago teachers’s strike begins

September 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm 1,242 comments

So the strike begins.  Or as Karen Lewis says in “happy talk” , No CTU members will be in schools in the morning.  From Karen’s speech in front of the school it sounds like the CTU will be digging in their heels and are saying that unless their desires are met, there will be no contract.  She would not prioritize the sticking points for the press, as they are all important to the CTU.  We could be in for a long strike.  How much more will CPS relax their offer?  How long will teachers go before they are willing to negotiate?

The Chicago Board of Education is Offering the Chicago Teachers Union a Fair and Reasonable Proposal

to Set the Stage for a Deal and Avoid a Strike:

Increases in Pay: 16 percent average salary increase equaling $380 million over the next four years, including COLA (3% year 1; 2% years 2,3,4) lanes and modified step increases that both reward experience and provides better incentives for mid-career teachers to help keep them serving in the Chicago Public School system.

New Opportunities and Security for Laid Off Teachers:

  • Teachers displaced due to school closings: will receive a job at a school receiving their students if there is a vacancy; placed in a reassigned teacher pool for five months or may elect to receive a three-month lump sum severance; or placed in a Quality Teacher Force Pool in which teachers who apply for positions shall be entitled to an interview and explanation if not hired.
  • Teachers displaced due to turnarounds or phase outs: placed in a reassigned teacher pool for five months or may elect three-month lump sum severance.
  • Teachers displaced for other reasons: shall have recall rights for one year for the same unit and position and will be offered interim assignment in substitute teacher pool.

Joint Implementation of Teacher Evaluations with Flexibility When Needed: The Board has proposed to work jointly with CTU to fully implement REACH Students and maintain performance standards and student growth requirements. This proposal will also allow CPS and CTU to study REACH’s implementation jointly and make adjustments as needed.

New Short-Term Disability Policy, Including First-Ever Paid Maternity Leave: While the banking of sick days will end, the Board will offer short-term disability to all CTU members, including paid-maternity leave. Employees will no longer need to use sick days to take time off needed for the birth of a child – nor will they need to bank the number of sick days needed before starting their family planning. Employees who have a short-term illness will not have to use sick days in order to take time needed to get well; short-term disability coverage will cover their needs and provide pay while recovering. The proposal will protect accrued sick-day accumulation for teachers with over 15 years of service in the form of pension service credits.

CPS to Cover Part of Employee Pension Contribution: The Board has also offered to continue picking up 7% each employee’s 9% pension contribution.

Freeze on Health Care Contributions for Most Plans:  The Board is calling for a modification to the health care plan funding that will freeze all employee health care contributions for single and couple plans with a small increase in family contributions of no more than $20 a pay period in addition to a small increase in emergency room co-pays.  67 percent of all CTU members will not see a change to their healthcare.

Increased Opportunity for Promotion: The Board proposes that CPS and CTU collaborate and work together to increase promotion opportunities and identify differentiated compensation models that have worked in other places.

Improved Health and Living: Like the nearly 40,000 City employees who have already signed up for the Wellness program, the Board is asking teachers to join the program at no cost. Teachers can opt-out of Wellness, and pay a small premium differential.

 

Improved Monitoring of Class Size Issues: The Board remains committed to protecting and maintaining current class sizes, but will establish a panel and joint supervisory committee with the CTU to monitor and address any class size issues that may arise.

 

Creation of a New CTU/CPS Commission to Find Fair Pension Funding Solution: The Board pledges to partner with the CTU through the formation of a Legislative Commission to find the right solutions for pension reform and draft legislation that ensures equitable pension funding.

 

A Better, Fuller Calendar: Maintain a calendar with 180 student attendance days, and 190 teacher workdays, including 10 Professional Development days.

 

A Full School Day: The newly extended Elementary school day will continue to be 7 hours, while high school days will now be 7.25 hours, a decrease from 7.5 hours. In addition, high school teachers will be limited to teaching only five classes.

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Learn about school options: Upcoming Dates for 2012/2013 Strikewatch, Wednesday Sept 12

1,242 Comments Add your own

  • 1. spob  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    This is a direct result of forcing people to pay dues to a union as a condition of employment. End this (and it should be ended, even though it would really hurt the Democratic party), and you won’t have strikes like this.

    There really is no justification for the forced payment of dues as a condition to government employment. It’s around because Democrats like it.

    Don’t be mad at the CTU–if I represented teachers as a whole, I would be wanting to protect all of my teachers too–and that includes job protection. Be mad at Democrats who love this system. They’re to blame.

  • 2. ghalla  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    i’m first! chicago is starting to seem like a losing bet for those of who don’t ditch to the burbs. CPS downtown office is such a massive joke . what a waste of time, money and the potential to actually do innovative and important things to create a better chicago.

  • 3. Jay  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    It looks like Karen Lewis will not accept anything less than EXACTLY what she wants. Perhaps CPS will be forced to put children first, in this case. If this goes on for an extended period, I can’t help but think I let my son down by staying in CPS.

  • 4. anonymouse teacher  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I want to know more specifics about class size and to see a proposal with true teeth to it. A committee isn’t going to be enough.

    After listening to Vitale, and once I can sit down and see if he has put in writing exactly what he appeared to be saying, I am not sure I agree that we should be striking tomorrow. I would like to see the two sides continue to negotiate for another week with the option to strike after that. There has been good progress made and I want to go back to teaching my kids.

    And yes, I agree with all the posters in the other thread who said Lewis came off as really unfocused, seemed unaware of what was going on and didn’t represent us well. I would have liked to hear her go through Vitale’s proposals on behalf of CPS line by line and then state specifically exactly what is still holding things up.

  • 5. Tim  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    If anyone knows of any anti-Karen Lewis or anti-CTU protests tomorrow or this week, please post. I know some folks are, inexplicitly, pro union, but for those of us who find this action as disgusting as it objectively is, please let us know how and where we can register our disgust, anger, and frustration. Thanks.

  • 6. HSObsessed  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Picking up from a comment on the prior strike watch thread: I found it bizarre that Karen Lewis said she didn’t know what the city’s latest offer was. So she’s calling a strike without knowing the best offer that the city has made? It seems kind of slapdash.

  • 7. amazed  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    After 6 years with CPS and 4 kids, I have never been so thrilled to have retreated to the burbs. Even though it was hard at first, because CPS shortchanged my kids and now they have some catching up to do. No regrets!

  • 8. cpsobsessed  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I’m kind of wondering what took all weekend if the CTU just kept saying “no.” Seriously. They’d say no, then CPS would go away for a few hours, come back with a new proposal, CTU says “no” again….I guess the time can add up.

    Has CTU negotiated at all? Do you guys really think they’ll strike until all demands are met?

    Does anyone know what they (CTU) were referring to when they kept saying something about up to 25% (?) of teachers being laid off? Not sure what that was all about.

  • 9. brenda  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I’m a federal employee of which vast majority have received 0% COLA raises tor 2 years and hard freezes on hiring an exponential rising retiring workforce.Cps’s offer is fair.not ideal.but we don’t live in an ideal world.FAIR. that’s 400,000 kids not learning Common Core, and at least a few thousand at real risk of losing their lives and getting into trouble running the streets.this isn’t Schaumburg, Ctu is playing with kids lives over peanuts.

  • 10. Lakeview Dad  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Grrrr. So the first year we join CPS after 11 yrs in Catholic schools… This. IMO, the CTU runs a real risk of overplaying their hand on this thing. Hope this gets resolved quick. Ugh.

  • 11. Patricia  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    CPSO, CTU has been saying “NO” since November.

  • 12. Tim  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    @3 Jay —

    Exactly. I feel sick, and I think I really let my kids down by sending them to CPS. I should have left the city or gone private, both of which were options for me. (And I’d never recommend that any of my family, friends, or colleagues subject themselves to CTU ever again.) I feel horrible that I put my children in a position to be abused by CTU like this.

    Still can’t believe this is happening.

  • 13. mamajama  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I was definitely sympathetic toward the CTU but agree that it looks like all they did was sit back and wait for CPS to go with what they wanted…would love to see what they ceded on or backed down on, if anything. They got a LOT of what they wanted but I just can’t see Emanuel being willing to let this go on too long, no way will he want this to make him look like he lost control so I am still hoping for something to be settled this week.

  • 14. Jay  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Would you want your school forced to hire a teacher from a failed/shutdown school? That just seems insane.

  • 15. HSObsessed  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    @8 CPSO – I think that’s what Vitale was saying when he was politely talking about how “difficult” it’s been: He was saying that CTU was not negotiating. Lewis admitted this when she explained that CTU had long ago given their demands, and the city has failed to meet them. Um, Karen, that’s not negotiating, that’s stonewalling.

  • 16. Anon Mom  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    It bothered me how excited/happy the CTU/delegates seemed. I don’t think announcing a strike is something to celebrate.

  • 17. lawmom  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I am with Tim @ 5, please let me know where I can voice my concerns. I think Karen Lewis is such a poor role model for teachers – she is adversarial, without any reason. Let’s have open communication without the vitriol. She went to Harvard supposedly? Well, she clearly wasn’t hanging out with Michelle Obama.

    As a CPS parent for many years, I am mystified that this is “the best and brightest” we have to lead the teachers. Can parents get an “open mike” with the press to voice dissent?

  • 18. Todd Pytel  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I don’t think you can read too much into this whole business of which offer was seen when. Both sides are playing media games, as they’re wont to do. My guess is that CTU felt negotiations were effectively done by 8pm or so, and set the conference for 10pm to pressure the Board into making a last-ditch effort – the fact that delegates were assembling at 10 implies that they were still open to some kind of last-minute deal requiring HoD approval. The Board, for it’s part, probably sent some informal offer at what they knew was too late of an hour just to foment uncertainty in the media about what precisely the CTU was rejecting. It’s still not at all clear to me that the offer posted on cps.edu was actually what the CTU negotiators saw.

    Games all around… the usual jockeying for soundbite priority. I don’t think we’ll get a very clear picture of where the two sides disagree until tomorrow.

  • 19. King Ph.d  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    If you read between the lines of what Karen Lewis said: the law passed by the Illinois legislature and pushed by Stand for Children’s Jonah Edelman prevents both parties from openly discussing one of the primary issues. Teacher evaluations using standardized test scores has been mandated by Arnie Duncan and the US Dept of Ed to get a waiver of NCLB standards that are causing schools to be closed all over town. The mayor tried to play hardball and use these laws to beat down the CTU and parents to get what he wanted.

    The problem is that he disregarded the concerns of many parents and teachers. He was disrespectful, overbearing and his style has consistently been my way or the highway. Not the way to lead. Well this strike belongs to him. Maybe the 2012 CTU will be to
    Rahm as the Snow storm was for Bilandic.

  • 20. mamajama  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Depends on the teacher and why they were let go. There is a union where I work too and one of the biggest issues I have is being able to hire the right person for the job because of seniority and recall rights – I have been forced to hire people numerous times without any choice because they were union and jobs have to be offered to those who qualify in the union first. Some worked out just fine and it was probably a change in atmosphere/program that helped and at least three were completely unsuitable for the position they filled and caused a lot of problems until they either left or were written up until the documentation added up and forced them out. Not ideal.

  • 21. Ugh!  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Charter school parents must be feeling so relieved that they aren’t being pulled in.

  • 22. Todd Pytel  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    @8 (CPSO) – “Does anyone know what they (CTU) were referring to when they kept saying something about up to 25% (?) of teachers being laid off? Not sure what that was all about.”

    That’s definitely one of my biggest questions after the press conference as well. It didn’t sound like an angle I had heard before. I expect our union rep will elaborate tomorrow.

  • 23. junior  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Agree with previous posters about CTU lacking focus in their demands. As far as I can tell, they are striking over air conditioning, health care benefits and evaluation procedures. Oh, and a host of other things. WTF? The public needs to demand that CTU put a bottom line proposal of their own on the table and stop making it up as they go along.

    Sounds to me like they’ve just been pissed off for a while and they were going to strike no matter what to make a point.

    …and I can’t believe Lewis talking at 10 pm at night about the timing of her announcement being to give parents notice so that they can make plans for child care. She said she couldn’t talk to anyone earlier because she was on the phone with national labor leaders. Thanks for putting those children first!

  • 24. chitownmom  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    I’m just really sad right now. My kindergartner and pre-schooler just finished their first week of school last week and loved it, and now here we are. Karen Lewis did not display any indication of compromise and I needed 3 glasses of wine to even watch her speak. It was an a joke. My mother is a teacher, I love teachers, the CTU is not doing the teachers or our kids any service now. They have a fair contract on the table, to strike now is all ego. Karen Lewis wants to strike. I’m going to go cry into my wine now and peruse the MLS for a nice suburban home.

  • 25. Jay  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Rahm is helping me understand this. “Strike by choice” is a great line.

  • 26. Jeanne  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    This strike is going to be really great for suburban homeowners who want to sell!

  • 27. Tim  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    @21Ugh —

    Yes. And anyone who bailed out on this failed system by going to the suburbs or going private must be very happy too. I wish I had.

    Again, does anyone know where ordinary parents can protest CTU? I will be there tomorrow or anytime this week.

  • 28. Chris  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    I just don’t understand why negotiations have stopped tonight. I worked in the auto industry for years and negotiations went round the clock…especially as they drew near the deadline. i just don’t get why they left the table.

  • 29. Mom73  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    24. chitownmom-I’m with you. Glad I’m not the only one drinking wine.

  • 30. teacher and mom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Read the details and stand with the teachers- if you don’t want to stay in the city get out-pay to go private-join one of the corporate anti union charters.U have options.
    Karen Lewis is a teacher not a politician, not a CEO of whatever such as Vitale, Penny P and friends on the school board- if the school board and cps knew what was good for them they would have settled this long ago- this negotiation has been going on FOREVER. My children go to CPS but they understand through discussion and debate on the topic of strikes that WE the CPS teachers do deserve to be treated with dignity, not to be bullied by an anti union mayor, we do deserve a decent contract, (some air con would be nice when my school is 106 degrees- you sure don’t see anyone down at 125 s clark sitting in the heat trying to do something productive) and not asking to have an enormous class size, some professional development during the school year, a reduction in the time preparing for and admiistering standardized tests every few months and perhaps adding some more of the arts in our school.. Come on, the strike won’t be forever- spend some quality time with your kids and hear the truth about what is happening in CPS.

  • 31. Chicagoan  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    @10 Lakeview Dad- tough timing on leaving Chicago Catholic Schools for CPS. Parochial teachers are doing so much more for so much less…I can’t imagine they have much empathy for the CTU.

  • 32. Jeanne  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    @28Chris – no kidding! They didn’t meet until 11am this morning, either. Ridiculous.

    I will say I think Vitale’s been working hard – he looks like he’s falling asleep standing up at Rahm’s press conference!

  • 33. North Side Mom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Is there a way to dissolve this union? To me it looks like it has gotten personal and so the teachers ( good ones) in the union will realize soon that they are probably standing for the bad teachers and that is not going to do them any good.

  • 34. Irving Park Mom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Karen Lewis made some remark about “having to do things differently” now to improve education. Well, all I see is that the CTU wants business as usual. There’s no merit pay, they keep step and lane, they don’t want any increase in health costs, and no teacher should have to lose their job. They don’t want anything to do with the “different” idea of teacher evaluations. I guess her idea of “doing this differently” is having A/C in the classrooms.

  • 35. HSObsessed  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    So Rahm just clarified that the only two issues that are unresolved are: 1/ CTU still wants teachers who were laid off because their school was shut down to be hired first by the schools where their former students were sent, and 2/ evaluations being part of teachers’ merit review. JCB said that 60% of the evaluation is based on qualitative feedback, and only 40% max is based on test score results, which will be phased in over time, starting in smaller increments.

  • 36. Chris  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Here is Karen’s email address…ask her why they are not working now.

    karenlewis@ctulocal1.com

  • 37. Tim  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    @30 —

    Amazing. Just amazing. Such bizarre loyalty to this completely misguided union. Wow. “Stand with teachers?” You bet. Stand with Karen Lewis? You must be joking.

    Where do I register my anger and frustration?

  • 38. chitownmom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    @30 Just because I don’t agree with the CTU striking does not mean I don’t support teachers. I have spoken with plenty of teachers who do not want to strike. My point is there is only so much that can be done, the issues remaining are not strike-able in my opinion. There is no reason to keep our kids out of school. Would love to spend quality time with my kids, however, I have to work, as do plenty of other parents. And I do spend quality time with my kids, I’d like them to continue to enjoy their quality time in school that they were so excited about over the past week. And I have read the issues, I do agree with much of the CTUs requests and I believe they have been given a fair compromise. This is not all on CPS, there are two parties at the table and both need to make concessions. Not very heartwarming that KL didn’t take David Vitales call for 2 hours, hadn’t seen the details of the final offer before committing to the strike, and having no idea if negotiations would continue tomorrow. No, she’s not a politician, nor is she a good spokesperson for the CTU.

  • 39. let the snarky comments begin  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    @ JAy There are just as many good teacher in low performing schools as bad teachers. I would argue there is a combo of teachers at ALL schools including high performing schools. The teachers who work in low performing schools are dealing with; children who have never attended school until first grade, no early childhood, POVERTY, NEGLECT and many other societal woes. Sorry,,, you’re argument is pretty baseless. Any teacher can back me up here. Not all high performing schools have all the high performing teachers…they just have the one variable that really matters. KIds frim “high performing” homes.

  • 40. JustanotherCPSparent  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I asked this question before and got mixed answers. I need to go into my child’s school tomorrow to get into my mailbox and get deposits from the safe (Pto stuff). Can I do that? Or would that be considered crossing a picket line?

  • 41. Ncm  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    @ 5 – If there is such a rally, I will be there.

  • 42. Jay  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    God, Brizard needs to go. The guy does not want to be up there, and every time I hear him on NPR it’s just kick the can. @#35 and neither of those issues can be the reason for a legal strike. I’m glad Police and Firefighters can’t strike, could you imagine if they were headed by someone determined to strike!?

  • 43. junior  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    @4 anonymouse

    During Rahm’s press conference, they said that class size language from the previous contract would be retained and that additional funds would be added to the pool that helps resolve those issues.

  • 44. lawmom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Boo Hoo — let’s get parents out there on a mike to voice their unhappiness and we gain media attention fast and beat down the BS on both sides.

  • 45. EdgewaterMom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    If I understood Karen Lewis correctly (and I am not sure that I did because she was not very clear), the CTU gave a list of demands and they have NO INTENTION of negotiating on ANY of them. So, the teachers are going to strike until CPS agrees to every one of their demands – including forcing principals to hire teachers who were laid off?

    I know that many teachers really like Karen Lewis, but I have to say that she really does not do a good job representing them. It was almost painful to watch. I realize that she is not a politician, but she was almost incoherent.

    I don’t think that I have seen the full list of demands that the CTU gave to CPS (maybe it is on the website). I guess I really need to read that, because after listening to her, I am not really sure what they are striking for.

  • 46. Tim  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    @41 Ncm —

    Me too. Again, if anyone knows of any organizations that plans to protest what this union is choosing to do to our kids, please post the information here. Thanks.

  • 47. Todd Pytel  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Another major issue I don’t yet have a clear picture of is class size. This, like many important things, is not something that CTU can officially strike over due to SB7, but is a huge issue to teachers (and parents, I should hope). The offer at cps.edu (which I’m not still not sure was ever formally presented to the CTU) says that “The Board remains committed to protecting and maintaining current class sizes.” Yeah… that sounds nice, but it’s not a number. Without a number attached, I would expect the Board’s commitment to last right up until they have to reallocate positions a couple weeks from now.

    This issue, by itself and apart from any other concessions, will motivate a significant number of teachers to strike. I’ll be very curious to learn more about where exactly the Board stands on it.

  • 48. Jay  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    @Snarky(39)–Sure but, the CTU would like to have all those teachers hired before a principal can hire anyone else. As Rahm said 1) That is legally a non strippable issue and 2) If you are holding principals accountable they need to be in charge of hiring not CPS or CTU.

  • 49. EdgewaterMom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    @40 I would not attempt to cross the picket line to go into your school tomorrow. I have a feeling that it will be very ugly. I feel sorry for the families who have no choice but to take their child to the schools that will be providing meals tomorrow.

  • 50. Chris  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    @42 If Police and FF can’t strike, why can teachers? Teachers can’t lose in this. The law mandates so many days of school so they will not lose pay. There is nothing to lose for striking…only gains for CTU. BTW, the strike did not happen until after September so that teachers would have healthcare for the month.

    I still can’t get over the “marathon” negotiation session today. I think they quit at mile 11.

  • 51. chitownmom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    @47 Class size is very important to me as a parent, but as you point out, not something that is officially be strike-able. So please keep the kids in school until it’s figured out.

  • 52. mamajama  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    I’m still upset that I can’t use our own school as an option since we don’t live in the neighborhood, that would have helped a bit. Can’t help but think that CPS planned that so that less people would use that option.

  • 53. Jay  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    @47 It seems to me CTU is striking over all the non strikable issues. Well now class size is zero. Which do we prefer?

  • 54. junior  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    @47 Todd

    Again, if I heard correctly, Vitale said that language on class size from the previous contract would be retained and additional funds allocated to remediating class size issues that arise.

  • 55. anonymouse teacher  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I was hoping for a clear cut number over which no room would be allowed to go. Previous language did nothing to prevent class sizes upwards of 35+. All it did was give recommendations. I am glad they are putting more $$ to the issue and I am interested what that means in reality.
    I would love to see a cap that is strictly enforced. Even a 30 kids per room cap would be better than the many classrooms that have nearly 40 or more kids in them.

  • 56. King Ph.d.  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Mr. Pytel,

    The way the 35% comes is from the standardized test score component of the evaluation. If the teacher’s students dont score high enough on the test or dont improve, the teacher will get a low performance rating and will eventually get fired. As a society we have spent billions of dollars trying to raise poor inner city childrens test score without success. Most recently the district under No Child Left Behind has been closing low scoring schools. This has been a failure. Now the district under mandates from the Department of Education wants to try firing teachers. How can a teacher make a child that isnt being put to bed on time or getting a decent meal get good test results? This is the problem.

    The Mayor just got up on the podium and said, the law says I dont have to negotiate teacher evaluations based on test scores and thumbed his nose at them. He said we talked to the CTU about it, but we ARE going to do it.

    From the teachers perspective, they have nothing to lose. In the long run they will get fired because these test scores for low income kids have barely moved in 20 years. The teachers will be deemed poor performers for something they have little control over.

  • 57. Sad Chicago Mom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    After watching both press conferences, I know the city cares about the education and safety of Chicago’s children and that the CTU (and likely not all of the teachers) don’t want teachers to be evaluated, want to force schools to hire the worst of the existing teachers before letting them hire the best of all of the other teachers in the world. And, theyv want air conditioning.

    I think the CTU is handling this poorly. Maybe it does care about the kids. That caring, however, is not present in its rhetoric.

  • 58. SutherlandParent  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    @40, my guess is that it would be considered crossing a picket line, particularly in some neighborhoods (I’d count my neighborhood as one). I’d say, if you have (unpaid!) business to do, then you should go ahead. But that’s my feeling, after also drinking a bit during KL’s press conference 🙂

  • 59. junior  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    @47 Todd

    … So, if the language in the current contract was good enough for CTU last time round, why is is a strikable issue now?

    Frankly, I think this is just a PR talking point because Lewis thinks it will get parents behind her. WTF is this strike about? I have no idea.

    Please don’t give me a laundry list of what is wrong with our schools. Tell me what it will take to get teachers back into class… and explain to me which issue was so serious that a strike was preferable than simply extending the deadline for a few more days of negotiations. The public has a right to know why we are this point?

  • 60. Jay  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    @59 Strike by choice.

  • 61. Patricia  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    @55 Does CPS or CTU have the exact stats on class size? I hear a lot of the extremes which make for a good soundbite, but what is the actual number of classrooms over X? Exactly where are they? Exactly what is the brick and mortar capacity in the building and surrounding schools? Once you look at the data, then a game plan for addressing it can be designed. Does CTU have this data available since it is putting 350,000 kids on the street? I would assume there is a spreadsheet that has been analyzed since this is a top priority…………sorry everything is a top priority according to Queen Lewis. Anyone know?

    I know those with large class size are suffering. I get that. I am not asking for individual cases. I am asking to see the CTU detailed analysis for one of the many TOP priorities that are keeping our kids from learning at school.

  • 62. Concerned Parent  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    What many people do not understand are the socio-economic issues at failing schools. When parents cannot help their children, when children live in severe poverty and when CPS has no additional resources (social workers, psychologists or nurses) on a regular basis, these children do not thrive. These are society’s throw away children which the Mayor isn’t going to spend money on, except when they get older and end up getting arrested and possibly end up in jail. If a child has not slept all night & comes to school and cannot stay awake to learn, is that the teacher’s fault? Or when parents don’t bring the child and they miss too many days to progress in school, is that the teacher’s fault?

  • 63. AnonMom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Many have discussed that teachers haven’t felt respected. Honestly, I don’t know if the strike is going to help improve this. If this drags out and families don’t think the strike is valid, it may have the opposite effect.

  • 64. not a cps parent  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    ok, to those of you who send your children to cps, a strike is always a possibility. Parents have had a year to figure out what do with their children in the event of a strike, so it is their own fault if they have to cross a picket line

  • 65. Todd Pytel  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    @51 (chitownmom) – I’m not sure you’re clear on the legalities here. Class size is very much something that can be written into the contract. But the CTU leadership may not declare it as a reason for striking due to the restrictions of SB7.

    Again, it’s not at all clear what the class size language in the current CPS offer actually is. However, if it’s important to you that your child’s classes have any size limits whatsoever, then you should stand with your child’s teachers in pushing for a number if one does not yet exist. Your statement that we should “keep the kids in school until it’s figured out” is frighteningly naive. If there isn’t a number in the contract, then you can expect no restraint from the Board in filling your student’s classroom until children are bursting out the windows.

  • 66. Todd Pytel  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    @59 (junior) – Again, it’s not at all clear to me what the current class size language looks like. Saying “We’re committed to maintaining current class size” is not the same as “The limit is 32 students in a HS class, etc.” Without an actual number attached, those assurances are meaningless. Now, maybe there is a number.. I don’t know. It will certainly be high on my list of questions for tomorrow.

  • 67. Jay  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    @65 Maybe this is why KL refuses to say what she is asking for, because the strike-able issues will be or have been met. What do you think?

  • 68. SutherlandParent  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    I’m sure everyone would like to see smaller class sizes, but I just don’t understand how that would work in schools that have no extra space, short of redrawing school boundaries or building additions. A few years ago, the administration brought in CPS to crack down on kids who were using fake addresses or who lived outside the boundaries to get into our school, so we can’t whittle down numbers much there, and there surely isn’t money for additions. We have classes with 36 kids, which everyone hates, but we also have no lunch room, no art room and no library. We have to take every kid who lives in the boundaries, so how do we get smaller class sizes?

  • 69. chitownmom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    @65 You’re absolutely right, I am not at all clear on the legalities, I’m actually quite confused by all of this. So you’re saying the number can be written into the contract now, but it isn’t? Is the number in the contract the same as in the last contract? Do you think the strike would be avoided if CPS committed to a 28 cap on class size? I am truly curious since this seems to be a big talking point with the disclaimer ‘this is not an issue we can strike on’ always attached. I am having a difficult time understanding what this strike is about. If a strike cannot resolve this issue, and this is one of the primary issues, why is there a strike? I hope there is no implied negative tone here, I am really trying to understand this and appreciate clarification.

  • 70. junior  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    @65 Todd

    Can anyone confirm or refute, for Todd, what I believe I heard from the mayory’s press conference — that class size language in the contract would remain the same as the prior contract???

    Maybe Todd will then oppose the strike!

    Or move his goalposts?

  • 71. Todd Pytel  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    @56 (King Ph.d.) – “The way the 35% comes is from the standardized test score component of the evaluation.”

    Thanks, but I’m quite familiar with REACH and how its components break down. And Karen and Jesse made separate reference to high-stakes testing in evaluations. That 35% number appeared to be coming from somewhere else, at least as far as I could tell.

  • 72. HS Mom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    @28 – Chris – Rahm/CPS said they were available all night

    Boy, Lewis really pulled one over on the parents. I think we’ll be going into “hardball” mode. We will be finishing up with CPS. I really feel for those with young kids. I would never put my child in a position to be used as “poster child” for the union and have their education held hostage – outside of responsible control.

    How it gets handled from here will dictate whether Chicago becomes the pillar for the republican party.

  • 73. Grace  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2012/09/04/the-reader-goes-to-the-ctu-labor-day-rally

    Maybe this might help.

  • 74. junior  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    @66 Todd

    Look at Article 28 of your contract. It includes class size language such as…

    28 at the kindergarten level
    28 at the primary level
    31 at the intermediate level and upper grade level
    20 in the education and vocational guidance centers (if any)

    …. and a lot of other stuff/

  • 75. Bookworm  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Raise your hand has a great interactive map on their blog detailing where both CPS and community child care options are all around the city. The CPS programs are not ideal- it looks like there are plenty of other sites to use that will go all day.

    Our school has a co-op organized parent to parent to help. There is a strike school in Uptown on the Teachers for Social Justice page as well.
    Do think that if CPS was serious about the class size concession it would be worded so that CTU could depend on it. It’s kind of tricky to put a concession out there that really doesn’t mean anything on paper with a trained negotiator.
    This is probably the only time in our kid’s CPS experience that anyone could get the leverage to get and keep the class sizes more manageable.
    Looks that the pr machine in alive and well even on CPSo.

    Rahm is wrong on one point- it’s my kids being affected not his nor I imagine those of any of his “team”.

  • 76. Angie  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    @70. junior :”Can anyone confirm or refute, for Todd, what I believe I heard from the mayory’s press conference — that class size language in the contract would remain the same as the prior contract???”

    Yes, that’s what they said. the current contract class size is:

    28 at the kindergarten level
    28 at the primary level
    31 at the intermediate level and upper grade level
    20 in the education and vocational guidance centers (if any)

  • 77. Portage Mom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I hear CTU and CPS are back at the bargaining table. Where that will lead I can’t say. I would love for it to mean our kids will be back in school tomorrow but after seeing how things have progressed I am not hopeful.

  • 78. Todd Pytel  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    @junior – There’s certainly more to supporting the strike than *just* class size, though that would almost certainly be the biggest single issue left for me.

    And, honestly, if you think it’s impossible for me to oppose the strike, then you haven’t been listening to me very well. I find your goalpost-moving snark pretty offensive, actually. I’ve been extraordinarily honest about the issues I think are most important, and those positions of both CPS and CTU that I disagree with. If I can’t convince you that at least some educators hold principled positions, I’m not sure who can.

  • 79. AnonMom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    When listening to Karen Lewis tonight I thought of the Sun Times article that quoted Alderman Carrie Austin.

    “Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), powerful chairman of the City Council’s Budget Committee, added fuel to the fire by declaring Chicago’s first teachers strike since 1987 “inevitable” and saying parents had better be prepared for it.

    Austin (34th) blamed Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

    “They’ve already decided this is what they’re going to do. I think they want to” strike, Austin said after an Illinois Delegation breakfast hosted by the Chicago Federation of Labor.

    “Karen Lewis, their president, says they want to. [She’s essentially saying], ‘I’m gonna show you.’ That’s what she projects. … They don’t want to talk. They don’t want to negotiate. Not them — her. I don’t believe she wants to talk. That’s unfair to our children because education has to be more important than you getting an additional two percent.”

    Austin advised parents whose children attend Chicago Public Schools to make alternative plans for their kids.”

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/14911502-418/rahm-emanuel-to-cut-short-his-trip-to-democratic-national-convention.html

  • 80. Patricia  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Thanks for getting the contract language, Junior and Angie, I was about to post it a 3rd time.

    CPS proposed to maintain class size language per last contract is also in the negotiation document before the 10 day notice that SSI posted on the other string. It has been on the table for what looks like about 2 weeks.

    OK, if it took 3 of us on this site, under 5 minutes to find the language on class size in the contract…………YET countless teachers on this blog lament about class size and do not know the details. Look in the contract! These are the same 98% of teachers who “voted to give Queen Lewis leverage to strike.”

    I respect teachers for the tough job they do, but I do NOT respect them for striking especially since it is still not clear what the heck the CTU is striking about.

  • 81. EdgewaterMom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    @78 I agree – I thought that Junior’s comment about you moving the goal-post was uncalled for. I really appreciate your honesty and the time and effort that you put into your posts. Based on your comments here, you obviously were not thrilled with what Karen Lewis had to say tonight. It sounds like you are reserving your final judgement until you have a chance to ask questions and get the facts.

    If teachers do ask more questions tomorrow and decide that they disagree with Karen Lewis, do they have any options at this point? Since they already gave her the approval to strike, it doesn’t seem like there is much they can do if they disagree with her now (although I could be wrong).

  • 82. Conscious  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Saying you don’t support the CTU but you support the teachers is a complete contradiction! The CTU is made up of the teachers! The teachers voices have been heard loud enough after so many years of them being ignored. The teachers made up of moms, dads, grandparents and ordinary people called the strike, not the CTU leadership!

    Karen Lewis is not to blame for this mess. It’s the lack of leadership by CPS and the mayor. Where was JCB and the mayor all this time?Why didn’t CPS put their best offer out 15 months ago when negotiations began? At least we could’ve had time to come to some type of resolution.

    However, CPS and the incompetent leadership style of city hall and our CEO has created this disaster. The mayor was bent on destroying the CTU since day one. Taking away their raises, ramming down a longer day and school year. Passing legislation (SB-7) designed to attack and weaken the teachers of Chicago only, the arbitrator ruling, shutting down schools, firing teachers of no fault of their own etc. etc. etc.

    The writing was on the wall for months. I bet you former Mayor Daley is smiling after the current mayor insulted his previous contract deals and the way he ran the city. I sure do wish I was a fly on the wall at the mayors house listening to him scream and curse at Karen Lewis through the tv. The 25% people kept mentioning is in regards to the REACH evaluation. Once it gets implemented, the eval. would lower the ratings of many teachers thus costing them their jobs.

    Please don’t start the games of I wish I got a 3% raise or I didn’t get a raise how dare they strike. What price do you put on societies educators who inspire, teach and motivate our children to succeed in life? Do we value them only when the economy is doing well? Or do we tare them down since you don’t have what they and others have? Think about it. If your going to protest head down to CPS and City Hall and let your voices be heard!

  • 83. Ncm  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    There should be a no strike clause. Educating children is an essential public service that should not be able to be ceased at 10 pm on a Sunday night by the leadership of an organization who didn’t even know the latest proposal.

    I have markers and poster board if any anti-Lewis/CTU, pro-teacher, our kids need to be in school parents want to rally at the Mart tomorrow. I can take my lunch out front during lunch all week. I do not know if I can get t-shirts made in time….

  • 84. Unconscious  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    We were all screaming obscenities at Lewis.

  • 85. junior  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    @78 Todd

    I absolutely respect your ability to articulate independent positions. Please don’t take my goal post comment the wrong way.

    But this is serious now. Our kids are out of school, and I’m going to do my best to interrogate every teacher as to what issues are so important to keep them out of class. When you get a chance, could you please answer that? I really would like to know. If class size is not an issue, what are the issues. Please, I am at a loss to understand this labor action and I’d really like to know.

  • 86. HS Mom  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Junior – you are stating it as I heard it – class size to be the same, will be given extra funds to deal with unique circumstances. Quoted by mayor. I believe that the podcast is online WGN – I’m too tired to check it out.

  • 87. Angie  |  September 9, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    @82. Conscious : “Saying you don’t support the CTU but you support the teachers is a complete contradiction!”

    Saying you don’t want to strike but voting for it before you’re even close to seeing the final offer is also a contradiction, yet the teachers have done it.

  • 88. Haven't had a raise in years...  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Dissolve the UNION!!!!

  • 89. let the snarky comments begin  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Please keep in mind that the recall issue is so important right now to CTU because Rahm is closing 100 city school and they will be turned into Charters. That is a lot of jobs. This is the trend is education currently. Might not affect your/my child right now because we won’t have our schools closed in the near future, but it will affect everyone in this city at some point. Again, ALL the teachers at low performing schools are not “bad” teachers. That is just not true. Ask the teachers at any high performing school. The variable are the students. Becuase I am a good teacher (my own opinion and my evaluations) and I really do choose to stay at my neighborhood school and teach (I have been offered other positions), I take great offense to the ALL teachers are bad in the recall system. The bad ones should be gone, which I am all for, if principals had done their job and evaluated them correctly and then started the process for dismissal. These are the same principlas that Rahm is asking for the public to trust.

  • 90. Grace  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:02 am

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8757

    These videos might help to connect the dots.

    The CTU is actually fighting a battle against the privatization of our public schools. The same fight is going on in cities across the country. All you have to do is read Diane Ravitch’s blog to know what is going on throughout American cities.

    Millionaires and billionaires use their foundations (Gates, Broad, Walton, DFER, SFER, Stand for Children, StandFirst) to control public education for their own profit. We saw that with IL SB7, remember?

    They push disproven ideas like using students’ test scores to evaluate teachers’ value-added. Two major studies by the U. of Wis at Madison and the U. of Virginia found no merit to this idea. But the Duncan’s Dept. of Ed is pushing hard on this through Race to the Top grants. And recently these same foundations wrote a letter to the DoE asking that teachers’ test-score-based evaluations track back to the college of education they attended.

    This level of assault on our K-12 schools and universities is extremely well-funded, coordinated and controlled.

    It lacks the big money, but the CTU has truth on its side.

    CPS students and teachers often suffer in the heat of our summers. The longer year and day make it worse. High-stakes testing has been a windfall for McGraw Hill and Pearson, while it has sucked billions in funds from schools and done nothing to help outcomes for students living in poverty.

    CTU had no other choice than to strike.

  • 91. Tchr  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Todd, the 28 cap in primary is a joke. There are 33-35 kids in each of the K-2 classrooms in my school. As said before, it is not grievable until it gets to 35. What does that mean? That 28 isn’t really the limit, but 35 is. Except other classrooms have more than 35 too!

    I would like that language in the contract to change or to state what will happen if there is not enough room or money to add a new class and teacher. Having a Teacher’s aide would be a start, but where is the money for that?

  • 92. Jay  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:05 am

    @83 — Amen.

  • 93. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:07 am

    The recall issue becomes less important to parents as they consider options outside of CPS.

  • 94. Todd Pytel  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:07 am

    @Patricia – I’ve seen enough wrangling not to trust anything until I see the final legal language. I don’t have that at the moment. If the language is substantially identical, that will be a good thing.

    @EdgewaterMom – “It sounds like you are reserving your final judgement until you have a chance to ask questions and get the facts.”

    Correct. And I suggest that others do the same. As I said earlier, both sides play their games to sway the media. I hope, against all odds, that we can work together to improve our public discourse so that those kinds of games are no longer productive for people to play.

  • 95. Conscious  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Angie you continue to miss the point. No teacher ever wants to strike. They rather be in the classroom teaching. However, when the powers to be (CPS & City Hall) make your job difficult and set you and your students up for failure (such as not providing enough resources or support) than what do you expect? Their fighting to end the politics in education. I don’t see politicians telling doctors how to treat their patients. I don’t see mechanics telling lawyers how to win a case. Then why is it politicians at the board/city hall are telling teachers how to run their classroom? They no nothing, nada, zip about education. Teachers are fed up! Plain and simple. It the school board was elected and we had a mayor without such a big ego this could’ve been avoided.

  • 96. chitownmom  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:08 am

    @82 I said I don’t support the CTU strike. Are you implying the only way I can support teachers is by blindly agreeing with everything the CTU does? Here is how I support my teachers, I serve on my PTA board, I attend all LSC meetings, I donate to our independent fundraising committee generously and often (resulting in many classroom supplies and technology), I donate to other fundraising efforts that have funded full day kindergarten programs at our school and paid for teachers aides, I volunteer in the classroom at least monthly, serve as a room parent for both my children’s classes, I bake for bake sales, and purchase gift certificates for my children’s teachers and assistants multiple times a year, I donate books to the classroom, I provide requested supplies for the classroom. I’m sure I could come up with more examples of how I support teachers. Believe me, I am well aware that not all schools have the type of parental support mine does. As a very concerned parent, I have every right to disagree with how this situation has been handled on both sides of the table. Frankly, at this point, I think CPS has offered a fair contract and I strongly disagree with a strike tomorrow. And I still support teachers and will bring them food and coffee on the picket lines. Sorry for the contradiction.

  • 97. Grace  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:08 am

    ttp://dianeravitch.net/2012/09/10/why-the-cps-strike-matters/

    A reader posted this on Diane Ravitch’s blog.

    “My heart is sad for the kids and teachers in Chicago. Still, I’m hoping that something good comes of the strike – not just for teachers and kids but in our national conversation about education (or lack thereof).

    We need people, lots of them, to start talking about, voting for, and demanding that, as a nation, we commit ourselves (in word and deed) to a system of free, just, and forward minded public education – not testing, privatization schemes, or crazy accountability schemes that take the focus off of what really matters.

    We need real education – context specific, developmentally appropriate, child focused, forward thinking teaching and learning in every corner of this country that is full of professional educators, rich curriculum, and even richer experiences, community engagement, and family participation.

    If anyone thinks this strike is just another union “ploy” for higher pay or less “working time” they are sorely mistaken. And while workers should be entitled to protect their rights, the CPS strike is about the heart and soul of public schooling, the deprofessionalization of teachers, and the ways that the education “crisis” nation wide has been co-opted as a means of pushing privatization as the be-all-and-end-all solution to the “achievement gap”.

    Schools are not businesses, children are not widgets, and teachers are not robots or machines. Let’s start there.”

  • 98. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:09 am

    @89 What exactly is the CTU asking for with recalled teachers? Is there supposed to be a 100% guarantee that every recalled teacher will be rehired before ANY other teacher is ever hired? I thought that the provisions that CPS included for recall seemed fair.

    Do we really want to FORCE principals to hire specific teachers? I certainly do not think that all teachers in the displaced pool are bad. But I also do not think that they are automatically the best person for the job just because they are in the displaced pool.

    Would it be possible to give principals an incentive to hire teachers from the displaced pool, rather than forcing their hand? Would that meet the CTU’s expectations?

  • 99. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:09 am

    @90 Grace

    Like it or not, this strike is only going to further motivate and justify the charter proponents. All the charter kids are still in school. Many of them have happy, unionized teachers.

    Of course Karen Lewis’ could not resist insulting thousands of teachers in her press remarks by suggesting those are not “real schools”.

  • 100. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:10 am

    @89 Snarky. OK, so now we have to add to “kill the charter movement” to the contract negotiations? Will my kids EVER go back to school again? Aren’t charters a legislated? So does legislation now have to be rewritten to end this strike?

    I understand you are probably trying to provide a more national framework…………but this strike is impacting my “local kids”. Yes, I am being quite sarcastic, but am trying to illustrate as many on this blog have tried to illustrate that EVERYTHING cannot be settled through labor negotiations. I am very resentful of CTU using my children to fight the charter movement.

  • 101. Sher  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I am so upset with CPS we must demand that all the issued get addressed for our kids this system has been broken for years. Class size, evual. On teachers, resources, among using the longer day wisely & paying our qualifying teachers. I have experienced the best & worst of CPS depending on the school my kids attended. My children this year has 37 kids in their class. That is just crazy! And recess with no running allowed! Among placing a teacher teaching a subject that they haven’t taught in 10 years. It is just crazy!!! Something has to change!!

  • 102. Grace  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:13 am

    http://chiteacherx.blogspot.com/2012/09/why-im-striking-jcb.html

    “Why I’m striking, JCB

    When you make me cram 30-50 kids in my classroom with no air conditioning so that temperatures hit 96 degrees, that hurts our kids.

    When you lock down our schools with metal detectors and arrest brothers for play-fighting in the halls, that hurts our kids.

    When you take 18-25 days out of the school year for high stakes testing that is not even scientifically applicable for many of our students, that hurts our kids.

    When you spend millions on your pet programs, but there’s no money for school level repairs, so the roof leaks on my students at their desks when it rains, that hurts our kids.

    When you unilaterally institute a longer school day, insult us by calling it a “full school day” and then provide no implementation support, throwing our schools into chaos, that hurts our kids.

    When you support Mayor Emanuel’s TIF program in diverting hundreds of millions of dollars of school funds into to the pockets of wealthy developers like billionaire member of your school board, Penny Pritzker so she can build more hotels, that not only hurts kids, but somebody should be going to jail.

    When you close and turnaround schools disrupting thousands of kids’ lives and educations and often plunging them into violence and have no data to support your practice, that hurts our kids.

    When you leave thousands of kids in classrooms with no teacher for weeks and months on end due to central office bureaucracy trumping basic needs of students, that not only hurts our kids, it basically ruins the whole idea of why we have a district at all.

    When you, rather than bargain on any of this stuff set up fake school centers staffed by positively motived Central Office staff, many of whom are terribly pissed to be pressed into veritable “scabitude” when they know you are wrong, and you equip them with a manual that tells them things like, “communicate with words”, that not only hurts our kids, but it suggests you have no idea how to run a system with their welfare in mind.

    When you do enough of this, it makes me wonder if you really see our students as “our kids” or “other people’s children”.

    And at that moment, I am willing to sacrifice an awful lot to protect the students I serve every day. I am not hurting our kids by striking, I’m striking to restore some semblance of reasonable care for students to this system. I’m doing to tell you, “No, YOU are the one hurting our children, and you need to STOP because what you are doing is wrong, and you are robbing students of their educational opportunities.

    I ask anyone who does remotely care about the kids we teach and learn from and triumph and cheer and cry and grow with., to stand with us and fight for a better future for our kids.

    See you on the picket line, my friend.”

    Posted by Xian Barrett

  • 103. Forthegirl  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Observation: when a woman talks tough during “LABOR” talks why is she always branded antagonist, offensive, combative, etc” but if it is a man he gets a pass?? If you read through or have followed the comments made by the mayor from the moment he took office they have matched and exceeded Lewis in cockiness, etc. the difference is she is privately funded (paid by dues) and he is our elected official. Why does he get a pass? It is very sexist….”That Woman”…. being branded about as if it is a curse word. For shame. I thought we have come a long way, but good ole Chicago seems to live in the dark ages.

    By all means Disagree with her position, but attacks like I see being made about her weight, education, tone, dress, etc. are VERY sexist.

  • 104. Forthegirl  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Last time I checked a LABOR BOSS was supposed to do exactly what she is doing. Unless I am confused about the role of a labor boss???

  • 105. Mom to three in CPS and Fully Certified Teacher  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:16 am

    @42 police and fire have binding arbitration,a concession the city had to give up when police and fire allowed the no strike clause in their contracts. Teachers don’t have it, perhaps if the city made that concession to the teachers they would allow a no strike clause into their contracts. For some reason everyone excludes that simple yet salient fact when they talk about who can and can’t strike.

    Edwin Benn is an independent federal arbitrator. He published a non binding “fact finding” report in July that said the teachers deserved somewhere in the range of a 20 percent raise the first year alone. Clearly that is unrealistic currently. Nevertheless had the teachers been bound by binding arbitration they would have received a big fat raise this year and would have had to forgo the recall they want.

    Every time in recent history a police or fire contract has been ratified its been done because a federal arbitrator ruled on the situation resulting in huge sums of money being retroactively paid to members of both unions. In fact, currently both unions are working under a contract that expired in June of this year. No doubt neither union will be able reach an agreement and in about three years you will hear about retro checks being cut to police and fire members because a federal arbitrator awarded them pay increases retroactively.

  • 106. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:17 am

    @95. Conscious: “Angie you continue to miss the point. No teacher ever wants to strike. They rather be in the classroom teaching.”

    When 98% vote for strike, I find it hard to believe. You thought that authorizing the strike would make CPS give in to your demands. Well, they pretty much did, just look at their offer above. But it still isn’t enough. So don’t tell me you did not want this back when you voted.

  • 107. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Where is this offer coming from? Meaning who says this is the full and correct offer?

  • 108. Conscious  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:19 am

    A fair contract is one that provides the necessary resources, supplies, and support to every CPS school, not just a few . A fair contract is one that values it’s employees and gives them the support they need to succeed in the classroom.

    CPS has a habit of selecting schools, designate them as poor performing, starve them of resources, sets them up for failure and shuts them down. This happens in predominately neighborhoods with minorities. How fair is that?

    CPS leadership is in disarray with a revolving door at positions. There’s no stability people and guess what? CEO JCB is out I bet in a few months after this fiasco and will have what our 5th or 6th CEO of CPS in only a few years. Now do you understand what educators are fighting for?

  • 109. Grace  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:21 am

    http://dianeravitch.net/category/charter-schools/

    Here are excerpts of two posts on charters, fyi.

    1.) “Charter Schools and Magnet Schools”
    “A reader asked me to describe the differences between charter schools and magnet schools
    This is what came to mind.
    I welcome readers’ thoughts about other differences.”

    2.) “Another Charter Study: Same Results, No Difference”
    Yet another charter school study finds no difference between performance of charter schools and public schools.
    Why do reformers continue to push charters as the “answer” in cities across the nation, like Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Detroit, etc.? Do reformers read research?
    This one was conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and the charter-friendly Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington.
    Here is the summary from the U.S. Department of Education’s “What Works Clearinghouse”:”

  • 110. Ncm  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:23 am

    @105 – further evidence of why unions are archaic and a drain on taxpayers.

  • 111. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:24 am

    @ lawmom

    ” I think Karen Lewis is such a poor role model for teachers – she is adversarial, without any reason”

    I think the teachers would disagree with this statement, hence the strike!

    Why is she a poor role model? Because she is not as polished and glib as the mayor? A politician?

  • 112. Jay  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:26 am

    @Grace, Forthegirl, and conscious: If this strike is about perceived race, gender, and socioeconomic issues, I may have to start looking into charters, because those issues might take a while to be resolved to anyone’s satisfaction.

  • 113. chitownmom  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:27 am

    I understand, I just do not think the CTU will get everything on the checklist. There’s just no money. So what are the sticking points? Where is the compromise? Please do not misunderstand me, I do think these are all important things for all children, I just don’t think it’s possible to have everything I read on these blogs, CTUs website, media, etc. addressed. And I don’t think a strike will solve these issues either. I know emotions are high right now, and for good reasons, but the realist in me says it can’t all be done now. I also think some real progress has been made with the last offer from CPS.

  • 114. Tim  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:27 am

    @103 forthegirl —
    “[A]ttacks like I see being made about her weight, education, tone, dress, etc. are VERY sexist.”

    Please find even a single example on this blog that makes such an attack. They do not exist. You are attacking a made-up strawman. I despise what Karen Lewis is doing, but I don’t give a damn what she looks like.

    I am still waiting for a single pro-CTU poster to identify with specificity what issue or issues they are striking over. Don’t blather on and on about how CPS is unfair or mean or unjust. What precise strikeable issues are you abandoning our kids over? Seriously, can ANYONE identify those specific issues? If so, please do. KL failed to do so in her press conference. Can anyone? Anyone at all?

  • 115. cpsteacher  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:27 am

    @103- I NOTICED the tone too. I wasn’t going to call it sexist but another term……?? Hmmm…..just wondering aloud…” if she looked a different way would the comments about her speech and manner be an issue”? I wonder

  • 116. Conscious  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Angie the decision was already made by the mayor not the CTU. This is a man made disaster made from city hall back in May of last year. The mayor made it known he was going after the educators of Chicago, not the other way around.

  • 117. cpsteacher  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Tim why do you need someone else to host/plan it? You are all fired up? Plan it.

  • 118. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:30 am

    @107. Frank: the offer is on CPS site. http://www.cps.edu/News/Announcements/Pages/09_09_2012_A1.aspx

  • 119. Katy  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Touché Tim

  • 120. Haven't had a raise in years...  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:31 am

    I second that Touche Tim!

  • 121. Grace  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Diane Ravitch:
    “Chicago is first district in nation to stand up to DFER, Stand for Children, other anti-union, pro-privatization, anti-teacher groups.”

    Think about that. Karen Lewis, Jesse Sharkey and their teachers are the FIRST in the country to stand up to the wealthiest and most powerful Americans who want to take control of our public schools and push policies that they will profit from.

  • 122. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:32 am

    @108. Conscious: I’ve heard all the union lies and platitudes about 3,000 times by now, and I still don’t buy any of them.

  • 123. Tim  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:32 am

    @117 cpsteacher —

    True enough. But I have a job to go to. One where I don’t get paid more simply for showing up and one that is increasingly demanding in this horrible economy. One where I don’t get to just go home if i feel “disrespected” by my employer. I am willing and eager to help with any rally against this horrendous action by CTU, but I am unable to lead such an action.

  • 124. let the snarky comments begin  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:32 am

    About recall not sure exactly. I have never seen any language (this doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist) stating that only a recall teacher can be hired. I think the idea is that they should recieve an interview. I might be wrong…I am admitting this so please don’t jump down my throat any angry posters!
    Charter schools aren’t legislated. They are given certain monies but I beileve that is the discretion of the higher ups. Just stating it is not advantageous for anyone to be short sighted. There is an agenda and public education is changing. Maybe in some instances a charter can be excellent. My problem Patirica is that the people who will be forced into Charters (not high performing ones either) are all the minority and poor students. There will not be an SE school closed not a gifted nor a magnet school which will be shut down in middle class neighborhoods. My son attends CPS, I get the concern because I too have them. But there are some HUGELY important issues here and a lot are tied in with the so-called “education reform” movement being propagated by charters and the people who benefit (financially) and own them. If people are concerned about bad teachers and teachers abusing their authority (like on some previous posts) I would be holding my breath to see how these issues would be handeled by a private/charter school where often they are run by boards with non-educators. My son is not going to school tomorrow either…and I love him, just as much as you love your children. I think there are some pretty important issues here at stake, even though I am certain my child’s school will not close soon…I know everyone is not as fortunate.

  • 125. Katy  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:33 am

    @ tim,

    I don’t think for the girl said anyone on the blog made the comments. In fact a lot on the blog is in response from news, press releases, etc. so why can’t forthegirl also comment on what she is hearing? Or can only one side comment tonight? I must have missed that memo from cpsobsessed .

  • 126. Ncm  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:33 am

    @111 – because she is unprofessional, name calls, and doesn’t call a spade a spade. She’s the leader of a labor union seemingly doing her job to protect the union’s members. The members are the teachers, not the kids. She is unbelievable when she says the strike is for betterment of the children’s education. It’s for the betterment of members’ livelihood.

  • 127. falconergrad  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:33 am

    I was very insulted to hear Rahm say that he and everyone in the room, including his team and all of the journalists, did not get where they are now by going to school for 5.75 hours per day. Um, how does he know how many hours all of those people went to school? And isn’t that just another way of saying no CPS student could possibly have made anything of themselves for the last few decades? He is out of touch and his North Shore attitude is showing.

  • 128. Tim  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:36 am

    @125 Katy —

    So when she said she saw such attacks “being made,” she meant she saw them “being made” on other sites, in other medium, and she decided to protest them here, where, in fact, no such attacks have been made?

    Got it.

  • 129. Skinner Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:36 am

    I too have heard Lewis referred to as “that Woman”. Anyone passed sixth grade knows that language takes many tone and long with the tone connotations. I have yet to hear vitale or Emmanuel referred to as “that man”. It is sexist.

  • 130. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Tim, Tim, Tim….I think it is bedtime for you.

  • 131. Grace  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Money. A good question. Just where is all the money going?

    1.) TIFs — There is a surplus of about $750 million. Is it supposed to aid wealthy developers who support the mayor’s campaigns? Or go to help our students?

    2.) CPS Budget Reserves of $350 million.
    Is it prudent to retain the reserve — as all other CEOs have done — in the event an unexpected need arises — or should the mayor spend every last red cent of it, as he has proposed?

    3.) CPS Capital Budget
    The mayor cut $550 million from the capital budget. A drastic measure. Did he use it to reduce the $600 million(E) shortfall? Apparently not. We still have a shortfall. But we no longer have a reasonable capital budget to ensure our buildings are in good condition.

  • 132. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Tim, thank you for your posts.

  • 133. Tim  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:40 am

    @130Frak —

    Frank, Frank, Frankie, right after you, buddy.

    Not one poster has yet identified what specific issues CTU is striking over. And no amount of snark will change that very telling and damning fact.

