Strikewatch, Wednesday Sept 12

September 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm 1,859 comments

What my 9yo son said that HE would put on a PICKET sign.

I don’t have time to write anything eloquent.  I think many of us are realizing that this strike may be about more than the current contract.  Labor issues.  Education philosophy issues coming head-to-head.  Two strong-willed sides.

I’ll steal some wise words from a RaiseYourHand email I got this morning:

We believe there are short-term contract issues that must be figured out swiftly. Many of these long-term policy issues just cannot be resolved immediately. On the funding front, the sad fact remains, Illinois is now 50th in the nation for what the state governnment kicks in towards education. Illinois has cut $800 million to education since 2008. Local revenues have declined. All of the problems that ail our schools will not be fixed at this bargaining table. Take a moment to voice your concerns as a parent by calling your state reps/senators, our Governor, Mike Madigan and John Cullerton and ask them why our state is 50th in funding and what their plans are to change it. Call your alderman and ask if they support any kind of TIF reform to help address the issue.

More later.  If you have info on childcare places or petitions, please post in the comments section for now!

 

That said, we believe there are short-term contract issues that must be figured out swiftly. Many of these long-term policy issues just cannot be resolved immediately. On the funding front, the sad fact remains, Illinois is now 50th in the nation for what the state governnment kicks in towards education. Illinois has cut $800 million to education since 2008. Local revenues have declined. All of the problems that ail our schools will not be fixed at this bargaining table. Take a moment to voice your concerns as a parent by calling your state reps/senators, our Governor, Mike Madigan and John Cullerton and ask them why our state is 50th in funding and what their plans are to change it. Call your alderman and ask if they support any kind of TIF reform to help address the issue. 

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Chicago teachers’s strike begins Strikewatch Tues 9/18 – HoD Votes Today

1,859 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sad Chicago Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Dememom (I hope you’ve moved over to this thread), please know that most of us appreciate that you’re in a tough position. We do feel for you and would love to find a way to support you that would not also support CTU and a strike that is hurting all of our children.

  • 2. N00b  |  September 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    This is a great summation of what I see happening. Just wondering when the major players will see it for that and stop name-calling to get students back into our schools.

    It seems to me this strike is becoming less about a specific contract point, and has more been borne out of frustration, resentment, and a tiredness with being blamed for a whole slew of societal problems that happen to manifest themselves in our schools.

  • 3. junior  |  September 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Notice how different this message…

    CTU Media Release
    http://www.ieanea.org/media/2012/09/Why-are-we-on-strike.pdf

    …is from this message:

    Parent Info Flyer
    http://www.ctunet.com/blog/text/Parent-Info-Flyer-PDF.pdf

    Keep your eyes on that football, Charlie Brown.

  • 4. Resources for parents to use your voice  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    PETITION AGAINST THE STRIKE:
    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

    PICKET AGAINST THE STRIKE (who will have courage to stand with this family or start on a line on the northside!):
    Repost from previous thread @1170: “Parents against this strike can be heard….join this family. Don’t let them be the only ones standing up for what they feel is right. Seem like many here support their view and are looking to be heard.”

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/11/south-shore-family-continues-protest-against-teachers-strike/

    CHICAGO STUDENTS FIRST ORGANIZING:
    Repost from previous thread @1165: “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. If you are a CPS parent, go to the website and register!”

    http://chicagostudentsfirst.blogspot.com

  • 5. cpsmom  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    It may sound paranoid, but I begin to distrust reading comments on here. I can no longer tell whether a comment from poster is genuine, except for a very few like Todd or cpsob.

  • 6. West Looper  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    What’s sad (about the strike) is that it appears as a way to vent frustration, as nothing the CTU can do will stop new teacher evaluation methods nor the march of charters. In fact, the strike will accelerate that movement — it is clear that the current unionized work force (at least with this leadership) cannot be trusted with public schooling. If you were in charge, wouldn’t you substitute away from the CTU labor pool in every way possible?

  • 7. 1st time CPS mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    It seems to me that a lot of these CTU member’s have lost sight of what is really important. For me the most important thing is having my son back in school. This is a critical time for him, his first year of high school; I am really considering putting him back into a catholic school. It might just come to that if this strike continues. I have to say this is a bad year to be in CPS. We have been part of the Catholic School system for over 9 yrs. What I did notice recently is that catholic school teachers may not be making tons of money, but they are receiving everything else they might need. Even the air conditioners. As far as air conditioners go, is it really that necessary??? I was a child of the 80’s and not once did we have a/c in any of our classrooms. We were lucky to have a a/c at home. And we are all still here. We learned what we learned because our teachers were committed to teaching us. CTU is getting entirely to petty in its demands. Next they will be demanding for two-ply toilet paper. I agree teachers should all be treated with respect and should get payment for what they do, but in the economy that we are living in, where NO ONE is getting a raise how can the teachers expect a raise. And this Lewis lady has me sooo ticked off. The truth of the matter is that she is not interested in negotiating she wants it here way or nothing at all. I hope teachers are not being paid while they are on strike.

  • 8. junior  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    An idea for the AC issue —

    AC is expensive. There is no money for it unless it is taken away from other important things. Why not give the teachers/administration a way to earn the AC themselves?

    Give each school the incentive to receive money back in the form of an AC budget for each dollar that they can save from current baseline of energy costs. Many schools are run inefficiently, with electricity used round the clock. Students could learn about green practices and infrastructure at the same time.

    The AC issue helps both teachers and kids — it’s really just a matter of being able to pay for it.

  • 9. I'm so thru with CTU  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Kind of off topic, but not really…Can someone tell me why Illinois lottery and gambling revenue has not gone to funding education? Weren’t these funds promised to Illinois schools when they were trying to get people to vote to approve gambling in the State of Illinois. How do they get away with not giving it back to Education? *feeling a bit naive just asking the question* 😉

  • 10. junior  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Another idea —

    Why not tie teacher compensation to the amount of tax revenues received by the city/state? If the economy kicks into gear and tax revenues rise, then teachers share in the benefits. If the economy languishes and taxpayers are under stress, then teachers take their share of the pain. We’re all in this together, right?

  • 11. SR  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Junior – I like that idea. One of my kid’s schools just got solar panels – maybe they could be incorporated at more schools.

  • 12. 1st time CPS mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    At my kids Catholic School they had each class raise the money to buy a/c’s. Depending on the class size that’s how much money the parents chipped in. I think for my oldest we chipped in $20 and for my youngest it was $20.

  • 13. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Junior, great ideas. Further evidence that AC does NOT belong in a labor agreement. There are solutions.

  • 14. John Wilson  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    From today’s Chicago Tribune.

    “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

  • 15. 1st time CPS mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I was wondering ould CPS hire teachers that are non CTU, to replace those that are members and are on strike?

  • 16. Katy  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Re: Chicago Tribune EDITORIAL- one person’s opinion.

    Here’s my editorial: Just as valid, unless you think by virtue of writing for a newspaper you are not the voice of an expert?

    “Let’s recognize the CTU strike for what it is. Plain and simple, it is about the union’s drive to protect Chicago’s children in spite of many obstacles, including years of mismanagement and underfunding by the city and Board of Education. We must not be fooled by the rhetoric that cps is resisting in the interest of students. Baloney. This strike is about protecting political power.“

  • 17. Katy  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    oops…you are NOW the expert

  • 18. cpsobsessed  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Interesting POV from Carol Marin.
    She blames Rahm.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/marin/15081962-452/rahm-emanuel-picked-this-fight-with-teachers.html

    The article says that more chicagons support the strike than don’t. I assume this includes parents and non-parents:

    For the moment, according to a new poll by McKeon & Associates, more of Chicago’s registered voters support the strike than oppose it, 47 percent to 39 percent, with 14 percent undecided.

    According to the survey, only 19 percent believe the mayor is doing an excellent or good job handling the strike, with nearly three quarters rating him at average, below average or poor.

    She also had a great quote from Terry Mazany from last night: “The elephant in the room is Respect.” Yay for us, because we already knew that from the teachers who have posted here.

  • 19. Katy  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Quoted from a teacher

    “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?”

  • 20. Katy  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Written By CARLON MARIN- A WELL RESPECTED JOURNALIST

    In his 2011 campaign for mayor, he took the Chicago Teachers Union on as an adversary rather than attempt to make them a partner. He opted for a blunt instrument rather than a finessed approach. In hammering home how he was “for the children,” he left the implication that teachers were not.

    And then, shortly after his election, Emanuel went to Springfield to get Senate Bill 7 passed. Touted as education reform, it was really an anti-collective bargaining measure, setting up a 75 percent vote threshold for union members to authorize a strike.

    “I ran the numbers when I was at CPS,” said Terry Mazany, former interim CPS superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust. “Charters, based on . . . being freed from restrictions of bureaucracy, should be knocking the socks off neighborhood schools. But they’re not. It’s a dead heat.”

    And while there is, in this tortuuous contract fight, a lot of talk about making teachers more accountable — a good thing — there is no talk from the mayor about making charters similarly accountable. Charter schools are taxpayer-funded, but they’re not closely overseen by the Chicago Board of Education.

    Nobody argues Chicago isn’t in dire financial straits. Or that our schoolchildren aren’t in desperate need of every advantage we can muster for them.

    But teachers have been demonized to such an extent that it has led us to this strike.

    “The elephant in the room is respect,” Mazany said.

  • 21. Wednesday12  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    12. yes, you can do that in the catholic schools. Unfortunately CPS has archaic rules and approved rip off vendor lists. just more bureaucratic hoops + nonsense.

    9. Tollway money? I thought once the roads were paid for, the tolls would go away. Now we have IPASS…….where does the money really go?

  • 22. Stop The Madness!  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Last week it sounded like a strike could last three weeks (rumor given before strike was announced). A friend of mine whose good friend is a teacher mentioned 10 days. Do you think this could be resolved by Monday? I am so tired, and I really want to get the school year routine established for my family. Has anyone heard how the negotiations are going today?

  • 23. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Katy, you may want to go back to the other string. The gmail thing was already discussed.

    Basically, this is normal protocol when employees walk off of a job. Teachers were told this would happen in advance and it sounds like many prepared ahead of time and have their student contact information. As a poster also pointed out………..it is likely these students are all on facebook, so if this teacher did not plan ahead, they can still contact their students for letters of recommendation.

    You can go back and see the specifics if you want, but I think the above is a fair summary.

  • 24. Nathan  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Katy, “Let’s recognize the CTU strike for what it is. Plain and simple, it is about the union’s drive to protect Chicago’s children in spite of many obstacles, including years of mismanagement and underfunding by the city and Board of Education.” Okay, so how does your plan “protect Chicago’s children?” The contract items under negotiation have nothing to do with city management or broader funding of education, so those are red herrings.

    I have asked this many times but received no response. How does an antiquated evaluation system that rates 99.7% of teachers as adequate protect Chicago’s children? How does taking hiring decisions out the the hands of principals protect Chicago’s children? Answer those questions and I’m yours. Until then, I’ll stick with the Tribune editorial.

  • 25. ThinkAgain  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    23 are teachers supposed to be on facebook with students? if when there is a strike….inappropriate.

  • 26. on Alcott High School  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I just heard on Wgn radio a teacher talking about her experience at Alcott HS. 40 plus students in the classroom- some nearing 50. That is crazy. I thought this was going to be one of the good new high schools. Now I see why parents are interested in the Charter High schools….
    Who is going to Alcott, why is it so crowded. It is just going to be a Lakeview mini me wrought with problems. UGH!!!!

  • 27. Ouiser  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Here’s a nugget to throw in the mix… CPS school staff/(clerks, security, bus admins etc.) who are under a different union than the teachers (their contracts are already completed/secured) have been asked to participate in a “sympathetic” strike starting Friday, should the CTU still be on strike. This means that if all these folks, who are staffing/deployed to help the Children First contingency sites don’t show up, running these sites will be left to the Principals, central office staff, and any parent volunteers. As this individual understands it, this sympathetic strike would coincide for as long as the teachers strike lasts – not for just Friday only.

    First understand, that with the length of day being extended to 2:30 (6 hour day instead of 4), more parents will most likely be sending their children to these school sites, as their sick days/vacation days are depleted with every passing day of the strike. If this happens, the contingency sites are going to need all the staffing they have, if not more.

    Secondly, I personally think it’s totally unfair to these personnel, who already have a contract, be put in the position to not show up to work and risk losing their jobs, or face the backlash of being a “scab”. I am not a member of this group, but if it were me, I would hope the teachers would be understanding of my position and let me enter the school with no ill-will. Our family has been through a two year layoff…being without an income, feeling productive, etc.. sucks.

    It breaks my heart every time I hear “it’s all about the kids”, when clearly this whole mess is starting to effect/bring everyone in the city down. Our kids seem to be the LAST consideration…just sayin’…

  • 28. ThinkAgain  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    24 Clearly it doesn’t. If 99.7% of the teachers were adequate, the number of SE test takers would be off the charts.

  • 29. CPS DAD  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I think the biggest sticking point is going to be evaluations. Here is a good article which does not take sides either way.

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-12/we-evaluate-doctors-dot-why-not-chicago-teachers

  • 30. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    @27 Thank you for sharing. Let me see if I understand this right………..

    First, CTU tries to discredit the contingency student care by using scare tactics for parents saying they are a train wreck.

    Then CPS asks CTU to not picket at the Children First sites / holding centers.

    Next, CTU is shamelessly directing ALL its teachers to strike at Children First sites to harass students and parents who are seeking shelter (and food) from the strike the teachers chose.

    Now, CTU is trying to further punish the families and children who use the sites now open from 8:30-2:30 by having a sympathy strike?

    For the kids!?!?!?

  • 31. cubswin  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    “Last week it sounded like a strike could last three weeks (rumor given before strike was announced). A friend of mine whose good friend is a teacher mentioned 10 days.”

    Ten school days. That’s probably the minimum. That’s what’s expected by many/most teachers.

  • 32. junior  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    @27 Ouiser

    Wow. So, who are the bullies now? Lines of teachers preventing kids from getting into schools to get a meal and childcare. Why doesn’t Karen Lewis pick on someone her own size?

  • 33. klem  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Two things I heard on the radio while driving around today. First is that Rahm plans to pay for the increased salaries by closing 100 schools.

    Second is that the district’s plan is to open the schools next week, with or without the teachers.

  • 34. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    @33 Klem——-while driving did you accidentally hit a teacher in Bucktown 😉 (see HS mom in other string about wgn story on teacher hit)

    Want to know more about #1!!!!!!!!!!

    LOVE number 2!

  • 35. duh666  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    32 because jumbo is busy today.

  • 36. Nathan  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    @32 Junior

    You forgot. This is “for the kids” and we do have a youth obesity epidemic. . . .

  • 37. Ouiser  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    #30…Patricia…yep. And while there could be a plea to get parent volunteers in to help…anyone staffing these contingency sites needs to have cleared a background check. How can they do that on short order, when the central office staff has been deployed out to the 147 “holding centers”? There’s no one there to do the paperwork… Train wreck no longer seems fitting…it’s way worse than that.

    And for those parents already stretched, can’t afford babysitting/job responsibilities don’t meet the peramiters of the drop off/pick up times who are thinking their final option is to send their child to family out of state, etc…buy an open ended ticket for the return, as there is no indicator when the strike will end. Children will be expected to be in class and absences will count day one after the strike.

  • 38. Mom73  |  September 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    25. ThinkAgain-Go to facebook-don’t friend them-just send a message with your personal email. The student will send you an email back.

  • 39. duh666duh  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    38 — nope, CPS teachers are NOT allowed to email with students unless it is through the google account (CPS account). You could get fired over this.

  • 40. CPS Teachermom  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Hello everyone,

    You will hear complaints here & there from teachers out there who don’t want to strike, but by and large the teachers do support this strike, as evidenced by their overwhelming vote to authorize it. That is why it’s difficult to say “I support my child’s teacher, but not this strike.” Your child’s teacher wants this strike. They support it because if you happen to work on the south and/or the west side of the city, you have a VERY different job than those of our union who work on the north side, where, I daresay, most of you have your children. You can’t have a collective body (the union) which says that “it’s okay for you teachers who have it great here, but you teachers who are toiling over there, maybe for decades, tough it out, and good luck.” It’s not fair. I wish we weren’t on strike, as my children are out of school too, and I want be working (and can ill afford a strike), but on the other hand, the GOOD teachers at my difficult, underperforming school will simply be out of work altogether if we don’t fight the aggressive school closings. Most teachers pour their lives into their jobs, have been through many, many administrations, and have a vested interest in the students whom they serve. They also are parents and city residents. They aren’t willing to be collateral damage because those in power spew the latest education-think that says the almighty test scores mean more than actually teaching, that good teaching is reducible to numbers rather than being a fight for social justice, which it surely is in many neighborhoods. We work for the “least of these” and it’s wrong of many of the commentators on this forum to be complaining so much about how their child and their child’s school is faring in this strike when there are scores and hundreds of schools out there that are much, much more needy, and children who are more needy, who have teachers who love and care about them enough to fight for the privilege of continuing to teach them. If we do not strike, we will not be working in the near future. Schools that don’t have good test scores, schools that are on probation, don’t necessarily deserve to be turned into charters, where the teachers are young, the turnover is high, and corporate parasites benefit from educating children. Since when should any entity benefit from educating children? That is just wrong. The fight is about more than the contract…this is about the future of education, and it’s a moral question. “I do this job for the money…” said by NO teacher, EVER.

  • 41. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    @19 – Katy – teachers are not allowed to do any work for a student during a strike – NOT CPS rules – several people commented on that when the quote was made.

  • 42. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    @24 CTU has not opposed a new evaluation system; they have opposed the sloppy set-up.

    CPS wants to weight the value-added measure highly, but the value-added measures have wide confidence intervals. Go look at CPS reports; most of the value added numbers for grades and schools have a confidence interval that includes 0; essentially no reliable measurement could be made. What will CPS actually do? Use the unreliable number? Or over-weight test scores or other measures? Value-added advocates argue that you must use multiple years of data, but CPS has not committed to using multi-year averages.

    On classroom observations, CPS will only use non-principal observers for 1st year teachers, but the studies on the Danielson framework that CPS is using always had non-principal observers as well to gauge the reliability of principal observations. And in the pilot, a number of principals did not understand the framework, which the study authors note is essential for the system to work properly. In short, CPS is setting up a slip-shod version of an effective peer-review system.

    Keep in mind that the non-principal observers — who are experienced teachers from different schools than the faculty they are observing — tend to have more severe evaluations than the principals. So, CTU has been pushing a tough but fair system while CPS is pushing a less tough but unfair system, base on research already done in CPS.
    See:
    http://ccsr.uchicago.edu/publications/rethinking-teacher-evaluation-chicago-lessons-learned-classroom-observations-principal

  • 43. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    @40. CPS Teachermom: “We work for the “least of these” and it’s wrong of many of the commentators on this forum to be complaining so much about how their child and their child’s school is faring in this strike when there are scores and hundreds of schools out there that are much, much more needy, and children who are more needy, who have teachers who love and care about them enough to fight for the privilege of continuing to teach them. ”

    Please call your union rep and ask them for some new talking points, because the tear jerker about needy children really does not fly when the teachers are picketing the schools that attempt to feed these needy children during the strike.

  • 44. mom2  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I keep listening to teachers and parents and CTU reps on the radio and TV talking about what they want. The things they mention, for the most part, sound very nice for the kids. However no one, and I mean no one, has answered how on earth we would pay for this. I can’t support you when you have no idea how to pay for it or you think money grows on trees. So, the next time you post on this site, don’t just list something like smaller class sizes without explaining how to pay for it (and still pay you 16% more, etc.)

  • 45. Grace  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Hard Facts behind Union and Board Dispute

    Here is an analysis by a superb teacher and administrator Dr. Karafiol of Walter Payton h.s. entitled, Hard Facts behind Union Board Dispute.

    He explains the lack of substance behind merit pay, the futility of teaching to the test, and the likelihood that under the teacher evaluation system CPS proposes along with the Mayor’s emphasis on opening many new charters, about 5,000 teachers will lose their jobs in the next few years.

    Class sizes will jump. Kids will suffer.

    We will see how negotiations eventually turn out. But if class sizes don’t jump, then we can all thank our teachers and Ms. Lewis for their efforts in this struggle.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/15068666-452/hard-facts-behind-union-board-dispute.html

  • 46. Mom73  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    41. HS Mom- opps sorry, I hope I didn’t get anyone in trouble. It may have been emails directly to third parties that my friend was referring to. I really didn’t ask specifics. I would hope CPS wouldn’t fire a teacher sending out college recommendations, but who knows.

  • 47. TiredofIT  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    45 how will class sizes not jump when there is NO MONEY, especially NO MONEY after 16% raises. That fuzzy CPS math again.

  • 48. anonymouse teacher  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    @19, CPS teachers are strictly forbidden from being facebook friends or contacting or being contacted by any student, current or former (unless student has graduated from HS) through facebook. This is a fireable offense. Don’t do it.

  • 49. anonymouse teacher  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    @46,they wouldn’t fire someone for filling out college apps. They’d fire the teacher for misusing social media. The rules are in place partly to protect teachers. That way, if there is any question at all about what was written, it can be pulled up through the CPS archiving system. We were told point blank that if a student tries to friend you on face book we are not even allowed to answer. No teacher should be talking to students by email or facebook other than CPS approved emails on both sides. We are not even allowed to speak to students via any phone other than a CPS phone. There are very serious consequences to not following these protocols.

  • 50. Mom73  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    49. anonymouse teacher, the rules makes sense in normal times. Just trying to get the student what they need. I just feel so bad for the seniors! I’m sorry.

  • 51. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    @32 OK – Junior LOL

  • 52. CPS Teachermom  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    “Please call your union rep and ask them for some new talking points, because the tear jerker about needy children really does not fly when the teachers are picketing the schools that attempt to feed these needy children during the strike.”

    I really don’t see a problem with picketing the holding schools. Do you know what you are talking about? No one is interfering with or heckling the kids or parents who are going inside. When I was at a west side grammar and a little boy who looked to be about 6 was walking inside with his mom, striking teachers waved to him and clapped for him. He waved back. Add to that the experience of my husband, a Central Office employee who’s working as a babysitter at a high school on the north side…he has been treated very respectfully by the high school teachers picketing outside. He is trying to buy an “I Support the CTU” t-shirt to wear to work. He has no choice but to go in, but he fully supports the strike and the agenda of the CTU. Generally speaking, Angie, it is the wealthiest and most entitled portion of the system who complain the loudest and longest. Most working class parents and parents living in poverty support this strike, and I can tell you that the strongest support (and the most honks of support) come from people who live in the poorest ZIP codes.

  • 53. cubswin  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    @TiredofIT said…..

    “how will class sizes not jump when there is NO MONEY, especially NO MONEY after 16% raises. That fuzzy CPS(sic) math again.”

    The CTU has some vague idea about how not allowing more charters will free up money to do their long list of wants. But charters usually have startup funding from private donors, and currently cost less per student.

    I have no idea how CPS can pay for any of the additional costs of the CTU contract. Especially 16% in raises.

    Class size seems to need to increase, not decrease.

  • 54. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    @39 – then use a friends e-mail.

  • 55. ISupportMyTeachers  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I agree with the belief that a lot of these posts are not real.

    Please don’t pay attention to some of these posters. I have been involved in enough “causes” to see paid posters before. Well, perhaps not paid, but definitely encouraged to post here. Remember that Rahm hired paid protesters before. He would not be above that.

    That said, have a fundraising drive for air conditioners? Are you out of your mind? Do you actually realize that there are a lot — a lot — of schools in this district where you could not find a parent to contribute $20 to a fundraiser.

    I worked last year for an hour at my son’s school — with no air conditioning. I almost passed out after ONE HOUR. And this is in a great neighborhood school. I feared for the health of my child.

    This is the state of our school system. 50th in the nation yet we blame the TEACHERS for the fact that the schools are crumbling.

    Why aren’t we rallying in Springfield? Why aren’t we pounding on the doors, demanding more money for our schools?

    Rahm takes away a raise that was already agreed to. Then he asks teachers to work a longer school day. Then when they’re not jumping at the bit to do that (having not been included in any planning), he goes behind teachers’ backs to work backroom deals with a handful of schools to extend the school day. He parades these schools around in the faces of the unions, praising them for being unique in their desire to truly support Chicago kids.

    Oh. And he finds the money to give THEM bonuses.

    That’s not being a bully? That’s being a leader? That’s not begging for a fight?

    We close schools, fire all the experienced teachers, replace them with new, cheaper, less experienced teachers, turn it over to a private, profit-making entity, see ZERO improvements, and we’re worried about teachers??

    Can anyone say, “parking meters”?

    Wake up, CPS parents. Stand with the CTU.

  • 56. Cap_Bucs  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    If this strike is really about class size, then CTU would settle for much less than a 16% raise. The state of IL is broke, and the city of Chicago is broke. I am 100% for more money being allocated to public education. Unfortunately there is not money to be allocated without further raising taxes we can barely afford to pay now.

    This strike will drive everyone into the arms of charter schools, that seems to be able to get the same (if not better) results with less tax payer dollars.

  • 57. mom2  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    So now CTU supporters are planning ahead – They predict something terrible is going to happen (in this case class sizes jumping) . And, then they say that if it doesn’t happen (in this case class sizes jumping), we must thank the CTU for it not happening? Huh? You could plug in anything you want with this logic. Let’s see, I predict that all the kids at Northside and Payton will flunk their first year of college. If that doesn’t happen, you can thank the CTU. I predict that all the kids at Northside and Payton will pass their first year of college. If that doesn’t happen, you can thank the CTU for that.

  • 58. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    @46 the best thing to do at this time, if you’re, in a pinch is get a recommendation from the principal or AP

  • 59. 1st time CPS mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    @55 is this one of those “paid poster”

  • 60. CPS Teachermom  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    @Mom2: How about generating funds by stopping the stream of public monies flowing into the charters, and stopping the starvation of the good, but underperforming neighborhood schools? There is such a thing as a “good” school with bad test scores. One would only think that is not true if one subscribes to the untruth that the only way to measure the success of a school is to measure test scores.

    “The revolution will not be standardized.”

  • 61. Grace  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Did it make sense to lengthen a school day when the district had a $600 mln deficit? We couldn’t afford the day we had.

    Add to that a rapid expansion of charters.

    Both initiatives are not necessary.

    The teachers salary are not driving this budget into the toilet. It is the huge expansion into charters.

    You want larger class sizes? So Emanuel can afford more charters?For campaign financiers and others who are politically connected?

    Carol Marin just quoted former interim CEO Terry Mazany as saying that Chicago Charters Do Not Out Perform Neighborhood Public Schools.

    He’s seen the data and done the research.

  • 62. cubswin  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    How much do charters cost?

  • 63. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Question. Can’t teachers be hired by charter operators? Yes, CTU looses membership, but there are still teacher jobs out there. Is that what this is really about? I have met some charter school teachers who seem quite happy with the environment.

  • 64. Grace  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    If the strike prevents the mayor from firing 5,000 teachers, then the class sizes don’t jump.

    Students win!

  • 65. mom2  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I totally understand how the poorest parents support the strike. It is because they are not thinking about this from a money perspective, just like most supporters here. Where are you going to find the money to pay for all this? It sounds wonderful to have well paid, happy teachers that teach interesting subjects to well fed kids in comfortable surroundings with all the supplies they need in a classroom of less than 20 kids per teacher, with every child doing their homework and listening attentively, with little to no standardized tests necessary because everyone is getting a score int he 30’s on their ACTs. Everyone wants that. Everyone. That is not the fight. Really. Even the wealthy mayor and his team and Mitt Romney want that for our city, our state and our country.
    Show me the money to make it happen. Are you saying we have to strike until Mitt and Oprah give all their money to CPS?

  • 66. ncm  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    @55 – Are you a paid CTU lobbyist? I agree that it hard to know what is real and what is not. A/C is not worth keeping our children out of school. I know it has been said before, but I was not in an air conditioned school building until I went to college! I didn’t melt and neither will your kids or their teachers. Not ideal, but A/C should be on the “would be nice to have” list and not the “strike until the cows come home” list.

  • 67. Grace  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Patricia,

    You might enjoy this.

    http://realworlddialogue.blogspot.com

  • 68. barking up the wrong tree  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    @55 – many of the posters here have been posting for months even years (long before a strike) on various topics that effect their children.

    How long have you been posting here?

  • 69. Look for the Agenda  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    #55. Kudos! Stand with CTU or become another Detroit-charters are working real well there…

  • 70. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    @52. CPS Teachermom ” No one is interfering with or heckling the kids or parents who are going inside. ”

    That is not what being reported in the media, and is not what happening at all schools. Please see post #1182. dememom in previous thread. Also, CTU apparently asked the other union that is currently staffing these schools and taking care of these needy children to join the strike. How does that help the kids, again?

    “Most working class parents and parents living in poverty support this strike, and I can tell you that the strongest support (and the most honks of support) come from people who live in the poorest ZIP codes.”

    That’s because you’ve been handing them flyers and feeding them lies about fighting for nurses, social workers and better schools.

    CTU already admitted that this is not true. http://www.ieanea.org/media/2012/09/Why-are-we-on-strike.pdf

    Why won’t you?

  • 71. voice of reason  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I read through about half of these comments before I wanted to throw my computer out the window. I’m sorry, how many of you disgruntled parents have ever taught in a wet side or south side school?? None. Well I have. I have spent my career all over this city in classrooms and you don’t have a clue– you think we don’t care about the kids because we aren’t in school now? We aren’t in school because we DO care about the kids. The difference is, we care about ALL of the kids, not just yours. I left my school on friday with an enrollment of 39 kids in my freshman English class. 39. If they all had shown up, which thank god they did not, six of them would have had to sit on the floor because i neither had six more desks, nor could have fit them in the room even if I did. And it was about 90 degrees in the room, no AC, only the three fans I bought out of my own money. Sweat ran in rivers down my back. At this same school, 45-55 in Music and Art classes. No textbooks or money to buy books. No markers, scissors, poster paper, post-its. No overtime for staying and tutoring kids, for coming in on weekends or during spring break to help prepare my kids for the AP test they desperately want to pass. Don’t tell me we don’t care about the kids because we aren’t there. Walk a mile– no, walk a DAY– in my shoes, and tell me I don’t care. Tell me my colleagues don’t care. Do you know how many kids I fed last year, who came to my room to study before school or during a free period, who were afraid to go to lunch? We need some help. Maybe the teachers at your schools don’t. Maybe they have everything they need. Congratulations. You’re part of the 5%. Pat yourselves on the back for that then shut your mouth and open your damned eyes– things may npt be tough in your neck of the woods, but they are tough all over this city. I’m SICK of seeing my students shortchanged. I’m sick of it. And I’m sick of mommies and daddies who only care about their own 2.5 children. This is a fight for ALL of our kids. We have to stick up ofr them. Don’t you dare blame us for doing that, you selfish, spoiled, entitled babies.

  • 72. ncm  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    @63 Patrica – Exactly. If 100 CPS schools are closed and 60 charters open (with fuller enrollment than the under enrolled/under performing 100 schools, thereby possibly requiring more teachers), there will still be teaching jobs, just less union dues to collect. This.Is.About.Maintaining.Union.Power. Wake up, people.

  • 73. Grace  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Imagine a Track E schoolroom, old, brick building, 3rd floor, on a blistering day with 35 8th grade kids?

    Last summer, a heat wave sent kids from an academic center to the emergency room,

    Have a heart.

  • 74. mom2  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    voice of reason and Grace – we have a heart. We really really do. Stop calling people names.

    Where is the city going to get the money to pay for these things? It is my understanding that closing under-enrolled schools will actually give CPS some money that could be used to help with the things you mention, but you are fighting against that. Where does the CTU propose we get enough money to pay for all these things? Closing charters won’t even get you close to what you would need.

  • 75. ncm  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    @71 – I agree with you completely and I believe thay is what you are fighting for. Your union simply isn’t. Have you reviewed the press releases (which are vastly different than what is being handed out to teachers and parents – see @3)? Your leader’s commentary will not convince me to care about purely union labor contract issues (salary, benefits, tenure) more than a child’s education, including, WITHOUT LIMITATION, my own. If this was at all about sticking up for the kids, I’d be right there with you.

  • 76. klem  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    @34: I think the report said most of the schools were on the south and west sides. I work kids on the west side, however, and they are all from very large schools.

  • 77. mamab  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    @voice of reason
    If that comment is your best example of a “voice of reason”, I feel sorry for your students.

  • 78. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    @71. voice of reason: “This is a fight for ALL of our kids. We have to stick up ofr them”

    So how about puting your money where your mouth is, and giving up your 16% raise to pay for all of this?

    No? Thought so. Then don’t even bother with these guilt trips.

  • 79. cubswin  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    @ Patricia said……

    “Question. Can’t teachers be hired by charter operators? Yes, CTU looses membership, but there are still teacher jobs out there. Is that what this is really about? I have met some charter school teachers who seem quite happy with the environment.”

    Many charter teachers have worked in urban union schools. I have both CTU and charter teachers in my family. All like their job. All work with tier 1/2 students.
    Charter teachers are organizationally much closer to the real bosses. A CTU teacher is a long, long way from the decision makers.

  • 80. James  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    @1214 CPS Teachermom & 71 voice of “reason” —

    With all due respect, what crap. This isn’t about “the future of education.” It’s about getting a contract and getting back in the classroom. “The future of education” isn’t decided by strikes. It’s decided in the policy and political arenas. The remaining big demands are over recall policy and figuring out a doable evaluation policy — and your emotional statements about how bad things are on the south and west sides (which I do not doubt, by the way) don’t touch on those things at all.

    You and your union are holding hundreds of thousands of innocent kids hostage for things that will not — and, by law, cannot — be in this contract. Get back to the table, compromise, and get back to work. Now. Then continue to fight for the “the future of education” without holding children hostage.

  • 81. Logan Dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Is it just me, or does i appear that a lot of “fake” parents are posting here in support of CTU? From what I can tell “CPS Teachermom” and “Isupportmyteachers” both seem to be working from a common script.

    (By the way “Isupport…” Mayor Daley passed the meter deal which makes me believe you may actually be posting from another location completely. Which is hilarious!)

    Does anyone know if CTU has a “Digital Ops” team that is out posting comments and filling out polls? I suspect they do and that a number of posters here and elsewhere are on it.

    Real Chicago Parents – Please consider the source when cruising the blagosphere.

  • 82. cubswin  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    @78. Angie said….

    “So how about puting your money where your mouth is, and giving up your 16% raise to pay for all of this?
    No? Thought so. Then don’t even bother with these guilt trips.”

    Plenty of teachers would give up some pay for A/C. But it’s not as simple as putting in a window unit. Some track E schools were miserable this year.

  • 83. anonymouse teacher  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    @54, really? Disregard rules intended to ensure no sexual relationship occurs between students and teachers? So, you are okay then with the 50 year old “coach” emailing your high school daughter for only god knows what reason from his facebook page– as long as it is during a strike? Don’t you realize that if this teacher uses a friend’s email and some issue arises, there will be a court order and the IP address will be tracked down and the teacher, whether he or she did anything wrong or not, will be FIRED? Isn’t this kind of thinking a little bit like “I only speed when the cops aren’t around”?
    We ALL feel bad for the seniors not getting college letters in time, the athletes not participating in sports and the kids not in class. But rules are there for a reason, especially these ones.
    Everyone, and I mean everyone on this board complains about not being able to fire teachers. Well, here is one case where there is no problem on the part of a district being able to fire a teacher. Teachers must be extremely careful.

  • 84. mom2  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    “Some pay” isn’t enough to pay for AC in CPS buildings and I haven’t heard Karen Lewis once say that she would be willing to give back some any or all of the 16% to pay for any of the things she is demanding. I think she wants to take this fight to Springfield and Washington DC to get the funding for education that all children of America and the world deserve.

  • 85. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    So what is actually involved in getting the air conditioning in the classroom? I understand that this is more complicated than buying the AC unit at Home Depot and hiring a handyman to install it, but what is the exact procedure?

  • 86. Portage Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I think as parents we need to organize so our voices are heard. I’m not just talking about now with the strike which the more I research, the more I think part of the problem is our mayor with this particular issue. I hold Karen Lewis also accountable. I think she sees this as an opportunity to further the agenda of unions on a national level. That’s just my take.

    There so many problems in Illinois and our legislators have avoided doing much of anything in terms of fixing these problems especially when it comes to public funded pensions. I don’t think we can afford to keep delaying on working this issue. They had no problem cutting funding for education and we can only be assured of more cuts are on their way despite taxpayers paying a huge increase in taxes, none of which went towards education.

    Clearly, lawmakers are not representing the citizens very well. They represent the special interest groups very well since they contribute generously to their campaign and they pay themselves well. We, the citizens of Illinois are left holding the bag. I believe for the sake of our children we must find the time and effort and organize ourselves so we can respond or help craft legislation that supports the needs of our children. We simply cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and hope are children’s needs will be a high priority. If this state is to find it’s way back to fiscal reality and reasonable funding, parents have to push legislators to make it happen. They simply will not do it on their own.

    Do we need to all join Raise Your Hand or some other organization, I don’t know but I do know I intend getting off the sidelines of this issue and letting my voice be heard by my elected officals. There is strength in numbers. If education is to move forward in Illinois, we will need the collective voices of all taxpayers and particularly parents.

  • 87. City Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    My contribution to the jingles:

    No AC
    Don’t push Track E!

  • 88. CPS Teachermom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I wish I was a fake parent, lol. No, I am very much real, I teach 2nd grade, my husband is also a Board employee, our kids attend CPS, and I have “skin in the game.” I wish Rahm did. I really have to stop posting, since I am still working…I have a lot of grading to do. And by the way, James, it is not true that the important “permissive” matters, as they are called, cannot be addressed in this contract, if CPS gets real about compromise. There can be real change in this contract and this fight is also about more than just the contract, whether you understand that or not. It is about the future of public education.

  • 89. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Chris – I am going to take the liberty of re-posting one of your comments – thank-you in advance and don’t accuse me of being a paid poster. BTW is there money to be made off this? If so, how

    @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?

  • 90. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    @83 – I see your point. I suggested going to the principal, probably safer.

  • 91. momto2  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Oops…just realized that I posted on the old page…

    @1183 – I agree that Jesse Sharkey seems genuinely passionate for what he is doing…as opposed to Ms. Lewis…who appears out of the loop or just disinterested. My concern with Mr. Sharkey, though, is that I keep waiting or him to tell us what he proposes…instead of a bunch of platitudes about how teachers should be involved in the process. That is all well and good…but there is a law that has to be complied with and an actual plan is needed. I have reviewed the plan for REACH (CPS’s teacher eval plan)…but where is the counter from CTU. REACH was completed in March of 2012…why don’t they have a counter plan???

  • 92. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    @85 Angie – it’s huge and would cost billions not millions. This was discussed in detail in PP.

  • 93. momto2  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Strike the “@1183″…

  • 94. TwoCats  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I’ve been reading the posts on this site without posting for months. I’m worried about the decidedly negative tone against teachers, since I am one. I miss my classroom, my focus when the alarm rings, and mostly, my students (I barely know them yet). I am not motivated to stand in front of the building. With more time on my hands than I want, I’ve wanted to dispel the notion that CTU doesn’t know what it really wants. Then, I read Rod Estvan’s post on the District 299 blog. Obviously, I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. His wheel is perfect on its own:

    Thanks to Alexander for posting the Sun Times article that discussed the Mayor’s comment on the legality of the current CTU strike in relation to the two issues the Mayor and CPS are focusing on. These issues are: 1. A new teacher evaluation system; 2 Teacher recall provisions. But let’s be clear here the CTU stated yesterday that it had signed off on tentative sub agreements on only 6 of 48 or 49 total provisions in a contract the union would like to see.

    The reason CPS is refusing to publicly acknowledge that there are massive issues outstanding is because they are attempting to create as the Sun Times speculated the context for the Mayor to “pull the trigger in seeking a court injunction to stop the strike.”

    While CPS and the Mayor are arguing they would much rather settle the dispute at the bargaining table than in a courtroom they none the less may be attempting to put the CTU into a trap. Let me explain how this trap might work and how the bait might be placed. Each of the articles of the expired CTU agreement probably can legally be determined to be either a subject covered by 115 ILCS 5/4.5 or a subject not covered.

    If the CTU and CPS come to agreement on all non 4.5 areas and leave the other areas open for discussion then the trap might be closed. Because then CPS believes it can easily file for a court injunction to stop the strike because the formally outstanding issues are all covered by section 4.5 which are not strikable issues. But the CTU is also formally striking over unfair labor practices which is totally out of the scope of section 4.5 so that complicates the CPS strategy. How a judge would view all this is way beyond me. But it would seem best if the CTU simply refused to settle at least some aspects of any wage deal until and if CPS agrees to come to agreement on all outstanding articles from the prior contract that can be construed to be section 4.5 issues.

    All of this brings me back to my continuing rant about how screwed up SB7 has made the entire collective bargaining process, but I am sure you all have heard that from me before. I am not going to get into the issues around the implementation of the Illinois Performance Evaluation Reform Act in relation to CPS because I honestly think it’s too complex for a blog posting. Suffice it to simply say Jenn Ridder and I wrote an extensive white paper Access Living published in October 2011 titled Holding Educators Accountable for the Academic Growth of Students with Disabilities. The issues relating to value added measurement and testing instruments are extremely complex and if anyone wants to read through our analysis I will send you a copy of the white paper if you email me at Restvan@accessliving.org.