  • 134. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Budget question. Where is CPS going to get the $380million to pay for the COLA raises? I am genuinely curious.

  • 135. Jay  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:44 am

    @131 Grace, the CPS budget is close to 6 billion. Which would you prefer to discuss pensions or capital plans? Let’s see, 400,000 kids I’d be happy to take my 120,000 + per child per year and go elsewhere.

  • 136. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:45 am

    @133 Just let me know where you will protest against the teachers. I am sure it will be a great teachable moment for your children.

  • 137. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Sun-Times has been great in their coverage and editorials on the strike issues:

    Editorial: Teacher union’s unwise ‘strike of choice
    http://www.suntimes.com/15049956-761/editorial-teacher-unions-unwise-strike-of-choice.html

  • 138. Tim  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:49 am

    @136 Frank —

    Not as teachable a moment as explaining to my kids that their teachers have abandoned them because, as near as I can tell from watching Karen Lewis’s press conference, not enough schools are air conditioned.

  • 139. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:52 am

    @138 Tim

    As I said months ago, give them the HVAC and let’s call it a deal.

    Strike of choice.

  • 140. Mom to three in CPS and Fully Certified Teacher  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:53 am

    @110 I can’t speak toward whether the unions are archaic or a drain on taxpayers or not. I’m not a big fan of them overall but don’t know enough to make a quantified judgement overall. I do see where labor unions are a benefit to teachers, police and fire. Beyond that I’m not sure. Maybe I’m too biased to weigh in on that statement at all. I do believe government in Illinois is way more of drain on taxpayers dollars than probably anything else including all of the labor unions.

    Has anyone given any thought to how much teachers, schools, police and fire etc could have if we didn’t have politicians here who were so busy making certain they had a space in a jail cell rather than being fiscally responsible. Maybe the unions aren’t to blame, maybe just maybe it’s the politicians. The public sector middle class can’t possibly be to blame for all the woes of society, can they? Doesn’t the government and the constituency that elected that government carry any responsibility?

  • 141. Jeff  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:54 am

    As much as I want to sympathize with the CPS teachers, it is very difficult given their continual entitlement demands and refusal to be held accountable for our children’s education. I am a major supporter of teachers because it is an important profession to our society, but have lost a lot of respect for CPS teachers over the past two years as they seem more interested in protecting their turf rather than improving our education system. They fought hard to prevent a longer day and recess even though these were clearly in the best interest of students and teachers were already being paid to work a longer day under the existing contract. All the reasons Karen Lewis cited for a strike are a smokescreen for teachers not wanting to being held accountable. All of their objections with the proposed system of accountability can be addressed if they would just cooperate with CPS in developing such a system – instead they just put up roadblocks.

    CPS teachers should be ashamed of themselves as this strike is an embarrassment to the teaching profession. They continue to blindly support a union that is not negotiating in good faith. Wise up bleeding heart parents that blindly support whatever the teachers want – they don’t have your children’s best interests at heart. Parents’ blind support of the CTU is as much to blame as teachers support for it. Karen Lewis’ claims that the CTU and teachers are “advocates for students” and doing what is in the best interests for the children is a bunch of BS – they are doing what is best for only teachers and using our children as pawns to get what they want. CPS teachers are already well paid considering their pension and benefits for life – they do not deserve the pay raise that CPS has offered them. It’s time CPS teachers stop whining and take responsibility as professional educators so they can earn (rather than demand) the respect of our community.

    Parents and taxpayers should be enraged by CTU’s antics and rise up by picketing its headquarters. The good teachers that want to be held accountable and are tired of the CTU protecting incompetent teachers from losing their jobs at the expense of our children should show some courage by crossing the picket line. Depending upon how many cross the line, perhaps CPS could keep these good teachers and replace the other teachers with the many unemployed professionals that would embrace and thrive in this career. This strategy may be impractical for this strike as it would take time to train replacements but CPS should prepare in the future to deal with the CTU as Reagan dealt with the air traffic controllers. The CTU is out of touch and no longer serves a valid purpose for our community.

  • 142. sue22  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Read comment:

    “If the strike can be called unnecessary, then so can Emmanuel’s hardball tactics against teachers early on–from SB7 to his outrageous arrogance and frequent denigration of the teaching profession.

    To understand why the strike happened you have to go back to that. And in that sense, the strike was inevitable as result of Rahm’s style of hardball–embracing Scott-Walker type anti-union legislation rather than working with unions and trash-talking teachers when he thought he was strike-proof. But that doesn’t mean that the strike is defensible. It’s just human.”

  • 143. Ncm  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:59 am

    @141 Jeff – Agreed. I have fresh markers and poster board and am ready to stand with other parents at CTU HQ.

  • 144. Jay  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:01 am

    @142 so this strike is about proving the Mayor isn’t strike proof? Sounds personal to me.

  • 145. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Good quote from a teacher about what the strike really is about:

    “I think people feel like they’ve been bullied, so they want to say, ‘OK, let’s do this, let’s dance,’” said Jay Rehak, a union delegate and veteran high school English teacher. “We know a strike is really going to be painful. People will be hurt on both sides. But in the end, it’s like saying, ‘I’ll be bloodied and you’ll be bloodied, but at least you’ll know not to bully me again.’”

  • 146. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:03 am

    @145

    (from Tribune)

  • 147. let the snarky comments begin  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:05 am

    @ Tim…you’re joking right?
    Must. Stop. Reading.
    As my principal said the other day (No, she is not in our union), “People are going to get nasty. Stay focused. Don’t let the few who are uninformed bring you down because if this happens everyone is going to think they are an expert.”
    Pretty smart. Don’t Bother being nasty Tim. I am signing off for the night! All I am going to do is dream about AIR CONDITIONING too.
    Teacher eval and recall are the two main issues in case no one has answered your pleads for info.
    Evaluation being that a teacher in an impoverished school will have 60% of their eval be based on test scores. I am sure you already know this but these school house the children with little to no parental support or early childhood education. A growth model would solve this problem. If I am expected to to teach “Sam” for one year he should make a years growth (if not more). But “Sam,” having never attended pre-school nor kindergarten as most of my students do not, will not test the same as children who come from more advantagous backgrounds. Pretty clear actually, and CPS must get this. They are wanting to cut the work force, they are planning on closing schools. I am pretty certain your school is probably not on the list so doesn;t really concern you! Now off to my dreams of air conditioning!!!!!

  • 148. sue22  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:05 am

    “Tonight, I proudly wear a red t-shirt in support of the Chicago Teachers Union strike.  They have been forced to strike – for the first time in 25 years – by the false economy of firing and penalizing the experienced teachers most needed by the students and by new teachers; by lengthening the school day as warehousing without educational services, healthy school buildings, and paid teachers; by what they have the knowledge to call the “apartheid-like system” of differential discipline policies; and by what seems to be a national tactic of demonizing teachers in order to turn public schools into corporate profit centers.

    “For instance, three years ago, a Stanford Study found that ‘students in charter schools are not faring as well as students in traditional public school.’ I’m glad to see that in a recent poll, twice as many Chicagoans trusted the Chicago Teachers Union, not the Mayor, when it comes to public education.  

    “As an 87% female workforce, and one that is nearly half African American and Latino, the Chicago Teachers Union know what their students need. This is why this country needs unions, collective bargaining, and mayors who recognize, honor and fairly pay the people our children know – and who know our children.” Steinem continued, “I join my colleagues at The Women’s Media Center, in calling on the media to ensure that women are part of this story — as teachers, parents, union members, and as journalists.”  

    Gloria Steinem

  • 149. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:05 am

    @142 I thought it was for the kids? Silly me 😉 Now it is also to recall the Gov. of Wisconsin?

    Anyone tallying up all the “ills of this word” that this strike is about? Anyone adding up the price tag too?

    So, are you saying that if SB7 was NOT passed that the CTU and teachers would have agreed to a 7 hour day with recess? Recess was not added back although it was in the contract for decades.

  • 150. sue22  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:10 am

    ” The Board also agreed that we will now have textbooks on the first day of school rather than have our students and teachers wait up to six weeks before receiving instructional materials.”
    areas. We have successfully won concessions for nursing mothers

    The union actually had to negotiate this???? And we wonder why they are striking. I support CTU

  • 151. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Patricia—we are all “intelligent” adults. Read the quote closely.

  • 152. let the snarky comments begin  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:12 am

    @Sue. Wow I never even put that together I am so used to it. I still have no spelling or MATH books. Any parents want to comment about his at thier schools,,,,are students at your neighborhood school still with textbooks becasue they are at the school I teach at!

  • 153. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:18 am

    @151 Frank, Yikes! Point well taken. I stand corrected and mixed two posts together in my mind. Glad Scot Walker is out of the picture 😉 But I do think part of the strike is about national labor issues. Which AGAIN will only prolong this strike and is nothing that can be put in a labor agreement.

  • 154. Mom to three in CPS and Fully Certified Teacher  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:18 am

    @141 how are you or anyone else for that matter qualified to determine that the longer school day and recess is beneficial for all children? For mine and numerous families like mine it is a detriment rather than a benefit, my high school children can no longer take part in a dual enrollment program at a college in the area that commenced at 330 PM because they don’t get out of school until 315. How is that beneficial for them? How is it beneficial that my junior can’t take a level 300 organic chemistry class this semester or my freshman can’t take the english102, as a follow-up to the english 101 taken over the summer, class this semester that they wanted and qualified to take?

  • 155. Sue22  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Patricia, I don’t think I said anything of the sort. Parents seems to always want a clear cut, easy fix sound bite answer. The state of cps schools cause for a much deeper review and knowledge of the current reality of most schools. One complaint that keeps popping up from teachers are that parents just don’t “get it.”. Don’t get the reality of many schools. As I read through comment after comment, it is clear that some really don’t get it and never will. So if it is easier to demonize teachers for believing that they are “striking over AC” go ahead. The devil isin the details.

  • 156. DuzIOrNot  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:21 am

    doez i haz skool or not? r der sub or sumtings?

  • 157. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:22 am

    @155 you were probably typing your post when I said I mixed yours up with another. On the note of mixing up, I do not think I said anything about AC.

  • 158. TeacherCTU  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:22 am

    I like that, “the devil is in the detail”. So true. Like the reality of the success of recess. Sure it is successful on the books………

  • 159. Sue22  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:26 am

    No Patricia you did not. Unfortunately many people think the issues are minor things. For a teacher it is not minor when you add it together. I think we are so accustomed to glib and slick sound bites as a society that just because the average teacher can not put out a press release a slick as a 250,000 a year paid PR person then it comes across as if teachers are being petty and does not have a clear direction or justified reasons for striking.

  • 160. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:28 am

    @147 snarky

    So, it comes down to two issues CTU is closing schools for:

    1. Teacher evaluation
    2. Recall rights

    Not exactly the civil rights issues of our time. I wonder if those issues might have been settled by delaying the strike for a couple of days. Why the quick trigger by CTU?

  • 161. Sue22  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Teachers are constantly inviting parents on this blog to visit and spend the day in their schools and classrooms to see the reality. Are far as I know NO parent has said yeah, I want to see and know for myself. This is telling and sad. Would we rather believe what we get spoon fed from CTU or CPS, or would we rather see and know for ourselves? I don’t believe these invites are “bluffs”. If they are call them on it. Go into these schools, take to the teachers, sit in the heat, look at the textbooks or lack, etc make up you own minds.

    I did this last year and I have my own opinion now based on what I saw. That’s reality, not what some glib press release says from cps or CTU.

  • 162. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:38 am

    @161
    I’ve seen one offer and CPSO has taken the poster up on it.

    Tell me, what will a school visit teach us about teacher evaluation system and recall rights?

  • 163. LR  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Boy, does Karen Lewis come off as abrasive and crabby. However, I agree with #142 above. Why aren’t more people angry at our legislators who passed SB7? That is what has allowed Rahm and JCB to make unreasonable demands in the first place. I think our time would be better spent flooding our State Reps and Senators offices with calls. If they got us into this mess, maybe they can help prevent this situation from happening again in the future. I don’t know if they can repeal SB7 at this point, but maybe we can propose laws that limit the number of kids in a class, that limit the school day to 7 hours (so they aren’t continuously trying to lengthen it and we avoid the whole mess of that again), that define the number of school attendance days, that limit the maximum allowable temperature in a classroom (I mean really, we wouldn’t put our kids to work in a sweatshop, so why is it acceptable to let them spend 7 hours in a 3rd floor classroom on a 98 degree day?), etc. I just don’t see why any of these things should even be in question – now or ever. It is one thing to be negotiating over compensation and benefits…that I understand. But all the other things should not be part of a contract between CPS and the teachers…they should be guaranteed by law. If the law can limit the powers of the union, shouldn’t it also be able to protect our children’s rights?

  • 164. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Sue22 I remember some takers including CPSO. Also I recall others indicating they have been in schools. I agree first hand is eye opening. I personally have been in many of the struggling, overcrowded, glitzy and tough neighborhood schools. I can understand the struggles teachers experience. But even visiting, I know it is so much harder than the few hours I observe, tour, career day, or tutor (I tutored right after undergrad.)

    I think many parents who post do have a greater appreciation from teacher posts. A lot certainly needs to be fixed and it looks like you got a lot of it in the latest contract offer. So, parents are rightfully upset that the students are not able to go to school.

  • 165. let the snarky comments begin  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:43 am

    @ 162 I cannot believe you just asked that…it would tell you EVERYTHING about the evaluation situation what consitutes fair and logic. BTW I have had one person contact me to come to my school from this blog. I was emailed and promptly gave her my cell. I really think she will come too.

  • 166. Ncm  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:48 am

    @161 – I’ve been in several schools, including a HS in Lawndale (on multiple occasions over several years). I have been moved to tears by both students and teachers there. I am echoing junior here – teacher eval and recall will not touch what those kids endure just getting to and from school. Striking is so not an answer for the kids – any of them. Being in school, with good teachers who care – that is part of the answer.

  • 167. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Last two questions for the night — gotta get some sleep.

    1. If the issues of contract dispute really come down to (1) evaluation system and (2) recall rights, how many teachers here would vote to strike over those two issues?

    2. Why isn’t CTU presenting CPS’s final offer to its membership for a vote before striking?

  • 168. frustrated  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:01 am

    What a disappointment. True colors have been shown, and we now know for sure that the kids are not put first in Chicago.
    It’s time for new leadership, all around. CPS Obsessed should organize to build a Charter School Administration.
    Let them all stay home.

  • 169. frustrated  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:28 am

    It is important to remember who the CPS Board member are at this time:
    “The members of the Chicago Board of Education are appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. They are a diverse group of committed, distinguished and highly accomplished experts in their professions as well as prominent leaders in social, civic and cultural affairs.”

    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/The_Board_of_Education/BoardBios/Pages/Boardbios.aspx

    David Vitale
    President

    Jesse Ruiz
    Vice President

    Henry Bienen
    Member

    Penny Pritzker
    Member

    Andrea Zopp
    Member

    Dr. Mahalia Hines
    Member

    Rod Sierra
    Member

  • 170. Jessica Marshall  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:12 am

    You have accurately quoted CPS talking points; that does not mean you are accurately reporting what’s at stake in the contract for teachers and students. There is currently a class size committee – it has no teeth. I have 43 students including a student with autism and a student with Down’s Syndrome in a High school social studies class. Contract language needs to be added to protect students from this kind of learning environment. Five of the 10 pd days have already happened – how can we make the conversion to common core effectively with no time to meet, develop and improve our craft? There is a $50 monthly premium being charged for those who opt out of the wellness program – why penalize people? Instead how about incentives for healthy choices like gym membership support? New contract says “use ’em or lOse ’em” – do you want all 25,000 ctu members to use their 10 sick days?! Do you know the disruption this causes? The board may use simplified, dumbed down talking points that you copy and share without actually analyzing but that doesn’t make them complete, accurate or worth adopting. Wouldn’t it be nice if you scrutinized those points as much as petty comments about ms. Lewis’ tone of voice?!

  • 171. mom of 2  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:20 am

    I think the main sticking point is that they want to tie evals to students’ standardized test results. Teachers can make a difference, and it would be wonderful if a great teacher’s work could do a lot to improve a child’s performance. I don’t believe that’s possible. Parents & guardians have the primary responsibility of guiding their child’s success, via things like love, support, a calm household, consequences for bad actions, ensuring the child gets a good night’s rest, getting them to school, on time, not coming to school hungry, or carbed out from eating junk food, etc. There’s only so much a teacher can do, and that is why it’s ridiculous to tie their evals to students’ performances. What would that mean for individuals who like to work at inner-city schools, with historically low test scores? My children have attended a school with a 94 percent poverty rate, as well as a north side SE school that is reported to be the top school in the state. The K teacher we had at the 94 percent poverty school was absolutely amazing. The K teacher at the SE school was good. Which one do you think had better standardized test scores?
    Keep on keeping Karen Lewis. I suspect you are the only public figure in Chicago right now who can not be bought off by Rahm Emanuel.

  • 172. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Patricia…….” So, parents are rightfully upset that the students are not able to go to school.”

    Talk about starting at 3 and leaping to 100.,,,

  • 173. Tcher78  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:43 am

    @161
    “I’ve seen one offer and CPSO has taken the poster up on it.
    Tell me, what will a school visit teach us about teacher evaluation system and recall rights?”

    It may allow you to make up your own mind…..hmmm. I make encourage you to sit and listen to a teacher, see the REACH tasks (tied to evaluation), etc. maybe

  • 174. demosthenesinaction  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:44 am

    When this is all said and done, should you keep your child in CPS, please know that your child’s teacher(s) voted for, participated and fought for working conditions in this strike. You may disagree and that is your right, but you are going to have to get over it. If you really want the strike to end, call the mayor and put pressure on him. Maybe tell him that as parents, you are getting the shaft. Or you could insult his job and so he needs to start working a full work day to solve this, since he obviously has not put in a full day up until now. The mayor picked this fight with us, and we are not backing down. And we are an us. The union is not Karen. Not Jessie. It is every single one of us that will be wearing red and picketing today. Don’t forget that when we are back in school.

  • 175. Lake View Student  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:48 am

    It’s completely hypocritical how CPS says “Children First”, yet we’re all thrown under the bus with teachers. It’s not fair, because we’re getting our knowledge taken away. I actually ADORE school, and want to keep going. I crave success, and I’m determined to get it. All that is stopping me, is the strike. The strike is preventing me from getting my education that I PAID for. The one I have the FREEDOM to get. We are all entitled to get education. Why are students being stripped off of their rights, while teachers are striking? It’s a blasphemy. As a student, I am upset about not being able to get some knowledge. There are some of us who need it, and cherish it. I know most parents are upset about students not going to school. I am not a parent, just a student, with the same emotions.

  • 176. what?  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:03 am

    175 umm, how exactly did you pay for your education? CPS is free…based on taxpayer money.

  • 177. Lake View Student  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:09 am

    I’m in high school. I paid $200 dollars regarding a student fee.

  • 178. anonymouse teacher  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Angie, you stated, “Yes, that’s what they said. the current contract class size is:
    28 at the kindergarten level
    28 at the primary level
    31 at the intermediate level and upper grade level
    20 in the education and vocational guidance centers (if any)”

    No, that is not the current contractual class size. That is the ratio number for adults to kids over the grade leve totals to fund staffing. Until you get to 35 in K-3, nothing can be done at all. And regardless, no one in CPS follows the class size “recommendation”. There are many teachers out there with class sizes close to 40. Nothing will be done about their class sizes. It is like giving a cop the right to pull people over for speeding but then he can’t give them a ticket. There is no action attached to overcrowding.

  • 179. Noneee  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:28 am

    David Vitale – “In his 30-year career with First Chicago, Vitale worked in commercial banking, real estate, private banking, foreign exchange, investment management, and corporate investments”.

    Jesse Ruiz – “He works as a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, where he specializes in mergers and acquisition law. In February he was selected by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to serve on the U.S. Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission. He has been on the Board of Directors of ComEd since October 2006”.

    Henry Bienen – “Bienen served on the Board of Directors of the investment bank Bear Sterns from 2004 to its failure in 2008.”

    Penny Sue Pritzker – ” is an American business executive, and a member of the Pritzker family of Chicago, one of America’s wealthiest business families. She is the founder and current Chair of Classic Residence by Hyatt, or Vi, a chain of luxury senior living communities spread throughout the United States, and the national finance chair of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign….
    On November 20, 2008, CNN reported that Pritzker was Barack Obama’s top choice for Commerce Secretary, quoting “multiple” unnamed sources.[3] However, it was later reported that because of her involvement in the failure of subprime lender Superior Bank, Pritzker took herself out of the running”.

    Andrea L. Zopp – “Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Exelon Corporation. – As general counsel, Andrea Zopp has responsibility for all of Exelon’s legal affairs and corporate governance functions. She is a member of the company’s executive committee”.

    Rod Sierra: “Sierra is the chief marketing officer of Johnson Publishing Co. and a former deputy press secretary to Mayor Richard Daley”.

    Dr. Mahalia A. Hines–” was a principal in the Chicago Public School system for 17 years. Before that she worked as a teacher in CPS for 14 years. Though her experience as an educator is remarkable, she is known to most as the mother of rapper Common. While she worked as a marketing manager for Gillette and Liquid Paper between 1976 and 1984, she owned three day care centers throughout Chicago. In 1996 she became her son’s business manager, managing the operations of his company Senseless Music, Inc”

    *** Excluding Dr. Hines, the members of BOE seem to be the experts in finance and law, rather than primary or secondary education. You think they fight for your children’s cause??? Join the teachers – fight for our children’s education! Smaller class size! Better, safer, and healthier environment! LESS standardized testing!!!

  • 180. Don Justice  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:49 am

    (1) there needs to be fair compensation for the longer day and year. Fair pay for the longer day. (2) we have no idea what they did to the step and lane system until they actually publish a detailed chart. (3) negotiate the evaluation system after it’s already in place? Crazy. Do it up front while we have the power. We’ll take less $$ for a fair system. (4) why should things like air conditioning and books on the first day of class even need to be negotiated? (5) children need wraparound services

    I’m proud of my children’s teachers for taking a stand and showing my kids that it’s important to have a voice.

  • 181. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:00 am

    @178. anonymouse teacher : This is your current contract. Refer to ARTICLE 28. CLASS SIZE. http://www.ctunet.com/grievances/text/2007-2012-CPS-CTU-Collective-Bargaining-Agreement.pdf?1294199486

    It was accepted 5 years ago, so what is the problem now?

  • 182. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:15 am

    @Lake View Student. “I actually ADORE school, and want to keep going. I crave success, and I’m determined to get it. All that is stopping me, is the strike.”

    I feel terrible for you and all the other students impacted. I think High School, 7th graders and any student with parents who will struggle to find care for their children during this strike.

  • 183. Chi-town Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:23 am

    This feels personal, like it has become a philosophical stand. I am VERY concerned how long this could drag out. I can’t support a school strike that is less about concrete disagreements and more about political/philosophical stands. If it only involved adults that would be one thing, but it is involving the education of children.

    http://www.ctunet.com/blog/gloria-steinem-supports-teachers-in-chicago-strike

  • 184. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Question: I am truly curious how many schools do not get books by the first day. I am certain there are some, but does anyone know how many?

    Still wondering if anyone has the information and data on class size that I posted @61 above?

  • 185. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Quick sidenote: if a teacher at one of the super low-income schools (the kind people say that parents need to see) can clear it with their admin to allow a few parents to come tour I’m sure we’d get a group. I don’t know if it’s as efficient nor will parents reach out one by one. I will be visiting with one teacher her once I can take a day off work, and of course I’ll report back.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 186. mom2  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:49 am

    What exactly is it that Karen Lewis wants? I mean give the exact list that must be put in a contract that will make her say she won. If, as people say above, class size is in the contract but when you get to 35 in a class they don’t do anything anyway, then what words have to be in a contract to change that? How much AC must be promised? Is the only acceptable teacher evaluation wording to be that there will be no changes from how it is done now? Every teacher that loses a job without being fired must be hired before anyone else from outside the district (even if they are a golden apple award winner from another district)? Please list EXACTLY so we can get our kids back to school.

    Also, what did CTU give or give up on during “negotiations”?

    Oh, and by the way, “free” public education is paid for by taxes so it isn’t free and it is paid for by us (on top of all the fees parents pay which was over $500 for us). Duh.

  • 187. mom2  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Oh, and most parents I know completely believe teachers when they tell us about the horrible conditions at some schools (or even most schools). We do believe you. We don’t have to come and see for ourselves. We believe you. How will the current strike fix this? Please list the exact details that must be in the contract that will fix this. If you can really fix it with a strike, and you don’t care about the raise and benefits, then go for it.

  • 188. CPS Parent  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

    184 Patricia – I have been told by teachers that the books are in the building but it takes time to distribute them especially in larger schools. My guess is that it has to do with union work rules – the custodians will not allow others to bring them to the class rooms.

    Teachers, is this correct?

  • 189. jelizab  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Does anyone know if CPS & CTU are scheduled to meet today?

  • 190. Jamison  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Unemployment is how high ???? And the teachers don’t want to work ? I have 12 years teaching experience……Where do I sign up ? Oh, and by the way……..you’d have to fly me out there……I’m in San Diego.

  • 191. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:11 am

    How long can a strike last, can it be as long as a month,etc? after a certain period, can schools/teachers be forced to resume?Thought I read somewhere that after 3 weeks on strike,they lose health benefits.Just trying to figure out how long I have before I need to set up Mommy School at home for my 1st grader.

  • 192. Momto2  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:11 am

    @teachers – any experience with NWEA assessments? We just started them this year at our school (my understanding is that the suburbs have been using them for a while)…and I think from what I read these can be used to measure progress quite effectively.

    http://www.nwea.org/about-nwea/faq/Measures%20of%20Academic%20Progress%20%28MAP%29

    What is the teacher concern with using these tools to measure students, as well as teachers’ progress?

    P.S. the reason I am asking is that it seems that the Union opposes any use of testing to measure teacher success.

  • 193. Jay  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:11 am

    @187, Funny because I never see any of that in my school, and know plenty of other parents in other schools who would flip a wig if those conditions where present in there schools. Do I think those conditions exist? Not sure, but I’ve heard the stories at an increasing rate since KL and CTU were tired of being “bullied”.

  • 194. Kate Morrison  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:11 am

    If my son’s teachers think the deal is not good enough, then it is not good enough.

    Mayor Daley NEVER would have let this happen–this is him dropping the ball.

    My son is in a good-testing school but for teachers in very poor schools with 100% of the kids in poverty (which is alot of schools in Chicago) it is not fair to evaluate teachers on kids testing–you need parental involvement and CPS help with materials and remedial help too.

    We support our teachers and Rahm you are a Disgrace!

    Parent of a CPS student–unlike Rahm Emanuel, whose kids are in school.

  • 195. mom2  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

    cpsobsessed – I just heard you on WGN. You did a great job. Thanks for all you do!

  • 196. will.i.am.  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I firmly believe Karen Lewis had the teachers riled up and had every intention of striking, regardless of any offer from CPS. Karen Lewis has done more damage to the public opinion of the teachers and Chicago Schools than rather than gain any sympathy. Pathetic.

  • 197. klem  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:22 am

    There has to be some objective, standardized way to measure progress for even the most impoverished students. Maybe that means two different measures: one for low income and one for non-low income schools.

    Is CTU proposing the use of anything besides qualitative measures?

    For those of you who are happy you moved to the ‘burbs, I’m happy that you are happy. Obviously none of you are living in Lake Forest where there is a threat of a strike on Wednesday.

    This strike doesn’t make me wish we had moved. We think it’s a great lesson for our daughter about that fact that we live in a messy world and sometimes it takes a while to get to a solution.

  • 198. nancy  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:23 am

    be aware –all of your people leaving your children at the CPS schools –or anywhere–there are volunteers there that have NOT been screened with a background check to be deemed safe to be working with children. Be aware that it takes a full 13 months for all of CPS to complete background checks on people that are employed in the system

  • 199. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Does anybody know if CPS’ proposal for evaluation is looking for improvment ,/i> in test scores, or is it only looking at the raw score? Would the CTU object to a small percentage of their evaluation being tied to improvement in test scores?

  • 200. Brandy J. Irons  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I think you should have been on the side of the teachers and not been indifferent on the news this morning. Your child is a CPS student 35+ children in class, no gym, music, library. This may now be your child’s school however this is the case for many. We must give the teachers our total support. They are in the field with our children everyday. Bizard and Emanuel don’t have a clue. The contract they offered promotes continued segregation and discrimination of public schools in the lower income areas. I’m on my way downtown in red!!!

  • 201. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I know without question that a number of the CTU members at schools like West Pullman, Coles, Altegeld, and Rooks are highly unqualified to teach out students. The teachers have no computer skills in fact at West Pullman grades are enter electronically by the building engineer because the majority of the teachers can’t. This is why there needs to be merit accountability. I am a CPS parent and luckily my sons were accepted into magnet schools. Otherwise my totally impression of Chicago teachers would be based on the worse possibility. I am no longer in favor of supporting the teachers, and I am becoming a bigger fan of Charter Schools. I see Ms. Lewis as an arrogant bully. My suggestion to Mayor Rahm…FIRE THEM ALL just as Regan did with traffic controllers.

    The teachers should be happy…today they have the smaller classroom size…its ZERO!!!!

  • 202. nancy  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Actually Karen Lewis is sought after by other unions because she is a very strong, intelligent leader. Understand that this negotiating has been going on for more than a year. The teachers are wanting more for the students. wrap-around services such as social workers, libraries in the schools and gym and art classes. Rahm’s degree in in dance. You would think he would want dance for the students!

  • 203. Mary Lou Deane-Nash  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I just heard you on WGN. Karen Lewis needs some presentation training. She sounds angry and her body language is a disgrace. Don’t the teachers see this!!!! I am a graduate of the Chicago Public Schools. We did not have air conditioning. Looks like Karen could hit the picket line and do a little walking to cool her off. It is not what she is saying it is how she says it. Confrontation is her middle name.

  • 204. Lynn Burmeister  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:29 am

    My decision to home school my daughter was based on my dissatisfaction with the choices we had to finish her high school career. She s a CPS grade school graduate, contract school dedicated to performing arts high school for three years. My experience? In the CPS grade school, few really dedicated teachers and an administration that totally cared about the kids, in the contract high school the teachers totally cared about the students but the administration was learning on our time how to manage the newly formed school.
    I sat on the LSC for 5 years, chaired it for two of the, volunteered and donated money and my time.

    I just heard the remaining issues that are left unresolved, neither of them mention the kids. Enough said.

  • 205. CTU-is-a-political-movement  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:29 am

    There is an enormous difference between the teachers and the union that represents them. The CTU Leadership is not fighting on behalf of teachers (though they probably think they are), they are fighting to maintain their stranglehold on the public purse.

    Far from being ‘underfunded’ teacher unions are the richest in the land. 20,000 teachers * $1000 per teacher in dues = $20 MILLION a year- for what? Well, for a long time- pretty much forever really- it was for ‘buying’ the legislators of both parties. That’s how you get the shortest school day and year, that’s how you retire a decade before private sector workers, that’s how you get free heath care for life, that’s how you get 3% COLA raises forever.

    That’s all coming to an end. Even the Democratic party, led by urban African Americans, is abandoning teachers unions. Decades of abysmal performance- HS graduation rates below 25%- will do that. Of course the CTU blames that on the kids- ‘they are poor’, ‘their parents are no good’ – now give us our money!

    The CTU is a political movement, pure and simple. You can 100% support teachers and at the same time be 100% against the CTU- it is NOT a contradiction.

    The teachers obviously don’t get this, but the best thing that could happen for them is for the Union to be busted. Sure the bad ones would have to go work at McDonalds, but the good ones (the majority) would be MUCH better off.

  • 206. SoxSideIrish4  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Rahm has lied and no one has called him on it~he said he would not go to DNC if there wasn’t a contract~he went; he would step in to negotiations b4 a strike~he didn’t. He said that the ppl behind him had 40 yrs labor negotiations experience…yes they do but 0% education experience.

    Rahm better get this cleared up~the last few weeks we have had national attention on the crime rate in Chicago and now it’s focused on Rahm not being able to stop a strike from happening.

  • 207. Erica  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:30 am

    People should be ashamed of themselves for striking. That’s a fair deal. There are thousands of unemployed, probably a lot of teachers who would just love a job. The state and country are in debt. Cuts need to be made not millions more spent. If all the parents band together they could defeat this ridiculous union.

    How about the parents get together and start their own homeschools, take turns teaching the kids and say screw you when it comes time to send the kids back. Then the schools wouldn’t get government funds, see how long the schools will last if no kids go.

  • 208. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:30 am

    @199. EdgewaterMom: I think they were going to use value-added, a.k.a. the improvement scores. I don’t understand why the teachers are objecting to that. If the students show no improvement at all, there is not much teaching going on in that classroom.

  • 209. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:36 am

    @188″I have been told by teachers that the books are in the building but it takes time to distribute them especially in larger schools. My guess is that it has to do with union work rules – the custodians will not allow others to bring them to the class rooms.
    Teachers, is this correct?”

    Is this true? So the issue of books on the first day is NOT that they are not there……….it is because ANOTHER UNION needs to carry in the boxes. So is the contract language now a bridge to another union contract?

    Actually, I have witnessed a similar issue in my work life and thought it was rare, but maybe not. Grievances were filed because someone got sick of waiting for the “box movers” and just moved the box themselves. All the while, the box movers (not the best term, but can’t think another right now) were telling each other, “don’t kill the job, don’t work too fast, don’t kill the job.”

  • 210. LR  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Just heard you on WGN, CPSO. Exciting! For what it’s worth, I still support the teachers (despite KL’s abrasiveness) and do not think the deal is fair. Maybe the money is fair. But, I would not want to be the teacher in Englewood with 37 kids in my class on a 98 degree day in August (because it sounds like they want to go to Track E), who is evaluated by test scores. As I said before, I have no idea why the CPS and CTU is negotiating over some of these things. Evaluation I understand being part of negotiations, but I don’t understand why working conditions aren’t built into our laws.

  • 211. Eriks  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I totally agree with Omega Mo. My daughter attended one of the schools you mentioned. For years there has been very little to no teaching, the students can’t read or write. I recognize that alot of the social issues are not the teachers responsibility inside of the classrooms, but for over two decades these teachers at this school were only there to collect checks. My daughter didn’t get homework for over two months. Thank God we moved. Those teachers at this one school were not fit professionally to be in a classroom. Then I see and hear the demands of CTU, nothing I heard were good reasons to strike. She was pretty much asking for a solution to world peace and an end to starvation. AIR CONDITIONERS!!!!!! I am a graduate of University of Illinois-Champaign, and a number of the buildings and dorms didn’t and still don’t have air conditioners. Also a number of the building at the University of Chicago don’t have air conditioners. Karen Lewis and CTU are good reason why Charter schools and voucher programs are gaining favorably.

  • 212. Navigator  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:42 am

    @191 – I didn’t get the sense last night that Karen Lewis is in any hurry to settle this. I am concerned that this could last for three weeks. I think the strike 25 years ago was around 19 days. Teachers on the picket line, please encourage your leadership to meet right away and get this ironed out! Don’t celebrate, please negotiate!

  • 213. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I’m sorry – if a politician (Rahm’s) job is to avoid a strike at all costs, that puts wayyy too much power in the hands of any union.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 214. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:47 am

    CPSO, thanks for your objective approach to these thorny issues. GREAT job on the news.

  • 215. testscores  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:50 am

    What’s the big deal about using test scores to measure teacher effectiveness in the most impoverished public schools. You end up with one of three outcomes-

    1) The scores remain terrible, resulting in every teacher being fired, which obviously can’t happen, so they change the formula until it works (ie- there are teachers left to teach)

    2) The scores improve and everyone is happy.

    3) The scores of some students improve, but not others- making a lie of the idea some students can’t be educated. The teachers that don’t improve scores get fired and replaced with teachers who can- no more excuses.

    What’s wrong with that?

  • 216. Look for the Agenda  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

    The books are not in the building at the start of the year-this is very common.
    If the principal allows it, the teachers move the books usually on carts-janitors are usually busy elsewhere. If the books come in during the summer then administration will have the janitors deliver them to the classrooms.

    CPS has refused to pay sick days on work related injuries if it is from painting your classroom, moving heavy carts of books or changing light bulbs.

    Please Google the newspaper article on the gym teacher who was shot in gang crossfire while shooing in the children from the playground-CPS docked his sick days and told him-rushing the children into the building was not part of his job description. I may not have the wording correct but I know it was in the Sun-times. This is the system we work for….

  • 217. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Omg, I forgot about the janitorial union stuff. I think that helped skew my union views. At my old neighborhood school when parents wanted to help clean up some classrooms we were allowed to moved the piled up years of old textbooks because only the janitors could do that.
    When the school has a chance to earn money by renting the gym to a church on weekends, only the janitor can be there to set up chairs, etc for the whole day at extra pay (it was either time and a half or double time, but either way, it was a very lucrative gig for the janitor.)

    Combined with my experiences when I used to exhibit at McCormick place — I can go on a whole tirade about that scam.

    I know I tend to lean slightly anti-union (in general, not just CTU) and now I’m realizing how I got there.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 218. OldIrvingPkmom  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Am interested in info on an anti-CTU rally for tomorrow if I can find a place for my children. Thanks.

  • 219. Liz K  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:55 am

    @179 – Just need to point out the Henry Bienen was the President of Northwestern University until recently. So yeah, a little bit of experience working in education there (as well as a very kind and principled man).

    I support the strike. The issues around the evaluations are huge, in what it means for teaching to the test and diminishing an atmosphere were learning and curiosity are encouraged for their own sake.

  • 220. Jac kSprat  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:56 am

    CPSO…that’s why even FDR was against public sector unions…

    “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service,” Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, “I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place” in the public sector. “A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government.”

  • 221. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Where do those parents and taxpayers against the CTU and its strike rally!!!!!!! I am willing to spend a couple of my personal vacation days carrying the largest sign!!!! DUMP CTU

  • 222. Jat  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:05 am

    @216, seriously work comp issues from changing light bulbs, and moving carts? The agenda looks clear from here.

  • 223. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I actually am kindof on the CTU’s side on a couple key issues. Sort of. On using test scores to assess teachers, as a research person, I’d want a little more specific info on this evaluation process and the ramifications. I looked at the school level value-added data and it looked weird. When based on a sample size (class size) of 30 its probably gonna look weirder. I also don’t like the idea of the 10 percent worst teachers getting fired every year in one school (assuming this would really happen.). What teacher would want to teach in the worst schools?

    On recall (guaranteeing jobs to teachers from schools who are closing – I DO want schools to be able to hire who they want, but there are a lot of underenrolled schools that are likely gonna be closed. Is it fair for those teachers to get the shaft while teachers at the nice magnets all remain safe? Again, these schools are already having their building funds cut. Why would any new teacher want to accept a job there, knowing they’ll likely be laid off in a few years?

    Not saying I support the strike per se, but I do see the concern with those topics.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 224. Jac kSprat  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Here’s an interesting link
    This link will take you to the site for all the teachers salaries in the state of IL. You can look up the chicago school teachers salaries by using the tool. Look at the Chicago school district 299. You’ll see that the highest paid person is a special ed teacher $421,000 unless it is a mistake.
    The rest of the teachers start on page 12 or so…

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/5679128-418/illinois-teacher-and-administrator-salaries.html

  • 225. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:12 am

    @223 The recall issue is really thorny. Unfortunately, some teachers will lose their jobs if schools are closed – I don’t understand how that can be avoided. I think that the bigger problem is how CPS identifies the schools to close. Closing “failing” schools and opening a charter is not the answer.

  • 226. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Just got a robocall from the CTU at 9am telling me that there will be no school today……………Thanks—-for nothing!

  • 227. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:18 am

    @206. SoxSideIrish4: “Rahm has lied and no one has called him on it~he said he would not go to DNC if there wasn’t a contract~he went; he would step in to negotiations b4 a strike~he didn’t.”

    Not true. He said he would not go if there is a strike, and there wasn’t one until this morning.

    “The mayor would also skip the convention in the event of a strike. He’s not about to leave town while working parents are scrambling to make alternative plans for their kids.”

    Source: http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/14682523-418/mayor-emanuel-to-ratchet-up-his-role-in-preventing-teachers-strike.html

  • 228. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:20 am

    #148 Sue – “For instance, three years ago, a Stanford Study found that ‘students in charter schools are not faring as well as students in traditional public school.’ I’m glad to see that in a recent poll, twice as many Chicagoans trusted the Chicago Teachers Union, not the Mayor, when it comes to public education.

    You may want to update your data and look at local (not a national Stanford Study) that are boldly highlighted in another thread on this site. If CTU thinks that charters are only attract poor people and are such bad schools, why are they so concerned about charter expansion?

    A recent poll trusted the CTU? Was it taken before last night because I’d be curious to see an update of that too.

  • 229. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:28 am

    @154 – not clear how adding 15 minutes to a HS schedule affects the issues you list. Please explain – the part about the classes not the start time of the after school program.

  • 230. KP  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:35 am

    @205 – Cheers to you. Well said.

    @215 – Agreed. I have yet to hear how CTU proposes teachers be evaluated – or it is the proposal that they never will be? Ridiculous.

    @221 – I will hold the other side of that big sign.

  • 231. Mayfair Dad  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Maybe Mayor Emanuel could enact free or greatly reduced admission to museums, acquariums, etc. as something for the kids to do. Many stay-at-home parents are trying to home school during the strike and it would be nice to have these options available.

    This strike was inevitable and so I’m not gong to get all lathered up about it. It will be over in a few days. Parent volunteers are serving the picketing teachers breakfast at our school. And yes, you can have profound differences with the CTU’s position and still show your kid’s teachers some respect. I’m going to stop by at lunchtime with a Box ‘O Joe from Dunkin Donuts. We can all disagree without becoming disagreeable.

    You kooks who stayed up all night blogging are certifiably obsessed 🙂

  • 232. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I do agree with the complaint against lack of AC in the hot weather, that is insane, as well as a health risk! I can see it even being a liability issue for a school if something due to lack of AC were to happen (heart palpitations, dehydration, etc).I would be outraged if my child was in such an environment.How can the CPS Board members and staff sit in nicely air conditioned room while the kids have to suffer?
    Although I am not sure if that is a reason to go on strike….it could be dealt with in a different manner.

  • 233. lisabagg (@lisabagg)  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Thank you so much for this info. As always, get the latest here:

    http://www.isthectuonstrike.com

  • 234. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Why CTU wants the elected school board. This list is a few years old, but you’ll get the idea.

    http://www.teachersunionexposed.com/unionContributions.cfm?contributor=CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION

  • 235. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

    @MFDad: what do you think will happen to resolve the strike in a few days?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 236. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Oops, broken link. Hope this one works. http://tinyurl.com/9dtymye

  • 237. klem  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Strike scene in my neighborhood (Albany Park): About 45 teachers scattered at various street corners between Lawrence & Kedzie and Hibbard School (Ainslie & Sawyer). Lots of energy, noisemakers and drums. Honk if you like teachers.

    Hibbard School is one of the Children First sites, but there are no signs of inside activity. Locked down tight.

  • 238. Paul  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

    It looks to me like teachers just need to get it off their chest. Their list of demands is unrealistic. They’re mad and feel disrespected, and I think they just need to strike for a while to feel better about the whole thing.

  • 239. James  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:49 am

    @238 Paul —

    I sure hope you’re right. Let the union leadership throw their little tantrum for a day or so and then get back to the table, iron out the last few remaining differences, and let teachers get back in the classroom with our kids.

  • 240. Don Justice  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:52 am

    4 weeks into school for Social Justice High School, and students still do not have books because the principal will not allow their distribution. No one but her and the the Westside network know why. Garbage administration.

  • 241. lawyer/ teacher  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I’m tired of having everything that I must teach tied to a standardized test. Creativity, cognition, and humanity are ignored. We are making our students drones.The best thing about the American Educational System is that it has fostered ingenuity and creativity for generations. Innovations are the best of American business, and we are destroying that which created the innovators. Education should be liberating of mind and spirit, not dulling of the soul.

  • 242. mom2  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I know the teachers must be picketing so they cannot answer my questions about exactly what the CTU wants with details and how this strike will give them what they want.

    Until then, I also would like to know if the CTU would be willing to give up the (what I consider) huge raise offered in the new CPS offer and instead allow CPS to use that money for those things they want (more wrap around services, AC, etc.) By telling CPS and the public that they will give their raises and dollars to keep health care costs where they were before it went up for the whole country, to use “for the kids”, they might win back a bit of the respect that they have certainly lost recently.

  • 243. chris  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Teachers and CPS ask our kids to do group projects. They clearly can’t do it. They’ve been at it since Marxh. They receive a failing grade.

  • 244. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Lakeview student – Awesome 😉 We understand completely. This whole thing is totally unfair to the kids – you are totally right.

  • 245. Mayfair Dad  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:00 am

    The two sticking points, evaluations and recall, can be parsed, modified, tweaked, scrubbed and tweaked again until both parties can claim victory. The notion that CTU is striking over air conditioning is laughable. CTU is painfully aware of the school closings, turnaraounds and consolidations which will occur during the term of this contract so is taking a hard line on protecting jobs for its members. (the recall piece.) Re: the evaluations, this does feel like “moving the goalposts” but K. Lewis did land a punch when she referenced the high turnover at CPS headquarters and how principals have not received adequate training in the fashion that was originally agreed to.

    All that other happy talk is KL garnering sympathy from parents through the press.

  • 246. Momto2  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Also…Mr. Vitale was on WGN this morning and mentioned that student performance as a measure of teacher success was not something CPS made up, but is actually required by legislation. Anyone have any info on that?

    One thought that keeps coming back to me…do teachers realize that with all the demands CPS has already caved into…and any additional ones that CTU is requesting…the result is going to inevitably mean that many teachers will be fired. Not because of Charters. Not because of poor performance evaluations. BUT, rather because there is not way to pay for all the demands with the existing workforce. It’s just plain economics.

  • 247. lvs2000  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I am looking for a forum to express discontent with the CTU. As has been said by many posters, the demands of the CTU are not in line with employment practices for any other profession (ie. salaries for many professions have been frozen with COL raises, health care contributions have gone up for everyone). The job security measures proposed by CPS are what will allow our school system to improve. If the CPS was going to strike, why not just do it before the weekend so parents could make arrangements ahead of time. The kids are the last thought in any issue raised by CTU. Yet, we have no way of exprssing ur voice.

  • 248. karet  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:07 am

    @127 Re: Rahm’s comment that no one in the room went to school for as few as 5.75 hours. He’s not saying that no one went to Chicago Public Schools. He’s saying that everyone in the room was over 20 years old, so they all attended school before the teachers voted to move lunch to the end of the day, eliminate recess and shorten the day.
    @124 Re: the recall issue. Lewis was specifically asked at the end of her remarks if she would agree to interviews for laid off teachers (rather than guaranteed positions). She practically snorted, then said “No!” and turned away from the camera.

  • 249. Kate Morrison  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I do not want my son in a Charter school I want my son in CPS with his awesome teachers–Rahm you dropped the ball. Mayor Daley never would have let this happen. You do not leave the table til you have a deal.

    Illinois requires testing and testing results to be known but the way the CPS board wants to structure things they are trying to make teachers accountable for the test grades their students receive which for in a well funded school that si fine, but not for the 80% of schools in extreme poverty–test performance is determined by resources, parental involvement and yes, Money invested. Teachers are only part of the educaton process and to blame then for a school’s overall performance is unfair. They need to evaluate the principals too–they are a major part of a school’s management and success and failure.

  • 250. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:19 am

    “Well, she clearly wasn’t hanging out with Michelle Obama.

    As a CPS parent for many years, I am mystified that this is “the best and brightest” we have to lead the teachers. Can parents get an “open mike” with the press to voice dissent?”

    Why do people think that Karen Lewis is obligated to do anything but look out for the collective best interests of her union members? Yeah, she doesn’t seem to swift on the uptake, but does anyone think that a government union is going to be cool with losing membership (through school closures etc.)?

    The problem, of course, is that paying union dues is a condition of employment. That is the problem. And we have this state of affairs because Democrats like it that way.

    And what’s up with the hanging out with Michelle Obama comment? Is that to imply that Ms. Obama is somehow erudite. There’s word that she failed the bar her first time around. If that’s true, don’t know how smart she is.

  • 251. Don Justice  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Not getting books is not an issue with another union. It’s because principals don’t get things organized, and PD time that could be used to getting classrooms set up is sold to outside vendors. These vendors for professional development are often cronies of network chiefs or staff and make $$$ for each hour of PD delivered. Students won’t have lockers until the end of the first week. Students won’t have ids or even final programs until a month into school. How about being in an honors French Class at Lane Tech where you are the only student who has actually had French before? How about being in a 6th grade class with 42 students, or an AP class with 35? The contract language that relates to class size really has no teeth. Unless something is a bright line rule agreed to beforehand, it’s worthless. All these committees the district wants to examine issues rather than settle them up front are the CPS way of delaying and obfuscating.

  • 252. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:23 am

    @247–save your breath. Ms. Lewis works for teachers–not you.

  • 253. Crystal  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Here’s info on the state law that requires changes to teacher evaluations: http://www.isbe.net/peac/pdf/perf-eval-faq-0812.pdf

  • 254. Don Justice  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:26 am

    “CPS trimmed about $10 million from area offices, now called network offices. Yet the number of central office staff increased, as did the money spent on their paychecks–by about $2.79 million, with more administrators earning six-figure salaries.”

    http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/news/2012/09/08/20406/central-office-major-turnover-minimal-savings

  • 255. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:26 am

    And what are those ridiculous professional development days? When I was a kid, you didn’t have those.

  • 256. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

    @cpso

    Great job on WGN this morning!

    I’d have to say that media-wise WGN and Sun Times have done nice work covering this issue. WBEZ was almost unlistenable this morning, but it was educational in the sense that we learned how uninformed most of the public is about these issues. Just reinforces the the value of a blog like this. Thanks.

    Agree w you about the difficulties of test-based evaluation. If I remember correctly — state law mandates minimum of 25% of evaluation tied to test — I could be wrong on that. I think starting at the minimum is an acceptable compromise — there will definitely be kinks in implementation that will take time to figure out. From a parent’s perspective, I’d be concerned about narrowing of curriculum if there is too much weight on testing.

    So, between this and the recall issue, is it worth striking over, or should there have simply been a deadline extension? I know most of the teachers are picketing, but haven’t heard any of them respond to my question — if the issues boil down to (1) evaluation and (2) recall, do you support striking for these two issues?

  • 257. LR  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:28 am

    @246: That’s interesting. Again, why would our legislators pass a law about teacher evaluation, but no laws guaranteeing our children’s welfare (e.g. limits on class sizes!)? Seems backwards.

    @245 Mayfair Dad: I wrote Karen Lewis on the issue of hot classrooms last year and she wrote me back saying they would incorporate into their demands…which I am glad to see. I think the issue is, CPS wants to go to one calendar, presumably Track E. While I was not suggesting air conditioning for all (because I know a CPS architect very well who says this is not a financial reality), I was suggesting that there is some policy in place to protect the students (e.g. excessive heat days). Personally, I don’t want my kids back in the classroom until CPS gives some sort of guarantee that they will no longer cram 37 kids in a classroom, and that we are not putting kids/teachers in 100 degree 3rd floor classrooms. I wouldn’t send my kids to work in a sweatshop and if we go to track E, I won’t send them to school in those conditions either.

    @211: Regarding un-air conditioned buildings at U of I…I have my degrees from Champaign-Urbana, too, and our classes were not all day long. It was miserable for about an hour and afterwards, I remember going to the Union, or any number of other places to cool off. College students aren’t stuck in those places for hours on end. It is different when it is a limited amount of time.

  • 258. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:28 am

    @254–do you think that the CTU is honestly motivated by making things better for kids–or are they (rightfully) pursuing what’s best for teachers (and the union itself)? Do you really think that there’s a confluence of interests between teachers and students?

  • 259. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:29 am

    @255 You think that professional development days are ridiculous? Really??!! When are teachers supposed to learn about the new curriculum and new exams? When are teachers supposed to collaborate with other teachers?

  • 260. Stand And Deliver  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:30 am

    My fantasy is to see Rahm teach a CPS class for a year. As a real teacher, a regular person, NOT as a Mayor. (impossible, I know, I said it is a fantasy)

  • 261. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:32 am

    “While I was not suggesting air conditioning for all (because I know a CPS architect very well who says this is not a financial reality), I was suggesting that there is some policy in place to protect the students (e.g. excessive heat days). ”

    Yeah, it’s a drag to learn in the heat–but we all did it at some point when we were kids. Haven’t people heard of fans?

  • 262. Chi-town Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I am curious. Does anyone know if the CPS latest offer satisfy the recommendations of the arbitrator report?

  • 263. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

    @259–10 of these per year? 70 hours of work time. Yeah, seems a bit much to me. Didn’t have them when I was a kid . . . .

    My guess is at least half of that time is utterly wasted.

  • 264. Don Justice  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

    @263: No. It’s very far off in terms of $$$. But, the CTU seems willing to trade $$$ in order to have other issues resolved.

  • 265. Chris  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

    “student performance as a measure of teacher success was not something CPS made up, but is actually required by legislation. Anyone have any info on that?”

    In addition to the state law rerferences others made, its related to NCLB in some way, is it not?

    (the regular Chris, not either of the ones who posted above)

  • 266. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:38 am

    @264. Don Justice : “But, the CTU seems willing to trade $$$ in order to have other issues resolved.”

    How much are they willing to give up? Can we spend the proposed 400 millions on nurses, social workers and textbooks instead of raises?

  • 267. Chris  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

    ” I think the issue is, CPS wants to go to one calendar, presumably Track E.”

    Lotsa problems with that. Much more likely to move to a school year that parallels Catholic and suburban schools more closely (BOTH think and hope). We’d seriously consider switching/moving, even tho we don’t want to for many other reasons.

  • 268. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

    @191 – teachers I know have told me there is no way they can go more than 2 weeks without a pay check. Not sure if this is any indicator of what others think. So, there are some who will be unhappy with their union if this continues.

  • 269. Don Justice  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:41 am

    @264: Too much of the PD time is for seminars from outside vendors who add very little to a teacher’s curricular knowledge. The vendors seems to be nothing but highly paid cronies of the network chief.

  • 270. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I decided to peruse that salary tool someone posted and typed in my child’s principle and K teacher…They made a nice salary, I’m talking above 75K for the K teacher and the principle made over 140K. this is at an RGC not sure if that’s why, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if that was the norm elsewhere. And yet they still want more salary increases? No wonder theres not enough funding for other things, some are over paid. Although my child does attend an RGC, I also know that he is in family that prizes learning and education, and that our home environment has so much to do with his abilities. I don’t expect any teacher or school-no matter how good-to instill that in my child.Teacher’s roles are important, true, but let’s not over estimate it.

  • 271. Coco  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:43 am

    What time are CTU and CPS supposed to come to the table today?

  • 272. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:46 am

    @198 Nancy – do you know of someone in particular? My understanding is that many of these volunteers have already been working in the system. Please do not cause undo alarm. There are a lot of people that really depend on it.

  • 273. Don Justice  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:47 am

    @267 The CTU is not willing to go backwards in pay. Maintaining the status quo is fine . Of course that means compensation for the longer day. What needs to be done is shift money from such things as central office and all the outside vendors and consultants who do nothing but standardized testing. Also, why hasn’t JC Brizard sat in on a single negotiation session? Why is Barbara Byrd being paid such a ridiculous sum of money if you already have a CEO? Why has the communications also more than doubled in expenditures under Brizard? Also, let’s talk about all that TIF money that amounts to nothing more than a slush fund for alderman and Rahm. What about $$$ for paid protesters and reverends that city has used?

  • 274. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @268 – “teachers I know have told me there is no way they can go more than 2 weeks without a pay check. Not sure if this is any indicator of what others think. So, there are some who will be unhappy with their union if this continues.”

    But I thought teachers were overpaid? Surely they don’t live paycheck to paycheck like the rest of us hit by the recession?! 😉

  • 275. ridiculous9  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:50 am

    198 – it takes CPS 13 months to do almost anything….people were probably screened quickly for this. I have friends at central office (IT types) who are working at schools today. Ha lol for them…

  • 276. Don Justice  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

    @271 mcbg . You are absolutely right that the home life is crucial. Home installs such qualities in children such as grit, determination, persistence, pride, respect . . . There is no difference in the IQ of a high school dropout and a high school graduate. Those soft qualities of character are crucial. That’s the problem with an evaluation system where as much as 40% of the evaluation comes from standardized testing. Without those other qualities, the child can’t learn. And how many of Chicago’s students have those qualities that you are instilling in your child? As to pay, teachers want to maintain the status quo as to their hourly wages.

  • 277. ridiculous98  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

    274 it all depends on what you spend your money on.

  • 278. Coco  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I know that AC installation would be wonderful, but I think it needs to be taken off the table for the strike. The demands have to be realistic. The two parties have to be realistic and determined to get students back into school as soon as possible!

  • 279. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

    @273. Don Justice :”The CTU is not willing to go backwards in pay.”

    So they are not willing to reduce their 16% raise to pay for other things? Where’s the $$$ trade off then?

  • 280. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:57 am

    @277 I was being sarcastic, hence the “winky” face.

  • 281. Budlong Woods Mom (formerly Albany Park Mom)  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:00 am

    @ 246… the Peformance and Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) of 2010 was the Illinois legislature’s response to the requirement in Race to the Top applications for states to include some measure of student performance in teacher evaluations. Illinois did not win any Race to the Top grants, but the requirement remains. Language specific to CPS and CTU can be found in state code, ILCS 5/34-85c.

    Illinois Board of Ed info on the Act can be found here….

    http://www.isbe.state.il.us/peac/default.htm

    When I first researched this issue I found the need for evaluation reform to be compelling, but have since readjusted my opinion as to the wisdom of using student test scores. Value Added Modeling, which attempts to control for poverty and other socio-ecomic issues,(which we all know are the primary predictors of student achievement) has not shown to have any reliability or consitency.

    I am also not willing to support designing any new student stests that could better measure teacher effectiveness if it adds to the overwhelming amount of standardized tests my children must already take.

    I stand with teachers.

  • 283. CPS-Mom-of-3  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Thanks to someone that sent Karen’s email address. I sent her the following email and got a response back this morning. I think as parents we should send messages to let her know that we need our schools open and that all the power playing should be left to the leadership but not to let our kids suffer.

    Karen’s email address is KarenLewis@ctulocal1.com

    My email to her:

    Dear Ms. Lewis,

    I appreciate your efforts in making sure that teachers get their demands, however what about the kids. 

    I am a parent with 3 kids in public school. I drive each day over 20 minutes, pass a neighborhood school that is 1 block away.  This school has been on probation for over 8 years and someone has failed the students that are there. 

    However, now due to this strike, I now have to tell my young kids that there is no school tomorrow.  We just spent a week getting adjusted.  This strike will have a profound effect on our kids.  Especially our special needs kids.  One of my children is autistic and after spending a week trying hard to get familiar with her new schedule, we have yet another wrinkle.  Instruction could have still continued while the powers that be battled this out. Yet instead our children lives and education are being used as pawns.

    In real life, no one has job security and must own up to doing their job!  So get back to it.

    Regards,

    The Tyler’s
    Southside parent with failing schools and status quo

    Ms. Lewis’s Response

    I am sorry your family had been inconvenienced. We are working to reach a settlement. 8 years on probation is unacceptable and I am thrilled you are able to find a school that meets your family’sneeds. WE Believe every neighborhood school should have the resources to improve. I would suspect that many of the children in your neighborhood school have serious, unresolved issues.  

    Thank you for sharing. We hear you.

  • 284. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:04 am

    @273—Chicago teachers seem to be pretty well-compensated, absent the pay raise. Do you really think that bringing total amount of working hours up to reasonable national standards automatically demands a pay increase? Comp-wise, Chicago teachers have a pretty good deal.

    If I were Rahm, my offer would start to step down—you guys went on strike, congrats, the raise will now be 14% over the next four years. Keep it up, and see it drop. The other thing I’d do is start telling teachers, if X percent of teachers from your school come back, we will re-open that particular school. Then, I would tell teachers that they should leave the union so the union cannot punish them for crossing picket lines. Then, I would try to get new teachers in–and for those who got replaced, too bad, so sad. (I know that the union’s grievance filing means that strikers have to be given their jobs back, but I would fight that tooth and nail.)

    The union needs to be broken.

  • 285. HSObsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Average CPS teacher salary = $74K for 38 weeks of work. (11 weeks off for summer, 2 weeks for winter and 1 week for spring break.) For the average salaried professional in any other field who works 49 weeks of year (assume 3 weeks vacation), this is the equivalent of earning $95K per year. Not bad at all.

  • 286. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:06 am

    @283–why would Ms. Lewis care all that much about your children? She represents the teachers, not your child. If someone were negotiating your salary, work requirements etc., would you want them to give things away because of the hardship on third parties?

  • 287. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:06 am

    @211 – Eriks – you just made me LOL. Totally relate to what you are saying. There are many indignant people here that keep pounding the point that no one other than the “teachers in Englewood can possibly understand what it’s like”. We know it because we have lived it!

    Omega Mo – I completely understand what you are saying. Of course the fact that you were able to get your kids into a magnet school will completely disqualify your opinion in the eyes of some here.

  • 288. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

    @276–your post implies that teaching kids without the soft character traits is well-nigh impossible–well, what are teachers for? Let’s just hire baby-sitters. We’d save everyone a lot of money. There has to be a way of measuring output. Standardized tests are by no means perfect, but come up with something else.

  • 289. teacher  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:16 am

    @285 This union will not break. It’s illegal to do what you want. The only thing that can decertify the union is its members, and since over 90% of them voted to strike, that won’t happen.

  • 290. ridiculous987  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:17 am

    284 – agree with all your points…you should run for major.

  • 291. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I see a lot of teachers are posting about professional development. After being a student of CPS, a parent of CPS, and a member of LSC, I have yet to see any real change or new innovative measures out of these so called professional development days. Now lets be honest…what typically happens during these PD days teachers show up unprepared, just there because they have to, and then spend most of the time enjoying the catered lunches. Now I am talking about what takes place at the schools on the far south side and west side, where the majority of the students are below all measurable standards. I am talking facts, spend a day at West Pullman, Coles, Harlan, Bowen, Crane, etc…don’t raise the successful few schools like WY, Payton, North Side, Cooley, we know their success, look at where the problem truly exists. Now if you go to West Pullman, you will find teachers that have been there for on average for over 10 years, and yet the teachers have little to no classroom management, the teachers have no idea how to teach math, and lack the basic understanding of math, teachers who lack the ability to input student grades, using the engineer to input grades (isn’t some law being broken?). This has gone on for decades, and am I the only one that see that the teachers have caused some of the social injustice in this area? They have a burden to bare for the theft of services for failing to provide a basic education…As a CPA and Consultant for a large strategy Management firm, I am required to maintain my skills but also increase my skill capability to clients, and most of this is done on MY TIME. I am accountable for the success of the strategy and the value add I bring to clients. Why is it so hard to comprehend teachers being accountable for some degree of success for the students, and the principals being held accountable for the teachers they employee and the success of the students? Let’s stop kidding ourselves, and depriving the students of the best, the majority of the teachers within CPS are NOT in the top 25% of the national teaching profession. Those teachers that are capable, competent, and professional will for sure not lose their jobs. It is very evident of the quality of teachers in CPS, look at the leadership they have chosen, its no wonder to me that the youth are so confused and lost….look at who are leading them in the schools. As for class size, again the teachers should be happy, their class sizes were reduced to ZERO today.

  • 292. Support Your Teachers!!!!  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:18 am

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-are-chicago-teachers-on-strike/2012/09/10/20a6e870-faf2-11e1-8252-5f89566a35ac_blog.html

    Why are Chicago teachers on strike?
    By Valerie Strauss
    They couldn’t make a deal in Chicago so more than 350,000 public school kids won’t have class on Monday.

    Why are teachers in the third largest school district in the country going on strike for the first time since 1987, when a walkout lasted 19 days?

    (Sitthixay Ditthavong/AP) Because Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave up some, but not enough, of his questionable plans to reform schools with initiatives that haven’t been shown to be effective (but are popular anyway, such as teacher evaluation systems that are linked to standardized test scores).

    Because Chicago Teachers Union leader Karen Lewis refused to extend the strike deadline to see if they could get more from Emanuel while letting kids go to school. The city had moved off its original position and most likely could have been pushed to move more.

    The very personal Emanuel-Lewis feud — that sometimes erupted into name-calling — didn’t help matters either.

    It’s worth remembering that these issues have been on the table for months — things like wages and fair teacher assessment and job security and how to compensate teachers for a longer school day. In fact, in July an interim agreement was reached. How did everybody let it get to this point?

    Unfortunately, for both sides, it’s a bad, bad time for teachers to walk off their jobs in Chicago.

    For one thing, teachers unions have been demonized in recent years by many school reformers, who blame the labor organizations for many of the problems with urban schools.

    The unions have been slow to embrace the issue of quality and to support changes in what were too often utterly ineffective teacher evaluation systems. Still, the biggest problems in education are the same in areas with and without unions, a point that seems to go over the head of those who are anti-labor.

    And in Chicago, teachers have justifiably felt disrespected and mistreated by management for years, which is why there was an extremely strong strike vote over the summer.

    Still, with unions under attack by a number of governors around the country, with school district budgets being slashed, and with the national unemployment rate over 8 percent, a strike by teachers demanding job security isn’t likely to win over public support and could fuel anti-union sentiment.

    That said, this is equally bad news, if not worse, for Emanuel and, by extension, the Obama administration.

    Emanuel was Chief of Staff for President Obama, who lived in Chicago before moving to the White House. Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, was chief executive officer of the public schools in Chicago for more than seven years before being tapped by Obama.

    Obama is hoping that labor organizations will help get out the vote for him in November and members will support him at the ballot box. A strike by teachers who oppose his education policies right now could well affect how some of them vote.

    Chaos in Duncan’s former school system is hardly a strong endorsement of his leadership there, either, as many of the issues that teachers are grappling with go back to his tenure, and even before.

  • 293. cubswin  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:18 am

    @16. Anon Mom
    “It bothered me how excited/happy the CTU/delegates seemed. I don’t think announcing a strike is something to celebrate.”

    It’s thrilling to play the righteous victim.

  • 294. justanotherCPSparent  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:18 am

    285. HSObsessed | September 10, 2012 at 11:04 am

    “Average CPS teacher salary = $74K for 38 weeks of work. (11 weeks off for summer, 2 weeks for winter and 1 week for spring break.) For the average salaried professional in any other field who works 49 weeks of year (assume 3 weeks vacation), this is the equivalent of earning $95K per year. Not bad at all.”

    I don’t know. I was a little surprised by my kid’s science teacher’s salary. He is an AMAZING teacher! With 31 years of experience and a master’s degree, I am a little surprised that his salary is only 79K. I’m not saying that’s way off, but…really? After working for 31 Years?

  • 295. ridiculous9876  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:21 am

    294. only 79K….wow what a statement

  • 296. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Pickets against hungry children.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-strike-updates-pickets-up-as-more-talks-scheduled-20120910,0,4173856.story

    “Vicente Perez, the parent of 4th and 6th grade boys, had planned to drop them off at one of the contingency locations CPS is keeping open half days during the strike.

    But they stopped short when they arrived at William Ray Elementary this morning and saw they’d have to walk through a line of picketing teachers. His children were afraid.

    “I don’t want to go there,” his youngest son, Kahlil, 9, said.”

  • 297. chitownmom  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I’m very disappointed that the CTU is picketing the Children’s First sites. I think CTU could at least have made that concession to help minimize the impact on the children.

  • 298. ncm  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Wow, $79k is not a lot of money? It is in my book. My mother was a teacher in both public and private schools for 40 years, had a masters degree and received a Golden Apple award and made $42k when she passed at 61 in 2010. Give me a break.

  • 299. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I’m wondering too–are there many teachers in CPS who have little or no business teaching children? I remember vaguely reading a letter penned by a CPS teacher that made the rounds on the internet. The letter was simply appalling when it comes to grammar/spelling.

    There are stories around the country about teachers that aren’t very well-educated (i.e., don’t know basic algebra, stuff like that–Massachusetts had a test for teachers about a decade ago, and the results were very embarrassing).

    I once reviewed my kid’s homework and saw a glaring error—the homework sheet had a right triangle, but didn’t have the correct measurements of the sides (Pythagorean Theorem). His science textbook was a bit of a joke too–the book called kinetic energy “motion energy” (hmmm–let’s teach kids the wrong term). Do teachers have any input in this? If so, then maybe there are some issues with respect to the knowledge base of the teachers.

  • 300. ncm  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:26 am

    @296 and 297 – further evidence that it is not about the kids. At all.

  • 301. Jay J  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Are the working conditions of the Chicago Public Schools really that bad? The creation of the union system and the resultant strikes in our history were against abhorrent working conditions which often times resulted in the death of workers, children working and not going to school, and sub- poverty level pay. Here we have what appears to me to be a group of spoiled brats using my children as pawns to get what they want.
    We’re in a terrible recession in which nearly 10% of student’s parents are unemployed and those parents which are fortunate enough to have jobs are facing no, raises, pay cuts, the erosion of their benefits, forced furlough days and the toughest expectations for production. This ill timed strike does nothing but erode what little respect the unions were still able to hold on to.

  • 302. Chris  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:28 am

    sigh

  • 303. chitownmom  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:30 am

    My mom’s been a teacher for over 30 years and makes nowhere close to 79k. But then again she works at a private school.

  • 304. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:33 am

    @297–it’s called leverage . . . .

  • 305. HSObsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:33 am

    $79K annualized to a 49-week work year is $99K.

  • 306. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:34 am

    @300–why would you expect anything different? What does Karen Lewis owe you?

  • 307. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:36 am

    @301

    “Here we have what appears to me to be a group of spoiled brats using my children as pawns to get what they want.”

    But why would you expect anything different? Lewis doesn’t work for you or your kids–she works for the teachers.

  • 308. ridiculous98765  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:36 am

    306 – sil teaches 4th grade CPS (15 years) $82K. of course she thinks she is UNDERPAID. She rants about charters to anyone who will listen. Would love to see her in the red strike tshirt. ….Would consider making a xmas card out of it….

  • 309. HSObsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Correction to 305 –> $79K annualized to a 49-week work year is actually $102K.

  • 310. Business First  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

    The teachers should get everything they can. Big business does it all the time. Just look at the mortgage collapse and the great recession. If the country can save Goldman Sachs, let the teachers extort us for all they can. Everybody else does.

  • 311. nancy  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:39 am

    lets all get an elected school board in place. right now it is a corporation that is getting hired to run the charter schools. which are–PAID FOR BY TAX PAYERS MONEY–but are “doing so well” because THEY CAN KICK OUT KIDS THAT DON’T MAKE THE GRADE–BECAUSE THEY ARE A “CHARTER” SCHOOL. haha. what? thats allowed to go on? does anyone know this??

  • 312. Business First  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

    What’s wrong with the step and lane system? Aren’t lawyers are major firms lockstep compensated until they reach partner?

  • 313. Momto2  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

    If it is a legal requirement that all schools implement a teacher review process that includes measuring student academic progress, then how can the Union just flat out refuse to work with CPS to implement such standards. CPS has to comply with the law…what am I missing?

  • 314. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:43 am

    @311, well nancy—would you want your kids learning with kids who did something to get themselves booted? Back in the day, they used to remove kids from schools when they seriously interfered with other kids’ ability to learn, and they were sent to reform schools.

    Charter schools are a roundabout way of separating the “good” kids from the “bad” kids. Something that’s been done since we started educating. Would be better for all concerned if we simply elevated the needs of those kids who want to learn over those who do not.

  • 315. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:44 am

    @313–they want to water it down, and no one is going to challenge what CTU and CPS actually agree to.

  • 316. teacher2  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:44 am

    It’s the total percentage that has to do with test results. 40% is very high, and the question also becomes what tests are you using?

    Let’s also acknowledge that students going to Whitney Young are going to advance regardless of what the teacher does, and students at Clemente may not improve with a miracle worker.

    Also, people don’t seem to understand statistical principles such as regression to the mean ore sample size when looking at test results.

  • 317. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

    @301 Jay J

    Jay, the working conditions in Chicago indeed can be very bad, but it’s not everywhere. Unfortunately, the CTU has opposed differentiating pay to reward teachers who face the most difficult circumstances every day.

    It takes a very special and dedicated person to choose to work in the toughest schools, and it can be difficult to recruit good teachers to go and stay there (thus, the use of Teach for America in many of those schools). It also means that those schools retain many of the teachers who are not as competent as their peers and cannot compete with their peers in getting jobs at schools with better working conditions. It is a system of inequity, but in this particular case, CTU’s demands continue to perpetuate the inequity as opposed to helping correct it. It’s the kind of stuff that makes disbelieve all the superficial do-gooder talk that they put out there, because when all is said and done, the social values get pitched out the window of the negotiation room.

  • 318. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

    @312–not really. Comp is often based on hours billed, which can vary.

  • 319. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:47 am

    @317–yep, but the fundamental issue is that we shouldn’t be requiring people to pay dues to a union as a condition of government employment.

  • 320. love teachers - hate unions  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

    WSJ Editorial

    Chicago Public Schools are closed today. And as a result 350,000 students will need to find something else to do. Why?

    Teachers unions, of course. The Chicago Teachers Union went on strike today after failing to reach an agreement with the city on a new contract. The contract would, among other things, require teachers to undergo performance evaluations that could be used to fire underperforming instructors.

    “Recognizing the board’s fiscal woes, we are not far apart on compensation,” union president Karen Lewis explained in a press release. “However, we are apart on benefits. We want to maintain the existing health benefits. Another concern is evaluation procedures. After the initial phase-in of the new evaluation system it could result in 6,000 teachers (or nearly 30 percent of our members) being discharged within one or two years. This is unacceptable.”

    What’s really unacceptable here is the fact that despite having among the highest paid teachers in the country, only 56% of Chicago Public School students graduate high school. Last school year only 31% of Chicago high school students met or exceeded Illinois state academic standards. And despite the district’s $700 million budget deficit, Chicago teachers unions still demanded a 30% raise.

    City officials have sent more than 20 proposals to the union in the past week. But apparently none have been good enough. “I believe this is avoidable because this is a strike of choice,” Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a news conference last night.

    The unions, as usual, claim to be acting in the best interests of students. “We must do things differently in this city if we are to provide our students with the education they so rightfully deserve,” said Ms. Lewis. If that were really the case, however, telling the teachers she represents to show up to class would be a better start.

  • 321. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I’m hearing that teacher evaluations haven’t changed in about 40 years!!!! Really…so why are the teachers striking? If you are using any evaluation methods that is 40 years old, says what? KEEP THE LAZY, UNQUALIFIED, UNPROFESSIONALS

  • 322. Budlong Woods Mom (formerly Albany Park Mom)  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    @313… PERA requires that “the board and the exclusive representative of the district’s teachers are hereby authorized to enter into an agreement to establish alternative procedures for teacher evaluation, remediation, and removal for cause after remediation, including an alternative system for peer evaluation and recommendations; provided, however, that no later than September 1, 2012: (i) any alternative procedures must include provisions whereby student performance data is a significant factor in teacher evaluation …”

    perhaps they disagree as to what student data to use and what is a “significant factor”.

  • 323. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    @321–why are you surprised? You act as if Ms. Lewis and the CTU really have the best interests of students in mind. That ain’t in her job description.

    Quinn, Emanuel and all the other Dem pols have pursued policies that give public service unions outsized power. Well, these are the chickens coming home to roost.

  • 324. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    @316 teacher

    I agree with you that 40% is very high, especially just starting out. CPS has said that the first year’s results won’t “count”, but will be used to help tweak the system in cooperation with CTU.

    A good system will take students at Whitney and students at Clemente and adjust their expected growth level according to the socioeconomic backgrounds of the kids. Value-added measure do this, but I acknowledge it is still crude and there are many pitfalls, including the fact that are socioeconomic data is very nonspecific.

    I think with advantage of today’s information systems, there can be a lot of refinement to these tools. One could track socioeconomic factors and past academic/behavioral performance of the individuals in a teacher’s class to more accurately predict an expected outcome.

    As for sample size, the data I’ve seen does become statistically significant after 3-4 years even with the current crude tools, so using a rolling average of several years would seem to be a fair approach under typical current models.

    I get that the teachers don’t trust CPS to implement this well. I think CPS might want to agree to keep the portion of evaluation tied to test scores very low until it has a proven track record.

    As a parent, I also don’t want to see heavy weight on test results, and we should pilot the system to make sure it does not have the unintended consequence of narrowing the curriculum where kids don’t need it.

    But I do think the strike is an overreaction to the magnitude of the issues involved. After all, the law mandates CPS to start taking this approach and it seems to me that these issues could be addressed with additional negotiation instead of strike.

  • 325. Tchr  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Cpso, in response to your request/statement about visiting neighborhood schools in Hugh poverty neighborhoods.
    When my school has visitors, (charter schools from other states, CPS admin, community business partners, parent groups, etc) we are told in advance to dress up in suits, heels, ties, etc. We are told what these visitors will be looking for and told which posters to fix up, etc. We are instructed to tell students of these visitors and what will happen if they misbehave. We have had things installed un hallways hours before visits to make the school LOOK nicer. Don’t get me wrong, our teachers and admin work hard, spend tons of their own
    money to have beautiful learning environments for their kids. No principal or teacher wants to be embarrassed. No principal or teacher wants their kids to feel bad either. I think a lot if schools spend a lot of extra time to make things look like they are running smoothly. We make do with what we have. But a visitor will only get to see the pretty classrooms, the well behaved classrooms, the classrooms with technology. Especially a visitor connected to the media.
    I

  • 326. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Regarding evaluations. As quoted above, the state minimum for student growth measurement is 25%.

    My understanding is that student growth based assessments have been put in place in many other parts of the US and that 40% is actually low compared to the others.

    So if student growth is taken into consideration, wouldn’t teachers in low performing schools have the opportunity to show the greatest growth? Those in already high performing schools would have a more difficult time because students already perform well. For example taking a student from 25% to 40% in one year would be huge for the student and great for the teacher. Taking a student from 96% to 98% is another scenario. Both are good for the student and the teacher. Right?

  • 327. BOBrien  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    For everyone who wants to complain about the teachers, first lets take 4% of your salary away and see what that is like. Then lets add on extra hours and basically be told you won’t get paid even though most stay long after school is over anyways without pay. Then create a classroom environment where you have too many kids in a class, no money for supplies (most spend at least a thousand or more of their own money on supplies), textbooks that come weeks after school begins, kids sitting in 100 degree overcrowded rooms and then be told your pay is based on success in the classroom .. how about politicians get merit pay? don’t like that idea do they. Then some have the nerve to say that a 3% 2+2+2 is fair? After they stole the 4%? it should be 7% the first year. I am a teacher and shame on anyone who claims WE don’t love the kids..it is the Mayor, the governor, the CEO and yes, even Obama that you should be talking to. We refuse to let this dictator of a mayor push Both the kids and teachers around. Parents should be explaining to their kids that not only are we fighting for our rights and the rights of future teachers, but for them as well..because contrary to CPS’s “Children First” which they do not put first.. WE teachers DO put our children first and sometimes that means you have to do a little fighting for them. We are not babysitters as some may think. we are educational professionals who in many respects spend in some cases just as much time with students as some working parents do.
    So if you want to “trash talk” teachers, you really need to walk in our shoes for a bit.

  • 328. love teachers - hate unions  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    This may not be obvious now, but give it a few days and watch how this becomes a major national story. It’s Public Sector Unions fighting pretty much everyone else. They want higher taxes and no accountability. Everyone else wants the opposite.

    For a very long time Public Sector Unions have been gorging themselves like pigs at a trough- of course that trough is your tax dollars and the quality of your kids education. When you asked for even the smallest amount of sensible oversight or told them you couldn’t afford to pay more taxes, what’s their reply? ‘Get Lost!’

    I agree with a previous poster- this is **NOT** about standing up for your kid’s teachers. Don’t fall for the red herring. This isn’t your typical – ‘my parents were in a Union so therefore I support Unions’ situation. Union *leadership* is the problem – not teachers.

    Simply put, on a going forward basis how do you want it to be? Do they work to provide you a public service, or do you work so you can pay taxes to support their largess?

    Or, to put it even more simply – do they work for you or do you work for them?

  • 329. cubswin  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    @312. Business First

    “What’s wrong with the step and lane system? Aren’t lawyers are major firms lockstep compensated until they reach partner?”

    Yes, to maximize partner compensation. What does that have to do with schools? School leaderships job is to make the best long-term choice for students. The unions first job is to maximize salary and security for average teachers over the long run. Step and lane best suites union’s purpose.
    Performance compensation for teachers certainly isn’t perfect, but at least its an attempt to differentiate teacher performance.

  • 330. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    @323 I’ve tried to be open minded when it comes to unions. There was surely a reason and place for unions. Have those purposes been outdate, and in cases like CTU, is there really a need for a union? The number of bad teachers and the CTU are quickly changing my mind that unions are outdated…then when I see the behavior of Ms. Lewis, I am shocked that anyone calling themselves a professional, and supposedly representing a “Professional” group I am think you may be right.

  • 331. Tchr  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Patricia, almost all of my students made 1 year or more if growth last year.

    The few that didn’t had serious traumatic things happen at home. Another missed 56 days of school.

    If my whole class missed 30+ days of school and the whole class did not make 1 year growth, should I be penalized?

    (growth in reading. My curriculum is narrowed because my school has a big push for literacy. How are my students in math and science ? Questionable. I teach both but not for as much time as I do reading…)

  • 332. cubswin  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    @ 327. BOBrien

    “For everyone who wants to complain about the teachers, first lets take 4% of your salary away and see what that is like. Then lets add on extra hours and basically be told you won’t get paid even though most stay long after school is over anyways without pay. ”

    Where have you been? People lose bonuses all the time for factors outside their control. White collar workers have longer days than ever before. They don’t get three months vacation either.

    I don’t think what Rahm did with the 4% was particularly fair. But at least it went to police overtime.

  • 333. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    @327 What do you think has been happening for the last 3 years. A number of my co-workers were laid off and because they were terminated, that didn’t stop the work, the few that was left had to pick up the balance. The majority of Americans have received very minimal raises and most got nothing over the last couple of years. I think the actions of your Union leadership is more of a dictatorship…do you not see her behavior, demeanor, attitude, words, and lack of leadership

  • 334. Budlong Woods Mom (formerly Albany Park Mom)  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    This board moves so fast it’s hard to keep up.
    The point with the evaluations is that the intention of the legislation is for the evaluations to have teeth. Teachers will be fired based on these evaluations. It is there for imperative that the evalutions be accurate, consistent and fair. There is not enough data showing that student test scores, however they are stastisically manipulated, are a accurate, consistent and fair measure of teacher effectiveness.

  • 335. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    @251 – “How about being in an honors French Class at Lane Tech where you are the only student who has actually had French before?”

    Get real Don. This is a CTU issue? Some SE schools only offer honors level classes. So, if you have never had language you are pretty much SOL (think about that) – something to consider when you accept an offer to these schools. At least Lane offers a whole range of classes so a student that has never had a language does not have to enroll in an honors language class, the fact that they do must imply that they think they can handle it.

    What’s your spin here? Don’t get it.

  • 336. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    @334 Budlong Woods

    Even if everything you say is true, it’s still the law and must be followed. Let’s move on. Work out the details at the table, not on the picket line.

  • 337. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    @327 Re: the 4%

    While 4% was denied the last year of your 5 year contract, you got it all the other 4 years. As the fact finder also calculated ALL CPS teachers in the last contract received between 18-46% raises when you include the 4% cola, step, lane and compounding. All while we were in the depths of the “Great Recession” as the fact finder noted. Yes, you did not get 4% last year, but you got at least 18% and up to 46% anyway.

    Actually, the fact finder recommended that if CPS backs off the 7.5 hour day (which they did) then the formula should be adjusted accordingly. Based on his formula for the overly generous compensation from the former contract during the “Great Recession” he cut back the 20-30% ask to 14% (I think or 12%). SO, since the day remains 7 hours for elementary, if you plug into the fact finder formula………….YOU OWE money back.

    I can’t beleive that teachers are still moaning about the 4%. And yes, during the “great recession” I did take a pay cut even though I had a contract in place.

  • 338. jk  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    This is completely disgusting. Its more about who has more power – CTU or the city/state who are influenced by Stand for Children – rather than getting something effective done.

  • 339. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Based on what I’m hearing from teachers on this board and their disconnect from the real world, and the disgust from CTU, I am for FIRING them all, just as Ronald Regan did with the air traffic controllers…now that’s my “Happy Talk”. For those who are unsure what Happy Talk is, ask CTU lawyers and leadership, that is what they called the last proposal of CPS.

    If teachers want more money in their pockets, get rid of that high-price union headquarters, and reduce some of the overhead there, may lead to 10% back in your pockets.

    Parents, is there a rally for us to show our disgust with CTU and its members? If so please post. I do not want anymore of my taxes wasted on stupidity.

  • 340. Get a Clue- PLEASE  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    @ 327. BOBrien
    “For everyone who wants to complain about the teachers, first lets take 4% of your salary away and see what that is like. Then lets add on extra hours and basically be told you won’t get paid even though most stay long after school is over anyways without pay. ”

    Holy Cow. You think you are supporting your cause but in reality you are showing how clueless you are.

    Here’s a Clue-> Life isn’t ‘fair’.

    You don’t like they took 4% of your salary away? Too bad! You don’t like you were given a longer work day with no increase in pay? Too Bad! You Don’t like they don’t show you the ‘respect’ you demand? Too Bad!

    Quit and get a better job if you can do better. You aren’t enslaved by them. You have *no one* to blame but yourself if you stay.

    Clue #2-> Your performance review might be unfair? Your Principal may give you a bad review because he doesn’t ‘like you’? Your students are really, really hard to teach?

    Too bad!

    Too bad!

    Too bad!

    Enough with all the whining already! If you don’t like it JUST QUIT! It’s a free country. You are promised opportunity – not your own deluded idea of what you believe to be fair.

    Here’s…

    …Clue #3-> That’s the way it works for everyone in *The Real World*.

    That’s why they have no sympathy for your complaints. I’d love to be a fly on the wall your first day in the real world when you complain to your boss that something isn’t ‘Fair.’ Classic.

  • 341. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    @339—the CTU is a product of a system where government collects union dues from teachers. Rahm supports that system. He cannot whine now. This “strike of choice” thing seems so pathetic.

    If Wisconsin can abolish mandatory dues payment, certainly Illinois can.

  • 342. Southside mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    This is what happens when politics (city hall and his hired mercenaries from out of state) get involved in education in which they know nothing about! Pushing for reform is a good idea but one that must be done collaboratively with educators not done by outside groups such as STAND that are for making a profit (charters) off the children and ram down ideas that were not carefully thought out. Now the mayors plans has imploded and has gambled wrong on his strong arm tactics.

    Even the local alderman came out wearing a red CTU shirt in support of educators in the north side and offered donuts and water and gave a quick speech of support. The police drove by along with the fire department honking their horns along with streets & sanitation in all of support. Parents and their children also came out wearing red and carrying signs of solidarity.

    These issues can be revolved the only problem is there is nobody with credibility in CPS that the teachers can trust. Someone needs to get involved in which both parties respect and hammer out a fair resolution. This crisis is all over the news CNN even Mitt Romney has entered in his 2 cents to share his thoughts. Looks like the mayors chess game backfired. Can anyone say check mate!

  • 343. Falconergrad  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    @249

    I am 43 years old and attended falconer for k-8. When I started 1st grade I believe we went from 9-3:15 – BUT we went home (or ate in the auditorium) for an HOUR LONG LUNCH. So a 5 hour 15 minute instructional day. And I am pretty sure we had recess. When they closed the campus, we had a shorter lunch period and I believe we still had recess. I remember the attendance hours as being 9-2:45. With probably half hour total for lunch and recess, it remained 5 hours 15 minutes.

  • 344. Southside mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Excuse me but teachers can’t be fire or replaced. Their rights to strike are protected by the laws of the State of Illinois along with other states. This is not the traffic controller incident with Pres. Reagan. Anyone who suggests such a thought clearly has no value for education and educators, which is quite sad.

  • 345. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    #343 Yeah, some great checkmate if Romney neds up winning because the preisdent’s hometown looks like a basketcase. Thanks for not realizing that demagogues like Scooter Walker in Wisconsin are ready to pounce on these sorts of situations? Checkmate? more like fool’s mate…

  • 346. BOBrien  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Hey Cubswin.. First.. the 4% was not a “bonus” and for those talking about teachers having a “3 month” vacation, its not a “paid” vacation just for the record.. and 327, we too have had teachers laid off and terminated..in fact every year we do and we too do not stop work because of that.. there are many issues on the table. Unions do exist so “dictators” like “Lord Rahm” can’t bully, which is all he is..simply put, a bully..that guy has a napoleon complex a mile long. This is a guy who has the nerve to talk about spending millions of dollars with a campaign supporter for cameras to what? make it safer for children? I am sure it is not about the city making more money that they can pocket right?..Please open your eyes! This guy cares about one thing..himself! He could give a rats butt about kids but he talks the talk to get people to believe him..and sadly some do.And for the ones talking about the great recession and how we are moaning about the 4%, longer day etc … speaking for myself and most in my department I get to work by 7am and on average stay until 6:00-7:00pm (I stop getting paid at 2:50), work at least 1-2 weekends a month, certain holidays and at least a month or more in the summer all without an extra penny of pay.. why? because contrary to what some think, we do love our kids …. so please dont talk as if teachers were griping about working a little extra ok? This is what we mean when we say walk in our shoes first.. just like any other worker.. try their job first before you sit back and complain

  • 347. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    @294 – Is it 31 years doing the same job? Anyone will “top out” salary wise unless they get promoted or change their function. Too bad “awesome” teachers can’t be paid bonuses for the extra expertise they bring to the classroom.

  • 348. Jay  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Just took my son for a bike ride down Damen and saw 1 CPS teachers window shopping, a group of 8 or so under 30 teachers walking into a bar at Roscoe, another CPS teacher walking his dog, A couple CPS teachers having coffee at Chicago ave. I mean if you want to strike strike, but do it with purpose or be in the class room for crying out loud.

  • 349. ncm  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    @348 Jay – I can’t take it. My husband works in the same building as CPS HQ and apparently teachers were told to leave their school posts for a 3:30 downtown rally. So, maybe they’re on break before the festivities.

  • 350. mom2  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Oh, my. The new teachers and parent supporters on this blog need to go back and read all the prior posts from the more thought-out teachers. You are way behind and bringing up things that make no sense now.
    We are so past the raise discussion. The new points are that the CTU is still not happy because they don’t think their contract is fair for the kids and it doesn’t improve work conditions and a better school day. All those things cost money to improve and yet no teachers want to give up this great and extremely large raise in order to get social services, nurses, and air conditioning, etc. It is still about money and selfishness.
    CPS Teachers are professionals and get paid very very well. Many of them have terrible work conditions. Giving more money to take home won’t help those conditions. Health care costs have gone up (if you read the newspaper, you’d know that). You don’t get to even things up by getting more money. It doesn’t work that way if you care about the kids.
    Pay in the $70,000 range (plus great benefits) is very generous for someone with a bachelors or masters degree in this economy – regardless of if you work from 8-10, 9-5, 6-midnight every day of the year or less. It is just a fact of life and I think people in the public sector think things are different out there. The grass is not greener for most people. Teachers work hard, and they get paid well already.

  • 351. BOBrien  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Hey 340 “get a clue”
    Get a clue.. nobody cares for the ignorant ranting you are doing.. apparently your solution for issues, concerns, problems etc is simply “too bad” seems to me you would make a great puppet for Rahm!

  • 352. Whatsup3  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    349 Glad to hear they are enjoying their day off…

  • 353. GP  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Please fire us all and start all over again. See how long it will take CPS to find 25000 teachers who meet all the requirements to teach in Illinois. Our children would be out of school a lot longer than any strike would last! Heck, if they lifted the residency clause I would forfeit a raise just to get out of Chicago.

  • 354. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Hey, dumb question: does being on strike mean the ctu isn’t negotiating right now? I keep seeing in the news that the teachers should have “stayed at the table” and not declared the strike. They’re still negotiating, right? (Or discussing as the case may be.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 355. GP  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    How many of you have children whose class is on the 3rd or 4th floor and have to sit in a class that has a temp. of 95 or above during hot weather?

  • 356. Momto2  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I agree that AC is an issue. It is at my children’s neighborhood school…and the parents raised money to install AC units. Too bad there were too many Union rules that made it too expensive and rule-laden to make it happen. 😦

  • 357. Jeanne  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    @354 – Yes- I believe they were restarting talks at an “undisclosed neutral location” at 10am this morning.

  • 358. Downtown  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Patricia, actually CPS owes educators more money. Back in 2009 or 2008 they confiscated 1 pay period of teachers salaries as CPS was moving to a new payroll system. They promised to return the check they seized when we retire or resign, which could be 20-30 years from now! Basically they get to keep all the interest as well on the teachers money. Talk about outrage and unfair and you wonder why so many educators are fed up with the system.

    As for educators going out the CTU ordered all educators to picket from 6:30am-10:30am. Then take a break and return to CPS headquarters to picket.

  • 359. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    @358 OK, who has the money printing machine? Anyone? Downgraded Illinois?

  • 360. Downtown  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Cpsobsessed there are no dumb questions 😉 yes the CTU continues to negotiate probably everyday until an agreement is reached. Mean while educators continue to picket.

  • 361. Mayfair Dad  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    So I drove by my kid’s school at noon to drop off a Box ‘O Joe to the picketing teachers and everybody’s gone!

    Figures CTU has the shortest picketing day of any major city in the US. I wonder how long teachers picket in Finland?

  • 362. Paul  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    The power being exercised by the union today is pretty amazing. But, given the impact that this strike may have on families and children, the question for the public and our elected leaders is whether they should have this power. And, although the union has criticized SB7 because it made it more difficult for them to strike, I think a lot of people are now thinking that it didn’t go far enough.

  • 363. Logan Dad  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Mr. O’Brien,

    Why so angry? The challenges that Chicago Public Teachers face are the same challenges that all workers face. We’re earning less, working more and our responsibilities have grown while our compensation has not. Rahm didn’t invent these challenges. Parents didn’t invent these challenges. They are everywhere. And, urnfortunately, most parents can’t walk in your shoes. They are working very, very hard at other jobs so they can pay the property tax that funds the CPS. All that parents can do is get informed, get involved and, in the case of CPS, hope that this strike is resolved quickly and constructively without screwing us on our kids education and our property tax. After reading your posts, I can’t help but recommend you consider gainful employment in the private sector. No matter how the contract talks are resolved, I doubt that any outcome will make you happy.

  • 364. Downtown  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Again please read previous post. CTU ordered all educators to picket 6:30am-10:30am. Then take a break and head back to CPS headquarters by 3:00pm to protest.

  • 365. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    @MFD. Lol. I think they all went downtown. Nice of you though.
    I heard from some parents at my school that they were there supporting the teachers as well.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 366. BOBrien  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Momto2 356 .. AC is a big issue we absolutely agree with, but please understand it was the board, not the union but CPS who literally sent out numerous memos (I saw 2 of them) stating that quote “no new air conditioners may be installed in any CPS school/room without their approval” at my school some teachers had purchased with their own money those portable AC’s for smaller rooms only to have them removed at night when they left for the day. Trust me, we are all behind that one.. the forth floor rooms average without bodies, 98-103 on one particular day

  • 367. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    @337 – the great recession is over? Hard to tell.

  • 368. Downtown  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Yes the Great Recession is over technically since there are more quarters that show economic growth. However, that growth is anemic and that’s why we don’t really feel it.

  • 369. HSObsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Break for a PSA: Many museums have free days this week, so if you/SO/spouse/sitter/caregiver are looking for enrichment activities, the following are FREE tomorrow, Tuesday 11th: Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler, MSI, Chgo History Mus, Mus Contemporary Art.

    http://www.chicagokids.com/free.html

  • 370. ok8  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    364 3:00 pm to ???? 3:15?

  • 371. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    @348 – I do agree. I drove by a group that were bouncing around waving signs into car windows – I mean, I’m glad you’re making the most of what I would consider drudgery – but have some respect for the parents who couldn’t bring their kids to school today. At least pretend that it’s serious.

  • 372. Downtown  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    CTU told strikers to arrive at CPS headquarters around 3:00 so they can organize and start picketing by 3:30. However, teachers are already picketing now at downtown with a giant inflatable rat standing outside CPS headquarters.

  • 373. Downtown  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/strike2012/pool/
    Strike photos

  • 374. Asian Power  |  September 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Dumb Americans! It makes me laugh that the best performers on your tests are Asians, especially Asians who come here to take advantage of your colleges. You should make your schools have exit exams. If you don’t score a 30 ACT, no high school diploma or college, How many of you on this board would make it? Not many.

  • 375. cpsmama  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    @361 MFD- the “Finland” reference was hilarious!

    I was going to bring some sustenance & support to my kids’ striking teachers this afternoon – glad I read this blog to learn their strike schedule. I guess we’ll need to go earlier tomorrow 🙂

  • 376. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    @ Southside mom, I am a product of CPS, I have a MBA, and I am a CPA. I know the value of an education. I like many are sick and tired of the same failed results of the current teachers. The majority of these teachers are using old outdated methods of teaching, many lack common basic skills to present materials to students. Now to be more specific, I am referring to schools where the teacher’s population has been relatively the same for about 20 years…schools like West Pullman, Coles, Harper, Englewood, Crane, at what point will the so called professional ranks of educators say enough is enough. I am not closing my eyes to the social issues but if a teach doesn’t have the competency to input his or her own grades in the system because they lack the knowledge and competency then why are they teachers? Why aren’t fired? Why have they been around for 20 plus years? Where is the value of an education? There is a need to get rid of poor unqualified teachers. Once again I am not blind to the value of teachers in today’s society, but how much is self inflicted. In every profession recently many have had to pay increased health costs, lower raises and most cases no raises. Ask how many of us are forced to do more at the office with less…wake up. The greater majority of CPS teachers with over 10 years experience would never qualify to teach in other district because they can’t pass the national exams.

    They have their right to strike, and strike on, but they also have the right to be fired for lack of production!!!!! Once again Mayor Rahm, where possible fire as many as possible.

    @353 Many of the teachers on the southside do live out of the district. many of you live in Country Club Hills, Richeton Park, South holland, Park Forest. Great moral lesson of CTU. Be careful what you ask for, you may be one of those that couldn’t get a job elsewhere

  • 377. Momto2  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I am advised that any teachers who did not want to be on the picket line were told they would be put on a “scab” list if they did not show up.

  • 378. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I think you will get many different opinions on the necessity/practicality/expense vs. need issue on A/C. I think there will be only 1 opinion on whether this should keep all CPS children out of school.

  • 379. Paul  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Great. Now I agree with Mitt Romney. Thanks a lot CTU.

  • 380. Momto2  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    @378 – AGREED…AC does not a strike make… 😉

  • 381. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    @Paul—-LOL!

    @Mayfair Dad—Finland reference was perfect!

  • 382. ChicagoResident  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I just want to say that I’m so proud of our Mayor and Chicago Public Schools for standing up to the Chicago Teacher’s Union. One good thing that I hope comes out of this strike is that momentum builds behind Chicago’s charter schools. Teachers, I hope you found yourselves embarrassed to be part of the Chicago Teacher’s Union this morning.

  • 383. BOBrien  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Hello Logan Dad
    Contrary to what you may think, I am not angry. I am simply stating some facts that some may want to ignore or not see. Daley and Rahm are big on busting the union and have proven by their actions that they would do anything to do it. If you knew the red tape and waste of money that comes out of the board you may feel different. Rahm continues to use the property tax as an avenue to once again make teachers look like we are nothing but money hungry grubs and wants the public to “blame us” for an increase in taxes. Daley’s son took (sorry, stole) our pension money for a financial venture that didn’t work and I suppose thats ok? No I am not angry, frustrated yes. Here is one for those who do not know how frustrating it can be. According to the board rules on budget, we can only spend $10,000 per year with one vendor.. so what does this mean? If I am purchasing equipment from vendor “A” at a good price, once we hit $10,000 thats it, i have to go to vendor “B” who is now charging me double for the same item.. years ago when I talked to the board about this waste of money, their response was “thats the way it is” and it is still that way.. I could give you example after example of “your” wasted tax dollars if you like, Money that could be used to fix crumbling walls in classrooms. installing ac for kids, having enough desks and chairs etc is lining the pockets of the politicians and their cronies who do them political favors. As to your invitation to seek employment elsewhere i will once again say, we DO this because we do care about the kids and do our best to work around all the obstacles the board places in front of us. Our departmental budgets are a joke if you only knew.. so most of your teachers, coaches, rotc, art and music programs spend their own time running fund raisers to have the funds for their classes that we do not get from the board. Now this year we were informed those fund raisers that brought in the most money have been taken away from us by CPS with no alternative options for raising money for classrooms. This means that all sports, arts, music, clubs etc across all cps schools that use to depend on money from these fundraisers can no longer have them. This hits our students directly.. While I respect your views and suggestions, maybe non teachers should be getting a little more “frustrated” then you are

  • 384. Nathan  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    From reading here, it seems that the teachers are striking primarily because they are mad at CPS and the mayor for not being nice enough to them — and I will give you that CPS has made some boneheaded moves. But this is like a couple going through a divorce using the children to “punish” each other.

    I’m sure we can all think of amazing teachers we’ve had, and we’d all agree that teacher was tremendously valuable and should be treated and compensated accordingly. But we can also think of very poor teachers who were incompetent or had just given up. I think what we need to move toward is a system that rewards the former and removes the later. This seems to be the city’s goal, while the CTU is looking to defend the lowest common denominator.

  • 385. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    @379 Paul…I agree the CTU and its members are making me a Mitt fan!!!!

  • 386. Nathan  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    #383 How will going on strike eliminate the waste you are discussing? That is a red herring as are most of the issues brought up here. I agree those problem should be fixes, but I doubt it’s going to be part of your contract.

  • 387. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    @384 Nathan, agree!

  • 388. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    @378 “I think you will get many different opinions on the necessity/practicality/expense vs. need issue on A/C. I think there will be only 1 opinion on whether this should keep all CPS children out of school.”

    Actually the lack of it does keep my child out of school. Sitting in a sweltering classroom triggers asthma.

  • 389. thinkItOver  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    384 maybe, but remember “it’s for the kids”.

  • 390. Nathan  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    If the CTU extends this, they will spell their own extinction. Just look at Wisconsin, a traditionally very pro-union state. Keep in mind that Quinn only won by what 6,000 votes and the democrats are holding the legislature but a fingernail. Don’t doubt that the republicans would love to eliminate public sector collective bargaining rights and this may give it to them.

  • 391. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    http://michellemalkin.com/2012/09/10/chicago-thuggery-personified-meet-chicago-teachers-union-president-karen-lewis/

    This is really funny. Karen Lewis making jokes about someone’s “lisp.” What a bozo.

  • 392. kstaigs  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    You have no idea what it is like without AC in some of these schools, it is an actual health hazard for months out of the year. The kids are sweating through their clothes and completely listless. If you have no experience in what impact it has on the teaching/learning conditions in these schools, none of which I am sure you have ever visited, I suggest you leave it to those who do know to decide whether it is strike worthy or not.

    So there is a second opinion, which you didn’t think was possible.

  • 393. RationalRationing  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Randomly sorted questions (from s/o who admittedly hasn’t read all 2,000 comments on this or the predecessor thread):

    (1) Is there a strike fund paying the teachers regular salary during the strike (and if so, when does it elapse?)

    (2) There was supposedly an appeal by to the Illinois High School Athletics org. to waive a prohibition on games and/or practices during the strike that was meeting today – none of the usual Tweeters seem to have an eye on this. Any news?

    (3) Are there any mechanisms within CTU for the rank and file to influence or pressure their leadership, or is it just an autocratic body that … yes, got a 90% support vote last Spring, but I think everyone viewed this as a bargaining chip, not carte blanche to filibuster over air conditioners and recall (neither of which I remember as hot topics at that time)?

    (4) Also – it does seem like yesterday the twitterverse was buzzing with news and rumor about negotiations. Aren’t the same people who were huddled in conference rooms yesterday working today at the same feverish pace?

  • 394. Chris  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    BOBrien: “If I am purchasing equipment from vendor “A” at a good price, once we hit $10,000 thats it, i have to go to vendor “B””

    That’s not what the rules say; it says you need board approval *if* it’s “biddable” ($25k if non-biddable). See: http://www.csc.cps.k12.il.us/purchasing/index.php@tab=1.htm

    So, maybe administratively burdensome, but not prohibited, and–consistente with other such rules at city & county levels, for the *opposite* purpose than what you suggest.

  • 395. English is hard  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    @BOBrien – I would stop posting anything until you learn the difference between than and then. They’re different words with different meanings. Please tell me you’re not a teacher… If you are, then (used properly here) I can understand why you’re standing behind the Teacher’s Union. They would protect your job regardless of your ability to be a teacher.

  • 396. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    @MayFairDad – the “shortest striking day” made me laugh out loud! @Paul – so did the Romney reference! We need a bit of humor on here today. 🙂

    @HSMom – well said about the AC. We all agree the it is needed, but definitely NOT worth striking over.

  • 397. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    @390–the issue of public employee unions transcends partisanship. FDR was opposed to them. The issue, it seems to me, is whether forking over money to a private actor (i.e., compulsory union dues) can be made a condition to employment by the government. Why should a union get what is effectively a subsidy from the government.

  • 398. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    @383–wow, newsflash, the government often wastes money.

  • 399. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    @ Kstaigs…Sorry but I am a product of CPS, a former LSC member, and I attended many classes at Illinois that didn’t have a/c and my dorm didn’t have a/c. I know it is difficult, but to list that as a major striking point…so if the board says ok to that point given the current fiscal situation how realistic is it before every school is retrofitted for a/c? 5 years 10 years??????

  • 400. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    @383 We have heard so many horror stories about things that go on at CPS – and I believe that they do happen. So, how can we organize to at least shed a light on these things so that things can change? I don’t see anything in the current negotiations that would change any of the wasteful practices that go on at CPS.

    Parents are not just frustrated with the CTU – they are frustrated with many of the practices of CPS. However, we need to expose documented examples of this waste if we want anything to change.

  • 401. Chris  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Nathan: “the democrats are holding the legislature but a fingernail”

    2010 re-districting made the Legis safely Dem, at least for this year.

    kstaigs: “If you have no experience in what impact it has on the teaching/learning conditions in these schools”

    So, if we haven’t actually been in the actual schools (no list, natch), then we can have no valid opinion? Whether or not we’ve been in *other* schools w/o a/c? Unpersuasive.

  • 402. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    @400–why would you be frustrated with the CTU–they don’t work for you, they work for the teachers–why would you think that they would do anything but act in the best interests of the teachers.

  • 403. CTU Sucks  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    The CTU and CPS can’t agree on 2 things:
    Merit pay and job security. The CTU supports teachers that can’t get results and wants all teachers (good and bad) to get the same raise. If I were a good teacher, i would want merit pay. I would get recognized financially for my hard work. If I were a good teacher, I wouldn’t want the bad teacher that taught the kids in the grade before me to get hired again. Shame of the CTU!

  • 404. BEM  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Does anyone know how many teachers really agree with the CTU vs. how many are just going along with the CTU because they feel pressure to agree?

  • 405. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Does anybody know the specific details of how the CTU wants to evaluate teachers and of how they want to accomplish job security? I know that they do not like what CPS proposed on these issues, but I am not clear on what the CTU has offered on these items?

    If they want public support, they need to start explaining EXACTLY what they are striking for. Is it for an air conditioner in every classroom? No evaluations for teachers? ALL displaced teachers will be rehired? (I don’t think that this what the CTU wants, but I don’t really know what they DO want.)

  • 406. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    @403–um, the CTU exists to protect workers–why would they leave marginal performers out in the cold?

  • 407. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    #383 “Daley and Rahm are big on busting the union” – daley? really? didn’t the teachers get a ten year contract last time , with 4% annual raises? If that’s union busting, it’s not very good.

  • 408. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Woops – the 2nd line of my first paragraph in @405 should be a statement, not a question!

  • 409. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    @405–they aren’t going to die on the hill for A/C. They evidently don’t feel that they have to come up with specific proposals on evaluations–they have said to CPS, come up with something that we like. Fact is, unions HATE making labor toe the line. They fight it tooth and nail.

  • 410. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    @392 – Does actually attending school that has no A/C qualify? No, it is not legally an issue that teachers can strike over. I don’t doubt the difficulties knowing personally what it’s like to attend school with no A/C. The penalty imposed on all children does is not justified and does not have anything to do with resolving the matter.

  • 411. sfw  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    RE air conditioning, I’ve worked in office buildings for the past 20 years. With the exception of a very crazy publisher in Los Angeles, it has never even been considered that professionals like myself, with office jobs, would work without air conditioning. I really don’t understand why some think our children shouldn’t have that consideration as well. Don’t we want better for our children than ourselves?

  • 412. mom2  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Nathan, you asked, “How will going on strike eliminate the waste you are discussing?” – just give up trying to get an answer from anyone about how this strike is going to fix the things they list and complain about – respect, waste, parents that don’t care, feeling bullied, etc. They never answer that question. I’ve asked it numerous times and I end up hearing how bad things are and how they work so hard and how horrible the mayor is, etc. They never answer the question.

  • 413. Tired parent  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    With any job, there are systems, there’s a way you get your raises, When there’s no money, you either take a pay cut or get fired, when there’s not enough to go around you make sacrifices where you can, Why do the CTU think they are different than any other job. I simpathize with the good teachers that get caught up in this. I think the CTU is having such a hard time because CPS are tired of throwing good money behind bad teachers. Let them get rid of the bad teachers and reward the good ones. Then when you ask for something, they cant deny you. Most of the teachers dont even want all of this or else when they were given out the incentives for going longer days, they would not have went for it. I think alot of them just stand behind so they wont get ram roaded by the CTU for not being behind them.

  • 414. mom2  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I am a Lane parent and I would love it if they could give the students and teachers air conditioning. I also think it would be better for many schools to have more social workers and nurses and special ed teachers and aids. Let’s use the money they offered for raises and benefits and instead use it for this. For the kids.

  • 415. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    @411–ever hear of fans? My school didn’t have AC. And they wouldn’t even let us wear shorts to school.

  • 416. Nathan  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I think #406 summed it all up — CTU is striking to protect “marginal” workers. Glad to know they have our children’s “best interest” in mind.

  • 417. kstaigs  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    My comment spoke to the several who stated that we ALL agree it is not a strike worthy issue. I disagree. You want a school as example? Nice dig on the “no list, natch” by the way, really elevated the level of discourse and made sure this will be a civil discussion.

    So let us take Dixon elementary. No a/c and most of the windows in this building don’t open for one reason or another. And in many regards, this is an amazing school, working hard for the kids who attend, but this is, on many days of the year, an insurmountable obstacle.

    It is fair to say that I made a mistake by not listing that my comment was in response to the 2 posters, Momto2 and HSmom, who claimed that we should all agree on this point.

    As for the plausibility of installing a/c in these schools, I once again believe that should be left to those who know the situation, and that ain’t me. I can only imagine that fixing the windows so that they open at Dixon would be plausible, and I would imagine window units would then be possible, but I am not experienced in the heating and cooling department. I cannot imagine CTU is saying everyone gets central air or nobody gets to go to school, I have to think it is climate control in general they are attempting to address, which is completely valid in my experience and opinion. I prefer to think, despite mistakes made on both sides, that neither is a group of evil, completely unreasonable monsters hell bent on destroying the future of our children. I realize I may be in the minority there.

  • 418. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    @411: Absolutely, our desire should be to want more for our kids than ourselves. This summer, I tried to do some Mommy Summer math with my son, then our AC broke! I couldnt continue having him sit at the kitchen table trying to learn when it was so hot.We stopped altogether.

    @ 413-I agree with you 100%.My husband has been in same job over 10 years, nonprofit sector, accounting, and doesnt come close to a teachers 70K salary! He sees layoffs, jobs being sent to India, and more work with less staff.The answer? suck it up.

  • 419. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    @411 – because people who work in non-school settings work in those settings year-round. Let’s face it, air conditioning is an issue for only a few weeks at the beginning and at the end of the school year. If this strike lasts until the first snow comes and teachers are marching around in an ice storm instead of a lovely fall day, we’ll see if Karen still includes a/c as a priority.