    On the recall provisions. The arguments the Mayor, CPS Board member Dr. Hines, and some principals are making about the need for principals to select their own staff are all well and good, but many older senior teachers with good ratings from schools that have been closed down have not been hired. We had last month over 300 unfilled special education positions alone and I personally know of some CPS special education teachers who were unemployed after being cut in the shutdown of schools. In particular younger principals in many cases seem reluctant to hire new staff with a greater pedagogical knowledge base than their own. In other cases principals question the paper ratings of these laid off teachers, based on supposition in some cases or the history of the teacher’s prior school.

    This is now a particularly big problem because of the fact that last year according to the Chicago Principals & Administrators Association 92 principals and 50 assistant principals retired. The members of the CTU believe CPS is systematically discriminating in particular against older senior teachers who have been cut due to school closings. Until CPS proves to the membership of the CTU that principals are hiring based on a even playing field this issue will not easily be resolved. Until CPS agrees to create serious and enforceable recall rules for teachers who are cut due to school closings, be that the best thing for students in certain situations or not, this issue is likely not to be solved. It is a credit to the younger CPS teachers that they are standing with their older colleagues in relation to this issue. I would also add that I am impressed with the TFAers who are supporting the strike and walking the line in many if not most cases just like all other teachers.

    Lastly, President Vitale’s derisive remarks about striking teachers having fun while children are not being educated mistakes what is taking place. Teachers are being transformed, they are seeing the union not as something they just pay to belong to, but as something they own. There is a joy in that process and it is part truly fun. Being inherently somewhat skeptical by nature I never thought I would live to see this happen in relation to the CTU or a teachers union in general. I now do see that it has happened.

    Rod Estvan

  • 95. CPS Teachermom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Just ONE more thing. I don’t need a raise! I can pay my bills! I love my job! I would be MORE than happy to have a pay freeze in exchange for some more important issues (the forbidden “permissive issues” that I hope will be opened up any day now, once CPS realizes they need to be). I am okay with my paycheck! What I do need is some legal language in the contract that assures me that I will not be thrown out with the bathwater when the Board sees fit to close my good, filled-with-teachers-with-heart and teachers-who-care, underperforming, on-probation school. I want to keep teaching and middle-aged, more experienced, dedicated teachers like me are not exactly going to be the first choice (especially coming from a “failed” school). Not that I am sure my school will close…but everyone is afraid. And I have met wonderful, National Board certified teachers in their sixties who have been booted out of their jobs when their school was turned around. I am not that old, but I know it can happen to me, too, and I am standing up for teachers everywhere. That’s the point of a union. It’s not all about money. Solidarity.

  • 96. anonymouse teacher  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    No the AC issue should not go away. Unless we are only going to hold school when it is less than 85 degrees outside, the AC issue is a long term issue that needs a long term plan. Please, go to Lane Tech HS and ask for a tour on a hot day. Ask to see the 4th floor. Ask to sit in on a classroom about 1 p.m. and stay for at least an hour. You will experience conditions that mirror a sweat shop. I don’t think or believe we will have AC’s in our schools in the next year or two. How about a plan that covers the next 50 years? At least there’d be a plan. Is it not possible to at least examine a long term plan?

  • 97. EdgewaterMom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    @88 (CPS TeacherMom) You said ” I really have to stop posting, since I am still working …I have a lot of grading to do.”. Does that mean that you are not working at a “real” school (ie you work for a charter)?

  • 98. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    @92. HS Mom : “@85 Angie – it’s huge and would cost billions not millions. This was discussed in detail in PP.”

    I’ve heard that, but I still want to know what the exact procedure is if someone wants to put a window unit in their classroom.

    Do they have to buy it from a certain vendor? Do they have to hire the installers from a certain union? Does all that red tape make it 10 times more expensive than the actual cost?

    What, exactly, is the problem here?

  • 99. Logan Dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    @CPS Teachermom

    So, I guess the question I have for you is this. Are you posting on behalf of the CTU? Or are you part of a group of teachers working under the direction of the CTU? I think it’s OK if you are and recognize that these type of campaigns happen throughout public and private causes but it would be good for the rest of us parents to know your official capacity. Especially here on CPS Obsessed.

  • 100. CPS Teachermom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    OK, I am still reading and haven’t started grading. No. I work at a CPS school that is not a charter. I am just grading because that can be done privately, at home, without undermining the efforts of the union. I am also still reading the new Lucy CaIkins books that have been re-written in light of Common Core, and I am still lesson planning. I picket in the morning as I am required to do, and I also usually go to the afternoon rallies. I was at Marshall today. My kids always come with me…I call it a civics lesson.

    In addition to grading, I still talk on the phone to parents of my students who call me… I gave them all my cell phone number at the beginning of the year.

    I LOVE Rod Estvan’s post. If some of you do not know him, his writing is worth checking out.

  • 101. CPS Teachermom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    @CPS Teachermom

    “So, I guess the question I have for you is this. Are you posting on behalf of the CTU? Or are you part of a group of teachers working under the direction of the CTU? I think it’s OK if you are and recognize that these type of campaigns happen throughout public and private causes but it would be good for the rest of us parents to know your official capacity. Especially here on CPS Obsessed.”

    No. As I said, I am a teacher and a mom of 3 kids in CPS. My husband also works for the Board. My opinions are mine alone and I don’t speak for or represent any group.

  • 102. mommy of sara  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Patricia, MUST you be so condescending in your reply? Jeez……. @23

  • 103. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    @96 – theoretically, as older buildings are phased out the issue is resolved, but you’re right, there needs to be a plan. Coming up with 3Billion right now doesn’t seem possible. The project itself would require a considerable amount of time even if it were plausible (rewiring the building, upgrading whole electrical systems and running ductwork through 100 year old buildings). Not to mention that some of these buildings may already be scheduled for replacement. Scheduling a calendar, as one solution, to minimize heat days is do-able. Re-scheduling heat days etc.

    Lane Tech – does anyone from Chicago not have a friend or family member that went there? Multiple people have remarked about not going to school with A/C. I think we can relate.

  • 104. mom2  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Why is it that no one will answer about where the money is going to come from? And, FYI, I have a child at Lane and agree 100% about how hot it is in there. No one could learn there when it is that hot, but I don’t think a strike will solve that. The school is wonderful and the building is beautiful but very old and I think there might even be electrical and other safety issues with adding air conditioners (that goes beyond the cost of just purchasing the units or systems).

  • 105. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Angie – A/C requires 220 power which is not standard. Depending on the capacity of the power box feeding the units, that would also need to be replaced and new power brought into the building…..a whole host of other issues. I would imagine there would be all kinds of regulations governing the stability, mounting, safety in a class room. Not to mention the noise. Can’t see hanging an A/C off the 4th floor of Lane Tech.

  • 106. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    @102 Sorry you took it as condescending. It was not meant to be. I was just trying to be concise and not belabor the point and know Kate would go back if she wanted to. Kate is very knowledgeable and a frequent poster. I think it would be condescending if I belabored it too long.

  • 107. ISupportMyTeachers  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    #59 I am a PROUD CPS parent at a high-performing neighborhood school. Nope. Sorry to disappoint you, but I am not a paid poster. Just a mom.

    However, again, I do see the signs of some who may be. I have been involved in local issues many times. I do not want to see my teachers disheartened by what MAY be insincere remarks.

  • 108. mommy of sara  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    “I have asked this many times but received no response. How does an antiquated evaluation system that rates 99.7% of teachers as adequate protect Chicago’s children? How does taking hiring decisions out the the hands of principals protect Chicago’s children? Answer those questions and I’m yours. Until then, I’ll stick with the Tribune editorial.”

    Isn’t it the same principals who the mayor argues should have “complete control” over hiring the same ones rating teachers as adequate? Seems odd or plain false, on one hand you trust the principals with hiring but on the other hand you don’t trust them to evaluate teachers??? I love how no one in the press seem to get this contradiction.

  • 109. mommy of sara  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Also, I have seen the 99% number thrown around as being the percent of teachers rated as effective. Please site your source. Someone? Anyone?

  • 110. HydePark Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Off topic, sorry, but if anyone is looking for some ways to divert the kids, the museum of sci and industry is FREE all month! We went today, lots of families.

  • 111. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    @105. HS Mom : Thank you, now I understand. There actually are 115v air conditioners that hang inside the room, and are flush with the window on the outside. But they would still require an upgraded electrical wiring.

  • 112. mommy of sara  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    @Logan DadIs “it just me, or does i appear that a lot of “fake” parents are posting here in support of CTU? From what I can tell “CPS Teachermom” and “Isupportmyteachers” both seem to be working from a common script.”

    1. Fake parents, really? Why? Because they don’t agree with your opinions?
    2. Not a cps mom yet but as a citizen I am just as concerned about the state of education in Chicago. That should not exclude me from having an opinion, should it?

  • 113. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    @109. mommy of sara: “Also, I have seen the 99% number thrown around as being the percent of teachers rated as effective. Please site your source. Someone? Anyone?”

    Tim Knowles on yesterday’s WTTW panel. And that number is actually 99.7%.

  • 114. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    @109 mommy of sara

    See post @29 above for business week link. Quote below. I believe I have also seen the number quoted in times and trib, but some use the flipside saying only .3% are not satisfactory. Hope that helps answer you question 🙂

    “Aren’t Chicago teachers already evaluated? Technically, yes. But as of 2007, 99.7 percent of them received a satisfactory to distinguished rating, according to the AP. Evaluations so gentle do nothing to protect students from sub-par instructors.”

  • 115. Esmom  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Regarding the a/c issue, although that imo is the least of all the factors in play here. Yes we went to school when it was hot and didn’t have a/c. But the climate has seriously changed. Just today I read that we had over 40 days this year over 90 degrees, when the average is (was?) 13.

    I was ready to be dismissive about a/c but I’m rethinking that. Other districts do have excessive heat policies to address the heat in un-air conditioned schools or classrooms.

  • 116. cps dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    @109 quick google of 99.7 chicago evaluation 2007

    http://ccsr.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/publications/Teacher%20Eval%20Report%20FINAL.pdf

  • 117. mom2  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    In case anyone thinks I am paid by any group – no way. I’ve been posting on this site for over a year or more I think. I have two kids in CPS and wish we lived in the burbs right now. I have family members that are and were teachers in both public and private schools. I am more than frustrated with the CTU and have also been very frustrated and vocal about the one size fits all attitude of CPS and wish it was broken into smaller school systems because one size doesn’t fit all in this city with vastly different needs. I have been known to change my mind when someone explains their perspective and is able to answer and address all my questions and concerns and have been known to get mad and dig in my heals when someone keeps saying the same thing and doesn’t address all concerns or starts calling people names. Not paid. Wish I was!

  • 118. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Angie – yes. To service the classroom you would need a unit powerful enough and some of the newer, slimmer units are more costly and typically are connected to a power box that is installed on a roof or somewhere outside requiring interior cabling…..well – you’re getting the picture here. No easy fix. Plugging in a unit from Home Depot is possible but not to code.

  • 119. cps dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    I have a question. How does the CPS or CTU know that a school is underperforming? Graduation rate? test scores? number of absecenses?

  • 120. Logan Dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    @ISupportMyTeachers

    Thanks for your response. While I believe you’re not being paid, my question is are you working under the direction or as part of team directed by CTU? I think it’s OK if you are as these type of communications are common throughout the web. I just think it’s important and fair to state this, especially on a parent focused site like CPS Obsessed.

    Certain syntax and claims (the perjorative “my” for example) seems out of place for an individual poster.

    There’s a great battle going on right now for hearts and minds and while I respect your views my instincts lead me to believe that you are not posting solely for youself.

  • 121. mommy of sara  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Since we love facts and Data please reflect on the following data: what do you make of it CPSOBSESSED? Curious about your opinion. I herald this at a CTU informational meeting. As a white woman it does give me a huge pause. I found the data/link the speakers referenced.

    “Already, the demographics of the teaching profession in Chicago have notably shifted, as the private managers who run charter schools tend to favor rookie teachers who are younger and far less likely to be minorities, studies have shown. Today, just 19 percent of the teaching force in Chicago is African American, down from 45 percent in 1995, the union says; organizers fear that shift means fewer teachers have deep roots in and passion for the communities where they work. About 59 percent of the city’s 400,000 public school students are of color and 87 percent are low-income, according to district figures.”

    As I stated early I am intrigued by this whole cps/CTU issue.

  • 122. mommy of sara  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    So Patricia and Angie how do reconcile the “trust principals to hire the best”. But then we don’t trust them to do their other job? Seems like they want to play both hands of the deck. It I am thinking critically, I personally find a huge flaw in this. (not trying to antagonize-want to see it both ways)

    Also, if this has been covered or answered please answer again without criticism. Many posters do not have time or can read every single post. I am trying to make sense of cps position on this one.

  • 123. mommy of sara  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Trust to hire….don’t trust to evaluate…..?

  • 124. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    For all of you who think “voice of reason” is off base, I have a modest proposal.

    Shut down the magnet, regional gifted, SE HS, classical, language, and all the other beyond-the-basics schools, and redeploy the resources to all the underperforming neighborhood schools to upgrade their facilities, purchase their supplies, and hire the best teachers and administrators. Charterize those schools, with the parents of the attending students voting (by an election conducted by the Chicago Board of Elections, not CPS) for a board of trustees from open candidate pool. The trustees would appoint a principal and could fire the principal at will. The principal could hire and fire faculty at will. Every six months the parents would vote separately by a simple majority whether to retain each trustee. If dismissed, they could elect a new one.

    No? Thought so. Then don’t even bother telling me how you’re for the children.

    This is after all a modest proposal.

  • 125. cps alum  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Honest question. This strike has a lot to do with teacher evaluation and how CPS evaluates its own teachers. On the same token, CPS closes schools and allows charters to reopen in their place. But—how are teachers at the Charters evaluated? Assuming you are pro-charter and pro-value added evaluations, is there any guarantee that the Charter schools that open in place of neighborhood schools will evaluate effectively?

  • 126. Grace  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    cpsmom, you are not paranoid.
    This site is now filled with posters from outside PACs and advocacy groups funded by billionaires like Stand for Children IL and hedge fund managers like Democrats for Education Reform. They are out in full force — trying to shift public opinion.

    There is a huge, expensive pr and tv ad campaign, and it extends to having college grads pund on a keyboard of social media sites. This one has been very popular, b/c parents like gifted, magnet and selective schools very much.

    They want to get this audience to think the usual teacher bashing is true.

  • 127. Grace  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    cpsmom

    these PACS are the same folks that the WBEZ and the Trib called months ago for acting as proxies for the mayor.

    Just google Jonah Edelman, braggart, aspen ideas video for a good look at their strategies.

    Then, if you want to note a real concern for the adults and kids, google Dr. Karafiol’s article in the Sun Times entitled Hard Fact behind the union district dispute

  • 128. Grace  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    cps mom

    Finally, don’t wast a lot of time here. Trolls have taken over and are spewing false facts, like the greedy teachers make an average of $74,000+ a year.
    Google Fred Klonsky’s blog. He went to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to get the real figure — which is $19,000 a year less.

  • 129. Grace  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Youv’e got to ask yourself why billlionaires want to spend so much money breaking a strike where teachers want smaller class sizes, a/c for Track E schools, and a funded ful day with fine arts, and social supports. The same things kids in the suburbs get without fighting tooth and nail.

    Why do billionaires not want this for Chicago’s kids?

  • 130. Grace  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Are they wanting to privatize our public schools to make a profit from our tax dollars?

  • 131. MamaK  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Have you seen this TV spot from Education Reform Now?
    This is bad. So inflammatory on both sides. Personally, I support the teachers, but definitely see some points from CPS, I just think CPS is the crux of the problem.
    Anyway, thanks for what you do.

  • 132. dememom  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    @ voice of reason

    “This isn’t about “the future of education.” It’s about getting a contract and getting back in the classroom.”

    This is what parents, the public and some teachers aren’t understanding. Why can’t we go back into the classroom, teach and fulfill our duties while they go to that classy hotel and finish negotiate.

    And to whomever said that picketing in front of the holding schools is ok, shame on you…seriously!!!

  • 133. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    @121. mommy of sara: ““Already, the demographics of the teaching profession in Chicago have notably shifted, as the private managers who run charter schools tend to favor rookie teachers who are younger and far less likely to be minorities, studies have shown. Today, just 19 percent of the teaching force in Chicago is African American, down from 45 percent in 1995, the union says; organizers fear that shift means fewer teachers have deep roots in and passion for the communities where they work.”

    Deep roots? Is that why so many CPS teachers are lamenting not being able to move to the suburbs?

    And why am I supposed to care about the demographics? If these teachers cannot pass the evaluation, they don’t belong in the classroom, period. In fact, in case of the mostly minority schools, I would argue that it is racist to keep such teachers employed, because they are preventing the minority children from getting a good education.

  • 134. FactsPlease  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    128 — c’mon $19,000/year CPS teacher???? maybe in 1962.

  • 135. Logan Dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    CPS Obsessed Readers – Consider The Source

    Whatever side you’re on, use good judgment when looking over these posts. While I can’t identify specific posters with 100% confidence, there are definitely scripts and professional trolls working their way around media focused on the strike. Not just here but at the major news sources as well (Hi Grace!).

    I always looked at CPS Obsessed as a conversation between parents but I guess in times of great change a forum like this is destined to become part of the battleground.

    Listen to the parents. Dismiss the fakes on both sides. Learn from this stupid, unfortunate strike and, if possible, let’s try to figure out how our parent voices can be heard and how we (CPS Families) can change this system for the better.

  • 136. dememom  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    @Logan Dad- Well said!!

  • 137. junior  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    @128 Grace

    You are misleading people about salaries, and I’ve seen countless references to the $75K figure for CPS teachers, and no one but Klonsky disputes it.

    You are counting on no one checking your facts, but I did.

    This is what Klonsky says:

    “. The BLS has data from May 2011 for the Chicago metropolitan area that breaks down the average salary for teachers. ”

    Clearly that doesn’t count just CPS teachers! It counts private, suburban, etc, from a couple years ago. Clearly a lot of private and suburban teachers bring the average down.

    Not even CTU disputes the $75K number.

    Now, who is “spewing false facts”? (Uh, yes — you, that’s who.)

  • 138. cubswin  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    @125. cps alum ……….

    “Honest question. This strike has a lot to do with teacher evaluation and how CPS evaluates its own teachers. On the same token, CPS closes schools and allows charters to reopen in their place. But—how are teachers at the Charters evaluated? Assuming you are pro-charter and pro-value added evaluations, is there any guarantee that the Charter schools that open in place of neighborhood schools will evaluate effectively?”

    Noble does quantitative teacher evaluation, and also ties merit pay to the scores. It would be interesting to see a survey of how all Chicago charters do evaluations and merit pay.

    Anecdotally I’m aware of Noble admins making large efforts at remediation of struggling teachers. It would be nice if all our schools had the desire and ability to help all struggling employees improve.

  • 139. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    @126. Grace: Oh, Grace, do you really think we have such a short memory? You were here for many months, shilling the CTU agenda. Then you disappeared for a while, and reappeared just as the strike began, posting on behalf of the CTU again. So who’s the plant here?

    “Youv’e got to ask yourself why billlionaires want to spend so much money breaking a strike where teachers want smaller class sizes, a/c for Track E schools, and a funded ful day with fine arts, and social supports.”

    Like I said before, call your bosses and get some new talking points. CTU already admitted that the strike is for benefit of the teachers. http://www.ieanea.org/media/2012/09/Why-are-we-on-strike.pdf

  • 140. CPSMom&Teacher  |  September 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    (From earlier thread)

    In speaking to test scores and evaluations: We need to remember not all teachers teach reading and math and therefore do not have test scores by which to be evaluated; middle school, junior high and high school teachers teach separate subjects. Science isn’t assessed every year (only 4th and 7th grades) and social studies is never assessed.

    Additionally, librarians, music, art, foreign language, and shop teachers do not have “testable” subjects. Will some teachers be fired due to test scores, yet others will have greater job security?

    Will great teachers opt out of the high risk subjects of reading and math to teach another subject for better security for their families or will they just leave the teaching profession entirely?

    I don’t want my child constantly tested for every subject as if her teachers’ jobs and medical benefits depended on it, because with the plan the mayor has proposed that is exactly what will happen.

    I want teachers who can be fully present to the needs of my child without seeing her (or any other child) as a signal that this may be the child that may cost them their jobs. Fear in helping children in need cannot play a role in job security because all our average and above average children will be left to fend for themselves. Already our average and gifted children are slighted in CPS from lack of programs. There is only so much time in a 45 minute departmental middle school classroom with 33 students.

    As parents we need to be studied in what we fight for.

  • 141. AdmiringTeachers  |  September 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    @30 I can assure you that teachers are not harrassing parents, students, and staff required to work nor is the CTU asking for a sympathy strike. The CTU has asked striking teachers to understand that their contract is done and they must work. I don’t know why everyone wants to villainize teachers and CTU. Your anger is misplaced. The union is concerned about all kids, not just yours. Most of the posters in the strike thread are concerned about their own kids. So your and your kids’ reality is different from that of other kids in the city and their schools so you really have no concept of what is happening in some of these schools and what the needs are. Neither party is 100% right. Teachers do need to stand up to the mayor and I whole- heartedly support them. It’s funny to me how the people on this thread seem to know the 2% of teachers that voted against the strike. Did it ever occur to you that they may be telling you that because they feel like they need to to avoid bullying.

  • 142. cpsobsessed  |  September 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    @mommy of sara: ha, I didn’t pick up on that about the pricipal evals contradiction with hiring. Good catch!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 143. Paul  |  September 12, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Jesse Jackson has offered to mediate the dispute. Apparently, I’ve enrolled my children in a school system that is as conflicted as Northern Ireland, the middle east, and the former Yogoslavia.

    http://www.suntimes.com/15101839-761/rev-jesse-jackson-offers-to-mediate-strike-talks.html

  • 144. Stressed By CPS  |  September 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Strike supporters have been spotted picketing in front of local businesses. How do you all feel about that? I think it’s bothersome to those businesses/customers who have nothing to do with the strike. It’s becoming a mockery. I don’t think factory union workers would picket in front of schools or churches.

  • 145. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    @mommy of sarah. Needed to ponder it a bit. Interesting thought. Thanks for bringing it up. Through this craziness of trying to understand this mess, I printed out the old evaluation form, or I the current one they are trying to change. I think it was part of a WBEZ piece (they always do a great job providing the relevant pdfs). It apparently has not been changed for about 40 years! I pulled it out and looked at it again, and it is pretty weak. I do not think principals have a good framework with the current eval form.

    Also, Todd in a prior string did a great job illustrating for a parent who asked for specifics of how a principal would go about getting rid of a teacher. He went through how the form doesn’t cover the things brought up but how a principal may be able to work around it, etc, etc. My take away from it was—-blahhh what a pain in the a** to try and use the stinking form and process.

    I am interested to hear other thoughts on this. All I come up with is that it is an archaic system that needs to be updated to this century…………like so many other things in CPS…………

    p.s. I mean the following as constructive feedback. Please do not infer that anyone has tons of time here to post and read. Many are working around the clock to get work done AND are completely worried about this strike and have been lamenting the lead up all summer. If/when your child(ren) are in CPS, you will see how much parents need to get themselves informed. Thank goodness CPSO was obsessed and gave a forum for us all.

  • 146. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    @109 @116

    The statistic is not from that report but from a 2007 report by “The New Teacher Project,” which Michelle Rhee led. It is based on evaluations that were received by CPS HR from 2002-2006. Apparently, not all principals bothered to submit their evaluations. On p. 44 they write:

    Source: TNTP analysis of more than 36,000 efficiency ratings issued from 2003-­2006. Our data include all centrally recorded ratings. Not all schools reported ratings to HR.

    Oddly, they do not state the exact number of ratings, just over 36,000. They report percentages, so presumably the have the exact number. The other percentages are in whole numbers summing to 100, so those must have been rounded up. Why, I am not sure. On page 46, they provide numbers for 2003, 2004, and 2005 ratings, totaling 21,822. Assuming that the number was 36,001 total evaluations, this means that in 2006 based on their data there were 14,179 ratings with 61 unsatisfactory ratings — the highest level.

    http://tntp.org/assets/documents/TNTPAnalysis-Chicago.pdf?files/TNTPAnalysis-Chicago.pdf

    They note on p.11 that application to hiring rate at CPS is 12%, roughly the acceptance rate for Stanford. Oddly they do no follow up on this intuition. If you are hiring selectively, why assume that you are hiring a crop of poor performers? How many Stanford freshmen fail to graduate?

    We have that data for the Stanford cohort entering in 2005. The six-year graduation rate is 96% or 1,569 out of 1,632. (Go to ucomm.stanford.edu/cds/2011.html#enrollment for the data}

    Now, a 4% failure to graduate is far more than CPS’s unsatisfactory rate, as calculated by TNTP. So clearly the current evaluation system is no good. Most the principals said so in TNTP study. Most of the said the reason was the “evaluation tool” did not actually measure performance of the teachers.

    But what figure should you expect to find unsatisfactory: 4%?

  • 147. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    @143 Paul LOL! I guess we need to add world peace to resolve this strike. I was hopeful we could stop after solving global warming 😉

  • 148. cps alum  |  September 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Just FYI–

    SB7 is costing districts across the state a lot of money and time; money many of these districts don’t have. Superintendents across the state are up in arms about the required training all evaluators must complete this month. Several have written letters to the ISBE complaining about the system. Each school district must pay $600 per evaluator to do an online course of Modules lasting upwards of 80 hours. . There are 5 modules, and each is followed by a test. If an evaluator fails a test, they have to go through a remediation and take the test again. Then, each test must be passed before the next module can be completed. Since the evaluators have other responsibilities, this is taking time out of their normal duties—resulting in additional costs for districts. I know several people who are doing this training, and they spent the summer trying to do these modules, but often the website did not work. They were beyond frustrated. The state had to extend the Sept. 1st deadline for this reason. According the ISBE website approximately 13,500 evaluators are doing these modules. That is over $8 million dollars spent on just the training to do evaluations.

    This all makes me wonder who is profiting from this law.

  • 149. Alcott High  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    The Alcott parent entitled 1 percenters goon squad just rudely laid into a beloved fellow parent / north side high teacher who gave his opinion on the strike. On the sacred parent yahoo group. Lambasted him, grown men telling him he was “inappropriate” rather than engaging in a respectful debate or just ignoring his note. Jeesh.

  • 150. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    CPS: No formal talks with Chicago Teachers Union yet Wednesday

    http://www.suntimes.com/15101839-761/cps-no-formal-talks-with-chicago-teachers-union-yet-wednesday.html

    “As the sun began to set on day three of the teachers strike at Chicago Public Schools, the two sides had not formally met yet as of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, district officials said.

    “Our team has been at negotiations since 11:30 a.m. this morning and have not been able to have a formal meeting with CTU or meet with Karen Lewis,” Becky Carroll said in an emailed statement, along with Chicago Public Schools’ most recent 19-page proposal for the Chicago Teachers Union. “

  • 151. Frank  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Angie’s quote “And why am I supposed to care about the demographics? If these teachers cannot pass the evaluation, they don’t belong in the classroom, period. In fact, in case of the mostly minority schools, I would argue that it is racist to keep such teachers employed, because they are preventing the minority children from getting a good education.”

    Why should you care about the demographics??? This question says SO much about you. Thanks for being honest. FYI, they have passed the evaluation. The teachers mentioned by your own account were rated effective. So they did pass the evaluation that CPS wrote and approved.

  • 152. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Chicago Tribune has pdf of the CPS proposal last updated 9/11. Sorry if this is a repost.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-board-of-education-proposal-20120912,0,3461923.htmlpage

  • 153. Frank  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Angie, Angie, Angie ” Deep roots? Is that why so many CPS teachers are lamenting not being able to move to the suburbs?”

    Once again you sprout info as fact. Please tell me the “so many” teachers you have spoken to about moving to the suburbs? How many? 200….even if you spoke to 200 (wink wink) out of 31,000, do you mathematically call that so many?

  • 154. cps dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Child question here.

    Has any parent sent their child(ren) to a child first site for the day. I’m going to need to send the two most important things in my life starting on Monday and I want to know what it is like. What do they do all day. Sports/art/reading/etc..? Thanks in advance.

  • 155. Came to see  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    They are very good babysitters. A lot of volunteers, not sure where they came from though…..

  • 156. mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Why does JCB still have a job? What is he doing? His salary could pay for 4 teachers easy. What is his role right now? He just smiles and looks all glazed over. I want to know his function.

  • 157. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Grace – back to your old name? I like it.

    @126 “There is a huge, expensive pr and tv ad campaign, and it extends to having college grads pund on a keyboard of social media sites”

    And here I was worried about my kid finding a job out of college. It’s reassuring that CPS grads have such wonderful career opportunities 🙂

  • 158. cps dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    did they or didn’t they meet today CPS says no CTU says yes.

    Can we get some web cameras into the meeting rooms. This is all about tax payer money and concerns our kids. there should be complete transperency in the negotiations so we don’t have to get all the spin from both sides. I simply don’t know who to believe anymore. Quite frankly I dont think we can believe either side. Cameras would speed this up considerably.

  • 159. cpsmommy  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    OK…I am annoyed. I just got a phone call from Stand for Children. How did they get my phone number and know I am a CPS parent? CPS has given this organization personal info like phone numbers?

  • 160. North Center Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    @159 Stand for Children called me too. I don’t have kids in CPS.

  • 161. SutherlandParent  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    So much PR and spinning on both sides! We’re either making progress or miles apart. Sigh. I’d just like to second Eric Zorn’s suggestion in Sunday’s Tribune to televise negotiations. A little transparency would be good for everyone, I think:

    http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2012/09/cps-ctu-open-up.html

    “They need to fling open the doors on their closed-door meetings, stream bargaining sessions live on the Internet and let city residents see just what they’re dickering about — see which side has given in where and which side is clinging to unreasonable demands and expectations.”

  • 162. cps dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    this thing is not about the children anymore. It is a complete political boondogle.Both sides are playing the media and us for their own gain. I dont think the teachers or the children or the parents have any say anymore. this is strictly a CPS VS. CTU bar knuckle fight. I just hope it doesn’t go 112 rounds.

  • 163. Came to see  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    “The board has offered pay increases of 2.6 percent in fiscal year 2013, 3.4 percent in 2014 and 3.4 percent in 2015, according to the district. It also has asked teachers to start paying for a percentage of their insurance coverage.

    The union maintains that, since teachers’ pay was frozen last year in a one-year contract, the raises should be bumped up to the level they would have been if not for the freeze. The union proposed raises equal to 5.6 percent in 2013, 6.5 percent in 2014 and 5.6 percent in 2015, according to district figures.”

    LAKE FOREST STRIKE-interesting

  • 164. Came to see  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    It seems like CTU is not the only union that feels their pay is inadequate. They want 17.7% in lake forest

  • 165. Portage Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    A/C is being brought up quite a bit. Our building is quite old but over the summer, something like A/C was put in so the building would be more comfortable when it gets warmer. I know it’s not exactly A/C because of the age of the building but whatever they did, the classrooms are more comfortable. I do think A/C is an issue given like others have mentioned, we seem to be having warmer days far sooner than ever before and this is not expected to change.

    There are some schools where these changes are being made. I have no idea how many other schools received such improvements.

  • 166. AnonMom  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I really understand why parents homeschool.

  • 167. CPS: No Meeting Yet With Teachers Union On Day 3 Of Strike  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    @158 – I watched the cbs 2 news @6PM. It seemed like they hadn’t met, and were at a standstill.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/12/day-3-begins-for-chicago-teachers-strike/

  • 168. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Chicago Tribune has pdf of the CPS proposal last updated 9/11. Sorry if this is a repost.

    OK, I read through the latest CPS proposal in the link below. To me it looks like the student growth is phased in and now tops out at 30-35%. It starts out at zero first year, then 10%….etc. based on former ratings.

    “Quality Teacher Pool” as well as the 3 mo severance option, and 10 mo job search. Actual Recall on one category for tenured teachers 10 months……….not really sure what it means in reality.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-board-of-education-proposal-20120912,0,3461923.htmlpage

    It will be interesting to see CTU written counter offer. I also noticed a lot of this was initially proposed 4-24-2012?

    Funny thing I noticed, it looks like CTU denied a higher healthcare premium for smokers. Really?

  • 169. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    @165 – that sounds fantastic. I wonder what it is? Did you fund raise or was it just put in? I’m also hearing that some wards allocate spiff money to schools for building expansions and improvements. If you have any further info, please let us know.

  • 170. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    @151. Frank: Yes, I want the best teachers in Chicago classroom, regardless of their race, color, religion, sex or national origin, just as the federal law requires. You have a problem with that?

  • 171. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    @165 (Portage Mom) – We received a similar “chiller” system at Senn a couple of years ago and it works reasonably well. IIRC, the cost was on the order of $10 million. Now, Senn is a huge building – someone said it was the 3rd largest by square footage in the district. Still, doing something comparable for every school would be a vast pile of money. And some of those buildings are likely near end-of-life or would be more efficiently improved during later, more extensive, renovations. Given the cost and complexity, it’s clear this is more of a talking point than an actual issue to be resolved. But it does highlight just how little has been invested in infrastructure over the last couple of decades, especially at schools that receive little public attention.

  • 172. Disney Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I was disappointed to get a robo call tonight from that Stand for Children group or whatever they’re called. All I could think was how much outside money is heading our way to fund the fight, and what a waste. I guess this is where the culture has led us, so I shouldn’t be surprised that the wealthy do-gooders (regardless of political leaning) want to buy off the decision making.

    Also, I was really struck by the initial anti-teacher sentiment on the comments since the strike started, thinking about how everyone is kind to their teachers until the sh.. hits the fan, i.e., their kids are out of school. I was heartened by a few pro-teacher/strike/union comments, but then thought that many of those positive comments were so well written and articulate that maybe they really are plants. Not that you anti folks are babbling inarticulately (ahem, pot kettle black, that would be me.) All of this depressed me no end since I’m obviously pro-teacher/strike/union.

    Finally, I’ve lived in Chicago for nine years now and it took the strike for me to see the diffence between the Tribune and the Sun-Times. I don’t know how I missed the slants before.

  • 173. HS Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    @171 Todd – thank you for that info.

  • 174. cant sleep  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    172: We have received calls from CPS leading up to the strike, now several Stand for Children calls. I listened into the call and hung up. They said, “Pressure the Union to call off the strike.” Then somewhat predictably, they remembered to say “pressure the union and cps”. Folks, Jonah Edelman, is the one caught showing off about putting the union in a tight spot.

  • 175. Came to see  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Lastly, President Vitale’s derisive remarks about striking teachers having fun while children are not being educated mistakes what is taking place. Teachers are being transformed, they are seeing the union not as something they just pay to belong to, but as something they own. There is a joy in that process and it is part truly fun. Being inherently somewhat skeptical by nature I never thought I would live to see this happen in relation to the CTU or a teachers union in general. I now do see that it has happened.
    Rod Estvan

    Thank you mr estvan

  • 176. lulu  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Voice of Reason — you clearly care about your students. I believe you. But bitching about overtime? Teachers want to be treated as “professionals” but professionals don’t get overtime. Sorry, they don’t. If you want to be compensated like an hourly employee, then don’t expect the respect of a salaried professional. Stick to the issues that are keeping this fight from resolving. I do see problems with evaluations based on test scores. I do think teachers in Chicago are fairly compensated. It’s a disgrace teachers don’t have the supplies they need to adequately teach the kids. My husband went to school in Arkansas (hot people!) with no AC and lived to tell about it. I think both sides have points. Tell Karen Lewis to get her butt back to the table and work them out. Now. She is doing your cause no favors. And our kids need to be in school.

  • 177. Frank  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    No Angie, you are all “good”. I love blatant “honesty”. Let’s me know who and what I am dealing with.

  • 178. SutherlandParent  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    @37 (way back when), you said “Children will be expected to be in class and absences will count day one after the strike.”

    I expect this to go into the second week at least, and we are already checking with SutherlandGrandparents who live out of state about sending the kids to stay with them so we can get to work. And if they can’t get back in time for the first day, I don’t expect any grief about an absence. I sort of figure the perfect attendance is shot this year anyway.

  • 179. cps dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    where can i find the CTU’s contract proposals?

  • 180. Frank  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Mommy of Sara writes :
    “Already, the demographics of the teaching profession in Chicago have notably shifted, as the private managers who run charter schools tend to favor rookie teachers who are younger and far less likely to be minorities, studies have shown. Today, just 19 percent of the teaching force in Chicago is African American, down from 45 percent in 1995, the union says; organizers fear that shift means fewer teachers have deep roots in and passion for the communities where they work.”

    She asked for opinions on this and only Angie replied correct me if i am wrong. So are we suddenly silent? Do we not have an opinion? C’mon regulars, we love data. What do we make if this data? The worth of any intelligent discussion is to talk about uncomfortable topics in a mature and thoughtful manner. Are we up for the task, or would we rather go on a surface level discussion?

    Junior?
    Patricia?
    HS Mom?
    CPSOBSESSED ?
    Todd?
    mayfair dad?
    Anyone else care to engage?

  • 181. Paul  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    It’s pretty clear to me that CTU doesn’t want to come to an agreement anytime soon. They’ve scheduled a big rally for Saturday. Here’s their newsletter for the day.

    http://www.ctunet.com/for-members/strike-central/text/OnTheLine2012_09_12.pdf

  • 182. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    @177. Frank : Oh, just come out and say it. Was that you on WTTW yesterday, claiming that the proposed evaluation is racist because a lot of teachers will not be able to pass it?

  • 183. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks for posting the link to the proposal, Patricia. I was just reading it myself. It’s helpful to a degree, but much of what the CTU is negotiating as far as evaluation lies deeper than what’s visible there.

    For example, I know that one of the areas of CTU’s concern is with the “cut scores” used for overall ratings. In the linked proposal, those are found on pg.17:

    Unsatisfactory 100 to 209
    Developing 210 to 284
    Proficient 285 to 339
    Excellent 340 to 400

    Now, I would love to pick that apart. But I can’t, because we don’t know how the various component scores are being calculated. If, for example, 20% of the rating comes from standardized test gains, that would imply that a teacher could score form 20 to 80 points for that component. How is that score assigned, exactly? If a teacher’s gain matches the nationally normed average, how many points are they getting? How well do the students have to do to score the maximum value? I can think of at least a couple of defensible ways to develop a formula, but it would be pure speculation. And the same can be said for any of the other components. So it’s not so much a matter of the percentages as it is what those percentages actually *mean* in practice. It’s kind of like the explanation I give to students who think that a “92% A” scale is tougher than a “90% A” scale – if I make putting your name on the paper worth 95% of the points, then it’s all meaningless.

    This particular issue is, I think, a perfect example of where the chasm of mistrust between CPS and CTU hurts everybody. In a system with a history of more collaborative relationships, you might more easily find contractual agreement just on the percentages, trusting that the evaluation policy wonks on each side will come up with something sensible. But given the long and sordid history between CPS and CTU in general, and in particular the mayor’s attacks on teachers from the very start of his tenure, I can’t really fault CTU for wanting to nail down every last detail.

    It would just be nice if we had enough details ourselves to meaningfully follow along from the sidelines.

  • 184. Paul  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    @180 Frank, it’s hard for me to keep track of all the teacher complaints. The racial makeup of teachers is one I hadn’t heard before. Is the CTU bargaining for a new affirmative action program to hire new minority teachers. Is that one of the strike demands? Are my kids going to go without an education until the racial makeup of the teachers in CPS goes back to what they were in 1995?

  • 185. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    @179 cps dad

    in my post above @168 I shared a link found in Tribune that has CPS latest proposal 19 pages. Is this what you meant? I would like to see the CTU one too!

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-board-of-education-proposal-20120912,0,3461923.htmlpage

  • 186. Paul  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    @183 Todd Pytel, do you think it’s worth keeping kids out of school while the CTU nails down the last detail of the cut scores? I realize there’s a long sordid history, and the mayor has attacked the union. But, is it worth it? And, I’m open to you or another teacher saying “Yes.” I think an argument can be made. There are some things worth fighting for, and striking for, and shutting down a city for. But, I just can’t believe most teachers or parents (especially those that are analyzing the issues like you) think that any of these issues are important enough to keep kids out of school.

  • 187. Nathan  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    On the evaluation inconsistency (i.e., principals give the high ratings but don’t want to hire the teachers): How is the current evaluation done? If the current system / forms / criteria are poorly created, then the evaluations will not give accurate results no matter who administers them. This would also explain why principals want full control over hiring — they know what’s in those evaluations and know not to trust them.

    Also, an earlier post (on previous thread) said that it is estimated that the new system would rate 3% of teachers as inadequate — pretty close to the Stanford 4% (I always knew Stanford was easy!)

  • 188. cps dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    @185 I’m talking about the CTU proposal. I would like to see what both sides are wanting. The lack of information is driving me bonkers. What information that is being given to the media is suspect on both sides.

  • 189. Don Justice  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    The CTU is being very careful about any language that is in the final approved agreement, as the CPS has, since Huberman, followed the exact contractual language, and not its spirit. Until a final agreement is reached, the CTU should not resume working.

  • 190. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    @ 184 Paul, go figure, in the CPS proposal, I noticed that they agreed to…..

    p.7 “create a recruitment plan to attract racially diverse teacher candidate pools and share results with union.”

    I am still looking for the global warming clause……….. 😉

  • 191. HSObsessed  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Nuanced rules about how evaluations should be formulated need to be hammered out, for sure, but as Timothy Knowles asked yesterday on Chicago Tonight, is that something that should be done by bleary-eyed people at 2 in the morning? I would add: With Jesse Jackson in the mix? C’mon, people.

  • 192. cps dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    @189 why should they not resume working. Cant they keep negotiating while teaching.Haven’t they made their point. Except to hold parents and kids hostage.

  • 193. Nathan  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    On this whole AC thing, which seems silly (I grew up in Western NE where summer heat is regularly above 100, we started in mid Aug, no AC in schools and we were fine). Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just call off school for the day when it is too hot (or shift hours earlier — what we did at my school). It also affects (even for the E schedule) what 10, at most 20, school days. Seems like a lot of money that could be better spent on the supplies, books, desks, etc. that the schools need.

  • 194. Don Justice  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    “Teachers want to be treated as “professionals” but professionals don’t get overtime. Sorry, they don’t. ”

    Actually, the more more my associates bill, the more I get paid. My firm has bonuses for billables, also. We also allow for comp time when the attorneys are working 24/7, leading up to a trial.

    My accountant wife gets comp time for the hours she puts in during tax season, so long as minimum billables are met.

  • 195. teacher  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Charlotte Danielson herself paves the road to possible perfidy:
    “Let me give you a story of when it’s not done well. I was contacted early on by a large urban district in New Jersey that…had a horrible evaluation system. It was top-down and arbitrary and punitive and sort of “gotcha.” And they developed a new one based on my book, and it was top-down and arbitrary, and punitive. All they did was exchange one set of evaluative criteria for another. They did nothing to change the culture surrounding evaluation. It was very much something done to teachers, an inspection, used to penalize or punish teachers whom the principal didn’t like…[and] I discovered that if I didn’t do something here, my name would get associated with things people hate. So I thought about what it would take to do teacher evaluation well. And I discovered that doing it well means respecting what we know about teacher learning, which has to do with self-assessment, reflection on practice, and professional conversation.”

  • 196. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    @188 cps dad Agree, I would like to see the CTU info too, but they keep having new demands almost daily. Or reopening old ones. It drives me bonkers too. As HS Mom said, not only moving goalposts but throwing up many new ones.

    I need to look at the 19 page CPS latest proposal again, and I know I will not understand all of it but, why exactly are we on strike? Looks like CPS gave on pretty much everything. Now CTU wants to stop charters and have a national movement for unions. Get the kids back in school!

  • 197. Pvt. Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I got the astroturf call from Stand on Children too and we don’t have children attending CPS. So, I don’t think there are any confidentiality issues at stake here. Every few minutes they asked you to push #1 to tell the union to stop the strike. Unfortunately, I was doing the dishes while I listened so I just couldn’t make that happen. Oh well. 🙂

  • 198. teacher of English  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    And speaking of wasted money, did you know the Westside Network sent out thousands of books to high schools that it claimed are suitable instruction for common core?

    Did you know one of the books recommended for sophomores is “Black Robe,” which of chock full of graphic sex, including pedophilia. And that’s just for the characters who are priests?

    Why would they spend tens of thousands of dollars on such books? Could you imagine opening up your 15 year old daughter’s reading to find graphic descriptions of masturbating priests?

  • 199. teacher of English  |  September 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Teachers were ordered to teach this book. I refused. What is the consequence for me? Not sure yet because of the strike.

  • 200. Angie  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    From the CTU bulletin posted in #181:

    “Think about using your picket time to canvass
    our communities (parent flyers are available at
    Strike Head-quarters), respond to bad press with
    letters to the editor, blogging, tweeting, etc.”

    So that’s why the CTU shills are here in full force. They are just following orders.

  • 201. lulu  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    194 — Comp time (I am a professional, I get it) is not the same as overtime. Getting paid more for your associates increased billing is not the same as overtime. Bonuses for high billing hours (really just a cut of what the firm makes) are not the same as overtime.

    Do you or your wife, as professionals, ask for OVERTIME PAY for the hours you work beyond what you are minimally required to work? C’mon, I think we both know that is a ridiculous comparison.

  • 202. discrete  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    @194, as an RN, I get overtime

  • 203. Don Justice  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    @192: They had been working and negotiating all last year without any progress. It is no surprise to anyone that this contract was expiring and Rahm came charging in without fully understanding what was going on. Check out Ben Jovarky’s work in the Chicago Reader. Things did not get serious until teachers were able to come up with a strike vote. The CPS still dragged until just before school started when it brought in Vitale. Now, with the strike, the CPS has pressure to compromise. And so does the CTU. Teachers want to be in classrooms with students, and they are not drawing pay. Let the process play out. 9/21 will be the teachers first missed paycheck.

  • 204. CPSMomNot4Long  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Insteresting article by the Christian Science Monitor:
    “Chicago Teachers Strike Could Illegal Under Illinois Law”
    http://news.yahoo.com/chicago-teachers-strike-illegal-under-illinois-law-222851216.html

  • 205. Don Justice  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    If I bill more, I get more money. What don’t you understand, LuLu? Btw, I still get paid even if I don’t “win” a negotiation. $500 per hour. Beautiful, no?

  • 206. Patricia  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    @205 Don Justice, sounds like you can buy us some air conditioners 😉 Peace!

  • 207. Don Justice  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    If anybody truly thinks that David Axelrod or Obama will allow the CPS to file an injunction to break a strike, I’ve got a bridge that spans the Chicago River I’d like to sell you. Put up a toll both and make a mint, I tell you.

  • 208. CPSMomNot4Long  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Sorry for the typo –
    “Chicago Teachers Strike Could Be Illegal Under Illinois Law”
    http://news.yahoo.com/chicago-teachers-strike-illegal-under-illinois-law-222851216.html

  • 209. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    @180 (Frank) – I’m not especially well-read on teacher demographics, and it’s an issue that cuts so close to race and class sensitivities that I’m not going to make partially informed statements that end up stoking a firestorm. Even I’m not that crazy.

    I will say this… there’s a genuine tension involved in considering demographics when hiring teachers. Effective teaching requires both academic/pedagogical skills as well as the ability to form positive personal relationships with students. Both are absolutely essential. Now, I’m a suburban-educated, middle-class white guy with a background that’s largely more privileged than that of most of the students I teach. I think that over the years I’ve become very aware of the precise differences between that background and that of my students, and in turn thought more carefully about the common ground that does exist between us. I can use that to build relationships with students while being aware and respectful of our differences. However, there are absolutely times where I feel like a teacher from a background closer to that of our kids could approach them from an angle that I cannot. We have some very effective teachers like that, and I’ve seen it in action. So it’s a very tricky tradeoff – you want teachers that understand both where kids come from and where you want to take them. It’s a rare teacher that truly has a foot firmly on each side of that divide.

  • 210. teacher  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    “Schools are just as segregated as they were prior to Brown vs. the Board of Education–minority students  are most likely attending schools where the population is mainly children of color, and the majority of second language learners are concentrated in a handful of urban school districts (although that may be changing, as numbers of second language learners in all states are rising nation-wide).  Minority children are also much more likely to be living in a high poverty, urban neighborhood, where they will have less access to a quality education–schools in lower socioeconomic areas are more likely to have brand new, ineffective, uncredentialed, or under-prepared teachers, as well as lesser quality curriculum and facilities. In other words, our poor, culturally and linguistically diverse children are being denied their civil right to an equitable education. ”

    Many of our urban schoolchildren know they will fail even before they take the exam, since their cultural and linguistic resources do not match those valued by the test.  For example, although by definition “Limited Proficient English” students cannot speak English proficiently, they are required to test in English, which virtually sets them up to fail.  These tests narrow the already bare curriculum in urban schools, encouraging a focus on basic rote learning versus the critical thinking and conceptual problem solving  skills the children really need.  And no surprise here–the schools at the bottom, the ones labeled “failing” and forced to undergo restructuring and other sanctions, are the nation’s poorest and most diverse………..

    Even worse, these spurious test scores are now being used to grade teachers and schools via “Value Added Modeling” (VAM) evaluations, which compare the students’ test scores to determine the “value added” by the teacher; this is being pushed by everyone……….despite the fact that the extremely complicated statistical measure used to produce the gains have a thirty to fifty point margin of error.  I’ll repeat that…A THIRTY TO FIFTY POINT MARGIN OF ERROR.  

    Written by Kathryn Strom-
    thank you

    To discount things like language, race, culture, and economics, does a disservice to all thinking adults.

  • 211. Momto2  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I reviewed the proposal and one of the things that stood out is they are basically giving back a number of those professional development days and also making report card pick up non-attendance days again. Seriously…this is looking more and more like we are just going to go back to the old contract. Pretty annoying.

  • 212. cant sleep  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Momto2: I am relieved by the prospect of giving back report card pickup. I value that limited time I can spend with teachers and the new format sacrifices. More informed parents may be more valuable than 4 more hours of class a couple of times a year.

  • 213. Meg Welch/IB obsessed  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    @135 Grace has a long term history here and is not a new poster. She has posted in years past on many topics.

    The possible trolling and accusations of paid posting, and my own skepticism about the identity and background of posters here lately, as well as how all this has murdered the usual quality and tone of discussion here, leads me to issue this challenge. Sign your full name. I’ll be the 2nd (after Mr. Pytel).

    I’m interested in any FACTS anyone has about the details of CTU demands about hiring laid off teachers. Somewhere upthread, one of the CPO book group participants related some info. CTU wants veteran teachers to get an interview. They are not demanding that a laid off teacher be hired. This seems reasonable, and is quite different than what Rahm and CPS are saying. They are stating that principals should have discretion about who is on their team, as if CTU demands preclude that.

    What are the FACTS?

  • 214. Michella  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    to 26 : Alcott HS had 232 students in 2012. Do you really think there were only 6 teachers employed?

    Readers educate yourself. Both sides of this battle are using misinformation and exageration to win sides.

  • 215. teacherCps  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Thank you Todd P. for giving me the courage to jump in. Part of the Danielson framework (teacher evaluation) is “Respect and Rapport”. As a white lady does it mean I can’t build respect and rapport with my students from a different race, culture, and economic background from my own? Of course not, i have been working and loving my little ones for 18 years (100% african american school). On the other hand by discounting any child’s race, language, and/or culture and assume that as a white lady I get it all the time is a misconception. I believe that it was Angie who posted something like it shouldn’t matter, my thought was tell that to an angry 13 year old who is mad at the world. The best thing in the world is giving him the time and space to talk to the African American teacher down the hall until he is ready to return to my class and get busy working. See one thing as adults we know that it shouldn’t matter but for our kids we need to do whatever it takes to reach our young people. I know we are doing a disservice by assuming that the drastic decrease in African American educator does or should not matter. It may not matter to us adults but you can bet it matters to the important people, our kids. We do all our young people a disservice my not allowing them the opportunity to learn from both people who share similar experiences (culture, etc) and people different. After all the push is college and career ready. We need to expose children to both. This drastic decline gives me pause and is troubling.

  • 216. teacherCps  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Oh my name I’d Gail Slather. I have no problem with writing my name.

  • 217. CPS Parent  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    It makes no sense to me to not have report card pickup at a time when working parents can come in to meet with teachers.

    The CTU wants recall rights similar to what is in the interim agreement.

    Rahmney seems hell bent on shrinking the CPS and letting private charters take over. The CTU is concerned about losing jobs because of this.

    Why worry about Charters? Because they are undemocratic. They foster the values of the private organization running them rather than the city and community.

    Also, do you know how many kids just default to the neighborhood school at the last minute because parents aren’t around to get them into a charter of SE school? You’d be surprised at all the unregistered kids just showing up at the local high school on the day school starts. And the neighborhood school has to take them, no matter what.

  • 218. Don Justice  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    @206 — My kids are at Latin, so we don’t have to worry about such things.

  • 219. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    @186 (Paul) – “Do you think it’s worth keeping kids out of school while the CTU nails down the last detail of the cut scores?”

    I’m honestly not sure what a coherent argument showing it is or isn’t “worth it” would look like. *Could* CPS do more damage to instruction implementing a sketchy evaluation plan than the strike does damage to that instruction? Absolutely they could. Evaluation systems affect curriculum, teacher morale, personnel quality, school stability, and faculty collaboration, among other things. Evaluation is *really* important.

    Now, *would* they proceed to do such damage? That’s speculation. As stated above, CPS has a long history of relying on the letter of the law and violating its spirit in its dealings with teachers, students, and parents. And on this particular issue, remember that CPS pushed for an exemption in PERA so that it – and only it – could ignore objections from its teachers union. You can hardly view that as a sign that they would negotiate in good faith without the pressure of a strike.

    So I don’t know if it’s worth it or not. I do know that it’s sad that such drastic action is the only way to give teachers confidence in what CPS says.

  • 220. Jackie  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I have a great picture of my son and his mom, stopping by to see his teachers at his old preschool in the neighborhood. His sign said, “I “heart” teachers.” And he said to his to his teacher, “that’s you” tears.

  • 221. lulu  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Don Justice — Go you $500 an hour man! Okay, so let’s have the teachers bill a certain amount (can we agree on less than you make?) for every six minutes of work. Good solution. In the interest of a reasonable discourse, most professionals don’t bill by the minute. Perhaps we can discuss the attorney pay structure at another time or blog. Right now kids are out of school and teacher compensation and work conditions are the issue. I don’t think teachers griping about not getting “overtime” is reasonable. I think many of their other issues are.

  • 222. LR  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I have an idea for teacher evaluation and emailed it to Karen Lewis, but got no response. I cannot figure out how to get it to the other side.

    The problem with evaluations right now, as I understand it, is that teachers are afraid they will be unfairly penalized or fired if they work in a school that has a lower socioeconomic population with lower test scores.

    Here is the idea: Since we all love tiers so much, divide all the schools in the city into one of five tiers according to how many low-income students they have. The top tier would have 20% or fewer low income students, second tier 21-40%, third tier 41-60%, fourth tier 61-80% and fifth tier more than 80% low income. Teachers’ test scores would only be interpreted in the context of what tier their school falls into. There are a couple advantages to this method. It takes into account external factors beyond a teacher’s control (such as poverty). Also, it accounts for the fact that neighborhood demographics are changing all the time. A teacher would not be penalized because the neighborhood is deteriorating and likewise, rewarded because a neighborhood suddenly gentrifies. Anyhow…I’m sure KL wants nothing at all to do with test scores, but if we must factor them into teacher evaluations (25% by law, right?), isn’t it better to compare averages to schools with similar populations? Anyone know how to share ideas with CPS or Rahm?

  • 223. cpsobsessed  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Love the tier idea LR!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 224. Jackie  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Something interesting:

    I had a friend who dropped his kids off at a good charter school today, with a “rock star” principal. His wife is a CPS art teacher. He’s said something benign to her like, “tough times.” She teared up, and made a comment how the charter system wants her to open more schools.

    My interpretation, she truly believed starting a charter school was a way of showing public schools how to be better. She is now realizing it was an end-game of ending public schools.

    Food for thought.

  • 225. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    @212 (cant sleep) – “I value that limited time I can spend with teachers and the new format sacrifices.”

    Agreed. Every teacher I know opposes the new pick-up schedule. It’s insane to think that 1) you’ll have a productive half-day, 2) you’ll have the time you need to meet with parents, and 3) you’ll have anything left in you at night to plan for the next day’s lessons. There are only so many hours in the day. Teachers work hard, but we can’t create time that isn’t there.

    I think many readers of this blog would also do well to consider class differences involved here. My own children are in CPS. If I have a question about them, I know their teachers’ emails, I know what my kids are supposed to be doing academically, and I know the language to use in asking about their progress. I don’t really need a sit-down conference all that much. But many CPS parents do not have some or all of those things. Have you ever tried to explain the content and impact of the ACT test to parents that have never heard of it before? Ever tried to describe complex behavior issues to parents that have never sat in an American classroom? I have. It takes a long time and you can’t do it very effectively on the phone, especially if you have to do it through a translator. Body language and physical presence are important. Shorting teachers this time is a false economy, and one that disproportionately harms children from less privileged backgrounds.

  • 226. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    @213 (Meg) – “Sign your full name. I’ll be the 2nd (after Mr. Pytel).”

    Third, actually – we should give credit to Greg Foster-Rice here, especially since he spoke up about exactly the same thing.

    But, obviously, I agree wholeheartedly with the principles behind your challenge. Thank you.

  • 227. Skinner Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Todd and Gail thank you for sharing your perspectives. It is a shame on one hand some claim to want intelligent discourse and then would rather talk about AC or anything else. Unfortunate, but as a follower of the blog I am not all that surprised (no offense CPSO, I value this blog but at times it is so frustrating). We are sort of doing the same thing cps said CTU is doing, talking about minor things when more weightier issues are on the table.

  • 228. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    @213 (Meg) – Sorry, meant to address this part too…

    “I’m interested in any FACTS anyone has about the details of CTU demands about hiring laid off teachers. ”

    I don’t believe any publicly verifiable facts or proposals are available. I can say that your broad characterization of the Union’s position is consistent with multiple CTU sources I’ve spoken with.

  • 229. Meg Welch/IB obsessed  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Yes, Foster-Rice was at the book club meeting and the one who posted about the actual CTU proposal regarding teacher lay offs.

  • 230. Skinner Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    “Our mistake was thinking this valuable long-term research tool would work as a one-year teacher rating system. “It becomes like a sick game of telephone: What starts out as a reasonable idea, when whispered down the line to people who don’t really get the details — or don’t want to get them — becomes an abomination,” Wiggins wrote. “By looking at individual teachers, over only one year (instead of the minimum three years as the psychometricians and VAM [valued-added model] designers stress), we now demand more from the tests than can be obtained with sufficient precision.”

    Washington Post

  • 231. BuenaParkMom  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    CPS Obsessed – I haven’t read all the comments (looks like I’m still about 200 comments behind) so don’t know if childcare options are listed above, but I’ve been posting suggestions as I come across them on the Friends of the 46th Ward Schools facebook page. It is by nature, slanted to the 46th Ward/Uptown neighborhood but people are more than welcome to check it out.

  • 232. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Skinner Mom, can you link that article, please? I’d like to read it. I assume that quote is from Grant Wiggins, an extremely influential and respected educational researcher who coauthored Understanding by Design.

  • 233. Momto2  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Sorry…personally hated all of those teacher institute days. Last year, our kids did not go a full week of school for the whole month of November…and possibly longer. How can the kids learn effectively if they are 4 days on, three days off all the time? Adding them back in as half days doesn’t help much either.

  • 234. CPD Backs CTU 100%  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Here’s where you’ll find the real truth and what real Chicagoans think.

    http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=13350456&postID=5372414564043680443

  • 235. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Never mind, Skinner Mom, found it. Good read…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/class-struggle/post/why-rating-teachers-by-test-scores-wont-work/2012/05/13/gIQAJb5lMU_blog.html

  • 236. Ouiser  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    #141 admiring teachers response to #30.
    That response had nothing to do with the strike per say, who is or isn’t at the table negotiating…
    It has to do with who’s left holding the bag and watching over the kids in the mean time – in particular all those school personnel held under a different contract (already signed/delivered) who show up for work, (either at their “host” school, or redeployed..) dealing with the irate and mis-guided phone calls/personal confrontations at the schools when they should have been calling K. Lewis or the board… keeping up with the intake of students who didn’t register correctly for those contengency sites, the hounding by central office calling at 9:30 for reports they requested have done by 10am – when kids are still showing up at the door passed 8:30. And now these kind and dedicated folks are told to strike, under conditions they could be negatively disiplined, at risk of losing their jobs, or called a scab… It’s insane! With out the clerks, lateral support staff, and seasoned school security members there to help maintain these “children first” sites…you’re left with a filtering of central office staff (and a handful of parents) to mind the kids, field calls, and keep the peace…just because they passed a background check, doesn’t mean they work well with children…
    and no..I’m not one of these “backed unfairly into the corner” folks…I’m a parent volunteer, and the only reason I have my child at the site I volunteer at is because I have no other option than to bring him with me. I’m dedicated to our school, our kids – all kids… so I’m giving what time I have to give… Meanwhile, honestly, my child is already getting pretty bored while there, has differentiated the central office folks from the seasoned school staff/lateral (who are nice and encouraging)…but already there are tears at bed-time and tears in the morning….he finally found (for 4 days last week) a teacher who he really engages with and he’s just aching to get back to “normal school” and have her teach him.

    I stand for our teachers, am trying to hold a net for our kids who need them while they are absent from our classrooms, but Ms. Lewis and the Board have to stop nit-picking, resolve the 2 big issues STAT (or is it back to 46), get the teachers back in to the classroom, and then continue to work out the other smaller issues. I see posts on “Everyblock” all the time from teachers asking for science kits, books, etc ($500+ a shot).. How about asking for an air conditioner too.. couldn’t help to try…I’m sure there are corporations out there who could supply several units…And provide teachers with “Grant Request Writing 101″… lets get this solved, off the table and back in the classroom already!.

  • 237. Skinner Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-rahm-emanuel-and-the-new-york-times-are-wrong-about-teacher-evaluation/2012/09/12/d0c53044-fce7-11e1-a31e-804fccb658f9_blog.html#pagebreak

    hope this works. I was challenged to read more about the issues/concerns in another thread. I never miss an opportunity to learn. I have been finding a lot out about assessment and teacher effectiveness, etc.

  • 239. InServiceofWho?  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Teachers have the right to strike. Fine. But good gravy picketers, please stop turning kids away from CF sites! Over the past three days I’ve had parents calling in upset that teachers told their children to turn around when the students reported to a CF site. Picketers have also been telling parents that they couldn’t drop their kids off because there were no teachers in the building. I’ve even seen picketers attempted to send a group of students away who showed up without parents.

    I’m starting to assume the picketers fear students “turning scab.” Agree or disagree with the strike, please allow children a safe space to go to if parents are working. These CF sites are doing non-instructional activities and serving two meals- that’s it. I know it’s only a few teachers doing this, but it continues to happen and it sends a message to people undecided about the strike that CTU is striking on behalf of NOT kids’ interests.

  • 240. Portage Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    @169 HS Mom – No, we didn’t do any fundraising for the improvement made.for the something like A/C. I believe CPS paid for it out of the budget for capital improvements. I should also state our school is a magnet and perhaps that may have had something to do with it. We were looking at other improvements for our building but given the age, it would be too cost prohibitive. I agree with Todd Pytel, I think to make similar changes is a huge cost but it does seem very unfair in how some schools get it and others don’t.

  • 241. Greater Good  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I am a Chicago teacher. I teach at a charter school because I believe in what my school is doing. I love my school; I love my administration, my colleagues, and my students. I am not on strike, I am not part of the CTU, but I am here supporting them 100%.

    This strike means different things to different people. Karen Lewis speaks for some, but not all. But, of course, no one person can speak for all, and I don’t begrudge her some of her less nuanced points of view. This strike has been building for years, possibly decades, probably since the last strike, and it took her to stand up and say, “We are at a breaking point. Someone needs to listen. Everyone needs to listen.” For that, I am thankful. She is right.

    To me, this strike is about awareness. It is a moment for Chicago to wake up and reevaluate its priorities. It is about individuals. It is about families. It is about communities asking and examining, “What do we value? What do we want our society to look like? How are we going to build that future for ourselves?”

    This strike is a moment to stop. It is a moment for everyone to stop, no matter who you are as a citizen of our city. In this strike, kids may miss as much school as it takes, but they are simultaneously learning about, participating in, and influencing civic action firsthand. The alternative is for everyone to go back to school before the message is received, giving in and giving up, a dangerous possibility that could allow our entire educational system to get progressively worse for generations to come. Are we really so near-sighted to say that we would prefer the latter? Do we value ourselves more than countless generations of our society into the future? The answer may be “yes.” But it is time to be honest about our priorities.

    Commenters have questioned, “Where is the money?” Honestly, I don’t know. But I do know this — there is money somewhere. We are paying money to the city everyday. We are paying for schools. We are paying for education, not just for our own kids, but for the whole city, for the greater good of our society. There is money somewhere. The real question is not about money, it is about priorities. Do we value education enough to find the money? Or is it second, third, tenth, twelfth, last on our list? What does “education” mean to us? Are we even able to answer that question? Do we even care?

    The reality of the situation is bleak, as we have heard from countless examples on this forum. I hope that people really see that. While this A/C discussion seems almost absurdist, I can give my voice to say that no one who has ever taught in a sweltering building filled to the brim with sweaty, grumpy, dehydrated students, and then told that those students’ performance on an exam would determine his or her payment and job security, would question whether or not A/C is a strike-worthy issue. This is why unions were created in the first place. As American citizens, we have the right to fair and reasonable working conditions. We have the right to demand a safe working environment. The reality of the situation is that the environment of our schools has become unsafe and unstable, physically and emotionally, for teachers and for students. And — yes — it is about both teachers and students. What affects one, affects the other, inextricably.

    You may not see this in every school. You don’t see this in every school. But it is out there, and it is real, and it is changing education for everyone, slowly but surely, as our society swallows the long-term consequences. What may not affect you, directly, today, may come back around to shape your future somehow. Be cognizant of the reality now, and how it is changing your city and your world. There are things worth fighting for, worth staying home for, worth losing money for, worth missing school for — please be confident in your answer before you decide that this is not one of them.

  • 242. Chicago Students First  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    If you are a CPS parent, please register with our website: http://chicagostudentsfirst.blogspot.com

    We are looking for EVERY CPS parent so that we have a stronger voice in the discussions. “They” are making decisions for OUR kids, and assuming that what they want, we want too.

    Please go to the website and leave your contact information.

    Thank you!!!

    (And thanks CPS Obsessed, for giving us the green light to post this comment!)

  • 243. Skinner Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Very well stated greater good!

  • 244. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    @233 (Momto2) – “Sorry…personally hated all of those teacher institute days.”

    This is a complicated discussion that’s probably too off-topic for this thread to dive into here. Haphazardly scheduled PD days can be a big disruption to both parents and students. But there’s a lot of really important stuff that can be addressed in that time. However, whether or not those days productively address those things varies wildly depending on the local school’s professional capacity, the supervising network/area’s management model du jour, and various districtwide requirements and initiatives. We have, in recent years, had mostly very productive PD days at Senn. But I’m not at all sure that’s common across the city.

  • 245. Ouiser  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    #239 my jaw just dropped to the floor. I never imagined that the teacher line would be so mean to students/ of all things… The schools open as contengency CF were designated because they have they have the “better” of size to host kids from multiple schools, a reasonable cafeteria/kitchen/ hopefull air conditioning…etc… the school I volunteer at has had strike marchers every morning…but in no way have they been mean to anyone. Teachers who are mean towards kids…hmmmmm can I hear “children last” one more time? give it up y’all…

  • 246. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    “But good gravy picketers, please stop turning kids away from CF sites!”

    I suggest trolling a forum with more gullible denizens than this one. People here, even those I disagree with, are not foolish enough to believe statements like this without evidence.

  • 247. Scabs Should Not Be Crossing Picket Lines-union first  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    district299reader said 2 minutes ago
    THANK YOU LOCAL 134!
    ++++++++Now when will the other unions such as the school assistants, security guards and engineers tell their people to stop scabbing!++++ How am I supposed to have a working relationship with the aides assigned to my special education classroom when I know they have been paid double and it is off my BACK!

    Subject: Fwd: Local 134 Transparency Times
    Check out the email my husband was sent!
    Subject: Local 134 Transparency Times
    From: Local 134 Transparency Times

    Local 134 Transparancy Times – Letting our fellow brothers and sisters know what is really going on at 600 Washington
    Is this email not displaying correctly?
    View it in your browser.
    Local 134
    Transparancy Times
    Dear Brothers and Sisters,
    Please be aware that our brothers and sisters in the Chicago Teachers Union
    need our support. Please report to any member of any union who crosses the
    picket line to your union stewards so that they may notify the officials at
    the Hall.

    Also let us know if you spot any non-union electricians crossing
    the picket lines to work inside Chicago Public School facilities. We will
    immediately notify the City of Chicago and the Department of Labor. It is
    about contract violation, but more importantly, it is about keeping school
    children safe by avoiding substandard work by untrained workers.

  • 248. cps dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I can’t stand that teacher’s are picketing at children first schools. But @239 what have you been smoking. I don’t believe for a second that teachers would go out of their way to harass students. Go troll a different blog please.

  • 249. cps dad  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    @247 what is that post supposed to be?

  • 250. SR  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks Greater Good – you articulate well many of the reasons I support the strike.

  • 251. klem  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Greater Good @241: You’re a charter school teacher? How did you feel when Karen Lewis referred to yours as “unreal” school?

  • 252. Todd Pytel  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    @241 (Greater Good) – “It is about communities asking and examining, “What do we value? What do we want our society to look like? How are we going to build that future for ourselves?””

    I agree that these questions – huge, fundamental value questions – are at the heart of the ongoing movements in education reform. What I don’t think we’ve figured out is how to actually have productive conversations about them at a significant scale. Yelling louder and making grand speeches doesn’t change someone else’s values, or help you to reconsider your own. Real dialogue is hard to begin with, and many aspects of the modern media landscape make it even harder (Hi trolls!).

    I think a lot of the people on this blog are becoming increasingly conscious of these deeper questions about dialogue in our city. Perhaps we may yet find a solution.

  • 253. Hyde Park Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    @241 your thoughts are well said and inspiring.I,like many parents here,value education deeply.I am fortunate to have had an excellent one, and home from very humble roots.I have seen first hand what education can accomplish,ad well as a lack of it.If truly,however,CTU values education , does making kids stay home indefinitely prove that?These issues are complex and require energy,time.Time is of the essence for school children.These problems can’t and should not be solved while they idly wait.Let’s find solutions without bringing their education to a screeching halt.

  • 254. Meg Welch/IB obsessed  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    @240 ” I think to make similar changes is a huge cost but it does seem very unfair in how some schools get it and others don’t.”

    When my child entered 1st grade at a Northside RGC 6 years ago, (she is now at a private school) she was privileged to have a full week, before the official start of school, getting to know the teacher, receiving assessment re her DIBELS level, putting together a puppet show for we parents, (We were even given a book on “gifted” children and their needs, which the school practices then proceeded to flout at every turn)and generally getting comfortable with the school.

    Now I know some of the funds from this probably were discretionary, decided by the principal, but when I hear of SPED students, and how they are shafted, I am appalled by the inequities in CPS.

  • 255. sen  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    @71 I like what you said. I also get overtime as an RN. Maybe that makes me a nonprofessional? I see a lot of similarities with healthcare and education. Thank God I am not being tarred and feathered.

  • 256. H. Nathan Wilcox  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    @ 241: I agree with your sentiment wholeheartedly. Education in this country is broken ten ways to Sunday. And it is idiocy that we don’t dedicate our every resource to fixing it. There is no better investment that we can make in our society. It is the answer to almost every social and economic problem.

    And if that was what I was hearing from CTU, I would be in the streets with them. What I do hear is that they want to protect the worst performing teachers and the worst performing schools and leave us with the same broken system. How does that help the children?

    I, for one, had my share of amazing teachers. I would be fine with them making six figure salaries. They should have every resource they need, and I consider it a stain on us all if they don’t. They are worth every penny. I also had terrible teachers, who did more harm than good (e.g., rather than read To Kill a Mockingbird, my English class watched the movie).

    I would happily pay higher property taxes (and am on record in a pre-strike thread that they should be on the negotiating table) to keep, educate, and train more great teachers. But we need to also be able to get rid of, retrain, or repurpose poor teachers.

    The only thing I am hearing from CTU is the opposite of this: no merit pay, no effective evaluations, no principal choice in hiring. Just keep recycling the same ineffective teachers because the CTU was created to protect its MEMBERS not children.

    I agree none of this is easy. But we are a nation of smart people. If the evaluation system is unfair, suggest fixes. But it has to have teeth or it is not an effective evaluation system — I don’t care what group you are evaluating 99.7% of them are NEVER effective. If you fix evaluations, the rest of this falls in line — merit pay will be obvious, principals will line up to hire highly rated teachers, etc.

    My children will be fine either way. They have support mechanisms at home and parents with the resources to find other solutions. But I came from an education environment similar to a lot of the kids that we are talking about (rural rather than urban poverty but the effects are the same), and I know what they are going through. I know the differences that good (and bad) teachers can make. And I hope we don’t make the same mistakes for yet another generation.

  • 257. Portage Mom  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    @252 Todd Pytel – I agree with everything you’re saying. I’ve appreciated the comments you’ve made on this blog. Thanks for taking the time to advance the discussion forward and doing it ever so respectfully. I’ve learned a lot thanks to you and other posters regarding how we got here.

    I sense both sides have dug their heels in for the long haul. I’m not sure how as parents we can get things moving in the right direction so both teachers and kids can be back in the class room where they belong.

  • 258. Katherine  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    I am a real CPS mom and I have been volunteering in CPS since the late 1980s. The comments in the news, blogs etc really bother me and so many comments are made by knowing Nothing about the poor schools and conditions the majority of teachers are from, and ultimately what teachers are striking about.

    Because of SB7 which this despotic Mayor pushed in Illinois of course this strike had to cite pay and conditions — the only legal striking declarations for taking a vote of members etc., but there are many other issues tied to Conditions of work for a teacher in an average school in CPS. Rahm Refused flat out to do collective bargaining before the strike–Daley never never would have let this happen. Rahm is a one-term mayor I hope. I love how his office keeps saying the teachers “chose” to strike.

    I am a CPS parent and when I can, I am joining my teachers at the Children First (I hate saying that–if kids were first that money would go into fixing schools and collective bargaining to end the dispute–disgraceful). The teachers are not interfering with anyone that I have ever seen.

    Many people who currently live in Chicago are not from Chicago (they are from suburbs and other states) so they do not understand the history of underfunded schools is very long, corrupt, racist and continues to be unresolved. It is kind of hard to resolve a situation when 87% of the CPS kids are in considerable poverty (acc. to CPS website and federal reporting on eligibility for reduced/free meals), and the people making the decisions have never set foot in these poor schools. The CPS board are, in general, a disgrace when you look at their intellectual decisions based on No research or field work (i.e. going to schools to see what goes on from day to day). Brizard is a nice personable man with no experience of our poor schools who will be gone in less than a year, I will bet all my money on that.

    Many people new to Chicago also do not understand that we have TWO Governors who went to prison–**it was not for stealing stamps**. There are hundreds of millions of dollars unaccounted for–and the knock on effect of fines etc jacked the deficits even higher. Hence, no explanation needed for why we spend so little on public education–the cash was gone and Education has **no one to fight for it**–hell teachers are told to shut up everytime it is raised. If middle class people do not get their kid into a decent magnet school or live in one of the very few (like 12) well performing community schools, they go private/charter or move to the suburbs. That leaves everyone else with scraps. and again, **no one to fight for them**. When people get into a fancy well funded magnet school they fundraise for that school–they do not fundraise for the poor schools.

    I am a CPS parent and I am very proud that the teachers from both richer schools and poorer schools have finally had enough, and overwhelmingly want to change things-they want to improve things that are very bad that parents from LaSalle, Newberry, AJLA, etc do not see and will never see since they do their own fundraising for their own school, and can afford to do so–can you imagine your kid’s school without airconditioning or proper heat in winter? with split wooden desks you can get splinters from? Or how about no desk or no chair and you have to share? People do not see it. I’ve seen alot of that in the last year and I have only visited ~60 schools, barely scratching the surface.

    90% of members voted to strike–people should think about what this means. This isn;t some 51% majority. If you leave your kids with teachers all day, try to respect their opinions on WHY they have gone on strike and ask what is still unresolved. I get updated every day from them.

    Our teachers spend 7 hrs a day with my son–it is more than a place where I drop him off so I can work.

    We have to think about ALL schools if we live in Chicago–education is a right, not just something that we can afford for middle class neighborhoods. Teachers are trying to draw attention and serve the entire city–there is no other way to do it. No one is listening. Crane was a horrible high school in the 80s with sewage in the hallway, beatings, and gunfure on a regular basis, and oh yeah Low test scores. How much better is Crane doing now? Is someone going to explain to me with all the different teachers who have been through Crane’s doors that the low test performance is a teacher’s fault? Nonesense. WHy close it and disrupt all the community? FIX IT.

    We need to support ALL of the publics schools and tell Rahm Emanuel to privatize up in the Northern suburbs not here, since it cannot be successfully done in Chicago without leaving 200,000 kids behind. If these kids cant even pay $40 school fees how would they ever be able to be in a Charter or private system?

    If kids do not have support at home, they also do more poorly on standardized tests–teachers should be rewarded for being willing to teach kids who need Extra, not punished.

    Primary Education is a right it is not supposed to be a business but in CHicago for 25 years the real problem is that only the teachers care and the parents who are Directly affected but often are too poor/sidelined from poverty to get anything but a glazed eye look and a form letter from a politician.

  • 259. So tired of the excuses from CPS  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    258 Thank you! Well said and spot on…

  • 260. Greater Good  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:03 am

    In response to @251 (klem)’s question about how I felt when Karen Lewis referred to my charter school as “unreal” and insinuated that I am, basely, not a teacher — I felt exactly how you would expect anyone to feel in such a situation. I felt hurt and insulted.

    But, I am lucky to be surrounded by friends and colleagues who are more eloquent and forward-thinking. Karen Lewis has a role to play here, and while she does not give all of the issues the thorough examination and credit that they are due, she is still justified on many other counts, and I am still thankful for her strong-willed efforts at this time. We are not a species of all-right or all-wrong. She is both right and wrong. Our mayor is both right and wrong. My worst fear in this scenario is that the public viewing this debate from the outside might lose sight of (or never see) the fact that there are very real people and very real, very serious, very complex issues behind these two talking figures. They might be elected, but they do not represent everyone perfectly. But that is okay. We are compassionate enough to appreciate what we do have, and smart enough to move forward asking to hear more balanced voices.

    With that said, I agree that the contract negotiation is not truly the main issue here, and it is not the fundamental reason for the strike. Hopefully, the contract will get resolved soon. I do want students back in school. Indeed, I’m still teaching everyday.

    My recommendations are these: (1) Please spread the word. (2) Please try to become as informed as possible. Talk to “real” teachers — of all sorts — and try to hear all sides. I work at a charter school, but I do not believe that charters schools are the answer. They are fraught with issues themselves, and they have the potential to take on a very positive or very negative role in the future of education. They are a series of experiments, and I happen to be part of one that I am very proud to take that risk with, but they should not become a replacement for the right of every single child in our community to be within reach of a quality public education. They are not the answer, and I believe that firmly. They do play a role, though. It is possible to live in a nuanced, grey world. (3) Please take the advice that CPSO gave in her original post. Call your local, state, and national representatives. Call the mayor. Make your voice heard. If you believe in education for all, demand education for all. If you believe that education in our city and our country should be funded first, not last, let them know. If you know that it takes collaboration of resources, funds, and efforts, then go to your school, go to a neighboring school, go to a school on the other side of the city. Support with your time and your dollars, and if you are paying tax dollars, make sure those dollars are going where you want them to — let the bureaucrats know that EDUCATION IS YOUR PRIORITY. Not just for your kid, but for all kids. Not just for you, for now, but for the betterment of all of society. Let them know. (4) Engage your kids in this debate. This is the very best thing you can do. Teach your children to be compassionate. Teach them that there are issues clouded with grey complexity, that there is not always a clear winning side, but sometimes it is necessary to stand up and fight for something important, even when it is hard, even when you don’t agree with all parts, even when you have to stand up with someone who has hurt and offended you. Teach them through this time. Talk to your children’s teachers, support them, and see how you can help bring these lessons into their classrooms — the faster, the better — but remember, the important part is that the lesson is heard, and that might take awhile. But, you can help.

  • 261. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:10 am

    By the way, I am an AJLA mom–I am in the “Lucky CLub”. It fills me with grief when I hear us Lucky parents rag on CTU simply because our school is fine. We have to stop this tunnel vision–we all have to live in this city together and work to end this huge disparity between well funded blue ribbon magnet, and community falling apart trying to hold-it-together community school. The property taxes have to be pooled differently–it is simply not fair that your school is determined literally by birth–poor kids aren’t moving to Old Town or Wicker park anytime soon so they are stuck where they are.

    Please look at the bigger picture.

    I once was a CHA-dwelling kid who had to sit on a floor at school because the school was robbed and everything was taken. We had Nothing in the school for weeks except donated paper and pencils.

    I grew up with gang members, some of whom were my friends. SOme of my friends were killed in accidents or murdered. I had a juvenile record.

    The one thing that saved me is that my parents understood the importance of LEarning from my teachers. I also had teachers who genuinely loved my brain and told me constantly I was meant to succeed. I was lucky my parents agreed.

    Charters–I think the fundamental principal is wrong if it means they get public money–public money should only be for public schools.

    I feel very badly for Charter school teachers I know, some of whom have been fired for spurious reasons–no protection at all. It has devastated them–they want to teach.

    We have many problems in education and it shouldn’t just be we are trying to “get out” as soon as we can.

    Please write Rahm, your Alderman and your local State Rep.

    “If you tolerate this, then your children will be next”

  • 262. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:22 am

    We didnt have air conditioning and fans kept getting stolen when I was very early in school–when it was hot we were sent home.

    I missed alot of school before 4th grade.

    I think in this day and age having students boiling or freezing is a disgrace. We can buy new furniture in Aldermanic offices or have costly festivals yet we cannot do some climatic correction so our students can pay attention easier and teacher be more comfortable/not get sick.