  • 420. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    @419 Good point, but then the CTU will just add “global warming” to their list of demands.

  • 421. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    @411 – not saying that it’s not necessary (am saying that it is not something to strike over. The traditional reason that schools were not equipped with A/C is that the school year goes Sept-mid June. The need did not justify the cost. It is certainly a fixture in newer schools but some buildings are quite old and difficult (if not impossible, someone mentions architect opinion above) to retrofit A/C without incurring huge rehab costs that far outway the usefulness of the structure they are going into. Some can provide an easy fix and do. There are plenty of buildings all over Chicago in need, this is where the money tree issue comes in and priorities. Is it worth giving up part of the raise to get A/C – what do you think the answer will be on that?

  • 422. Logan Dad  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Mr. O’Brien,

    I appreciate your response but again question your vitriol. I know many teachers (I have 4 in my immediate family and 2 who are very close friends) and none of them exhibit the same angry froth that you exhibit over the many clear challenges that exist in teaching in a large, complex urban school system. No one questions that CPS is inefficient. These same inefficiencies plague all large public and private institutions. No one questions that being hot can be a distraction. (by the way, my daughter was in a school without AC for three years. She never mentioned it once.). Daley and Rahm against Unions? Daley pretty much appeased the CTU and every other public union for 20 years and Rahm has been cozy with unions in every election he has run. Having a shortage of materials is challenging but it effects individuals and organizations across both public and private sectors. The issues you mention are universal. They effect parents in the same way they effect teachers. And they have been present within CPS, the organization in which you chose to work, for over 50 years. They are not worth striking over. Let me ask you this, what are you really angry about? And, would you be less angry if you chose to work someplace else?

  • 423. justWonderin  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    ***

  • 424. AngryParent  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    @423 – I’m really angry with the union right now, but I don’t think you help the cause by name calling.

  • 425. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    @423 Nasty comments like that really do not help anything. I have absolutely no problem with what Karen Lewis looks like or how she dresses. I do have a problem with what she says, but making nasty comments about her appearance only make you look ignorant.

  • 426. Logan Dad  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    AIR CONDITIONING? So this strike is over AIR CONDITIONING? Please everyone, do yourself favor and let this subject go. Even on a wild west posting site like this, atrributing the School Strike to a lack of AC is insulting to everyone involved. That Ms. Lewis even mentioned it is an embarassment. I think, if we have any faith in our teachers, we need to assume that they are not walking the picket line for AIR CONDITIONING. I suggest we rally to ban AC topics from this forum. Is anyone with me?

  • 427. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Agreed. If it were about AC, cps would fold and end it today.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 428. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Oh – looking at the raise package – 38 million. Bet it would cost more than that to add A/C to all schools. So that would me that we wouldn’t even get to the wrap around services and recall issues. So Kstaigs – what do you suggest?

  • 429. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    @426 – what’s concerning is that it’s on the list and Lewis said they would not settle until every item on the list is taken care of. It’s one of the points that is most illustrative of how ridiculous this strike is.

  • 430. Downtown  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    If the strike continues and last for a week you can bet spring break is cancelled.

  • 431. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    @429 – good point. scary point.
    Do we know know exactly what is on that list at this point?

  • 432. cubswin  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    The plan is to make back lost time at both winter break and spring break. That way students don’t lose time and teachers don’t lose money. If the strike pushes past what is recoverable, many of the less activists teachers become more uncomfortable.

  • 433. Navigator  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Has the CTU released a list of their demands? As a CPS parent I would welcome this information. Teachers can you share this information with us? Is it listed on the CTU website?

  • 434. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    @ those who got upset about a comment about Karen Lewis–given her homophobic comments about Arne Duncan, it seems that calling her large really isn’t that big a deal.

    Why do the teachers have a bigot representing them? Could someone please answer?

    And what’s up with her associating with a communist like Michael Klonsky?

  • 435. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I really hope that they will make the list public. They have already stated that they are not willing to “go back and forth” (ie negotiate) and they expect to have every demand on their list met. We at least have the right to know exactly what they are demanding.

  • 436. Family Friend  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Info about NWEA:

    I am a member of the board of directors of a charter school in Englewood that has been using the NWEA for two years. Our kids are 100% African American and the poverty level is above 90%. We start with kids in fifth grade, when they are typically three to four years behind grade level.

    The NWEA is a computerized test. It adjusts itself to each student’s level of knowledge. If a student gets a question wrong, the test offers an easier question, and vice versa, until it finds each kid’s level.

    We use the test three times a year, in September, January, and May, to gauge progress. It also gives us information on where each kid is, so we can provide him/her with differentiated instruction.

    Last year, our math gains were flat from September to January, and the median seventh grade score actually declined a little. The administration used that information to work intensively with the math teachers to get everyone back on track. Math scores were up — as if we had never had the problem — in May. Our average kid made 1.6 years’ growth in math and 1.5 years’ growth in reading last year. Students who had been in the school longest had the greatest growth.

    Overall, I really like NWEA. I have two problems. One is that “grade level” is calculated on how everyone taking the NWEA performs — this is what an average 6th grader scores in math, so that is the 6th grade level. In the U.S. our “average” knowledge has been declining, so what was the 6th grade level when I was in school is now associated with a higher grade. Nevertheless, NWEA is starting to have really wide distribution, so it does give an idea of how our kids measure up to other U.S. students.

    The second problem is that the grade level tops out at 15. Don’t ask me how they get a 15th grade level for an elementary school test; I don’t know. What it means for us is that our very best students — about 1/3 of 8th graders — aren’t appropriately evaluated. We have started giving the Explore test to 8th graders in September to see how well our best students are doing.

    Our administration does use NWEA results in teacher evaluations, but it’s not an end-of-the-year thing. Every teacher is observed by an administrator, lead teacher, or coach at least once a month. Inexperienced and struggling teachers are observed more frequently, as much as once a week. Administration works with teachers to address whatever it is that is creating a barrier between students and mastery. This includes observation and coaching by the dean of students and families, who is responsible for helping teachers create and maintain a culture that is conducive to learning. Ideally, we want our kids to be excited about going to school and interested in what they are learning. We are not there yet, and probably will always have some kids we don’t reach, but we never forget our goal.

  • 437. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    No news about the list at CTU site but they have details for the strikers. It does specify that if they are at a site where kids are being served to be courteous and cordial and not prevent kids from entering.
    http://www.ctunet.com/for-members/strike-central

  • 438. Tcher78  |  September 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    @CPSO

    “only the janitor can be there to set up chairs, etc for the whole day at extra pay (it was either time and a half or double time, but either way, it was a very lucrative gig for the janitor”

    Wow, I am SO sure the janitor was raking in piles of cash with this lucrative gig being a janitor. SMH

  • 439. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    434. spob “And what’s up with her associating with a communist like Michael Klonsky?”

    Any minute spob is going to insist on seeing Karen Lewis’ birth certificate. 🙂

  • 440. RL Julia  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Here’s my uncle’s opinion. He is a chemical engineer by training who after many years of working for other people (like Pratt and Whitney on space ships) opened his own business for about 30 years getting many (like seven or so?) patents and all sorts of Department of Defense contracts. After he sold his business he moved to New Mexico and started teaching (adjuncting at a community college actually) in his retirement…. He recently moved back to MA where he is involved in his town’s school board – specifically talking about math and science.
    (RL) Julia,
    Teachers are getting a completely undeserved bum rap. Most people think teachers have a short working day and work only nine months of the year. I remember teaching four courses in a semester and staying up at night to try and figure out how some student arrived at a completely nonsensical answer using an off the wall permutation of the method we had gone over in class. I remember how blown I was at the end of the course and decided to opt out of teaching summer school.
    The Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education (he now lives in MA) is addicted to buzz words like “Data Driven,” and reject the idea of how subjective many parts of teaching young kids are. They want teaching to be totally scientific, which is totally bullsh*t. When they aren’t testing the students, they are evaluating each other. I think the DESE cant brush their teeth without a rubric.
    – Dave

  • 441. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    any minute now…

  • 442. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    @tchr78, to open the doors, sit during church services then lock up for what I believe was around $500/month. Yeah, I’d call that raking it in when a volunteer could’ve done it for free.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 443. Tcher78  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    @ HS MOM
    “You may want to update your data and look at local (not a national Stanford Study) that are boldly highlighted in another thread on this site. If CTU thinks that charters are only attract poor people and are such bad schools, why are they so concerned about charter expansion?”

    Really??? You are discounting a national study? I am speechless.

  • 444. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Official CTU list? Did Lewis offer up a counter proposal on their website similar to what Brizard/Vitale offered to the public as a detailed offer? There’s the pamphlet and the press conference which discusses class sizes, air conditioning, support or wrap around services, recall – in addition to salary and benefits that have been addressed. Does CTU have a final “list”? Anyone know?

  • 445. cubswin  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    For better or worse, historically Rahm means what he says:

    “Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday urged both sides in the strike by Chicago Public School teachers to “stay at the table and finish it for our children,” but he refused to bend on two outstanding issues: allowing principals to retain the right to choose their teachers and teacher evaluations.”

    So recall is the issue that’s negotiable that he’s not going to negotiate.

  • 446. Tcher78  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    @james
    “and let teachers get back in the classroom with our kids”

    just like the hired help. Right?

  • 447. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    On the other hand, janitors have to clean up vomit and used bandaids, so perhaps it’s a fair tradeoff. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 448. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Yeah, it’s bad enough when it’s your own kids vomit!

  • 449. dave4119  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I am in support of the ‘idea’ of teachers, I am even in support of the teachers at my daughter’s CPS school…..heck, I even support the general population of teachers in the CPS system. I am NOT in support of the CTU. This union has two general problems…it is compelled to defend teachers that should be fired. I know, I know…due process serves ALL teachers rights, not just the bad apples. The other problem is that the CTU’s major difficulty with this contract is that CPS is trying to install a process by which an inefficient…..uh, unmotivated…uh,poorly-trained teacher is identified…presumably making it easier to start the firing process. Not only has the CTU contested the implemenatation of ANY such assessing of teachers, but they have proposed added a ‘training’ component, which is nothing more than an additional layer of the due process procedure, which in effect makes it more difficult to fire a poorly-performing teacher. Ok, load your weapons, fire away….some will have decent, sensible responses(snipers), most will spew nonsenee(machine gunners)

  • 450. cubswin  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Offer lists are interdependent.

    For example, CPS almost certainly offered 16 percent raise, but it was likely dependent on other conditions. So there can be no simple lists that fairly compares each side. The negotiators probably even have a hard time keeping track.

    You can be sure that under a lot of the emotion is the fundamental fear of losing ones job. That should be understandable, even to those who side strongly with CPS.

  • 451. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    @437 It is interesting that, although they do ask them to be courteous to parents who are dropping their children off, they seem to be concentrating their efforts at the Holding Centers. The flyer mentioned that at 8:00 they may be asked to move to a holding center and on Tuesday they will likely picket at one of the 144 locations.

  • 452. James  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    @446 Tcher78 —

    Huh? Your comment doesn’t even begin to make any sense. Spend too much time today out “on the line,” did we?

  • 453. James  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    @448 anon —

    Now I feel like vomiting!

  • 454. mom2  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    So since there is no list from CTU, then they are only striking over – allowing principals to choose their teachers and teacher evaluations? Where is the list “for the kids”? You mean it isn’t for the kids?

  • 455. mom2  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    450 – are you saying that the teachers will not get a 16% raise unless they agree to something in return? It sure is hard to support something like a strike that hurts our kids when there is no information on the details of any of this.

  • 456. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    @443 – you may have not been involved in all the discussions here in the past. To rehash, reviewing the Studies from 3 years ago, charters in some other states showed that the public schools fared better than charters. In Illinois charters were shown to be better than their public school counterparts. You can look up the studies yourself if you want to analyze 3 year old data.

    There is a whole thread with current data available on this website that illustrates that their are some excellent charter schools in Chicago. I would recommend that people check out that data as one means of researching local charter schools.

  • 457. Mch  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Now that not even the CTU propagandists/trolls seem able to state their demands with a straight face anymore, I suspect this thing will be over in a day or two. Hope KL is enjoying her 15 minutes. The annals of history won’t be kind to her. The marchers have nice weather today for their party, at least.

  • 458. Paul  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    My favorite part of the flyer is the chants.

    “The war on unions is a joke
    Tax the rich that made us broke”

    and

    “How to fix the school budget?
    Tax, tax, tax the rich!”

    No wonder the list of demands is so long and costly. And, no wonder they don’t recognize that the city is broke. They think they’ll easily get more money by taxing the rich. All they have to do is strike, and the city and state lawmakers will increase taxes on the rich in order to pay for it. Simple.

  • 459. Tcher78  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    @james, spent too much time taking a coffee break?

  • 460. Skinner mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    @ 456 So condescending you are HS MOM. who gives a flip if the comment is from someone new or old to the blog? I didn’t know this blog was just for a selective little group.

  • 461. cpsTeacher22  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    @456

    “To rehash, reviewing the Studies from 3 years ago, charters in some other states showed that the public schools fared better than charters. In Illinois charters were shown to be better than their public school counterparts.”.

    You are absolutely mistaken. The data does not show charter are better than their counterparts. Maybe you better review the day yourself or at least leave it to someone better at interpreting data!

  • 462. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    On the evaluation topic – the problem is that CPS (in my own opinion, not CTU’s) wants to use a blanket approach across the system when the schools themselves are so different. There’s the obvious factor of the schools in neighborhoods that face huge social challenges, which has already been tossed around on this blog. Here are a few of my own. Please jump in!

    – How do you use test scores to evaluate teachers whose subjects are not tested? Art, world language, etc. (assuming you have these courses?)

    – On the opposite end of the spectrum – What if a teacher’s class is filled with students who already score in the 98%+ – how do you show improvement or AYP? It’s almost like there’s nowhere to go but down. This teacher might offer so much to these students by improving writing skills or facing other challenges, but that wouldn’t necessarily register.

    – A math teacher I know used to make his students stand up when ever someone came into the classroom (like me, when I visited to take some photos) and individually introduce themselves and make a small comment of welcome. It sounds silly but it gave his kids great confidence and improved their social skills. How do you measure that kind of improvement? He wanted them to be able to handle situations in life that they were bound to encounter.

    I know this is all a bit abstract, but when I look at how the longer day was implemented – across the board with no regard for individual school atmospheres or success – it would make me nervous as a teacher (even a really good one) to trust CPS with my job based on their system.

  • 463. ncm  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    @458 Paul – Speaking of flyers, I am brainstorming this week for what the parents’ posters are going to say who rally at CTU HQ if this is not over by week’s end (I’ve established that as my breaking point).

  • 464. Chris  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    kstaigs: First, I was unnecessarily snarky, but I *hate* the “you don’t know what you’re talking about” when it’s something like working in a hot building. Apologies for the snark, but I’d make the same basic point again.

    “I can only imagine that fixing the windows so that they open at Dixon would be plausible”

    1. It sure should be, but I bet there’s a lead paint issue. So, while CPS *absolutely* should do it, it isn’t cheap or quick.

    “I would imagine window units would then be possible”

    Probably need to run new electric for window units, as they can be a fire risk in “normal” shared circuit outlet (yes, even 110v). Again, CPS *should* do that, but it’s not cheap or quick.

  • 465. cpsTeacher22  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Hispanic charter school students performed significantly worse in math, and both African-American and Hispanic charter school students performed significantly worse in reading compared to their traditional public school counterparts.
    The report also found that new charter school students in Illinois have an initial loss of learning in reading and math from charter school attendance compared to their counterparts in traditional public schools. In subsequent years, there is a trend upward. Charter school students still continue to incur a loss of learning in reading from charter school attendance in year two but it is smaller than year one. By year three the charter school impact in reading becomes insignificant. The charter school impact on math becomes insignificant in the second year of attendance.

    A DIRECT QUOTE from the 2012 study you mentioned HS MOM. Know your facts before scolding someone.

  • 466. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    @462. anon : ” How do you use test scores to evaluate teachers whose subjects are not tested? Art, world language, etc. (assuming you have these courses?)”

    Remember that 35 million CTU turned down? It could have been used to develop a system that addressed this and other issues, if only the teachers were willing to cooperate. CTU was repeatedly asked for their input, and declined to provide it.

    “On the opposite end of the spectrum – What if a teacher’s class is filled with students who already score in the 98%+ – how do you show improvement or AYP?”

    The improvement could be used until the scores hit a certain percentage, say 95%. After that, the teacher could get the best possible rating, unless the scores go down. Even the kids who start at 98% will have to learn a new material for the next test, and be tested on it.

  • 467. Paul  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    @463, ncm, post some ideas here and get some feedback. There are some very creative people that read these comments.

  • 468. Good for other kids  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    The Illinois charter school population is 63% African-American, 32% Latino, and 86% low income. ……so who is ready to enroll from this blog? HS Mom?

  • 469. Tired of anger  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Indulge a brief aside…

    On the topic of air conditioning: there are schools in our city where 1/3 of the students (or more) have asthma. See this Northwestern University Study from 2008:

    http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2008/02/asthma.html

    If it is 90 degrees outside, it may be 98 degrees inside the school, or more. Lack of Air conditioning and city pollution combine to pose a real health hazard for children with breathing problems, who are also likely in a CPS school with a nurse only a couple days a week.

    We have one of the highest asthma mortality rates in the country. Perhaps this seems minor if this is not your child, but it shows that some of these wellness/environment/school physical plant/staffing issues are all interconnected, and affect children directly. It is not just about a little sweat. Asthma attacks cause much school absence, ER visits… well, I will stop preaching on public health now.

    Did not want to comment on all the issues involved here – it is compex. But our children in the city have many factors together afffecting their performance in school. We need to value our children and allow negotiations and real discussion of what kids need to be healthy and ready for school. Blaming one side or the other in this debate as evil does little to solve some of these problems.

  • 470. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    @460 – my tone reflects the tone of the question. And yes, I’m angry that CTU went on strike after a fair proposal, dismissing it out of hand…..and the rest.

  • 471. AnonMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    There is a petition created today asking President Obama to come and walk the picket line

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/have-president-obama-come-home-and-walk-picket-line-chicago-teachers-union-he-promised-2007/r084LdlB

  • 472. cubswin  |  September 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    @463. ncm said
    “……..Speaking of flyers, I am brainstorming this week for what the parents’ posters are going to say who rally at CTU HQ if this is not over by week’s end (I’ve established that as my breaking point).”

    Not sure about posters, but perhaps counter the CTU’s giant inflatable rat with a giant inflatable leech? Not that I would approve of such childish tactics………..

  • 473. Good for other kids  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city leaders have long heralded charter schools’ innovative approach to education, but new research suggests many charters in Chicago are performing no better than traditional neighborhood schools and some are actually doing much worse.

    More than two dozen schools in some of the city’s most prominent and largest charter networks, including the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), Chicago International Charter Schools, University of Chicago and LEARN, scored well short of district averages on key standardized tests.

    Source: Chicago tribune

  • 474. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    @461 – review the day? right…. up late 10:00 announcement that there is no school and don’t know when there will be. But you want to debate the details of a 3 year old study.

  • 475. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    468. Good for other kids

    I thought that too – just didn’t have the brass to post it. 🙂

    Too tired for that fight.

  • 476. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    “The report also found that new charter school students in Illinois have an initial loss of learning in reading and math from charter school attendance compared to their counterparts in traditional public schools. In subsequent years, there is a trend upward.”

    sounds like a plus to me

  • 477. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Re: Charter schools: I, for one, would decline to send my kids to any charter.I personally know a 16 year old at one of them, and I am not impressed by his academic abilities.Sorry.However, his parents seem to think that simply because his chool operates on a track E schedule, has the word “charter “in its name, that somehow this school qualifies as “a really good, selective school.”If only they knew-being different does not always make a school better.

  • 478. Coco  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I have heard that the teacher turnout has essentially shut down downtown. Has anyone heard any status on the negotiations? I haven’t been able to find any updates. Any press conf. expected?

  • 479. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    @468 – “The Illinois charter school population is 63% African-American, 32% Latino, and 86% low income. ……so who is ready to enroll from this blog? HS Mom?”

    I’m sorry but calling foul here. This seems racist to me. I would enroll in a charter so what does that do to your opinion of me? WOW what a statement.

  • 480. Good for other kids  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    HS MOM, So you are enrolling your kid? Great!!!

  • 481. nancy  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    TEACHING–THE MOTHER OF ALL OTHER PROFESSIONS.

  • 482. Good for other kids  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Not racist, elitist. Read over your posts and reflect.

  • 483. Good for other kids  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    HS Mom no offense, Just my opinion and just like your opinion of things it doesn’t make it fact, does it?

  • 484. Chris  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    “I’m sorry but calling foul here.”

    What’s the CPS population? Charters are 95% no-white and 86% free/reduced (does this include principals’ kids, too??). And CPS is 91% non-white and 87% free/reduced (which *does* include some principals’ kids).

    I don’t see the meaningful difference in the aggregate stats.

  • 485. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    @473. Good for other kids: “Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city leaders have long heralded charter schools’ innovative approach to education, but new research suggests many charters in Chicago are performing no better than traditional neighborhood schools and some are actually doing much worse.”

    Nevertheless, the tax payers are lining up to get into these charters. What gives CTU, the tax consumer, the right to deprive them of that choice?

  • 486. Support Your Teachers!!!!  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    anon – thank you for the link. We should email this to family and friends. Our childrens’ teachers need our support most now.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/have-president-obama-come-home-and-walk-picket-line-chicago-teachers-union-he-promised-2007/r084LdlB

  • 487. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    From the Trib strike watch: “Maritza DeLeon, a fourth grade teacher, said she was overwhelmed by the turnout. “I have never seen so many people sticking together for the same reason,” she said.”

    PLEASE what is it? How will a contract resolve it? I know this question will yet AGAIN unanswered.

  • 488. Teacher22  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    @Omega
    ” It is very evident of the quality of teachers in CPS, look at the leadership they have chosen, its no wonder to me that the youth are so confused and lost….look at who are leading them in the schools. ”

    Wow, I have so much power over YOUR kids. I wonder why they look to a stranger rather than mom or dad? Something to ponder.

  • 489. Paul  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    How about these chants?

    “We love teachers, they’re the best
    But 16 percent is more than the rest”

    “Come on teachers, let’s be reasonable
    Compromise at the bargaining table”

    “76,000, not too shabby
    You really should be happy”

    “Big raises during the Great Recession
    Now you should make some consessions”

    “Big wish list, that’s a fact
    Not everything belongs in a labor contract”

    Somehow, they just don’t have the zing of “tax the rich”

  • 490. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Great HS MOM, looks like Chris will join you in the newest charter.

  • 491. anun  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Why would Obama want to commit political suicide?

  • 492. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    ““……..Speaking of flyers, I am brainstorming this week for what the parents’ posters are going to say who rally at CTU HQ if this is not over by week’s end (I’ve established that as my breaking point).”
    Not sure about posters, but perhaps counter the CTU’s giant inflatable rat with a giant inflatable leech? Not that I would approve of such childish tactics”

    And will you bring your kids along so they can see what you think about their teachers?

  • 493. Paul  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    “Obama is great and Rahm is it!
    Please don’t make me agree with Mitt”

    I think they need more exclamation points!!!

  • 494. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    @Paul – You are cracking me up with these chants!

  • 495. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    @490 – as it is really difficult to get in to the good charters maybe we could start our own. I hear there’s just tons of money to be made in the privatization of education.

  • 496. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Paul great chants! I’m going home to practice now.

  • 497. Chris  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    “Great HS MOM, looks like Chris will join you in the newest charter.”

    That is absoultely an examplar of logical reasoning there, Frank.

  • 498. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Chris – right on!

  • 499. cubswin  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    492. Frank said
    “And will you bring your kids along so they can see what you think about their teachers?”

    You seem concerned about my theoretical leech, but not how your actual posters portray my children’s mayor.

  • 500. ??  |  September 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I-Team: Is the Chicago teachers strike legal?

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=8805308

  • 501. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Looks like the waiver for athletes was denied. Sad day for those students.

    http://www.suntimes.com/15068467-761/illinois-high-school-association-denies-cps-waiver-to-continue-sports-amid-strike.html

  • 502. Paul  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    “You have hard jobs, we all know it
    Don’t close the schools just to show it”

    “You’re mad at Rahm, he’s a jerk
    Don’t let that keep you from your work”

    “You don’t teach for the money
    Going on strike makes that sound funny”

    “You hold your sign while on the curb
    And now we’re headed for the ‘burbs”

    I’m on a roll.

  • 503. ??  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Rolling closures in the Loop due to teachers rally

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=8805253

  • 504. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Paul, you have a future as a protest sign writer!!

    Most of those could be easily tailored for the CTU as well, just be changing a few words.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 505. Momto2  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Too bad Ms. Lewis could not show up on time. She was 90 minutes late. Talk about disrespect…

  • 506. Momto2  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    …for today’s round of negotiations.

  • 507. cubswin  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    We may need to have a rally just to use Paul’s chants. How about suburban green as the official protest shirt color?

  • 508. Patrick  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    What seems to be missing from this discussion is the use of test scores as an accountability measure. Regardless of where you stand in relation to teachers strike, everyone needs to pay close attention to how teachers will be evaluated. If teachers agree to the teacher evaluation system proposed by CPS, then students across the city will end up experiencing a test prep curriculum. Not exactly the kind of educational opportunity that will prepare students for college and workplace.

  • 509. cubswin  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    “…for today’s round of negotiations.”

    They can’t stop yet. Too much attention. It’s soooo exciting. (!!!)

  • 510. cubswin  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    @Patrick
    A “critical thinker” with an ACT of 17 isn’t much of a college student.

  • 511. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Ahhhah, now I see why “air conditioning” all of a sudden became a key issue. It appears CTU is using it as a cover to make the strike “legal”. Yes, schools get hot, so I am not asking to rehash the temperature issues. It now makes sense why all of a sudden it appeared as a priority last night.

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=8805308

  • 512. Paul  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    “A strike won’t stop the charter movement
    We must work hard for school improvement.”

  • 513. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    @Paul, you are killing me—-with laughter! Keep ’em coming!

  • 514. Coco  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Teachers, can you please share what requirements CTU is standing/striking for? A transparent list would be very helpful for parents.

  • 515. Another Parent  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    @194 & @249: You said twice that Mayor Daley NEVER would have let this (strike) happen.

    It has been said that Mayor Daley was deathly afraid of (or allergic to) strikes. Assuming true, then WHY didn’t the CTU fight this fight for these issues on the LAST contract when the economy was much better for the City, county, state and nation??? The students deserved these things THEN when we could afford them all, as well as now when unfortunately we can’t. Yet, the CTU did not fight for them 5 years ago.

    Also, it’s also being said that CTU is fighting the privatization of public education. That is a political issue and battle to be fought in the Statehouse, not in the schoolhouse by using school children as pawns.

    Pardon if someone else has posted about this.

  • 516. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    @ Teacher 22, in case you were at the rally, As for my two sons one is at Dartmouth and the other a senior at Whitney Young, and not among your rally. Mu youngest was here at my office working on his college application. Your comments are yet another example why teachers within CPS shows the public why merit and accountability are not high on their list. Mr. Mayor start handing out pink slips!!!!

  • 517. Family Friend  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    It seems that very few of the people trashing charters here have spent any time in them. CPS used to print an annual report that compared charters to the neighborhood schools their students would have otherwise attended — it was a weighted average; if 30% of your students would have gone to school A, then school A’s scores were 30% of the weighted average. An overwhelming majority of charter schools did significantly better than the comparable neighborhood schools, and some did astronomically better.

    I have mixed feelings about using this means of comparison. The district-wide scores include schools in middle-class neighborhoods, magnet and gifted schools, and selective enrollment high schools, so the district-wide average is going to be harder to beat than the comparable neighborhood schools — but I really hate the idea that because kids are poor and minority they should be held to a lower standard. The charter movement is grounded in the belief that every child can learn, and that zip code is not destiny.

    In general, charters are not located in the neighborhoods of people who frequent this blog, because your children are not the ones charter school operators want to reach. They want to make a difference in the lives of students who are otherwise headed to schools where many, if not most, of the teachers and administrators believe that they will fail because of what their homes look like.

    Everybody likes to quote the Stanford study, now at least six years old, that studied charters all over the country. About half did no better than comparable schools, about a third did worse, and about 17% did better. The problem with this study is that at that time the majority of charter schools were located in Ohio and Arizona, two states with wide-open chartering laws and little oversight. Those schools really pulled down the average. Both states have taken steps to rein in the abuses, but they still give charters a bad reputation. In that study, Illinois charter schools were slightly better than comparable schools in math and about the same in reading. Later studies, including ones by the same institute at Stanford, showed much better results for charters. One Stanford study followed students in New York City charter schools. The control group was students who had entered the lotteries for the same schools but had not been picked. This eliminated the variable of “do the parents care enough about education to enter their kids in a charter lottery?” Kids in the charter schools did better than the control group, and the longer they were in the charter schools, the greater the gap. The Mathematica study mentioned by an earlier poster was very positive about Illinois charter schools — I am not sure what part of the study the poster was quoting.

    I have lost count of the charter schools I have visited, here, downstate, on the east coast, and in California. Sometimes I am on a formal “tour” but most of the time there is nothing special set up. I get to see the “real deal.” Not every school is a place I would want to send a kid, but most are — especially when I work with families who can’t afford private school or a move to the suburbs. The best charter schools bring out the potential in every child. The worst offer a safe place and an opportunity for a moderately motivated child.

    The school where I serve on the board graduated its first class of 8th graders in June. For that graduating class, the median NWEA grade level in math was 10.9 and the median in reading was 11.6. Remember that when they started in 5th grade, our median kid was 2.5 years behind. Our students are 100% African American and more than 90% FRL. Our principal’s kid is not old enough to go there, and he would have to enter the lottery to attend — no preference for the kids of staff. About 13% of our students have IEPs, and about 14% are homeless. If you think charters aren’t any good, visit one. As they say at Urban Prep, “Seeing is Believing.”

  • 518. Paul  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    “Opposing teachers is a little awkward
    End the strike and we’re friends like clockwork”

    It’s hard to rhyme with awkward.

  • 519. Tired parent  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I dont think half the teachers know why they are out there. Everytime someone ask them what they are striking for, they say dont ask me hard questions, or back to the air conditioning situation, or ask Karen Lewis. I dont think they are telling them what’s on the table and what’s not.

  • 520. Strike highlights division on teacher evaluation  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Strike highlights division on teacher evaluation

    “One of the key disagreements driving Chicago teachers to the picket lines this week is also a central component of President Barack Obama’s education policy: evaluating instructors in part on how much their students improve.

    Through its $4 billion Race to the Top competition and No Child Left Behind waivers, the Obama administration has encouraged states to change how teachers are assessed and include data on student growth as a component. That policy has hit a nerve in the education community, and not just among the unions.”

    http://www.chron.com/news/article/Strike-highlights-division-on-teacher-evaluation-3854400.php

  • 521. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I am convinced that the majority of the teachers in CTU Local1 have no clue why they are on strike and what they want. Who doesn’t want higher pay, better working conditions. This is indicative of people who can’t stand up or articulate for themselves so they join a gang to help them bully their way into something they have no clue about. It seems the persons benefitting from this are the heads at CTU, Ms. Lewis with “her attorney”, “her driver”. Isn’t this the same thing we see from ‘gang leaders” on the south and west sides of chicago? The they pass out their red shirts to signify their ties…wow so similar hard to overlook.

    If its higher pay and smaller classrooms, then why not close schools with reduced enrollment and have those teachers (if and only if they are competent and meet the standards set by the principal of new school) move to those schools where the closed school population are transferred to.

  • 522. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Paul, any rhymes with “Lewis”.

    Btw, Dr. Awkward is one of my favorite palindromes.

    On another note, I will get to talk at 8am with someone from cps (along with some other bloggers) who has been in the negotiations.
    I hope they’re forthcoming…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 523. cps alum  |  September 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    –just thought I would add to all the parents who mentioned the suburbs– things really aren’t better there:

    Lake Forest teachers intend to strike this Wednesday
    Evergreen Park teachers may strike by the end of this month
    NilesTownship contract negotiations are current working with a mediator

  • 524. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    @521:I beg your pardon, gangs are not secluded to only west and south side…there are gangs on North side as well as in the highly regarded suburbs.Times have changed.

  • 525. AnonMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Last night Karen Lewis did mention being in discussions with other Teacher Unions. Illinois could become a bigger education hot mess.

  • 526. marcsims  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    How may CPS teachers send their own children to a low income neighborhood school? http://iirc.niu.edu/School.aspx?schoolid=150162990250766

    ________________________________

  • 527. AW  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    According to the Chicago Catalyst a few minutes ago: Vitale just left franczek’s office and said they are working on details. Said he does not think contract will be resolved tonight.

    This sounds like progress — right?

    Anyone have more info?

  • 528. Omega Mo  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    @523 Lets hope they can articulate why they are striking!!!!
    @524 I am a product of CPS and lived on south/west side, I prefer to reference things I have personally witnessed, not through some study. I appreciate your comments about the North side and the burbs!

  • 529. ncm  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    @507 cubswin – suburban green, yes!
    @ Paul – excellent chants. My best so far is FU CTU, but, I know, I know, hard to make a teachable moment out of that one.

    I forgot who asked – I won’t be bringing my kindergartner to the pending CTU HQ rally as I envision having to go during a quick lunch break from my non-union job while my child is at home with a sitter that I have to pay for with after tax dollars because he’s not in school which I already paid for with my tax dollars.

  • 530. klem  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    780AM reported that Vitale thought it might be settled by tomorrow morning.

  • 531. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    @525 Yes, all part of Queen Lewis’ national agenda. I posted on the prior string and see all the pieces coming together………

    For the kids?! (sarcasm)

  • 532. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Wow. I am shocked and thrilled that they seem to be close to settling. I wouldn’t have called that. Hope, hope, hope. And I’m very curious about the resolution!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 533. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    sounds to me like you are saying gangs on the north side and burbs are only existent as part of a so called study? unless I am misconstruing your statements above….It is actually a reality, not just a paper/theory;one does not need to actually see these gangs in order to confirm their existence in other parts of the city-Thanks!

  • 534. Coco  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Found this article

    Teacher Strike to Go Into Second Day
    “We should resolve this tomorrow,” says CPS President David Vitale

    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/national-international/chicago-teachers-union-strike-day-one-negotiations-169243316.html

  • 535. none  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I begin to wonder why so many parentson here are hostile toward the teachers and unions. Perhaps, people who posted those animosities are hired “ghost writers”??? This morning I was at the picket line with my daughter’s teachers, and from what I saw – other parents were really supportive. They brought water, donuts, coffee, apples, ect… There were cars honking loudly and repeatedly, even from fire trucks and police officers too..

    I also find it puzzling that why so many commenters on here were praising Ms. Diane Ratvich’s book a couple of weeks ago, and now they begin to retract their words. Teachers are fighting about standardized testing and class size, yet so many posters complained and nitpicked on Ms. Karen Lewis! Really Ms. Diane Ratvich is supportive of the strike, and I would think that you people would too.

  • 536. cpsmommy  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    @529 Many teachers are also paying for sitters while they picket. And they aren’t getting paid.

  • 537. karet  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    @343 (Falcongrad) — So you went to school from 9 – 3:15 (6.25 hours)? I’m not a math whiz, but I’m almost certain that is longer than 5.75 hours! (I’m sure you’re right that instructional time was reduced due to lunch and recess, but that’s not what Rahm said). It’s not important. I had a positive reaction to the Mayor’s remarks, and you obviously didn’t.

    (My apologies to everyone for this tangent!)

  • 538. what?not  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    526 how many CPS teachers send their kids to any CPS schools? Not too many… How many CPS teachers really live in the city?

  • 539. what?not  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Now Mitt is involved? What a whack job….

  • 541. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    @469 – thinking about your post and the way things are currently structured. Wouldn’t your child’s medical condition be covered by his/her IEP? This would mean that CPS would need to be able to accommodate your child in their school on days that it was too hot or provide them with a program/school that would address the issue?

  • 542. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    @535:In my opinion, parents have become hostile towards teachers/ctu for rejecting what seems to be a decent offer from CPS.Also, CT has not yet come forth with excactly what the strikeable issues rae, it’s very nebulous-all I can understand is they disagrree on evaluations, recall, and class size, salary, but there seems to be more to it.Bottom line is, some of us parents feel teachers have it pretty good and should not be using our kids at pawns in their ego quest for respect.Respect is earned, not handed out.So far, it seems Ms. Lewis is getting a huge ego stoke-showing up 90 minutes late? That is taxpayer’s time also! Don’t be fooled by the support you see on streets/cars honking-I think at times people get swept up in the moment and just want to be part of it all.Or maybe some really don’t understand the issues.CT has done a good job by misleading some to believe it’s for the kids”. Puh-leeze! (sp).

  • 543. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Help me figure this out: The union requires teachers to pay $1,000 per year to the union in dues. The union tells teachers that they need to show up at their school to picket, unpaid, or else they will blacklisted as scabs. The union refuses a fair contract from CPS for teachers, forcing teachers to continue to picket, unpaid. Meanwhile teachers are prohibited from teaching and earning money to pay their bills. And the union refuses to allow children to receive an education until it gets what it wants.

    Who is the real bully?

  • 544. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    535. none

    Don’t worry – just come back here and read the posts in March, April an and April when everyone is lamenting that their child did not get into an SEES or SEHS and that there is no way they could send their child to the neighborhood school because the conditions there are so bad.

  • 545. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Don’t cave, Mr. Mayor

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-strike-0911-jm-20120911,0,1868281.story

    “CPS officials tell us City Hall and the district won’t cave on those two key issues. They cannot. A strike may last two days or two weeks or two months. But what happens in these contract talks is about Chicago’s future.

    This is about whether 402,000 kids get the education they need to perform well in college — and to compete in their careers. Or whether the teachers succeed in protecting jobs, watering down reforms, and dooming generation after generation of students to languish in classrooms where no one is responsible if a student doesn’t learn.”

  • 546. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    @535 none
    I meant March, April or May.

  • 547. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm

     
    Merit Pay and Using Testing to Evaluate Teachers
     
    Since most merit pay systems use test scores to determine “merit” I’ll discuss these two together.  Many people erroneously believe that teachers oppose these ideas because they don’t want to be held accountable.  This is not true.  First, these systems ignore the fact that much of what motivates a teacher cannot be quantified or measured.  Professor Mark Naison writes:
     
    “It is frightening that business leaders have taken charge of education in the United States, because the only things they take seriously as motivation are material rewards and fear of losing one’s job or business…Because they fail to understand how much of a teacher’s job satisfaction comes from relationship building and watching students develop over a lifetime, however, they create systems of evaluation which totally eliminate such experiences because they cannot be reliably measured.”
     
    Full article: http://hnn.us/articles/why-business-leaders-make-mess-when-they-are-put-charge-schools
     
    Teachers also have concerns that evaluations based on test scores only cover a small portion of what teachers do and will encourage an even narrower focus on only what is covered by standardized tests.
     
    Second, teachers do not trust these systems to be fair.  Standardized tests have not been designed to measure teacher effectiveness but student achievement.  As a result, they are notoriously unreliable if they are not used as intended.  The same teacher can be given very different ratings from one year to the next or even from class to class.  A study of NYC’s plan to evaluate teachers found that it would take up to ten years of test scores to rate a teacher with 90% accuracy.  Furthermore, many teachers teach subjects that are not tested (art, music, world language, for example).  The typical “solution” is to have their school’s reading scores used in their evaluation which means they are being “held accountable” for something that is not their primary job responsibility.  Another reason for not trusting these systems is that the formulas used are incredibly complex.  An article examining Florida’s evaluation system reported:
     
    “”StateImpact Florida and the Miami Herald partnered up to deconstruct the equation and try to figure out what’s going on here. We asked statisticians and policymakers how the formula works. The answer we got: No lay person, teacher or reporter can understand it. So just trust us.”
     
    Full article:  http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2012/02/16/inside-the-mathematical-equation-for-teacher-merit-pay/
     
    Recently, eighty-eight education professors from 15 Chicagoland universities released a statement expressing their concerns about CPS proposals for a new evaluation system using test scores. Their full statement is here:
     
    http://createchicago.blogspot.com/2012/03/misconceptions-and-realities-about.html
     
    Here is an excerpt from their press conference:
     
    “[Second, T]en of the nation’s leading scholars on assessment wrote a joint letter cautioning against teacher-evaluation approaches that use value-added models, because such models can be unstable (they can vary from year to year or even from test to test for the same group). Furthermore, such models
    were developed to assess student change, not teacher efficacy, so to use the models for a different purpose should first require more field-testing and development.
     
    Third, impact. We have already seen the results of placing increased value on tests: a more narrow curriculum, less cooperation between teachers, less desire to work with students with special needs—that is, this overemphasis on test scores results not in increased success for our students, but the opposite.”

  • 548. cpsmommy  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    @545 Yeah Rahm, don’t cave and Angie your kid will be getting nothing but test prep for the duration of his/her education in CPS. Sounds like a lovely way to groom good and productive citizens.

  • 549. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    The union did not discuss the issues they are striking about today? Say what?

    http://www.suntimes.com/15054902-761/cps-president-strike-wont-end-tonight.html

    ” Vitale said the two major sticking points, teacher evaluations and recall rights, were not even discussed.

    “We did not get to them today, the union said they were not ready for discussion on those particular issues,” Vitale said.”

  • 550. Skinner Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    “I also find it puzzling that why so many commenters on here were praising Ms. Diane Ratvich’s book a couple of weeks ago, and now they begin to retract their words. Teachers are fighting about standardized testing and class size, yet so many posters complained and nitpicked on Ms. Karen Lewis! Really Ms. Diane Ratvich is supportive of the strike, and I would think that you people would too.”

    Well said, but not that puzzling after following this blog and many of the same parents for over a year. As the earlier post wrote, see how the tone changes in the thread on kids getting into selective schools, etc. as one comment stated I would never endanger my child by sending him to Wells HS. But is ok for teachers to work in this environment? It is ok to endanger other kids and staff just not my child. So back to work CTU!

  • 551. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    well, umm, I think we ought to know exactly what was discussed today all day, don’t you think? Why are we being left in the dark, this should be public info, esp. for obsessed parents :).I’ve been hooked here all day, my husband is gonna ban me form this pc….

  • 552. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Most importantly, did they talk about AC? 😉 It is the reason to keep the strike legal after all.

  • 553. Paul  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    “We’d rather support you than the 1 percent
    But you make twice the average gent.”

    “You say you’re striking for the kids
    So, what’s with all the benefits?”

    “Critical thinking is the thing
    But teachers unite without complaint.”

    “We’re for parents, so says Lewis
    But I’m afraid she’s gonna screw us.”

    Lewis and screw us, that’s all i could come up with, cpsobsessed.

  • 554. Skinner Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    “from the thread on a new HS

    “I pass by Wells and Clemente HS every day on my way to my daughters school. Police SUV’s are stationed there all day. Have you been there when school lets out in the afternoon? It gets a little crazy to say the least. I also live near Crane which has the police stationed- is not an option. I was there the day a student got shot in front of the school.
    I am a parent that does her research and I am sorry to say these are not options. They are not safe schools.”

    Good enough for the teachers tho…

  • 555. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Paul, how bout: How could she do this, karen lewis? 🙂

  • 556. Public League won't play during teachers' strike  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Public League won’t play during teachers’ strike

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/chi-public-league-wont-play-during-teachers-strike-20120910,0,3543034.story

  • 557. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    @553. Skinner Mom :”Good enough for the teachers tho…”

    Really?

    Flashback: 39% Of Chicago Teachers Send Their Kids To Private Schools

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/09/10/Flashback-thirty-nine-percent-Chicago-teachers-private-school

  • 558. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    @Paul LOL! I am hanging with the family watching the voice and glued to CPSO. I laughed out loud and my family said, “you are obsessed with your computer.” You are great! Thanks for the levity in the time of strife. Although, we may need them on Monday!

  • 559. spob  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    And after this, Lewis can go back to making homophobe jokes about people’s lisps. What a loathesome individual.

  • 560. CPS strike? - Page 16 - City-Data Forum  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    […] […]

  • 561. Skinner Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    At Angie….right! Teachers want schools you and they can send their kids too. Exactly!!

  • 562. Edison Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    No one cares for the kids, NO ONE!!! My daughter, a gifted, self motivated good student is crying at home for strike, dosen’t know when she can come back to school, becoming more and more frustrated every minute.
    CPS and CTU together is an absolute good student killer. No wonder CPS is bad, because no one cares for kids. They only care for themselves.
    To CTU strike teachers: You have the highest average salary in the nation and lowest performance, what else are you asking for?
    I am leaving CPS for sure.

  • 563. Teach cps  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Angie,

    The comment meant—good enough for the teachers to work in….

  • 564. Mommy  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Can I have your daughter’s seat at Edison?

  • 565. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    If CPS will pay my son 70k for the school year and benefits, yes, I’d send him to Wells.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 566. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    @Paul – nice job!

    If I ever make it out of the house to protest anything, I’m having you write me signs. You know the best signs get you on TV…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 567. AnonMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    cpsobsessed – did you get a sense about how negotiations are going?

  • 568. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    @560. Skinner Mom: “At Angie….right! Teachers want schools you and they can send their kids too. Exactly!!”

    Do you mean the schools where teachers are constantly evaluated on their performance, don’t have the lifetime tenure and job protection, and aren’t controlled by the union? Yeah, I would love a school like that, too.

    BTW, are you a parent or a teacher at Skinner?

  • 569. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    @Anonmom: nothing yet. I am supposed to get updated by CPS in the morning.

    It would be great if CTU would give an update too so we can hear both sides of the story.

    I’m an equal opportunity cynic. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 570. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    @522

    CTU strike rallied by Karen Lewis
    About as desirable as the flu is

    Parents wonder about CTU Lewis
    Do we know what the next Nuke is?

    Paul can do a better job with this

  • 571. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    @561-Hi, fellow Edison Mom-I hear you! we miss everyone, hope all is well.

  • 572. CPSstudent  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    As a high school student, I support the teachers (CTU) and their decisions to strike. I am at a very demanding school and the teachers deserver more, I love most of my teachers, so stop bashing please. Also as long as the strike dose not last over a week it has been nice to get a chance to get ahead in homework. It also seems as if the city is trying to be nothing but helpful, from police, cta, administration at schools, community members, ymca’s, ect..! Thats just my opinion.. thanks for reading

  • 573. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I will definitely think twice now before I join other parents in buying teachers gifts throught the holiday season/school year.They don’t deserve our thoughtfulness.Let them buy their own gift cards with their new salary increases.

  • 574. local  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Maybe the kids will be able to turn their experience in the Teachers Strike of 2012 into their college admissions essay. Really, it’s not the end of the world. In our home, we’re supporting the CTU and the teachers.

  • 575. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    @ Paul I can’t compete, but here is what I came up with

    Lewis has a national agenda
    CTU stop the propaganda

  • 576. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    “It’s about the kids you say
    All we hear about is pay pay pay”

    “Lewis please get off your ****
    And get the kids back in class”

    “It’s about AC that’s legit
    but really it gets you the legal exit”

    I really think nothing beats “FU CTU”

  • 577. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Those are good 😉

  • 578. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I’ll go neutral:

    CTU and CPS!
    Please get us out of this friggin mess!

    Hey, ho, it’s a disaster!
    Can you please negotiate a little faster?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 579. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    CPSO so good at walking the tightrope, I on the other hand……… 🙂

    “You say NO to merit pay
    When do the students get a say”

    “You want recall with no strings
    do you realize the problems that this brings”

    “Teachers want job security
    Please get with reality”

    “Longer day is a must
    What is with all the fuss”

  • 580. Todd Pytel  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I share parents’ frustration at the lack of a clear statement from the Union leadership to serve as a framework for discussion. I also communicated this frustration to my union rep in a discussion with her this evening.

    Her characterization of the critical issues was consistent with that reported by the papers – a recall process and teacher evaluations. She had no information as to whether those issues were discussed at the table today. In the absence of a direct policy statement from the leadership, I obviously can’t provide specific contract language that the negotiators are looking for. However, I feel I received a reasonably confident description of where the Union is coming from…

    1) Recall – The Union is trying to find a process that finds a happy medium between “Principals have to look at your resume.” and “Displaced teachers are guaranteed jobs, despite the principal’s desires.” One possible solution suggested was that principals would have to provide a written rationale for denying a position to a displaced teacher.

    2) Evaluation – The Union’s objections to the proposed evaluation system are more procedural than numeric. That is, there doesn’t appear to be a hard push to dial back the percentage of a teacher’s rating ultimately determined by student achievement, though they might push for the implementation schedule to be slowed down somewhat and to be subject to a more transparent review process. Similarly, there are concerns that some administrators – especially network personnel with no teaching experience – are not adequately trained to faithfully implement CPS’s version of the Danielson Teaching Framework, which determines the professional practice component of a teacher’s rating (50% ultimately, considerably more early on).

    The evaluation issues at hand are, IMO, rather difficult to understand without considerably more information than has generally been discussed in public. You can find an outline of the current plan at http://www.cps.edu/Pages/reachstudents.aspx. However, the outline there is not especially detailed. As of last week, there was considerably more information available in the CPS “Knowledge Center” at http://kc.cps.edu. However, that site is no longer publicly visible.

    I’ll not editorialize on these issues in this particular post. However, I’ll try to answer questions about them if I can. I won’t try to answer questions about other issues, “what Karen really thinks”, or “what the Union’s strategy is”, as I don’t know about those things and those discussions have run on all day already.

    Todd Pytel
    Mathematics Department Chair
    Senn High School

  • 581. Mommy@cps  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Mcbg-“I will definitely think twice now before I join other parents in buying teachers gifts throught the holiday season/school year.They don’t deserve our thoughtfulness.Let them buy their own gift cards with their new salary increases”.

    As the people who take care and educate my child for 7hours a day I WILL show my appreciation with a small gift. Do I support the strike? No, but I appreciate and is greatful for what they do for and with my child every day to help her grow and learn. Bottom line!!

  • 582. Todd Pytel  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    CPSO – Posted a comment, waiting for moderation. Thanks.

  • 583. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    well, in that case, you should support them and their strike.To each his/her own…..peace.

  • 584. Mommy@cps  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Angie…. Her name is. “SKINNER MOM”. Get it?

  • 585. Mommy@cps  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Mcbg— there is a difference between supporting a strike and supporting a teacher. Sad you don’t seem to notice the difference. Peace to you as well.

  • 586. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks, Todd. Interesting stuff and encouraging to see the union working on some middle ground. Both sides working on middle ground. That’s encouraging.

    I’d like to see the eval system be used for data and perhaps input into evals, but not have any teachers fired for the first few years… just as a data-gathering exercise so cps and principals and teachers can determine if the data seems to make sense.

  • 587. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    CPSOBSESSED I read over some of your early posts from when you first started and wow have you changed.

    “If CPS will pay my son 70k for the school year and benefits, yes, I’d send him to Wells.”
    What about Crane or Englewood HS?

  • 588. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Todd, the CTU should have you as their spokes person. You really are great and I hope to meet you someday 🙂

    Not sure if this is a question, but on merit pay you indicated:
    “One possible solution suggested was that principals would have to provide a written rationale for denying a position to a displaced teacher.”

    Vitale said this in the press conference last night. Along, with the written rationale from the principal, the teacher has a choice of 3 months severance OR seeking a new position for the next 6 months. It is encouraging if CTU is receptive to the written rationale. AND 3 mo severance is not bad these days.

    THANK YOU for following up! If my kids end up at Senn, I hope they get you as a teacher. I’ll get you a NICE box of chalk 🙂

  • 589. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    oops—–I meant recall, not merit pay. Sorry!

  • 590. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    @Frank – really? How so? I have definitely learned a lot about cps, unions, teachers, reform, etc in the past few years and I *think* my general view has remained consistent overall but has evolved on some topics.

    The point I was trying to make is that sending a 14yo to a school with gang member who are trying to influence them and peers who are not planning to graduate is a little different than someone who is there for their job. I have faith that teachers will not join a gang for try whatever drug is popular these days.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 591. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Thank you also, todd.My stepdaughter is a senior at Senn, I will mention you to her! I think CPSO’s idea to simply use and analyze the data at first is great-gives it a chance to really see if it is a viable option and won’t scare off so many teachers.I admit, that is a whole lot of pressure for anyone.

  • 592. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Parents make fun of wanting AC
    Can your kid learn when it’s 103?

    Teachers are greedy, selfish crooks
    Our kids should be in school without any books

    When the teachers are being judged by those standardized tests
    will the kids who are taking them even have a desk?

    To all those who think teacher bashing is cool –
    Do your kids go to a neighborhood school?

    Now this is where I add the 🙂 so everyone knows this is all in good fun.

  • 593. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    @anon – good! We need some balance!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 594. Navigator  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks Mr. Pytel. Based on what you stated it seems like they were close. I really wish they would have held off calling a strike and kept negotiating. I know compromise and working out the details is grueling – – but now we are in this limbo. I wish the negotiating leadership would have kept it going as long as possible. It is in the best interest of the kids to fight through it and keep them in school. I consider a strike an absolute last resort. I think that is why so many of us are unhappy. Based on the way Ms. Lewis came off last night, I felt like she wasn’t absolutely committed to coming to an agreement/resolution as soon as possible. I didn’t feel like she was committed to avoiding a strike.

  • 595. Todd Pytel  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    LOL, I’ll hold you to that chalk, Patricia. And you (or anyone else) is welcome to visit me in Room 200 at Senn anytime.

    As to Vitale’s comments, I don’t have any more insight there. It’s still not clear to me that everything Vitale said was actually formally offered at the table. The whole “I tried to talk to her” business smells a lot like media gamesmanship from both sides.

  • 596. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    No matter how merit pay ends up, it would be great to have CPSO in the loop on the data and analyze it. We can all be in the loop then. Start picking out that perfect photo clip CPSO! I envision a lot of 00001 001 01000 101000 00010101. Not sure what I just spelled LOL!

  • 597. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I wish CPSO was on the Board of Ed….sigh.she’d be amazing.

  • 598. #583 very questionable  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    #1409 skinner mom post

    “Hmmm…………….how about parents “strike” at strike headquarters?

    Oh Patricia, how amusing you are! I wish that parents put this much effort into fighting for school improvement as they do commenting on this blog. I would love to know how many parents have taken even 10 minutes to write/call CPS to ask why basic things like books are not in some schools or even taken one evening throughout the school year to attend your local LSC meeting?

  • 599. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    CPSO – I just couldn’t resist. And there’s something almost addictive about it once you start.

  • 600. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    @anon touche 🙂 Well done.

  • 601. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    @597-how dare you to question another’s use of time and make assumptions? What have you done or who has given you the power to judge one’s commitment by how often they call CPS or attend LSC meetings? I find your comments very obnoxious.You have no idea bout anyone’s private use of time here, so keep your snarky comments to yourself.

  • 602. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    @597 AND your passive aggressive point is?

    here is the @583 post “Angie…. Her name is. “SKINNER MOM”. Get it?”

  • 603. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    @600 mcbg THANKS!

  • 604. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Hey.

    From now on, all insulting posts must be in the form of a rhyme.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 605. HS Mom  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    @591 those are great too – iffy on the last one!

  • 606. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    LOL! More wine needed…………next week it turns to whisky…..get ready to edit CPSO 😉 You’re the best!

  • 607. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    You don’t know what others do in their free time,
    so instaed of counting their posts line by line,
    mind you own business next time 🙂

  • 608. Patricia  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    @606 LMAO on that one 🙂

  • 609. Jay C. Rehak  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Sad that you are so uninformed and dismissive of the teachers who serve the students.

  • 610. Todd Pytel  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    @593 (Navigator) – “I really wish they would have held off calling a strike and kept negotiating.”

    I sympathize with that view, and have wavered around making it myself. But I understand the Union’s decision. It’s impossible to communicate to the general public how deep the mistrust between CPS and CTU really is. I’ve worked for my share of skeezy bosses in various jobs, and there simply is no possible comparison. As with all dysfunctional relationships, both sides have contributed to it. But the Mayor’s outright attacks from the very beginning of his campaign and the explicit singling out of CTU in laws like SB7 and PERA have certainly made it even worse. I wish it were otherwise, but I think it will require decades of improvement before CPS and CTU would trust one another in any significant negotiation. And I don’t even see improvement happening any time soon at this point.