  • 263. fosterrice  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Howdy Meg and Todd!

    It seems you already found them, but my comments about the CTU negotiator’s claims were in the previous blog entry (the first strike watch entry on CPSO – my comment was posted Sept 11 at around 10am). As I stated in my reporting of those claims, I’m only reporting what I heard, although another parent did ask for double confirmation that CTU is willing to give the principal final discretion on hiring so long as they at least interview recall-pool candidates. The CTU negotiator and CTU delegate at the forum confirmed that claim. This, in my mind, seems like a fair compromise from both sides that ensures that recall-pool candidates receive the opportunity to present themselves in person to principals who may be skeptical of them due to the perceived “baggage” of their prior school etc. But it also privileges the ability of principals to match the best teachers to their school’s mission, vision and constituency.

    That said, the proof will be in the contract pudding, eh? What I will say is that the details of this one issue goes to show how complex the negotiations have become. I sometimes waver about whether such complex issues are strike worthy (at this level of detail, it could take a long time to resolve!). But then I am reminded that we are in this position because of SB7 and back room political machinations like PERA, which have forced the union’s hand. All these machinations are initially so far fetched as to seem implausible until you realize they are well documented (including all over this blog). If SB7 and PERA were intended to prevent a strike, it should be clear by now that they are one of the root causes for both the occurrence of a strike and the length of time it will take to resolve it. Can the union speed things along a bit more and are they responsible for holding up issues like evaluation in the past – absolutely. But they aren’t solely responsible for the strike and they have legitimate reasons to be distrustful of CPS and city/state politicians with lots of power over our schools yet little understanding about teaching.

    – Greg Foster-Rice

  • 264. fosterrice  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Ooops. Meant to say my earlier comment was posted on Sept 12 at about 10am. It’s been a Long day.

  • 265. fosterrice  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Well I’ll be darned – just switched to Trib to discover breaking good news. We just might be back to school on Friday. The mere fact that both sides would even hint at the idea is very promising.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-both-sides-see-progress-as-teachers-strike-reaches-day-4-20120912,0,482612.story

  • 266. Meg Welch/IB obsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:35 am

    That is good news! I really f eel for the working parents,,with no family in town, like me, who have had a child care emergency due to the strike. I would be so screwed. And broke paying for child care.

  • 267. Danna Donofrio-Heldt  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Supposedly the schools get 30% of the Lottery’s profits. In 2011 those profits totaled over $600 million. No doubt that those profits are being put into the “common school fund”, but then where are they going?. We have no FRIGGIN idea!! Obviously some of the “chosen” schools are getting more funding than others
    As far as not needing air conditioning, have you spent a full day in your child’s classroom on a 85 or more degree day? I have spent many,and it’s horrible.. You can see it written all over the students faces. I went to CPS in the 70’s and 80’s. We did not have air conditioning. Our bodies have become accustomed to the “over” air condition in most places. When I was a child not every store, restaurant, movie theater, and mall’s air condition was being set at 30 degrees. Their bodies have acclimated to this.
    Our school held fundraisers to purchase air conditioner’s . The problem was is that the school is old and not wired to handle the extra use of electricity. To re-wire the school would be a fortune. Another interesting fact we have learned during this process, is that each window unit must have a specially designed bracket. Only one company ‘s bracket is CPS approved and is in the city. Gee! Do I hear kick-back??? These brackets run approx. $800 a unit. Hmmmm.!

  • 268. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Woo hoo!!!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 269. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Wow, hope from both sides – fabulous! I hope that we are back in school on Friday, AND that some of the issues that have been brought up during the strike will continue to be addressed.

    Clearly our system is broken and I seriously doubt that 1 contract will be able to fix it. We have started a dialog though and maybe that can be the beginning of some important changes.

  • 270. InServiceofWho?  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:24 am

    @248 it shocked me too. How would you feel if you had to experience it (or better yet if it was your kid)? I also like how I share an actual experience from a CF site and you just blow it off as trolling. A good gravy to you, too! The only reason I bring it up here is hoping a CTU member reads it and mentions it to someone upline so it gets put to a stop ASAP.

    Anyway, here’s hoping students are back (hassle-free) on Friday!!!

  • 271. none  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Katherine – Well said!:)

    I am glad to hear that schools might be open on Friday; however, I hope that CTU will continue to address the issues. I don’t mind homeschooling my children for another week or month, as long as teachers see it fit. I just find it incomprehensible for why so many anti sentiments against teachers and union in this forum. If we send our children to school everyday and being taught by these teachers – why do we hold such animosity toward them when they (the teachers) think the strike is the best option to bring awareness of our broken system. These parents really baffled me – they want their kids to return school, because of inconvenience? I understand that for some parents, it might be matters of livelihood (daycare fee, high school senior opportunity etc), but for those opposing due to other reasons such as teacher benefits or other incentives- that scared me! The funny thing is that they lambasted the teachers, and yet they want their children to be taught and guided by these same teachers again!! Really – If this is not the time to speak up, then when can we ?? If the mayor and his rich billionaire chums think they can do whatever they want, is this the message that we want our children to accept??? I know that one strike can’t fix everything, but at least its message is clear: Enough is enough!

  • 272. Paul  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I’m against the teachers striking because I think their demands are unreasonable. They want higher pay when their pay is already high. They want higher benefits when their benefits are already high. They want additional job protections when they currently have lots of job protections. They want fewer required work hours and fewer work days when they already have few required work hours and work days. They want less accountability for their performance when they already have almost no accountability.

  • 273. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:23 am

    http://www.suntimes.com/15101839-761/chicago-public-schools-students-back-in-class-by-friday.html

    “The district’s proposal softens an evaluation system that the union said could have put nearly 30 percent of CPS teachers on the path to dismissal if they didn’t improve their performance within a year.

    The proposal made public Wednesday would allow those teachers to stay at their jobs indefinitely, as long as their scores didn’t dramatically decline after the first poor score.

    Daly noted the offer is a step backward from a growing national trend to get rid of teachers in the second-to-last category.

    “You typically can’t stay there forever,” he said. “You typically stay there for one year and then you can’t repeat that rating. You’re dismissed or lose tenure.””

    So in other places, bad will teachers get fired, but in Chicago, they will keep their jobs forever, and get annual raises on schedule.

    For the children.

  • 274. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Angie, *if* I recall correctly, that may refer to the second lowest ranking. I don’t think those with the lowest ranking get that protection.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 275. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:43 am

    I have a question about testing. Teachers are obviously vehemently against lack of progress on test results being a part of their evaluation or at least a reason for their dismissal. Is this because they think that the tests do not accurately test students? In other words, do they think that kids are learning, but still failing the ISAT?

    Or, is it because they think that their students face so many other problems related to poverty that they cannot learn and make progress on tests? I am really trying to understand where the teachers are coming from and I feel like I must really be missing something.

    According to the Trib article, CPS dramatically changed their stance on evaluation. In the earlier proposal, teachers in the bottom 2 evaluation categories would have a year to improve and if they did not improve, they would lose their job. “The proposal made public Wednesday would allow those teachers to stay at their jobs indefinitely, as long as their scores didn’t dramatically decline after the first poor score.”

  • 276. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:44 am

    @274. cpsobsessed : You are correct, but my problem with this is that there is no requirement to improve. If they can manage to stay just above the cutoff for the lowest ranking, they get to keep their job for life.

  • 277. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Sorry, I have a followup question to my last post. I am not so interested in teachers losing their job if there scores are not improving, but I am interested in helping them to improve. So, what steps are taken when a teacher is in the the “Developing” (used to be “Needs Improvement”) category? What are we doing to help them improve?

  • 278. TiredofIT  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Received the robo call last night.from Stand for Children. I am not a CPS parent and DO NOT appreciate any robo calls anytime from anyone. Take my friggin number of your robo call list.

  • 279. Portage Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:10 am

    @278 I can appreciate your position but why post here? Stand for Children has a local office in Chicago with a number and an email address. Wouldn’t you be better served contacting that organization directly?

  • 280. Hyde Park Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I read the above tribes article re their new proposal.And as Paul said, they are getting more and more for same .one of my gave quotes is “the more things change,the more they stay the same.”So true now.I am glad if classes resume Friday.I am fortunate my son goes to a school considered one of the top, but I expect more than ever from his teachers.I had no idea teaching was so immune from what plagues other professions until this strike.

  • 281. Techqueen333  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Teachers should most certainly NOT be evaluated based on the results of standardized testing. Yes, good teaching delivered by good teachers matters. So, does a kid’s home life and socio-economic status. Kids who are hungry, homeless, lack healthcare, don’t have books in the house, didn’t go to pre-school, have addict parents, whose parents work two or more jobs and aren’t home to help with homework, who witness or are who are victims of violence, are English language learners, whose parents are first generation, who change schools repeatedly or who are ABSENT are not generally going to do as well on standardized tests as children whose social and cultural capital better prepares them to achieve high scores. No way teachers should bear sole responsibility.

    When is CPS going to develop a rubric to evaluate parents when determining the factors contributing to test outcomes? When will socio-economic and other factors be considered? It’s not only teachers and it is unfair to hold teachers solely accountable.

  • 282. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:30 am

    @275 Edgewater mom, yes that was a big concession on the part of CPS. When I sat in the call with Chief Ed Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett, she was very adamant that CPS felt strongly about using the evaluations to remove under-performing teachers and that they wanted the recall policy to allow principals to have hiring freedom so they can select the best teachers for their school. At that point, CPS had already agreed that principals would be required to interview some teachers from the layoff pool.

    CTU appears to have moved as well, given that they were completely opposed to the evaluations, now they are working on the details. They have also backed down from full protection for laid-off teachers from the many schools that are set to close in the near future.

    I am thrilled to hear of progress. Definitely the best words I’ve heard Karen Lewis speak.

  • 283. klem  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:31 am

    None @271 wrote: The funny thing is that they lambasted the teachers, and yet they want their children to be taught and guided by these same teachers again!!

    ***
    I’m not so sure everyone wants their child to be taught by these teachers anymore. At my daughter’s school they do tons of evaluation anyway, so I think those teachers understand and accept having their students evaluated and being evaluated.

    But I’ve really lost a lot of respect for both the district and the teachers. Yesterday, I started considering private and parochial schools for the first time, and I won’t stop just because the kids go back to school. My confidence in the entire Chicago school system has been shaken.

  • 284. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:32 am

    If I may speculate briefly on the role of Ms. B B-B, I would guess that she was brought in in preparation for a possible strike as she has extensive experience in strike negotiation:

    SunTimes May 1, 2012:
    A national education consultant who helped lead reform efforts in Detroit, Cleveland and New York City has been tapped as “interim” chief education officer in Chicago, officials said Monday.

    Barbara Byrd-Bennett will serve as “chief education advisor” until May 31, when she will take over as “interim’’ chief education officer for Noemi Donoso, officials said.

    Byrd-Bennett’s role beyond serving as interim chief education officer is “unknown at this time,’’ Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler said Monday.

  • 285. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:33 am

    @281 (TeacherQueen) We all understand that those factors are going to effect students test scores. The evaluation is looking at the progress that students makes on these tests. So, are you saying that you do not expect students dealing with all of the horrible effects of poverty to make progress?

    I am not trying to be argumentative – I am really trying to understand where teachers are coming from on this issue.

  • 286. Coco  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Will this be a two-year contract?

  • 287. Hyde Park Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:36 am

    @281 Some of the obstacles you listed do not always have a negative impact on learning.I came here from another country,had to learn English as a kid.My parents never went to college,I was first generation.They could not help me with homework.My saving grace were great teachers who made sure they did their jobs well.And of course, my parents forever stressed learning .Furthermore,I never sent my child to preschool , a choice I made voluntarily.With teachers who know how to teach, they have so much power over a child’s life.

  • 288. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:37 am

    @281: I think they HAVE developed that rubric. It’s called Tiers! As someone suggested last night, why not use that to adjust for the scores?

    CPS’ POV is that even some of the worst schools in this country have found a way to drive progress among their students and that each teacher should be able to meet the district goals. Principals are getting more discretion on how to spend money and will be better able to help provide teachers with what they need to succeed.

    A question I would have is: If a good teacher is a good teacher, why at a school like Hawthorne do we still see a big achievement gap between low and higher income student?

  • 289. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:39 am

    @281. Techqueen333: “When will socio-economic and other factors be considered? It’s not only teachers and it is unfair to hold teachers solely accountable.”

    I see we’re back to the old scripts now. OK.

    Other factors will be considered when CTU gets off their behinds and starts working with CPS to develop the evaluation system that takes all that into account, instead of declaring that they are not interested in any kind of merit pay. Until then, using the test scores for 25% of the evaluation is not too much to ask. We have to make sure the teachers are actually teaching the kids something, and not just pretending to do their job when their are being observed in the classroom.

  • 290. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Ultimately I agree with Angie, we need to see some progress! On the other hand to hold a teacher with Lincoln Park kids and air conditioning to the same progress standards as Englewood kids who were broiling during the first month of school seems a bit of a stretch. If that Englewood teacher can do it, she’s cracked the code that few in this country have been able to do. I mean tell the truth, which position would you take if yearly progress counted as 25% of your job review?

  • 291. ncm  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I am curious what progress was made late yesterday and am hoping CPS did not cave on evals and recall. Chicago kids deserve better than an education hindered by the union’s agenda.

    From the Trib this morning – http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-arc-0913-jm-20120913,0,5291073.story

  • 292. CPSfinesse (formerly anon)  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:52 am

    From the CPS website:

    “Starting Thursday, September 13, should CTU leaders continue to strike, CPS will extend the hours at Children First sites to provide a full six hour day–from 8:30 am-2:30 pm–to help support Chicago’s parents.”

    I think it’s kind of funny that CPS is calling 6 hours a “full day.”

  • 293. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:58 am

    @290. cpsobsessed :” On the other hand to hold a teacher with Lincoln Park kids and air conditioning to the same progress standards as Englewood kids who were broiling during the first month of school seems a bit of a stretch.”

    Isn’t the first test of the year just a baseline? In that case, the kids who flunked it because of the heat would actually show more progress during the next test than the kids who had air conditioning. And under the original CPS merit pay proposal, the teacher in Englewood would have been paid more because of the harder working conditions.

  • 294. CPSfinesse (formerly anon)  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

    From the opposite end of the spectrum – you could have a mediocre or even bad teacher at an SEES who would not be removed due to test scores. Most of the kids in the classes are one or two years ahead so their test scores probably won’t change. But that doesn’t mean that they are “learning” anything.

  • 295. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:07 am

    @292. CPSfinesse: “I think it’s kind of funny that CPS is calling 6 hours a “full day.””

    Aren’t you confusing the full day of teaching with babysitting? People who are watching the kids now are not expected to teach them anything, and they don’t cost the taxpayers 100k per year (when benefits are included).

  • 296. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:09 am

    The evaluations appear to have no consequences…negative or positive so what does it matter where someone teaches?

    If my score is low, and I keep on pace with that low score, I get the same raise and job security as the teacher who went from a low score one year to an excellent the next year and the next.

  • 297. LR  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Hi everyone. I wanted to give more details on the air conditioning issue. I have been reluctant so far because I know a lot of people have their eyes on this blog. As I mentioned, I have inside info on this topic. CPS has considered putting air conditioning into track E schools (they have already done some). However, CPS never executed the project of putting air conditioners into Track E schools on a wide scale basis because it was too expensive. FYI – You cannot just have parents buy them…they need to be fitted properly into the windows. The electrical system needs to be equipped for it, etc. Not that parents couldn’t try to raise the funds…I’m just saying they cannot donate air conditioners from Target or Sears or wherever and just expect that they will fit all different types of windows/work with the electrical system in the building, etc. Keep in mind, these buildings are really old.

    When I wrote Karen Lewis several months ago about having school on 100 degree days, I asked for the district to call excessive heat days when the temps were above 92 degrees. Fans do not provide adequate cooling when temps are in the 90’s. Also, according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the guideline is “OSHA recommends temperature control in the range of 68-76° F and humidity control in the range of 20%-60%.” Is this realistic at CPS schools? No, but 92 degrees far exceeds what is recommended by OSHA, so I thought that was a fair number. CPS wants to move the start date of school back a couple weeks into August (I assume) so this issue is important. Again, I have no way to get my idea of excessive heat days to anyone (in the hopes of getting air conditioning off the table) because parents are shut out of this process.

  • 298. West Looper  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

    A good read:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/opinion/kristof-students-over-unions.html?_r=1

  • 299. JT  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:24 am

    @275 and others: Regarding evaluations, I am once again a little confused by exactly what CTU is fighting against/for in regard to evaluation.

    According to PERA from ISBE:

    “performance evaluations of the principals/assistant principals and teachers of that school district or other covered entity must include data and indicators of student growth as a ‘significant factor.’ ”

    That doesn’t come from CPS; it comes from the state. CPS has worked to come up with an evaluation system to comply, and they detailed their “final proposal” in this 58-page public document:

    http://www.cps.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/CPSFinalProposal.pdf

    Note that this document was completed in March.

    In the document, student test scores are used as 25% of a teacher’s evaluation AT MOST. For SY12-13, they are used for 15% of the evaluation (elementary) or 0% of the evaluation (high school).

    There is an addition component of the evaluation called a “Type III Performance Task” which is a performance-based assessment created in part by the teacher.

    There is a lengthy explanation of how scores will be evaluated and used. It is important to note that the student testing data is not to be derived from the once-a-year ISAT, but NWEA MAP testing which compares students’ success at the beginning and the end of the year. The MAP test is a computer-adaptive assessment that provides concrete, granular data not only on overall performance, but also on specific skills that are strengths or challenges. It is much less of a “blunt instrument” than the ISAT. It is certainly not perfect, but neither is it arbitrary.

    The proposal provides for ongoing professional development on MAP test use, teacher evaluation “domains” (a term adapted from the influential work on teacher improvement done by Charlotte Danielson), and on the implementation of curriculum based on the Common Core Standards. I understand that CTU questions whether this PD will actually occur. (Having used MAP at two different schools, I can vouch that training is essential to get the most out of it and use it well.)

    The proposal also provides for a joint study to evaluate the efficacy of the system. The language used is interesting:

    “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”

    I’m not interested in taking sides (other than the “I want my kid back in school” side), but this proposal seems like a very even-handed way to implement state law. Even if it was not seen that way, though, I’m very frustrated that it was not jointly revised between March and the strike deadline. A maximum of 25% of the evaluation based on student testing does not sound unreasonable as a “significant” portion. Much of the polemic here and elsewhere has made it sound as if teachers would be in jeopardy if their students didn’t perform well collectively on one high-stakes test. The actual proposal sounds very different to me.

  • 300. Tired parent  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:26 am

    May I ask, All I hear about KL talk about is her tenured teachers, what about the new batch of teachers coming into the fold. Do they not have a right for employment. These are the teachers she really needs to pay attention too because they are the teachers that’s gonna take our kids into the future or because they are more about change in the educational system she do not want to take them into the fold.

  • 301. LR  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:26 am

    @296: Thought the contract calls for evaluations to be figured into merit pay, doesn’t it? If evaluations have no consequences, why would they be a major sticking point?

    My overall point was that poverty does need to be taken into consideration in evaluations…particularly when those evaluations are tied to student test scores. It is unrealistic to expect that the teacher will be able to drastically improve test scores, when these kids come from environments that are starved in so many other ways. Oh, and CPS doesn’t even have adequate social workers to deal with their cases. There needs to be context because otherwise, CPS will be firing hundreds of teachers and spending lots of money to try and refill those positions, which is inefficient and costly.

  • 302. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:35 am

    With these no consequences evaluations, a teacher can be in the “developing” category each year from year one through retirement and still receive raises and job security. How can you be “developing” in the exact same job for 30 years?

  • 303. Monica  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:36 am

    This NY Times piece is a must read:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/opinion/kristof-students-over-unions.html?_r=2&ref=opinion

  • 304. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:39 am

    @301 – I thought merit pay was off the table. Is it back in? The union was celebrating the fact that it was no longer in the proposal several days ago.

  • 305. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

    @301 – the sticking point was that teachers could be fired if they spent several years in the developing category. With the latest proposal, they can never be fired unless they drop dramatically from a developing category.

  • 306. Anon  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:47 am

    @290cpsobsessed – I see your point. I do have a question though. How many schools actually have air conditioning? Do the south side schools not have AC and the north side schools in well-off neighborhoods have them? I know Nettelhorst does not have AC. I assumed all of the old schools do not, and Bell, Blaine, Burley, & Coonley all look old to me, although granted I’ve only seen them from the outside. Do any of these schools have AC? I also realize that many schools in poor neighborhoods are Track E, so have many more high heat days than Track R schools. Just trying to figure out how many schools in the system actually have AC.

  • 307. Mch  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:11 am

    If you haven’t read Kristof’s piece today in the Times (that elitist, right-wing rag) or today’s Trib editorial, they’re well worth the five minutes.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/opinion/kristof-students-over-unions.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-arc-0913-jm-20120913,0,5291073.story

    This excerpt from Kristof pretty much sums it up:

    “Teaching is so important that it should be like other professions, with high pay and good working conditions but few job protections for bottom performers.

    This isn’t a battle between garment workers and greedy corporate barons. The central figures in the Chicago schools strike are neither strikers nor managers but 350,000 children. Protecting elements of a broken and unaccountable school system — the union demand — sacrifices those students, in effect turning a blind eye to a “separate but equal” education system.”

    The CTU is about to be served with a very healthy, very long-overdue dose of reality. Enjoy your last few seconds of fame, KL. Soon it will be infamy.

  • 308. LR  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:12 am

    @299: Your post was helpful. I too am confused…”performance evaluations of the principals/assistant principals and teachers of that school district or other covered entity must include data and indicators of student growth as a ‘significant factor.’ ” And student testing accounts for 25% of the evaluation. But, how are performance evaluations used? Are they linked to salary increases? Are they used to determine whether to retain a teacher? Or are they used strictly for teacher development purposes?

    I think the system I was suggesting above (that CPS divides the schools into tiers based on percentage of low income students) would get rid of the teachers that are, as the NY Times piece described, “at the bottom.” If you are consistently below average for your schools’ tier, wouldn’t that be a more solid reason for dismissal (combined with other performance evaluation feedback as 299 was describing)? Then hopefully, you would see the average scores of each tier (and the entire system) start to creep up as the better performing teachers are retained.

  • 309. Pvt. Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Great comment @258 Katherine. As for the evaluation, many, many comments ago I said that most of the teachers at our children’s private school would score well above proficient on the REACH evaluation categories. I argued that this was not because they are all individually the best teachers on earth but because parents have entrusted them to be the professionals they are. If you look at what it takes to be an excellent teacher according to that rubric, you will see no teacher can achieve this alone. Its the curriculum and a proper scheduling of activities so that deep learning can happen. Its continuing education for the teachers. Its a collegial atmosphere that encourages teaches to share what they know and not be afraid to admit mistakes and ask questions. Its appropriate assistance on the part of parents. Its the opposite of micromanaging.

    While I understand why so many CPS parents are against the strike, I worry that when it is over that parent discussion of system inequities will stop because parents in wealthier neighborhoods are satisfied. (Well, at least until the SEHS letters go out!) The bottom line for me is that CPS is broken for all of the reasons Katherine mentioned and that the fixes that are coming down the pike are simply not good enough. For all its faults, the CTU strike has at least forced people to think about the fate of the entire system and not their own situation in their own school which will probably not close if its on the northside making AYP.

    There’s a good analogy here to the loss of family farmland. Farmers say, “Your last crop is asphalt,” meaning that once your farm becomes a strip mall, you can’t go back. Same thing with a strong system of public education. We’ll never be able to recreate it once its gone.

  • 310. LR  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:15 am

    @306…I could find out how many schools the A/C proposal was for. I want to say it was around 200, but I don’t know for sure. We go to Bell and there is no A/C. Not sure if the addition we are getting will have it or not. We also attend Beaubien and the annex wing is air conditioned along with I believe the library and office, but not the main building.

  • 311. averagemom  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:15 am

    We offered to raise money for AC in our school. CPS said the school’s electrical systems could not support AC in every classroom. It would have been over a million dollars to upgrade the electrical, so it wasn’t done. I would assume a lot of the older schools would be like that.

  • 312. rehtomhtrib1970  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Yeah, you want a longer school year so you don’t have to pay for childcare (let’s face it…that’s what the keening and wailing from parents re: the strike is REALLY about-you’ve had to take off work or find alternative childcare) but you don’t mind if KIDS and teachers swelter in the non-air conditioned factory model building during June and August.

  • 313. HydePark Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

    @303, Monica, that was a great OpEd piece from the NYT. That Gold Study proves what I keep stressing and strongly believe , that a great teacher, despite student socioeconomic background, can have a positive impact on that learning process, for years to come.
    Chicago needs to protect its kids from those teachers in the bottom percentile, not protect those teachers via an almost untouchable clause in the contract that maintains mediocrity.”The more things change, the more they stay the same”, this has never been more true in light of what is going on.

  • 314. SR  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I’m pretty sure Coonley has air conditioning on its top floors, and I think this was accomplished at least in part by parent fundraising. I don’t know the details of how this happened or what was involved, but my 1st grader said it wasn’t hot in his classroom during the first week.

    In my neighborhood it seems that funding is being allocated with the idea that at least one of the schools will be closed in the near future. The school that would accept a portion of the students in the closed school has been under renovation for over a year, getting an elevator (it has a program for disabled children), a new roof, and air conditioning. I don’t have any inside information, but I would guess that CPS is prioritizing funding based on a longer-term plan of closures.

  • 315. Portage Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

    This is an excerpt from an article in the Chicago Tribune this morning. I know the Trib is a very conservative leaning paper but they make a good point regarding how those raises may get paid for in the future. I suspect CPS/Mayor compromised this time because of the timing of the presidential election coming up shortly because if not for that the strike had all the makings to be long and drawn out.

    Excerpt from Trib article
    The new proposal also removes the district’s ability to rescind raises because of an economic crisis. The board stripped teachers of a 4 percent raise last year, sparking union distrust of the mayor.

    The issues of recall and how to evaluate teachers have been cited as crucial in recent days, while there has been little if any debate over a proposed salary boost that would average 16 percent over four years.

    To pay for those raises, which could cost the cash-starved district $320 million over four years, other expenses would have to be cut. The money-saving tactics could include closing schools and shifting public school students to charters that mostly hire lower-paid, nonunion workers and get additional funding from philanthropic sources.

  • 316. LR  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Ok, sorry so many posts, but here is more clarification on A/C. So, yes…CPS had a proposal done. It was for 200 schools that were either track E or contemplating track E. They shelved it, for unknown reasons, probably expense. Here’s why it is expensive. Apparently, my friend tells me, there is a standard detail when A/C is put in. You can’t just stick air conditioners in open windows, because it is a security issue. You need to remove the glass and put in a ceramic panel. Also, a school needs the electrical infrastructure to power them. In the same way you can’t really put air conditioners in every room of your house, you can’t do that in a school. In many cases you need to put in electrical panels and run conduit, or in some schools, you need new electrical service altogether (a transformer, etc.). This is probably more than anyone wants to know…but I just wanted to totally clarify, that this is an issue CPS has explored on their own. And some Track E schools have it already.

  • 317. anon  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

    @290 – does Lincoln Park have air conditioning?

  • 318. Pvt. Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:36 am

    “The money-saving tactics could include closing schools and shifting public school students to charters that mostly hire lower-paid, nonunion workers and get additional funding from philanthropic sources.”

    This was going to happen no matter what. Looks like the mayor will spin the raises as the reason why he has to do what he was going to do anyway.

  • 319. AnonMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Considering some of the schools mentioned, i.e. Lane, Bell that don’t have AC, I expect it is more than a fundraising issue. If it was just a matter of money, I expect that efforts to bring AC would have done. The parents would have probably been supportive in raising for such a need.

    I am glad to hear that the kids may return to the classroom tomorrow. However if the only changes that came about were in relation to protecting low-performing teachers and pay, it will be disappointing.

  • 320. IBobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:40 am

    “The money-saving tactics could include closing schools and shifting public school students to charters that mostly hire lower-paid, nonunion workers and get additional funding from philanthropic sources.”

    @314, all indications have been that closing schools and having more charters were the CPS plan BEFORE the salary increase agreement was reached. Very clever of them to knowact asif they were forced into closing schools due to CTU demands. Slick.

  • 321. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I doubt that closing schools can make up the shortfall in year 2-4 of this contract. It’s all a big mystery.
    There’s a chance that the BOE’s end game of this negotiation is something dramatic. Rahm’s an ultimatum kind of guy. Vitale is a no nonsense kind of guy. Obviously they know where they’re headed when making a deal they can’t afford under current finances.
    It’s probably bad news for union teachers that BOE is willing agree to something “in the ballpark” of what’s being negotiated. Rahm undoubtably has political pressure to claim thing down. But that’s only true until after the election.
    If BOE was really trying to make union schools work in the log run, why would they offer increasing salaries?

  • 322. AnonMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:44 am

    CTU chief: Deal likely today but classes may not resume until Monday

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-both-sides-see-progress-as-teachers-strike-reaches-day-4-20120912,0,482612.story

  • 323. Frustrated parent  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Spencer is a Track E neighborhood school that has 97% low income and 98% minority, yet they have shown a steady improvement in their test scores for the past few years. What do you know, the poor can learn!! *insert sarcasm font*

    Obviously it CAN be done and I’m sure there are more schools in CPS like Spencer. So why does this CPS school with the same poverty issues make it work, yet the union paints a picture that it is almost impossible? Can someone help me understand this???

    http://iirc.niu.edu/School.aspx?schoolID=150162990252462

  • 324. JustanotherCPSparent  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Meg/IBOS – hi! I’m not sure how orientation week was funded at the RGC our kids shared years back, but I can tell you at my current RGC that week is funded entirely by the PTO. When it comes to the “extras”, I think a lot of disparity is the result of wealthier parent fundraising as opposed to drastically different budgets. Not sure. On the one hand, I woud guess that SE and magnet schools are funded differently. On the other hand, I hear about the severe lack of discretionary funds in schools with small numbers of low income students. Who knows?

    Maybe after the strike is over, we could have a funding/budget thread. Really pick it all apart. I know there was a thread about the 12-13′ budget specifically, but it be nice to finally understand once and for all exactly how it is all done. I cannot understand why one school has tp while others do not, for example. Makes no sense.

  • 325. lawmom  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:57 am

    FYI – an update from the Nettelhorst principal with information about childcare. Also, for those parents looking to organize and have a voice, check out post #4 on this thread.

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    I am sure that many of you have heard that the hours for Children First sites have been extended. Children First sites are now open from 8:30 to 2:30. Our site is Walt Disney. In some cases, if your child receives special services or has a para-professional staff member assigned for assistance other sites may be more appropriate due to staffing and the clustering of programs designed to meet student needs. Attached you will find a letter from Chicago Public Schools outlining the new hours.

    Below you will find a web address which describes other programming available around the city. We have heard some good things from parents from neighboring schools. I thought some of you might want to check out the link and explore the possibilities.

    I know that these are not easy days for any of our stakeholders. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to see some of our children everyday. I miss all of our children and look forward to seeing them soon.

    Ms. Murphy remains at Nettelhorst to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to email me as well. I will continue to provide updates as necessary during the strike.

    This link has all of the alternative sites that offer student supervision. Pretty helpful.

    http://www.suntimes.com/15009434-761/map-schools-churches-other-sites-open-for-students-during-strike.html

    Other schools have reported that parents have been saying good things about Boys and Girls Club. Its $15 for a day and their hours are something like 9-6.


    Cindy Wulbert

    Principal of Nettelhorst

  • 326. Logan Dad  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I’m very entertained by the eloquent and accomplished CTU Trolls & Promoters who have found their way to CPS Obsessed. A couple things actual parents may wish to consider:

    1) If someone’s post ends in any kind of verbage that implores you to contact Rahm/CPS and ask for “fair” anything they are working from one of the CTU scripts.
    2) If someone’s post talks about overcoming hardship or has a questionable timeline (i.e. I’ve been volunteering since the 80’s) they are working from a CTU script.
    3) If a post points out that big money has infilitrated the blogosphere but then goes on to venhemently criticize either side, it’s likely a troll post.
    4) If a poster puts forth facts and figures that don’t make sense (i.e. I have 3 kids in CPS, was protesting, grading papers, solving world hunger and have been doing so since 1985) they are likely a troll.

    So, while I cannot prove a 100% that these folks are CTU Trolls it appears that Greater Good, Katherine, Grace, Isupportmyteachers, Voiceofreason and CPS Teachermom are all working for/with the direction of the CTU and are employing the CTU scripts.

    And, while I fully support their right to express their opinion, I also think it’s important to consider their origin. While I doubt it will happen, I really want to encourage operatives on both sides to identify themselves. AND, I want the Real Parents to consider the source as they try to figure out this complex and confounding issue.

    And Greater Good – Your posts are impressive. Are you part of the the Teach for America digital team I’ve heard about? Or did you work on the Obama Digital Ops Team? Clearly you’ve developed your talents in other arenas.

  • 327. JustanotherCPSparent  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Catalyst Chicago tweet – “Just heard from a delegate that a meeting set for Friday at 2pm. House of Delegates must agree to call of strike and accept agreement.”

    Not sure if their source is reliable, but if it is, looks like school could be on for Monday!

  • 328. techqueen333  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:59 am

    @289. Angie | September 13, 2012 at 8:39 am

    You write: ” @281. Techqueen333: “When will socio-economic and other factors be considered? It’s not only teachers and it is unfair to hold teachers solely accountable.”
    I see we’re back to the old scripts now. OK.

    Other factors will be considered when CTU gets off their behinds and starts working with CPS to develop the evaluation system that takes all that into account, instead of declaring that they are not interested in any kind of merit pay. Until then, using the test scores for 25% of the evaluation is not too much to ask. We have to make sure the teachers are actually teaching the kids something, and not just pretending to do their job when their are being observed in the classroom.”

    Really, Angie? What evidence do you have that CTU hasn’t tried to develop an evaluation system that takes all that into account? None. The fact of the matter is that the standardized testing system is flawed (See Diane Ravitch’s 2010 book) and even if it were not, it should not be the sole measure of teacher competency. Again, a kid’s home life and other forms of social and cultural capital (e.g. socio-economic status) matter as much or more than teaching.

    The board is picking and choosing what they want to share. That and general misconceptions and conditions about conditions in CPS iis causing people to form opinions yours and some of the others I’ve read here. If they are going to cut teacher pay then something else has to give. They will have to guarantee that teachers won’t spend a significant portion of their paychecks on classroom supplies. They will also have to lift the mandate that forces teachers to live in Chicago proper. Teachers simply cannot afford property in safe neighborhoods here on our current pay. Consider the teacher (I know one in particular) who went to school for a total of 8 years to become the best possible teacher for these kids. Her only chance at any pay increase is to continue her education but she can’t because CPS salaries do not allow for it. Where do you suggest she live? Room mates until she’s 50?

    The union won’t ever be able to rationalize the class sizes CPS is demanding (55+). If they do, then my opinion of the union would definitely drop. The person to whom I referred above became a teacher because she believe that the only way to have a sustainable economy and better future is to educate children to our best ability. We are planting trees for shade that we will never sit in. We need to see the big picture here. We need to fight for the rights of children while simultaneously maintaining some quality of life. The person to whom I referred above and her husband are both teachers and they work themselves to the bone every day. She is grateful for my job; she loves her school and she loves her kids. I am an education researcher at a research one university. I have seen this person’s classroom. It is exemplary. I know this teacher is hurting because she won’t be paid during the strike and mostly because she is out of the classroom and being heckled on the streets by passing motorists. However, she will always stand up for better conditions for her kids even if it means that she is disrespected by adults in other professions.

    I would never consider judging someone else’s job until I walked a day in their shoes. I respect that everyone has a right to their opinion but I do not respect those that judge the work of professional teachers without educating themselves fully. Society has dictated that teachers are no longer just teachers. They are social workers, therapists, babysitters and in a lot of cases parents to their students. We live in a country where many think raising taxes on the top 1% of the wealthy is abhorrent but the same individuals think cutting the salaries and retirement benefits of teachers is a great way to cut local and state deficits. Many parents don’t spend the time necessary helping their children with their school work and then blame the teachers when their child doesn’t do as well as they expected. Many kids come to school hungry or they change schools. We’ve allowed no child left behind and standardized testing replace real classroom education and eradicate gifted education and replaced it with rote memorization and learning to the test strategy. Communities and school board members don’t support our teachers and it shows in their

    How can you possibly know what it is like to be an urban teacher? I know a CPS teacher who taught in a classroom where my ceiling caved in and it rained in my room for a week before anyone did anything about it. You think teachers don’t need job protection to stand up for children? ACADEMIC FREEDOM. They can’t fight for themselves so they need teachers to do it for them. Teachers aren’t just fighting for money. Educate yourself. They are fighting for smaller class sizes(they want to put 55 kids in a class), books, AC (their rooms are over 100 degrees in the summer), resources, to get social work services for kids, and much much more. As for the merit pay thing, it just doesn’t work. This teacher used to teach in a school in a VERY low income neighborhood. It was like a revolving door of students. She had over 50 kids over the course of the year but only 25 in the room at a time. That means that she had a completely different class at the end of the year than the beginning. How the hell would you measure growth and PAY her on it based on that?
    How do you monitor progress when the kids don’t come to school?

    I think you are confusing how much of a raise CPS teachers actually get each year. The checks increase about 40 dollars each year. The teacher I know’s rent increases about 50 dollars each year.The media has also distorted the average teacher salary by including benefits and college professor salaries. Be honest…have you ever known a rich teacher????

  • 329. CPSMomNot4Long  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:04 am

    It is perfectly fair to link children’s test performance to teacher effectiveness. I know a CPS school where half of the students come from disadvantaged backgrounds, plagued with all kinds of socio-economic problems, and yet, 100% of their students meet or exceed state standards. Their teachers stay after school to help those who are falling behind, and that is just part of how they achieve these results.
    These dedicated teachers are still putting in less hours than a teacher at a very prestigious private school I know, where a teacher’s day starts at 6:45 with cafeteria duty, and ends at 5:00 after office hours and when school clubs are over. Needless to say, these teachers do not enjoy ANY of those union privileges CPS teachers feel entitled to, and are almost constantly observed during class by both administrators and their peers. Parents are also free to provide plenty of feedback on their performance, unlike CPS parents, who are sometimes told not to show up for report card pick up conferences unless their student is getting a C or lower because they are too busy to see them. And CPS parents have absolutely no say on their child’s teacher performance. Perhaps parent evaluations should be considered in the teacher evaluation process to provide a more balanced assessment.

  • 330. techqueen333  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:08 am

    @ HydePark Mom and @303, Monica
    Here’s what education historian Diane Ravitch (you all should really read her 2010 book since you are so interested in public education) has to say about the Chetty, Friedman and Rockoff study you are so fond of citing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/ravitch-problems-with-the-big-teacher-evaluation-study/2012/01/17/gIQAjGPl5P_blog.html

  • 331. Meg Welch/IBobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

    @325 Consider if it is not an intellectual cop-out to assume that those who take a view opposing your own are trolls. Too easy.

    Do you come on here only in order to find posts confirming what you already think?

    Schools apparently quit teaching critical thinking years ago.

  • 332. mom2  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I too would like a real discussion of budgets and funding for all CPS schools (and charter schools) once this strike is over. It is unbelievable that in a city of mostly democrats, that I hear all these teachers pitting north side and south side against each other, neighborhood against SE and magnet, etc. I think people have a vision of some schools that is simply not true. Most of the schools that have better test scores also don’t have air conditioning, get less funding because they have less low income students, and also have issues with not having books on time, etc. They just find a way to make it work because they may have more involved parents that help, have some parents that can donate money or supplies and may have teachers more willing to do a bit extra because the day to day environment is more organized with more attentive and less disruptive students (due to their better circumstances at home) so they aren’t spending all their time having to deal with things that shouldn’t be part of a teacher’s day, etc.

    Magnet schools are supposed to take kids from all tiers, so why are they the enemy? SE schools are supposed to take kids for all tiers to give those that show promise a better chance at success. So why are they the enemy?

  • 333. techqueen333  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:16 am

    @322 No one says the poor can’t learn. The FACT (see NCES) data, the poor score lower in math and reading and have lower graduation rates/college attendance than their higher SES peers.

  • 334. mom2  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:18 am

    As far as the deal that they may have reached, I want the CTU to list out what exactly they got that is “for the kids.” I see things they got that are “for the teachers”, but I am having a hard time finding things that benefit students (other than books on the first day). What is the benefit to students for teachers to get 16% raises, no health insurance premium increase, teachers that are categorized as needing improvement getting to teach every year with the same pay raise and not losing their jobs unless they get worse, etc,?

    I know my kids will go back to school and will hear how the teachers fought for their rights and fought for the kids. I really want them to go back feeling that this is correct, but I need to give them talking points please.

  • 335. AnonMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:19 am

    @333 – I agree

  • 336. HS Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

    @241 – greater good says – “In this strike, kids may miss as much school as it takes, but they are simultaneously learning about, participating in, and influencing civic action firsthand”

    I don’t know where to begin with this one. This statement is just hurtful. Parents have described their frustration as “used as pawns”, “held hostage” etc. but making the statement that “kids may miss as much school as it takes” is downright hostile and void of common decency. This is why parents don’t want to be part of your world.

  • 337. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:23 am

    “The board is picking and choosing what they want to share. ”

    Well, actually they published their offer yesterday.
    Of course they start with an extreme position to end up with something they can live with.
    What’s different in 2012 is it’s not CPS whittling down CTU expectations. Now it’s CTU trying to slow down fundamental change that is long overdue.
    You strike for ‘respect’ only when you’re out of ideas of how to improve low income schools under real world constraints.

  • 338. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Don’t get mad, get even. Record a message. Call Stand for Children at their number, and hit play. 312.626.2596. Only do it once. The effect comes when everyone does it.

  • 339. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Here’s a script: I’m opposed to outside political groups bothering people with robo-calls. Stop it.

    Or just sing a few bars of “Alice’s Restaurant.”

  • 340. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:31 am

    @325. Logan Dad said

    “I’m very entertained by the eloquent and accomplished CTU Trolls & Promoters who have found their way to CPS Obsessed.”

    I think almost all pro-CTU posts represent common, defendable, and understandable positions.

  • 341. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:32 am

    How are kids better off?

    This is a last stand for:

    public schools, not being rolled over by charter schools.

    the middles class as a whole from disappearing.

    And the real big picture of this whole thing is, republican operatives busting the unions, not for kids, not for “reform” but for future votes. The groups that fund ALEC and Stand fro Children, know if they take away the unions, these voters will vote on another issue (wedge).

  • 342. HS Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

    @330 Meg – I thought the same thing too. There may be something to it after reading “greater goods” dialog. I can’t believe that a charter teacher or a CPS teacher for that matter would make these comments. We’ve now gone from “for the children” to “for the greater good” in one swell swoop. Since when do you use children “for the greater good”?

    I do agree with you, let’s not dismiss out of hand.

    Katherine from AJLA made some excellent points. Maybe the late 80’s? 🙂

  • 343. JT  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:35 am

    @281 Check the document I linked in my longer post above. It includes a number of complex measures to determine a “value added” (its term) measurement of student progress. Even at that, as I mentioned, the testing data is slated to be used for 25% of the evaluation at most. Do you believe that the data should not be used as a predominant determinant or not at all?

    From the CPS evaluation document:

    “Value-added characteristics include:
    • Use of beginning of year (BOY) and end of year (EOY) NWEA assessment data
    • Is modeled separately for each grade level but are comparable across grade levels
    • Considers of students’ time enrolled in different teachers’ classrooms, known as dosage effects
    • Application of shrinkage methodology for increasing precision
    • Excludes students whose IEPs indicate that they should take the Illinois Alternative Assessment (IAA)
    • Excludes ELLs with ACCESS scores lower than 3.5 in the previous year
    • Excludes of students who attend more than 3 schools in a single school year
    • Includes a single year of data in 2012-13 and potentially two years of data where available starting in 2013-14
    Student-level controls for (a) prior reading and math scores, (b) gender, (c) race/ethnicity, (d) free/reduced lunch status, (e) ELL program participation, (f) students with disabilities, (g) students in temporary living situations program participation, and (h) mobility
    • CPS will collaborate with its value-added provider to investigate school- and classroom-level controls as needed and appropriate”

  • 344. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:37 am

    The great good, includes children, and their future prospects as adults.

  • 345. Frustrated parent  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:38 am

    @ 332 techqueen333 – yes I understand that the scores are lower, but my reason for pointing out a school like Spencer was to show that they also show GROWTH, even in conditions where CTU uses as the reason why it would be impossible to evaluate their teachers.

    I do think Rahm overreached with wanting test scores to weigh 45% of the evaluation. It is not fair for him to try to totally reform education at the expence of the current CPS teachers all in one contract when it took decades to get it this bad. He should have went with the state minumim, IMO. But I guess that’s not a good negotiation tactic. We will see where we actually end up.

  • 346. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:38 am

    @325. Logan Dad : I think you need to add techqueen333 to your CTU shill list.

    @327. techqueen333: “Really, Angie? What evidence do you have that CTU hasn’t tried to develop an evaluation system that takes all that into account? None

    Please see post # 299. CTU was supposed to work on this evaluation system. If they did, please link to the results or at least some evidence of their work.

    “They will also have to lift the mandate that forces teachers to live in Chicago proper.”

    Wait, so the teachers do want to move to the suburbs? Are you sure? @153. Frank – is the word of another CTU shill good enough for you?

    “Teachers simply cannot afford property in safe neighborhoods here on our current pay.”

    So what? Approximately 50% of Chicago residents are renting, and there’s no reason the teachers can’t do the same. You can rent a perfectly nice apartment in Gold Coast on a teacher’s salary, not to mention in the less expensive, but still very safe neighborhoods.

    “I think you are confusing how much of a raise CPS teachers actually get each year. The checks increase about 40 dollars each year. The teacher I know’s rent increases about 50 dollars each year.The media has also distorted the average teacher salary by including benefits and college professor salaries. ”

    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/At-a-glance/Pages/Stats_and_facts.aspx

    Per CPS site, the average teacher salary is $74,839, and there is no mention of college professors anywhere. It was, however, mentioned in the press that the total compensation package for a CPS teachers is around 100 grand when the benefits are included.

    As for the rest of your post, I will simply restate my previous points.

    1. Don’t tell me that teachers care about disadvantaged kids when they make a point of picketing the schools where these kids come to get a free meal.

    2. Don’t talk to me about supplies and resources unless you’re prepared to call your union leaders and ask them that the money allocated for teacher raises should be used for that purpose instead.

  • 347. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Any method of evaluation is meaningless, if the end-game has already been determined.

    And I believe Rahm is hell bent on closing public schools and opening charter schools.

  • 348. mom2  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:40 am

    So Jackie, because low performing teachers can’t be fired and teachers don’t have to pay more for health insurance and teachers get 16 percent more money during an economic crisis, we have now saved the middle class and saved kids from the evils of charter schools as an option? Wow.

  • 349. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Yes, Rahm certainly has said he wants to close union schools and open more charters.

    But he would like to lay off the worst teachers when he closes union schools. How do you suggest they choose the teachers to keep and the teachers to fire? Random drawing?

  • 350. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Yes, one segment of the middle class. Hopefully more people in modest paying jobs will see the benefit of a union. A latino makes 50% more money on average in a union than his non-union friend.

    If Rahm is serious about improving schools, put a freeze on any new money to charter schools and commit to public schools.

  • 351. none  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Something to chew on, especially for those who envy the teacher’s job: http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/15068666-452/hard-facts-behind-union-board-dispute.html

    As a CPS alumnus of the strikes of ‘83, ‘85, and ‘87, and as a parent of two Chicago Public Schools students, I know how hard strikes are on students and families. But as a CPS teacher with 12 years of experience, I encourage my students to understand the facts before they make up their minds. I can’t speak for the union, but I can help shed light on some of the facts underlying this week’s labor dispute.

    Are teachers underpaid?
    Chicago Public Schools starting salaries are among the highest in the region. That’s good news to parents who want their children taught by first- and second- year teachers. (Indeed, many early-career teachers are highly energetic and innovative, making up in enthusiasm for what they lack in experience and well-honed tactics. As department chair, I hired several.)

    But the annual increases for teachers in CPS are much smaller than the annual increases in many suburban districts. For example, a teacher with a master’s degree, 30 additional credit hours, and ten years of experience, can expect to earn $87,513 in Evanston this year; last year, in Oak Park, a teacher would have made $88,978. In Chicago this year, the same teacher will earn $75,711 — about $12,000 a year less than in districts to which he or she could walk or take public transportation from a home in Chicago.

    Over the course of a career, that difference amounts to over a quarter of a million dollars. This disparity should concern everyone, because it’s a primary reason why experienced teachers leave CPS to go to the suburbs — and why CPS has to train thousands of brand-new teachers every year.

    Do teachers oppose merit pay?

    It’s hard to argue with the idea of merit pay, and perhaps even harder to understand why parents should care about it one way or the other. Tying meaningful evaluations to salaries should, in theory, reward teachers for doing the things we want them to do: build skills, teach our children to reason rather than simply memorize facts, and become better teachers by building on strengths and improving identifiable weaknesses. But the fact is that the largest-scale merit pay implementation, in New York City, has done none of these things.

    Now in its second year, New York’s system has shown remarkable inconsistency. In some cases, the New York system gives a single teacher very different scores based on different classes, even though he’s teaching both classes the same subject during the same year. How would you tell that teacher what to improve? Skills-based tests penalize teachers who emphasize learning to think rather than memorizing facts that can be Googled. In New York, more than 70 teachers of high-performing students received scores placing them among the worst teachers, in large part because they taught critical thinking, and used projects to teach higher-level reasoning, rather than drilling skills: at the end of the year the students’ amazingly-high test scores were slightly lower than their even-more-amazing scores the previous year.

    On the other end of the scale, a teacher who manages to drill in a few basic facts can show dramatic improvement in test scores among very weak students — from abysmal to only terrible — without actually teaching the concepts and ideas that would help the students learn more in succeeding years. So on both ends of the scale, New York’s system discourages teachers from doing what will help their students in the long run.

    Maybe Chicago can do better than New York; as a lifelong Chicagoan and CPS graduate, I would certainly hope so. But, personally, I’m skeptical. Trying to measure how well people perform a complex skill is tricky at best; simple numbers rarely tell a consistent story.

    For example, the White Sox’s best batter this year is Paul Konerko, with a .308 for the season. But last year he batted .300, and while he batted .312 in 2010, his average was below .280 for the three previous seasons. These variations are for the same batter, hitting with the same bats and balls, in the same parks, against (largely) the same pitchers; the factors that cause the variations are often impossible to identify, because of the complexity of the task. Why would we expect a scoring system for teaching to be less random than an average of over 300 at-bats per season? And if that system isn’t consistent, how can we use it to get better teachers?

    Will firing bad teachers produce better educational results?

    This answer is simple: not unless we’re willing to live with substantially larger classes. An individual school of 50-odd teachers, with good hiring practices and reasonable incentives, can hope to replace three to five poorly performing teachers with teachers whom it expects to do better. (It’s important to remember that even this process is something of a crap shoot: every chair and principal can tell you about the “amazing” candidate who turned out to be anything but.) But there are over 500 Chicago public schools with over 21,000 teachers. Nobody knows how many would be let go under a more rigorous evaluation system.

    But if we assume three to five teachers per school, the total comes to about 2,000 teachers in all. Replacing that many teachers is an entirely different task, especially when that number is added to the annual drain of teachers leaving the profession or moving to higher-salaried jobs in the suburbs. The pay difference makes outbound flow of teachers one-way, especially because CPS does not give credit for teaching experience outside the system. In my years hiring teachers in my school’s math department, I always found one or two candidates whom I felt really good about — but never four or five. Do we really think there are several thousand strong teachers who would rush in to replace the ones we let go?

    Should teachers who have been fired get first crack at new jobs?

    This seems like a no-brainer. But think about it: CPS plans to close — by some estimates — about 100 schools in the next several years, which translates to a loss of about 5,000 positions. From a statistical perspective, while it’s likely that some of these 5000 teachers are unsatisfactory, it’s extremely unlikely that all of them are. And further stigmatizing teachers who gave it their best shot at the city’s roughest schools will only discourage talented young teachers from applying for those jobs in the future.

    If a new evaluation system is consistent, fair, objective, and rigorous, then a reasonable compromise might be that displaced teachers with satisfactory evaluations under the new system go to the head of the line for new jobs. But it’s hard to imagine a trade union sitting by while 5,000 of their workers are told to “get in line” behind new hires for possible employment at other factories or sites; why should CTU be any different?

    Teaching is a complex task, requiring a subtle weave of intellectual ideas, interpersonal dynamics, and emotional investment. Negotiating a new teachers’ contract is no less complex: we all feel passionately about educating our kids. But to get anywhere, we need to acknowledge the underlying facts.

    Teachers in Chicago are paid well initially, but face rising financial incentives to move to the suburbs as they gain experience and proficiency. No currently-existing “value added” evaluation system yields consistent, fair, educationally sound results. And firing bad teachers won’t magically create better ones to take their jobs.

    To make progress on these issues, we have to figure out a way to make teaching in the city economically viable over the long-term; to evaluate teachers in a way that is consistent and reasonable, and that makes good sense educationally; and to help struggling teachers improve their practice. Because at base, we all want the same thing: classes full of students eager to be learning from their excellent, passionate teachers.

    Paul J. Karafiol is the coordinator for curriculum, instruction and assessment and a nationally-recognized math teacher at Walter Payton College Prep High School.

  • 352. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

    charter schools perform no better than public schools. So he really just wants to cut teacher pay, plain and simple.

  • 353. Pvt. Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:51 am

    “I do think Rahm overreached with wanting test scores to weigh 45% of the evaluation.

    But why not go for it when you think that the teachers can’t (or won’t strike?). If you’ve got 45% this gives you considerably more leeway when you go assemble your data and PR talking points for closing schools. And that is the next big fight that both CPS and the teachers are gearing up for. Parents angry about the strike can’t lay it all at the feet of the teachers. Its simply unwarranted.

  • 354. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I am guessing that rahm sees charters as better for a range of reasons, for certain voter groups, opening charters makes him look good, AND they cost CPS less (and have less union power) than the “real” (haha) schools, and they get the system money from outside the city. I’m thinking he sees it as a win.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 355. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:52 am

    @cpso, a win at who’s cost?

  • 356. anonymous  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:52 am

    And b/c there is no oversight of charter school budgets, they can spend what they like, how they like. That is how, for example, Juan Rangel, dir. of UNO charters, makes $266,000, more than Brizard. Rangel has no bacckground or credentials in education. Not sure Rangel graduated college — does anyone know?

  • 357. anonymous  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:54 am

    @350 — this was written by Dr. Karafiol of Walter Payton h.s..
    Brilliant, really.

  • 358. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Rahm also saw financial deregulation as a win in the late 90’s

  • 359. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Will schools be open on Monday?

    That’s the smart move by the CTU, as it doesn’t risk losing the goodwill that they will need for the upcoming fight on school closings.

  • 360. Pvt. Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I think Rangel went to NEIU. Don’t know his major but he is very interested in art and illustration. So, maybe was an art major or something like that.

  • 361. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I’m disappointed in the reaction of some posters here to the evaluation compromise.

    First off, let’s make sure we’re clear on the facts of the proposal. A teacher scoring in the lowest category receives an Unsatisfactory. Period. A teacher scoring in the 2nd lowest category (“Developing”) needs to avoid dropping significantly (11+ points) by his next evaluation or else receive an Unsatisfactory.

    Now, the Developing band has a 75 point width. A “significant” 11 point drop is exactly that – significant, but not huge relative to the size of the category. If you scored Developing and were facing *possible termination* from your job if you drop a not-large amount next time, would you be sitting on your hands thinking you’re good enough? Do you think teachers will feel like they have such a handle on how this entire complex, 400 point, multi-component system works that they will try to precisely calibrate their effort to maintain their exact score from the previous year? That sounds wildly implausible to me. If you score in Developing, you’re going to be working hard to improve yourself – you don’t want some random variation in student test scores kicking you down 11 points into an Unsat. And that’s what we want – teachers working hard to improve. At least that’s what I want. It sounds like some people here really want “Fire more teachers” and will settle for nothing less.

    The other important factor here is understanding the meaning of those rating bands. I still don’t have all the details of how every component is calculated, so I still can’t analyze the overall bands in great detail. However, both in name and numbers they appear to be modeled after the Danielson categories. So I would assume the various component calculations are designed in a similar fashion. The Danielson component will count at least 50% in any case, so it’s going to be the biggest single influence on the overall rating. The Danielson bands are a far cry from something as simplistic as “Bad – Below Average – Above Average – Great”. Scoring a Level 2 in Danielson requires demonstration of genuine awareness of good pedagogy and genuine effort in implementing it. Generally, the Level 2 descriptors remark that that implementation is uneven or imperfectly done. Level 3 (“Proficient”) is actually quite demanding, and requires highly consistent and effective implementation of best practices. And Level 4 reaches beyond that, generally requiring a teacher be “innovative” and “exemplary”. The general expectation of Danielson scoring is that *no* teacher would score a 4 in every category, and that perhaps the top 1-2% could score that in most of the categories. Level 4 is designed to be inspirational and aspirational. It’s *way* beyond “I got 100% on my spelling test.” A “lazy teacher” that isn’t thinking about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it isn’t even going to score a 2. You can’t phone in a 2.

    Now, would it be nice to see a positive criteria (must score 10+ points better) rather than the current negative one? Sure. But nobody’s really seen how all these numbers and ratings are going to work out yet. In a few more years when we have actual experience and real numbers to work with, I might strongly support a positive criteria for retention. But for now, I think the current evaluation proposal is extremely reasonable, and very, very far from being as “toothless” as some people describe it to be. This is a system that’s going to promote genuine effort, reflection, and improvement.

    Todd Pytel
    Mathematics Department Chair
    Senn High School

  • 362. Pvt. Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:56 am

    The Reader says its a communications degree at NEIU.

  • 363. another CPS mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:57 am

    How about if all CPS teachers just earn about $35,000 per year, get evaluated by their principal and based on the standardized test scores (ISAT or MAP?), and lose any unspent sick days each year? The current older and more experienced teachers could then be incentivized to leave education. We could get a lot of recent college grads (like TFA) to take the teaching jobs for a year or two. There would be a constant stream of those, so the teaching corps would annually refresh itself and bad teachers would be gone soon anyway. We could have class size up to, say, 40 of 45, and we should close all the schools that are not currently full — what’s that? about 100? for another field. And, of course, we could open more SEES and SEHS on the northside and flip the remaining neighborhood schools into charters. Kids that don’t fit could be institutionalized at some point (jail, etc.). This plan might work for Chicago. Let’s see how it works about about 20 years and then tweak if needed. — Just sayin’.

  • 364. CPS Teachermom  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:59 am

    “4) If a poster puts forth facts and figures that don’t make sense (i.e. I have 3 kids in CPS, was protesting, grading papers, solving world hunger and have been doing so since 1985) they are likely a troll.

    So, while I cannot prove a 100% that these folks are CTU Trolls it appears that Greater Good, Katherine, Grace, Isupportmyteachers, Voiceofreason and CPS Teachermom are all working for/with the direction of the CTU and are employing the CTU scripts.”

    Oh my goodness, so silly. Do you really and truly think that just because people don’t agree with you, that they can be identified as “trolls” (I never understand that term, either, so maybe someone can clear that up).

    As I mentioned–I am a mom to 3 kids in CPS. They go to a great neighborhood school. I work in a wonderful school on the west side with lousy test scores. I actually did not grade papers yesterday, lol, because I was too busy with other things. I did do some lesson planning. I did talk on my cell to a parent of one of my troubled students. I do exist. I took my daughter out for fondue last night at Fondue Stube and then to Lincoln Town Mall. What else do you need to know? Geez, enough already with the “people who don’t agree with me must be on the payroll of such-and-such an organization.” And if you want “full disclosure”, the “Voice of Reason” teacher is a good friend of mine from college and she just happens to have a lot of opinions…as I do…and we were moved to post here after long reading this forum because we were annoyed at what we perceive as an entitled, elitist slant to the voices represented. Truthfully, there aren’t enough voices represented here. I don’t even know why I am bothering to put all this up here, because I have already told you who I am and if you want to keep on saying those types of things, you are just being stubborn. And I have spent way too much time reading these posts lately. I am tired from getting up at 5:30 every morning and getting the kids and myself ready to picket, so I am not going to this afternoon’s rally, as I usually do, and am going instead to join them and take a nap. And yes I do feel a little guilty about that. I fully support and participate in the CTU cause, as do almost all of the teachers in Chicago. Please remember that when you return to school. Your child’s teacher DID support the strike, almost certainly voted to authorize it, and you have to understand that there are real, legitimate concerns that the teachers in this city have over the future of education in Chicago.

  • 365. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Karafiol’s sun times op-ed is well written. But it’s hardly “hard facts”. It’s mostly opinion. It’s also one of the many variants of the CTU’s “just leave us alone” approach to maintaining the status quo.

  • 366. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Todd, if they agreed 100% to replace a public school teacher, with a new public school teacher. And used the money they saved on hiring a younger teacher, on a bonus program. Lets start talking.

    But the “evaluation” system is nothing more than a cattle walk to the slaughter house. And 90% are bucking!

  • 367. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I’m glad to read from a couple sources that KL and CTU have finally recognized that the tide is about to turn and that their tantrum has to come to a quick end before parents have decided that they’ve had enough. But I’d like to know exactly why, assuming an agreement is reached today, our kids can’t return to school and start learning again tomorrow. Before they decided to quit their jobs and storm off, I thought CTU said they could convene the appropriate folks to stop astrike “at a moment’s notice.” Well, why can’t they convene those same folks “at a moment’s notice” to authorize a return to school TOMORROW pending final approval of the contract?

    I fear the answer is some combination of these: (a) there’s a final rally on Saturday that just has to get on national news; (b) who wants to go back and actually work for just a day before the weekend; (c) there’s some sick point of pride in having it written in the future that you destroyed “a full week of school” instead of “nearly a week of school;” and/or (d) they really just don’t give a damn about the disruption they’ve inflicted on kids and families, so let them figure it out one more day while I have a party (the “fun” KL talked about the other day), publicly mock the mayor, and shake my fist at motorists stupid and ignorant enough to honk at us.

    Disgusting.

  • 368. ncm  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Though I am happy it is looking like school on Monday, why on Sunday could the delegates meet on an hour’s notice if needed to avoid a strike and today it is apparently too difficult to meet until Friday at 2 p.m.? Also, am I behind or do we not yet know what the agreement looks like as of this morning (in other words, what is the compromise on evals and recall)?

  • 369. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    @367 cm —

    Great minds think alike.

  • 370. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    James, you’re probably right. They will want several more news cycles. Rushing it for tomorrow would probably make for an unproductive school day anyways.
    The other option is that the CTU has no intention of settling yet, but they are wanting to appear reasonable.

  • 371. Mayfair Dad  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    @ 325: Listen pal, call Grace a troll again and I will punch you in the nose. She may be misguided and a bit wonky at times, but she is no troll.

    On to happier news – where is the celebration on Friday afternoon?

  • 372. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    CPS Teachermom, I used this site to get information about getting my son into CPS K, test scores and get a realistic idea of my chances on wait lists. I decided to stop by a few nights ago and see what parents were saying, believing it would be about 50/50 CTU/CPS. I was taken aback by the lack of support for the teachers.

    I have been assumed to be a troll, a woman, a teacher, a union member. When in fact I am a stay at home dad of a 5 year who attend two years of CPS preschool, who has only worked in the financial services industry.

  • 373. CPS teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you to all of those that are supporting our fight for better schools. No, this is not just about teacher salaries. The “average” teacher salary that has been provided by the media is simply inaccurate. They are including teachers who are receiving pensions, coaching salaries, benefits, higher ed teachers, and many other factors that are not part of the “average” teacher’s take home salary. Regardless, I am an experienced teacher who has taught in impoverished neighborhoods in failing schools as well as in successful schools with wealthy families. The inequities are blaring. Children in the impoverished schools do not receive the same technology, specialized services, materials, resources, and the learning environments are unbelievably different. I know that many of you tested your children into selective enrollment schools. Why would you do that if all of the neighborhood schools were on equal playing fields? Plain and simple, you wouldn’t. The schools with at-risk populations do not have the same ability to raise money for things like art teachers and new playgrounds. ELL parents do not always have a voice or the power to fight injustice in their schools. I think that the naysayers are blind to what goes on outside of their own child’s education. We are fighting for a better future for all of Chicago’s children. The union is not, under any circumstances, protecting bad teachers. The union is protecting due process. Without it, a principal could fire any teacher, without reason, at any time. If you had a child with special needs, wouldn’t you want the teacher to stand up and fight when their services were cut? Do you think they would if their job was always on the line? It feels like the general attitude is that you got yours so who cares about anyone else. For those that say that charter schools perform better, you may want to check your data. It just isn’t true. In addition, what do you think charter schools do with underperforming children when they don’t score high on the tests? That’s right, they kick them out. You know who takes them with open arms? PUBLIC SCHOOLS! If you want a better Chicago, we need better schools. I beg you to look at all sides of any argument before you spread negativity and hatred. The best lesson you can teach any child is to stand up for what they believe in and to care for others. This is your chance to do just that.

  • 374. Logan Dad  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    @345 – Re/Troll Watch 2012

    Yes, I’m pretty certain TechQueen is working with the CTU script as well. And I’m pretty certain we have some PAC generated posters here as well.

    The really entertaining thing about the TechQueen post is the slippery “teacher I know” whose “rent is going up $50” whose “classroom ceiling collapsed” and “it rained on MY students for a week”.

    I really do appreciate the effort and totally respect their right to post and their opinion but please do us a little service and at least make the story cogent and believable.

  • 375. Paul  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Nerd alert. After all the dust settles, I’m looking forward to analyzing the new teacher contract. There’s so much education policy wrapped into these labor contract discussions, that it’ll be interesting to see whether the final result is an improvement or a disappointment.

  • 376. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    @365 (Jackie) – “Todd, if they agreed 100% to replace a public school teacher, with a new public school teacher.”

    It’s not the teachers’ role to set citywide educational policy. That’s what the mayor and the board do. While I agree with your overall stance about the motivation behind charters, this contract is not the place to settle that. But feel free to vote against Rahm in the next election and encourage other people to do the same.

    “But the “evaluation” system is nothing more than a cattle walk to the slaughter house.”

    I’m glad that the time I’ve spent writing such detailed posts about it prompted such a thoughtful response. Obviously, it’s just a cattle walk. How could I have been so confused before?

    “And 90% are bucking!”

    We will see. The HoD vote on the contract will be very, very interesting.

  • 377. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Paul, I fear when the dust settles in 20 years, more than 50% of schools in this country will be charter, run by for profit teaching companies. The average pay, excluding inflation will be down 15% – 20%. And test scores will be lower than ever.

  • 378. Logan Dad  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    “Walk A Mile In Their Shoes…”

    OK, I know I sound a little petty here but am I the only parent on CPSO that is tired of being accused of being uncaring? I certainly don’t know everyone who posts here but from what I can tell the Real Parents who frequent CPSO care alot.

    And not just about their own kids and schools but also about CPS, Teachers, neighborhoods, the City and other citizens.

    So, I’d like to recommend to posters – especially those with a clear-cut agenda (from both sides) to show a little humility and respect and assume that the target audience here (Real Parents) do care and post appropriately.

    Be Nice (if you can).

    Recognize that most of the mean and inflamatory posts are from outsiders (like yourself).

    Understand that the Real Parents want their kids back in school.

    And Please, Please, Please don’t assume you know what we are thinking or judge us to be exactly the same or say we don’t care.

    Because the one thing I am 100% certain of this.

    CPS Obsessed Parents Care Alot.

  • 379. CPS teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    @ Logan Dad: Believe it or not, ceilings do collapse in CPS and no one bats an eye. A pipe leaked over the entrance to my friend’s classroom for a month causing her carpet to mold. No one did a thing. The kids dodged the filthy water as they walked into the room. One of my classrooms had no heat for 3 days one winter and we all wore coats. If you think that is unbelievable, I will personally take you on a tour of some of Chicago’s schools and you can experience it for yourself.

  • 380. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Todd, you can have the best intent in the world, but the people pushing the evaluations are using them as a mechanism to a political end. And that’s the problem, one side is not using honest and thoughtful ideas to improve schools, teachers and students.

  • 381. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    “real parents” strikes me a lot like “real americans”

  • 382. mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    On NPR, WBEZ the World view guy just had a talk with a leader in Finland’s public schools. I’ll try to get the link but they go to school for a shorter amount of time each day but get about 1,000 hours a year of teaching minutes. Makes the US system look absolutely primitive and silly.

  • 383. Paul  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    @376, Jackie. That’s okay. Some people say test scores don’t mean anything. Teachers say that test scores are not good indicators of their performance, for example.

  • 384. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Todd, so the place to settle these disputes is at the ballot box in a city with one party and low voter turn out. The contract is the perfect place to fight this battle.

  • 385. AnonMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I had been a CPS parent early on with my kids, then I chose to leave the system and do homeschooling. This year I decided to allow my children to enter back into CPS. This strike hit me hard because some of the reasons I had left the system was that I felt like a number, and that parents had no voice. I am not leaving yet, but I am certainly closer than I was a week ago. I really hope this contract truly addresses concerns regarding the students. I did not support pulling the students out of the classroom. If I find the contract is all about teacher’s pay, pension and recall, then it will be disheartening.

  • 386. techqueen333  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    @373. Logan Dad I don’t work from anyone’s “script.” I’m a published education researcher from a large research one institution.

  • 387. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Your almost there Paul, a test score can be used as a broad assessment. But to scope down to the classroom level it loses it value.

  • 388. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    @381 (mom) – It’s fairly astonishing how different the US education system is from other developed countries in practically every respect. One of the most persistent drags on our schools is how we insist on going our way, refusing to consider the value of international experience. It’s the dark side of the whole “pioneer mentality” of America’s national character.

  • 389. southie  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Grace is wicked smart.

  • 390. Pvt. Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    @CPS teacher. This is a really good point, “I know that many of you tested your children into selective enrollment schools. Why would you do that if all of the neighborhood schools were on equal playing fields?”

    With the exception of parents who have children who score in the gifted range—and we must acknowledge that those scores are notoriously unreliable in the younger ages—I would say that most would just send their kids to the local neighborhood school. The fact that parents are so willing to jump through hoops…spend a lot of time and money on test prep…proves that people are aware of the inequities in the system. So where’s the grassroots support to address this issue?

  • 391. open-minded parent  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I’m glad to hear that there might be a resolution soon! Let’s hope it happens. I’ve been silently following this, and wanted to voice my opinion. At the risk of being called a troll, I want to say that I reluctantly have come to support the teachers in this battle.

    There has been a lot of discussion about how evaluation of teachers on student test scores, lack of resources, and risk of closure at low income, low performing schools will drive good teachers away from those schools. I’m rational. . .and really do see how that is likely to happen and do not want that for our public school system. I have finally (after initially thinking CTU was completely out of touch with reality) come to understand why the teachers union is fighting for that. And, contrary to my initial strong feelings against the strike (primarily due to KL and CTU’s inability to articulate what they are fighting for), I now do think that at a much deeper level the CTU is fighting for the kids. Not my kids, b/c my kids go to a top performing CPS and come from an affluent family – but for the kids in low income neighborhoods who don’t get a voice. I do not want a public school system that discourages good teachers from teaching where we need them the most. (And for those out there so vehemently anti CTU – please step back and look beyond your (I imagine) affluent children and high performing CPS school – at the larger picture and ask yourself if you’d seriously want to teach at a low-performing school with all the baggage that comes with it – and then ask yourself if that is really what you want for public schools?)

    I also understand that the system is broken and out of money – so whatever is agreed to needs to come from the limited resource pool, or we as a society need to decide that we need to invest more money in public schools. I for one might consider paying more taxes because I believe in public school for all, but I’m probably in the minority.

    I also understand the CPS position that we need to be able to eliminate underperforming teachers and hold teachers accountable. I just don’t agree that low performing schools = a school full of underperforming teachers. And while I hear the position that at least CPS is trying to make a move to reform something that is broken – I do believe that implementing a system that can irrevocably harm public schools by driving the best teachers away from low-income low-performing schools is terrible no matter how good the reform intentions were.

    I’m glad that it looks like there will be a compromise on teacher evaluations. I don’t know the details of it, but I’m willing to be open-minded. It is easy to say that underperforming students means the teacher is underperforming and should be fired. That might be true in my affluent neighborhood school where the children have every advantage – but it isn’t true in the vast majority of CPS schools, where the vast majority of students are underprivileged and qualify for publicly funded lunch. I think we can all agree that we want evaluations to be fair – and that we want good teachers to stay and bad teachers to be fired. On my limited read, it sounds like the compromise might be a step towards something that is more nuanced that may yield more fair evaluations. Isn’t that what we want as parents?

    I really hope this gets resolved soon with both sides seriously looking at how they can compromise. Despite everyone’s legitimate issues – CPS as a whole will suffer from this strike if it goes on too long. With all this talk about how limited resources are in CPS, it has made me wonder whether I’m doing my children a disservice by not moving them to private. I can assure you that I am not alone. I think CPS has made great strides in recent years in some neighborhoods where neighborhood schools are becoming viable options for middle to upper class families. Having middle to upper class families in the system contributing resources, fund raising, raising test scores, etc. I do believe raises all ships. If you lose the support of those families and they flee to private or the suburbs, it will take a long time to rebuild the system to even where it is today.

    And for Angie, while I appreciate your frustration with the system – and I originally would have sided with you when this all started. . . .I would ask you to please step back and be a little more open-minded. I originally held a lot of the same knee-jerk reactions you did, but then I spent some time trying to understand the real issues with a skeptical eye towards the propaganda being put out there by both CTU and CPS. Yes, it seems weird to picket the Children First sights, but let’s be honest- that is where CTU is going to get the most exposure. And that is what they need for CPS to feel some pressure to compromise. And, when you really look at what CTU is fighting over – it isn’t salary and wages. By everyone’s account – they are close to agreed on this and have been for a long time. My read on it is that this is merely the way in which CTU is keeping the pressure on CPS to negotiate on things that they can only negotiate if CPS agrees to negotiate – like class size and evaluations, etc. Things that are important to teacher working conditions and important for our children.

    This dispute has caused a lot of damage that is going to take a long time to heal. The teachers are not solely responsible for our broken school system and hostile sentiment about the teachers or the teachers union is not going to get us to a good place where we can all work together to make our school system better.

    Thanks CPSObsessed for this forum. I have learned a lot from this site. Its too bad that CPS is so complicated in so many ways that a site like this is necessary.

  • 392. Portage Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Todd Pytel – I am happy with the compromise on the teacher evaluations. You are the voice of reason and I appreciate your input. Based on a parent’s feedback of the negotiating, CTU also did some compromising as well which was nice to see. I think initially many parents were upset that it appeared CPS was doing all the compromising but then again we don’t always get the whole picture.

    I think many of the parents on this board are happy with the compromise that was reached but then again you can’t please everyone.

    I can’t imagine the strike has been easy on teachers. They have kids in CPS. They had to pay for alternate child care arrangements. I know there are some that will say they brought this upon themselves but I am not one of them. I’m sure I’m not alone in that thought.

    Thanks for giving your time and providing a balanced view.

  • 393. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    @303 @309 Kristoff is not an economist. He calls it the “gold study” but read the fine print:

    “NBER working papers are circulated for discussion and comment purposes. They have not been peer reviewed or been subject to the review by the NBER Board of Directors that accompanies official
    NBER publications.”

    The paper has not yet appeared in a peer reviewed journal.

    It notes several caveats about its conclusions that get glossed over by others. There is still a lot of noise in the VA results. And it has some rather unorthodox conclusions that also get ignored:

    Whether or not VA should be used as a policy tool, our results suggest that parents would place great value on having their child in the classroom of a high value-added teacher. Consider a teacher whose true VA is 1 SD above the median who is contemplating leaving a school. Each child would gain approximately $25,000 in total (undiscounted) lifetime earnings from having this teacher instead of the median teacher. With an annual discount rate of 5%, the parents of a classroom of average size should be willing to pool resources and pay this teacher approximately $130,000 ($4,600 per parent) to stay and teach their children during the next school year.

    Of course, the benefit to society and to the taxpayers of the school system would be far less. No one thinks that CPS is going to pay 15.8% of its teachers $130k.

  • 394. Sad Chicago Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Todd, I always appreciate your thoughtful comments. You gave a great description of what a teacher rated “developing” should do. For that reason, I’d like to see a cap on the number of years a “developing” teacher can stay in that category before being considered unsatisfactory. Is it reasonable for a teach to stay “developing” for 5 years? For 10?

    Given the dismal performance if our school system overall, I find it hard to believe we have only 90 unsatisfactory teachers.

  • 395. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    @techqueen333

    Don’t feed the trolls.

  • 396. cpsmommy  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Just for fun.

    http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/September-2012/Inside-Rahms-Brain/

  • 397. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    @389 Pvt mom —

    You ask, “So where’s the grassroots support to address this issue?” I know where that support is not coming from: from parents who fled the system and are in private school; that is, from you.

    I am so sick of being lectured to by some people on this blog who have no or little skin in this game. I have junior high and high school kids getting royally screwed by this strike — and I just need it to be over so that their school year isn’t completely wrecked and we can get our family life back to what it should be in September. And yet people with no kids in this system try to lay a guilt trip on me for not caring enough about societal inequity to sacrifice my kids’ education over it? Just go away.

  • 398. Cake for all!  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    What are thoughts on the curriculum used in schools? Everyday Math? Saxon? Singapore? Leveled readers? Phonics? Reading Street? Any parents concerned about what and how kids learn when they return to school?

  • 399. Paul  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    @384 AnonMom, that’s my concern as well. The truth is that it’s a labor contract for teachers and isn’t about the students.

    Concerns regarding the students are addressed in federal and state law, and in school district policies. The people elect representatives to determine the law, set policy, and carry them out.

    Our school district hires teachers to work in the schools and teach our children, not to set education policy.

    If, in our system, teachers were supposed to band together and vote to determine how many schools are traditional public and how many are charter, how long the students’ school day should be, and how much of the school’s budget should go to teachers, then we should be asking teachers what they think about those policy issues before they are hired. And, they shouldn’t be hired by a principal. They should be elected by the people.

  • 400. Pvt. Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    @381 mom. Finland. That’s the way to go. American urban school districts look nothing like Finland and are heading even further in the opposite direction.

  • 401. TeachinChi  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I can say the Children First adults do a better job of playground supervision than any certified/union staff I have seen in my neighborhood.

  • 402. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Paul, it sound like you want teachers to be At-will employees.

  • 403. Logan Dad  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    @363 Teachermom

    Thanks for your response. I do recognize that you are an individual person. And I totally respect your opinion and find many of the points you make to be compelling.

    I just think it’s good to know who people are working for and/or what their motivations are when they post long, one-sided arguments on a place like CPSO.

    Just knowing that you and VoiceOfReason motivations are…

    “we were moved to post here after long reading this forum because we were annoyed at what we perceive as an entitled, elitist slant to the voices represented”

    You certainly have the right to say the above and your honesty is appreciated but, at least in my view, it reduces your credibility.

    But please don’t assume I disagree with you because I question your credibility. I, like most parents, am trying to learn.

    And also recognzie that it was clear in your posts that you viewed CPSO Community with some contempt. And, I feel that such contempt is short-sighted and does little to help your cause or promote your viewpoint.

    I, like most posters here, am a CPS Parent whose child is not school. And there is nothing entitled, elitest or good about that.

    I hope you have a great day with your kids and I look forward to when we both can put this strike behind us.

  • 404. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    @390. open-minded parent : ” Yes, it seems weird to picket the Children First sights, but let’s be honest- that is where CTU is going to get the most exposure.”

    It’s a convenient excuse, however, CTU gets the most exposure from downtown parties and shutting down Clark Street. That’s where the cameras are, and that’s what I see on TV.

    They should have left the children out of it.

    As for the rest of your post, it’s once again, lather, rinse and repeat of the same old scripted response. In yesterday’s strike bulletin, CTU ordered its members to work the blogs and social media. It is posted earlier in this thread, so there is no point in denying it.

    “And, when you really look at what CTU is fighting over – it isn’t salary and wages. ”

    I guess we’ll see about that when the negotiations are over, and the contract is made public. Should be any day now.

  • 405. Crawley  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Real parents? Are you serious Logan dad? I’m a “real parent” of three CPS children. I’ve volunteered thousands of hours to help children in the system that aren’t even my own.
    I used to come to this site often to keep up to date on what is happening in CPS. Now I try to avoid since any opposing view that doesn’t come across as somewhat apologetic is labeled “a plant” or not a “real parent”.
    I stand with my children’s teachers and just a little bit of research, even given my marginal intelligence, has led me to dig up the real things that the teachers are fighting for. It doesn’t mesh with what is being said here and in the media.

  • 406. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Angie, the human “real parent” detector!

  • 407. Paul  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    @401, Jackie, I’m against any teacher behind hired against their will.

    (I’m trying to be funny.)

    My point is that teachers shouldn’t set education policy. They should have substantial input, and policymakers should listen to them, and give their points of view substantial weight. But, they shouldn’t determine it.

    One of the main reasons for why they shouldn’t set policy is because they have self-interest. It’s the same reason for why doctors shouldn’t set healthcare policy, and soldiers shouldn’t set defense policy.

    Doctors shouldn’t go on strike for the soul of healthcare in this country, and soldiers shouldn’t desert the armed forces for the soul of our defense policy.

  • 408. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    @391 (Portage Mom) – “I think initially many parents were upset that it appeared CPS was doing all the compromising but then again we don’t always get the whole picture.”

    I think we need to avoid reflexively evaluating this contract with a “scorecard” mentality. In the past, labor disputes have been almost entirely between two sides representing (essentially) “more money” vs. “less money”. Neither of those sides is really any more valid than the other, it’s just a matter of competition for resources. So observers expect both sides to meet in the middle, and tick off how many compromises have been made on each side on “the scorecard.”

    Now, don’t get me wrong… there are certainly elements of this contract that fit that description (wages, benefits, plus recall to some extent). But this contract is much more than that – hence the incredible national and international attention. Issues like evaluation policies, merit pay, charter schools, and (some) working conditions are philosophical, sometimes even moral questions. They’re questions about what’s *right*, what’s productive for our schools going forward. And you don’t go trading off wrongs for rights on a mathematical basis. To use some gleeful hyperbole, if you want to kill 10 random people and I want to kill none, I hope no one says we should meet in the middle and just kill 5.