  • 611. Todd Pytel  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    The CTU’s daily strike bulletin just went out. You can see it online here:

    http://www.ctunet.com/for-members/text/OnTheLine2012_09_11.pdf

  • 612. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    For the union:

    Call a strike wasn’t easy!
    But you gotta do it when your bosses are skeazy!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 613. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    When you need to get something off your chest
    iambic pentameter is always best!

    Or should I say iambic vent-ameter?

  • 614. anon  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    There once was a man from Nantucket…

    Never mind. I think it’s time for bed.

  • 615. IB obsessed  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    2609-This Edgewater mom appreciates seeing posts from a thoughtful, principled teacher, brave enough to sign their posts, Mr. Pytel. Looking forward to having you turn my kid on to math in a couple of years.

  • 616. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    @610. Todd Pytel: Thank you.

    So, CTU still wants more money, and tomorrow all of them will picket only the schools that feed hungry kids. Lovely.

  • 617. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Mcbg—–“how dare you to question another’s use of time and make assumptions? What have you done or who has given you the power to judge one’s commitment by how often they call CPS or attend LSC meetings? I find your comments very obnoxious.You have no idea bout anyone’s private use of time here, so keep your snarky comments to yourself.”

    I love how everything is fair game until it gets too close to home/truth? Enjoy your evening ladies (Mcbg and Patricia)

  • 618. Teacher22  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Yep Angie., we are gonna stop them hungry babies from eating. Sheesh….

  • 619. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Let’s stop all this teacher trashing,
    Unless it’s a charter school you’re bashing!!

  • 620. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    @Frank: Do you know what I do at my child’s school? Do you know where and how I spend my day? Furthermore, is it your business? The truth is in your eyes only, so look for it elsewhere. Why don’t you divulge your holier than thou school related activities? Go ahead, Im all ears!

  • 621. fosterrice  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Todd,

    Thanks for the update and informed analysis. It was refreshing to read a thorough, non-snarky, non-combative post. I think Karen Lewis’ performance last night was especially unnerving to so many parents because, unlike Rahm, she wasn’t able to deliver a clear sense of the issues.

    I think the Houston Chronicle story posted @520 is a pretty good summation of the evaluation issue, at least. Here it is again.

    http://www.chron.com/news/article/Strike-highlights-division-on-teacher-evaluation-3854400.php

    This material is covered in the Diane Ravitch book as well, which was an awesome read. Thanks again to CPSO for suggesting that for the book club. I think there’s a delicate balance to strike between respect for teacher experience and respect for principal authority/oversight on this issue but the fact that it’s on the table is very promising. This will also require significant investment in our dwindling and inadequate principal pool (we lost 150+ principals last year) and support for principal retraining. It also requires a return to the understanding of principals as “principal teachers” who can mentor, evaluate, shepherd and in appropriate cases, terminate faculty. That’s why parental involvement in active LSCs is so important right now, since they hire and evaluate principals, among other things.

    That said, I’m actually very optimistic about all of this because for the first time in my lifetime in this city, a large segment of the populace is talking about things like evaluation, common core curriculum, and the physical condition of our entire school district. Todd is understandably concerned about CPS and CTU rebuilding trust after decades of strife, and Wendy Katten of RYH was quoted on CNN as saying she was concerned about the future of the district (so am I!). But the very fact that we are talking publicly, even forcefully, and debating these issues in a more or less civil fashion is the first step to genuine reform. I would be much more concerned if the status quo of our district was maintained.

    — Greg

  • 622. JustanotherCPSparent  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    From the CTU newsletter provided at #610–

    “Picket 144 Sites at 6:30 a.m.
    If your school is not one of the 144 holding centers, you will report to one today instead of picketing at your school. Please have your strike picket captain speak with their strike coordinator or call the union if they are not certain where to report today. The assignments are also listed on the union’s website at http://www.ctunet.com.”

    Why oh why will the CTU explicitly picket at the 144 “holding centers”? Especially after being asked NOT to? Especially when those schools will most likely hold the most vulnerable kids from the most disadvantaged families who have no other choices? Why? It just seems so sleezy.

    I keep trying to see both sides, keep trying to understand, keep trying to have faith. But, are you freaking kidding me with this?

  • 623. Teacher22  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I have remained silent on this blog for too long. I an the unmentioned member of CTU, you know, the all but forgotten (except by union) teacher’s aide. When I listen to all you parents bash the union I think about who the union fights for other than teachers. They fight for me! You know, your average $26,000 dollar a year teacher’s aide. They fight for my working environment, rights, health care, and pay along with the teachers. I am thankful that my brothers and sisters in the union have not forgotten us!! It seems many parents have. Let me remind you. I am the care adult who sits with your child when they are sick, scared, or just having a bad day and no parent can be reached and no school nurse on duty. I am the adult who welcomes your child first thing each morning on the playground or in the lunchroom. I am the adult who stays with your child when they are the last one to get picked up by mom or dad. I am the one who provides extra help in class. I am the one who your child runs too every morning to greet with a friendly hello and chatter. I love my job and my kids. It is about the kids but it is also about pay and working environment. In this blame game I have not heard ONE parent mention esps. I guess you forgot about us. Thank goodness the union has not.

  • 624. Teacher22  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Many people assume that only “teachers” have a stake in this. But as a TEACHER’s Aide I do too!!

    Sincerely,
    Teacher22

  • 625. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    @617. Teacher22 : There were reports of children being too scared to go through the crowd of screaming teachers to get their meals today. But they all should just tough it out, right?

  • 626. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    @621

    Agree. It’s all about the kids, right?

  • 627. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Mcbg, Don’t have time to hear about how wonderful you are at volunteering at school XYZ. I am sure you are amazing, why I even bet you teach a couple classes when teachers are out sick.

    As I said before, enjoy your evening mcbg

  • 628. EdgewaterMom  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I step away for a short time
    and the blog has turned to rhyme! (most of which made me laugh out loud)

    Thanks Todd for another thoughtful, detailed post. I really appreciate the effort that you put into your posts here – and the fact that you sign your name and school. Senn should be very proud.

    I really think that most of the posters on this forum really appreciate the teachers and all of the work that they do – even if we do not like or agree with the CTU. There may be a considerable amount of CTU bashing, but I have seen very little genuine teacher bashing. I suppose it is similar to supporting the troops but being against the war.

  • 629. Frank  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Please show me that article that said kids were too “scared to get their MEALS”. I call BS

  • 630. Teacher22  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Edgewater mom,

    That is the problem. Throwing out baby with bath water. As an ESP, I make 26,000. Hardly a middle class salary. When people bash CTU they bash the reason why I even make this “much”. *snicker*

  • 631. JustanotherCPSparent  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Teacher22 —

    Well, you’re right. I certainly forgot about the aides. That’s probably because there don’t seem to be enough of them! I don’t begrudge you anything. I think a lot of parents are in a state of shock and confusion (including me!). Maybe we won’t agree on things here, but I respect you for participating and for the work you do.

  • 632. mcbg  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Frank.:Allez vous-en….go get a pedicure.Get off my back, a*hole.

  • 633. Teacher22  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Cps latest offer

    They are also attempting to divide the bargaining unit by offering only a 2% raise to PSRPs for the first year of the contract and the same 2% for the subsequent 3 years of their proposed 4 year contract……..wow, so I move from 26,000 to 26, 520 Yep, rolling in the dough

  • 634. JustanotherCPSparent  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    “I really think that most of the posters on this forum really appreciate the teachers and all of the work that they do – even if we do not like or agree with the CTU. There may be a considerable amount of CTU bashing, but I have seen very little genuine teacher bashing. I suppose it is similar to supporting the troops but being against the war.”
    -Edgewater mom

    Yep. This.

  • 635. Katy  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Mcbg–meow. Dish it but can’t take it?

  • 636. Katy  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Thank you teacher22 for reminding us about teacher aides!

  • 637. junior  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    @628 Frank
    Not BS. I heard that report as well.

  • 638. Angie  |  September 10, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    628. Frank : “Please show me that article that said kids were too “scared to get their MEALS”. I call BS”

    But of course. If your union rep did not say so, it must not be true.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-strike-updates-pickets-up-as-more-talks-scheduled-20120910,0,4173856.story

    10:30 AM entry:

    “Vicente Perez, the parent of 4th and 6th grade boys, had planned to drop them off at one of the contingency locations CPS is keeping open half days during the strike.

    But they stopped short when they arrived at William Ray Elementary this morning and saw they’d have to walk through a line of picketing teachers. His children were afraid.

    “I don’t want to go there,” his youngest son, Kahlil, 9, said.”

  • 639. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:00 am

    What is PSRPs?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 640. EdgewaterMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:06 am

    @638 paraprofessionals and school-related personnel (only because I Googled it – I had no idea what it stood for!)

  • 641. RationalRationing  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:21 am

    “Honk if you understand exactly what I’m striking for.
    …and then pull over and explain it to me.”

    ______
    CTU President Karen Lewis and other principal negotiators finished up for the evening about 9:45 p.m.

    “Today we made some progress,” said Lewis this evening. “We are trying to move the issues off the table. We still have a lot of work to do obviously. And we got a lot of work done today.”

    “We pushed off (the table) looking at what the day actually looks like for people for elementary school, middle school and high school,” Lewis said. “Those articles that the board originally just completely struck out of their original proposals – they are now back in our contract. We worked on that today.”
    _______

  • 642. cant sleep  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Anxious parents are CPS obsessed
    first choice schools are magnet, cluster, and gifted
    we love good teachers and think they’re the bomb
    we’ll give them three years, but now say c’mon
    If this strike goes three days we’ll be pissed.

    Arnie Duncon plays BBAll with Bama
    I hear they think he’s the panacea
    He says Race to the top
    And the other shoe drops
    DNC is faced with a unionDilemma

    Rahm told Lewis to get her gloves on
    CTU revved up to get its motor on
    The mayor wants a long day
    But the teachers want full pay
    But there is no money to keep the lights on

    Downtown execs get pretty big raises
    and their starting salaries are shameless
    Cost cutting for them is a joke
    No wonder the system is broke
    CPS revolving door will bring new faces

    Parents all have the jitters
    some of the posts here are awfully bitter
    At the end of the day
    It’s back to school thursday
    And this is just politcal theater

  • 643. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Ha! Love it! Now you just need someone with good rapping skills to record it — it’ll be like the bears superbowl shuffle. The theme of the strike.

    My favorite line:
    “Parents all have the jitters
    some of the posts here are awfully bitter”
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 644. Jana  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:50 am

    This morning I walked by my neighborhood school and could not believe the party atmosphere created by the union members. They were singing, laughing, eating pastries, drinking coffee and getting their morning walks. In the meantime, the neighborhood kids were on the loose, skating all over the streets, wondering what to do with themselves, having no adult supervision. This is shocking and hard to digest. This is all the while the private sector employees are struggling to find a job, to hold one or to make the ends meet with the cuts in pay, forced by the poor economy, lasting for six years now. There seems to be no end to this madness. Thus, this teachers’ choice to strike is unconscionable. My property tax bill tells me my house is worth 1/2 of what I paid six years ago, and it is dropping in value. However, my tax bill, somehow, magically, stays about the same and is now obviously in jeopardy of rising. Based on my experience in the labor market, the offered 4% raise to teachers is very good. Their retirement at 55 with full benefits is great!!! Like most Americans, I have to wait till I am 67 and my social security might not exist then, because of the foolish governmental overspending. Teachers’ long vacation is awesome, too! Yes, no job is ideal. And yes, I would like more space, modern, with air conditioning, cafeteria, gym, better equipment, and differentiated instruction for all of our kids, close to home. However, where is the money to come from? The middle class is being eliminated in this existing socialistic climate, and we are going into poor vs. rich split. We cannot sustain growing the big brother and we cannot just guarantee everything. We need to replenish our country’s and individual coffers and become financially responsible. In my opinion, unions had an important place in history during the Industrial Revolution and should cease to exist now. They are detrimental to our economy. The businesses and the entrepreneurial talent need to be provided with a favorable business climate, so they can create more jobs and thus empower people to restore their own dignity, all across the board! It appears that the teachers are not considering this overall economic climate and are putting their own needs above everyone else’s by choosing to strike to significantly improve their pay, benefits, evaluations, job guarantees and overall working environment during this worldly economic crises.

  • 645. CPS Teachermom  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Rahm is unnecessary.

  • 646. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Jana – I know tons of people that would agree with your post. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I wish the CTU would get it, but they won’t. It is almost like they have blinders on to the real world. There must be a money tree for me…

  • 647. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:08 am

    They interviewed a parent on the radio yesterday. She was at the rally because she supported her teachers. When told that their pay raise alone was x dollars and smaller class sizes and social workers would add even more and that the city and CPS were broke, she said, “well, they will just have to find the money.” When asked if she would be OK if the city raised her taxes, she said, “no, not that. Something else.” Oh,my.

  • 648. Honor  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I’m very glad the teachers want job security and then are gleefully of the potential layoffs downtown. Those statements are very telling. I will get mine and forget you. This isn’t about the kids its about how much the teachers get and sticking it to Rahm.

  • 649. TeachinChi  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:10 am

    If this strike is truly “for the children”, especially those in tougher neighborhoods, perhaps some people should come join the picket lines in those neighborhoods. The turnout around the most struggling schools is abysmal – which speaks volumes to the quality of education they are receiving when school is actually in session.

  • 650. Paul  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Point of order! Wasn’t the entire teacher union membership supposed to vote on CPS’s final best offer before they went on strike? I could have sworn that when the teachers voted to authorize the strike they were under the impression that they would get to vote again before a strike.

    Not that I think the teachers disagree with their leadership. They all seem to be on board, and they’re sticking together. It boggles my mind. It’s very impressive from a power standpoint, but it’s surprising from a group of educated, questioning, independent thinkers.

  • 651. inedgewater  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:12 am

    yesterday afternoon one of the reporters from WBEZ on the afternoon shift told the listening audience that he was at Disney in the morning. Disney could hold about 1500 kids but there were only 50 kids there yesterday. 50. Now, discuss and beat each other up over what they signifies. Me, I was going to take the kids to walk the line with their teachers today but after reading on this blog that they are picketing elsewhere, I’ll wait until tomorrow and hit the beach with them instead. Power to the people who support the individuals who spend the most time with my kids and inspire them to be what they can be……

  • 652. EdgewaterMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:14 am

    I have a question about evaluations. Merit pay has been taken off the table, so evaluations will no longer effect pay, correct? The teachers admit that the current checklist is not a valid evaluation. Do they not want test results to have ANY effect on the evaluation, or just a smaller percentage?

    I think that there is too much emphasis on testing and do not want teachers teaching to the test. However, I also think that if you are teaching a child, they will make some PROGRESS on a test – even if the child is coming to school hungry, has no help at home, and has to deal with other problems related to poverty. I don’t understand why the test score can not be ONE PART of a fair evaluation. I think that it would be fair to factor in days absent so that if a student has missed more than X number of days there scores will not count.

    Why do teachers think that so many people will be laid off? I am genuinely trying to understand this, not asking as an accusation.

  • 653. cant sleep  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Well folks, looks like since the teachers are literally walking picket lines that we won’t get our answers until later in the day. I thought the Brown piece in the suntimes was fair.

  • 654. Mom73  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:31 am

    650. inedgewater I wouldn’t read too much into it. I was told by CPS, the principal, and numerous robocalls that the Children First should be used as a last resort for those in need who really need the meals. I have the means to pay for one of the numerous strike camps out there and lunch/Breakfast and didn’t feel that I should be a drain on CPS resources.
    Is Lewis still sticking to the two year contract? I don’t know if I can handle a strike vote Q4 2014. We need one year of no strike conflict if possible.

    651. EdgewaterMom -I second edgewater question. this also confuses me.

  • 655. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

    @640. RationalRationing:
    “Honk if you understand exactly what I’m striking for.
    …and then pull over and explain it to me.”

    LMAO! Exactly.

    @643. Jana : ” In my opinion, unions had an important place in history during the Industrial Revolution and should cease to exist now. They are detrimental to our economy. ”

    I agree. To me, public unions are like mechanical typewriters. They were a great invention back in the day, but in the 21st century, clinging to those old dinosaurs instead of using the much more efficient modern technology makes no sense.

  • 656. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:52 am

    In reading through some of the off-topic bitter, accusatory threads on here between some posters earlier, the atmosphere here has become one of condescension. The thread here is about a teacher strike, not whether I am better than you, show me your credentials, etc.I bet some of these posters probably look down their noses at others and constantly judge them from their self-made pedestals. Some people on here post rarely, some post frequently-that’s all it means, nothing more, so for those trying to deduce anything more out of it and then resort to name calling and accusations, get over yourselves, please.Stay on the topic of this thread, the strike.

  • 657. CPS Parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:00 am

    651. EdgewaterMom The fear of lay-offs is tied to the continuing increase in charter schools. Laid off teachers will have to compete for jobs and performance ratings will count. This is also why the “recall” issue is so heated – currentl employed teachers want first dibs on the openings in the (union) neighborhood schools that remain. I think eventually (10-15 years) about 50% of schools will be charters in Chicago.

  • 658. Blowing off some steam  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I apologize in advance, because I need to vent. Please teachers stay on the sidewalks! Teachers please don’t jaywalk. The red shirts don’t mean you are a traffic light or stop sign.

    Are these days now going to enter into the students’ summer break? We had a trip planned in advance for the first week off of summer break.

    Thank you cpsobsessed for this website. I value the info and conversation.

  • 659. spob  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:35 am

    @656–exactly right. The union is looking out for its members. One thing a union hates is layoffs, which obviously impact members AND reduces the payment stream to the union. So, of course, Lewis is going to scream bloody murder and the union is going to fight.

    From a philosophical standpoint, there seem to be two issues: (1) why do we have charter schools? One of the reasons, it seems to me, is to be able to educate kids without the restrictions of unions. Well, if that’s the right idea for 10% of our kids, why isn’t it the right idea for all of them? Does the presence of a union make for better outcomes with some kids and not all? And why do we have a public education system that is bifurcated like that? Is it a sotto voce way of acknowledging that unions have power, and we have to get around that power? (2) Should unions have the power to shut down schools? Obviously, if you believe that the unions’ interests and our kids’ interests are aligned well enough, you would think so. Me, I think the union is going to look out for the best interests of teachers. I also think that requiring people to fork over money to a private actor (i.e., a union) as a condition to government employment is an appalling abuse.

    Rahm, of course, has no business to complain here. He has been steeped in the politics of unions, and he has no problems with public employee unions having a lot of power. In a sense, Rahm deserves this awful woman, Lewis. She’s obviously effective at getting teachers’ theirs when it comes to a nice raise. Why wouldn’t she go for the whole enchilada?

    It is interesting that no teacher in here will defend Ms. Lewis’ homophobic comments on Arne Duncan’s alleged lisp. Nice union rep you have there. But I guess since she’s effective, what’s a little homophobia between friends. And her celebration of her drug use in college is a little off-message too. Just the example we want to set for our children.

  • 660. anon  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:38 am

    For some interesting reading about the evaluation policy that CPS wants to implement. This was written by leaders in the field of education.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2561000/OpenLetterCPSTeacherEvalSigners3.23.12.pdf

  • 661. anonymous  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

    An elementary school that holds 900 had 12 children come yesterday. The local high school that holds a similar number had no students show up. So far, this isn’t a tragedy of epic proportions for the children. That talk lis overblown by Stand for Children and others paid by the billionaires in Chicago to belittle the teachers.

    Their tactics imho deepen the resolve of many parents and teachers. If there is one thing that would go a long way toward helping both sides come to a fair agreement, it would be for the mayor, CPS, and the astro-turf advocacy groups to stop bashing teachers. Show some manners.

  • 662. PatientCPSMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Can we as parents think about what we can do on our kids behalf to protect our children’s right to a free public education. I would like to suggest every parent here think of a way for parents to file a class action law suit at the state level or less likely the federal level to get kids back in school. Issues like lack of students due process before removing education (14th amendment federal – liberty or property right) or at the state level lack of the state providing an effiecient system of education Article X of the Illinois constitution may apply.

    If any parent out there has legal knowledge of this topic I say we organize a class action law suit against all parties in this action.

    This seems like a productive option to explore. Anyone out there who can comment on this – please post.
    Let’s look for what as a group we can do to make an impact. I say the rights of 300,000 kids should not be negatively impacted by the rights of a few.

    I am willing to do what I can to help this process.
    Thanks,

  • 663. spob  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

    @659–interesting stuff. Obviously, the value-added model (VAM) has a good deal of surface appeal. And it’s equally obvious that high-stakes testing leads to “teaching the test” issues. But beyond that surface appeal, VAM does have some structural problems.

    But what method will work? Clearly, outcomes matter, and the only way you can do that is to evaluate the kids via testing. Ultimately, it seems to me, VAM will weed out really crappy teachers. And it might unfairly penalize some good teachers. So you have to look, philosophically at what we’re trying to do here. How much is fairness to teachers to be weighed against fairness to students?

  • 664. spob  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:00 am

    @661, this will all be over by the time litigation could be ramped up.

  • 665. Tired parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I dont think that everyone is against the teachers. I think it’s so much how things are going. Like I feel the teachers are suppose to be downtown picketing about their jobs, but to have an inflatable rat standing in front of the building and just shouting Rahm must go is making me think it’s more personal and it’s making the CTU look bad. Concentrate more on getting the kids back in school.

  • 666. spob  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:06 am

    @664–it’s called leverage. Rahm won’t cave unless he feels the heat. This is how they turn up the pressure. Will he be like Scott Walker? We’ll see. Whatever you think of Walker–it cannot be denied that he had the courage of his convictions.

  • 667. klem  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:08 am

    @659: Thanks for posting this. Very informative and interesting. Wish there was more discussion on this topic (teacher evaluations) instead of the useless back-and-forth that’s been going on.

  • 668. anonymous  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Stand’s crazy rhetoric is a joke. Other than the Pritzkers, Griffins, Searles and Crownes, and the technocrats they pay, who listens to them?

  • 669. Mayfair Dad  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Roses are red
    Teachers tee shirts are too
    This strike is a gift
    From the CTU

  • 670. Mayfair Dad  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:22 am

    There once was a leader named Lewis
    Who said, “We better strike, or he’ll screw us!”
    But Rahm showed no pity
    To those who would bankrupt our city
    Now we’ll get the good schools that are due us!

  • 671. anon  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:30 am

    @666 I agree.

    No matter what a person’s stance is on the strike, I think we can all agree that some changes need to be made. What frustrates me to no end is that CPS always cries poor, but it does have money. They just seem to use it so inefficiently and unwisely that it frustrates the hell out of me. One line was especially telling:

    “According to a nine-year study by the National Research Council, the past decade’s emphasis on testing has yielded little learning progress, especially considering the cost to our taxpayers.”

    I think if they go ahead and implement another “magic” policy that they turn around in two years and abandon, I will just lose it. I think people on both sides (CPS and CTU) get so wound up in what they are trying to do, or what they believe, that they end up with this myopic view. I feel like both sides need a “time out.” The problem is, once again, everything got left to the last minute and now they are stuck. It’s like what I constantly tell my son about homework and projects, “if you don’t plan ahead and work a bit at a time, if you leave it all to the last minute, when it’s down to the wire, you may get it done, but it will never be your best work.

  • 672. anonymous  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Walker had the courage of the Koch Brothers’ millions. His convictions are as deep as his wallet.

  • 673. spob  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

    @671

    Was he right about not forcing public employees to fork over dues to PEUs?

    And what about Lewis’ homophobia? Care to deal with that? Nice example she sets.

  • 674. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Sat in on the call with CPS and the Chief Education Officer who is part of the negotiations.
    According to them, the 2 big hurdles that remain are the evals and recall.

    My thought now is that this is a labor issue. For right or wrong, cps is implementing some changes (evals and school closings) that will cost some teachers their jobs.

    For right or for wrong, the president of a teacher’s union is hired to help protect teachers’ job.

    This is what needs to be reconciled. It does sound like both sides are working on it.

    Other matters are still being discussed, but it sounds like they’ll be easier to hammer out. AC does not sound forthcoming.
    CPS says it will cost $2 billion. Another parent blogger mentioned that schools have held bake sales to pay for air conditioning. Reconcile that one, why dontcha?

    I’ll post more later. Big work project due later today.

    Just drove by Amundsen High School where there was a big, animated crowd in red. I honked for them today. Then cried a little bit in the car. I really hate this. It’s so ugly.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 675. anonymous  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Who is bankrupting CPS?

    Even though Rahm can’t afford a longer day with quality instruction in decent facilities AND expand charters like mad at the same time … that is exactly what he has set out to do.

    In this context, he is also —

    1.) Implementing an unusually stringent VAM methodology.
    2.) Basing teachers performance reviews first on 40%, 45% then 50% of student test scores.
    3.) Pushing a more rigorous Common Core curriculum and far tougher tests upon a district where 31% of its children — about 200 schools — live in poverty.

    The result: Scores will go down. Teachers will either leave in droves or be fired.

    Teachers will take the blame for misguided Dept of Ed policies, poor implementation by Central Office, and the staggering childhood poverty inflicted by Wall Street’s recklessness.

    This is what the strike is about.

  • 676. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Our kids go to private school and I support the CTU strike. Why? Because someone needs to stand up for quality public education and against the corporate takeover of schools in the form of high stakes testing and the abuse of the charter school idea. I looked through the REACH evaluation materials and happily came to the conclusion that in my private school nearly all of the teachers are well above the “proficiency” range in most or all of the categories. This is not necessarily because they are all individually the greatest teachers to walk the planet but because the parents have entrusted them, as a group, to craft a curriculum that responds to the needs of *children* (not politicians) and allows them the freedom to practice their craft as the professionals they are. We are denigrating the teaching profession in this country and pretending that the achievement gap can be solved by technocratic adjustments to the dials. No. Poor children need a level of investment that is far beyond what they are getting today. This requires a fundamental change in how we approach education and, in my opinion, starts in Chicago with not siphoning off public money that should be directed towards this purpose for TIFs that, if they were held up to the same kind of scrutiny the mayor wants to put on teachers, would be considered a no-go by most of our electorate! And, charters run by for-profits or highly clouted outfits are not the answer either. There are some band-aid effects to Charter Schools but as far as a long term solution to close the achievement gap and fulfill our moral obligation to *educate* the next generation, they are not it.

    Please try, naysaying public school parents, to see beyond the union’s PR bumbling and consider what is at stake for both your own children and for public education in general.

  • 677. cubswin  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Let’s help the CTU change it’s message to reflect the day to day reality of this strike. I’ll start:

    Strikegasm 2012
    So Much Better Than Teaching Your Pesky Children

  • 678. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Totally agree that you cannot assume that because parents didn’t send their child to half-day care at one of the open CPS schools that this has anything at all to do with their feelings one way or the other about the strike. I am against the strike, I didn’t send my kids to one of these schools. I didn’t pay for care elsewhere (I don’t have the money).

  • 679. Momto2  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Thought this was a good read…http://www.suntimes.com/news/brown/15070079-452/cps-teachers-have-a-lot-of-reasons-why-they-are-striking.html

  • 680. Family Friend  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:03 am

    There’s nothing wrong with teaching to the test — if it’s the right test. Backwards curriculum planning means taking the standards (e.g., Common Core) and writing test questions that will show whether kids have learned what the standards cover. Then plan lessons to ensure each of those key elements is taught. It doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, or that you can’t make a short detour for a particularly interesting topic. How well kids do on that kind of test is exactly what tells us how well a teacher is performing.

    ISAT is a terrible test. It’s on the way out. Parents and teachers together should insist that the test that replaces it is better aligned with the new curriculum, the one that will support Common Core standards. My niece, an outstanding high school English teacher, tells me that the ACT/Prairie State test is also terrible — but at least it tells us whether kids are being taught what they need to know to get into college.

  • 681. IBobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:03 am

    @675 Private School Mom

    Wow. You took the words right out of my mouth. Well put.

    -Another Private School Mom

  • 682. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I like visuals.

  • 683. CPSparent  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

    @673 CPSO “I really hate this. It’s so ugly.”

    Strongly agree.

  • 684. junior  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:12 am

    @659 anon

    If you look into the background of many of the “researchers” on that document, you fill find tons that are neither researchers nor educators. Very ideological and very deceptive to label them as education leaders.

  • 685. In Chicago, 'Perfect Storm' Led To Teachers' Strike  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:16 am

    NPR article

    In Chicago, ‘Perfect Storm’ Led To Teachers’ Strike

  • 686. junior  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:16 am

    @649 Paul

    Yes. I reposted the prior comments from NBCT Vet where he assured teachers preparing to vote for the strike authorization that they would have a final vote on the contract before any strike. I recall comments from teachers saying that they were not voting to strike but only to give their union negotiating leverage. That’s unsettling and unfortunate, but maybe typical of how fast and loose people are being with the facts.

  • 687. In Chicago, 'Perfect Storm' Led To Teachers' Strike  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

    @684 – sorry forgot link

    http://www.npr.org/2012/09/11/160924596/in-chicago-perfect-storm-led-to-teachers-strike?ft=1&f=1013

  • 688. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:20 am

    From NPR article in #684:

    “”Historically, the way urban reform has been done is proposals involved huge new dollars for teachers,” says Hess. “What we’re seeing now is, for the first time, the Obama-era reforms being pushed without that spoonful of sugar.”

    As Hess sees it, the fact that the union walked out on an offer of a double-digit raise over four years shows that teachers are refusing to recognize the reality playing out across the nation.

    “I’ve got to say, if I’m a leader of the Chicago Teachers Union, and my members are making $76,000 a year, and we’ve got a Democratic mayor, and there’s a Democratic president running for re-election that my union has endorsed, it seems like a peculiar time to choose to have this kind of street fight,” Hess says.”

  • 689. cubswin  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:26 am

    @ 681. Angie said
    “I like visuals.”

    I don’t like that visual. The main problem isn’t “greedy teachers”. The main problem is poverty. Just about every “fact” in that video is wrong or exaggerated. Not to say I’m happy with CTU:

    Stikegasm 2012
    Pretending to Negotiate One Day At A Time

  • 690. James  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:27 am

    @675 Pvt. Mom —

    Oh, yes, very well said — for someone with no skin in the game. Your kids are in school today. Mine are sitting at home, wondering if or when they can get back to class. Sorry that it’s harder for me to “see beyond” the strike than it is for you. I appreciate that you have no problem with my children being the innocent pawns in a larger political struggle about working toward a “fundamental change in how we approach education.” But I sure as hell do.

    Get this thing settled today and get back to work tomorrow. Work out the larger issues OUTSIDE of a strike. A strike and the destruction of this school year does nothing to “fundamental[ly] change in how we approach education.” In fact, it poisons the atmosphere and will ultimately make it harder to effect that change. Teachers, get back to work. Please.

  • 691. Momto2  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:28 am

    If we assume that some sort of progress measurement is required in the teacher evaluation process (which it is by State Law)…then the Union has to somehow present a plan on how we meet the law and not put teachers at an unreasonable risk of losing their jobs. All I hear is that the offer from CPS is not good…and Mr. Sharkey saying that they need to listen to teachers…but I don’t hear what the Union’s counter-proposal is. What is their proposal for meeting State law and still protecting teachers’ jobs? Please explain what will satisfy you. ALSO…I think it is ok today that they can’t figure out every detail today and that they will just agree on a framework that is to be phased in. BUT…please tell us what your framework is and how it meets the State Law requirements…

  • 692. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Let’s hope that this strike is settled soon, if only for the sake of the people who are only now beginning to buy inot the system – and yes, by that I mean morepeople, who for whatever reasons, are now staying in the city and choosing not to run to the burbs, or to not enroll their kids in private or parochial schools. If this drags on, then many will be urned off by the system, and it’ll return to being perceived as “not an option” for those who can send their kids elsewhere.

  • 693. Mayfair Dad  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

    @ 676, 688: OK, I want play too

    Strikecation 2012
    Because 9 weeks is never enough

  • 694. Teachers and Parents United  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I bet if you looked at the median teacher salary instead of the mean, you’d get a better picture of what CPS teachers really make. The mean is stilted by instructional coaches that the CPS hires for $$$ that aren’t in the classroom. The $76,000 isn’t accurate.

  • 695. CPS Parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

    As to the evaluation system, state law required CPS to negotiate for 90 days. The CPS did this without compromising based on CTU proposals. After 90 days, state law let CPS impose whatever system it wanted. The CPS then did that without any CTU input.

    Go back and look at the articles from then.

    I don’t want teaching conditions in Chicago to be so awful that the best and brightest (1) flee to suburban district and (2) enter other fields, such as law or finance, instead of teaching.

  • 696. CPS Parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:38 am

    “Work out the larger issues OUTSIDE of a strike. A strike and the destruction of this school year does nothing to “fundamental[ly] change in how we approach education.”

    They tried this and the CPS wouldn’t seriously consider any CTU proposals until the CTU got a strike vote, something Rahmney never thought could happen because of SB7.

    The CPS still dragged its heals, without its CEO Brizard ever coming to the table and its Board President not coming to the table until school had already started for a 1/3rd of the system.

    The CTU has no leverage or recourse than to strike.

    Now, let’s see if the CPS takes the CTU seriously.

    And why hasn’t the CPS CEO sat at the table?

  • 697. ncm  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Where do the union dues go? How does CTU spend or save the $20M+ collected annually from its members (it’s my understanding that dues are $1,000/year)? Is KL’s salary known to its members? Do the collected dues do more than pay members a paltry $50/day during this strike?

    If CTU has a surplus, perhaps they can chip in for some of the services that they suggest? What a PR move to contribute $xxM toward A/C. Then I’d believe it is for the kids.

    CPSO – Of course this is a labor issue. CTU is making a national labor statement at the expense of our kids. They can spin it anyway they want and have its members think it is about A/C and wrap around services. BS. This is a push for collective bargaining power and its intent is to break the City, our kids and our bank accounts so it can chalk up a win for unions. They are fighting to set the stage for the rest of the country.

    The City and CPS cannot give in. They should dig their heels in on evaluations and recall – those are issues that actually do affect the children because they, even with their faults, will put the best teachers in the classrooms with our children.

  • 698. IBobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:45 am

    @689 Our “skin in the game” is the 10s of Ks we have shelled out because our neighborhood school stinks, the vacations we haven’t taken, and the home we haven’t bought. Current CPS parents are not the only ones with skin in this game.

  • 699. Family Friend  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:48 am

    There seems to be some confusion about whether charter schools are “for-profit.” In Illinois, the holder of a charter must be a non-profit organization. A few charter holders do not operate the schools themselves but hire a charter management organization or school management organization (CMO or SMO) to run the school. The management organization is usually also a non-profit but can be for-profit. Of Chicago’s 118 charter campuses, fewer than ten are managed by for-profit organizations. I believe all of these are campuses of Chicago International Charter School, which is itself a not-for-profit. Some CICS schools are operated by non-profit CMOs. CICS has been aggressive in firing management organizations, whether for-profit or non-profit, that are not performing well. We can debate the value of for-profit school management organizations but we can’t claim that Chicago charter schools in general are a for-profit enterprise.

    Are charter schools run by people with political influence? Not really. Some of the earliest Chicago charters have wealthy and influential people on their boards, but most hobble along with people like me — hardworking, but neither wealthy nor influential. People who actually run the charters are educators. UNO charter schools are the exception — UNO is a very influential political organization. At first, UNO schools’ performance was just average. But over the last few years I have seen UNO do a national search for a new team to design and implement a rigorous curriculum, and I have every expectation that in the coming years UNO schools will be outstanding.

    As for influence, people keep confusing charters with the Academy for Urban School Leadership. AUSL operates turnarounds, not charters, and it does have clout. David Vitale, President of the Chicago School Board, was the chair of AUSL’s board. Tim Cawley, CPS’ chief administrative officer, was formerly AUSL’s Managing Director, Finance and Administration. Cawley has not been a supporter of charters during his time at CPS.

  • 700. Mch  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:50 am

    694/695 (“CPS Parent”): you have a cause and effect problem. The best and brightest are leaving in droves (and have been for a long time) because the union’s malignant greed and disregard for students has fundamentally crippled the system. Change for the better? Not on the CTU’s watch!

  • 701. ncm  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @693 – Have you looked at the salaries? I did yesterday and couldn’t keep count of all of the $80k+ salaries.

  • 702. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:50 am

    To be fair to the private school parents, they do pay property taxes as well, so they do have a voice in this, as does anyone else in the city.

    For those of you outside the city, however…

  • 703. Mch  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Dennis Byrne’s column today is brilliant. More important it accurately describes how the rest of the world views the greed and shamefulness of the CTU in these trying times.

    (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-oped-0910-byrne-20120911,0,6394835.column)

    How could someone so repulsive, shortsighted, greedy, and vindictive as KL be elected to lead our children’s teachers?

    Teachers, how can you blindly follow such a toxic and shortsighted agenda? You are smarter than this.

    Oh and by the way, stop saying things like “teachers and parents united”. Normally we are, but not when you turn away from our children for the sake of blind allegiance to demagogues.

  • 704. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

    From a parent in my son’s class — if you’d like a way to show support for the teachers/union.

    There’s a petition circulating online (I believe by MoveOn) stating:”I stand with the Chicago Teachers Union in their fight against school privatization, closures, and stagnant wages.”If you want to sign, Click here:http://signon.org/sign/stand-with-chicago-teachers?source=s.em.mt&r_by=2270300
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 705. James  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:53 am

    @695 CPS Parent —

    CTU is a teachers union. Its role is to get the best deal it can for teachers. It isn’t charged with setting education policy or with trying to “fundamentally change” how our society approaches public education. CTU is simply one of several important stakeholders who have an interest in public education. Other important stakeholders include parents, school administrators, business leaders, religious and community leaders, taxpayers, and local, state, and national politicians. Education policy is set by all those groups coming together to hash out that policy, generally within legislative and administrative bodies. It isn’t done when one of those groups (in this case, the teachers) decides to simply bring everything to a screeching halt and storm off the job until their particular individual demands are met.

    This is pretty basic Civics 101 stuff. Good policy will not be made as a result of a divisive and hugely disruptive strike. As I said, it in fact reduces the chances that good policy can be implemented.

  • 706. Mch  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

    CPSO: how about the petition where we can show support for the teachers only, but not the union? Please post that one too.

  • 707. James  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:55 am

    @697 IBObsessed —

    “Current CPS parents are not the only ones with skin in this game.” Maybe not. But we are the only ones whose kids are being victimized by CTU deciding that they will not do their jobs.

  • 708. beenThere2  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:56 am

    701, Thank you. Yep, I live in the city, pay taxes and send my child to private hs, because…..well lots of reasons. I also hope this ends soon so do my cps teacher friends. I asked my child if he was still at CPS would he be glad to have more ‘vacation’ time? He quickly said ‘no, i would rather be back in school.”

  • 709. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

    @703. cpsobsessed : Unbelievable. 3,071 people (so far) think that 16% raise is “stagnant wages”?

  • 710. anon  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

    @693 – the schedule linked in post 224 would give very specific salary information, net of bene’s

  • 711. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:07 am

    If anyone wonders where the middle class went, read these comments. Unions and teachers presented as the bad guys. What a joke. But as long as the elites can keep us infighting, they win.

    I stand with the teachers!

  • 712. beenThere99  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:09 am

    710 – unions are from a bygone era. time to bust them.

  • 713. Momto2  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:12 am

    @694 – “As to the evaluation system, state law required CPS to negotiate for 90 days. The CPS did this without compromising based on CTU proposals.”

    OK…so what are those proposals? We have not heard what they are. If they are reasonable, then that is the way to get traction on the issue. They need to tell the public. They are doing a terrible PR job so far. With a 3 million dollar a year budget (which is my estimate, based on comments that members pay $1000 a year in dues and roughly 3k of members)…they should be able to articulate the Union’s positions better than they are doing so far.

  • 714. Mike  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Can aanyone tell me for the Teacher Evaluations- what percentage of the evaluations will the “test scores” account? I thought I heard that test scores will only account for 25% and there is other criteria in the evaluations.

  • 715. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:13 am

    @mch, I post em as I get em.
    Feel free to start that petition and post a link here! We’re a do-it-yourself kind of organization here…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 716. CPS Parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:16 am

    The CPS wants test scores to account for at least 40 % of the eval. Maybe we should be like Asian countries and rely on one test to assess students and have nothing but that test determine the caliber of college that you go to and the amount of financial aid you are eligible for.

  • 717. Momto2  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:16 am

    @mch – I heard a commercial on the radio about sending a text to sign a petition. Not sure I understood who was organizing it, though.

  • 718. anon  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:17 am

    @James “This is pretty basic Civic 101 stuff.”

    You’re right. My child has had Civics class for the past two years at his school. Has yours had that opportunity? How many schools actually teach Civics anymore? Just think how much the test scores would go up on the ISATs if our kids were properly educated for that section of the test? Oh wait…it’s not part of the test.

  • 719. cubswin  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Last I heard test were 40% of evaluation. I believe state law min. is 30%. The percentage probably isn’t a big deal. How rankings are organized is probably more important.
    There isn’t much left to negotiate. But CTU needs its media time.

    Strikegasm 2012
    How’s My Makeup?

  • 720. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

    From morning phone call:
    Why has JCB not been a public face during this?
    CPS: typically a school system superintendant is not the face during negotiations. It is typically the Chief Ed officer or the Board President.
    JCB needs to be the face on the ground with teachers.
    The negotiation process is grueling (late hours every night) and it’s not fair to ask him to run the system and handle the negotiations.

  • 721. CPS Parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:27 am

    JCB is not a “typical” superintendent. In fact, he could not be a superintendent in Illinois. He is the CEO of the CPS and making a lot more $$$ than his predecessor. He should be there.

  • 722. HS Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

    @717 – Unclear on your point. Are you saying that CPS students (not sure if your child is CPS) do not have Civics because that is not true. I also believe that there is some kind of test associated with that.

  • 723. Another Edgewater parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:31 am

    now imagine it this way….
    The President of the BOE is actually an elected individual (possibly a CPS parent). How does that start to tip the scales during press conferences? Impact the talking points?

    This is how it is in much of our country (absent the large mayoral-controlled urban areas).
    As a neighborhood parent who supports our neighborhood school, this is the biggest “catch-22”. And I feel caught in the middle.

  • 724. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:31 am

    @689-James. In a way, my kids have been asked to stay home from CPS everyday since Kindergarten by being asked to go to a neighborhood school not making AYP in math or reading…a school struggling to meet the needs of a study body in which about 90% qualify for free lunch. So, I feel as if I do have skin the in the game. Maybe not today, in the same way as you, but as a taxpayer and citizen whose neighborhood school is struggling so bad, despite hardworking teachers and excellent attendance on the part of the students.

    I am fortunate that I was able to find a private school without so many challenges facing it. But this doesn’t mean that parents who are out of CPS are not in some way still connected to their neighborhood school. What about those parents who homeschool rather than send their kids to a struggling school? They sacrifice one potential income and might not do so if their school was able to offer a something more than they themselves could provide. What about the low-income children who get scholarships for private schools but then don’t get free lunch and other assistance that only goes through the public schools? You may not see it, but we parents are all in this together even if it looks like we are “out” of CPS’ troubles.
    Strong public schools benefit us all.

    Maybe you’re right in that part of the fight could be done without the pain of a strike. It seems to me that CPS hadn’t started taking the teachers’ viewpoint seriously until the strike became imminent. In one shape or form, these discussions have been going on for a long time and teachers haven’t had as much power in the conversation. I am sorry that the strike is causing personal hardship for you and your family right now. Unfortunately, “school reform” doesn’t only happen in broad brush strokes. Much of it is enacted in things like the teacher’s evaluations for which the union believes it has a say.

  • 725. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:33 am

    re: Union dues:

    “Membership dues totals for calendar year 2011 are:

    Teachers $1,000.24
    PSRPs $600.16”

    http://www.ctunet.com/for-members/membership-information

    Some of that money goes to IFT and AFT.

    32,000 total members, including retirees, who pay a lesser dues amount. Looks like the $20mm budget is a reasonable guess, unless those IFT/AFT splits are big, which they may be.

  • 726. CPS Parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

    “Unions and teachers presented as the bad guys.” And this is sad because the teachers are the backbone of the middle class in Chicago. And it was the unions that built the middle class in post war America. If not for unions, many of us wouldn’t have had parents who could support us through college. That dream is dead as the income disparity of the elites and everybody else grows. They must be laughing now, as we are here, fighting over crumbs.

  • 727. Momto2  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

    OK…here is a link to what the CPS proposal was in March 2012.

    http://www.cps.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/CPSFinalProposal.pdf

    I do not know what has been modified and it contains a number of statements that certain aspects of the plan are all going to be developed in a joint fashion with CTU. If I am reading this wrong please correct me, but it looks like it starts out at 25% and is not 40% until year 5. It relies on NWEA/MAP testing…not ISAT. It also states that:
    To ensure efficacy of the plan:
    • CPS and CTU will jointly explore a measurement validation study
    • CPS and CTU will jointly agree on the scope of the study
    • CPS and CTU will jointly discuss the outcomes and make decisions about
    next steps
    • CPS and CTU will jointly seek funding or share the cost of the study
    • The study will be publically shared

    AGAIN…what is CTU’s counter-proposal? Honestly, they can’t just say “NO.”

  • 728. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:37 am

    @711

    Track the decline in union membership and the fall of the middle class. We need to return to an era of prosperity of the many, not just the few!

  • 729. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:38 am

    @726 Momto2: I believe the sticking point is perhaps less so the evaluation, but rather what the cutoff is to kickout a teacher. As I said, this is a labor issue – about preserving jobs.

    CTU wants to “water down” (cps words) the eval process so they’d be fine using the inputs above, they just don’t want anyone fired for the results. Does that make sense?

    CPS’ view is that it SHOULD be used to weed out ineffective teachers.

  • 730. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Wow. Any time it seems like we are getting somewhere, teachers and parents that support the strike start calling others elitists.
    I am against this strike because I have no more money to give to CPS and they really are struggling to make ends meet and giving teachers 16% more will not help my kids in the system in the least. I am not elite (wish I was). Teachers make more than I do and I am in the private sector in management with great reviews every year. You are all out of your minds on this one. I just don’t get it. Find money and fix the schools. Don’t give it to teachers to take home.

  • 731. North Side Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Tax payer – pay taxes.. I see a lot of referance to that.. Do the parents of ALL the kids who go to CPS pay taxes???

  • 732. 8th grade mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

    @730. Everyone pays property taxes one way or the other, either as a homeowner or as a tenant. (We are landlords, and part of the rent goes to property taxes…when property taxes go up, we raise the rent.) I guess the exception might be those in public housing.

  • 733. Momto2  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

    @728 CPSO – That’s interesting…Jesse Sharkey made it sound like CPS was not listening to their views on how to evaluate the teachers. So they are OK with evaluating the teacher…just not using it for any purpose?

  • 734. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:51 am

    #730 & 731 Everyone pays sales taxes.

  • 735. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I’m sure the ctu preference would be to not use the test scores. They’ve made that clear. Cps says it’s a law that school districts must get to a point of using 30 percent test scores in the eval process.
    It sounds non-negotioable. That’s how cps presented it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 736. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

    #725 As a former Union guy myself, the unions that built the country weren’t public sector unions for the most part.

  • 737. CPS ruined our kids  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Whoever said teacher’s not paid good enough, look at your teacher’s salary:

    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/At-a-glance/Documents/Employee_Position_Roster_05-01-2010.pdf
    or

    http://www.cps.edu/utility/404.aspx?oldUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecps%2Eedu%2FAbout%5FCPS%2FAt%2Da%2Dglance%2FDocuments%2FEmployee%5FPosition%5FRoster%5F08%2D01%2D2011%2Epdf&k=Employee_Position_Roster_08-01-2011.pdf
    or

    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/At-a-glance/Documents/Employee_Position_Roster_02-01-2009.pdf
    or

    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/At-a-glance/Documents/Employee_Position_Roster_08-01-2011.pdf

    above links still worked the night of the day before yesterday. Now it’s not showing anymore, somebody just hid it. I have a PDF copy if anyone wanted. The salary is same for every school with the entry level teacher 50-60K, experienced teacher 60-90K, principles 13K. With the economics today, what they are asking for is threaten our kids’ education only.

  • 738. James  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:59 am

    @735 Gunnery Sgt. Hartman —

    Exactly right.

  • 739. Elizabeth  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Strike by choice.

  • 740. CPS Parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    722. Another Edgewater parent – David Vitale (Board Pres.) is a CPS parent

  • 741. CPSMomNot4Long  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    CPS has a projected deficit of $3 billion over the next three years. Yet, CTU is not pleased with a 16% raise. I feel for these teachers who have been led into a strike by someone like KL. I have seen those in the red shirts looking giddy and happy to be out there picketing in the streets. Everyone’s job and hiring is subject to performance reviews; why should a teacher be exempt? Teachers are begining to appear totally out of touch. I think it’s time they get new, ethical and realistic leadership from the CTU. They deserve better.

  • 742. CPS Parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    CPS also wants to use students to rate teachers. Have you been around teens to know that they do not have mature decision making abilities? Also, people, and kids, do discriminate against others who are unlike themselves.

  • 743. junior  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    @730 North Side Mom

    Yes, all the parents of kids in CPS pay taxes. That is a fact.

  • 744. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    renters pay property taxes, in the form of rent!

    Many poor renters actually pay four times more than home owners. Buildings with more than 6 units pay 2x multiple on property tax, and commercial building are assessed close to real value.

  • 745. HS Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    @723 “Maybe you’re right in that part of the fight could be done without the pain of a strike.”

    Your ideals are shared by many and seem to accurately describe the heart of the matter. Whatever the realities of the process and how it got to this point does not excuse holding back on the kids. The offer was close enough to work around this action. You are lucky in that sense not to have to deal with it.

    Some comments seem to indicate that because of the low attendance at Children First locations that this somehow indicates that there is no harm done to kids in this process. I would challenge that. Kids have their own perceptions. Quitting the game is not a lesson that I will teach my child. Driving past a low income neighborhood, I could see many kids out running around. I’m guessing that parents who are unemployed are not showing up at the locations or leaving their kids with older kids. I really hand it to Rahm/Brizard for making sure the option is available and making sure that the kids do come first. I sure hope they were not picketed this morning.

  • 746. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Any who uses “strike of choice” is a moron! Of course its a choice. It’s a choice to standup for yourself or not.

  • 747. Northside Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    There is no money, the city is broke. Money could fix this, more resources, more teachers, more salary. Well evaluation part is something they still need to work out.

    I pay property tax of roughly 10K for 2 kids and I feel I am entitled to get this so called ‘free’ education. Just like how I pay for my health care through insurance. But for sure, I know many of these kids come from families who are on cash income. Families who don’t pay any taxes but qualify for everything that is free. They rent from landlord who has one property divided in probably 4-5 rental property. In such cases 1 property tax can not sustain 10 or 12 kids that come from the same property. Gov. Quinn has put some kind of quota on people who qualify for free healthcare because again no money. They have a cap on how many free prescription one can get and so on. Soon the same will go for free education as well.

    So, property tax, how much is enough and for how many kids? Education can not be free because the teachers need to get paid. The money has to come from somewhere. Taxpayers contribute but then we don’t know if it is only taxpayer’s kids who get to reap the benefit.

  • 748. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    @651 (EdgewaterMom) – “Merit pay has been taken off the table, so evaluations will no longer effect pay, correct?”

    Correct.

    “The teachers admit that the current checklist is not a valid evaluation. Do they not want test results to have ANY effect on the evaluation, or just a smaller percentage?”

    You can never make statements about what *all* teachers want as a group. I think there are a significant number of teachers (I won’t guess at percentages) that absolutely oppose any use of standardized test scores in evaluations, though their reasons differ. Some don’t believe the tests measure anything of value. Some believe this kind of weight on testing will warp curriculum away from more important things. Some don’t trust the board to ever implement such a system fairly and assume it will be used as an excuse to lay off costly veteran teachers without regard to quality, ultimately weakening instruction. Some don’t believe that any statistical analysis, no matter how sophisticated, can adequately control for background variables. And some, quite frankly, just don’t want the pressure of their performance being measured in an objective way. Those are all very different viewpoints and reflect very different motivations.

    Of course, that’s one group of teachers. There are others (again a significant number, I think) that see the use of performance data as perfectly reasonable, or at least politically inevitable. However, I don’t believe anyone in this group thinks we (as a country) have yet found the right way to generate and use this data, nor that the Board is competent enough to develop such a process on its own.

    As far as I’ve been informed, the Union leadership is not opposing the ultimate use of testing data in evaluations. They are, however, pushing for an implementation process that provides some opportunities to step back and consider whether the results are actually measuring what we intend them to measure.

    “Why do teachers think that so many people will be laid off?”

    This is an interesting question that I don’t have a precise answer to. From what I can tell, that 6000 figure is derived from data from some kind of pilot study done by the Board. To the best of my knowledge, nothing about that study is publicly available, so it’s very difficult to comment further.

    My own personal opinion will follow separately. I wanted to limit this post to more-or-less factual observations about teacher and union positions.

  • 749. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Lets see, the last time Dems supported Repug ideas we deregulated Wall Street, got into two endless wars, ended up with the Patriot Act.

    If we don’t start standing with the teachers and the unions, and pressure the Dems to stop this agenda, education will end up in the above pile of failures!

  • 750. none  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I am sorry that I have no time to read everyone’s reply on here, and only skim through most of them too. However, there are some posts that brought up the issues of teachers’ behavior at the strike. Some lamented that teachers are acting inappropriately – stating they are having too much fun etc.. I can’t say that it is untrue at all picket lines since I didn’t attend everyone of them. However, for the fews that I did attend – teachers act as they should act. They are out protesting and raising awareness for the cause. Their students and parents are there to support them, so what do you expect them to do beside talking and answering to the honks from cars. Also, there are so many children out there, do you expect teachers show their true ‘worried’ expression??? and let me also iterate that it is not fun to be out there – we were standing in hot bright sun and we literally have no shelter except a little shade from scattered trees nearby.

    Money – every year we heard from the CPS that they don’t have enough to support our children’s school. Every year, they said they have to cut expense here and there, and yet somehow they manage to have a nice fat pay check for the administration. Is it really too much to ask for a smaller class size? Is it too much for our teachers to demand more social service? Is it too much for the teachers to say no the new evaluation, when there are studies indicate that it won’t work? Really – a child’s performance is not solely tied to the teacher’s dedication. There are one adage that said “it takes the whole village to raise a child”. So why does the teacher have to take responsibility alone and put their livelihood at risk for some nonsense evaluation? Children’s success depends most on their parents, not teachers. If parents cant discipline their kids, then don’t complaint and blame and others. Teachers are only secondary, for goodness sake!

    Strike – I dont think this strike is simply aboutpay raise and benefits for teachers and others. It is much more political and complex; I wouldnt be surprise that we Chicagoans are the pioneer projects for conforming a new education system, a system that Michelle Rhee has advocated ( full of standardized testing etcs).President Obama may even use this strike to garner votes from moderate conservatives!! I really dont know what to think of it, except supporting my childrens’ teachers and teacher aides and all. They work hard, so it is time for me to stand by them – till the end!!

  • 751. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    ““Why do teachers think that so many people will be laid off?”

    This is an interesting question that I don’t have a precise answer to. From what I can tell, that 6000 figure is derived from data from some kind of pilot study done by the Board.”

    Todd:

    From what I can gather, there are two parts to “so many … laid off”:

    1. MOre charters = more layoffs.

    2. Per J.Sharkey last night, the data provided by CPS regarding some version of the proposed eval system would rate ~25% of teachers as on the short track to termination (however it works)–apparently if implemented today, and with similar eval/test results to last year.

  • 752. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Test scores are unfair because the teachers are stuck with the students they have. For gifted and classical schools, every kid is in the 99 percentile of IQ. I wonder how they will test?

    Blaine, Bell, etc. with highly educated parents, I wonder how they will test?

    A study came out that an affluent 5 year old has a similar vocabulary of an adult that has lived their entire life in poverty.

  • 753. SR  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I hope I’m misinterpreting @745, but the thought that if some parents don’t pay enough in taxes, their kids don’t deserve free public education makes me cringe. Aren’t kids coming from low-income households the ones who need good free public education the most?