    Again, I’m in no way saying that every issue being negotiated is that kind of question. But some are. So I think “scoring” the contract by how many compromises each side made is oversimplifying the issues at hand. Let’s ask not whether the contract’s resolutions of those issues are fair, but whether they are *right*.

  • 409. Crawley  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Paul, and yet it IS the drug companies that set policy. Just like it’s also the politicians and business owners who stand to gain from education “reform” that are setting the policy.

  • 410. SR  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Todd @360 – thank you for the explanation of how the evaluations will work. It seems sensible, as long as the evaluators get the training they need.

    Does anyone know how the test score component to evaluations works in schools that have high mobility? I have heard that some schools have up to 50% turnover from the beginning to the end of the school year. Are those scores just thrown out?

  • 411. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    All the policy issues they are fighting are methods to reach an end goal of busting their union, lowering their pay and benefits. If the policies were truly about the students we would not be here.

  • 412. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Students who frequently change schools won’t be included in the score.

  • 413. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Todd, what’s your estimate of how many teachers will be fired in the next five years?

  • 414. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    @406 Paul —

    Amen, buddy. And when one of those stakeholders (in this case, the teachers) decides to hold kids hostage until their individual demands are met, it’s wrong. It’s just plain wrong.

    Teachers have a critical role to play in formulating educational policy. But they don’t determine it on their own and they should not be allowed to wreck that process by storming off the job in a huff and disrupting an entire city until everyone else gives in. And that’s exactly what’s happening here.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/12/opinion/chicago-teachers-folly.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

  • 415. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    James, one of the hostages got away. He just ran by me buck naked, yelling zoom, zoom, zoom!

  • 416. Portage Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    @397 Cake for All – My daughter has used Everyday Math in kindergarten. I’m not a fan. The program doesn’t seem to encourage mastery of math concepts. I find Everyday Math touches on a topic then goes to the next before kids have had a real opportunity to do much practice with it. I’m old fashioned and I prefer math drills for my daughter. I understand she needs to learn the concept behind what she’s doing but in the early years, I think practice and more practice encourages mastery of the topic. I think that’s exactly what Kumon does.

    Our school uses Fundations for reading which I really love. My daughter along with the rest of her class made great strides with their reading. I’m a fan.

  • 417. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    @414 Jacks —

    That’s hilarious, bud. I’ll tell you, there’s nothing like making light of a willful decision to hurt innocent school children. I can barely stop laughing! Must be part of the “fun” part of your day.

  • 418. Paul  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    @407, Todd Pytel, I think you’re making my point. Teachers aren’t hired to resolve philosophical and moral questions. Why should they be addressed in their contract with the school district. I’m not saying teachers shouldn’t have a voice in society resolving philosophical and moral questions. They should have a voice like everybody else. And, their voice on education matters should be given more weight because of their knowledge and experience on the subject. But, what does that have to do with their work contract?

    @408 Crawley, the difference is that we elect those politicians, and their job is to set policy. That’s why they campaign and debate and have to answer questions about policy. That’s the way our system of government works.

  • 419. Logan Dad  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    @Jackie

    You better catch that hostage! He might liberate other hostages and start a revolution!

    Thanks for the Great Post.

  • 420. H. Nathan Wilcox  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    @360 Todd, thank you for this post. If what you wrote is true, I have hope that we are moving in the right direction. It is really helpful to have someone here speaking from a position of knowledge on these, decidedly complex, evaluation systems.

    I think we should keep in mind that the main use of an effective evaluation system (in any industry — I have designed a few in a previous life) is to help employees improve (not to fire them out of hand). I believe the vast majority of teachers really do want to be effective (who doesn’t want to succeed at their job), but they need help, and a good evaluation system can be part of that. If Todd is correct, it sounds like the new system can do that.

    Thank you again for the insights.

  • 421. Cake for all!  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Do you think JC brizard is a good education leader to pick curriculum? Obama? Rahmey?

    http://www.shanahanonliteracy.com/2012/09/literacy-and-presidency-2012.html

  • 422. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    @393 (Sad Chicago Mom) – “For that reason, I’d like to see a cap on the number of years a “developing” teacher can stay in that category before being considered unsatisfactory.”

    That’s another way to state a positive retention criterion, and again I would probably support it in future contracts. I think you need more stability and experience with the system before making a judgment about what number of years is an appropriate cutoff.

  • 423. HS Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Yes cake – there’s a good answer for you. A parent feels that the curriculum requires outside tutoring. Is any tutoring included in the contract so that “all kids” can get caught up?

  • 424. Mayfair Dad  |  September 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    This looks interesting…
    http://chicagostudentsfirst.blogspot.com/p/about.html

  • 425. Family Friend  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Charter info: I have been posting here since some time in the spring, when I asked questions about Ogden IB. (I was working with an 8th grader, a refugee, on getting into a good high school.) I have never concealed the fact that I am a charter supporter. I am on the board of a charter school in Englewood, and I used to work for a charter membership organization. I have posted facts — with as much detail as I can muster — about charters from time to time. It frustrates me to read posts from people asking “why can’t they just take the money from the charters?” or assuming that charters rake in profits for influential businessmen, or that Chicago charters are not successful in educating their students.

    I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but if you want verifiable facts about charters, please search some of the other threads for my posts, especially the threads related to the strike. I believe that charters represent a viable alternative for families, especially families whose only other choice is a dropout factory, or an elementary school that graduates students performing at a 3rd or 4th grade level.

    We all know there is a problem with our schools, and I believe everyone involved wants to fix it. But while the adults are arguing about what’s the best way to make that change, the kids are falling farther and farther behind. That’s not happening at the school where I’m a board member, or at most of the other charters I know.

    In the course of getting my family friend (and her best friend, and her best friend’s brother, as things turned out) settled into good schools, I visited many Chicago schools, both charters and regular district schools. I know there are terrific teachers and principals at many schools (two family members among them). But year after year, we see low graduation rates, low ACT scores from all but a few Chicago high schools. (Why should we care about the ACT? Because colleges care.)

    Looking at schools around the country, educators have identified five attributes of successful schools. Charter schools have done a pretty good job of incorporating these attributes, because their founders have a lot of freedom to set things up the way they want. In return for that freedom, they are supposed to have increased accountability. If that accountability is not there, it’s due to lax oversight from the chartering body — CPS in the case of Chicago schools. CPS’ performance has been sketchy, in part because of the revolving door at what used to be called the Office of New Schools. But if you look at the charter school scores with an open mind, you will see that they are doing quite well — especially the elementary schools.

    So what are the attributes? I didn’t make these up, although I think my source somewhat restated the original list:

    1. Effective principals and teachers in every school (while getting rid of the ineffective ones)
    2. More instructional time (an extended school day and year)
    3. Use of data to drive instruction (always be aware of students’ strengths and weaknesses, and when the students don’t learn something, reteach it)
    4. High-dosage, individualized tutoring (so every child in the classroom can learn)
    5. A culture of high expectations for all (no excuses for failure)

    These are not easy to put and keep in place, but it can be done. And if we are going to get out of the educational hole we are digging for all our children, everyone involved has to cooperate in making better schools happen. It’s not about air conditioning. It’s about doing really hard work, day after day. Should teachers be well paid for this? Yes. But they should have to actually do it, and they should be able to feel the administration is working with them to get it done.

  • 426. Pvt. Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    @James 396 You say, “I know where that support is not coming from: from parents who fled the system and are in private school; that is, from you.” and “Just go away.”

    Nice. I think I already commented on why I have “skin in the game.” The neighborhood school available to my kids at kindergarten had 90% on free lunch, no library and doesn’t make AYP in math or reading although the kids have 90% attendance. Its an underresourced school and it has been this way for 20 + years. Just because I am not in CPS doesn’t mean that I am really out. I am angry as hell that the City is unable to make provisions for a quality neighborhood school that meets the needs of all the kids who are eligible to go to it.

    I’m sorry you don’t like to hear it but I was just calling it like it is. There is talk about inequity in the system now but when the strike is over how many parents not directly affected by school closings at 90% poverty schools will pay attention to the issues and stay involved? How many will just look the other way? CTU is speaking about citywide issues but parents need to as well. What’s the vehicle for them if not in conjunction with the CTU? And why are you so sure that parents shelling out $$ for private schools on top of their tax dollars wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

  • 427. H. Nathan Wilcox  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Regarding the posts attacking SE schools. Is there proof that they receive more CPS funding per student? If so, I agree that should be corrected.

    I feel no shame for my son who started this year at Skinner North.
    Children who attend the SE schools, gifted children, have special needs just like children who struggle in school. As someone who attended schools with no gifted programs, differentiated curriculum, heck my high school didn’t offer a single AP class. I know what it is like to be a gifted student in that environment. I am thankful to CPS for recognizing the needs of gifted students — of all socio-economic classes. I only wish there were more so that we weren’t turning away so may kids who need them.

  • 428. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    The evaluation process is reminding me of the time we got scammed and lied to about lottery money would go to education.

    The lottery money went into the general fund, and education is payed out of the general fund. Therefore all lottery money was used for education!

    But education spending did not go up.

    Move on, nothing to see here!

  • 429. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    @419 (Nathan) – “The main use of an effective evaluation system… is to help employees improve (not to fire them out of hand)”

    Thanks for bringing up that point – it’s been made sporadically throughout the discussion, and really deserves more prominence. Evaluations should chart a course to improvement. And the various components of the proposed system vary in how well they do this. The Danielson-based practice component is, IMO, the best at this. However, it does require significant training as well as a considerable time investment by administrators – expect these to be continuing issues for that reason. The student surveys and Type III (district tasks) can tell you something as well, though they may be a bit foggier. Far behind those are the part teachers complain about – standardized tests. And the lack of direction for improvement is one reason why. I’m not very familiar with the NWEA at the elementary level, but the EPAS system used in high school gives essentially zero information useful for improvement – the scores are purely judgmental, not diagnostic. The PARCC assessments (based on Common Core) that will come in a few years from now promise to do better, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty there. Time will tell.

  • 430. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    @James 396 You say, “I know where that support is not coming from: from parents who fled the system and are in private school; that is, from you.” and “Just go away.”

    But please leave your property tax check………..

  • 431. CPS Teachermom  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    About the new evaluation system–as a lot of people have said, it’s complicated. Todd Pytel has offered good information about it and Jackie has a point, too. The evaluation system is a tool but its implementation is going to be vexed and uneven and I’m not sure that the intentions behind its implementation in CPS are pure. I know the Board–and this new system really COULD be used as an excuse to dismiss teachers under the guise of substandard performance when the real reason would be a strictly budgetary move. It’s a tool like any other and in a situation where trust is a scarce commodity, it will be problematic. I would guess it will be as good as the person using it. I’m a bit nervous about it because as it was presented to the staff at our beginning of the year PD, the principal, who’s a great guy who tries hard to be accountable and honest, said that he considers himself to be “barely satisfactory” and would attempt to rate his teachers honestly according to what he sees during the observation, not according to what he knows of us or how hard we work, etc…..I think that there is a problem with this. I think he will end up rating almost everyone in the second-to-lowest category, especially since he thinks he is in that category himself, and meanwhile, in the hands of someone else interpreting or using this tool differently, a staff might mostly receive the second-to-highest category or even the highest. I don’t know. If I wasn’t so worried about my good, underperforming school closing in the near future, I wouldn’t be worried at all about what the evaluation said, because I am doing my best and constantly trying to improve and I know that I am doing a good job within the parameters of what I can accomplish, given all of the !#@@# testing I am required to do. I am worried because in the future, if I have to find another job because my school has closed, what in the world will my score on that evaluation mean?

    Todd, do you know if tenured teachers who were rated “excellent” or “superior” will be evaluated this year, or what the rules are regarding the timetable of evaluations and observations?

  • 432. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    @419 (Nathan) – “The main use of an effective evaluation system… is to help employees improve (not to fire them out of hand)”

    If your shrinking union schools the primary purpose is to fire the right people.

  • 433. WhatsUP2  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    429 those people paying for private schools ARE also paying taxes. What’s your point?

  • 434. H. Nathan Wilcox  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    @431 (cubswin) – The cynicism and acrimony are astounding. Sure the evaluation system will help you “fire the right people,” but that is going to happen anyway. Wouldn’t it be better for it to the worst performers than a random cross-section? It will also help the best performers from closed schools find new positions.

    And for those not getting fired, it can help them improve. Seems like wins all around.

  • 435. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Family Friend – I would be all for charter schools if the goal was to reintroduce the schools back into the public system and share their success with other schools. I think many people who start and work at charter schools have the best of intentions. But I do not believe that is the reasons politicians are pushing them.

    Assuming charter schools do better (which is debatable) their success will have diminishing returns as more and more students transition over. I believe the number one advantage a charter school has is the application process that requires parents to seek it out. That simple process weeds out many parents who are less interested in their children’s education.

    Once we are all charter, we will be the same parents and students with teachers getting paid less with much worse benefits.

  • 436. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    @406 & 417 (Paul) – “They should have substantial input, and policymakers should listen to them, and give their points of view substantial weight.”

    Until this strike, that input was being almost completely ignored. Some questions may be philosophical, but they still directly impact the schools we work in and should be informed by our experience. Once again, both PERA and SB7 aim to explicitly deny CTU a meaningful seat at the table. Not every “big” question is our business, but some are. And if a strike is the only way to get the “substantial input” you recommend, then a strike is an unfortunate necessity. It’s not *just* a matter of feeling disrespected and shut out. It’s a matter of needing to act independently to avoid seeing our own schools destroyed.

    I hope that’s a reasonable answer to your questions, which I think are perfectly valid and subtle issues with the nature of governance in a democracy.

  • 437. CPS Teachermom  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    And when more and more students with disabilities, who cost much more to educate, move into the charters, they will deal with a lot more than they do now and experience more of the budget pain that the neighborhood schools currently feel.

  • 438. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    LOgan Dad is you are referring to me, I have been volunteering in CPS and other schools since the 1980s because I am 49 years old. I started volunteering in college.

    It’s too bad you have to label someone as a troll or some sort of mole just because they do not agree with you, but you can use it as a learning experience.

    I am not a CTU member nor am I a teacher or a principal.I am a researcher and I hope my grant comes through I applied for, so I can put some of that money into school programming and resources for permanent infrastructure. That is the way I practice what I preach is by getting money.

    If you never had to live in CHA or go to a poor school because you had no choice, you could listen to some of the disadvantaged kids’ perspectives–call up some schools in the west side so you can see what our schools are like over here. Spend a day. In fact better spend a lot of days volunteering where a school is listed as category 3. They really need the help.

    And yes y’all *should* contact Rahm, your Aldermanic rep and State rep because that is what you do to make your voice heard. I talked to my Alderman’s office for awhile yesterday.

    If 90% of teachers voted to strike I RESPECT their decision that something is seriously amiss in our system. They understand their profession and people should listen to them.

    The Lottery money is not getting to the school kids or to the teachers or aids or social workers and the system needs fixed. Some schools have >800 students for one counselor/social worker. Others have issues with air conditioning or heating or water/pipe damage. Many issues teachers are concerned about and fed up with–they see the damage these issues do every day.

    Strike settled or not, anyone who cares about CPS or child education should not forget that further enquiries need to be made.

    Crane, the school I worked with kids the most in the 80s is to be closed this year for ‘poor performance’. Once again a community will be screwed over and children disrupted. Many studies published tightly link poverty to poor school performance. This school should have been fixed, not closed.

    Everyone else if you care, aside from volunteering in your own school, if there is a poorer school nearby, help them out too since the class sizes are too big and even passing out papers or going around to ask kids if they need help on a work page is a positive step. Volunteers are always needed. If you are good at something give a demonstration, or talk about what job you do and how you got there.

    Go to find a school

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

    and check out schools in your homebase. Also check out the poverty level and the testing/scores and you will see correlations with income and also see the condition of the schools when you go in person. If the Principal is contactable by email send an email and ask if there’s anything you can volunteer in (and if you are cleared for volunteering).

    If you were lucky enough to get into a lottery school like I did, it isn;t enough to say “whew, we got in” and forget about what your alternatives would have been Had you not been selected.

    No matter which side you are on in this strike, the bald fact is that 80%+ are in poverty and those are the schools that really need money, organization and volunteers. ANd most importantly, they need more voices to ask WHY are these schools in their present condition?

  • 439. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I mean my son got into magnet on lottery. I was never in lottery/magnet school myself.

  • 440. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    @412 (Jackie) – “Todd, what’s your estimate of how many teachers will be fired in the next five years?”

    (Assuming you’re talking only in regards to evaluation, and not school closings…)

    I don’t have the data to make a proper estimate. Educated guess? Less than the 6000 the Union cited (because I think some of those 6000 will maintain or improve out of Level 2), but probably well into four figures. I think that’s appropriate.

  • 441. Coco  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Fresh Hopes for End to Chicago Teacher Strike by Weekend

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/education/chicago-teachers-strike-fourth-day.html

    It’s looking like Monday will be the start.

    I don’t know who it was, but someone guessed that they wouldn’t start school on Friday because there was probably a big rally on Saturday. According to this article a large protest rally is scheduled for Saturday.

  • 442. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    @H. Nathan Wilcox
    cynicism? Rahm has apparently said he wants to open 60 charters soon. If that’s true, that’s roughly a 10% reduction in CTU. He needs to fire the right 10%. How is that cynical? It’s in everyones best interest (except the 10%) to get that right.
    Differentiating between good performers would be necessary if merit pay was being introduced, but that got thrown out.
    Principals aren’t going to be primarily using quantitative data when hiring from a pool unless they are forced to by policy.
    Some dream program of employee improvement isn’t going to happen in a system that struggles to provide toilet paper.

  • 443. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Pvt Mom
    “I am angry as hell that the City is unable to make provisions for a quality neighborhood school that meets the needs of all the kids who are eligible to go to it. ”

    ANd so you and others should be angry since they ARE able to make provisions, but no one is making them unless they are forced to.

    This is why Private or not, parents really have to press on this poverty issue. Politicians, and that includes Board and other appointees are part of this apparatus, do not listen to poor people OR non-registered voters.

    The only time poor people get listened to is when there is mass action–it is the only power they have.

    Get your entire community to show up at your Alderman’s door. Get a garage sale going with $ to go to a good cause at the school that you can get press about. Public pressure does work.

    Mass action and humiliation work. The trick is figuring out the appropriate humiliation. maybe someone who knows a big TV personality can get them involved.

  • 444. WhatsUP22  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    442 Mass action and humiliation work?

  • 445. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Todd, do you think the number of public teachers will ever level off, or will every year have less than the year before?

  • 446. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    @ 437. Katherine……..

    “Crane, the school I worked with kids the most in the 80s is to be closed this year for ‘poor performance’. Once again a community will be screwed over and children disrupted.”

    Except you forgot to mention the Noble school a couple blocks away with the third highest student academic growth in the city. Or the new Noble a mile or two west. BOE has hardly abandoned the near west side.

  • 447. Disney Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    My son is a student at a well funded school, in terms of space, a/c, and particularly technology (thanks, fundraising principal!), but even at our school the nurse is shared with five other schools. I’m guessing corporate contributions and fundraising can’t go to pay for actual people, only for iPads and Promethean Boards.

  • 448. open-minded parent  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    403 – Angie – You can believe what you want, but I assure you – I’m not a teacher. I really am a CPS parent that hopes we are doing the right things for public education – and I want my children to go back to school as soon as possible too. Its easy to lay blame at CTU. They have been terrible at articulating their point of view and in my opinion, KL is a PR disaster. She has said and done so many cringe-worthy things that my initial reaction was to discredit the CTU for that reason. I decided to take a closer look with an open-mind and skeptical eye and I reluctantly came out on the side of the teachers. If you do the same, maybe you’d come out where I am, or maybe not. Certainly very smart and informed people are having very different opinions on the issue.

    Maybe you’re right about the Children’s First sights. I see it as trying to keep the pressure up on CPS. . . but I agree that from a PR perspective, its a disaster. It isn’t the first PR disaster the CTU has made – probably won’t be the last. I think CTU didn’t consider that when they took this to strike, they moved it into the court of public opinion – and the public’s perception of KL combative persona, teachers smiling on strike, targeting Children’s First sights, fighting for pay increases in a down economy etc. would be critical to getting community support. I do think the very politically driven and saavy folks at CPS certainly do understand that this is a battle for public opinion. I felt like I had to dig really hard to figure out what the strike was really about and like I said, despite initially thinking CTU was wildly out-of-touch with reality, I’ve come to understand that salary is mostly the issue that allows them to strike. . . but that other very important issues tied to school reform are what are truly at stake.

    You’ve been on this site for a long time and have seen lots of points of view expressed. . . unless you are figuratively sticking your fingers in your ears and singing la-la-la – I’m surprised you really can’t see any validity in the CTU point of view on merit evaluation, retention and lack of resources at low performing schools even if you ultimately disagree with their position.

  • 449. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    @430 (TeacherMom) – “Todd, do you know if tenured teachers who were rated “excellent” or “superior” will be evaluated this year, or what the rules are regarding the timetable of evaluations and observations?”

    Check out the beginning of that big REACH packet you (should have) received at the start of the year. According to that, everyone will receive at least two formal observations, but they won’t “count” for excellent/superior tenured teachers this year. In the 2013-2014 year, everyone gets formally evaluated. Of course, it’s possible some of these arrangements could be modified by the contract settlement, though I haven’t heard of any changes there.

  • 450. local  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I just saw this comment by Rod Estvan on Catalyst.

    To quote:

    re: issues relating to CPS proposal

    I am reading through this document and I suspect from what I am reading that there will be significant areas where the parties will still be at impasse. But there are significant concessions made by CPS too.

    For example given the language of SB7 for the CPS to actually agree to the class size provisions, defining the length of the day, and defining the length of the school year is a major concession from several months ago. But there are big problems too and I am sure teachers who are very knowledgeable about the provisions of prior contracts will see a lot more than what jumped out at me that I discuss below. I am not trying to be cute in saying this, but CPS actually has done a great service to the public in releasing this document and should be commended for doing so.

    Issue 1 that the current lane system will end as of June 30, 2013 and then forcing a negotiated full differentiated compensation system after that could be a big problem. This impasse could be avoided by CPS if they extend out the current lane system to 2014. Then frame any discussion of differentiated compensation within a framework that includes educational attainment. The proposed contract wants to use the Chicago City Colleges agreement with Cook County Teachers Union Local 1600 as the basis for a differentiated compensation system. Up to 1 percent of salary per year for CCC faculty will be awarded as student success pay, for increases in student outcomes using metrics developed by the state such as student outcomes, transfer rates, completion rates and students’ rate of employment in their field of study. Under the City College agreement, metrics such as grades are not be used to determine faculty performance.

    The current contract’s lane system is totally based on educational attainment and it may be possible to have a hybrid between what CPS wants and what exists. Clearly the critical factor would be the metrics used in any differentiated payments and how much of the existing lane payments based on educational attainment could be maintained. This issue is solvable, but it will not be solved if CPS’ proposed metric is driven totally by test scores.

    Issue 2: I personally do not like the concept of “teacher leader” that appears in the “Teacher Career Paths” section. A teacher leader sound a lot like an assistant – assistant principal or a training program for educational management. I have no idea what the union thinks about it.

    Issue 3: Eliminate Wage Reopener and Provision on Wage Increases Upon Additional Funding. Delete Sections 47-2.1 and 47-2.2. The CTU should have no illusion that this eliminates CPS’ ability to negate pay raises in the future. That power exists under a court ruling in the State of Illinois, Department of Central Management Services v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31, 2011-CH- 25352. So the CTU needs to retain a provision allowing it to immediately strike if CPS again negates a scheduled wage increase.

    Issue 4: Teacher Evaluation (including Appendix B) having now read the formal CPS proposal I can understand why the CTU is not going along with this. Regardless of the split between the student testing data component and observational component. Using only one year’s test data as part of the evaluation process is simply wrong. To get a reasonable picture of the growth component three years of data should be used to create a multi-year perspective of the effectiveness of any one teacher. I know CTU is focusing on the cut scores, but there are other issues here too.

    Issue 5: Tenured Teacher Layoff and Recall the language here is very complex because the union will have zero control over the choices CPS makes after a school is closed. Consolidations are maybe more straight forward. Possibly one path to solving this issue might be requiring that full grade level classrooms be moved to new schools and that the transferring teacher from the closed school be guaranteed a teaching position at the new school, and be exempted from 20th day closings for at least one full year. After that period whatever order of layoff procedure that is agreed to be implemented.

    I have to assume the CTU is opposed to CPS’ proposal for a Reassigned Teacher Pool/Alternative Severance Package. I assume CTU wants to keep the provisions of the last contract in this area. Clearly some type of compromise here seems possible.

    Quality Teacher Pool issues are significant the CPS proposal clearly does not define what an “arbitrary” rejection of a candidate for a vacant position is. There is also no forced filling provision for positions that remain vacant for an extended period of time. There needs to be a provision on age and salary discrimination in this section too. The section titled drop in enrollment, financial, programmatic etc. will be I think unacceptable to CTU members as it exists.

    Issue 5 Pending Litigation and Grievances it is not in the best interest of teacher who lost the 4% increase for the CTU to accept this provision which requires that the union give up its case against CPS, a case which at least one bond rating agency believes CPS could lose. This issue should be settled between the lawyers for CPS and CTU it should not be an issue in this contract.

    Rod Estvan (commented at Catalyst website)
    (unquote)

  • 451. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    @444 (Jackie) – “Todd, do you think the number of public teachers will ever level off, or will every year have less than the year before?”

    My crystal ball doesn’t zoom out that far, sorry.

  • 452. H. Nathan Wilcox  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    @441 (cubswin) – “It’s in everyones best interest (except the 10%) to get that right.” It is in the children’s best interests to get that right. Do you really think it is better to randomly fire teachers rather than try to determine who is the best? Really?

    Obviously, we’d prefer that no one ever got fired, but they tried that. It was called the USSR, and it didn’t work very well. Given a realistic world where positions will be eliminated or moved, I’d rather have a system that tells me who the best performers are when making those decisions.

  • 453. Meg Welch/IBobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Will the Charter schools be using this teacher evaluation system???

    Are there any requirements for Charters and teacher evaluations?

  • 454. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Disney mom–no one ever whats to pay for people. In my job they can always find capital, sometimes millions. I want to hire someone for just 10 hrs a week for extra help with a project and I have to get an external grant.

    It says something about what we value…and it doesn’t seem to be humans we value in this system.

  • 455. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    wants, not whats

  • 456. ncm  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I reviewed the latest BoE proposal (PDF on http://www.suntimes.com). If anyone took time to review what the contract looks like that they are negotiating you’d realize that there is not much in it for the kids. It’s an employment contract that seemingly will now include, among many other ghastly things, “probationary teachers who are honorably dismissed shall be offered placement as a day-to-day substitute teacher” [pg. 9], the elimiation of “disciplinary history” as criteria considered in a layoff [pg. 7], and no differential for tobacco use in health care premiums [pg. 2]. So I guess I can get excited for the smoking subtitutes he’ll get to learn from. Congratulations CTU, wow, what a fair contract for the soul of public education.

    Also, the proposal says 175 full days and 6 1/2 days. That is less than the 180 on the current calendar. Are the number of instructional days being reduced?

    Currently it is a 4 year contract ending 6/30/2016.

  • 457. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Todd – I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to thoughtfully articulate your perspective and insight. Your level-headed and intelligent answers have been much more helpful than any of Karen Lewis’ diatribes. I move that Karen waive your union dues.

  • 458. notSure  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    455 – “So I guess I can get excited for the smoking subtitutes he’ll get to learn from. Congratulations CTU, wow, what a fair contract for the soul of public education.” Burst out laughing here……

    What would it take for CTU to be in the real world ?

  • 459. Jeff  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Teachers focusing their picketing efforts on the sites created during the strike to provide a safe refuge for students is just one more example of how the CTU and its members use our children as pawns to get their way rather than advocating on the children’s behalf as they claim. It is so insulting that the CTU claims it is fighting for our children’s education. Difficult to respect or want to help a group that behaves this way. This idea may have already been proposed, but parents should picket against the CTU in the same places that teachers are picketing. Teachers are under the false impression that most citizens support their struggle to win something they can’t even explain (it all comes down to teachers not wanting to be accountable but they can’t strike for that reason). Perhaps this would open their eyes somewhat. The only people supporting the CTU are the teachers and the parents that are uninformed and misguided.

  • 460. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    @456 (Outside) – “I move that Karen waive your union dues.”

    LOL. If she does, I’ll buy everyone here a beer. Any cash left over will go towards the yacht I’ll be purchasing with all my big, big contract money. 🙂

    Going out for a while… will check back in later tonight.

  • 461. HS Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Pvt mom – “The fact that parents are so willing to jump through hoops…spend a lot of time and money on test prep…proves that people are aware of the inequities in the system. So where’s the grassroots support to address this issue?”

    Pvt mom I do respect the your opinion and fully understand your situation – neighborhood school is not performing well enough for your child, you don’t like charters, may (or may not) have had other selective/magnet/gifted options and then chose to send your kids to private school. I understand that your loss is one of lost opportunity. I also understand and agree with many of the issues here.

    CPS parents that are directly impacted by existing and forthcoming policy/contracts deserve that same respect. Don’t expect all parents to blindly get on board with a “grassroots” movement because there are inequities in the system. Don’t expect parents to “jump through hoops” for the “greater good” when the greater good is so nebulous and ill defined. James has a very real point about “having skin in the game”. Our kids were signed up for school, went to school for 1 week and then we were left with no ability to make our own judgements about how we wanted to handle their education if we didn’t want to go along with the game. Instead of getting us to come along with “the movement” it was thrust upon us – not upon you.

  • 462. Jeff  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Teachers focusing their picketing efforts on the sites created during the strike to provide a safe refuge for students is just one more example of how the CTU and its members use our children as pawns to get their way rather than advocating on the children’s behalf as they claim. It is so insulting that the CTU claims it is fighting for our children’s education. Difficult to respect or want to help a group that behaves this way. This idea may have already been proposed, but parents should picket against the CTU in the same places that teachers are picketing. Teachers are under the false impression that most citizens support their struggle to win something they can’t even explain (it all comes down to teachers not wanting to be accountable but they can’t strike for that reason). Perhaps this would open their eyes somewhat. The only people that seem to support the CTU are the teachers and the parents that are uninformed and misguided into believing the teachers are striking to make education better.

  • 463. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-both-sides-see-progress-as-teachers-strike-reaches-day-4-20120912,0,482612.story

    The delegates vote tomorrow. If they approve it, then the entire membership votes–yes all teachers vote to approve or not the final contract–when we all get back to school. So, no, no one was duped into believing they’d get to vote on the final contract as has been stated on this board.

  • 464. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    @458, I completely support your right as a citizen to protest or picket or whatever you feel you need to do, wherever you need to do it, even if I don’t support your position. It is much harder to take action than it is to complain and I applaud the efforts on any side of this issue for actually being willing to do something. Maybe I’ll see you on the picket line or at a school next week.

  • 465. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    @444, not sure if I am understanding your question correctly. Do you mean, will the number of teacher candidates drop off or increase? If so, colleges of education are already seeing a dramatic decrease in teacher candidates. Teaching, like any other field, experiences times of excess and times of lack in terms of potential workers. Right now, we are in a glut that seems to be waning. Who knows how long until we are back in a teacher shortage? When I started out, there were so few people willing to teach in CPS that schools were staffed with anyone with a pulse, including many subs. It is a pendulum that swings back and forth.

  • 466. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    @462. anonymouse teacher: “So, no, no one was duped into believing they’d get to vote on the final contract as has been stated on this board.”

    Maybe, but some people were duped into thinking they will get another vote for strike.

  • 467. CPSTeacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    @461…”This idea may have already been proposed, but parents should picket against the CTU in the same places that teachers are picketing.”

    I absolutely agree. I would LOVE to see the parents out there marching up Kedzie in front of Marshall.

  • 468. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    @455 ncm —

    To your point and the point we’d both tried to make earlier, it’s an employment contract, nothing more and nothing less. And that’s because that’s what unions do: they focus on their members’ particular, narrow needs and they negotiate employment contracts for them, doing their damnedest to get the best deal they can. I have no problem whatsoever with that. And it sure sounds like CTU is getting a good deal for its members. Good for them.

    But it also proves that this nonsense that it was about the very future of education in this country, or about fixing societal inequity, or (in what is apparently Jacky’s hobby-horse) bringing down Rahm and the Wall Street barons he supposedly unleashed back in the 1990s was, and is, complete crap. That always was nothing but cover for gullible media and parents, especially parents who choose not to send their kids to public schools, but feel that they can shame those of us who do into sacrificing our kids’ education for the allegedly greater good.

    Glad they held my kids’ education hostage (Jacks – insert joke here!) to get their contract done. Now get back to work. Meanwhile, I and a bunch of other parents will do what we can to make sure that Illinois joins the 40 states that outlaw teacher strikes so you can never, ever do this to us and our kids again. Hope you enjoyed your 15 minutes because, God willing, it will be your last.

  • 469. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm

  • 470. junior  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    @462 anonymouse

    If we are to represent the issue correctly, it was whether teachers would get to vote on a proposal *before* a strike occurred, which of course, did not happen.

  • 471. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    No, no that was not the only thing that was stated.

  • 472. confused2  |  September 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    467 James — “That always was nothing but cover for gullible media and parents, especially parents who choose not to send their kids to public schools, but feel that they can shame those of us who do into sacrificing our kids’ education for the allegedly greater good.” Sorry not following you on this. What to explain it?

  • 473. techqueen333  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    @Logan Dad—The “my” was a typo.
    “Trolls” “shill”
    Nice personal attacks. Tells me you have no argument.

  • 474. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    @471 confused2 —

    There are those on this site who opined that the strike was about rectifying some of the fundamental educational inequities in the CPS system (which I read to mean rich SE schools vs poor neighborhood schools) and that the teachers were right to stay out for as long as it took to get that made right, nevermind the wreckage to kids’ education left in its wake. Of course, those folks don’t send their kids to public schools so their their kids are not affected by this misguided, selfish strike.

  • 475. Pvt. Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    @HS Mom. I apologize if my comments were in any way “disrespectful” to parents “directly impacted by existing and forthcoming policy/contracts.” This was certainly never my intent and of course I realize that your kids were taken out of school this week against your will, with little notice. I didn’t think the things I was saying would come across as disrespectful to parents with the most “skin in the game” but this is the internet and not CPSO’s living room. So, apologies.

    Perhaps some of the confusion lies with this statement:

    Don’t expect parents to “jump through hoops” for the “greater good” when the greater good is so nebulous and ill defined.

    I have not called for CPS parents to “jump through hoops” for the “greater good.” Its simply something I never said.

  • 476. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    @A-Mouse, I thought the hypothesis in @444 was that the number of public teachers in chgo will be reduced over time which seems valid due to the city shrinking slightly and charters replacing “real” schools (hate the term, but nice and concise!).

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 477. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    @466, I would love that too. I’ll bet you $25 that no more than a dozen parents, though, show up anywhere south of downtown.

  • 478. junior  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    @470
    Please reference then. I was one of the original posters and know what I stated. If I am in error, please point to it. Thanks.

  • 479. sen  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I am not uninformed or misguided. I do not believe that teachers go into education because they are greedy and lazy. They go into it to teach. The whole public school system is so messed up and nobody wants to do what it takes to fix it. I just choose to support the people who are with my children everyday, not politicians and hired guns with hidden agendas. CPS has a one size fits all mentality. If the teachers did not have a union or right to strike, I think that nobody would listen to them.

  • 480. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    @475, if that was the hypothesis, then yes, I believe we’ll see a massive reduction in union teachers in Chicago over the next 5-10 years. In both union and non-union schools, I think we can logically expect to see a teacher shortage in both.

  • 481. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    @452. Meg Welch/IBobsessed ………….

    “Will the Charter schools be using this teacher evaluation system???
    Are there any requirements for Charters and teacher evaluations?”

    Probably not requirements, but much of this comes from the charter/reform movement. Many charters have merit pay tied to the evaluation too.

    In some charters, the principal decides how the system works. For example, merit pay may be based on the performance on an entire grade, or by subject team.

    There’s pluses and minuses to working under a huge employment contract.

  • 482. SR  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    @467/473 I am a CPS parent who supported the strike believing that it would benefit students in longer-term ways. First, I thought that a show of strength by the teachers would motivate CPS to get more input from teachers and union leadership before enacting big changes in the future. I also hoped that evaluations would be structured to reduce the reliance on standardized test scores and reduce the fear of dismissal due to those evaluations. I think this will benefit my kids if there’s less motivation to teach to a test, and will reduce teachers’ incentive to cheat on those tests (as we’ve seen in D.C. and many places that have enacted high-stakes testing for teachers) thus resulting in more accurate evaluations. And ultimately I trusted the teachers and their leadership more than I trust the mayor and Brizard. I admit that I may be naive about how this turns out, but I know many CPS parents who support the strike.

  • 483. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I saw the contract proposal. I am assuming it is incomplete. I saw nothing regarding nurses, social workers and the like. I am also highly disappointed that nothing of any significance is happening regarding class size. It is my opinion that CPS teachers should stay on strike for the entire year if need be if something isn’t done about class size enforcement of the current caps.

  • 484. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Junior, it might be impossible. The length of these threads and the convoluted nature of the discussions may make it impossible to track down the post. I did not say YOU made the statement, only that someone did.

  • 485. junior  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    @456
    I also would like to say thanks to Todd took for his detailed posts, as well as the general objectivity, level-headedness and accuracy of (most of) his information. Maybe when the noise on this site dies down we can discuss some of the issues you raised.

  • 486. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    @478. sen said……

    “CPS has a one size fits all mentality. If the teachers did not have a union or right to strike, I think that nobody would listen to them.”

    On you first point, I believe it’s more the union contract than CPS that fits the “one size fits all mentality”. Look at what happened when Rahm tried to extend the school day in individual schools that desired that change.

    I agree with the second point. Who would want to work in 299 without some representation?

  • 487. Logan Dad  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    @TechQueen33

    Thanks for your response. You’re right. I really don’t prefer to argue with you and, as such have no argument.

    My post questioned your motives and credibility. Your subsequent posts have not changed my opinions on this front and I remain skeptical of a number of posters on both sides of this issue. Including you.

    But please know, that while I’m skeptical of your declared independence I am greatly heartened by your community focus and I am familiar with the conditions you speak of.

    As stated in an earlier post, it would probably benefit hardliners on both sides of this argument to assume the CPSO Parents do care and do participate in making the school system, the neighborhodds and the city a better place.

  • 488. CPS Teachermom  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    “There are those on this site who opined that the strike was about rectifying some of the fundamental educational inequities in the CPS system (which I read to mean rich SE schools vs poor neighborhood schools) and that the teachers were right to stay out for as long as it took to get that made right, nevermind the wreckage to kids’ education left in its wake. Of course, those folks don’t send their kids to public schools so their their kids are not affected by this misguided, selfish strike.”

    James: I think I would be included in those that hold that opinion on this strike…I do think that the strike addresses some fundamental educational inequities in the CPS system, that many people do not care at all about the OTHER kids in the CPS system other than their own kids, and that teachers were right to stay out for as long as it took to get their voices heard (strike for a voice, Rahm’s choice, since it’s the only way to get him to listen). “Wreckage to kids’ education…” Give me a break. My kids attend a public school, not a magnet or selective enrollment or gifted anything. They will be fine. They have joined in this strike and learned an important lesson about how when many voices join together and stand together, they will be heard. It’s about speaking the truth to power, and it is something that they will remember. The strike is not misguided or selfish….the majority of voters in Chicago support it…it’s been characterized as Rahm’s fault (Carol Marin) and would probably not have happened if we had better leadership (Terry Mazany) and did not feel so ill-used by the Board or so underappreciated. The whole thing is so unfortunate–that it would take a strike to be heard–but there you have it. Can anyone remember back to how gleefully the Board was waiting for the recommendation of the independent arbitrator until he…who would’ve thought…sided almost 100% with the teachers? This Board and this mayor does not listen unless forced to do so.

  • 489. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    @481 SR —

    I appreciate your point of view. A couple questions because I am really trying to understand CPS parents who say they support the strike. First, in what grade or grades are your kids? Second, do you have a breaking point? Would you be fine if this went into next week? What about all of next week? What about into a third week? Seriously, is there a point at which you would object to your kids’ education being disputed and, if so, where is that point? Thanks.

  • 490. DZV  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    @ Everyone who is knocking and vilifying teachers for picketing the holding schools:

    Our school is a contigency school. Other schools have come to picket because of this. Apparently, all the workers who are not striking at these other schools also have to report there.

    On our count 47-50 people enter, about a dozen administrators and some 125ers. You know how many children came to be babysat all week? SIX to at the most EIGHT. Our “insiders” tell us they just put the kids in the computer room all day while they sit on their laptops doing their Clark Street work.

    The parents that are dropping their kids off say good morning to us and drop off doughnuts and coffee. We were even nice to walk parents who were lost to the right doors. Heck, the kids even grab some sweets from our table when they enter.