    If the point is that education shouldn’t be so dependent on property taxes, then I agree.

  • 754. cubswin  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    One quote on NPR called the Chicago strike

    “New Democrats against Old Labor”

    So true.

  • 755. cubswin  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Seven year olds never pay property tax. The question is if we’re going to hold children accountable for their parents problems.

  • 756. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    “New Democrats against Old Labor”

    or

    Republicans in sheeps clothing against true progressives!

  • 757. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    “Test scores are unfair because the teachers are stuck with the students they have.”

    If the proposal is for absolute scores, then that is categorically unfair; I have not seen where it is seriously suggested that the eval is based on whether the class scroe 20th or 90th %-ile, but rather whether they do better or worse at end of year compared to beginning.

    note that everytime the NYC merit pay gets referred to, there is mention that many of the “worst” rated teachers are those teaching in the Selective Enrollment schools (like Stuy–the NYC squared Northside). So, it’s prob *more* likely that the teacher with the high-testing kids will fail to show sufficient progress.

  • 758. 8th grade mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    @750, I’ve always understood the ranking based on test scores to be about improvement, not absolute scores. The teacher who brings her class average up from 30th percentile to 35th percentile gets a higher evaluation than the teacher whose class remains at the 50th percentile.

    That’s why the teachers at gifted schools don’t like it either – if their average score is in the 90s, it’s hard to bring it up much.

  • 759. SEteacher  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    It’s also interesting to note that an art, world language or p.e. teacher’s evaluation will be based on t.he reading score of the student. Does that seem fair?

    The more parents I have spoken to today and yesterday only reaffirms my commitment to this process.

  • 760. Northside Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    @ SR

    The point is that in real-world everything costs, education, healthcare, food everything. CPS too has to pay for its teachers, facilities and everything else. The money has to come from somewhere. I pay my property taxes and hope that others who send their kids to CPS do it too so that it can operate. It should be give and take else it should be called a charity.

  • 761. A mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Teacher’s salary:

    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Pages/EmployeePositionFiles.aspx
    (some one may just hid it, not working now)

    or

    http://chicagoschoolsproject.wordpress.com/category/cps-budget-info/feed/
    (click on the 08-01-2011 Excel file)

    Besides the support staff, regular teacher’s salary is pretty high, about $80K – $90K for high school, $70K for elementary school, principles $13K. Higher than professors in Northwestern University that is $60K or even $50K in some department with summer research. Not bad at all for CPS teacher.

  • 762. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Since many of you don’t read back far enough to see everything, I will restate some things that I believe may be true for many “anti-strike” parents.

    Many of us agree that CPS has issues including the need for smaller class sizes, more social workers, special ed teachers and other “wrap around services”. Many of us agree that it is a disadvantage to have a lot of standardized testing and results in teachers having to “teach to the test”. (I for one would love standardized testing to not be such a huge part (or part at all) of the SE admissions process).

    I also think many parents agree that there is a risk in evaluating teachers based on these tests because we wouldn’t want some of the teachers we have had in the past to have a poor evaluation either because their kids were already doing so well that there is no place for them to grow with an standardized test (so no progress for the teacher eval) or doing so poorly that no matter how hard the teacher tries, too many of them just don’t progress enough.

    Many of us would love to have more school supplies paid for by CPS and air conditioning so our kids and teachers don’t suffer and can really learn and toilet paper in the washrooms. Many of us know it is critical to have books on the first day of school (or actually before that so the teacher can plan).

    Many of us know that teachers work very hard and work long hours and weekends and over the summer to prepare for the next year.

    Many of us also agree that CPS has too many layers, job positions that pay quite a bit for people we don’t see doing a whole lot. We agree that changing some of that would result in a bit more money for other things.

    HOWEVER, it would result in a “BIT” more money and certainly not enough to take care of all the above issues. AND if we take care of the above issues, we cannot ALSO give pay raises, step and lane increases and good health care benefits. You cannot have it all and if the above is so important (which it is), it should come before pay raises, step and lane increases and more money for health care.

    I have no more money to give in taxes. I am not in the 1% but some teachers are heading in that direction.

    We want to put the kids first, not second. If the CTU would give back the pay raises and trade it for things listed above, they would gain my support. It would also be better for teachers on a day to day basis. Right now, they have lost me and most people I know.

  • 763. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    By the way, if you think that the teachers are a pain, wait until CPS goes ahead and shuts down 100 or so schools that are under capacity. Watch parents freak out in a way that makes these modern day Joe Hill wannabes look like kittens.

  • 764. ncm  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    @759 – Excellent recap. I am officially in the category of “most people I know”.

  • 765. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    “I have no more money to give in taxes. I am not in the 1% but some teachers are heading in that direction.”

    Are you insane?

  • 766. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    ” I pay my property taxes and hope that others who send their kids to CPS do it too so that it can operate. It should be give and take else it should be called a charity.”

    The most common response to that has always been “pay for schools or pay for prisons”.

    Do you want to make sure that everyone on food stamps is paying their “fair share”, too? What happens when the owners of buildings in the Loop say “well, I don’t have *any* kids in CPS, why should I pay at all?”? Those of us who choose to live in teh city are all in this together, and if you don’t like the bargain, well–you get what you get and you don’t get upset.

  • 767. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    It’s thinking like 759 that has lowered pay for the whole middle class.

  • 768. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    @749 (Chris)

    Yes, clearly, more charters mean more layoffs. That’s the motivation for the recall discussion. But that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the 6000/25% figure.

    As to the 25% number, yes… that’s the pilot study I’m referring to. Unfortunately, there are so many important questions there that require public data that it’s difficult to meaningfully evaluate the Union’s position. Is there a valid objection that the system’s design doesn’t meaningfully measure teacher quality? Or is the objection that, despite a meaningful design, the system would be unable to effectively fill so many new positions in such a short time? Or is it just a knee-jerk reaction to members losing their positions? While I’m sure some commenters will leap to the third option, I think reality is more complex than that.

  • 769. SR  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    @ Northside Mom

    The Illinois Constitution guarantees every person access to a free public education from kindergarten through grade 12. As a society we have decided that in some cases public education is “charity” because it is good for society as a whole. I agree that the system works better when everyone is paying taxes, but I don’t begrudge anyone that can’t. Interesting parallels to “I built that” vs. “we built that” – I’m happy to be on the “we built that” side.

  • 770. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Another excellent article:

    Chicago teachers’ strike hurts our kids

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/11/opinion/moe-unions-teachers/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

    “The purpose of the Chicago school system — and of the American school system more generally — is to educate children. The way to assess collective bargaining is not to ask whether it works to bring labor peace. It is to ask whether it promotes the interests of children in a quality education. And the answer to that question is no, it does not. Not even remotely.

    Collective bargaining is not fundamentally about children. It is about the power and special interests of adults. In Chicago and elsewhere, the teachers unions are in the business of winning better salaries and benefits, protecting job security, pressuring for restrictive work rules and in other ways advancing the occupational interests of their members. These interests are simply not the same as the interests of children.”

  • 771. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    ” ‘I am not in the 1% but some teachers are heading in that direction.’

    Are you insane?”

    So we’re all on the same page about “the 1%”, in 2010 the AGI threashold for 99% on income was about $380,000 (individuals/couples/whatever). And the top 1% by assets has over $1,000,000 in *investable* (ie, not house, not 401k) assets.

    So, no, CPS teachers are *nowhere* close to 1%. Some may be close to the top 10% ($113k in 2010), especially in a married-filing-jointly household.

  • 772. cubswin  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    @760. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman said…..

    “By the way, if you think that the teachers are a pain, wait until CPS goes ahead and shuts down 100 or so schools that are under capacity.”

    It does seems that there must be more acts in this drama. There doesn’t seem to be a workable budget for the next school year.

  • 773. Northside Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    @ Chris

    I am not following you.

    “Those of us who choose to live in the city are all in this together”

    What exactly do you mean by that? We choose to pay for other’s who can pay for themselves but choose not to because I am not talking about people who are able to pay. I am talking about people who are abusing this system. I am not about the people who are not part of this system yet they take advantage of it.

  • 774. James  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    @754 Jackie —

    OK, Jackie, time for you probably to take a short posting break. I appreciate that you see yourself on the wind-swept barricades, leading the downtrodden to their ultimate victory over the forces of greed, evil, and elitism. You aren’t doing any such thing, of course, and it’s sad and pathetic that CTU’s leadership has so many of its members so riled up on such patently false pretenses.

    If you want to lead the charge for “true progressives,” feel free. (And if you think the CTU represent true progressives, well, I can’t stop you.) But this is nothing more a strike by a public sector union for a contract. This strike is visiting terrible consequences on hundreds of thousands of innocent kids, but it is also a strike in which not one of the progressive ideals you think you’re fighting for will be — or by law can be — incorporated into the contract that is ultimately signed. In other words, you’re in the wrong venue.

    If and when a contract is ironed out and presented to CTU membership, has KL thought through how she is going to sell it to a membership that she has now so riled up? When they see that it doesn’t “fundamentally change the way we approach public education” or defeat the evil bourgeoisie or call for the mayor to be beheaded, then what? Will the members feel like she let them down and reject it? This is just a mess. CTU better start ratcheting down the rhetoric — if only to save Jackie from going hoarse singing The Internationale.

    By the way, no less a figure than Franklin Roosevelt thought it should be illegal for public sector unions to strike. That crazy right-wing coot! To the barricades!!

  • 775. ncm  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    @764 – How is a 16% pay increase on EIGHTY THOUSAND DOLLARS lowering pay for the middle class? I believe most economists would say that an annualized salary of over $100k is UPPER middle class. Can someone please give me a break? Please.

  • 776. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Jackie, not sure how my thinking that I agree with teachers on everything (except paying them before we fix the things that benefits the kids and fixes the schools) will cause the whole middle class to have their pay lowered. I am in that category and I don’t want lower pay. However, if my taxes keep going up to pay for the salaries and benefits for the public sector, my quality of life goes down and my cost of living goes up. Not the other way around.

    Sorry about the 1% comment. I know teachers make closer to 70,000 or 80,000 and to $250,000. It was uncalled for. I am just angry at being accused of being elite when teachers make more than I do in most cases.

  • 777. anon  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    @mom2

    You had me following and understanding, but I’m sorry you completely lost my support when you threw in the sentence about the 1%. Introduce me to a teacher who makes $350,000.00+ per year in salary, and then maybe I’ll listen again.

  • 778. SEteacher  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I thought there was a waiting list of thousands for charter schools. How can they be advertising space availability? Why hasn’t anyone on this site responded to the enormous increases in budgeting for central office?

  • 779. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    ” But that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the 6000/25% figure.”

    Yes, of course; I wasn’t clear enough that I meant that the “so many layoffs” word-on-the-street is b/c of two parts, that aren’t always treated separately (bc they have the same end result–laid off teacher).

  • 780. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    ” I am talking about people who are abusing this system.”

    Who are you talking about? “Tax cheats” who “choose” to live 5 families to a house, even tho they could actually afford better? Apparently mainly to avoid paying more property tax?

    If it’s something else, you’ve completely lost me.

  • 781. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    @757 (SEteacher) – “It’s also interesting to note that an art, world language or p.e. teacher’s evaluation will be based on the reading score of the student. Does that seem fair?”

    This is another huge issue in test-based evaluation systems that hasn’t gotten much play in the media. Quite simply, not every subject area has tests that make any attempt to measure “important stuff” the teacher has taught. The Board’s proposed system uses schoolwide literacy as a proxy for “important stuff”. Now, I don’t deny the importance of a schoolwide literacy program. But really… an art teacher should be worrying about whether they’ll keep their job based on schoolwide literacy results? That seems bizarrely inappropriate.

  • 782. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    @ James, spoken like a true Rahmite!

    I am sure you were for deregulating Wall Street in the late 90’s.

    FDR is rolling over in his grave, with the last 40 years of union busting.

  • 783. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    @743 HS Mom. “The offer was close enough to work around this action.”

    This may be true. I suppose we will all have a stronger opinion on how avoidable the strike was when more information is available about the negotiations before and after the strike became imminent. My position is, however, that once they made the move to strike parents needed to be with them in solidarity for the larger issues that are at stake. Hopefully, they have not abused that trust although I think its too early to know for sure. CPS and the mayor need to know we want teachers to have a genuine voice in the school closings and charter school openings that are coming down the pike.

    “You are lucky in that sense not to have to deal with it.”

    Yes. As an aside, I don’t think the CTU took into adequate consideration the stress that would be placed on young children seeing teachers picketing. Kids need to know that the grownups are in charge and we’ve got things under control (even when we don’t). I know I struggled explaining the strike to my kids. I can’t imagine how hurt they would be seeing their own beloved teachers. They might be very angry and scared that their teacher was outside holding a sign…asking for help…and no one was helping her. If any CTU members are reading this, please consider not picketing at the schools with drop-offs, etc. Maybe some of the school counselors can also use their time away to put together a plan for how this might be addressed with the children when they return to school again.

  • 784. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    350K does not get you to the 1%, not close. That number is AGI, which the true 1% has magical powers to make disappear!

  • 785. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    When over 75% of teachers, some of the best people I have ever known, decide this is the right thing to do, I will stand with them!

  • 786. AnonMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    @743 – Part of the CTU’s plan today was to picket only at the holding centers.

  • 787. James  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    @779 Jackie —

    You might be on to something. Let’s stay on the line — stand with our teachers!! — until Rahm and CPS agree to our demands that Glass-Steagall be put in the contract! Take a stand! This is about Wall Street!! (And the kids, of course.)

    And you literally could not be more wrong about me.

  • 788. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    @780 pvt. mom “If any CTU members are reading this, please consider not picketing at the schools with drop-offs, etc. ”

    Just as an FYI–the CTU directed ALL of its teachers to report ONLY to the 144 schools that the children are at. Today they pulled them ALL from their individual schools to zero in on the 144 Children First sites. The CTU calls these “holding centers” after they changed the name from “scab schools”. For the kids?!

    Also, Brizard sent Lewis a letter asking her to not picket at these sites for the sake of the children. I guess her answer was no to that request…………………..

  • 789. AnonMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    oops, sorry I meant @780 – the ctu was going to picket only at the holding centers

  • 790. Mch  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    748 (none): you sound like you are a teacher or otherwise affiliated with teachers who are striking. If that is the case, then the last paragraph in your post makes me literally sick and the fact that the irony is lost on you is sad.

    You all but admit that the reason you are having a parade (I mean striking) is because you think you are part of something larger (i.e., “political and complex”), not because of current conditions in CPS. In other words you are indeed using our children as pawns to test your idealogy. Grow up, be thankful you have a well-paying job with fantastic benefits, and get back to work. Our children are not lab rats for you to perform political experiments on.

  • 791. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    “350K does not get you to the 1%, not close.”

    Um, the general reference to “the 1%” has been income-based. It is certainly misguided, for the reason you allude to, but that category of person who has *well over* $350k in annual income, but AGI of (near enough as to not matter) $0, is much more like the 1% of the 1%, and even that (about 14,000) overstates the size of that group.

  • 792. James  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    @787 Mch —

    Very well put. And a whole lot of parents agree with you. KL, CTU, Rahm, JC, and CPS better start getting that message, and get this thing settled — pronto.

  • 793. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    James, the correlation between Wall Street and education, is you had Dems giving into Republican ideas. Clinton deregulated Wall Street, and I am sure Rahm was pushing him that direction as well.

    There is a great video out there of ALEC members bragging how they were consulting Illinois Dems on education, and they could not believe how they were lapping it up.

    When the Dems cave, or turncoat, we see how it has turned out. They are suppose to be fighting for the working people!

  • 794. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    @785 Patricia. That is what I thought I read in their materials today too. Bad move for kids, bad move for their PR.

    Rank & file CTU members: please holler up the chain and get this approach changed for tomorrow. The damage has probably been done already but that is no reason not to stop it. The kids aren’t able to wrap their heads around what is going on nor should they be forced to. Heck, even we grown-ups can’t agree about what is going on! 🙂

  • 795. klem  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Rahm is now questioning whether CTU strike is legit. Says they are striking over things that they can’t strike over. Basically compensation and work conditions are what they can strike over.

  • 796. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Here are links from 2 of the (quick-writing) parent bloggers who participated in my call this morning with CPS. I haven’t read them yet but they provide some info on the evaluation system.

    http://thechicagomoms.com/2012/09/not-a-good-lesson/

    and

    http://www.chicagonow.com/families-in-the-loop/2012/09/chicago-teachers-strike-final-issues-under-negotiation/

  • 797. HS Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    @759 Mom2 – that was a very accurate assessment of how many parents feel. I thank you for expressing your thoughts. You do tend to catch the essence of many of the issues discussed on CPSO – certainly from a “mom” point of view 🙂

  • 798. Mch  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Jackie: I am reasonably confident that the basic human rights FDR’s unions were designed to protect did not include second cars, big screen TVs, and annual trips to Hawaii.

  • 799. none  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    @787 Mch – First of all, let me introduce myself to you. 1 – I am not a teacher and I dont have any affliations with CPS teachers and CTU, except I have two children attending CPS. I am currently unemployed, if you must know!!! 2- Indeed it is sickening to read others’ comment when they have no clue what I was referring to. As I stated in my previous post, I do not know whether this strike is simply about pay raise and teacher evaluations etc.. I was introducing the possibility of politics involved, so please reread my previous post before making assumption!!! Goodness, speaking of growing up!

  • 800. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Mch, when union membership was around 35% of workers in the mid 50’s, it is exactly what it was designed to do. A car, a TV and a family vacation. Happy Days

    Thanks for making it so clear!

  • 801. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    @772 – “How is a 16% pay increase on EIGHTY THOUSAND DOLLARS lowering pay for the middle class?”

    The whole “average 79K” thing is close to utter fiction, designed to incite middle-class envy over teacher salaries. First off, it includes the employer’s contribution to health benefits (a lot of money). Do you usually include that when you consider how much you make? The relative weight of that contribution is not irrelevant, but it hardly fits our usual expectations of salary discussions. Second, it includes CPS’s contribution to the pension fund, which they have not actually made in *years*. The entire future of teacher pensions is wildly uncertain. Most teachers not within 10 years of retirement have the same stress over retirement savings as everyone else. Third, it seems to include all supplementary pay for summer school, coaching, and similar activities. While this isn’t wrong per se, any comment about teacher salary inevitably gets “and that’s only for 9 months of work!” appended to it. So, again, the figure doesn’t match expectations of what it should mean. Fourth, it seems to include administrators and non-instructional teachers such as network personnel and coaches, many of whom make substantially more than any classroom teacher. Since the mean is a non-resistant measure of center, and thus heavily influenced by outliers and skewed distributions, this value is going to be much higher than the median, which would be a far more appropriate measure.

    If I had to hazard a guess as to what a *typical* classroom teacher makes for the work generally expected of them (this includes a good deal of supplementary work), and in the way such figures are generally expected to be used, I would peg it around 65K. That’s admittedly a wild-a** guess, and not one I’m really interested in batting around. Nor am I complaining about it – and for that matter, neither are any teachers I know. But it’s a far cry from a salary that’s buying you a second home and a boat. Or even, these days, buying your own home in a safe part of the city and putting your kids through college.

  • 802. Jim  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Chicago public school teachers are greedy slobs

  • 803. CPSMomNot4Long  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    @792 I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t help wondering whether or not this strike is infringing upon my child’s constitutional right to a public education. Perhaps the courts should take a stance.

  • 804. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    constitutional rights

    http://company.findlaw.com/pr/2006/091806.constitution.html

  • 805. Portage Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I have read all the posts from the previous thread during the summer and this one. I have become better educated in some of the issues that teachers face. I want to help improve school conditions for all children and not just my own child. This is no small task. Thanks to all who have taken the time and energy to inform us of the conditions they face teaching in low income neighborhoods. I believe parents want to help to provide teachers the tools they need to help these kids. I hope when the strike is sorted out we can focus on trying to support the kids in need of the basics.

    I know the strike has brought out a lot of frustration and anger on both sides (parents, teachers and other interested parties in favor of the strike and everyone else against the strike). The name calling and attacking posters for their views doesn’t advance the conversation forward. We can agree to disagree and do it respectfully, right? The name calling is counter productive and gets us nowhere whether it’s done by parents or officials). All that is a unnecessary distraction to the issues that we face.

    There have been PP’s that have mentioned struggles many have faced in the private sector with years of stagnating wages, substantial increases in health care contributions, cuts in 401k employer contributions. Since 2001 we have had two jobless recoveries. Employers don’t cut the workloads because they have fewer employees, they simply shuffle that work to those that remain. People are afraid of losing their jobs so they work the longer hours. There are many industries who have outsourced millions of well paying jobs to places like India, China and Latin America and those that remain frequently have to work even longer hours given their counter parts overseas are far less competent. Many who have been unemployed had to take jobs for substantially less than they were making before. The problem is this trend of stagnating wages and cuts in beneftis doesn’t appear to be subsiding. All of this has left many in the private sector struggling. I have heard PPs who have been indifferent to the struggles of many in the private sector. The response has been frequently that is our own fault given the choices we made. The reality is our economy has gone through tremendous changes in the last 10 years that could have not been anticipated.

    There have been increases in almost everything except our paychecks. There are many of us hanging on by the proverbial thread who are not in a position to absorb more cost increases and are fearful of the future.

    I don’t think any of us begrudge teachers some of the things they are asking for in their demands. We just don’t know where the money will come from. The state is still trying to stall on handling the issue of pension promises it can’t afford and now had it’s credit rating cut. CPS has also had it’s rating cut. I think whatever is negotiated, I think we all are wondering how will we pay for it.

    The only answer I have is all of us need to make sure that we demand our elected officials, the city, CPS to spend our limited dollars wisely and work together to eliminate waste in the system. We need to demand transparency to see where the dollars are going because ultimately the bills will be paid by us the taxpayer.

    All of us need to remember, we are all in this together for better or worse. I
    ‘m an optimist so I think we can make it for the better.

  • 806. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Todd: “Do you usually include [health benefits] when you consider how much you make?”

    Honestly, the answer is yes and no. The annual “what [company] pays you” report I get certainly includes it, and I certainly consider its value if I am comparing it to another possible job opportunity, but in a “what I make” sense, I do not.

    Now, counterpoint on that, I receive a (fairly small) 401k match, and I *do* consider that part of my comp, and if I had a defined benefit pension, I would most certainly assign some present value to those future benefits, which that $79k “average” does not. Which I know you will say (with good reason, and fair enough) is bc of the current uncertainty re funding of said pension, but the possible collapse of the stock market doesn’t make me ignore a 401k match.

    Actually, that makes me realize (consciously, at least) the *much, much* bigger reason why the city would want to get rid of more experienced teachers–putting a lid on growth of pension obligations. Get current 20+ teachers to not get to 30+, that would *really* reduce the pension-funding deficit.

  • 807. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    If it hasn’t been posted, best piece Op-Ed piece I’ve read on the strike so far. Basically he says that there is validity on both sides of this “mess” and wonders what will happen in the schools while the unions and school districts continue to duke it out over what could be years to come…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/opinion/nocera-in-chicago-its-a-mess-all-right.html?_r=2&hp

    Great quote: “What both sides are doing is completely understandable. Like unions everywhere, the Chicago Teachers Union is trying to hold on to what it has, while management is trying to impose new work rules. However it is settled, teachers will still feel under assault, while reformers will continue to feel as if the union is the enemy. It’s a little like the battles in the 1970s and 1980s between unions and industry, with the two sides fighting each other so fiercely that neither noticed that imports were on the rise and globalization was making their squabbles irrelevant.”

  • 808. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    @740 (CPS Parent) – “CPS also wants to use students to rate teachers. Have you been around teens to know that they do not have mature decision making abilities?”

    Indeed, there is ultimately going to be a student survey portion of evaluations that will count for 10% of a teacher’s overall rating. I find it curious that this hasn’t been discussed more.

    However, despite what you say, I don’t have any objection to this at all. I’ve taught easy kids. I’ve taught hard kids. I’ve taught kids that went on to earn Ph.D.’s. I’ve taught kids that ended up being shot and killed in gang violence, and I’ve taught kids that were the shooters. No matter the kid, a competent teacher will build a positive relationship with the student by communicating the values he holds and his commitment to students’ futures. And students, maybe even the hard ones especially, are on the whole surprisingly accurate retellers of what happens in a teacher’s classroom. In the vast majority of classrooms, kids immediately snap to their best behavior when an evaluator walks in (often humorously so) – because they genuinely want to protect that teacher. If they don’t, that tells you a lot about what’s going on behind closed doors.

  • 809. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    800/801:

    *Illinois* constitution, Jackie:

    http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con10.htm

  • 810. db  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Evanston/Skokie school district found a compromise, maybe we can learn something from them.

    http://www.dailynorthwestern.com/city/evanston-skokie-school-district-65-reaches-agreement-with-teachers-union-1.2760239#.UE-INY1lSVo

  • 811. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Todd, thank you for that very detailed explanation of a teacher’s salary. Admittedly, I did not think of it in that sense, and it does make sense. However, correct me if I am wrong in my calculations, but if the average salary is around 65K, a 16% raise would increase it to about 74500, wouldn’t it? I know pay is one of the sticking points that have seen some progress from both sides, however, would they be willing to make a trade off between that 16% raise in order to obtain some other items that can help teachers manage the classrooms better, such as teaching assistants, AC, etc?

  • 812. Nathan  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I agree with CPSO, this is all just sad. I think we can all agree that our school system is broken, esp. for the underserved. I think CPS is genuinely trying to fix that. Perhaps they are doing it the wrong way. Perhaps they are deluded. But the only thing I am hearing from CTU is No, No, No. It seems to me that if you say no to the proposals on the table, it is beholden on you to come back with a better solution.

    I think this is what has so many parents frustrated. CTU seems to be standing for the status quo. We all know that is broken, so give us a better alternative, and my son (just started K) and I will be on the picket line with you.

  • 813. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    @803 (Chris) – I totally get what you’re saying on the health benefit. Like I said, that employer contribution is not at all irrelevant, but it makes the overall figure mean something different than we expect in casual conversation.

    As to the pension contribution, my understanding is that the 79K figure *does* include that. You seem to be saying it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, then that number is even more fictitious than I thought.

  • 814. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    @portage mom, everything you say is reasonable and great if the other side had the same good will. But we have seen over the last 30 years what flexible has gotten us.

    We probably needed 500 more strikes across the country over the last 15 years. But, is there ever a time to stand up and fight!

    My sons in CPS.

    I remember my mom hitting the picket line in the 70’s. I remember it with pride.

  • 815. Paul  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    @804, I have to agree. That’s a great Op-Ed piece. And, I’m afraid he’s right when he says

    “It’s a little like the battles in the 1970s and 1980s between unions and industry, with the two sides fighting each other so fiercely that neither noticed that imports were on the rise and globalization was making their squabbles irrelevant.

    Students in other countries now regularly outperform American students. We are truly in the midst of an education crisis — one that won’t be solved until we completely rethink the way we offer public education. For starters, teachers and school administrators need to start working together instead of fighting each other. What the strike in Chicago mainly illustrates is how far we are from that goal.”

  • 816. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    @ 798 & 799. Can’t stop laughing at the chance juxtaposition of such a highly informative and productive comment with one that is…well…not! Do “greedy slobs” represent the mean or median of CPS teachers, Jim? I’d like to see your data. Maybe we are dealing with a bimodal distribution here. We ought not overlook those “lazy bums” I’ve been hearing about.

  • 817. James  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    @800 CPSMomNot4Long —

    The Illinois constitution says that education is a “goal” of the people of Illinois and that the state “shall provide for an efficient system of high quality public educational institutions and services.” In 1996, the Illinois Supreme Court refused to establish a judicial standard for a constitutionally compliant education, stating that “[w]hat constitutes a ‘high quality’ education…cannot be ascertained by any judicially…manageable standards. Rather, the question of educational quality is inherently one of policy.” So it’s highly unlikely that a judge would decide that this strike-wrecked school year is so awful that it amounts to a constitutional violation. And there is no federal right to an education, so that would be the end of that.

    If CPS were to go to court, I’m sure it would argue (and likely be able to prove) that various state statutes (including SB7) do not allow CTU to strike over the two identified remaining sticking points, recall and evaluations. That’s obviously a different and narrower ground than going to court to claim that CTU’s actions are denying kids a right to education.

    But let’s face it — if this goes to court, then our kids are completed screwed, and the merely disastrous would become cataclysmic. This has to be solved at the table. And soon.

  • 818. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    @809 (Nathan) – “I think we can all agree that our school system is broken, especially for the underserved. I think CPS is genuinely trying to fix that.”

    I don’t.

  • 819. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    @808 (HydePark Mom) – “Would they be willing to make a trade off between that 16% raise in order to obtain some other items that can help teachers manage the classrooms better, such as teaching assistants, AC, etc?”

    I wouldn’t dream of speaking for anyone else on matters of salary. Speaking personally, I would.

  • 820. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Regarding teacher evaluations, I think it would be great if parents, at the end of the school year, or every grading period, etc, were told excatly how the teacher was evaluated thus far.When my son finished K back in June, although I received a report card, it would’ve been helpful to know how his teacher was being evaluated-what were the goals she had to meet, and what % of her students met those goals? If this could be incorporated into whatever agreements they reach, maybe it would be beneficial. As it stand now, if my child isn’t doing so great say, at math, it’s hard to know if it’s really him, or if it’s the teacher’s methods. I hope this makes sense to you guys, I’m no expert in the field of education and evaluations, just a concerned parent.

  • 821. Nathan  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    @815 (Todd) – Do you think they want a worse performing school system? Their attempts may be hamfisted and misguided but what other motives would they have? Also, then HOW DO WE FIX IT? Where are the ideas from your side? I want to be on your side but more of the same isn’t swaying me.

  • 822. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    @818 Nathan, I think you’ve hit on the root of the problem. I DO believe that each side truly believes that they are working “for the kids” and are trying to improve CPS. But just like Republicans and Democrats have 2 notions for how the country will be great, the Reformers and The Rest have 2 entirely different ideas on how to make great schools.
    Thus the hot buttered mess.

  • 823. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Excellent and relevant economic data on teacher salaries from NYT here:

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/does-it-pay-to-become-a-teacher/

  • 824. Nathan  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Having read several things here and listened the the NPR report this morning, it also sounds like this is not really a Chicago fight. Does Chicago even have a choice is some of these evaluation methods (I’m honestly asking that)? Or is this mandated by Race to the Top / the state? If your fight is really with the US Dept. of Ed, then leave the children of Chicago out of it. Not a single one of them has ever voted. Please don’t use them as pawns in your political game.

  • 825. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    @Nathan, CPS said this morning that the eval thing is a law (although CPS seems to be among the first in IL to institute it… so not sure WHEN it becomes a law.) What seems more fuzzy is how much of an impact the results will have on what is deemed a satisfactory ratings for a teacher. The review also includes peer, principal, students. But test scores will start at 25% and move to 40% in five years.

    the one point that had an issue with was that there is no adjustment for the type of school. An Englewood teacher is held to the same standard as a teacher at Hawthorne on student growth (not raw scores, but growth.) I thought there was an adjustment made for stuff like that but CPS says no. Or I thought teachers were compared to others within their school. Nope.

  • 826. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Nathan, I agree with you.In the Suntimes, it mentions that supporters came from out of state also, including members of the AFT. They are quoted as saying:”It’s not just Chicago’s problem, it’s happening all over, and what we’re fighting for is fairness,” Sounds to me like indeed, Chicago is the fall guy right now for this whole educational mess nationwide, and our kids are paying their price.

  • 827. AnonMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    @821 – I agree

  • 828. Nathan  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    CPSO, that is helpful. Is that the universal nature of the evaluation a state requirement or how the city if implementing it?

  • 829. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    @818 (Nathan) – “Do you think they want a worse performing school system? Their attempts may be hamfisted and misguided but what other motives would they have?”

    I think they want a better performing system for some – namely, the students of families with enough political influence (however indirect) to keep them and their friends in their jobs. The *truly* underserved students they seem entirely willing to throw under the bus. I believe that, at the highest levels, our school and political leadership is consciously discarding children they deem too troublesome to educate. But this is a much larger question than what’s possible to debate here.

    “Also, then HOW DO WE FIX IT? Where are the ideas from your side?”

    I can’t condense that into a soundbite or bullet list for you. Some of the Board’s proposals on evaluation are productive, many of the Union’s comments about resources are accurate, and there are many solutions that fall outside the realm of contract talks. The last 500 posts or so of the previous Strikewatch thread had a lot of interesting discussion there. And ultimately, schools alone will never fix poverty and societal dysfunction. But I believe our educational policy can make a more honest attempt at addressing those problems than it is now.

  • 830. Momto2  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Sorry…I keep trying to find solutions…but what if the phase in period was extended for the evaluation process? Two years of transition to test the data and see what it shows, if it is reliable, etc. before tenured teachers reviewed? I really don’t know how you can objectively measure student progress without some form of testing. We are talking about NWEA and MAP…not ISAT. If not using testing, what do we substitute? I know we don’t want the classrooms to become test prep centers…but this progress requirement is a law. CPS has to comply.

    FYI…our school is eliminating “studying for ISAT.” The theory: focus on the Common Core Standards and our kids will do just fine. Our principal, who is new to our school, but has been in CPS for quite awhile, says it worked at prior school and he is confident it will work at ours.

  • 831. Downtown  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Before we jump on the evaluation system for educators, I think we need to focus on evaluating the mayor and his CEO JCB who both dropped the ball and were AWOL on negotiations!

    As long as the CTU has the support of a majority of parents they have the upper hand. The question is how long will that last?

  • 832. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Todd: “As to the pension contribution, my understanding is that the 79K figure *does* include that. You seem to be saying it doesn’t.”

    Lack of clarity on my part again–as far as I can tell, the 7% “teacher contrib” is included in that number, but I was referring to a NPV concept of the expected *benefit*.

    I think of that contribution piece as equivalent to my 401k contribution–which is deducted from my gross pay. The difference is that teachers have an expectation (however diminished) of a defined benefit, while I have “only” what I save+growth.

  • 833. Quizzicle  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    828 — “As long as the CTU has the support of a majority of parents they have the upper hand. The question is how long will that last?”

    Do they have that support?

  • 834. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    “Monday morning, teachers showed up in force on picket lines as parents dropped their children off at 144 contingency schools, as well as at parks, libraries and YMCAs.”

    http://www.suntimes.com/15077838-761/contingency-school-hours-to-be-extended-starting-thursday.html

    Looks like CTU is making it a point to hunt down where the children are. How awful for the children and the parents who will increasingly need to use these sites. The sites will stay open until 2:30 starting Thursday.

  • 835. cpsmommy  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Yes, the mayor truly dropped the ball. In fact, he was at the Bruce Springsteen concert Friday night and at an art festival in the city over the weekend. Wouldn’t you work round the clock if mayor…you know “for the kids?”

  • 836. cubswin  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    826. Todd Pytel said
    “………….The *truly* underserved students they seem entirely willing to throw under the bus. …………”

    Two new school I can think of opening this year are Noble in Gresham and in North Lawndale. I’m not sure what you consider underserved, but I think those neighborhoods would fit that description.

  • 837. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    @828. Downtown : “Before we jump on the evaluation system for educators, I think we need to focus on evaluating the mayor and his CEO JCB who both dropped the ball and were AWOL on negotiations!”

    So if they show up at the table, Karen Lewis will suddenly agree to teacher evaluations and letting the principals hire the best people for the job?

  • 838. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    cpsobsessed – once this strike is over (Gosh I hope that is soon), we need a discussion about how this change in testing affects the SE admissions process for this year. Since teachers obviously feel that standardized tests don’t tell you anything about learning, why have they been used for years to determine SE admissions and what will change now that ISAT is gone?

    OK, back to strike talk. No one can say that the CTU has the support of a majority of parents or Chicago citizens. No one knows that.

  • 839. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    @mom2 – “No one can say that the CTU has the support of a majority of parents or Chicago citizens. No one knows that.”

    Actually, the polling data supporting that statement was just published on the front page of the Sun Times.

  • 840. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Point of order! Ummmm….If Karen Lewis is saying it is lunacy to resolve the contract today and in the article below saying 50 articles and union only signed off on six so far. WHY WAIT UNTIL 10PM SUNDAY NIGHT TO CALL A STRIKE? I guess the CTU angle is to keep moving the goalposts and make random statements depending on which way the wind is blowing that day.

    ‘Lunacy’ to think teachers strike will end today, CTU president says

    “Lewis noted that there are nearly 50 articles in the union contract, and the union has signed off on only six of them.”

    http://www.suntimes.com/15077838-761/lunacy-to-think-teachers-strike-will-end-today-ctu-president-says.html

  • 841. Sped Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    This is a POV from an informed guy.

    Pulled this from Catalyst, where you can view the original:

    Rod Estvan wrote 2 sec ago
    Last night’s panel on Chicago Tonight

    I think it is important that parents, teachers, and other concerned individuals take some time and sit down and watch last night’s Chicago Tonight panel discussion on the relationship between SB7 and the current Chicago Teachers Union strike (http://video.wttw.com/video/2277568013).
    By way of disclosure I formally lobbied against this bill (I am a registered lobbyist and my ID is 7443) at every level from committee level to the floor and it passed with virtually no votes against it. It was not one of my more effective lobbying efforts to say the least, but it was one which I was glad I did, and was also an issue I was glad Access Living believed was important to the future of the education of students with disabilities in Chicago.

    Our position on this bill was to be honest somewhat self serving, which I guess is what lobbying is all about. We believed and continue to believe that the CTU should have the legal ability to fight contractually for smaller class sizes for students with disabilities, this bill along with prior legislation effectively made it illegal for the CTU to do this if the CPS exercised its option not to bargain over this (which it now has) and numerous other issues identified in the law. In our never ending fight for children with disabilities, who are collectively the lowest performing of all subgroups, the more potential allies we can have over issues relating to these students the better as far as we are concerned. It doesn’t mean we will agree with either the CTU or IFT or every thing, in fact we don’t, but on this issue we agreed.

    But, back to the Chicago Tonight program. Carol Marin led the discussion and most readers of Catalyst are familiar with her, but in case you are not she is the political columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, she is the political editor for NBC5 News, in addition to being an interviewer/contributor to WTTW’s Chicago Tonight program. It is interesting she led the panel because Ms. Marin is a former CPS parent who years ago had a very rocky relationship with CPS in relationship to her own disabled child. Normally she has not done many education related stories because of that. She is highly aware of the limitations CPS historically has had in the provision of services to students with disabilities. She is of course highly professional and exhibited no prejudice in relation to the manner she handled the panel last night.

    On this panel was Jay Rehak speaking as a CTU member and teacher. Interestingly I do not recall that WTTW noted that Jay is also President of the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund. Also on the panel was John Tillman from the Illinois Policy Institute which fairly can be called an extremely conservative organization with ideological ties to the Republican party that supports school vouchers and probably sees charter schools as a stopping point on the road to a fully voucher based education system. You also had Bob Bruno from UIC where he is a professor, School of Labor & Employment Relations. Bob is also a U.S. History high school teacher, guidance counselor. Then we had what I can only call the voice of the Chicago Metropolitan civic elite, Bruce Rauner senior principal and chairman of Chicago-based GTCR Golder Rauner LLC, a Chicago-based private equity firm. Mr. Rauner is currently a member of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago, was rumored to be a potential Republican candidate for Governor, he is major contributor to the Republican party, and basically owns the Chicago Sun Times via Wrapports LLC. Rauner’s name was floated for Chicago Public Schools CEO after Emanuel’s election and he is a major backer of both Stand for Children and Noble charter network schools. Rauner also at one point used current Mayor Emanuel as a consultant in the purchase of SecurityLink from SBC Ameritech and to this day this is where a fair portion of our Mayor’s wealth derives from.

    I am not going to even attempt to provide to readers of Catalyst a blow by blow description of the panel discussion which was sharp and at times extremely heated. But I think it is important for people to watch this and in particular note how Mr. Rauner defends SB7 and basically argues that the way to fix that law is to block the CTU and probably all other public sector unions from ever striking again. Teachers and parents need to watch this discussion to understand how extreme the ruling elite of Chicago has become in relation to the future of public education in this city. As the fiscal situation of our state and city deteriorates we can expect voices of our civic elite to become even more extreme.

    Rod Estvan

  • 842. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    @836 Todd How was the question asked? If they ask “do you support teachers?” almost all on this thread would say yes. “Do you support CTU?” is a different ball of wax as we have rehashed all summer.

    Just curious, did they ask, what are the teachers striking for? It would be interesting to see how many versions there are.

  • 843. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Sun Times poll is a live one, so go vote!

    http://www.suntimes.com/15081881-761/poll-47-of-chicago-registered-voters-support-teachers-in-strike.html

  • 844. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    CPSO suggestion for next book club, “Lord of the Flies”

  • 845. anon  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    832. cpsmommy

    “Yes, the mayor truly dropped the ball. In fact, he was at the Bruce Springsteen concert Friday night and at an art festival in the city over the weekend. Wouldn’t you work round the clock if mayor…you know “for the kids?”

    Apparently working the “fuller day” only applies to teachers. 🙂

  • 846. Thought on public strikes  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    @838 “the way to fix that law is to block the CTU and probably all other public sector unions from ever striking again”

    I think public employees in other states have never (or not in recent memory) had the right to strike. For example, teachers in Virginia I think can’t strike. Not that I’m advocating that we in Chicago be like them, but it’s at least something others have thought about and passed.

  • 847. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I have to go pick up my own kids from my mom’s place, so I can’t write a proper summary of PERA, the Illinois law involving teacher evaluations. I think the only commentator that really understands all of the political wrangling is Rod Estvan anyway.

    Here’s the short form… PERA requires all districts to implement a teacher evaluation system in which student achievement counts for a minimum of 25% of the overall rating. Schools districts were given several years to develop this system and had to come to consensus with their unions. EXCEPT CPS. CPS had less time to implement the system, and was not required to come to any consensus with the union. While CTU was allowed to “collaborate” with CPS in the system’s development, they had no approval power or vote over the plan – unlike every other teachers union in the state.

    CTU is arguing over the details of the plan that CPS decreed according to this law.

    Hopefully that’s all close enough not to be misleading… talk to you all later.

  • 848. Todd Pytel  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Awesome… extensive Estvan quote posted exactly when I saying he’s the guy to know. Sweet!

  • 849. CPS Parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    You should also look at the educational outcomes in states where teachers do not have the right to strike or collectively bargain. Historically, they have been awful.

  • 850. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I’m not a fan of Emanuel’s mayorship, but his presence at the table is not a decisive factor. Each side has a lead negotiator (Lewis is not the one for CTU) and a number of technical details get hashed out by subgroups. Unless Rahm has a sweet deal to present, there’s no value in having him walk in the room.

  • 851. HS Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    @839 – and who did they ask? A bunch of people at a CTU rally? Why don’t I ever come in contact with these poll people 🙂

  • 852. Elizabeth  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    @842 and @832 – Really? you should offer to take the Mayor’s job if you think it ‘s so easy.

  • 853. IBobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    ” Does Chicago even have a choice is some of these evaluation methods (I’m honestly asking that)? Or is this mandated by Race to the Top / the state? If your fight is really with the US Dept. of Ed, then leave the children of Chicago out of it.”

    Implementation of a new teacher evaluation system is a condition of the State of IL receiving 42.8 million in Race to the Top federal funds. Since IL ranks 50th in state funding of districts, and nobody can seem to must the polical will to correct that, it is arguab le that politcs were being played with CPS children long before this strike. It is simply the most visible, most inconvenient example

  • 854. IBobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    meant ” nobody can muster the political will”.

    Seriously @821, cps children are been used as political pawns by many.

  • 855. Momto2  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Uuggggg……..”The Chicago teachers strike appeared headed into Wednesday as the teachers union head said that talk of settling the contract Tuesday “is lunacy.” “

  • 856. ncm  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Here is a petition to CTU against the strike and in support of our children and their teachers.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/chicago-teachers-union-ctu-let-negotiations-continue-with-teachers-and-children-back-in-the-classroom?utm_campaign=petition_created_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=guides

  • 857. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    @852-uuugg, exactly if this strike keeps going.I am a stay at home parent, but I/m running out of ways to keep my child occupied.The whole idea was to homeschool my other twin preschoolers while he was at school, but that’s no longer possible now

  • 858. cubswin  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    @852. Momto2 said:

    “Uuggggg……..”The Chicago teachers strike appeared headed into Wednesday as the teachers union head said that talk of settling the contract Tuesday “is lunacy.””

    Better plan on a couple weeks. It’s not really about the contract.

  • 859. Quizzicle  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    832 — Seiously, that’s your comment?

  • 860. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Check again…parents do not support the CTU. Go back to work and if you want to keep fighting for wrap around services, smaller class sizes and AC, please do. I would like that, too. But, go back to work if you care at all about the kids.

  • 861. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    The poll numbers have changed and it is hardly scientific. Get enough of any one side to sign on and you can make it say anything you want.

  • 862. hamFisted?  |  September 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    857 – Yes

  • 863. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    “Better plan on a couple weeks. It’s not really about the contract.”

    Yeah, no cahnce that we’re back before Monday, and the only sure thing is by October 1.

  • 864. IBobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    @840 Angie- I voted 2 times on that SunTimes poll in support of the strike. How many times did you vote?

  • 865. HS Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Hey, I know, lets have our kids sit there and hit the button – they have nothing better to do. Johnny, lets see how big you can make that green space?

  • 866. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    @861. IBobsessed : I was honest and voted once on each poll.

  • 867. Portage Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Just saw Karen Lewis on the news. She said the union has signed off on only 6 items of the 48 items on the table. This is so different from CPS which says there are only two items and that’s teacher evaluations and teachers recall policy for laid off teachers.

    CPSO, is there any way to find out what the complete list of 48 items are that Karen Lewis is referring to in the news (and what items have been signed off by the union)? I don’t get the impression this strike will be settled anytime soon. I guess I will be preparing to home school my child for much longer than I anticipated.

  • 868. CPS DAD  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    This was in the trib attributed to Karen Lewis. After leaving the rally today.
    “”I’ve got to go back to the silly part of my day. . .Y’all continue to have fun. Show each other some love,” she said. ”

    Silly being the contract negotiations? I hope not.
    I’m glad the Karen and the teachers are out having FUN. I’m sick of seeing all the union members smiling and waving on the picket line.

    This is not fun it is extremely serious. The KIDS should come first and foremost. Get them back in school being taught by the teachers who want to teach.

    It seems to me Karen Lewis is making this a fight for national rights of teachers and Mrs. Lewis is striking just to make a point. I believe a strike is not needed. The longer this goes the more parents will start turning on the union.

  • 869. Downtown  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    WTTW at 7pm will have both former CTU president Lynch and Mazanny of CPS on. Should be interesting to hear their perspectives since they both are reasonable.

  • 870. IBobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Honest Angie- I actually didn’t vote 2x. Only trying to point out the unscientific nature of that poll. 🙂

  • 871. yetFisted  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    865 , you are right. what was in the koolaid the day karen lewis was voted in? Recall …..

  • 872. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I want to see the list of CTU demands. They have shared nothing of substance, just a bunch of talking points. Show me the list with exactly what they want.

    I feel totally betrayed by our teachers and I wonder how long before they start feeling betrayed by Karen Lewis and start to realize who truly cares about the kids in this city (not her, that’s for sure).

    I am seriously starting to think about leaving CPS. We were lucky to get into some good schools and we work every year to support the teachers and the administration to make it better. But if this goes on much longer, parents that actually care and try to improve things every year will up and leave this system and leave the teachers in the dust.

  • 873. CTU Teacher  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    The CTU is run by teachers. Also, Oct 1 is not a sure date. Our health insurance can be extended through Cobra. And, the CPS has already stated that it would not be able to must the funds it would take eliminate our health insurance for the duration of the strike as the paper work to reinstate it would be tremendously costly. Besides, if we had to spend $$$ on Cobra for extending health insurance, we would just refuse to return to work until the CPS reimbursed us for it. So, no, 10/1 is not a sure things.

  • 874. dunno  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    869 and that is why private schools exist.

  • 875. dunno  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    870 and that is ALSO why private schools exist.

  • 876. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    @870. CTU Teacher :”Also, Oct 1 is not a sure date. Our health insurance can be extended through Cobra.”

    Have you looked at Cobra prices lately? You might be shocked.

    Or do you expect CPS to pay for it, too?

  • 877. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    @870, in other words CT is gonna take its sweet time and protract this strike as long as possible.It’s for the kids, right? I have lost so much respect for Chicago teachers now, I doubt I will ever look at them the same, except for Todd Pytel.

  • 878. HS Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Mom2 – 50 points? This is concerning give us the list because I can’t even see the goal posts.

    If civics class for all and “better” kids for honors level classes are on there, I’m going to start thinking that they are pulling their material off blogs 🙂

  • 879. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    They will add it to their list of demands COBRA…

  • 880. anon  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    @870 knowing what this will do to the kids, you say that so smugly. I certainly hope you are not representative of the other teachers. I can’t believe that you are.

  • 881. futurecpsparent  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    @873. CTUTeacher said “Besides, if we had to spend $$$ on Cobra for extending health insurance, we would just refuse to return to work until the CPS reimbursed us for it.”

    Glad to know CTU’s ridiculous claim that it’s “all about the kids” is a load of crap. I hope Rahm breaks the union and I did not feel that way two days ago. Get over yourself, you are entitled to nothing. You walked off your job, deal with the consequences.

  • 882. CPS Teachermom  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I have a private nickname : Slow.
    I often think through something long after I needed the answer.
    So with the teacher’s strike.
    I have been out on the line everyday with my colleagues,
    heartened by all the thumbs up,
    parents and kids,
    and blast of car horns,
    especially the big haulage trucks,
    People’s Gas,
    Com Ed,
    Garbage trucks,
    CTA,
    beer haulers and dairy haulers
    with their tremendous blasts.
    And Fire Trucks,
    ambulances
    and
    the Police, for goodness sake!

    So much public support
    even tho the teachers don’t have the TV and newspapers in their pockets like the rich and powerful.
    How come the Mayor doesn’t listen and settle?

    Slow! That’s me.
    It’s privatization.
    They are determined,
    not only here, but nationally,
    to privatize the schools.
    Why?
    Because they would be able to lead private, for-profit companies (their friends and backers) to the public trough of tax dollars. Charter school pay way less, and have way less benefits. Where does that extra money go to? To the parasitic companies championed by Rahm and his whole gang of corporate privateers, republican and democratic.

    I remembered that only 6 months ago I was wondering why the CPS would fire its own lunch room staff and turn the food service over to private, for-profit companies. Why insert a parasite into the pipe between public money and public schools?
    They are doing the same with custodial workers.
    And sanitation workers.

    The corporate class sees easy money to be had in the public sector, and since Reagan times they have fixated on beating down public service, in the press, the courts and the streets.
    And what does it mean to our communities and neighbors?
    It means fewer good jobs with benefits and pensions.
    It means more low paying jobs without health care, a living wage, or a retirement package.
    It matters.
    It makes our communities poorer.
    And it fattens the ones who already own our political system.

    That’s why the teachers’ unity and determination are so heroic.
    It is not about money.
    It is about resources: a rich curriculum, libraries, the arts, language learning (and ecology?!).
    They say they don’t have money for these things.
    But they do have money to throw at Charter Schools.
    I was thinking about why the BOE puts the screws to schools in the most challenging neighborhoods.
    These are schools where many parents don’t have jobs or health care.
    The streets are dangerous with desperate and lost youth roaming about.
    Why would the Board cut funds to these schools, threaten them with closure, add more and more high stakes testing even as the students face huge challenges just trying to live?
    Why not provide gardens, libraries, computer rooms, social workers and counselors, nurses, art and music teachers, smaller classes and University mentors. Why not?
    Because they might get better!
    And then they couldn’t be closed down and turned into for-profit charters.
    Slow.

    We need to help our teachers.
    Now.
    We need to let our Aldermen know how we feel.
    And they should be banging on the Mayor’s desk demanding a just contract and a re-thinking of the privatizing juggernaut. We need to call out our Mayor on these cynical strategies to divide and conquer our people, and to plunder our public wealth,

    If the strike is not settled by Saturday, I want to invite all my neighbors to meet at beautiful Waters School at 10:00, bring kids and grandparents and uncles and aunts. Talk to your neighbors and invite them to join us. Make your own sign. Bring a drum or a whistle. We will march to Welles park and stand on the corners of Montrose and Western and spread the word with everyone that passes by. And you will be amazed at the support for these courageous teachers. And you will be surprised at the depth of resentment people feel abut this mayor, who has plunged us into this crisis with bullying and deceit.

    Stand by and stand up!

    Mr. Leki

    ***THANK YOU, PETE LEKI! YOU ARE THE HEART AND SOUL OF WATERS SCHOOL.

  • 883. CTU Teacher  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Your right that if CPS killed health insurance on 10/1, we would add the COBRA cost to the price of negotiations.

    We will do whatever it talks as long as it takes to get what we want.

    Is it for the kids? When does anybody truly act selflessly. C’mon. Get your heads out of the sand or whatever you have them stuck in.

    Gangbangers want money and respect, so they shoot each other. Rahmney has national aspirations, so if he sticks it to the teachers, centrist Democrat (Republicans) will give him respect ala Bloomberg. Parents want competitive advantages for their kids, or why else create SE schools or have such a disparity in funding between Winnetka and East St Louis? And we want better working conditions and compensation.

    So, let’s not lie to each other. We all want what’s best for us. Look at the psychology of altruism if you don’t believe me.

  • 884. ncm  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    With KL’s comments of today I am becoming anxious that CTU has no intention of exercising reasonableness or showing good faith at the table. I feel the extraordinary need to do something. To let my voice be heard. I previously posted a newly formed petition. Would parents against the strike (but in support of our kids and their teachers) rally at CTU HQ? Is that a pipe dream?

  • 885. CTU Teacher  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    And everybody understands that the personas we create online are exactly who we are in person, correct?

    Wouldn’t it be terrible if I was somebody at, oh, let’s say Westside Network, or Elizabeth Street, or 125 S Clark or maybe city hall who wants to agitate?

    That’s the beautiful thing about online anonymity. You don’t know if that pretty girl is a fat old man until it’s too late.

  • 886. EdgewaterMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Wow, I was away from my computer for most of the day and there is a lot of catching up to do! I have skimmed most of the post and opened about 10 tabs of other pages to read and videos to watch after I finish my work. My daughter may not have homework this week, but I do! (Actually, I may assign her some of the articles…)

    Thanks again for more detailed posts Todd. You are doing a much better job than the CTU in getting the word out about what the CTU is actually bargaining for.

    Like many parents here, I am still torn on so many issues. I understand why teachers don’t trust CPS to create a fair evaluation system, but I am frustrated the the CTU has not worked harder to come up with a system that meets the new legal requirements. I really think that many of these issues could have been worked out without a strike – if BOTH sides had been willing to negotiate. Karen Lewis needs to realize that her entire list of demands is NOT going to be accepted without any compromises from the CTU.

    As for the entitled teacher who thinks that she will just continue to hold our kids hostage until the city pays her COBRA premiums, well, I don’t even know how to respond to that. I am just glad that Todd is more representative of many of the teachers that I know than that poster.

  • 887. CPSfinesse (formerly anon)  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Apparently someone else likes to post with “anon” as their name so I have to come up with something else. Darn, that was such a creative name too! And my creativity is all tapped out after last night’s limerick/poetry slam!

  • 888. CTU Teacher  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    What’s the moral to this? Let’s make sure we know what’s really going on before we jump to conclusions.

    Must go. There’s the doorman with my latest shipment of Beluga Caviar.

  • 889. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    @880 CTU Teacher. Ok. But please do the one thing you can do for kids now and that is try to keep the strike away from the youngest students. They don’t understand this and shouldn’t be forced to.

  • 890. lawmom  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Just spoke with a delegate and we are definitely out of school tomorrow and very likely Thursday. I am thinking we won’t go back until after Rosh Hoshanah (Monday) next week if then.

    Another poster asked about health benefits for teachers expiring while on strike — teachers will lose them at the end of September. This delegate also said Karen Lewis will definitely be re-elected to a a second term as president. The delegates are behind her 100% as she is “not being bought off”. So for those of you thinking about the suburbs, you may want to start looking sooner rather than later.

    I really feel sorry for the all the seniors out there and athletes who can’t play. Many sports scholarships are going being lost if they don’t get back to school/play soon.

  • 891. UnionsLOL  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Poor Jackie must be beside herself that instead of an evil Republican, you have Obama’s Right-hand man Rahm battling it out with the union. Hilarious.

  • 892. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    “Your right that if CPS killed health insurance on 10/1, we would add the COBRA cost to the price of negotiations.

    We will do whatever it talks as long as it takes to get what we want.

    Is it for the kids? When does anybody truly act selflessly. C’mon. Get your heads out of the sand or whatever you have them stuck in. ”

    You mask is showing, Rahm-plant.

    Seriously, if that’s the attitude of most teachers (ie, enough to control the process), then I’m shifting *strongly* against.

  • 893. CPSfinesse (formerly anon)  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Congratulations CPSO – you’re blog has hit the big time! I think I smell a troll…

  • 894. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    @ CT teacher-your posts absolutely drip with smugness, arrogance, disregard for the city’s kids. In case you forgot, like a previous poster mentioned before, our taxes pay your salary, in part. And believe you me, I am willing to work two jobs if need be, to send my kids to private school, as I am sure most parents would, in a school system full of mediocre, money hungry teachers such as yourself. What will you do then, when more families leave the city, school funding declines due to loss of property tax revenue, and your job is on the line? Oh, let me guess:”We will strike again until our every need and want is fulfilled.”Get real. Parents who care have options, we are not limited to CPS and the teachers of your caliber.

  • 895. CPS Teachermom  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    How can teachers trust the Board? If Rahm had not shown himself to be such a sneak when he ran around and obtained signatures from a handful of schools before a proper longer day schedule had been implemented…if the Stand for Children (“Stand on Children”) Mr. Edelman had not scoffed at the teachers’ ability to organize themselves and strike for a fair contract…if SB7, which is a very bad law, had not been written to squash reasonable negotiating rights…then maybe. Those “new legal requirements” need to be changed. Bad laws can be changed. I see a lot of northside parents on here complaining about their kids’ teachers and the strike. Well, as a west side teacher whose kids attend a CPS school on the north side, I see both sides of that. I want to be at work teaching, but not under unsustainable conditions. I don’t want good schools with bad test scores (yes, there is such a thing) to be closed. I wish my kids were in school, too, instead of striking with me, but this fight is about all of the schools, especially the beleaguered ones in tough neighborhoods. Teachers are forced to test those kids to death and have very little time to teach at all, and then are supposed to be evaluated on those assessments. It is one of many crucial (but not strike-able) issues. This fight is about future of public education, which the Board wants to destroy in vulnerable neighborhoods, then privatize. It’s a budgetary move on the part of the Board that is not honestly presented as such.

  • 896. IBobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    @891, HELLO, you are being played. No teacher who had those sentiments would post them on this board.

  • 897. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I understand that in the eyes of many, this fight transcends Chicago and involves issues on a national level re:education, but can we plse keep it limited, for the sake of all? If this strike is truly a national battle, then kids will be out of school way past october.It can’t be solved in a few weeks, it will take time to solve on a deeper level.Let’s work it out while school is in session. Can we agree to that, Ms. Lewis and company?

  • 898. CPS DAD  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Reading posts like these is like the old judging in the olympics. Throw out the highest and lowest and the rest are the real scores.

    Personally I’m made at both sides equally. GET IT DONE. The only people being hurt are the kids. I will say that until the cows come home.

  • 899. rp mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    “CTU Teacher” is a troll. Don’t take these ridiculous rantings as that of a teacher!

  • 900. Anon  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    For anyone interested, there’s a Change.org petition circulating against the strike, but in support of teachers:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/chicago-teachers-union-ctu-let-negotiations-continue-with-teachers-and-children-back-in-the-classroom?utm_campaign=petition_created_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=guides

  • 901. Make the madness stop!  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I just watched the news and this is becoming a bigger, hot mess. It sounds like the Janitor union will probably stop crossing the picket line. The National Teacher’s union President has flown in from D.C. to support Ms. Lewis (she may already be here). It sounds like several other unions are coming to Chicago to provide more support too. It seems this is about asserting a political agenda and not about our Chicago kids.

  • 902. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Look, now I’m a mom from Hyde Park. Anonymous posting is truly wonderful. i can be anybody! Ms. Lewis, please think of the kids and stay on strike through the fall so school can go through the summer. If we keep the kids off the street in those hot summer months, we’ll surely get this murder thing under control.

    Off to find another job so I can be like Rahm and send my kids to Chicago Lab School, which has a much shorter school year than the CPS.

  • 903. not sure what will end the strike  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    When teachers vote to strike before they ever see the final contract; when the union declares a strike claiming they haven’t even seen the latest proposal, I worry that the strike isn’t even the will of the teachers.

    And when the leader of the union indicates that things like money and conditions (other than air conditioning) aren’t the sticking issues, then I too wonder if the strike is even legal.

    So, now we have a strike with the teachers thinking they are striking for the best interests of the kids when the negotiating piints are evaluations and recall.

    And I don’t see how this is ever resolved when the head of the union has decided to stonewall and not negotiate.

    This is a mess… and a disingenuous one. Our kids are suffering and our teachers are being used… Do teachers really feel as if the union is negotiating on their behalf now?

    Can the strike be declared illegal based on what is actually being negotiated?

    Will a change on the evaluations or recall make the teachers feel better about returning to work?
    Interesting…

  • 904. CPS DAD  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    See just like olympic judging. You throw the post @899 away and you read the real posts. easy

  • 905. Mayfair Dad  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Karen Lewis really seems to be enjoying her 15 minutes of national fame. Maybe she should spend less time pontificating in front of a TV camera and more time at the bargaining table.

    Get ‘er done.

  • 906. James  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    @898 Make the madness stop —

    If all of that is true, we are in big trouble. Somebody better do something about this. I truly can’t believe they would do this to our kids. It’s like watching a horrble train wreck in slow motion and not being able to do anything about it. I feel powerless and red-hot angry at all of them — but mostly KL and this horrible, selfish union.

  • 907. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    “if SB7, which is a very bad law, had not been written to squash reasonable negotiating rights”

    SB7 changed the strike vote level (which y’all proved did NOT matter) and added length of school day and year (fortunately killing the 5.75 day) to the non-negotiable items. The rest of it has been state law for over 15 years, which you have to blame Daley and Madigan for.

  • 908. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    And speaking of bad laws, how did other states managed to outlaw the strikes? That’s the law Illinois should be changing.

  • 909. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    “Can the strike be declared illegal based on what is actually being negotiated? ”

    Do you really think that CTU is stpid enough to not save final agreement on the salary schedule until everything else is resolved? “We can probably live with the salary offer, if we can resolve issues A, B & C” seems good enough to me, so long as A, B & C are items “raised” by CPS. I don’t think that there is any chance of a court getting involved on that basis.

  • 910. none  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    CTU teacher – For what purpose are you trying to achieve with your posts on here?? Yes, this is an online community and we are mostly shielded, but it hurts to see you doing this deliberately.

  • 911. Stop The Madness!  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    @903 – Yes James. I was watching NBC local, and shaking my head. The National Teacher’s President was speaking about how the CTU must be supported in their endeavors. I didn’t get who all the unions were -in coming to support. This is bad because the CTU leadership isn’t going to want to settle -when everyone wants to join the cause.

  • 912. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    It makes sense now why on Sunday night, KL was not replying to the calls from Vitale, I believe. She claimed she was too busy talking to labor leaders.She had this finely orchestrated all along.I wonder what else she’s got up her sleeve? I feel so powerless to be in this school district.Before sending my son to an RGC, I had toured dozens of private schools.Shoulda done that route!

  • 913. cubswin  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Its not about the silly contract.

  • 914. James  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    @909 HydePark Mom —

    I completely agree. I would never, ever submit to this again, and I will recommend to everyone I know not to do so either. Go private and somehow find the money or leave the city and go the suburbs. How these people can play political games with our children’s education makes me sick. I am so sorry I chose the public school system. I feel like a chump.

  • 915. also obsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Someone said someone has to DO something. How about a full-city parent strike. We strike that NO ONE goes to CPS schools. Then why would we need CPS Board OR CTU jobs? haha! Would that be awesome or what? National news indeed.

  • 916. Portage Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    @909, I agree based on what we saw Sunday night regarding Karen Lewis, there’s a broader agenda afoot. The strike was going to happen and national labor leaders were all set to come to Chicago to push their agenda using our kids as bargaining chips. The AFT president stated they are fighting for the heart and soul of public education when she marched in Chicago with the teachers.

    The longer the strike goes on they may lose the hearts and minds of parents of CPS students. Greater numbers may choose to go with a charter school having the comfort of not having to worry about the potential of a teachers strike. The CTU and its members have to consider the potential for unintended consequences.

  • 917. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I am with you.Would be nice to show our dissent, had a similar Chicago Parents union.We have nobody fighting for us….we are the pawns, along with our kids.Take away their power.

  • 918. CPS Teachermom  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    A little refresher on SB7, the bad law that helped to make this mess:

    “By allowing CPS to rule out key areas – and encouraging CTU to make a large salary demand as its only leverage for pressing nonsalary issues – SB7 set up the dynamic behind the current stalemate, said Rod Estvan of Access Living at an RYH forum in Logan Square on Monday. Under sections of the law which apply only to Chicago, mediators now evaluating the two sides’ proposals are restricted to topics deemed acceptable by CPS, he said.

    The way to avert a strike, to provide room for compromise, is by opening talks to include the full range of issues, Estvan said.”

    We all know now how that worked out.

  • 919. SutherlandParent  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I understand why some people think it looks bad that Rahm hasn’t shown up at the negotiating table, but considering the history between KL and the mayor, and the opinions KL has publicly stated about him (bully, liar), do you really think it would be productive for him to be there? I don’t see that dialling down the tension between the two sides. Since I want to see this settled as soon as possible, I hope he steers clear of the negotiations.

  • 920. raini  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    @694 I had to post after this one. I’m a first year Chicago teacher, and I taught in the suburbs before that. There is a definite difference in my classroom environment at CPS. I’m teaching with an overhead projector that I stole from downstairs and projecting onto a vinyl table cloth I taped on my chalkboard. My classroom was between 85-103 degrees at all times last week, and my kids were melting. I have no books for most of my kids, and I spent over $700 to get supplies for my kids because they have nothing. I like the staff and the kids at my school, but I can understand why people are questioning my move from the suburbs. I do have doubts. Even if it were less money, the restrictions CPS has, fear for job security and general conditions make it attractive to go to the suburbs eventually. Your post about other jobs is on target: I applied to law school when I had trouble getting a teaching job a few years ago and got a scholarship to two schools in Chicago. My husband still has student loans though, and it would still have been a hardship for me to go. I would still rather teach, but it was a consideration. If things got bad enough, I probably would do that.

  • 921. Coco  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I don’t want this becoming a “occupy Chicago”

  • 922. Mom in brla  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I have been following this story with much interest. I am a teacher in the deep south. I am fortunate enough to be able to work in a parochial school now, but when I first started, I taught in a failing public school system. The teacher’s union here pursued me and my fellow first year teachers relentlessly. They told us we needed them in order to survive. It seems that these unions push teachers into their political agenda. And FYI, the president of our union was an attorney, not an educator, which is a huge problem, in my opinion. I love my job. I love seeing my children everyday. We are also financially strapped, but teachers who truly love the job show up everyday. Teachers in my school make an average of $30,000. It’s the capital of our state. We go to school each day. We teach academics and life skills. We begin and end our day in prayer. We love what we do and we love the children and families we serve. We are teachers!

  • 923. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    @919, Mom in Bria:
    Thank you so much for finding this blog and commenting.It’s nice to see some truly caring teachers in other parts of the country. You sound like a great group over there, wish we had you here! I believe some of our tecahers here are like the children of rich parents: spoiled brats, who don’t appreciatee what they have, and its “gimme gimme!” God Bless.

  • 924. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Time to go home and cry for our kids that KL has forced into this mess. I never thought I’d start hating the teachers at my kids schools, but I’m there now. They need to wake up and notice that they are being led astray. I’m terribly depressed.

  • 925. gary  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    just read that KL was at the march today — do negotiations happen at marches? they asked if the meetings would continue tonight, and she said “not too late, I hope”. is that supposed to be funny? many of the people on this board probably spend a lot of volunteer efforts holding their schools together and if she thinks this is a time for ha-ha’s she is dead wrong. going to a private or suburban school would certainly simplify my life and if she’s not going to bat for my family then she’s going to lose us and probably many of the others who contribute a lot of time and effort. seriously, CTU, i’d say get a new leader, but you don’t have an old leader.

  • 926. MAO  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Time for a new thread! 900+ comments are making this unreadable on my phone.

  • 927. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    okay, new thread when I get home….

  • 928. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    “A little refresher on SB7, the bad law that helped to make this mess:”

    Just to be clear, SB7 made limited modifications to a law that was put on the books in 1995, in conjunction with Daley taking over CPS. “Decisions to determine class size, class staffing and assignment, class schedules, academic calendar, hours and places of instruction, or pupil assessment policies” were *PROHIBITED* from collective bargaining from 1995 to 2003 (when the law was softened).

    SB7 added Length of day and year to the “permissive” (ha! irony not lost) list (which I blame almost entirely on the huger %age of CPS elems that opted for the 5.75 day) and made the (completely ineffectual) change to teh strike vote requirement.

  • 929. Crawley  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    @922

    While I’m not a big fan of Ms. Lewis, this criticism is a bit shallow in my opinion. The mayor spent the entire week at the DNC (not to mention the previous 12 months + not figuring this out) when he should’ve been tending his own garden. Involved parents saw this coming over a year ago, why did he wait until after the 10 day strike notice to finally come to the table?

  • 930. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Is karen lewis the only negotiator? They must have a team, right?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 931. mom2  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Rahm is not and should not be the negotiator. You guys really wouldn’t want that. His appearance at other locations doesn’t sto negotiations. Stop already with this.

  • 932. CPS Teachermom  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    SB7 limited the teacher negotiation talks in a way that damaged the process; it also fired up the teachers and their union, which was not surprising, seeing as people do become more mobilized and unified when they are under attack; it also added an antagonistic challenge to the many antagonistic challenges that the Board and the mayor presented to teachers and the union. Too bad that we do not have someone more moderate, such as Terry Mazany, to steer us through the troubled waters.

  • 933. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    This anti-teacher, anti-union BS makes me sick. The name CPS obsessed should be changed to, “I am really a suburban mom faking it in the city”

  • 934. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Jackie, and the logic behind that is…….?

    Suburban moms all hate unions and I’m making all the posts on here myself? Shoot, you are SO onto me!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 936. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Jackie, I’d love to be a suburbam mom just about right now, every minute I look at my son sitting here.

  • 937. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Did not say your faking post, the parents on this site are faking that they want to live in a large complex city.

  • 938. ltwain  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I drove by a tutoring place today and thought why a teacher(s) don’t open a storefront and teach kids on their own – put up their shingle. Let the free market decide if they are good teachers. Home schooling extraordinaire. It seems a lot of this strike is about a monolithic bureaucracy telling teachers how to do their job, as if CO knew more teaching/learning than teachers on the line.

    Don’t do test prep until junior year and ACT. (Home schoolers don’t take standardized tests do they?) Teach kids how to love learning. Teach them to read, write, and do arithmetic.

    This could work if parents had a choice. Their choice is through vouchers. Let’s vote in vouchers.

  • 939. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    @930. Jackie: “This anti-teacher, anti-union BS makes me sick.”

    Welcome to the real world.

  • 940. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Jackie, that comment has no logic to it.I choose to live in the city, however it doesn’t imply I want to put up with nonsense from its bureaucratic offices.. If that;s the case, then everyone who lives in a big city must be a fake.

  • 941. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    HydeparkMom, just one post ago you were ready to move? You made my point!

  • 942. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    “The real world” where teachers are the enemy?

  • 943. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    @926 Crawley. Yep, at the DNC with Juan Rangel of Uno Charter Schools and perhaps even taking in a special convention viewing of “Won’t Back Down,” the parent trigger movie which some people are calling mere propaganda. It seems to me that parents in RGC or magnets or excellent neighborhood schools seem to have a different perspective on this strike than parents who are either in failing schools or good schools with failing stats (as a previous poster mentioned.) The parents in poor neighborhoods are fearful that their schools will be closed (CPS plans to close 100) and that they will have to go into another neighborhood for school. Or, that they will be expected to go to a charter filled with young, inexperienced teachers who don’t have a handle on neighborhood or local cultural dynamics like their current teachers. All of this lies behind what we see the union asking for in this negotiation. Seems to me they have to do it now because they’ll have less of a chance when the closings start getting rolled out.

  • 944. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Pvt mom – what is that movie about? I can’t tell from the trailer?

    Also, I’m not sure how to reconcile what you say about fear of charters with what I hear about parents clamoring to get in them. I assumed they were in demand in the neighborhoods you reference. Are they not?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 945. ‘We’re Still Kilometers Apart’  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Teachers Union Boss: ‘We’re Still Kilometers Apart’
    CTU President Karen Lewis Doubtful A Deal To End Strike Will Be Done On Wednesday

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/10/breaking-teachers-strike-expected-to-enter-2nd-day/

  • 946. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    @939. Jackie : ““The real world” where teachers are the enemy?”

    The real world where everything is not as rosy as your union rep would lead you to believe, and no one is required to agree, think or vote the same way.

    I, personally, think that all the public service unions, including CTU, should be busted effective immediately, because they are bankrupting our state.

    BTW, going back on topic, I’m watching WTTW, and Tim Knowles just said that under the current evaluation system, 99.7 teachers were rated satisfactory or better. So if CTU has their way, we will never see a single new teacher in this city for as long as there is at least one person left in the recall pool. This is beyond ridiculous.

  • 947. Chris  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    “Teachers Union Boss: ‘We’re Still Kilometers Apart’”

    “CPS Students Respond: ‘What’s a Kilometer'”

  • 948. what?not  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    i would love a voucher. sign me up.

  • 949. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    This Terry Mazany interview is great. He says that typically the 7e heads (lewis and brizard) would be coming in when the final contract is ready to go — that they have teams to do the negotiating.

    He also says he couldn’t have been the ceo under emanuel because his style is more collaborative with the union versus rahm who has tried to usher in a lot of reforms at once.

    The ex union leader says we need to acknowledge that urban teachers have been made the scapegoats for low performing schools for a long time now.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 950. HydePark Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    @Jackie-you completely missed the intent of my original post re:suburbs.Plse tell me you are not a teacher….

  • 951. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Here is a video of ALEC members bragging about how they duped Illinois Dems into lapping up their agenda:

  • 953. CTU Teacher  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    yay!!!

  • 954. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    The strike has never been about the kids and now it is clearly not about the teachers either. It is about the public sector union’s last stand. If you think about it, Illinois is the ideal state. It is about as blue as can be, no way Obama would ever lose Illinois, strong Chicago history of labor unions. If it breaks in Chicago…………the domino’s fall across the nation.

    NOTHING is about the contract anymore. It isn’t about the CPS schools anymore.

    p.s. I told ya so on Karen Lewis’ national aspirations……….. 🙂 Absolutely a strike-by-design.

  • 955. Time To Wake Up  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    This is a great article by Dennis Byrne. I agree with everything this guy is saying. The CTU needs a reality check. The vast majority of Chicagoans do not support this strike. I feel sorry for the teachers because they are so caught up in the hoopla that they have yet to figure out that Karen Lewis is leading them right off a cliff.

    Printed in the Chicago Tribune

    Dennis Byrne
    September 11, 2012

    If the Chicago Teachers Union strike ends before this column appears, the damage has been done and can’t be repaired. To the union’s reputation. And especially to the children, who have been taught the meaning of greed.

    So, let’s begin.

    Chicago has been a union town for as long as any living person can remember. From the West Virginia coal fields to the Detroit assembly lines, Chicago has stood shoulder to shoulder in the early days of organized labor in the struggle for a better life for working men and women.

    In Chicago, railroad, slaughterhouse, garment and industrial workers, among others, suffered recriminations and sometimes violence to demand rights to a just wage, humane working conditions, a reasonable workday and workweek, safe working conditions and job security. Thanks to unions, workers and their families have elevated themselves from scraping out a meager living in low-paid and dangerous jobs into the middle class.

    But now, the Chicago Teachers Union and its 25,000 striking teachers against 350,000 students have tested the limits of this town’s historic support. They have tested the patience of many Chicagoans whose children are being used as pawns. And the tolerance of Chicago taxpayers to shell out more and more to support a teetering and failing institution. And the indulgence of a business and civic community that understands the consequences of labor chaos — particularly in the public school system — on ability of Chicago to attract jobs.

    And they have especially tested the support of many Chicago workers who haven’t seen a pay increase, improved working conditions or better job security for years. Or the Chicagoans fired because of the lousy economy. Or those who were able only to find a new job that pays less. Or those now working two jobs (during the summers when teachers are on an extended vacation) to minimally support their families.

    We have watched as CTU President Karen Lewis and other union leaders whined and pontificated about how bad they have it. They crab about how “disrespected” they are. About how personal it has become because Mayor Rahm Emanuel once dared to insult the supremely insultable Lewis. Poor me, poor us.

    The public school leadership offered reasonable — some would say way too generous — concessions on wages, accountability, benefits. Let’s not forget those huge pensions.

    Over four years, teachers would be getting a 16 percent pay increase (including those wonderful cost-of-living and various increases that reward teachers for just being there). The average teacher salary is $71,000. How many Chicagoans will enjoy that kind of salary as the economy struggles? How many Chicagoans actually have had their wages cut?

    There are other issues, although the two sides couldn’t seem to publicly agree on what they are. But best as I can tell, the new contract provisions leave teachers miles from the bread line. And light years from the insufferable working conditions that spawn the organized labor movement.

    Watching Lewis’ huffing and puffing during the Great Recession and the slowest economic recovery in memory, you’ve got to wonder about the CTU’s exquisite sense of bad timing. You’ve got to wonder if its members have any concept of how good they have it compared with their fellow Chicagoans. You’ve got to wonder if they live on another planet. How can they be so stupid — stiffing their students, the children’s parents, the taxpayers and the town in general at a time like this, and all the while replaying the discredited canard that they’re doing it for the kids? Do they think they can draw on an infinite supply of good will? Do they think Chicago is lying when it says it doesn’t have the money?

    Maybe the CTU is right. It’s taking a calculated risk that Chicagoans, known for their tolerance of bad government, will stoically accept this shafting. Maybe the CTU has correctly calculated that an outraged General Assembly won’t pass punitive laws to limit not just the organizing and negotiating rights of not just teachers but also other public employee unions. Maybe a public backlash won’t produce calls for CTU’s decertification.

    But the damage has been done to Chicago and its children.

    Dennis Byrne, a Chicago writer, blogs in The Barbershop at chicagonow.com. dennis@dennisbyrne.net

  • 956. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    @CPSO. I am not sure I can give you an unbiased report on the movie but it is billed as a story “inspired by actual events,” which should not be confused with a story “based on actual events.” Many who have seen it—and I haven’t—claim the characters are stereotypes and it sets up the false dichotomy that if parents are for something the teacher’s union will be against it. The main characters are able to enact something they call a “failsafe” law which is the “parent trigger” law in real life. The movie was financially backed by billionaire conservative Philip Anschutz who champions school charters and vouchers and is against teacher’s unions. That’s all I can say without having seen it myself. I think Diane Ravitch may have seen it already. Don’t know for sure. It doesn’t open until the end of the month.

    As for why parents clamor to get into charters…I don’t know. I guess it depends on what their neighborhood school alternative is. I don’t blame any parent for going to one at all but I do blame the city for deinvesting from so many neighborhood schools lo these many years. And I do blame the state for refusing to help fund the inner-city schools while giving almost $100 million to one charter system alone. IMO, charters will continue to look like a great option until we are so fragmented that we look around one day and see that there is no longer a strong Chicago Public School system. Obviously, this is a vision of the future that excites some people. Me, not so much.

  • 957. IB obsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Having just watched the Chicago Tonight piece; what would the state of things look now like if we had an elected BOE made up of educators like Knowles from U of C, Bruno from U of I, and Radnor from DePaul?

  • 958. Rey  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    As I look through these comments I see a theme of complaints from people and arguments, my favorite is, the teachers are greedy. Others are if they cared about the kids they would take a pay cut, A/C? seriously?, They are not producing good results so why pay them more?. My question is, why aren’t people talking about Rahm at all? As far as I’m concerned a quality school day would make better use of a longer school day that is poorly implemented and poorly funded. If Rahm really cared about the kids he would’ve focused on creating a better school environment and providing the needed resources in the school, then we wouldn’t have the argument of pay raise that everyone seems so fixated on. A short school day that can’t be properly funded + a longer school day that can’t be properly funded does not equal a better education for our kids. Mr. Rahm mentioned that if we are to hold principals accountable for the results of their schools they should be able to hire the people they feel are best qualified. So why can’t the teachers be given the same courtesy? If they are to be villanized and held accountable for the results CPS is producing should they not be given the resources to provide the students and teachers the best opportunity for success? should they not be evaluated over things they can control?

  • 959. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    @954 Nice thought, but that wouldn’t happen. Those are academics and not politicians who would run for an elected board. Karen Lewis backed union person and the texas backed right wing candidates would take over the board. If you think this contract negotiation is a mess…………an elected school board is a recipe for NOTHING ever getting done. Also, if an elected school board then LSCs are eliminated. Why remove the skin in the game for parents actually sitting on LSCs in their own schools. Anyway, this is off topic. Back to the strike.

    BTW—it seems like the list of demands from CTU keeps growing. I imagine Karen Lewis will keep adding crap to the negotiations to stall them as she builds a national growndswell of support. OMG the poor HS students!

  • 960. cubswin  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    “At a rally the other day, Ms. Lewis sounded a surprisingly similar note. “This fight is not about Karen Lewis,” she called out. “Let’s be clear — this fight is for the very soul of public education, not just only Chicago but everywhere.”

    350,000 students sitting at home so the union can fight for the sole of public education. What a joke.
    How about finishing the contract and “fight for the sole” on your own time.

  • 961. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    CPS Obsessed would you agree the above video is pretty enlightening?

  • 962. CTU Teacher  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    all the work and no money.. teachers need money..

  • 963. CTU Teacher  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    where is the money? show me the money

  • 964. Rey  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    A similar video to this has been posted earlier but this one adds a bit more information

  • 965. WestLooper  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Ask yourself how you will feel about the future of public education the day AFTER the strike ends IF the Mayor agrees to re-hire from the layoff pool, IF the Mayor agrees to water down performance reporting, and IF the Mayor agrees to additional COLA increases and the status quo on step and lane increases.

  • 966. CPSfinesse (formerly anon)  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    “How about finishing the contract and “fight for the sole” on your own time?”

    Those teachers are all a bunch of heels! 😉

  • 967. IB obsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Ok then, how about an appointed board of academics who actually have urban education experience, will reflect on the issues and consult with each other before arriving at an agenda, instead of corporate kingpins who already know the answers and have a preconceived political agenda?

    James, can’t fathom why you don’t see that the CTU strike is not the 1st time that the kids have been made pawns in someone’s larger political agenda. Why be angry only at CTU???? You are missing the larger picture.

  • 968. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Rey, good video as well, but the video I posted above is, out of the mouths of babes. It is a great inside look at right-wing operatives working their Machiavellian machinations.

  • 969. Latina  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I really like the free education.

  • 970. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    @Jackie and Rey: Obviously, these people did not do a very good job if CTU still exists and is allowed to use our children in the fight for their raises and job security.

    And spare me the stuff about better schools. The only way I will believe it is if your union agrees to use every penny allocated to that 16% raise for air conditioning, nurses, social workers, and other things you are supposedly fighting about. Otherwise, don’t even bother.

  • 971. Latina  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    My kids are home and I have to now provide breakfast and dinner. It is very tough because I am used to free stuff.. this is hard mucho hard.

  • 972. Latina  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    sorry I mean breakfast and lunche.. berry hard.. si

  • 973. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Angie, did you watch the ALEC video above?

  • 974. Latina  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    my kids, ALL 13 of them.. home… may be I get my mami from mexico

  • 975. CPSfinesse (formerly anon)  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    CPSO – as to why parents clamor to get into charters:

    Marketing, marketing marketing is my guess. I have a friend whose spouse works at Whitney and he said parents were thinking of leaving to go to Chicago Bulls Prep when it opened! Kids and their families are recruited – they see a brand new building and are given the perception that there is bigger budget for the new school than a CPS school. They make them think that their child would be going to the equivalent of a private school. And what 14 year old wouldn’t want to go to Chicago Bulls Prep?

  • 976. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    @970. Jackie : Yes, it’s has been posted and discussed on this site a while ago. And?

  • 977. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    @jackie – we did see it a while ago and yes, it was quite enlightening.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 978. Nathan  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I am more and more in agreement that Chicago is now the battleground for a fight much bigger than this contract. If that is the case, it is sad for a number of reasons. Most obvious the children who suffer.

    But, I think the long term impact will be the loss of teachers’ unions.
    An extended striike will result in political backlash against the union and a loss of their collective bargaining rights (i.e., Wisconsin). See the anger being expressed here by people who probably would have supported you a week ago.

    The sad part of this is that I think that teachers have a lot to say in how our children should be educated. They are there, in the trenches, and need to be part of the discussion. If this continues, I fear that voice (in a collective sense) will be lost. It is also why I am so sad to hear the union just say “NO!” You are there, you see it. Give us ideas, not just complaints but ideas on how to fix it. If they are honest, constructive ideas that work within realistic limitations (e.g., the city does not have a money tree), I guaruntee that we will listen.

  • 979. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    It’s like watching Madoff bragging about his Ponzi scheme!

  • 980. Rey  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    @angie
    If Rahm would have made his focus on improving the quality of the school day rather than a longer school day that he couldn’t fund then a 16% raise would not have been required and that money could have gone to improving the resources available. See the longer school day does not mean a better school day on the contrary it only further stretches resources that were already scarce.

  • 981. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Angie, can you give me a link to where it was discussed?

  • 982. EdgewaterMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I just finished watching Chicago Tonight (thank goodness for DVRs!) and I thought that it was really informative. CPSObsessed, I was also thinking that if Rahm had kept Terry Mazany in charge we might not be in this position right now. I thought that he made some very interesting points and was very reasonable.

    I have to admit that, during the first segment, I was really frustrated with some of the things that the pro-CTU woman (sorry, I am not positive on the name, but I think that it was Radner from DePaul). First she stated that the evaluation process was so complicated that teachers could not even understand it, and then in the next breath she said that it was too simple and did not take into account enough variables.

  • 983. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    @edgewatermom, shoot, I missed it.

    @jackie, unfortunately I think the comments on that video were sort of interspered over time. I think the general consensus was that it was pretty repulsive to see the arrogance expressed at how they pulled one over on… Us? The teachers? Someone.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 984. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Well having seen that video, and knowing the power structure these teachers are up against, I am dumbfounded at the lack of support for the CTU by CPS parents.

    When my son return to school, it will be hugs and high five to his teachers!

  • 985. Anonconcerned parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I think this strike is about the turning point in the history of organized labor, notably the teachers union, where they cannot offer by virtue of membership lifetime job security and a great pension. Once a fair, reasonable and negotiated evaluation system is used, there is no guarantee of employment, no guarantee of ratcheting income with time rather than performance. Once principals can hire whomever they choose and weed out the few bad teachers, then the implicit guarantee of employment is gone. I think a fair evaluation system is needed, I would remind people who think this is union busting that evaluations are supported by the Obama adminstration. So the two issues are really about about accountability. When there is 100 percent job security short of a felony conviction, then there is no accountability. That is not good for the kids.
    I think that in reality the weeding out is the bottom low single digit percent, but others may lose jobs if the system downsizes, and even if that doesn’t strike people as “fair”, many people in the down economy have lost their jobs through “no fault of their own”. So if that happens, it is unfortunate, but it is life. It has happened to many of us. We have no guarantees of rehire.
    On a related note, the Obama administration is changing our healthcare system to pay for quality. Increasingly, doctors incomes will depend on patient outcomes. Many say” but my patients are sicker or are poor and cant afford their meds”. So in healthcare we have had to come up with a fair system that takes that into account, if we can grade doctors based on their patients lab test score improvements, we can find a fair way to evaluate teachers on student test scores. Please don’t say it isn’t possible, we don’t take poverty into account when we grade students. We can somehow factor it in a fair way, but it is absurd to resist evaluations. By the way, in pay for performance it is important not just to “weed out the few bad performers” but to generously reward the top teachers. And I say, the rewards should be higher in the tougher schools. There is a way to thoughtfully design this.
    We have to decide between competing priorities, remember that if we add 1 percent more salary that is 750 dollars per teacher per year times 21,000 teachers, that is about 15 million dollars a year. that money could be used to hire maybe 200 social workers or fix a zillion air conditioners. Or likewise if health benefits are added, there is a cost. If there is no more money, then paying for one thing subtracts from another.
    So we all want more social workers, but are we going to pay fees and taxes or resist the requests for increased raises? Everyone is in favor, but who is going to pay?
    If CPS is bloated and inefficient, there should be comparable ratios of non teacher adminstrators and targets should be set. I am perfectly happy with merit based performance across the board.
    My son is missing school, this is NOT good. But I hope the outcome is fair merit based performance and not forcing automatic rehires. Let principals hire or fire, if not, how can they possibly do their jobs well?
    II think the vast vast vast majority of teachers have nothing to fear in merit based systems, but they do have to fear that schools may close. The longer they strike, the more likely parents will send their kids elsewhere.. I believe the initial sympathy will wear off.
    Please come up with a reasonable compromise that saves face for alll parties. Come back to work and stop fearing “unfair evaluations”. But you should fear that you don’t have lifetime job security. Its 2012, those days are gone folks. It is what it is.

  • 986. doubtIT  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    whoever is doing the Latina typing…you’ve got to be kidding. Not real funny.

  • 987. SutherlandParent  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Looks like the BOE is preparing for the strike to drag on…

    From the New York Times…

    “Schools officials said that more than 100 schools being staffed by nonunion workers as alternative care for children would expand their hours as of Thursday.”

  • 988. Latina  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    yes i am kidding… it is mucho funny

  • 989. EdgewaterMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    @985 Well, I am glad that you find it amusing.

  • 990. anon  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    So – Jackie is the troll

  • 991. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    anon, project much?

  • 992. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    @982. “others may lose jobs if the system downsizes, and even if that doesn’t strike people as “fair”, many people in the down economy have lost their jobs through “no fault of their own”.

    The difference is that in many cases as one CPS school closes, a new charter will open at the same time. Downsizing of teachers is only the benign market process you describe if CPS somehow stops having students for teachers to educate. Its a whole different ball of wax when the district closes schools only to open up new charters, where those downsized teachers can’t go if they want to stay unionized. This is where we are headed next year and this is one of the things the CTU is trying to address through the strike now. Rahm’s kids go to the Lab school and one of the many reasons why it is a great school is that the teachers there are are trusted to be the professionals the are. They can work on their craft in a collegial environment. As a result, the kids don’t have to be poked, prodded and tested so often. The teacher’s working environment is the student’s learning environment. This is what really works in education reform but its very expensive to scale up. Wealthy kids and poor kids are increasingly being educated in vastly different ways and the end result will have to be different. We just haven’t seen the effects yet because we are in the middle of the transformation. Thank God I got mostly through school before A Nation At Risk was published.

  • 993. Portage Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    I think we all need to simply skip “Latina’s”
    posts.

  • 994. JIM FOSTER  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    the best is hearing from my teacher friends themselves getting tired after day two of the strike, as if they thought this should all be over by now. what did they actually think this was, a publicity show for them? let it drag on til the end of the week and karen lewis will have them bugging her to get real and negotiate with cps.

  • 995. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Every time Karen Lewis says “public education” just replace it with “the Union”. Trust me, everything she says will sound much more honest and sincere that way.

  • 996. cps dad  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    yes I believe jackie is a troll

  • 997. Paul  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I believe that if teachers reviewed and voted on whether to accept CPS’s last offer or strike, they would accept the offer. I don’t think they’d keep kids out of school in order to advance a political agenda. Teachers, individually, would determine that it’s a good deal given the economy and the city’s budget.

    I know that the union leadership wants to advance a larger political agenda, but I don’t think the teachers would be willing to keep kids out of school in order to do it.

  • 998. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I actually feel like Henry Fonda, and I am trying to talk the towns people from possible hanging an innocent man!

  • 999. cps dad  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    @994 I’m not sure they would accept it but they would say it is closer than “miles apart”

    I’m scared that this has become much bigger in the unions eyes than just the chicago public schools and its students. They see it as a refferendum on all on the unions across the US. they are saying “we make a stand here for all unions to show our strength”. to bad its the kids that are getting caught in the crossfire.

  • 1000. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    @992 OutsideLookingin. SO TRUE! It does work like a charm, “the Union”.

  • 1001. Latina  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    thank you edgewater mom. You tell skip my post coz sabes que I bet that will get everybody interested to actually read my post so really thank you!!!
    well you can skip my post although it is very tough do it but then you can not skip my people, we will take this down hahaha…

  • 1002. Latina  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    oh portage mom not edgewater mom

  • 1003. Jay  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    At first I felt like my son’s school was being dragged into larger Chicago issues, (like poverty or lack of responsible parents) that can’t be fixed over the course of any strike. Now I feel like it is being dragged into to some kind of national pro-union/ or anti-charter/anti testing movement, and all I can say is “ugh!”. Cool, truck drivers, and mail carriers are giving you thumbs up and making you feel like this is right–but they may not have kids in school–and it must feel amazing to take over city streets with your collegues and demand respect–but that is not how it is earned. I can go on and on about this, but I don’t want to say the wrong thing and stoke the wrong emotions. I just hope the teachers prevent themselves from being poster children of someone else’s movement/vanity/emotion (whatever). Please let’s get back to school, after 4 days my 5 year old was starting to read so much better than over the summer. Something about the challenge of the classroom really got him going! I refuse to walk him past striking teachers (at this point) and am sending him to the park district. We had a great summer, but he is ready to move on.

  • 1004. lulu  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    The celebratory atmosphere of the teachers at the strike sites is disturbing. I drove by Lane Tech today and they were waving gleefully to passersby like they were celebrities. My neighbor saw a mass of teachers in red partying at Murphy’s Bleachers. Party on folks while the parents and students are distraught. This is a somber time and should be treated as such. Karen Lewis telling everyone to “have fun?” Not going to help the cause. What little sympathy I had for teachers is quickly eroding.

  • 1005. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Noooo, Jay. I have been trying all day to be the 1,000th poster. I heard you’d win Springsteen tickets or something. I should have been more persistent in my procrastination. I guess I didn’t learn anything in school either. 🙂

  • 1006. Jay  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Fate.

  • 1007. cps dad  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    @1000 jay: I have the exact same little 5 year old. I was a little worried that he would have some trouble. But boy did he respnd to that first week. Wanting to do stuff that he had learned. The more this drags out the more I’m saddened. These kids need to be in school and not winging it.

  • 1008. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Lulu, two days and any support is eroding. I don’t think you ever had any support.

  • 1009. HS Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    @979 Edgewater mom – remember Mazney accepted the position temporarily until the city could find a replacement for Huberman. He never intended to leave private practice so it was not a matter of Rahm keeping him.

  • 1010. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    From Twitter:

    “ABC 7 Chicago ‏@abc7chicago

    BREAKING: Chicago Teachers Union says CPS has given them an ultimatum to come back to the table with comprehensive proposal. ”

    Good, maybe now we’ll get to know what that is.

    And per CTU site, tomorrow all the teachers will be picketing schools that feed the children again, before going downtown to their rally party.

  • 1011. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    cps dad is my 5 year old a troll as well?

  • 1012. cps dad  |  September 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    @1007 I also read the they are going to target the child first schools. I can’t even believe that they are targeting the very students that they say they are supporting. @1005 Jackie yes two days and eroding fast

  • 1013. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I am disgusted that the CTU is focusing picket lines at locattions where children are seeking shelter and safety from the strike. It is one thing to picket CPS HQ and quite another to hunt down children.

    I now know how a bull feels when it sees RED 😉

  • 1014. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    @Angie. Thanks for the update. I still support the union but man do they NOT know anything about PR. Its embarrassingly bad. Call me crazy but if you are a TEACHERS UNION you should have some expertise in both strike strategy and what’s good for kids. Pretty disappointing on both counts.

    CTU: Conduct the strike away from the kiddies. There are a number of closed schools you can picket in front of this week…what a coincidence!

  • 1015. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    @951 Patricia – agreed. Chicago’s kids are being held hostage by the Union’s national power play.

  • 1016. anonymous parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    @982 don’t hold your breath waiting for a compromise. CPS has given in on all those issues and it is still not good enough.

    Teachers with borrowed projectors and all the other tales…..what I hear is Blah, blah, blah… as long as my kids are being held hostage.

    I really will not be able to look at teachers the same. Congratulations, neither will my kids.

    @989 – downsizing CPS? You’re worried about that? I’m wondering exactly how long it would take for Rahm to convert all schools to charter and get operational again.

  • 1017. cps dad  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    @1008 Jackie. If he is not posting then No he is not a troll. But if he is posting then kudos to the teachers for teaching him great computer skills.

  • 1018. JIM FOSTER  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    i absolutely love the way rahm is handling this. he’s recommending the school principals do the hiring and firing of the teachers as they are ultimately responsible for their school’s performance. as the principals have their own union, let the two unions fight it out. karen lewis can focus her wrath on them instead on city hall. lewis can’t seem to understand that bad teachers have got to go.

  • 1019. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    cps dad, so not agreeing with the mob mentality on this site makes one a troll? Your a dope!

  • 1020. Stressed By CPS  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I think you should have a new thread for everyday that they are on strike.

    I agree a little with both sides and blame both sides.

    I was a CPS student for 11 years and my school didn’t have A/C. Yes, I want my own kids comfortable in the classroom but guess what, my generation survived without it. I want to hear about something other than A/C when they interview teachers on TV. Just saying. Roll your eyes all you want.

    I hope a decision to end the strike arrives soon. I am sure the teachers don’t want to be in school during what would have been Winter break, Spring break, and Summer break. They will be cranky having to work though that and it will trickle down onto the kids.

    My children are fortunate to be in a school that ranks within the top 10 of the state and they always have textbooks on the first day. They also have A/C, qualified teachers, and an enriching environment. I don’t know all the politics and such but how is that they have all that and a lot of other schools don’t? How do they determine which schools get what funding? I admit, I don’t know. I feel bad for the schools that aren’t as lucky.

    But this has to end. The CTU is fighting their fight but at the expense of the students and their families. If they are on strike and have kids in CPS, they can bring their kids to the rally or stay home with them. But working parents don’t have that option. I am not a teacher but I have had to buy office supplies from my own pocket. When my co-worker was laid off, I had to fill in for her while doing my job and my raise wasn’t equal to both our salaries. My boss can be a bully sometimes. That’s life. No job is perfect. I am not downgrading the job of a teacher. I am just saying that this fight is between the CTU and CPS. The kids didn’t ask for this. Well at least, mine didn’t.

  • 1021. Jay  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    @1016 Jackie
    Instead of calling people names and simply clogging up the comments with personal fights why don’t you ask a question or state an opinion? This is CPSO where concerned parents come to share information–and it is “You’re” (In truly combative internet etiquette.)

  • 1022. CPC4Chicago  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    After two days of getting fired up by their radical leadership with an agenda that has clearly morphed far beyond any concern for the impact on 400k local children it’s time that the rank and file let it be known to them that those of us with children in the system have reached our limits. Two days of playing bongo drums and living out their own little version of the “occupy” movement was enough. Dedicated, devoted, idealistic, hard working teachers, your union isn’t making a stand for you personally but rather it’s own institutionalized relevance fueled by a megalomaniac rapidly approaching the end of her proverbial 15 minutes. We support you individually as key people in our children’s development and lives but you need to realize that not just for the children’s sake but very much your own, it’s time to get back to work.

  • 1023. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    @1015 The principals do not have a union. They have a professional organization. Good god, what would be dealing with if there was a principal union too!

  • 1024. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Jay, great speech. You should have sent it to cps dad. Oh, wait you agree with his opinions.

  • 1025. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    @1019 Amen!

  • 1026. Chicago Teachers Union Says It’s Been Given an Ultimatum  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Chicago Teachers Union Says It’s Been Given an Ultimatum

    The Chicago teachers’ strike will stretch into a third day Wednesday after negotiators failed to reach a deal yet again this evening.

    After another long day of talks, David Vitale, the president of the Chicago Board of Education, told reporters that his side had presented the teachers’ union with an updated proposal tonight and he would not return to the negotiating table until the teachers responded with a written proposal of their own.

    “It is time for us to get serious,” Vitale said.

    While Vitale said the two sides had reached agreements on various issues, a key sticking point remained a new system for teacher evaluations.

    “I would not say that we came to an agreement on the fundamentals of all that,” Vitale said.

    Minutes later, Jesse Sharkey, the vice president of the Chicago teachers union, came to the cameras to explain that, in his view, his side had essentially been given an ultimatum.

    “We do feel like it’s sort of an attempt to throw down the gauntlet, and that’s an unwelcome development,” Sharkey said. ”At the end of the day, they basically dug in their heels.”

    Sharkey said the main topic of discussion today was the evaluations. He expressed frustration that the latest offer from the city would, according to him, leave 28 percent of Chicago teachers in jeopardy of losing their jobs within the next two years.

    “The idea that 28 percent of our teachers could be fired due to poor performance is really an insult to the profession,” he said.

    Despite the back-and-forth between Vitale and Sharkey tonight, staffers from both sides are scheduled to meet again Wednesday at 11 a.m. CT. In the meantime, the Windy City’s first teachers’ strike in more than two decades will now extend into a third day.

  • 1027. mcbg  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Forgive me if I come across as rude,but Jackie,are you enlightened on any of the real issues Here?your posts consist of videos, and lack substance.Pls don’t waste my time.

  • 1028. RoscoeVillageDad  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Really?

    “As she left the rally, Lewis told the crowd “I’ve got to go back to the silly part of my day. … Y’all continue to have fun. Show each other some love.”

    Vitale later took issue with that, while not mentioning Lewis by name.

    “They were told to keep going and have a party and have fun — to have fun while 400,000 kids are out of school that they should have been teaching,” Vitale said. “This is not the behavior of a group of people that are serious about the interests of our children. It is time to get serious.”

    Many teachers at the rally talked about how chaotic their lives have been since Lewis announced late Sunday that the district’s latest contract offer would not be accepted and that teachers would strike. Since then, it’s been long days marching in front of schools and in downtown rallies.

    “This is hard work coming out here day after day,” said Jataun Williams, a veteran special education teacher at a South Side elementary school. “You worry about your kids and what they’re doing while you’re away.””

    Nice to know this is fun for Miss Lewis.

  • 1029. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    28% could lose their jobs, is the method ALEC intended to transition us to an all Charter School system!

  • 1030. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    That video has more substance than this whole thread.

  • 1031. HS Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    1023/R.V Dad – thanks for the news. Not fun. Not cool.

  • 1032. RoscoeVillageDad  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Honestly, the teachers should revolt and overthrow Lewis. She is giving teachers a bad name. Union leadership is not telling teachers to be on their best, sombre behavior when wearing red. AND if this a ll backfires in her face, and the CTU loses, are our great teachers going to go back feeling like they lost and parents hate them. I want the union to back down, but I don’t want the good teachers to lose their heart and drive.

    I have spoken to a number of teachers all of whom Karen Lewis has taken this too far and is an embarrassment.

  • 1033. SutherlandParent  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    @1011, I totally agree with your point about “but man do they NOT know anything about PR. Its embarrassingly bad.” And however you feel about the CTU and the strike, I think the PR is just going to get worse and worse for teachers the longer the kids are out of school. I give it a week before public sentiment starts to really turn against teachers. People didn’t vote for Rahm despite the fact that he’s a loud-mouth, abrasive jerk who rolls over people to get things done–they voted for him because he’s a loud mouth and abrasive and gets things done. On the other hand, parents didn’t vote for CTU leadership at all.

    But that’s free advice, so take it for what it’s worth. 🙂

  • 1034. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    My respect for Rahm falls by the day. He is an embarrassment that has gone too far. Snark

  • 1035. RoscoeVillageDad  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    @Jackie – why? b/c he speaks rationally about solutions and ending this soon? open your eyes sister!

  • 1036. Jay  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    @1029 RVD, individual teachers will never lose the support of parents of this:

    At kindergarten curriculum our teacher mentioned that digital cameras were something she could no bear to put on a wish list but knew funding would be hard to come by. I have already bought a camera, and on the first back from this horror, it will be in her hands with a note saying our family supports HER.

  • 1037. Patricia  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Jackie— You never respected Rahm anyway, so no loss for him. As for me, my respect for teachers falls by the day. Karen Lewis is an embarrassment that has gone too far. (not snark)

  • 1038. discrete  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    as I heard teachers on news, I felt sad for them.They mentioned wanting things that I agree are good for their students, such as books, ac, smaller ratios.I don’t think they realize Karen has a whole different agenda and wants to secure her own political career.Wake up, don’t give in to the pipers tune.

  • 1039. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    RVD, open your eyes! This is about busting unions once and for all.

  • 1040. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    @1030. I’ll go with that. I am surprised that CTU has not done more to own the narrative on this. I mean, they are up against Rahm. I assumed when they were ready to strike that they knew to bring their A-game. If they want to claim any victory when its over, they’ve got to wrap this up fast.

  • 1041. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    I don’t like Rahm. I think he is a bully and was instrumental in pushing both Clinton and Obama to the right. We can thank him for his part in the financial melt down.

  • 1042. The CTU Rally plans for September 12th  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    http://www.ctunet.com/for-members/strike-central

    It appears that the teachers are to go to the holding centers again

  • 1043. JustSaying?!  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I support CTU but now it kinda seems like they just wanna get rid of principals ( maybe because they’re not union). If they take away a principal’s ability to do what is best for his/her school how can they be effective leaders(and what would a school need them for?)? I don’t think CTU should go fixing what isn’t broken…some schools have good systems in place. CTU should be specifically advocating for the schools who have difficulty operating because of severe lack of resource issues. These are the schools that can no longer operate without additional assistance now, for the sake of the children at these schools and their teachers. Check out this letter.
    http://cps.edu/childrenfirst/documents/PrincipalAutonomyHiringProcess.pdf

  • 1044. Angie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Video: David Vitale and Jesse Sharkley

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/video?id=8807205&rss=rss-wls-video-8807205

  • 1045. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Since none of you actually watched the video, here is one of the best parts: The ALEC guy brags about tricking Karen Lewis into accepting a 75% vote to strike. He says now a strike is statistically impossible.

  • 1046. HS Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    RVD, Patricia – sadly agree with you both. I don’t want teachers to lose their heart, yet, publicly at least, they still ally with Lewis.

    @1030 – Great advice, totally agree. For those looking for parents talking about Rahm there you go. There’s also the Mayfair Dad version – “It’s time for A**hole Rahm to make an appearance” 😉

  • 1047. cpsobsessed  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Okay, new thread in the morning. Had to spend time with my neglected kid who was home with not much to do today…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1048. EdgewaterMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Can anybody explain how 28 % of teachers would lose their job under the new evaluation system? What is this based on?

  • 1049. dememom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    CTU Teacher,
    You appall me and give CTU teachers a horrible name! You, if in fact you are really a teacher, are everything that is wrong and failing in CPS.

    I want parents to know that a good number of teachers hate this strike. We aren’t all in this for more money, to work less hours etc. Yes, while there are those teachers that are protected by the union, doing minimal work, burnt out and definitely need to go elsewhere there are more of us that truly work hard to support you and your children. I know it doesn’t seem like it right now. Please don’t give up on us:)

  • 1050. SutherlandParent  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    @1043, you can count on Mayfair Dad to be far more eloquent and pithy!

  • 1051. HS Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    @1046 – Thank you! We need some hope.

  • 1052. Jay  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    When Sharkley says that one of the problems of standardized tests is that it will lead to an increase in cheating, isn’t that more disrespectful to the profession than proposed evaluations.

  • 1053. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    @1039 – Striking hours are now 6:30am-2pm without a break? Looks like the union is forcing the teachers to picket right through lunch…without pay.

  • 1054. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    @Jackie 1042. I saw it a while ago if its the same video I think it is. My feeling is that it was like a student paper that has a lot of original source material but very little in the way of intelligent commentary holding it all together. B-. Personally, it made me sympathetic to the CTU because it just underscores the difference between grassroots and astroturf. But the CTU is going to have to find a way to make sure their point of view gets through all the noise. Maybe they should stop giving money to Mike Madigan, etc., and save it for themselves to get someone with some professional video-editing, marketing and PR experience. Again, I am shocked that they haven’t brought their A-game to this aspect of the strike. This is all friendly criticism because I would like to see them give a hearty push back to this new generation of technocratic ed reformers.

  • 1055. angry parent  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I can’t stand CTU now. They can’t do math! look at the economy now, how can you expect the taxpayer (not CPS) to pay you more than 20% raise over 4 years? Their average salary is already $71k above. They are crazy. In addition, why are they so afraid of the new evaluation system? Don’t they have confidence? I think all the bad teachers in CTU should get fired. I’m sure many unemployed people nowaday can be better teachers than them anyway. I think we should create a transformational education system where students can stay home learning education online. And homeschooled parents should get paid for doing that. So we don’t need all these greedy and lazy teachers. Karen Lewis and the vice president of CTU, stop creating more problems for the parents.

  • 1056. Portage Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Jackie, I did watch the video you posted. I learned a lot watching the video so thank you for posting. This explains a lot. I guess I always knew, it’s not the voters who have any control but the special interest groups who manipulate the process and let’s not forget the politicians who can be be bought for the price of campaign contributions.whether they are a Democrat or Republican (that’s where they are exactly the same). I can see why teachers are so ticked off.

  • 1057. Rey  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    @1052 they are not afraid of the new evaluation system, it is that the new evaluation system does not evaluate their true performance. The proposed evaluation system is flawed.

    @1045 I agre with you I would like more information on this matter but my guess as to how they came to that conclusion is based on the weight they put in standarized performance (which have been found to be unreliable) of the school and other things not under teachers control would automatically put teachers that are employed in schools that are not perfoming well on standardized in an undesired and undeserved category.

  • 1058. dememom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    @1052- I agree about the raise, it is too much. The evaluation system is what is frightening to me as primary teacher. From what i have been told, my evaluation will be based on a composite score that doesn’t reflect my performance at all but that of the testing grade teachers. The board needs to give a description of what these evaluations will consist of for primary teachers and they have yet to do so.

  • 1059. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    @Pvt. Mom, it is a video of ALEC operatives bragging about their successes in Illinois union busting. The video is not a student paper, its from the Aspen Summit.

    It’s only 15 minutes and is at post 948.

  • 1060. CPSfinesse (formerly anon)  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Hey, since this all seems to be hinged on working conditions 😉 why don’t the parents insist that all negotiations take place in a non air conditioned CPS classroom with no supplies, a monetary charge for any paper, bring your own toilet paper, no laptops, and they’re only allowed 20 minutes to scarf down the meal the kids at the centers are eating! They get one twenty minute break in the parking lot outside school or the gym – whichever is more depressing. And just for added incentive to get their asses in gear, let KL and Rahm sit next to each other, Cause what school kid hasn’t had to learn how to deal with a bully at some point! (Pick who you want the bully to be depending on your personal viewpoint.)

  • 1061. EdgewaterMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    @1054 But aren’t the evaluations going on progress, not raw scores? If anything, the really high performing schools should be worried in that scenario, because it is hard to perform when you are already > 95%. They would have to account for some of these things – and for extreme truancy. If the kid is not in school, you can’t really teach them.

    I do think that it is unfair to include test scores for art, music, etc. If the kids are not tested on the subject that you teach, their scores should not be a part of your evaluation. What tests are they going to use for K-2?

    I still believe that there MUST be a fair way to include test scores. I also believe that if a teacher thinks that kids in high-poverty schools will not improve regardless of what the teacher does, that is a problem.

  • 1062. Rey  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    @jackie I think she is referring to the video I posted but confused the two as it is edited differently and it includes a large part of the video you posted.

  • 1063. EdgewaterMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    @1057 I love it!!

  • 1064. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    “I agree about the raise, it is too much” this is why i love teachers.