    The other day, three little kids showed up at 7:30, telling us their mom told them to go to school. They pounded and knocked on the doors, but no one let them in. The 125ers were there, we saw them go in. We had them stand with us on the picket line, we made sure they had something to eat, and walked them to the door when it was finally unlocked. Once again teachers doing jobs they don’t have to do, on their time, with NO PAY, while the 125ers are sneaking in the back door following the rules of “8:30 am” (Yes, some of them are nice and wear red to work, others literally sneak in through the furnace room door in back).
    I think J.C. should go and check out these sites and see that the teachers are not only still doing their jobs, but are dedicated and compassionate even though they’re not being paid and are locked out of CPS systems.
    To add:
    I think J.C. should take that second letter he posted on the CPS website to Karen about the contingency sites and shove it up his you know what.
    Our parents are poor, uneducated, and many of them don’t exist in their children’s lives.
    We are these children’s teachers and sadly, often the only things close to a parental role model. We know more about these children and care more about them than anyone on Clark Street. We know where they come from, how they’re being raised, what their needs are and how hard some of their lives are.
    J.C. and his crew wouldn’t know one of them if they crossed the street in front of their big limos. To these people, our students are just numbers, scores, and basis for merit pay hidden under the pretense of “caring”.
    To sit there and tell us on this blog site that we’re out terrifying parents and their kids is ridiculous and insulting. We will have to go back to work and continue to educate and care for “our children”, but to the BOE these children will be just another number.

  • 491. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I always think it is funny when someone claims a person must be misguided or tricked just because they disagree.

    478 Sen–you are right, if there was no union, no one would listen to the teachers, and you can bet no one would teach more than a year in CPS. When I was a kid Our neighborhood was a warzone and I cannot understand why anyone would have wanted to teach there except they cared about us kids.

    That’s why I have such respect for teachers who are trying to make a group statement–the system needs fixing.

    I personally would like to see the most needy schools get the most money, teachers and support staff–and I still do not understand WHY this hasn’t happened yet with the influx of Lottery money.

  • 492. HS Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    @474 – Thank-you, appreciated

    You absolutely did not say that. This was my interpretation. If it’s off base, I apologize. The “greater good” that came up from another poster, and reinforced by was certainly something that played upon my interpretation and in my mind is in the same arena as “a grassroots movement” that you describe. “For the greater good” brings up so many bad analogies and I will not follow that direction. Yes, you did NOT say that.

  • 493. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    @487 CPS Teachermom —

    The easiest way to respond to your post is just to say that I disagree with everything in it.

    But one point I do want to make because I am sick and tired of this accusation (or slight variants on it) being made. Just because I find this strike to be what it is — misguided and selfish — doesn’t mean that I do not care about the CPS system, the many poor kids in it, or education inequity in general. What I oppose is holding our kids’ education hostage in order to get an employment contract. That is 100% distinct from caring about, and working to fix, the larger issues and inequities.

    I’ve posted off and on here for over a year. I am one of the few parents who actually support the Tier system, even though I’m in Tier 4, and I wholeheartedly agree that more must be done to fix neighborhood schools. So just stop lecturing me about how if I don’t support this horrendous strike I don’t care about anyone’s kids but my own. You are simply wrong.

  • 494. CPS Teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I keep reading posts that say that this strike will be detrimental to children’s educations. It is hard for me to swallow. Many of our families pull their kids out of school every year for 1-2 weeks at a time for family vacations, reunions, and personal reasons. Absolutely none of those children have suffered detrimental effects. In addition, we will be making up the days that were lost to the strike even though our new schedule includes more days than are mandated by the state. The risk factors that are researched based and proven to impact education and development are as follows:
    1. Special needs
    2. A parent’s lack of understanding of children’s needs, child development and parenting
    3. Parent’s history of child maltreatment
    4. Parental characteristics such as young age, low education, single parenthood, dependent children and low income
    5. Nonbiological, transient caregivers in the home
    6. Social isolation
    7. Family disorganization, dissolution, and violence including partner violence
    8. Parenting stress, poor parent-child relationships and negative interactions
    9. Community violence
    10. Concentrated neighborhood disadvantage

    Protective factors include:

    1. Nurturing parenting skills
    2. Stable family relationships
    3. Household rules and child monitoring
    4. Parental employment
    5. Adequate housing
    6. Access to health care and social services
    7. Caring adults outside of the family who can serve as role models or mentors
    8. Communities that support parents

    Tell me, of which of these factors do teachers have control? Not many. How many of these factors can we control if we work together as a community? A lot.

  • 495. SR  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    @488 – James

    I have a first grader and a child in a tuition-based preK (many years of education ahead of us). I’m sure I would have a breaking point, particularly if it seemed like no compromise was happening and the strike was not moving toward resolution. So far I haven’t felt that, though I’m really happy that it looks like the strike will end this week.

    Ultimately I’ve been so impressed with my older kid’s teachers that I’m happy to support them. I’ve also heard some of the CTU leaders speak at meetings I’ve attended (not Karen Lewis, but Jesse Sharkey and Jackson Potter) and they came across as smart and sincere about improving conditions for kids as well as teachers.

  • 496. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    @489. DZV: Have you visited every open school in the city? Can you personally guarantee that every single one of them treated the kids the way yours did? What makes you think that the Tribune reporter who interviewed the father with scared kids in front of one of these schools, or the people who posted their own experiences on this site were lying?

  • 497. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    @494 SR —

    Thanks. I hope you take this in the spirit in which it is intended, but I think you might feel differently if your kids were older. While the education of all kids has been disrupted, those of us with older kids — for example, those in 7th grade, or taking high school AP classes, or seniors in high school — are, on balance, affected more than those with younger kids. That may explain why at least some of us with older kids are more angry about this. It has real effects that go beyond missing a week of first grade. (And, again, I do not mean to minimize that at all.)

  • 498. CPS Teachermom  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    @492

    James,

    What you don’t seem to grasp is the strike is not simply about an employment contract. You have a very narrow view of the strike, which by the way is supported by MOST of the voters of Chicago. What do you do to support education in Chicago, other then giving a thumbs-up to the tier system?

    And I don’t think I am wrong. If you would address the points in my posting other than merely saying that you don’t agree with anything, now that might be interesting.

  • 499. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    @390 (open-minded parent) I agree with many things in your post. I have been torn from the beginning and very unhappy with both sides. I appreciate how hard teachers work and I understand why they do not trust CPS. I also really disagree with many of the unions tactics (constantly changing the goal post, chanting personal attacks against Rahm, etc)

    I think that the CTU is doing a terrible job of articulating exactly what they are fighting for. I know that I would not want Karen Lewis to represent me! However, after finally getting some details about the specifics of what they are fighting for, I am starting to lean more towards the CTU. Todd, thank you so much for taking the time to explain the evaluation system (and many other things). If they were smart, the CTU would try to hire you for PR! (Although I hope that they do not, because I think that you are a great asset to my neighborhood high school!)

    I still disagree with picketing at the Children First sites. I understand why they did it, but I still think that it is wrong. In their hearts, I imagine that many teachers share this sentiment.

    I am very grateful that this forum is available to us – I have learned so much! I really do hope that after the strike has ended, we can do something with many of the ideas that have been discussed here. There are a lot of parents who are concerned about all of CPS – not just their child’s school.

  • 500. Patricia  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    @James—thank you for your posts. It hear ya! It is the same as supporting the good teachers, yet opposing the strike. They ARE truly different things.

    AND, you are very right about the 7th grade and HS students. The impact is much more significant.

    Also, WHAT ABOUT THE HS ATHLETES? Can they play their games this weekend if the HOD votes to stop strike? It sounds like it is focused on Monday, but can they allow coaches and whoever else supports the team to work immediately? Forefitting this weekend’s games could be avoided.

  • 501. SR  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    @496 – James

    I can understand that you are in a different position. I can only speak from my own perspective, and realize that other parents have different concerns. I do know parents with 6th and 7th graders who support the strike – I can’t speak for their motivation, though. I hope that the negative effects on your kid(s) can be remedied and that by the time my kids are in middle or high school things are better for everyone.

  • 502. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    @497 CPS Teachermom —

    I guarantee you that I don’t feel the slightest need to justify to you how I “support education in Chicago.” Just who do you think you are? And what’s your point? That if I don’t do enough in your view than my opinion on the strike can be ignored or, as you have done, characterized as selfish? Get over yourself. Better yet, get back to work.

  • 503. junior  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    @493 CPSTeacher

    Studies show student achievement is hurt by strikes:

    http://normantranscript.com/new/x1059016997/How-teacher-strikes-hurt-student-achievement

  • 504. James  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    @500 SR —

    I hope so too. For your kids’ sake and for all of Chicago.

  • 505. CPS Teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    @502: There is missing data there. How long were the strikes? Probably longer than 5 days. Also, what were the long term effects? I understand that the strikes are not beneficial to the children THIS week. The point is that the results of the strike will be beneficial to them in the long term. That is the goal. I am truly sorry for anyone that is struggling as a result of the strike. I can assure you that teachers are making big sacrifices as well. We are NOT getting paid during the strike, contrary to popular belief. We also do not have health insurance. We are putting ourselves as risk here as well. I hope that all of our sacrifices will help all of our kids. That is why we are here and that is why we are fighting.

  • 506. DZV  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    @ Angie
    If that father was so scared to drop his kid off, he really should be complaining to the Board. Where are they? I know for a fact we have at least 6 principals, 7 BOE workers, and 8 security guards running into the building every morning. Why are they hiding inside instead of standing strong outside, like we are, escorting the children in? They’ve posted these itty bitty computer printed signs that no one can read until you walk up to the door that we’re a babysitting site. Maybe they should have spent part of that 25 million on making bigger signs? Maybe those 125ers are afraid of us big mean teachers? Or maybe they’re afraid of getting shot since we tend to find broken windows due to bullets in our school? From that 25 million they also should have supplied the 125ers riot gear and bullet proof vests to escort the students? But then again, we’re always in the line of fire, literally and figuratively. Not that J.C. and his crew would understand or give us the “gear” we need to do our jobs.

  • 507. Patricia  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    “Strike School”

    Rock on Alcott parents!

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=8809898

  • 508. HS Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    @496 – and to add James, no matter what the age, keeping them motivated and on task – something that I have had to deal with.

    @493 teacher – Please don’t downplay the value of education. We understand and appreciate great things teachers have done. Our family has not taken time from school to go on vacation. Our child attends school when he is marginally sick (just like all the teachers I’ve heard here who work when they are sick) because he just can’t afford to miss one day. Our child has near perfect attendance every year. It’s important. It’s also important in teaching them responsibility. I don’t think you intend to group everyone to fit into your categories. Don’t assume for me what is acceptable in the way of missing school.

  • 509. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    @506. Patricia said…..

    ““Strike School”
    Rock on Alcott parents!”

    I’m sorry to inform you that those parents have opened a scab school. Teamsters will be arriving to picket shortly……..

  • 510. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    So below are the current breakdown of schools. So currently we are 14% charter schools. Rahm has said he wants to open another 60, assuming 60 public schools close we would be at 23% charter. What is the time frame for this?

    Total: 681 (2012-2013)
    Elementary: 472
    Charter schools: 96 Campuses
    High schools: 106
    Contract schools: 7

  • 511. Mayfair Dad  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    @ 506: Scab Mommas rock! Turn the garden hose on the red tee shirt brigade when they arrive.

  • 512. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    @505. DZV : So I take it you haven’t visited any schools other than your own, and don’t know what is happening out there, but you appointed yourself a spokesperson for all of them. And I’m sure you have no idea whatsoever why people who work in your school are so nervous about crossing the picket lines, even if they are required to do it.

    Yeah, right.

  • 513. HydePark Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I told myself I am getting off this debate, as I’ve been glued to my pc, but I cannot help but back up what James has been saying all along, with a few others as well:this contract so far appears to be a labor contract.I say so far because we have not yet seen the final product.A labor contract that was addressing the needs of a teacher’s job, evaluations, hiring procedures, and so forth.I have yet to see a single item within it (so far) that will directly benefit the kids. As others have posted, where are these benefits ? ntil we see them, James is right in calling it what it is, a labor contract, designed to protect a teacher’s job.It’s not about the kids.I hope I can be proven wrong when the negotiations are over.

  • 514. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    @hydeparkmom: on the other hand, we kept saying the teachers couldn’t ask for all that stuff because there’s no money. So can we blame the teachers for *not* getting all the extra kid-oriented benefits they wanted?

    I hear ya, it looks labor-y but if the strike lasted until we got our better schools, it would be one longggg strike.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 515. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    @512 (HydePark Mom) For the most part, I agree with you – at least what we have seen so far.

    The only part that could be a benefit to the kids is the evaluation process. If it is used in the way that Todd describes, it could help teachers to improve and possibly help get rid of really poor teachers.

    I believe that they also agreed to things such as having books on the first day, having enough desks for students etc. These things will benefit students.

    I suppose that you could ultimately argue that happy teachers will benefit the children, but that is a stretch.

  • 516. cpsICK  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    can’t wait for all the new charters. sign me up.

  • 517. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    What’s wrong with teachers fighting for a labor contract?

  • 518. Jackie  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Why don’t we just privatize the water and air while we are at it!

  • 519. Reuters  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Reuters article about cps strike (google)…talks about parents inquiring at charter and private schools to get their kids off the streets. Mentioned catholic hs tuition $8,500…WRONG. More like – $10,000 = $15,000 per year. Reuters, check your facts.

  • 520. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    @513. cpsobsessed : “@hydeparkmom: on the other hand, we kept saying the teachers couldn’t ask for all that stuff because there’s no money. So can we blame the teachers for *not* getting all the extra kid-oriented benefits they wanted? ”

    Do we have any proof that any of these issues are even on the table? We have been hearing that CTU cannot bring it up officially, but can talk about such things behind closed doors. Well, I doubt that they did. I also think that this is the reason they are being so secretive about their own proposal. They would not want all those supportive honking parents to know that they’ve been had.

    And when the negotiations are over, and there are no nurses or social workers added, they will blame Rahm for it.

  • 521. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Of course it is a labor contract that is all you can officially strike on.

    There were many items the teachers are addressing by re-fitting their contract, including conditions in the schools that they feel are unsafe or unconducive to the learning environment including number of pupils per teacher, books in the first week, climate control.

    The contract is very important to retain good teachers–by weakening the contract or union, all that will happen is the good teachers will leave and the few bad ones will stay.

    We have many youngish teachers 28-38 in the school system now and I would like to see them stay–so many good teachers I have met in a variety of CPS schools.

    Try to put yourself in the position of a teacher at one of the 80% schools in poverty. They spend 6-7 h a day with your kids, so try to put yourself in their place.

    I think the teachers union has done a great job at highlighting problems that really go back to the 80s.

    And yes, getting books on the first day is VERY major–good grief, that doesn’t happen in schools in well-to-do areas.

    Constituents areas with good incomes do not have the typical CPS problems or their parents can afford to personally raise the money to fix things.

    If we do go all Charter, it will be interesting to see what happens to the poorest kids–if they do just as poorly (and for charters so far the results look poverty affected as well) and if they will be permitted to kick kids out (they shouldn’t be allowed to) I wonder how the privatizers will spin it.

  • 522. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Jackie

    They did try to privatize the water a number of years ago –in the 1990s but I can’t remember what year–it was before 1993 though since I worked with water people/City politicians at the time; and from the exploratory study it was found they couldn’t do it as cheaply.

    Yep, they did try.

    Water is a good industry to be in now–I thought about doing a mature apprenticeship in plumbing–anyone want to–it’s a good job. That and bricklaying–guaranteed work since there are not enough.

  • 523. Jeff  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Rahm hang in there – I’m willing to keep my kids out of schools for the greater good of making teachers more accountable. If the teachers don’t like the current performance measurement proposal, come up with some constructive ideas rather than just whining and shooting everything down.

    Seems like the teachers are having way too much fun being on strike. This and teachers’ inability to explain why they are striking is snowballing parent resentment of striking teachers. It worries me these are the people teaching our kids reasoning and logic. Could they have picked a worst representative than Karen Lewis.

    Hey good teachers, stop protecting the bad teachers by supporting the CTU and instead focus on getting rid of them to make your profession stronger. Tell the CTU to go shove it. The good ones will be more fulfilled in a system with performance standards and accountability.

  • 524. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    @DZV

    Don’t feed the troll.

  • 525. cubswin  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    @509. Jackie said…..

    “So below are the current breakdown of schools. So currently we are 14% charter schools. Rahm has said he wants to open another 60, assuming 60 public schools close we would be at 23% charter. What is the time frame for this?”

    I think that would take 4-5 years. But I really don’t know. I really don’t know how the BOE signs a contract that’s not affordable after this year.

    Maybe some TIF funding will be used for schools, and the financial situation isn’t as bad as it looks.

  • 526. Jeff  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    The teachers’ strike is showing me that my kids can learn as much if not more with online education than in the classroom. If they strike long enough, there are educational options without teachers.

  • 527. Chris  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    “Rahm has said he wants to open another 60, assuming 60 public schools close”

    Think that’s a bad assumption both ways–charters might be 4 to a building, or they might be bigger than the schools closed. Might well be 60 charters and 20 closed, or 60 charters (using 20 buildings) and 100 closed.

  • 528. CPS teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    @507 My intention was not to downplay the importance of education. My point was that days are missed and those children did not suffer detrimental effects. I am a firm believer that attendance is extremely important. This is my 8th year in CPS and I, on average I miss one day per year. I have dedicated my life to education. I hold a Bachelor of Science, a Master’s degree + 30 extra credit hours and am a Nationally Board Certified Teacher. I a a CPS teacher, I teach adult classes, and I teach children’s art classes on the weekend. Please do not assume that I think education isn’t important. I am sorry that you believe that the children are suffering now, hopefully you will see the long term benefits of what we achieve. I wish that our union would make it more clear what we are fighting for.

    @522: Again, the union does not protect bad teachers and neither do good teachers. They protect due process. Do you believe that every administrator out there will be fair in their firing practices? What is to keep an administrator from firing a teacher for speaking out against wrongdoings towards children without due process? I don’t think everyone is aware of what goes on in some schools. Teachers have to be able to stand up for kids when they cannot do it for themselves. In addition, let’s say that out of nowhere, the district just magically rid itself off all of the “bad” teachers. Do you think that their replacements would all be wonderful? No. It takes years to become an excellent teacher. Unfortunately, when all people see are dollar signs, experienced teachers are not what they want. They want first year teachers who are inexpensive. I highly doubt that you want an entire district of first year teachers.

    Maybe everyone should focus their attention on where the TIF money is going that is supposed to go to the schools. Also if the district is so broke, why are they giving 325 million to charter schools this year? It sounds like misuse of funds behind the backs of the tax payers instead of a budget crisis to me.

  • 529. ghalla  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    dang. just heard the alcott parents have voted to strike.

  • 530. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Angie

    there will never be any proof “what all”, like we say on the west side, is on the table. Those things are behind closed doors for a lot of reasons. I’ve been on teams before (I am not a teacher or CTU in any way, I am here as a CPS parent)

    There are alot of off the record discussions and I am sure the union brought their ‘evidence’: photos, recordings, written testimonials about many of their issues that politicians don;t want made public. I am sure the policy-makers/political aides brought their evidence: spreadsheets and other materials that they think might force the union to act differently to try to get them to back down on their own data.

    It’s the tradition to have closed-door negotiations so people can enjoy threats of blackmail, extortion and humiliation in the give and take and Daley was really good at it. Rahm sucks at it (his aides) and next up–he’s going to have to deal with the Police. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in that negotiation process–they need a contract too and soon.

    Alls well that ends well if they Really are going to start using the lottery money on the schools that really need it.

  • 531. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    “dang. just heard the alcott parents have voted to strike.”
    Heheh!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 532. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Like I said earlier, there are plenty of parts that are “just a labor contract.” Absolutely. But there are several places where provisions “for the teachers” are simultaneously very beneficial for the kids. Evaluation, as suggested, is the most important – it absolutely influences curriculum, teacher morale and effort, school stability, professional development/improvement, and collaboration, among many other things. Everybody wins with a system that helps keep good teachers in front of kids and gives developing teachers the incentive to improve. But some of the other provisions also have genuine impact. Recall, for example, sounds like pure labor bargaining. But how can you hope to attract a significant quantity of competent teachers to challenging schools in disadvantaged areas if prospective applicants are terrified that they could be left in the lurch when the school is closed in another year or two? A total lack of recall provisions would absolutely have an impact on the hiring pool in those schools. Consider also that many of the most contentious issues were changed only when a strike was already imminent. The original board proposals, for example, had *no* limits on class sizes or teacher preps. That would absolutely impact instruction.

    Now, could there be more provisions made that are purely “for the kids”? Sure. Personally, I’d jump at taking 1%-1%-1%-1% to set a hard limit on class sizes lower than the current ones and to provide more social workers. But remember that this thing has to pass the HoD and the full membership as well. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some contention there already due to the evaluation provisions. More could be done, but I think this contract is definitely looking like a step in the right direction.

  • 533. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I know from the CPS call I sat in on that the union had asked for nurses and counselors (that’s what cps said.) If I recall correctly, cps (at that point) had said yes but that it would be worked out later – how many, etc.
    Perhaps there was dealing like that going on to get the strike over, knowing that both sides would look bad if it went on too long.
    that’s putting the trust in the hands of cps, of course.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 534. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Does anybody know if they are still negotiating over number of social workers, nurses, aids etc? That is something that I would really like to see – and something that clearly benefits the children.

  • 535. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks Todd for that.

    I was an awful, difficult kid who did not test well at first (deliberate, I admit it) who did not appreciate my teachers til later, teachers need protection from evaluations which are punitive in an unhelpful way, and from closings which aren’t good for the community. It is so disruptive.

  • 536. Pvt. Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks, Todd, for the time you took writing your posts here. You seem like a great teacher. All the best for a productive and rewarding school year!

  • 537. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I am feeling like there are so many things that, as we all knew, would not be resolved by this contract. I am going to go and see what kind of monetary donation I can make to Raise Your Hand and see if I can volunteer as well. I am so upset by the inequalities in our schools. I would also love to see how I can work to change the fact that only CPS (no other Illinois district has this restriction) cannot bargain over class size. I feel strongly that ISBE should be setting class size maximums and penalties for violating those standards much like there are state laws surrounding class size maximums for preschools and daycares. We should not be allowing our budget to drive class sizes. Standards should be driving our budget. Off to the RYH I go.

  • 538. Paul  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Just read through CPS’s modified proposal to CTU.

    It includes:
    – 16% raises, for the kids,
    – Security for laid off teachers, for the kids,
    – Joint teacher evaluations, for the kids,
    – Disability policy and maternity leave, for the kids,
    – Pension contributions, for the kids,
    – Health care and wellness, for the kids,
    – Increased promotions, for the kids,
    – Monitoring of class sizes, for the kids,
    – New calendar, for the kids, and
    – New school day, for the kids

    Actually, those last three do sound like they’re for the kids.

    http://www.cps.edu/News/Announcements/Pages/09_13_2012_A1.aspx

  • 539. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I realize that this is only a press release 9http://www.cps.edu/News/Announcements/Pages/09_13_2012_A1.aspx) , and not the actual contract, but so many of the items that are “for the children” seem very vague. They seem like good ideas, and if I trusted CPS I probably would not be concerned, but that have not proven themselves to be trustworthy.

    “Joint Implementation of Teacher Evaluations with Flexibility When Needed: The Board will work jointly with the CTU to fully implement REACH Students, maintain performance standards and student growth requirements and make adjustments as needed. In year one, for tenured teachers, the plan will be implemented for the sole purpose of providing feedback to principals and to assess its implementation. The Board will implement a thorough appeals process and will ensure all probationary teachers have ratings.”

    “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 Monitoring of Class Size Issues: The Board remains committed to protecting and maintaining current class sizes. A Class Size Monitoring Committee and Panel will be retained with increased funding dedicated to monitor and address class size issues.”

    On all of the actual labor issues, I feel that the CTU got a VERY good deal and I hope that they are happy with it. I also hope that we can figure out how to pay for it.

  • 540. ltwain  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    How will principals use evaluative assessments?

    You’re a principal that begins interviewing teachers from the teacher pool. How do you choose or select teachers for the first cut? Is it by the school that they last taught? Is it by their value-added’s? Is it their REACH scores? GPA’s in graduate school? National Board Certification?

    You interview. Are you interviewing to see if they are a good team match by their attitude, their trainability, their relationship building with students, teachers, and parents? Do you observe them with actual students in one of your classrooms?

    Do you trust the data, and use it to find your best possible candidates, and then interview to find the best relational match? Or if you don’t trust the data, do you have to rely on observations in an actual classroom setting in your school?

    If I were a principal I think it would be tough to rely solely on data, these data being highly controversial in their validity. Then what? Instinct and intuition? If that’s the case, why bother with all the testing?

  • 541. Alcott High  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Alcott moms can only do this because most are married to investment bankers and law firm partners. The moms havent worked a day since they married money and pushed out some little one percenters.

    Google a few names from the list of foa members, parent donors and über-volunteers – many on the school’s website. A who’s who of 1 percenters. Alcott is more like a private school. 2500 for kindergarten, anyone?

  • 542. Merci  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    537 Paul, Thanks from the kids.

  • 543. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    @539 (ltwain) – A good principal is going to use all of the things you listed, of course. There’s plenty of sensible middle ground between “blind allegiance to data” and “wild intuitive guessing”. I’ve done a fair amount of interviewing and I’ve never once wished I had *less* information about a candidate.

  • 544. CPS Teachermom  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    @501:

    James, in a last attempt to get you to consider real talking points instead of just being belligerent, here are the points I mentioned in that post you took issue with:

    1. The strike addresses educational inequalities.
    2. Many people care deeply about the fate of their own child but don’t talk about or work to address the educational inequities in CPS.
    3. Teachers needed to strike or the Board would not have listened.
    4. The kids will not be damaged by the strike (the kids are alright).
    5. Important civics lessons are offered by this strike.
    6. The majority of voters in Chicago support this strike.
    7. The strike is Rahm’s fault (see Carol Marin).
    8. We could have used better leadership to steer us through this troubled time, and with the guidance of someone less divisive, say, Terry Mazany, we might have avoided this strike.
    9. Most teachers feel disrespected by the Board.
    10. The independent arbitrator sided with teachers and the CTU, not the Board.
    11. You have said many times that you care about the CPS system and poor kids in it, so I was wondering if you would care to describe the nature of your involvement and how you are “working to fix” the larger issues and inequities. But I guess not.

    Since you are narrow in your expressed understanding of the contract negotiations, you might take a look at post #531. There is indeed more at stake than “just a labor contract.” That is my point. Instead of being merely bull-headed, address the points.

    Thank you.

    CPSTeachermom, a typical teacher

    P.S. Don’t worry, I will go back to “read only” mode soon, when I’m back in the classroom and have waaaay less time on my hands. If you would like to respond, please do so, but don’t bother with the usual baiting response.

  • 545. Greater Good  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    @ Logan Dad, I’m definitely a real person, or at least real enough to be amused and somewhat flattered by your skepticism. I’m a young teacher, near the beginning of my career, which makes me hesitant to give specific details. My school is easily identifiable and I don’t have any job security. I’m sorry if that makes me too vague. At least I can rest easy tonight knowing that I might have a new trolling career waiting for me if I want it — I’m teasing, of course. I’m not offended, or at least not any more offended than I was by the “real teacher” comment. Real person seems like an upgrade.

    My only point from my previous posts is that I hope that we, as a society, can be honest with ourselves and consider the long game. Maybe we don’t prioritize public education. Say what it is that you feel, and consider the consequences, consider where it may end. I’m genuinely sorry for sounding dismissive of parents who have children at pivotal points in their respective educations, but I’m not going to back down from what I had hoped to convey — that this isn’t just a fight for a particular teacher, or a particular school, or a certain neighborhood. These are things that ripple and affect everybody. Your child may have missed out on something critical over the past week, and I do not want to trivialize that fact, because I know it is a high-stress time for college applicants and test-takers. But, please do take a step back, and consider the lasting (maybe slow-moving) effects of a failing education system, even one that your child has already graduated from. Again: What kind of future do you want to build? What is it going to take? The answers may not (almost certainly will not) come from this strike resolution. But the dialogue has been opened, and hopefully many have become more thoughtful about education in our city. A number of commenters have expressed concern that this discussion will fade from people’s minds as it stops being their problem. This is a concern that I share. Again: Remember the long game. This is not just about losing a week, but it is about letting all of public education slip from our collective grasp. And it is not just about your children, or my students, but it is about building a society for them to thrive in once they graduate. Education doesn’t end, human interaction doesn’t stop, but it grows and thrives (or withers and fails) within the walls of our schools, and it continues on to leave marks for years.

    But, listen: I am not perfect, I am not even good. I am trying to do what I believe and I am trying to take my own advice. I am a real person, a real teacher, and I felt real shame going to school on Monday morning. I live across the street from a CPS neighborhood school and dreaded leaving my apartment. I’m not good at complex situations in passing. Now, I am trying to do what I can, which is why I have chosen to comment here. I am trying to be thoughtful and open, to make my voice heard silently through these words, since I couldn’t do it in person. And I have been touched and heartened to see so many people do the same — the welcoming, respectfully questioning comments on this forum have renewed much of my faith and have kept me strong. Thank you. I know it feels a little futile to post here, or at least I have felt so, but reading the positivity and strength of others has made me feel less alone. It seems small, but it is not. That is the message of this strike for me. We are not one, alone. We are not the only people who care enough to fight. And we must keep fighting.

  • 546. Hyde Park Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I am glad the teachers will get paid maternity leave.As a mom of 3, I can’t believe CPS didn’t offer that previously and they had to use sick days! seems archaic in this era.Being pregnant is not an “illness”.

  • 547. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    @545 I agree – I was unaware of the lack of maternity leave until the strike. I don’t even understand how they legally got away with that for all of those years!

  • 548. Cake for all!  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Does anyone here work or do you steal company time to post and complain ?

  • 549. Hyde Park Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    @547, actuly I work for free, as a stay at home mom.I homeschool my twin preschoolers.I am CEO of the household, 😉

  • 550. Sad Counselor  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    “I know from the CPS call I sat in on that the union had asked for nurses and counselors (that’s what cps said.) If I recall correctly, cps (at that point) had said yes but that it would be worked out later – how many, etc.
    Perhaps there was dealing like that going on to get the strike over, knowing that both sides would look bad if it went on too long.
    that’s putting the trust in the hands of cps, of course.”

    Sad to hear that. As the sole counselor for over 1,000 students (thank goodness I am not the case manager) I can say that the majority of CPS students are not receiving adequate services as set forth by the American School Counseling Association. Although ASCA recommends a 250-to-1 ratio of students to school counselors, the national average is actually 459 (2009–2010 school year). However, in Chicago, most counselors in the elementary/middle schools, “case managers” as they’re called, manage the special education program and have little to no contact with children. And in many instances no real experience with or knowledge of Special Education, which makes me insane. And also means that in most schools, students get ZERO mental health services. I do the best I can to reach as many students as I can but it is very difficult given the number of students at my school. Based on your comment and what my union rep told me today, this issue will most likely be brushed over. If anyone knows something different please share.

  • 551. Solidarity forever  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    @537: I think you need to look at your facts about a 16% raise. It is the board’s way of making it look like we are about to get a ton of cash. We aren’t. From what I have seen, we have been offered 3% the first year, and 2% for the following 3 years. They are counting pension contributions as a raise when that has always been part of the deal. We don’t get social security and CPS does not pay into a 401K so pension is the only retirement we get. Unless you are suggesting that we stay in the classroom until we die, either we need pension or a salary that allows us to save for retirement. The lack of respect for teachers on here is astonishing. It is sad that we live in a society where no one bats an eye at someone making MILLIONS to play basketball, but making a salary of $55,000 for being a teacher is just greedy. “Modern cynics and skeptics see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a small wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing”- John F. Kennedy

  • 552. Dad  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    @518CPSO “So can we blame the teachers for *not* getting all the extra kid-oriented benefits they wanted?… if the strike lasted until we got our better schools, it would be one longggg strike.”

    I say not so much blame the teachers, but we can certainly call the CTU out on BS if the contract does not include concrete language that directly addresses regional disparity, class size, access to arts, and whatever else we, the parents and teachers, have been told the strike was all about. The tangential, potential, theoretical benefits students can see from a teacher recall policy, or from relaxing teacher evaluation requirements, are great if they play out but are not what the CTU has led us to believe it was fighting for.

    I am hoping that the contract does indeed address student safety, resource distribution, class size, and special education services. I am hoping the CTU and Board found a way to help teachers whose schools must close, while still allowing schools access to great teachers who happen to be young or who are trying to transfer from a non-CTU school. I am hoping CPS can do what other districts can’t seem to do, in finding a way to evaluate teachers accurately, and use the results to motivate and inspire, rather than to punish. If it does one of these things, I’ll forget the hassle the strike has caused my family. But if all they agreed to was a raise, a flat health insurance premium even though the cost of healthcare is still soaring, dibs on open jobs for those laid off, and a hollow evaluation system, the bitterness will linger.

  • 553. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Except 537, monitoring of class size in previous years has resulted in no action. This is not a win. A cap, a real enforceable cap would be a win. I am guessing we’ll be back at school Monday. Sometime next week, the teachers will get a look at the total contract and will vote on it. I will not vote to accept any contract that does not have enforceable class size caps. Even if we leave the “caps” (which really are merely recommendations at this point) as is, we need to be able to enforce them. I will be telling my rep that I would like to take a 0% raise (with no additional insurance costs or pension costs to me) for the next 4-5 years in exchange for an enforceable cap. I don’t believe it will do any good, but I am compelled to try.

  • 554. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    @543. CPS Teachermom :”1. The strike addresses educational inequalities.”

    Which part of the proposal posted above addresses that?

  • 555. Cake for all!  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    How can CPS enforce the caps?

    Has either side said what will happen if more than 28 kids try to enroll ?

  • 556. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Oh, and if there is no class size cap, the union is most certainly partly responsible. But so is the BOE. So is our legislature. I will be pressuring my union on this but it is only one piece of the puzzle and the fact that CTU can’t really bargain over class size unless BOE brings it up as a permissible issue, makes it difficult. Personally, I don’t think any teacher should go back to work or any parent should send any child to school until our state rectifies this issue.

  • 557. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    @554, CPS cannot enforce the caps unless it agrees to put language in the contract and only the BOE can decide to put it in. In the past, when class sizes were violated, they sent a committee out to “look at” the issue. I think in some cases of gross excess (upwards of 40 per room), sometimes an aide was given or a class was split. Sometimes it happens with the 20th day of school craziness, and sometimes classes are just left and everyone involved gets screwed.
    I tend to see super large classes in poor areas and am always amazed that Lincoln parents allow their children in kindergarten rooms of nearly 40.

  • 558. Portage Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Tomorrow, my daughter and I will go to school with coffee and donuts for our awesome teachers to show our support. I have learned so much from some of the very thoughtful posts here.

    I found out our school doesn’t have A/C or what Todd Pytel referred to as chillers. The system that was put in removes the humidity from the air so it makes it a little more comfortable. Sorry for the misinformation.

  • 559. Paul  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    @550 Solidarity Forever and John F. Kennedy, the average plumber in Chicago makes $38,000 a year, while the average Chicago public school teacher makes $71,000 a year. It could be that the “modern” cynics and skeptics of the 1960s are different the the cynics and skeptics of the 2010s.

    http://www.simplyhired.com/a/salary/search/q-plumber/l-chicago,+il

  • 560. ltwain  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    @542 Todd, If you and principals are taking that sensible approach to interviewing which looks as much as possible at the whole teacher, then why should teachers be too concerned about the rehiring process that has student test results as part of the portfolio? Or another way of looking at it – should the district ask principals how they hire, and use that as the evaluative criteria for hiring and retaining teachers? Shouldn’t teacher evaluations be based on how principals value their teachers? If student test data is a large part of the weighting, then what the district is doing with REACH and Value Added is justified. But if it isn’t, then why is it a disproportionately large component of CO’s vision this year.

    Just trying to get around testing as the end all be all.

  • 561. cpsobsessed  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Email update from CPS just now:

    Dear CPS Stakeholder, Since Chicago Teachers Union leaders announced their choice to strike last Sunday night, CPS has presented multiple proposals at the negotiation table to help reach an agreement. We’re very optimistic that a deal is in sight and kids will be back in school this Monday. In the four days that CTU has been on strike, more than 350,000 students have missed more than 28 hours of school. There is no more time to waste as our students need to be back in the classroom with their teachers where they belong. We are committed to work every hour through the night and into the morning to secure this agreement. Here are high-level highlights of the proposals we’ve placed on the negotiation table:• 16% average salary increase for $320 million over four years (including COLA, step and lane) • New job securities for teachers who lose their jobs – without compromising principals’ rights to hire most qualified teachers for their students • First-ever paid maternity leave – women will no longer need to bank sick days in order to plan for their family • First-ever short-term medical disability – employees who get ill will be able to recover without worry of job or pay loss • Board will no longer retain the right to take back raises in the contract in the event of a fiscal crisis •  A groundbreaking teacher evaluation system that for the first time will couple student growth with meaningful feedback and hands-on support to help teachers improve their professional development and boost student success in the classroom
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 562. DZV  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    @mouse
    Thank yo so much for stating what you think our contract should include. I am with you 100%. I will speaking to my union delegate about this also. Mostly though, I am a special education teacher and I have heard very little about that. My caseload is HUGE this year. I have students with BIPs and students with some serious disablities. There is no way I can reasonably accomodate them all.
    We can strike all year on that one also. My students deserve more than what they are getting from CPS and their lame excuses for not providing them the LEGALLY proper services.
    In the area of special education,it is moving backward versus forward iin CPS. Our suburban counterparts have surpassed us in ideologies, resources, and services. You only see self- contained classrooms for the seriously impaired. In CPS, IEPs are written a “resource”, but these students get maximum minutes to the point where they are almost self-contained. Corey H did nothing to improve the quality of education for these kids. The contract will get a NO vote from me if those issues aren’t addressed.

  • 563. SutherlandParent  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    @545 and @546, unfortunately a lot of places don’t offer paid maternity leave. I’m glad CPS is including paid maternity leave in the contract, but it’s not the norm in the United States (the Family and Medical Leave Act requires larger companies to offer time off for maternity leave, but that is unpaid).

    From Bitch magazine http://bitchmagazine.org/post/lady-business-paid-parental-maternity-leave-feminist-magazine-economy

    “And yet only about half of all first-time moms in the United States are able to take any paid leave after childbirth; and just a fifth of working women with young children receive leave with full pay, according to a review of the most recent Census data by the Washington, DC–based advocacy group National Partnership for Women & Families. Nor is the situation getting better. A Families and Work Institute report found only 16 percent of the companies it surveyed offered fully paid maternity leave in 2008, down from 27 percent in 1998.”

  • 564. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    DZV, I am with you on the sped needs too. I have said this before, but if I had a child with special needs, I’d sooner slit my throat than send them to CPS. Our sped teachers are typically amazing, but their caseloads are far beyond what one human being can do.
    Seriously, no freaking way am I accepting this contract. Not a chance. We can be out until Thanksgiving as far as I am concerned. I suppose that is easy for me to say because my family can live on my husband’s salary (60K) pretty easily if we need to. I know many teachers are the sole breadwinners for their family and don’t have that luxury. But there is no way I am agreeing to any contract that doesn’t do anything for kids. Take my damn 3% or 2% per year or whatever the heck it is. I DON’T NEED IT. I don’t want it if I can’t do my job well because classes are too big or kids don’t have a nurse or a sped aide or other important things. I wanted a raise a month ago. But I only wanted it if kids got what they needed too.

    I want to start a movement. Teachers agree to a pay freeze and taxpayers agree to a 3% property tax increase. Shared sacrifice. Our kids all win.

  • 565. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    @550. (Solidarity forever) The 16% average raise combines COLA, Step, and Lane – I don’t think it takes the pension into account.

    The fact that your health care premiums will not increase even though health care costs are soaring could also be considered a raise – CPS has to pick up the tab for the increased health care costs.

    I think that the offer is generous.

  • 566. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    re: maternity leave. Teachers are not provided with a private space or time to pump or breastfeed either. You have to do it on your prep or lunch, regardless of your body’s schedule and when you actually are able to pump, you have to go into a bathroom to do it. Yuck. And illegal. CPS sucks.

  • 567. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Illegal because workplaces are mandated to provide a private space to pump.

  • 568. CPSTeacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    So, I am wondering how many Alcott, Blaine, Bell, etc. parents we can expect striking against teachers over on the west side tomorrow? I will be looking for you on the corner of Kedzie and 5th. I’ll be in a red tshirt. : )

  • 569. Hyde Park Mom  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    That’s asking for legal trouble to not offer women time and space for breast pumping.Indeed it is the law.Women are legally allowed to do so,should they choose,in public if need be.I remember using a quiet corner in a library as a med student.The librarian saw me and didn’t dare ask me to stop she knew better,lol.

  • 570. DZV  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Thank you Mouse! I will be on the line tomorrow thinking of you and all the others out there who feel the same way. And I won’t let nasty comments about the union, how bad we are at the “contigent sites”, or anything else get to me. Like water off a duck’s back. On that note: Remember to bring an umbrella tomorrow. Solidarity forever!

  • 571. DZV  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    CPSTeacher,
    I’m right there with you. I’ll be the other one in the red t-shirt! LOL
    Sticks and stones my break my bones, but names will never hurt me!