    In all my days on LaSalle Street, I have never heard a college utter these words!

  • 1065. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Sorry, Jackie. I was referring to the video @961.

  • 1066. Jackie  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    colleague

  • 1067. Rey  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    @1058 I watched/heard Sharkey speak on ABC and it seems that they are not disregarding the whole evaluation system but have proposed a system that they feel is a more reliable measure of teacher’s performance.

  • 1068. EdgewaterMom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    @1057 At my daughter’s school they have a new policy for settling playground disputes – Rock, Paper, Scissors. Maybe Karen & Rahm should try that for the other 40+ items on the list. 🙂

    (And for anybody who takes this seriously, this is obviously a joke. The things that they are negotiating about are very serious.)

  • 1069. Pvt. Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Sorry, Jackie. I thought it was the video @961 that uses some of the same material. I will look at yours later.

  • 1070. Portage Mom  |  September 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    We may not agree with PP Jackie’s position on the strike or the CTU but the video she posted @948 is worth seeing. I think it explains a lot when it comes to teachers feeling disrespected and manipulated. I’m sure the members of CTU have seen the video and it now has become a matter of pride to prove a point with very little room for compromise. I feel for the teachers and most of all for our kids who are caught squarely in the middle of this mess.

  • 1071. let the snarky comments begin  |  September 12, 2012 at 12:27 am

    As I left to head to my school this morning I was so shocked by the out-poring of support by my neighbors. ( I am not so rigid in my own convictions that I cannot appreciate the inconvienence for ALL people involved!) I live in a decidely “non-union” neighborhood. These people know I am a teacher and a mother of children who attend CPS. These neighbors who have left messages of support and kind thoughts really made me realize this blog does not represent what most people feel. I have noticed that a very few on this blog (if the shoe fits…wear it), continually propegate generalizations and outrageous comments about teachers true intentions. These that I encounters actually know me and understand the dedication I feel towards my profession. They know what Is what is true and real about me… a teacher, parent and tax-payer in the city of Chicago. They Do not choose to further genrealizations about a whole field of people.
    I know this… Todd I would LOVE for you to represnet me any day of the week. If Rham were evaluated by statistics he would be FIRED. We have one of the HIGHEST crime and murder rates in the country!
    Myself AND my studendts are MORE than just test scores! Today, on the corner and downtown there were times us teachers could not even hear eachother speak becaue of the level of noise from honks and shouts of encouragement. MOST of Chicage gets it. I really believe that. I am not going to let a few detract from the overwhelming out pouring of encouragement and respect I have experienced. Sploke to a Keller mom today and neighbor, I volunteered to help her in any way. Her response… I believe the right for all children to experience the wonderful education my daughter has,, How can I help you…? Pretty amazing.

  • 1072. junior  |  September 12, 2012 at 12:28 am

    @23 I said:
    “The public needs to demand that CTU put a bottom line proposal of their own on the table and stop making it up as they go along.”

    @1023 says
    “After another long day of talks, David Vitale, the president of the Chicago Board of Education, told reporters that his side had presented the teachers’ union with an updated proposal tonight and he would not return to the negotiating table until the teachers responded with a written proposal of their own.”

    1,000 posts later, but they’re finally listening to me!

  • 1073. Katy  |  September 12, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Thank you JACKIE. the least, and I do mean least we can do is argue respectfully. I apologize for the rude comments being directed at you. Low class and unnecessary.

  • 1074. realitycheck  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:23 am

    First, all the days missed will be made up by law. It is important that each side have opportunity to present what is needed before this school session gets underway so that what is at stake is done in a fair and equitable way. An example is class size. I am sure that a teacher who works hard at their job would be concerned if they had over 30 students in their class and was evaluated by their test scores becaue in most cases they know that they cannot find the time to reach all of their students needs. This is an issue. The city needs to address this because this is not equitable. Most schools have issues with class sizes. At some point in their career, every teacher has had over 30 students in their class and each student each year is different so managing these students and there individual needs can become difficult because of lack of time and resources. And now teachers will be evaluated for test scores and they know because of their experience in the classroom that some students to be successful need the extra resources to achieve. These resources might be social workers, nurses, and other classes/programs that will give the student an opportunity to be prepared to be in the classroom. My school has 10% homeless students because of shelters in the neighborhood. These students for whatever reason need extra resources first so then they can adjust to the rigor in the classroom. Resources like more individual time with the classroom teacher is not available with over 30 students in the classroom. But their is no other resource to turn to when their is a shortage of social workers, nurses and programs to help. The first reaction some teachers have is that now I am evaluated on test scores. The teacher in the classroom sometimes is the only resource for these students and do not think that this issue is not at every school in the city. This happens everywhere and teachers recognize this happens to them maybe not this year but at some point in their career. I am sure that their is validity in almost all the issues that are on the table in the process and it would be smart to even the playing field first so that the process can be fair to everyone who is evaluated. The point is that all the issues should be looked at because every student and school has different needs and concerns. There is not one solution to all the issues. The problem is that this wasn’t done in the contract process for the past year and the contract stated that the only strike clause that could take place was about the raises. Now the discussion has been opened to everything which did not happen earlier. Every child needs some kind of support at some point. These issues are important and should be discussed and if warranted addressed. Watch your opinions and comments until you really know what is going on with schools, classrooms, teachers and students.

  • 1075. Portage Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Jackie, I posted the video you shared on my Facebook page. I encouraged my fellow CPS parents to watch the video so they can understand how we got here. The video was eye opening for me and has caused me to change my views. I still don’t support the strike but I understand why CTU membership felt they had no choice but to strike. Chicago has now become a national referendum on unioins with various union leaders at the national level and union leaders from other states all descending on Chicago. This makes me think the strike will become a long drawn out battle. How as parents do we prevent this from happening?
    Todd Pytel your posts have been awesome and you show real courage posting your name. I know parents have respected what you have to say so I ask you, “How do we move forward and get the teachers back in the classroom?” I know posters have not appreciated the party like atmosphere at the rallies but I also know the longer this strike goes, the teachers we all love and respect will suffer. Those with children in CPS will have to make arrangements for child care like the rest of us all the while not getting paid. Any ideas how parents can be instrumental in getting things moving in the right direction would be appreciated.

  • 1076. Brian M. Bastyr, Esq.  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I am a CTU member and a teacher at World Language High School in Little Village. I’m a former attorney, a magna cum laude graduate of the U of Illinois in Champaign, and I only want to touch on one issue — principal power as it regards to staffing.

    I find it troubling that Rahm wants to put all the power in the hands of principals. In the 8 years since we founded the school, we have had 5 principals. Let’s not even talk about the turnover at the Area/ Network, or Central Office Level.

    The only consistency my students have had is their teachers. We provide a check and balance on principal power and need to be able to advocate for our students.

    Do a google search for Social Justice High School, a sister school on our campus. They had their principal removed less than a fortnight before school started. The removed principal had ALSC approval while the new one did not.

    Now, teachers did not get schedules until the night before classes started. 4 AP classes were cut, with the excuse that the students had low pass rates and low skills. of course, unless students are challenged with rigorous courses, students skills will not improve. AP classes provide a gold standard of rigor for driving a challenging curriculum.

    The teachers that helped their students speak up and organize a community response were then improperly fired.

    Without due process protections, teachers cannot advocate for their students against CPS and principal injustices without fear of losing jobs and being blacklisted. Our students, and many working-poor parents who have no voice, often have no one to advocate for them but us.

    On a side note —

    Also, the CPS has locked us out of our CPS gmail accounts. I have students who are relying on me for letters of rec and for writing assistance of personal statements, etc. I tried to work on these Monday night and found myself without access. Children first, right CPS?

  • 1077. anonymous  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:17 am

    You are not the only school locked out of CPS gmail.

  • 1078. anonymous  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:18 am

    http://karenfraid.tumblr.com/post/30919771039/an-open-letter-to-mayor-emanuel-and-board-of-education

    Interesting reading.

  • 1079. Tired  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:20 am

    @1057. CPSfinesse

    like!

  • 1080. anonymous  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:25 am

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/marin/15081962-452/rahm-emanuel-picked-this-fight-with-teachers.html

    Two takeaways:
    1.) He picked this fight.
    2.) Charters don’t outperform.

  • 1081. EdgewaterMom  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:25 am

    @1073 (Brian M. Bastyr) Thank you for your post. I also think that what happened at Social Justice High School is horrible, and I am surprised that there was not more media attention on this issue. I hope the CTU is able to protect the teachers that were fired and I hope that the public gets more details about what really happened there.

    I disagree that Rahm want to put all of the power in the hands of the principals though. He wants to give them all of the power for HIRING teachers, and I think that this makes sense. However, like in any other job, there needs to be a system of checks and balances and principals need to be accountable.

    I guess we have been lucky in that the teachers and principal at our school seem to have a good relationship? I am curious – is this not the norm? Are there many teachers who work at schools that do not trust their principal? If so, this is a big problem (but I am not sure what the solution to that problem is).

  • 1082. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:32 am

    @1071. realitycheck: “My school has 10% homeless students because of shelters in the neighborhood. These students for whatever reason need extra resources first so then they can adjust to the rigor in the classroom.”

    Oh, please. As recently as last week, I would have believed that the teachers care about them. But this week, when they are picketing exclusively the schools that stayed open to provided meals for these students? I’m not buying a single talking point on their union pre-approved list.

    “There is not one solution to all the issues. The problem is that this wasn’t done in the contract process for the past year and the contract stated that the only strike clause that could take place was about the raises. Now the discussion has been opened to everything which did not happen earlier. ”

    Really? So what are you saying is that when CPS keeps coming up with more and more concessions on the raises and insurance payments, there is someone at the table who is saying ‘No, Mr. Vitale, we don’t need that. Please spend this 400 million, or whatever the figure is now, to hire more nurses and social workers.’

    Somehow, I very much doubt that this is what’s holding the negotiations back.

  • 1083. Stop the Madness  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Both sides have valid points. The big problem I have is that ultimately the students are out of school! How long is too long to keep them out? This sounds like a long, drawn out battle. Is the CTU willing to compromise to get the students back into school? Can the national message be separated from the immediate concerns of the Chicago students? I don’t sense that Ms. Lewis wants to bunker down until this is resolved and get the students back into class. I don’t recall in the last several days, her mentioning her desire to get this resolved and get the students back into the classroom. Once the kids were pulled out of class, a urgency is needed. This strike must end!

  • 1084. mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Yesterday I took my kids to their school and they picked up signs and marched around with their teachers for about 30 minutes. The kids had a ball because every police car, fire truck, garbage truck, delivery truck, taxi cab, liquor truck, beat up suv, etc,. honked. It was a party to them.

    I used it as a civics lesson and explained the concept of unions and corporations, etc. I told them about the time I was with my dad 40 years ago when the factory workers stood their ground. I’m not sure how much they really understood. My 4th grader said he really wanted to be back at school with his friends.

    The teachers and the staff were very appreciative and thanked us and the other parents/students who were there. They all expressed to me that they really thought that Rahm would have put an end to this by now- that a call would have come from DC telling him to put an end to this.

    You are right, most of you, this is BIGGER than Chicago now. When my european relatives post about the strike on FB, well, it’s moved on. I just hope that the whole month isn’t lost. Come monday, I’ll start working on multiplication again. I figure they can strike and loose all those days that they had off last year and it’s really not a big deal. About 10 days right? After that, I have to school them.

    I blame Rahm. He knew this was coming and he put an incompetent individual as CEO of schools. My friends from Rochester called this one last year as soon as JCB was picked. It’s a power grab but not enough of a grab to make me move to the ‘burbs. I had crappy CPS schools growing up, immigrant parents and till somehow managed to go to grad school at a highly coveted institution. I think my kids will be fine. The kids in the crappy schools with crappy parents, maybe not so much.

  • 1085. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:42 am

    @1073. Brian M. Bastyr, Esq. :”Also, the CPS has locked us out of our CPS gmail accounts. I have students who are relying on me for letters of rec and for writing assistance of personal statements, etc. I tried to work on these Monday night and found myself without access. Children first, right CPS?”

    In case you have forgotten, you voted for the strike, and then walked off the job and locked these students out of the classroom. So don’t blame CPS for your actions.

    And actually, disabling the computer accounts for people who quit their jobs was the standard operating procedure at any company I’ve ever worked at. It’s safer than taking a chance on what a disgruntled employee might do to the company data if they retain access to it.

  • 1086. Cpsmom  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I’m going back to the silly part of my day, dealing with the boss. You continue to have fun,” she told the jubilant crowd of teachers dressed largely in red. A quote from Karen Lewis in the Sun-times. All my sympathy for your cause is gone. Apparently this is how she and the CTU are trying to resolve their issues and putting our kids first. And to think I was actually on their side!!! Thanks for letting me see the light Karen Lewis and the CTU. so our kids are out of school for you all to have a big party. Great!!!

  • 1087. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:55 am

    @1082
    CPS chose to lock-out teachers from their accounts, so it certainly undermines their “children first” claim.

    No one has “quit”; they are on strike. Strikers wish to go back to work at the same job; otherwise, they would have resigned, or quit.

    The private-sector SOP is to disable the accounts of people that you fire, not that give notice they will quit. Most of them want you to continue to do your work. My wife gave notice at three financial firms and none of them disabled her accounts; one even asked her to stay another two weeks, put her up in luxury hotel suite, and paid for our move to make sure she stayed longer. I’m sure public school systems do this for teachers all the time.

  • 1088. EdgewaterMom  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I think that during a strike, both sides try to make it difficult for each other to try to pressure them to resolve the strike – that is just how it works. This is why the CTU pickets (and directs the picketing to the schools that are providing free meals for kids because it will have more impact there) and this is why CPS locks the teachers out of all CPS resources.

    Both sides may think that they are fighting for the kids. The big picture may be for the good of the kids, but during the strike, the kids are part of the collateral damage and there is really no way to get around that.

  • 1089. Howard  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:15 am

    If Rahm was smart, he’d round up parents, retired teachers, and other citizens and bring them in to voluntarily teach….after firing every teacher that’s on strike.

    Chicago’s got some unruly kids, so position a few cops to roam the halls.

    Then, start recruiting temp and long-term teachers to replace the ones he kicked to the curb. No striking teacher should ever work in a CPS school again.

  • 1090. JT  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I’m grateful for Brian M. Bastyr’s post as it cogently discusses one of the issues that’s been identified as one of the actual points of contention in the strike. One of the real difficulties in following the various discussion has been dissecting which issues are about the strike and which are (legitimate) complaints about school conditions but not part of the labor negotiations.

    The other issue that has been cited as one of the two major roadblocks is evaluation. I’m an educator, but not in CPS. However, I do have a child at home due to this strike, so it’s personal to me – as it is to many here. I would appreciate any clarification to this issue that anyone could offer. From what I can gather:

    The evaluation system/proposal in question is the one CPS details here:
    http://www.cps.edu/Pages/reachstudents.aspx

    That is a response to the ISBE and Senate mandate spelled out here:
    http://www.isbe.state.il.us/PERA/default.htm

    And there are some public concerns that have been expressed here:
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2561000/OpenLetterCPSTeacherEvalSigners3.23.12.pdf

    Are these the correct sources to deal with the problem?

    The most recent CPS proposal (that I could find publicly) states:

    “Joint Implementation of Teacher Evaluations with Flexibility When Needed: The Board has proposed to work jointly with CTU to fully implement REACH Students and maintain performance standards and student growth requirements. This proposal will also allow CPS and CTU to study REACH’s implementation jointly and make adjustments as needed.”

    What additional concessions are sought by CTU to adapt REACH and still comply with PERA? If anybody could help clarify that, I’d be grateful.

    Which brings me to another point – No matter which “side” of this you’re on, I think it would be beneficial to amend the laws or rules governing this type to negotiation. If the negotiations offered SOME amount of transparency, I think we’d all be better served. As it stands, we’re all trying to see into this black box and draw conclusions with little or no support. This has allowed supporters of both sides to make wild (and often irrelevant) assertions. Making the core points and events of the negotiations public would also help to hold the participants accountable as they are jointly responsible for the disruptions in our families.

    One last thing I’d like to suggest. I would encourage everyone to stop blindly equating supporting the strike with supporting teachers in general. It’s an unfair and inaccurate appeal to emotion that only further impedes legitimate discussion about the labor issues at hand. I support teachers passionately for a living, but I’m not at all happy with some things about this strike (from both sides of the negotiating table).

  • 1091. Portage Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:23 am

    @1073. Brian M. Bastyr, Esq – What you’re trying to do for your students is admirable and kudos to you for trying to do the right thing. CPS disabling your email doesn’t seem reasonable to me atl all.

    @1082 Angie – I believe teachers were told they have to picket at the particular schools by their CTU leadership. I don’t believe they have a choice. I don’t fault them for doing it. I think they are caught between a rock and hard place.

    I am with the PP’s that this strike has taken on a life of it’s own. Our kids need to be back in the classroom ASAP. I don’t feel confident this strike will get resolved with parties we have doing the negotiating. There are vastly different reports regarding the status of contract negotiations between the CPS Board President and Karen Lewis and its anyone’s guess which is right. Perhaps it’s somewhere in the middle.

    Before this strike goes on any longer we need to demand for a mediator to get involved. If this deal couldn’t get done in a year what hope do parents have they can come to terms now?

  • 1092. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:30 am

    @1084. Christopher Ball :”No one has “quit”; they are on strike. Strikers wish to go back to work at the same job; otherwise, they would have resigned, or quit.”

    And no one has deleted your account, either. It will still be there when you are done partying.

    “The private-sector SOP is to disable the accounts of people that you fire, not that give notice they will quit. Most of them want you to continue to do your work.”

    That depends on how much access people have, and how much bad blood is between them and their bosses at the time of the notice. Some people are actually escorted out the door as soon as they give their notice, because the company cannot afford to take any chances. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, so please don’t tell me that it does not happen.

    On the side not, isn’t it interesting that so many teachers think that everyone in the private sector has it as good as their high-ranking spouses and significant others? Such a disconnect from reality.

  • 1093. Pvt. Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:36 am

    @Edgewater mom. I support the strike and I am not even a CPS parent but I cannot support this “the kids are part of the collateral damage and there is really no way to get around that.” (I realize this is probably not your personal position.)

    No. We can do better than that. As I said in an earlier post, kids need to know that grown-ups have everything under control, even when we don’t. Seeing a beloved teacher asking for help and not getting it can be stressful and may make a kid fearful of what would happen if they needed help too. Ever talk to a young kid about this or other adult problems? They go into fixit mode and start proposing solutions that make perfect sense to them and of course won’t work in the real world. The end result is that the world seems capricious and unfair to them. And maybe the world is capricious and unfair. However, I believe that we as adults have a moral obligation to at least try to provide them with a childhood where child, and not adult, concerns can prevail. Of course we can’t shield them from everything but we can certainly try to avoid making decisions such as this. We are the adults and we supposedly have learned the capacity to see how our actions will affect those who do not think and act exactly as ourselves.

    CTU: Don’t strike at the “holding schools.” (vile term, that is too…)

  • 1094. stop  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

    As anyone heard what the news is saying outside of Illinois? I have talked to family in CT and they are not happy with the CTU. They say they all want raises and they all want job security. They are also pissed that on the New York Times the Chicago Streak beat out the 9/11 for the front page. Disgracefull if you ask me.
    Friend in Texas said the same thing. Teachers want more money but yet already make more than the average salary.
    CTU, you may have “some” Chicago people on your side, but the rest of the world, NOT SO MUCH.
    GET BACK TO WORK AND TEACH OUR CHILDREN!!!

  • 1095. Mom73  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:57 am

    @1084, @1073- I’m surprised you didn’t prepare for your gmail accounts to be shut off. I have a few teachers friends who made sure to email contact information and address list to their personal accounts, so they could keep in contact with the students/coworkers etc. The were told that they would not have access to any CPS property (classrooms and Technology infrastructure). This is really standard practice during strikes.

    If you are serious about talking to students, try facebook. They are all out there.

  • 1096. EdgewaterMom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:01 am

    @1089 I agree with you – we need to get kids back in school and figure out how to resolve these issues. I was just saying that while the teachers are on strike, the kids are really the victims.

    This is turning into a national political battle and our kids are being used as pawns.

  • 1097. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:01 am

    @ pvt. mom AGREE about the Children First sites. It is a disgusting choice. I fully understand WHY CTU is doing it, but think they are completely wrong to do this.

  • 1098. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Teachers were out picketing the park district program today – although just a few, very young – must have been a low priority. I have come to believe that we are now just being taunted and parents should not picket CTU, I think it will just add to their “fun”. Now that this is for national theater just think of the photo op. “Angry elitist parents clash against union fighting to provide books and toilet paper to the poor”.

  • 1099. I'm so thru with CTU  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Sorry if this had already been posted, but I just heard a radio promo from CPS that you can text the word “compromise” to 877-877 to sign an online petition to call an end to the strike.

  • 1100. JT  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Apparently my comment was rejected 😦 Maybe WP saw it as spam, so I removed the links.

    I’m grateful for Brian M. Bastyr’s post as it cogently discusses one of the issues that’s been identified as one of the actual points of contention in the strike. One of the real difficulties in following the various discussion has been dissecting which issues are about the strike and which are (legitimate) complaints about school conditions but not part of the labor negotiations.

    The other issue that has been cited as one of the two major roadblocks is evaluation. I’m an educator, but not in CPS. However, I do have a child at home due to this strike, so it’s personal to me – as it is to many here. I would appreciate any clarification to this issue that anyone could offer. From what I can gather:

    The evaluation system/proposal in question is the one CPS details here:
    (there was a link here to CPS)

    That is a response to the ISBE and Senate mandate spelled out here:
    (there was a link here to ISBE)

    And there are some public concerns that have been expressed here:
    (there was a link here to an open letter from educators)

    Are these the correct sources to deal with the problem?

    The most recent CPS proposal (that I could find publicly) states:

    “Joint Implementation of Teacher Evaluations with Flexibility When Needed: The Board has proposed to work jointly with CTU to fully implement REACH Students and maintain performance standards and student growth requirements. This proposal will also allow CPS and CTU to study REACH’s implementation jointly and make adjustments as needed.”

    What additional concessions are sought by CTU to adapt REACH and still comply with PERA? If anybody could help clarify that, I’d be grateful.

    Which brings me to another point – No matter which “side” of this you’re on, I think it would be beneficial to amend the laws or rules governing this type to negotiation. If the negotiations offered SOME amount of transparency, I think we’d all be better served. As it stands, we’re all trying to see into this black box and draw conclusions with little or no support. This has allowed supporters of both sides to make wild (and often irrelevant) assertions. Making the core points and events of the negotiations public would also help to hold the participants accountable as they are jointly responsible for the disruptions in our families.

    One last thing I’d like to suggest. I would encourage everyone to stop blindly equating supporting the strike with supporting teachers in general. It’s an unfair and inaccurate appeal to emotion that only further impedes legitimate discussion about the labor issues at hand. I support teachers passionately for a living, but I’m not at all happy with some things about this strike (from both sides of the negotiating table).

  • 1101. Pvt. Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:15 am

    @1092 & 1093. Maybe the LSC’s at these schools can request that the strikes go to non-striking schools or elsewhere? Maybe CTU would reconsider if the request comes from parents who otherwise support them? Who knows how long this will go on but while it does I think CPS, CTU and parent groups should work together to give the kids whatever sense of normalcy they can. Any LSC members out there?

  • 1102. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

    @1096. JT : Try posting one link per comment, and it should work.

  • 1103. Pvt. Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

    sorry. I meant “maybe the LSCs can request that the strikes go to non-Children First schools or elsewhere?”

  • 1104. new link  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

    link

  • 1105. cpsobsessed  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

    @JT – whole heartedly agree!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1106. cpsobsessed  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I believe the union has the picketing locations planned out for the week and teachers report based on those instructions. I think the goal now is to get larger groups together at some key locations after the morning sessions.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1107. Tribune Editorial  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:23 am

    “Let’s recognize the CTU strike for what it is. Plain and simple, it is about the union’s drive to protect Chicago’s incompetent teachers at the expense of students and good teachers. We must not be fooled by the rhetoric that teachers are striking in the interest of students. Baloney. This strike is about protecting political power.

    Tribune Editorial

  • 1108. Jackie  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Here is an article from Huffingtonpost:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-a-palermo/chicago-teachers-strike-democrats_b_1875598.html

  • 1109. City Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:26 am

    As I’ve been thinking and processing these past few days, I had a realization about the negotiations regarding air conditioning. Because the CTU can no longer negotiate over length of the school year, the only way they can push back against CPS as a whole going to Year-Round schooling (aka Track E schedule) is to negotiate over air conditioning.

    On Sunday night Dave Vitale stated that CPS wants to move to one calendar for the 2013-2014 school year. He said the contract proposal contains a provision for teachers to have representation on the committee that will oversee the consilidation and transition to one calendar. I think if a committee is being put into place (and the CTU is now negotiating for air conditioning), we can understand this to be a move toward Year-Round Schooling–Track E schedule for All.

    I think as parents we should understand that the adoption of the Year-Round Schooling (Track E Schedule for all) is in play. Hence, the negotiations for air conditioning. If you oppose tall of CPS going to Track E, please contact Mayor’s office at 312-744-3300 and the Office of CEO JC Brizzard at 773-553-1500 to let them know. The time to speak up is NOW.

  • 1110. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:28 am

    @JT, nice rational post. Thanks. One thing I find so interesting about evaluations is that teachers evaluate students all the time A,B,C,D,F, using both objective and subjective measures—-yet teachers cannot be measured? I think there is a way, we just need the will of the teachers to find a solution. And I mean teachers NOT CTU. The CTU is motivated to resist any evaluation because they seek to protect the lowest common denominator teacher. CTU will seek to water down the evaluation as much as possible to protect as many at the bottom as possible. It would be great to have the VIVA teacher project tackle evaluations. They did it on the longer day and school calendar and the VIVA teacher report was spot on. We need more voice from teachers, not the CTU.

  • 1111. ncm  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:28 am

    @1081 “They all expressed to me that they really thought that Rahm would have put an end to this by now- that a call would have come from DC telling him to put an end to this.”

    I was wondering when KL will get out of the media spotlight and put an end to showboating for the national labor agenda and when the union will agree on more than 6 issues of a 50 issue list. I know, I know, when it guarantees job security without accountability.

    I’d like to turn come up with a way to blast the Rolling Stones mid-afternoon in front of whatever rally will roll in today. You can’t always get what you want.

  • 1112. EdgewaterMom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:29 am

    @1096 I think that MANY parents agree with your statement “I support teachers passionately [for a living], but I’m not at all happy with some things about this strike (from both sides of the negotiating table).”

    (I put the “for a living” in brackets for clarity because we obviously do not all do it for a living).

    I support teachers and the work that they do. I am incredibly frustrated with the CTU. I am incredibly frustrated with CPS. I want my child to go back to school. My child wants to go back to school.

  • 1113. SR  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:29 am

    @JT – great post. I agree that transparency regarding negotiations would be so helpful for those of us on the outside. I can’t follow all the gamesmanship on both sides.

    I really appreciated the panel on Chicago Tonight last night because it made clear how difficult these issues are (recall and evaluation), and the difficulties were expressed calmly and thoughtfully by the panel members. Also, I agree with a previous poster that it would be a completely different situation if Terry Mazany were still head of CPS (and I can see why he didn’t want the job).

  • 1114. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

    @1081 – Your children will learn more than you think. Kids can be very political. I’m sure this was a good experience for them because I too remember being on the picket lines when I was a kid. I commend you for finding the good. Sounds like everyone has had enough…..

    One thing I find contradictory is that you blame Rahm, teachers blame Rahm yet everyone is looking to Rahm to step in and end it.

    My son went downtown yesterday and it was very exciting to see all the red shirts and comradery. He was disturbed by many of the homemade signs that he saw teachers carrying. You can look at it as a “learning” experience. In a way to him it kind of “humanized” teachers, bringing the pedestal that he has them on a bit lower, if anyone gets what I mean. That to me was a little sad.

  • 1115. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

    On the previous thread, someone asked how many bad teachers are in Chicago schools. Here’s an estimate:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-schools-0912-jm-20120912,0,687400.story

    “This system wasn’t foisted on CTU. Chicago’s teachers had a huge role in creating it. The district and CTU had 35 meetings and 90 hours of negotiations over these evaluations. CPS officials project that about 70 percent of Chicago’s 25,000 teachers will be rated as proficient or excellent. About 3 percent will be deemed unsatisfactory — 10 times the current share. About 27 percent will fall into the “needs improvement” category.

    Under CPS rules, those teachers will need to improve significantly every year or face possible dismissal.”

  • 1116. Tribune Editorial  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

    General Counsel Bob Chanin explains to NEA convention why Big Labor is so powerful:

    “Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas; it is not because of the merit of our positions; it is not because we care about children; and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.

    The NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of million of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them; the union that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.”

  • 1117. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

    @1105 The channel 7 news reported that the reason air conditioning (see link further up in string) was added is because it protects the CTU to keep the strike “legal”. It sounds like you are trying to pull on parent fears to get people calling the mayor. Yes, AC will be part of the discussion for a single calendar and during that discussion is when the issue can be addressed, not delaying this contract resolution.

  • 1118. fosterrice  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Heh. We could all use a bit of humor, so hopefully you’ll all find this funny (and not as serious commentary on the situation).

    http://mobile.twitter.com/DanielStrauss4/status/245334369538039808?photo=1

  • 1119. cubswin  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Tribune Editorial

    I can’t believe how simplistic their school reporting and editorial has become. The strike is going to be much longer than necessary to allow Karen Lewis her Jackie Vaughn moment, but that doesn’t mean that caring union teachers don’t have serious concerns.

  • 1120. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:41 am

    @1084 “CPS chose to lock-out teachers from their accounts, so it certainly undermines their “children first” claim.”

    This has nothing to do with the kids. Teachers cannot e-mail or communicate in any official capacity whatsoever during a strike. Striking teachers cannot have any access to the computer system during a strike. It makes a lot of sense to me.

  • 1121. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:44 am

    @1112 Where is spob? 😉 I fully expect his reply saying that “ctu memebers are FORCED to pay dues. Teachers have no choice but to pay the union dues. They can choose not to join the union, but they pay anyway. I think that works against the claim that all want to be part of the union.

  • 1122. Why?  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:45 am

    On Rev. Sharpton’s radio show at the Monday program, Union Director Stacy Davis Gates stated that this has started Chicago’s Arab spring.

    “Well, you know what’s interesting Reverend Al, is that this is sort of like an Arab Spring here in Chicago right now. Currently, there are five locals, AFT (American Federation of Teachers) locals, who are experiencing similar issues here. Eleven NEA locals have filed intent to strike within the last year. So this is not just confined to Chicago, either….

    Our teachers have been bullied, they’ve been belittled by a Democratic mayor, who we think should be a friend to us. Why us? Why teachers?…Rahm Emanuel, that handpicked school board, bless their hearts. They don’t get it.”

    A Chicago Arab spring? Really?

  • 1123. Tired parent  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I know that everyone keeps saying that Rahm and JCB should get involved, but I think it is best at this time that they do try to let CPS and CTU hash it out, because I believe once Rahm gets involved, negotiations go out the window and then it’s gonna turn into a real brawl.

  • 1124. EdgewaterMom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I was really surprised by the Editorial in the Trib. Hiring more Teach for America teachers and opening more charter schools is NOT the answer.

  • 1125. Nathan  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I think we need a time out to thank CPS Obsessed for creating this forum. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have somewhere to get updates, share opinions, and vent frustrations. Thank you for that!

    Do you accept donations to help maintain the site or is there anything we can do to assist?

    Also, in terms of new threads, I think parents might appreciate one where we could share ideas regarding what to do with the kids that are home from school. Again, I love the site and appreciate all you have done to create and maintain it.

  • 1126. ncm  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:46 am

    @1105 – Just for the record Track E is not really year round. Same number of instructional days as Track R. The difference is 3 weeks in August. Track E started 8/13 and Track R started 9/4 and both end 6/17. Let’s not start a parent phone-a-thon that will distract from the pressing point today – OUR KIDS ARE NOT IN SCHOOL.

  • 1127. ncm  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:48 am

    @1121 Nathan – I second that. Though without this forum I surely would have gotten more work done this week. 🙂

  • 1128. Jackie  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Portage Mom, thanks for taking the time to watch. It is a bigger political issue, but I believe it was made that way not by the teachers.

  • 1129. anon  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:49 am

    @1073 – Brian – At some schools, administration still working are trying to put together letters for kids.

    Kinda makes sense, after all isn’t the whole goal about getting kids to college.

  • 1130. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:51 am

    @1120. EdgewaterMom : “Hiring more Teach for America teachers and opening more charter schools is NOT the answer.”

    What makes you think that they are worse than this?

    “I have sat in a CPS math class and watched division being taught incorrectly. I have seen the standardized test scores of CPS teachers that indicate many of them aren’t even capable of scoring 21 on the ACT, the absolute minimum score needed to be ready for college. How can we believe that these teachers can prepare our children for success? “

  • 1131. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

    @994 Paul. As usual, you hit a very logical chord. I agree that most teachers, if given the chance to vote, would have accepted the last offer and avoided a strike. I also think a lot of them thought they would get that chance back when their union reps were pushing them saying, “Karen just needs leverage.” Did they all realize they were giving away their right to vote? At a minimum, I think they would have realized that it was so close, that they should keep working while the final two issues were hammered out. Then again, Karen Lewis does have them in a state of euphoria, so we could be wrong on that front.

    @1069 Junior. I am so glad you posted that. You called it way back in the day 😉 Also, from several threads back, so many (including me) have been asking and even begging for a defined list of what the heck this strike is about and what exactly CTU wants. We are still waiting—————3 days into the strike!

    Junior, further up you also pointed out that on the night the strike was called, Karen Lewis did not take Vitale’s calls because she was on the phone with the national teachers union (Randi W.). Now we know that no matter what Jessee Sharkey and Beth Swanson were feverishly trying to come to agreement on was for naught. This has been a strike-by-design of national Union proportions.

    I am truly frightened about how long this will drag on.

  • 1132. SR  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I haven’t seen much discussion of the recall issue here (beyond the simplistic view that it protects “bad” teachers). Employees at a school in my neighborhood believe that the school will be closed by CPS in the near future because it is underenrolled. To make sure they have a job, many teachers have been leaving for different schools, further destabilizing the school before it closes. I understand that principals shouldn’t be forced to hire teachers from closed schools. But a principal will rationally choose to hire a (lower-paid) teacher with less experience over a (higher-paid) teacher with more experience. If there was a way to even out the costs to the new school, experienced teachers would not have such difficulty getting rehired at another school after their school closes. Perhaps the money that would have gone to severance can be given to the hiring school, or there could be fund to offset the more experienced teacher’s salary for 1-2 years. Then principals could pick the best teacher for the job without worrying as much about the impact on their budgets. And schools facing potential closure would not have to deal with so many good teachers leaving before the school closes. Anyone have any insight into the negotiations on this?

  • 1133. SR  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I also want to thank cpsobsessed for this forum (though I also would have been more productive this week if it didn’t exist).

  • 1134. EdgewaterMom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:57 am

    @1128 That is a really interesting idea. I would love to see them do something like this. I want to give principals incentive to hire good, experienced teachers. I don’t want to force them to hire anybody.

  • 1135. Edison mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:58 am

    @1104, can’t agree more. Exactly.

  • 1136. Suburban school strike threats heat up  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Suburban school strike threats heat up

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-teachers-strike-suburbs-20120912,0,3276944.story

  • 1137. Jackie  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:01 am

    The evaluation process is a method to transfer from public schools to charter schools. If the teachers truly thought that the evaluation system was meant to improve schools and teachers they would be for it. It’s a political hammer!

    It is a tool in the ALEC handbook to union bust and privatize.

  • 1138. Mayfair Dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:03 am

    @ 1128: Makes sense. In the event of a school closing/consolidation/turnaround, there should be some mechanism to identify the good teachers deserving of first dibs at a spot at another CPS school. Create a hiring pool of qualified “preferred teachers”. Hmmm. Something like the Evaluation System the CTU is dead set against. For the children.

  • 1139. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:03 am

    @1128 It is good to see some creative thoughts on recall. Todd in another string brought up a very innovative idea. To put tenure on hold for one year so the principal can make sure the teacher is the best fit.

    Principals know how difficult it is to get rid of a tenured teacher, so in the hiring process, I can see why they would go for the untenured ones. Less so because of salary, and more so that hiring a tenured teacher that does not work out is a bad situation for the school. Also, when a principal hires a tenured teacher, they have to first think of the least senior teacher who will be let go in a budget cut. One parent pointed out to me that their principal did not want to hire a tenured teacher because in the likely event the budget was cut the following year, then the school would lose the fantastic new 1st grade teacher they just hired.

  • 1140. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:06 am

    1128. SR: ” I understand that principals shouldn’t be forced to hire teachers from closed schools. But a principal will rationally choose to hire a (lower-paid) teacher with less experience over a (higher-paid) teacher with more experience. If there was a way to even out the costs to the new school, experienced teachers would not have such difficulty getting rehired at another school after their school closes. ”

    The principal may be wary of hiring the veteran teacher because of their tenure rather than budget concerns. If things don’t work out, it will be very difficult to get such a teacher fired. And with 99.7% of our teachers rated satisfactory or better, they have no real way of knowing if that veteran is any good in the first place.

    The logical solution, of course, would be to abolish the tenure and lifetime job guarantee, but who in the union cares abot logic?

  • 1141. Mayfair Dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:07 am

    @ 1105: BINGO! Preserve the 9 week vacation by introducing the air conditioning red herring to kill Track E. For the children.

  • 1142. EdgewaterMom  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:08 am

    @1128 SR The more that I think about your proposal, the more I love it! Why can’t we use some of the money that would have gone towards severance pay and use it as an incentive to hire more experienced teachers? I am sure that principals do not want ALL inexperienced teachers – but they do have to work within their budgets. This seems like it would be a win win.

    I think the CPS Obsessed needs a seat at the bargaining table! 🙂

  • 1143. Pvt. Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:15 am

    @Patricia. I didn’t know it worked like that. Wow. There are a lot of complicated issues in this contract renegotiation season. I’d really like to hear from CPS and the Mayor why more progress wasn’t made earlier in the year when they new this deadline was approaching. Can it only be because they thought the teachers couldn’t strike? If so, I would think the recent financial meltdown would have proved to these bozos that past performance does not always predict future results. There were probably situational reasons why past strike votes never made it near 75% just as there were clear situational reasons why this one got into the 90th percentile. Arrogance.

  • 1144. cubswin  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Since Karen Lewis says the real schools are on strike, Kass visits an “unreal” school:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/videogallery/72236459/News/John-Kass-Chicago-needs-school-vouchers#gl-1

  • 1145. fosterrice  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Negotiation news from a negotiator:

    I’m a parent and I was at a parents4teachers forum last night and one of the speakers was on the “big” negotiating team for the CTU. In other words, she’s not part of the small team (Karen Lewis, Jesse Sharkey, and a bunch of other union leaders) but rather she was on the ~40 person teacher negotiation team. They help advise Lewis and Sharkey over the details of issues, much like Rahm’s “team” provides support to Vitale, Cawley and their primary negotiators. On any given day only a few of these “big team” people are present to support/advise the lead CTU team. I was told that the “big team” would be the first to ratify a contract, then they would send it to the House of Delegates (800 people). If the HoD approves it, the teachers go back to work and then the teachers ratify the contract (or so I was told).

    A few take aways:

    1. They restated that CTU cannot legally bargain on many of the 49 issues unless the BOE permits them, which is strictly at BOE’s prerogative due to SB7. In my interpretation of this, much of the tedium of negotiations is CTUs attempt to wear down the BOE to permit issues of class size, etc… (again, that’s my interpretation). BOE can chose to negotiate on these issues, but can also choose to exclude them. I hope I’m reporting this accurately – Todd may be able to correct me if I am wrong.

    2. The CTU is willing to compromise, but they are very detail-oriented because of fears about the way the document has been interpreted in a strict constructionist way in the past. In other words, BOE/CPS will frequently only allow the document to be interpreted to the very letter of the law, and not let it be open to any interpretation, so teachers are cautious of what is put in there. Example: the existing class size “limits” (mentioned previously here as 28 for elementary etc) are only recommendations and there is no formal grievance procedure in the existing contract. The teachers want a grievance procedure and specific plans for what to do when you go over 28 to be written into the new contract.

    3. I asked point blank if CTU was willing to give on certain issues and received an exasperated “yes,” but wasn’t able to get many details other than it has to do with healthcare and compensation. This corroborates what Todd has been saying about willingness to budge on compensation if BOE/CPS is willing to budge on the aforementioned permissible but not legally required issues. That said, we may be in for the long haul on this one.

    4. Big news on recall – a parent asked about it point blank and the answer we got was that CTU does not want automatic job entitlement for teachers in the recall pool. It was explained that they put this offer on the table: if there are three qualified candidates from the recall pool (i.e., they meet the base req’t of x-type of instructor for x-type of position) the principal must interview the three “recall pool” candidates in order to give them a fair opportunity against non-recall pool candidates. But principals would not be required to hire one of the “recall pool” candidates if a non-recall pool candidate was deemed a better fit after their interview. This would seem to be another example of the CTUs willingness to “give” on a big issue.

    5. IMHO, there are too many cooks in the kitchen. I asked and was told the layout of the negotiation room. At any given moment it seems like there are 12+ people from each side in the room, sometimes more, and that there’s a lot of cross-checking of facts and passing of notes of agreement/disagreement from the CTU “big” team to the main negotiators (same with Rahm’s “team” and Vitale et al). This must make for a very complex, frustrating process. I understand the need to cross-check the facts, but it seems like too many people in the room (on both sides), each of whom knows small pieces of the desired pie, with very few “big picture” people on either side given the leverage to make calls on important issues. Then again, I’m not a lawyer so maybe that’s how labor negotiations work. Seems awkward to me.

    I hope I’m reporting all of this accurately – please note I’m not a trained journalist and the comments I received were not from a lead negotiator but someone on the fringes of the negotiation table. Others may have been at the meeting and can offer different analysis.

  • 1146. CPC4Chicago  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Jan 2011 article from the “World Socialist Web Site” expressing their disappointment in Jesse Sharkey who as “a leading member of the ISO” (International Socialist Organization) is perceived as a disappointment for not doing enough to further the Socialist cause through his and KLs roles in the CTU.

    They obviously took this criticism seriously. Of course nothing in the article relates to improving the education of children but rather protecting the union and calling for a “radical redistribution of wealth”.

    If you still think that any part of this at least at the union leadership level is still “about the children” as opposed to furthering a radical movement you’ll want to read this.

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jan2011/core-j12.shtml

  • 1147. SR  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:32 am

    @1141 – thanks for the report. It sounds like things are getting closer.

    I have a practical question – anyone know how much notice we’ll get that the kids are going back to school? I’m wondering if I can leave my kids with my parents (a 5-hour trip to get them) and have them back for the first day school is back in session. Seems unlikely…

  • 1148. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:32 am

    The number Chicago Teachers Union doesn’t want you to know

    http://illinoispolicy.org/blog/blog.asp?ArticleSource=5042

    “You’ll hear a lot of numbers bandied around in the coming days regarding the Chicago Teachers Union strike – average salary, anticipated size of the district’s deficit, level of state financial support.

    But the number I find most disturbing is: 19.

    That’s what the average Chicago Public School teacher scored on the ACT test if they took it when attending high school, according to a 2008 Southern Illinois University study.

    Despite all of the bright teachers, there are enough who scored so badly on the ACT that they dragged the average down to 19 out of a possible score of 36.”

    And:

    “CTU has a history of defending the worst of the worst under the guise of “due process.”

    After reading 20 years of tenure dismissal cases in which the union vigorously defended each teacher, I can say, whether they ultimately kept their job or not, none of these individuals were people I’d want teaching my children.”

  • 1149. ncm  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:36 am

    @1140 cubswin – I just got done reading this and am in tears. I pulled my son from private school for what we thought would be (and if he is ever back in school it will be) a richer, more challenging cirriculum at a SE and because swinging the tuition was becoming more and more difficult. For this? What have I done?

    @1141 – Thanks for the low down. I’d like an update with as many details every evening!

  • 1150. Portage Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

    @1141 Thanks so much for this information. I really appreciate the time you took to post. I think what you said explains a lot which has been sadly lacking in what I have read either in the news or watched the reporting on TV.

  • 1151. cubswin  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Yeah, the low ACT is part of the motivation for their “critical thinker” spiel. But I’m sure there are some great teachers who had a low ACT.

    I’m not a fan of the Illinois Policy Institute. They equate low ACT with the “worst of the worst”, and that’s not fair. Teachers apply for a job and get hired. Should teachers with a low test score at age 16/17 not apply? I don’t assume a teacher with a low ACT at age 17 is a bad teacher.

    I also think we’re past the point in time where most teacher unions reflexively protect even terrible teachers. Leaders and unions do work towards what is fair due process.

  • 1152. City Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

    @1137 Hey, if CPS wanst the kids to go Year Round, air condition the buildings. CPS don’t expected the kids to sit in unheated classrooms when its 5 degrees out, does it? Oh wait. . .

    And just a reminder, it wasn’t the CTU that drafted SB7 so the only way they can negotiate length of year is by negotiating air conditioning. If CPS wants to go to Track E for ALL, let them open it up for discussion. As a stakeholder, I know I want to have a say in it. ‘Because we say so,’ isn’t good enough.

    Summer break is good enough for Rahm’s kids.

  • 1153. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:59 am

    @1148 You may already know this, so sorry if it is a repeat. Track E redistributes the days and kids do not go all summer. They do however start earlier in August like many suburban schools. Air conditioning is certainly a factor. Maybe the kids go longer in June instead of August. The VIVA teacher project actually supports a year round calendar for a number of reasons. My understanding is a joint collaboration about it and I do not think the end result will be Track E. It will be a combination. Yes, parents need to be part of that collaboration. I do not want to leave it to CPS and CTU. I also do not want to keep my kids out of school until these committees meet.

  • 1154. City Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:04 am

    @1113 Patricia, as long as the CTU doesn’t sign off on salary, the strike is legal. They don’t need air conditioning to keep it alive. Dave Vitale stated CPS is moving to one schedule for the 2013- 2014 year. They don’t to form need a committee if they’re going to move everybody back to Track R. And when CPS decides to do something, I haven’t seen them give much weight to teacher input. I haven’t found them to give much weight to parent input either. How do think it is we parents will get to weigh on this decision? Like most things, I expect CPS will tell us what they decided to do right before they do it. Anyone aware of the plan to consolidate bus routes this year before it happened? SB7 restricts the CTU from bargaining over length of day and year. They’ve already lengthened the day and the year. Now they’re telling us they’re moving to one calendar and they need to form a committee to do it. What do you think they’re going to do next? The time to speak up is now.

  • 1155. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:04 am

    @1147. cubswin: “I don’t assume a teacher with a low ACT at age 17 is a bad teacher.”

    But how can you be sure without evaluating them?

  • 1156. Chris  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

    “which is strictly at BOE’s prerogative due to SB7”

    The actual citation for the law, initially implemented in 1995, softened in 2003, and SB7 adding *only* school day and school year (and the stupid raising of the strike vote requirement) to the “restricted negotiation” list, is 115 ILCS 5/4.5.

  • 1157. Omega Mo  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:08 am

    If there is a way to have my tax dollars given to public schools directed to a private school, please let me know. I want nothing else to do with Chicago Public School Teachers of CTU. If more parents follow the direction of Lake Forest Parents and meet the picketing teachers with picketing parents. I would for sure be in all in for teachers if somebody can justify whatever it is they are asking for. Please don’t tell me fair wages, better working conditions, we all want those things.

  • 1158. City Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:12 am

    @1149 I don’t want to keep my kids out of school until the committees meet either. I would prefer CPS take the calendar off the table until it can be dealt with in a more comprehensive manner.. I would hope any discussion or planning for such a large change would include parent representation. But my fear is that if parents don’t speak up now, it will be a done deal and CPS will impose whatever it wants.For the moment at least CPS is paying attention and I think it’s important to speak up while we have their ear.

  • 1159. Chris  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:12 am

    “My understanding is a joint collaboration about it and I do not think the end result will be Track E. It will be a combination.”

    I think so, too. Don’t buy a move to E for everyone, but would believe in a shift up of one week for R, and back two for E (basically, the City Catholic school start) for everyone.

    “What do you think they’re going to do next? The time to speak up is now.”

    NO DOUBT true. Gotta be forceful while things are still actually open for discussion.

    Note that the start and end dates of teh school year were 100% in Daley’s control from 1995 to 2003, and then moved into the “restricted negotiation” area in 2003 til now. SB7 made no change to that matter.

  • 1160. cubswin  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:23 am

    @ 1151. Angie said…..

    “But how can you be sure without evaluating them?”

    I do favor real evaluation. CTU knows the evaluation system will change with this contract. But I don’t see why it can’t be phased in slowly, with testing at the minimum 25%. The new testing system is going to take years to work out.

    I do think the current CPS offer on recall is best for students. But if I was a teacher, considering the likelihood of school closing, limited recall rights would make me nervous.

    All this needs to be worked out. But there’s no rush, because CTU leadership wants to play in the spotlight for awhile. Why do all the tedious union work if not to enjoy the glory?

  • 1161. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

    If this is going to be a long strike, can parents use their schools to start “homeschooling at school”? At least parents can rotate and perhaps use the money they would have donated to the school to hire high school students, unemployed teachers, college students to help teach, etc?

    Do the principals already have lesson plans that can be followed by parents? If the school has books 😉 can parents follow the books and accompanying teacher guides?

    I know this may be extreme, but I think parents need to start pushing for a plan B. We have rights as parents that can perhaps go around the legislation that teaching cannot take place. (obvious union payback favor for funding political campaigns).

    I know there are “picket line” sacred rules. But this strike is now about a national union agenda that has nothing to do with the students, nothing to do with the teachers and is based on ideology which will keep them out of the classroom too long.

  • 1162. NCFred  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Take that $380 million.
    Instead of assuming that all Chicago taxpayers will pay it, charge a “use fee” for our schools.
    How many students are there not on financial aid? 100,000? I thought I saw a stat that three-quarters of the 400k students qualify for aid.
    That’s $3,800 per student that CPS could charge to support teachers.
    Would parents still support the union if we passed costs on that way?

  • 1163. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

    @1148 – all kids will be in school in July if the strike doesn’t end soon. All we need to do is come up with the 3 billion for A/C

  • 1164. db  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I think CTU is feeling some pressure because they released this:

    http://www.ieanea.org/media/2012/09/Why-are-we-on-strike.pdf

  • 1165. junior  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Studies show student achievement is hurt by strikes:

    http://normantranscript.com/new/x1059016997/How-teacher-strikes-hurt-student-achievement

  • 1166. Chris  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:48 am

    @1160: “Teachers insist that CPS agree to a reasonable timetable to install air conditioning in student classrooms. In July and August”

    So, if CPS moves everyone back to Track R, and contractually agrees to hold summer school *only* in a/c equipped classrooms, that issue goes away, right?

  • 1167. mom2  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I wonder how many teachers are even realizing that parents like me will not be donating time or money to their school this year. Had to use time and money it to pay for child care. Don’t come begging. It’s all gone. Thanks CTU.

  • 1168. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:57 am

    @1160. db : Wait, what? They actually admitted to being on strike for teacher wages and benefits?

    Oh, and air conditioning. of course. Can’t forget that.

    Whatever happened to schools the students deserve, libraries and art classes?

    Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/09/11/rahm-emanuel-should-go-all-ronald-reagan-on-chicagos-teachers-union/

    “In the meantime, Illinois is only one of twelve states that allow public school teachers to lawfully strike.

    Besides Illinois, they are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. This case should give parents in all twelve states the impetus they need to demand that education not take a backseat to the whims of union bosses.”

  • 1169. Chicago Students First  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:57 am

    As you may know, a CPS-wide parent group doesn’t exist. I’m sure media outlets would like to know, in general, how parents are feeling about the strike. And we parents are looking to organize, voice our concerns, and assume our rightful place at the table for the discussions taking place about OUR children.

    A group of us have started organizing via a website called Chicago Students First. http://chicagostudentsfirst.blogspot.com

    If you are a CPS parent, go to the website and register!

  • 1170. James  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I didn’t want CPC4Chicago’s great post at #1019 to get lost in the rush of comments. It’s worth a re-read since it is so correct:

    “After two days of getting fired up by their radical leadership with an agenda that has clearly morphed far beyond any concern for the impact on 400k local children it’s time that the rank and file let it be known to them that those of us with children in the system have reached our limits. Two days of playing bongo drums and living out their own little version of the ‘occupy’ movement was enough. Dedicated, devoted, idealistic, hard working teachers, your union isn’t making a stand for you personally but rather it’s own institutionalized relevance fueled by a megalomaniac rapidly approaching the end of her proverbial 15 minutes. We support you individually as key people in our children’s development and lives but you need to realize that not just for the children’s sake but very much your own, it’s time to get back to work.”

  • 1171. Chris  |  September 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Angie: “In the meantime, Illinois is only one of twelve states that allow public school teachers to lawfully strike.”

    As has been pointed out elsewhere, when the CTU used to strike frequently, it was “illegal” for them to strike. So, that’s only helpful as a prelude to an ATC-type mass-firing. Which is not likely to happen in any event.

  • 1172. James  |  September 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I don’t think I’ve seen this posted, but, if so, I apologize. It is an editorial from today’s New York Times, a newspaper that everyone (with the possible exception of Comrade Jackie) would deem left-leaning. Although much of their coverage has seemed a little uninformed, every word of this editorial is true, especially the last paragraph:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/12/opinion/chicago-teachers-folly.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

    Chicago Teachers’ Folly

    Teachers’ strikes, because they hurt children and their families, are never a good idea. The strike that has roiled the civic climate in Chicago — and left 350,000 children without classes — seems particularly senseless because it is partly a product of a personality clash between the blunt mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and the tough Chicago Teachers Union president, Karen Lewis. Beyond that, the strike is based on union discontent with sensible policy changes — including the teacher evaluation system required by Illinois law — that are increasingly popular across the country and are unlikely to be rolled back, no matter how long the union stays out.

    Mr. Emanuel attracted the union’s anger when the city, citing budget deficits, rescinded a 4 percent raise that was supposed to go into effect last year. He further angered the union by bypassing the collective-bargaining process with a new policy that lengthened one of the shortest school days in the nation. Comparatively speaking, however, Chicago’s teachers are well paid, with an average salary of about $75,000 a year (roughly the same as in New York City). Before the strike, the city agreed to increase the size of the teacher corps to handle the longer school day. And despite its dismal fiscal condition, the city says it has offered the union a 16 percent raise over the next four years.

    The union has listed several grievances in its public statements, but the main point of anger has to do with a state law that requires school systems to put in place an evaluation system in which a teacher’s total rating depends partly on student test scores. Half the states have agreed to create similar teacher evaluation systems that take student achievement into account in exchange for grants under the federal Race to the Top program or for greater flexibility under the No Child Left Behind law. Such systems are already up and running in many places.

    In Chicago, however, the union asserts that the city’s evaluation system will unfairly penalize teachers for fluctuations in student performance that might be attributable to family crises or even neighborhood violence. For its part, the city says it is willing to monitor the new system to ensure fairness and negotiate a grievance process that would allow the teachers to challenge their ratings. If the union has legitimate suggestions for how to improve the fairness and accuracy of the evaluation system, in particular, it needs to bring them forward in a way that does not involve holding the city hostage.

    Another big sticking point has to do with the treatment of teachers who are laid off from schools that are closed or consolidated. The city rightly wants principals to determine which teachers are hired at a given school. The union wants a recall system that gives laid-off teachers priority in rehiring. The national trend, however, is going the other way, with systems increasingly giving principals a stronger voice in determining the makeup of the schools’ staff members.

    What stands out about this strike, however, is that the differences between the two sides were not particularly vast, which means that this strike was unnecessary. Moreover, Ms. Lewis, who seems to be basking in the power of having shut down the school system, seems more inclined toward damaging the mayor politically than in getting this matter resolved. If the strike goes on for much longer, the union could pay a dear price in terms of public opinion.

  • 1173. mom2  |  September 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you, CPC4Chicago and James – Yes. Agree. Get back to work. Please!!!!

  • 1174. anothermom  |  September 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Parents against this strike can be heard….join this family. Don’t