  • 572. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    @559 (ltwain) – I’m not sure I follow your argument, but I’ll try to answer your questions…

    “If you and principals are taking that sensible approach to interviewing which looks as much as possible at the whole teacher…”

    First off, I’m only speaking about the hiring process at our school, which I think is quite effective given various practical and logistical realities. I think it’s a good model. But I have no idea what hiring looks like systemwide, and the existence of some systemwide best practice for hiring seems to be part of where you’re going.

    “…then why should teachers be too concerned about the rehiring process that has student test results as part of the portfolio?”

    I don’t get “rehiring” here. Are you asking about some element of recall?

    “Or another way of looking at it – should the district ask principals how they hire, and use that as the evaluative criteria for hiring and retaining teachers? Shouldn’t teacher evaluations be based on how principals value their teachers?”

    That’s not possible on a large scale. Principals hire for *their particular building*. Individual schools have very specific cultures and principals often have even more specific needs for a particular position, given existing initiatives and personnel. A districtwide evaluation system is going to have to be more general in nature. Taking general data (evaluations, credentials, recommendations) and figuring out what that tells you about how the candidate will meet your local needs is *exactly* what the professional judgment of a good administrator lets them do.

    “If student test data is a large part of the weighting, then what the district is doing with REACH and Value Added is justified. But if it isn’t, then why is it a disproportionately large component of CO’s vision this year?”

    Mostly because it’s the politically hip thing to do these days. It’s certainly not because respected educational researchers have linked it to increased student achievement – they haven’t. But REACH is a lot more than just VAM stuff anyway – that’s just one component. I think it’s the least meaningful component, one that’s going to introduce a certain amount of random noise into the overall ratings. But it’s clear that utterly rejecting it is a political impossibility right now, so the union is trying to at least be careful how quickly we implement it and to make sure there are some checks and balances along the way.

  • 573. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    my son has special needs and I LOVE our special ed teachers. They have fought tirelessly to make sure he is accommodated.

    schools vary by special needs and from CPS website it seems to vary but can be as high as 25%, yikes, that is some case load.

    One thing I will say–it was teachers fighting for him and that was all.

    CPS management sucks. The Administrators need to have an evaluation system of THEM–where the teachers and parents are doing the evaluating.

    I think the only way to get a class size cap is to campaign as a statewide measure. Make your Rep submit a Bill. If they can pass SB7 surely they can pass a state cap where NO school district can opt out.

  • 574. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    DZV 🙂

  • 575. anonymouse teacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    @572, the CTU has a bill sitting in the legislature right now attempting to cap class sizes in our neediest schools. I am going to find out this week more about it and see what I can do to help light a fire under this thing.

  • 576. CPSTeacher  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    DZV 🙂
    Right there with you!

  • 577. CPS Teachermom  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Angie,

    I had a reply all written out and accidentally deleted it and can’t undo. So I am tired and will just be lazy and re-post from previous posters (and have added to certain points in posts to explain, with my additions in parentheses):

    – “16% raises, for the kids” (Actually, it’s not really 16%, and don’t care at all about this one, as “anonymouse” has repeatedly said, if CPS would hold the line on class sizes. My class is currently 31 and growing.)
    – “Security for laid off teachers, for the kids” (see post # 531)
    – “Joint teacher evaluations, for the kids” (see post #531)
    – “Disability policy and maternity leave, for the kids” (Ask any mom if a lack of maternity leave was a concern.)
    – “Pension contributions, for the kids” (Future kids anyway.)
    – “Health care and wellness, for the kids” (Is anyone really against this?)
    – “Increased promotions, for the kids” (Not sure what original poster meant by this.)
    – “Monitoring of class sizes, for the kids” (Do I need to bother?)
    – “New calendar, for the kids, and” (Do I need to go into this?)
    – “New school day, for the kids” (Do I need to go into this? I have always been about open campus and lunch/recess. Remember, I have 3 kids in the system too. The new schedule is a great improvement and there is actually time to pee.)

    “Actually, those last three do sound like they’re for the kids.” All of the above quoted post comes from #537.

    OK, here is post #531 in case people want to re-read: “Like I said earlier, there are plenty of parts that are “just a labor contract.” Absolutely. But there are several places where provisions “for the teachers” are simultaneously very beneficial for the kids. Evaluation, as suggested, is the most important – it absolutely influences curriculum, teacher morale and effort, school stability, professional development/improvement, and collaboration, among many other things. Everybody wins with a system that helps keep good teachers in front of kids and gives developing teachers the incentive to improve. But some of the other provisions also have genuine impact. Recall, for example, sounds like pure labor bargaining. But how can you hope to attract a significant quantity of competent teachers to challenging schools in disadvantaged areas if prospective applicants are terrified that they could be left in the lurch when the school is closed in another year or two? A total lack of recall provisions would absolutely have an impact on the hiring pool in those schools. Consider also that many of the most contentious issues were changed only when a strike was already imminent. The original board proposals, for example, had *no* limits on class sizes or teacher preps. That would absolutely impact instruction.

    Now, could there be more provisions made that are purely “for the kids”? Sure. Personally, I’d jump at taking 1%-1%-1%-1% to set a hard limit on class sizes lower than the current ones and to provide more social workers. But remember that this thing has to pass the HoD and the full membership as well. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some contention there already due to the evaluation provisions. More could be done, but I think this contract is definitely looking like a step in the right direction.”

    This is why I think, Angie, that the strike addresses educational inequalities either directly or indirectly. It is not a simple answer. I don’t think this strike can be narrowly described or defined when it is about so many complicated and enormous issues that affect this contract, the union, and the future of teachers and children for many years to come.

    Thank you.

    CPS Teachermom

  • 578. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Yes let me know, I am good at the State campaigning, I know alot of folks down there. State cap would be great.

    I worked mostly with gang members and conflict res re. CPS, but I want to campaign more too since I am disgusted with our current mayoral administration–they are for business people and no one else as far as I can see. It is sad times for poor people and with crime rate heading upward, I hope we are not heading back to Reaganomics/Bush era crime where Chicago’s murders were double what they are now (and with less population).

    I want to give Rahm a copy of A Christmas Carol and direct him to the pages on Ignorance and Want. Those kids are here to stay with these kinds of Planners.

    Re. the breastfeeding thing and having no space to do so–there are many such cases of rights violated or not being enforced I have heard from teachers and staff but teachers/staff are afraid to file a complaint–another reason I do not want Principals to be able to hire and fire at will. I know some really awesome principals, but I know a couple of the other kind (bullies) too.

  • 579. junior  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    @531 Todd

    Labor talks are not the forum in which to make education policy. Why do we build the system around the employees — one where all changes must be “good for teachers” and might, by coincidence, also be “good for kids”. Where is the forum where the children’s needs come first and the teachers’ are secondary? Where do parents/children get a voice at the table?

  • 580. Solidarity forever  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    @564- The last proposal that I saw said that we would be seeing increases in our healthcare costs, especially for families. That means that we will actually be taking a pay cut (despite working longer hours and days). @558 That average salary that you stated for CPS teachers has been proven wrong countless times. The average wage of a CPS teacher is $56,720. This number is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not the biased media. The number you had included a number of university teachers who make far more than your average public school teacher. Not to mention, we are required to live in this city, one of the most expensive, to keep our jobs. Can you support a family in Chicago on $56,720? In addition, with the longer school day and year, many teachers are forced to give up the second jobs that they held to make ends meet. Personally, now that school goes almost until July (for teachers), I am not able to have the summer job that usually helps me make ends meet. So what’s next? Housing projects for teachers?

    I am wondering about many of you that are posting that we are being greedy. I think you are forgetting about how much teachers do. Do you email your child’s teacher after school hours? I spend at least an hour every night answering emails to make sure that parents feel respected and their child’s needs are met. Not to mention the countless unpaid hours spent checking papers, designing units, finding and organizing field trips/guest speakers, gathering resources, writing report cards, updating class web sites, doing book orders, etc. If we wanted to be greedy I suppose we would be fighting to be paid for the 12 hour days that many of us put in every day. Think about what your teachers do for you then try to have a little more respect.

  • 581. ltwain  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    @571 Todd, sorry for the confusion. Thanks for your helpful comments. If a school is hiring from the displaced teachers pool (rehiring), the criteria that is used to hire them for your school should be the same as the one used for any teacher’s annual evaluation – whatever that criteria may be. If a teacher fits and is doing a good job, you kinow it when you see it, whether a teacher’s been teaching there for decades, or for the first quarter.

    This is to offer an alternative to the district’s evaluation plan. I’m not sure I’ve heard what CTU’s proposal is for evaluating teachers, but it seems useful to negotiate over something other than the district’s plan. There was another proposal in one of the previous replies hundreds back, which also seemed like a viable alternative.

    This is just to say that I’m not fond of student testing to evaluate teachers. But if there has to be something, qualitative is OK with me, so long as school leadership can know whether a teacher needs to change or improve.

  • 582. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    @579. Solidarity forever: I would like to see some proof that the number on this page is not correct or includes university professors.

    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/At-a-glance/Pages/Stats_and_facts.aspx

  • 583. Angie  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Employer healthcare premiums outpace inflation, wages

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/chi-premiums-for-family-health-plans-hit-15745-20120911,0,6222197.story

    “A study released on Tuesday showed that premiums for employer-sponsored health plans, which cover about 149 million Americans, grew a modest 4 percent to $15,745 in 2012. It was a substantially slower rate of growth than in past years, including 2011, when premiums jumped 9 percent.

    But the study’s authors at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, said higher costs still took a bigger bite from the income of middle-class employees, whose wages advanced only 1.7 percent, as employers shifted more healthcare costs to their workers.

    Premiums for employer health plans have doubled over the past decade, with worker contributions surging, on average, to $4,316 from $2,137 in 2002, according to the study’s January-to-May survey of 2,100 public and private-sector employers.”

    Now do you see the difference between CPS proposal and the rest of the world?

  • 584. Solidarity forever  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    So you would like me to research their statistics? I think I will leave that to you. Well considering they have on the same page that we have a 20:1 student-teacher ratio, I would already question validity of their numbers. Instead, it may be easier for you to check my source. In addition, as soon as CPS unlocks our accounts (when the strike is over), I would be happy to post the exact numbers from my pay stub.

    To fact check this claim, I went to the best source available to the public: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS has data from May 2011 for the Chicago metropolitan area that breaks down the average salary for teachers. Across the profession, teachers in the area were earning an average salary of $56,720. Keep in mind that a median salary would probably be a more accurate picture of what teachers actually earn (veteran teacher salaries will be dragging the number upwards) but that this number is not available. The number is also dragged upward because a number of university staff are included in this calculation (they earn more than public school teachers). We spoke with a BLS official earlier today to confirm the veracity of these numbers.

    If you look at the different subsets of teachers, some earn as little an average salary as $44,480 (foreign language teachers). Also keep in mind that the cost of food and living is well above the U.S. average in Chicago.

  • 585. Todd Pytel  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    @578 (junior) – I believe I’ve already given the best, most honest possible answers I can to your questions.

    @580 (ltwain) – “It seems useful to negotiate over something other than the district’s plan.”

    Not really. The broad shape of the plan is defined by PERA and reinforced by overwhelming political power. The Union can only tweak it a bit around the edges. A purely qualitative plan is neither a legal nor a political possibility, no matter how much merit it might have. There’s no sense wasting time and energy in a contract negotiation debating something that can’t exist. Now, would I like to see educational research and media attention continue to focus on evaluation systems? Absolutely. Maybe we’ll be more collectively enlightened by the time the next contract rolls around.

    Good night all!

  • 586. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    my son’s school teachers were in the 50s a few years ago–I find it hard to believe they could jump so high so fast. Many of them have Master’s degrees.

    Labor negotiations may be the only place to influence Ed policy. the BOE is extremely unresponsive and there is not two-way communication that is helpful. What they call ‘reform’ I call them doing whatever they want without consultation. They need to communicate more with teachers and community acitivists who know their schools fortes and problems.

  • 587. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    @583 (Solidarity Forever) You said “The BLS has data from May 2011 for the Chicago metropolitan area that breaks down the average salary for teachers. ” – this is NOT the CTU. That includes suburbs, private schools, charters etc. I thought that the CTU’s stated average only differed from CPS by a few thousand dollars (I think that I remember reading that CTU claims the average is about $71,000 but I will have to find the source for that).

    If the STARTING salary is more than $50,000, I really doubt that the average could be $56,720. When they show a ratio of 20:1, they are not saying that class sizes are 20 (we wish!) – this would include ALL teachers in the school (gym, art, special ed, etc)

  • 588. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    the ratios that CPS have on their website have to be wrong or they are counting closed schools (factoring in zero).

    Andrew Jackson had ~28 for kindergdn and 32 for other grades. There are 32 in my boy’s class picture from last year, I just counted it on the fridge.

    I was in a class of 41 (seriously) for 6th grade, worst year of my life, HATED school. I couldn’t hear and I think I learned just about nothing the entire year.

  • 589. Paul  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    @579 Solidarity Forever, the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t estimate salary averages for CPS teachers or for any other organization, they estimate salary averages for occupations in a location. The $56,720 estimate is for Chicago teachers, and the reason is it lower than the $71,000 reported by CPS is because CPS teachers make more money than other teachers in Chicago.

    And, yes, I could support a family on $56,720 in Chicago, and guess what, so can over half the households in the city of Chicago. The median household income in Chicago is about $47,000.

    Listen, I respect teachers and think many of them deserve more. But, it seems to me that they are out of touch with reality when it comes to their pay and benefits.

    There’s some kind of cognitive dissonance when teachers simultaneously talk about the high levels of poverty that all the kids in their classrooms are subject to, and then somehow think that their pay is lower than all the other people in Chicago. What is going on there? How can all the kids’ parents be poorer than you, but all the people in Chicago make more than you?

  • 590. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    It is very dishonest for them to report numbers as such 586., but i am not surprised.

  • 591. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    The Sun Times has a database that list the salary for all teachers in IL for 2009 – 2010. You can find it at http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/5679128-418/illinois-teacher-and-administrator-salaries.html

  • 592. kstaigs  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    I keep returning to this site like a train wreck that keeps going on and on and from which I cannot seem to look away. How gratifying to see teachers back on here defending your rights and positions, I had lost all hope earlier today. I have not been able to bring myself to post my thoughts as I know they will only brew up a storm of nasty, mean spirited sarcasm, and honestly, I am too easily heartsick over these people’s need to vilify anyone and everyone who dares speak out for what they believe despite the inconveniences doing so poses. But I want you know that there are A LOT of parents behind the teachers, we are NOT misguided or ignorant or CTU shills, we are dealing with the impact of this strike as much as any parent but we understand that our children can only benefit from a thorough, not hasty, resolution of this strike. I cried with relief and joy today at the news that we would be back to school on Monday, and came on here to try to share my feelings with like minded parents, and found only anger and continued name calling and blame. And that turned out to be the last straw. This will be my last visit, I have been on here for a year now but I would rather be out doing something about these problems than venting about them on a site which should (and used to) be a great source of information and discussion. But I couldn’t break off what can only be called a sick addiction to this discussion without a word of support, solidarity, and good luck to those of you who are fighting the good fight in the name of BOTH your jobs and our kids. See you out there, gotta do a load of laundry to be sure I have red to wear.

  • 593. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    47-56K is very low income to live decently UNLESS your parents/family paid for college or bought you a car or gave you a down payment on a condo or house. People forget how much money they really have if they didn;t have to pay for all themselves.

    That is a poor income in this town to support a family with the cost of living here.

    CPS Teachers are doing a job you wouldn’t do Paul. That’s why they need to be properly paid.

    And you don’t respect teachers or you wouldn’t make comments like that–they are just another group of people who serve you and you are trying to figure out how to get away with paying them as little as possible. Just like every other anti-union business person.

    basically that’s why they have a union.

  • 594. EdgewaterMom  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I want to make it clear (especially to the teachers on here) that I do not think that CTU teachers are over-paid. I do think that CTU teachers are paid fairly and I think that they work very hard for that money. However, I do not like to see either side distorting the facts – and I think that both sides have been guilty of this.

  • 595. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    @537 That CPS release is not a useful document. What is the salary schedule? A 16% average means that some teachers are receiving less than 16% and some or receiving more. What will the median increase be? They must have proposed a salary schedule; why not just publish it.

    Some more questions:

    – How will the EPAS assessment to be used for 9-12 teachers account for demographic factors, like student mobility and income? The EPAS itself does not account for this.

    – How will “performance tasks, which are written or hands-on demonstrations of student progress towards mastery of a particular skill or standard also comprises the student growth” be incorporated into teacher evaluations? The March 2012 FAQ doesn’t specify; the 13 Sep. summary doesn’t specify. What percentage of the evaluation vs. EPAS, value-added or other measures will performance tests account for?

    – If confidence intervals for value-added measures are statistically insignificant (as the majority are), how will CPS use them in the evaluation? What data will be substituted for them?

    – what is the balance between Performance Tasks and school-wide value-added data for teachers of untested grades or subjects in teacher evaluations? 50/50?

    These are just a few of the questions that have not been answered by CPS releases.

    As a parent, I’m curious whether my daughter’s music, art, Spanish, and drama teachers are going to be measured mostly by school-wide value added-data, over which they have no control, or performance tasks. I cannot tell from CPS-released documents.

  • 596. Katherine  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    I don’t think Edgewater mom that CTU teachers are paid fairly in rough areas of the city. Those locations pose much more hazards and sad realities like having to do alot extra for students including buying supplies etc for them.

    I just looked up my son’s teachers and I am horrified that an experienced middle grades teacher (many years experience) only makes 54K and the rest of my son’s teachers make 52-6.

    I think per hour it is pretty crap pay.

    The principal is paid shocking money (high).

  • 597. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Ask CPS to give you a .csv file of teacher salaries. That would be helpful to determine the average and the median salary for CPS teachers. Funny, that they don’t do that. They put out PDFs with all positions, but not a user-sortable .csv file.

    You could file a FOIA request for the data. Of course, if you’re like me, after two letters from the state AG’s office informing CPS that they must at least reply to someone’s FOIA requests, you probably still won’t get them.

    CPS — it’s the only city agency that doesn’t publish its FOIA responses for the rest of the public to see.

    It’s not like we pay taxes for the schools or anything.

  • 598. EdgewaterMom  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:02 am

    @595 (Katherine) I think that teachers that work in the poorest neighborhood should be paid more for doing so – sort of like “hazard pay”. I have no idea how this would actually be implemented, but it does seem like there should be some sort of yearly bonus for teaching in a difficult neighborhood.

  • 599. A differing perspective?!  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:03 am

    With regard to the evaluation system, I am so sympathetic to the teachers side. Perhaps my life experience and seeing how demographics can profoundly impact and skew numbers is the cause. I suspect most of would agree that when one evaluates a doctor one looks to his/her performance and the ability to preserve life would be high on that list. A doctor that can preserve more lives without additional life altering burdens or quality of life issues is probably a better one. Right?

    I have a kid who should be dead. He isn’t dead though, instead he’s a happy well adjusted 10 year old, having a blast during strike week playing with the neighborhood kids and just generally being a kid.

    The oncologist he had in Chicago gets to see patients with all kinds of cancers thus this pediatric oncologist at CMH has about a 70% or greater survival rate, pretty much ideal for a pediatric oncologist. This oncologist told me to take my kid home to die. As a result I found another pediatric oncologist in NYC at Sloan. The demographics of this oncologist’s patients look a lot different. This oncologist only sees kids with the type of cancer my kid had which comes with a less than 30% 5-yr survival. Moreover, the vast majority of the patients of this NYC oncologist had already been given the, we’re sorry there’s nothing else we can do for you kid, speech. The kids that come to him had failed treatment and are essentially walking among us with drug resistance cancer. The oncologist in NYC cured my kid over 8 years ago. And he did so without any major life threatening long term effects to date. On paper the oncologist in NYC only has about a 15% survival rate On a performance based evaluation he’d be gone for sure. But then my kid would dead and so would every other kid that he saved despite being up against demographics that the literature says is incurable.

    Every single time I hear about evaluation being tied to performance, and I’m hearing it a lot lately, I pray there is some method to protect those that choose to work where others could and perhaps would not. I sincerely hope we don’t drive caring professionals like my kid’s oncologist in NYC out of their profession because performance is necessary to measure value. I fear the one size fits all approach that CPS in my opinion is extremely guilty of imposing in all arenas. Maybe my life experience has formed a bias within me so deep I shouldn’t even be weighing in on this topic. I just wanted to throw my perspective out there so folks could see a situation, I sincerely hope none of you ever have to experience, where performance is perhaps the worse indicator of value and relevance. Or perhaps I’m dead wrong and there is no value to saving 20 or so kids a year who would otherwise be dead, and I only see value in it because my kid was one of those 20 or so that year that benefited.

  • 600. Portage Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:06 am

    @591 kstaigs – You’re right, you do have a lot of support among parents. I had a different mind set when the strike was announced. I was never angry because that is so counter productive. I want to let you know I learned so much from what teachers have shared on this blog. Your posts as well as Todd Pytel and others have been so helpful in educating me in the realities that is CPS. I am definitely a more informed parent because a lot of the wonderful teachers who took the time, effort and patience to explain in great detail what it’s like to be a teacher in a low income neighborhood.

    Who knows how many other minds you and your fellow teachers have changed? There are many parents who read the blog but don’t post.

    This strike has changed me. My efforts will now be focused on organizing parents who are interested to see what can be done about class size and increasing funding for education.

  • 601. Portage Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I heard the new teachers evaluation includes about 15% for student ratings. Is this really true?

  • 602. Katherine  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:34 am

    I am about to get very busy, but I too have really enjoyed reading most of the comments on this blog, but not all. Some people don;t want to know what is going on in CPS, they just want their kid(s) back in school. This strike has inconvenienced me too since I had to drag my kid around to work (understanding boss) instead of leave him at Children First since I *did* have a choice–bringing him to work was less hassle and he was actually scared to be left there. I have to work on the weekend to catch up.

    I think the best Good that can come out of the strike is to really look at the schools in CPS around you–their poverty make up, the % with special needs, and the photos of the buildings or look at the school websites (some of the poorer schools do not have a website). We should be making sure lottery money/TIF is spent Fairly. We should be fixing places up and making sure the heat works and there is air flow; we shouldn;t be closing community schools and schools being evaluated solely on test scores. Talk to your Alderman about Improving Education for everyone. Aldermen have a lot of power they don’t use except when they want to or someone with clout is pushing on them.

    I think also anytime you hear the word REFORM, view it with skepticism. Reform usually means loss in Chicago.

    The BOE needs to include teacher and parent input far more than they currently are. They control too much and their policies seem to work on paper and nowhere else. Overall Chicago schools are not better off. A handful have excelled.

    Have a good night and hope the contractual issues are resolved and now we should have til 2016 to make history and actually improve Education.

  • 603. Portage Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:54 am

    @598 -A differing perspective Thanks so much for your story. You are so right.

  • 604. Ltwain  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:23 am

    @584 Todd, if there is little that could be negotiated around teacher evaluation, then why is it a stumbling block in the present negotiations? If CTU is leading the reform of reform efforts, shouldn’t it be proactive rather than reactive?

  • 605. Ouiser  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:44 am

    #596 – this link was posted to the board earlier…for teachers salaries:

    http://www.familytaxpayers.org.php5-20.dfw1-1.websitetestlink.com/salary.php

  • 606. Techqueen333  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:03 am

    @588 Paul: You write: “There’s some kind of cognitive dissonance when teachers simultaneously talk about the high levels of poverty that all the kids in their classrooms are subject to, and then somehow think that their pay is lower than all the other people in Chicago. What is going on there? How can all the kids’ parents be poorer than you, but all the people in Chicago make more than you?”

    Paul, how about that straw man you built there? No one is arguing the people of Chicago all make make more than teachers and teachers aren’t fighting to make more than all their parents. They are fighting for a living wage.

  • 607. cpsemployee  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I have looked at the two salary links recently posted (one for 2010, one for 2011) and compared them to my W-2 forms. The amount listed on the sites is considerably higher than my W-2 forms. I believe what is published is the cost of a position – which includes benefits, sub pay, etc – and not the actually salary. And while it is right to identify what it costs the Board to fully fund a position (since it is part of the budget), it is wrong to imply all that money goes to the teacher in the form of a paycheck. That is inflammatory.

  • 608. anonymouse teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Paul, I agree that most people can raise and live well on about 50K a year. My family of 4 lived on well below that for many years and paid a mortgage too. It all depends on one’s standard of living.

    I will repeat, I will not sign any contract that does not address class size, the # of social workers and nurses and the horrific state of special education in CPS. These conditions are BOTH those that directly affect kids and me as an employee. They ARE labor issues, because they directly affect my ability to offer a quality product. I would love to see ALL of Chicago united behind these causes.

    I joined Raise Your Hand last night with a monetary contribution. I urge each person on here to join some group in Chicago, whether it be RYH or some other, and to back up all the complaints with actions. We have to do something about the state of our schools and especially those schools on the south and west sides.

  • 609. Karen Lewis question  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:45 am

    This is somewhat off-topic, but does anyone know why Karen Lewis was wearing a necklace with a chai pendant on it? Chai is a hebrew word meaning life, and has some significant importance to Jewish people. The pendant is clearly visible in video from last night and from a picture I found online from Tuesday (http://www.stillscenes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/CTU_strike_2012_09_11_7.jpg).

  • 610. EdgewaterMom  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:54 am

    @606 (cpsemployee) According to the website, this number includes salary, pension contribution, sick day buyouts, extra-duty pay, etc It also says that you can contact them if your numbers are incorrect – maybe it is worth looking into.

    “The word “salary” used here is synonymous with “compensation.” According to the ISBE, the technical term for the data we post is “total creditable earnings.”

    Public school employees are compensated in many ways. The numbers we post are the official “total creditable earnings” that school districts report annually to the Illinois State Board of Education.

    According to the ISBE, the annual salary data reported to them is the same as the “total creditable earnings” reported to the Teachers Retirement System. It includes, among other things, extra-duty pay (coaching, clubs, etc.), board-paid retirement contributions, vacation and sick day buyouts, bonuses, and other compensation that the Teachers Retirement System includes in total creditable earnings. This salary data does not include the cost of employer-paid health insurance. Individual school district contracts should be consulted for details.”

  • 611. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:59 am

    565: “Teachers are not provided with a private space or time to pump or breastfeed either. You have to do it on your prep or lunch”

    Not that you arent absolutely correct, but (1) are you suggesting that there needs to be an on-call substitute to step in at any time–bc that’s what would be necesary, isnt it?, and (2) at most workplaces I’ve had (with under 100 employees at the location), the “private place” ends up being a supply closet or something similar, and that’d be about the best you could hope for in any older school building.

  • 612. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:03 am

    “I will not sign any contract that does not address class size”

    Serious question, Mouse: if theres a limit of 28 for your (neighborhood) class, but 32 enroll, who has to choose which 4 get sent to another school? You’re not going to get another full time teacher and two 16 kid classes (both head count and classroom space), so what’s the alternative? Which four families get shafted?

  • 613. Solidarity forever  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:18 am

    I am getting tired of this salary talk on here. Most teachers do not make 74,000 a year. As for a starting salary of 50,000…my starting salary in CPS was 38,000. Maybe instead of believing the media (Tribune and Sun Times have anti-union owners), maybe you should believe the people who actually receive the paychecks. Teaching is a profession and we should be treated like professionals. Many teachers have higher degrees and continue their own educations out of pocket to advance further. If you don’t have respect for teachers, then homeschool your kid. How would you feel if people were telling you that you weren’t worth the salary you make? We don’t march into your office and claim to know what you do, why do you do it to us? Have you EVER met a rich teacher?

  • 614. mom2  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:24 am

    The news this morning doesn’t sound as positive about a deal as last night. Beyond mad.

  • 615. mom2  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:27 am

    And, the talk of salary is only talk because no one here or anywhere else has explained where they think we will get the money to pay for increases in salary, keeping health insurance premiums the same (while it costs more to pay for it) and smaller class sizes, AC, supplies, not closing schools with only a few kids in them, etc. etc. It wouldn’t be discussed if we had the funds because almost all people I know on either side of this discussion believe teachers are critical and deserve a good income. It is a hard job.

  • 616. CPSMom&Teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:34 am

    By law CTU cannot strike over class size, lack of funding, lack of support, desks, chairs, or unfair evaluations based on a handful of teacher’s reading and math scores.

    The only “legal” reason to strike is unfair labor practices: adding number of days worked, extending daily working hours without compensation. If the CTU were to only focus on those other “non-stikable” topics the mayor can call for an injunction. This path is the only way we can voice any other concerns. It’s politics at work.

    The right to strike over these other issues were finally eroded by the same agreement that wouldn’t allow teachers to strike unless there was a 75% membership vote in favor of a strike. What’s at work here is a way to silence teachers.

    Hopefully, enough parents (and many, many already are) have become studied enough in what is really going. This strike is our narrow path to bring attention to our city the realities of our CPS schools. This includes student and teacher perspectives.

    Overwhelmingly, children are not being hurt by this strike. Athletes will be starting seasons later, and I strongly feel for these students. Practically speaking, classrooms are up and running. No in-depth curriculum has been started in the first days, so no back tracking of material is needed. Once we (teachers and students) return to the classroom, learning will begin immediately. These 5 days have not been lost. Students will receive their full school year, their full school day. Hopefully, parents are wiser and no longer push for the test, baby test cry of the mayor. That is when true learning will be lost.

  • 617. Solidarity forever  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:35 am

    From my understanding, our contributions to health care are going up. As for the other money, why don’t we spend some time petitioning against spending 325 million to open new charter schools? Shouldn’t that money go to existing public schools if there is such a “budget crunch”? What about the TIF funds? I wonder how, if there is no money, Rahm spent 100 million bribing schools to go extended day last year. Where did that come from? What about the 25 million that appeared out of nowhere to open contingency schools? What about the 3 million that is spent annually to investigate where teachers live?

  • 618. anonymouse teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:38 am

    @611, that classroom then needs to have a full time aide. Very simple solution.

  • 619. anonymouse teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:39 am

    @610, I’d be THRILLED if teachers were given a closet to pump in. And I personally don’t care who relieves a teacher who needs to pump. It is the law. If it was me and not my friend who is pumping in the bathroom each day, I’d be suing.

  • 620. CPD Backs CTU 100%  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:41 am

    @611 Better to shaft 4 families than 32. Charter schools deny kids a seat in their classrooms all the time or kick students out to the neighborhood schools if restrictive rules aren’t followed. If neighborhood schools had the same ability, what do you think would happen?

  • 621. JT  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:41 am

    @600 – Portage Mom – Based on the CPS proposal that’s online from March, the 15% number is partially true. That would refer to the portion of teachers’ evaluations to be based on adjusted testing data (NWEA MAP testing – not ISAT) for SY2012-13.

    The caveats:
    The percentage is different for high school.

    The 15% scales up to 25% incrementally by SY16-17

    There are additional student performance criteria (“Type III” assessments) that are partially teacher created that are to be used as part of the evaluation (these start at 10% in SY12-13 and expand to 15% by SY16-17 for elementary teachers.)

  • 622. anonymouse teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:42 am

    @615, crap. I keep forgetting that. So, we can’t do anything about this via a strike. Parents could though. Parents could refuse to send their children to school until ALL our kids get the most basic of services. Parents, why aren’t you doing something about this?

  • 623. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:42 am

    @solidarity: if I may inquire, how many years of experience do you have and how does your current salary compare to the 74/71k number being thrown around? I’m just a data person so I’d like to know the reality because I’ve been telling people it’s in the low 70’s.

    So is the 50kish starting salary not true today? I thought that one was a given.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 624. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Let’s go to the ultimate source, shall we?

    CTUNET, current bargaining agreement, year 2011 since the 2012 raise was cancelled.

    http://www.ctunet.com/grievances/text/2007-2012-CPS-CTU-Collective-Bargaining-Agreement.pdf?1294199486

    Page 135, 2010-2011 SCHOOL YEAR:

    Lane I – Bachelor’s Degree, Step 1

    Bi-Weekly Gross: 2155.83
    Annual: 56,051
    Pension Pick Up: 3,924
    Total Comp: 59,975

  • 625. CPD Backs CTU 100%  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Short term disability and maternity is great, but what about adoptive parents? They get nothing but sick days. If there’s no sick days bank, how do they take time off? If you can’t bank the sick days, teachers will use them. Then you get subs. That’s an unnecessary cost the CPS is going to have to bear. Also, the kids don’t learn with a sub. I’m not sure what the CPS thinks it’s going to accomplish with this.

  • 626. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:55 am

    @624. CPD Backs CTU 100% :”Short term disability and maternity is great, but what about adoptive parents? They get nothing but sick days. If there’s no sick days bank, how do they take time off?”

    You may not have heard that, but the teachers have a very lond summer vacation. How about scheduling the adoptions, house renovations, and other longer-term projects during that time?

  • 627. mom2  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Solidarity and CPSObsessed – I think we may have hit on one of the big sticking points here. Since CPSObsessed is such a number person, is there any way to find out the truth about if there really is all this money available but it is being kept away from the needy schools and needy teachers? Since CTU believes there is money for all this stuff and CPS says there isn’t, we will never get anywhere. I’m just a parent that wants the real facts, not talking points.

    Of course, then, once we know the facts, if there is money, the second question will be whether schools and teachers should be given more to do with as they please or if they need to adjust their priorities to improve things by shuffling the money they already have around.

  • 628. BuenaParkMom  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:18 am

    @James
    “@389 Pvt mom –
    You ask, “So where’s the grassroots support to address this issue?” I know where that support is not coming from: from parents who fled the system and are in private school; that is, from you.”

    Don’t be so quick to dismiss parents and community members that don’t currently have children in CPS schools. My preschooler attends a private school and I have been working on starting a grassroots “Friends of” group to benefit an entire Ward’s CPS schools for over a year now. And while my ward (46) is on the north side, there is an extremely high poverty rate in these schools. We have to remember that people do care about the children and conditions in these schools. We all have “skin in the game” because these children are members of our communities and we need to make sure they are educated to be productive members of our society. It makes me angry that people are so willing to be dismissive of each other. Do my efforts with the local public schools really mean nothing unless I choose to send my child to one of them? I don’t think so, I think our schools would be infinitely better off if MORE people that didn’t have children in them put forth the effort of taking on the responsibility of making them better places. And certainly the type of person who commits to reading this blog cares about the issues whether they agree with your point of view or not. Public schools belong to all of us, it would be nice for people to remember that. It would also be nice if people remembered that when you take care of things that belong to you those things tend to fare better.

    And with that here is a Donor’s Choose Project for a teacher in our neighborhood supporting science education at Disney for 4th graders. It need $204 to be fully funded.
    http://www.donorschoose.org/project/super-science-monthly-zine-let-the-inv/810398/?verify=977879532
    Consider donating please 🙂

  • 629. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:18 am

    618: “And I personally don’t care who relieves a teacher who needs to pump”

    So, ok if the custodian watches the kids? Part snark, part serious. The law is reasonable accomodation, which having an added employee on call all day for what may be 3 20 minute breaks, or may be none, probably wouldnt be seen as reasonable by a court.

    The lack of a private area is a shortsighted failing, and ought to be correctable in most school buildings, but, as I say, would most likely be a cleaned up, formerly very disgusting, storage closet.

    617: “full time aides”

    Are there actually enough qualified people who are wiling to maybe, maybe not have a $28k job in a school to be determined on Day X of the school year? Again, serious, honest question.

    On a separate note: whoever was banging their head against the FOIA wall would have been better spent their time brute forcing the pdf data into a spreadsheet. PITA, yes, but doable in an afternoon, if you really care.

  • 630. EdgewaterMom  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:19 am

    @625 (Angie) Suggesting that somebody “schedule an adoption” for summer months is ridiculous. I assume that you do not know anybody who has actually adopted a child.

  • 631. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Angie: “Let’s go to the ultimate source, shall we?”

    I dont even need to look to know that you picked from the wrong chart. There are three tables, for different job categories. The vast majority (all?) of the classroom teachers have “38.6 week” jobs. Need to look at that schedule, Angie. Should be something like $47k.

  • 632. EdgewaterMom  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:24 am

    @612 (Solidarity forever) I don’t think that anybody on here has said that teachers are over paid – but most think that they are fairly paid. You can’t demand a large raise and then be upset that the public wants to discuss how much you are paid. Pointing out how much teachers make does NOT mean that we do not respect teachers.

    I know that teachers are not only striking over salary. We have discussed ALL of the reasons why teachers are striking, not just salary. But it does seem like, in this economy, teachers have some unrealistic ideas about salary and benefits.

  • 633. not sure what will end the strike  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:30 am

    This is all about publicity and power when it should be about the needs articulately explained by the posters on this site. If it weren’t about publicity and power then the kids would be back in school by now. Instead, the strike continues. It’s as if the strike had to go forward because the Union had already paid for t-shirts and wanted the media attention. And now, the strike couldn’t end last night because there was already a big ralley planned for tomorrow.

    I am guessing when we finally get to see the final contract, it will look VERY similar to what the union never bothered to read on Sunday night before declaring a strike. Where there are differences, I would guess they won’t be so significant to have necessitated a week-long (or longer) strike.

    The CTU may win this fight; but it will cause them to lose the war. I feel much more confident that CPS and the Mayor have the interests of my kids and all kids at heart when looking at the future of education in chicago.

    And since the teachers had to authorize this strike long before they knew what the actual contract looked like, I remain unconvinced that the teachers would have authorized a strike based on the reality of their situation. Their earlier vote empowered and emboldened the union to fight for what the union thought was in the union’s best interest. I can’t imagine that the membership will make that mistake again. I will feel no loss when the CTU losees power bit by bit over the next several years…

    Let’s get the kids back in school and continue to address the issues.

  • 634. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

    @629. EdgewaterMom : Adoption is not pregnancy, where Mother Nature controls the process and there is nothing can be done to change the timeline. There is a lot of paperwork that can be completed during the school year, and then visits to orphanages, selecting and taking the child home can be scheduled for the summer.

    And in any case, I have no objection to letting the teachers keep the unused sick days for a year or two. But I have a problem with letting them bank the sick days for their entire career, and then getting a huge payout at the end.

  • 635. 8th grade mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Angie, clearly you have no idea how adoption works. Please stop your ignorant drivel.

  • 636. C'monNow  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:49 am

    back to strike news please…….

  • 637. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I thinks it’s a known fact that adoptions can’t be timed. With maternity leave as a good first step (although I’m still not sure why ctu opposed this) it seems the logical step in the next contract is to include adoption or family leave into the contract.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 638. Paul  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I want to get new t-shirts made for the teachers that say

    “I went on strike for the kids of Chicago, and all I got was higher pay and benefits.”

  • 639. LR  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:58 am

    @ Solidarity and CPSO: I don’t think there is a set number for starting salary. I know my daughter’s 2nd grade options teacher started at $44K 4 years ago. I’m guessing teachers in worse situations get paid a bit more because it’s combat pay, right? According to Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, the $71K average includes the 7% pension contribution that CPS covers. So the actual pay is somewhere in the $60K range, but total compensation amounts to about $71K. Then, I think they get a pretty nice benefits package (which is typical for city employees). Please note: I am stating facts…please do not interpret this as a complaint. I’m sure everyone has noticed that Lake Forest High School is on strike and the average salary there is over six figures. When you compare the working conditions and population in Lake Forest to CPS, and consider our teachers make on average over $30K less per year, I have to question, why wouldn’t our teachers leave? Someone with 10 or 12 years experience could get a huge pay hike just for leaving.

  • 640. OverAlready  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:02 am

    637 — Fab…just make sure the shirts are red…..

  • 641. not sure what will end the strike  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Do you know that very few companies provide paid maternity leave? And when they do, it is through the short-term disability insurance policy. Federal employees do not receive paid maternity leave. FMLA guarantess all parents the ability to take leave for up to 12 weeks to care for the birth or adoption of a child (and other family/health related issues) and return to a job. There is no guarantee of payment for that leave. And typically it only kicks in after one full year of employment.

  • 642. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:06 am

    “although I’m still not sure why ctu opposed this”

    It seems to me that they “opposed” (at least per the rumor mill) a number of things bc they just didn’t believe that CPS wasn’t hiding something inside it and/or because it was tied together with something else they *really* opposed.

  • 643. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Frankly, I don’t even care how it works at this point because all of this is nothing but moving the goal posts, and coming up with more and more demands – for the teachers.

    400,000 children are out of school because the adoption benefit for a small percentage of the teachers who need it is not taken care of? Or is it because the board cannot find 2 billions needed to install air conditioning in every classroom in their 5 and a change billion annual budget? Right.

    No, the children are out of school because the union wants to extort more money, benefits and job protection for its members. Period.

  • 644. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:18 am

    @604 Ouiser
    Thank you for the link. That is better than what CPS puts out. I tried to find a similar file at ISBE but they had no listing for District 299. Unfortunately, it is still hard to sort out teachers from administrators, aides, nurses, etc. in this because it has no clear description of teachers v. other roles. This is the problem with the CPS PDF — the info is there but you cannot manipulate it.

    I quickly sorted on “algebra” in “assignment” hoping that might only include teachers.

    The average salary of the 235 people under “algebra” is $59,373; the median salary is $54,500; and the mode is $40,000.

    The range is roughly $32k to $124k, so I cannot tell if we have captured teacher assistants and aides at the low end and senior administrators at the high end, or just teachers. There is a “position” field but there is no legend to explain what the letters and numbers in it mean. ISBE can’t even decide whether it is reporting total compensation or salary. One could try cross checking with CPS position list, which separates it out, but it would be easier if CPS just gave us the .csv file.

    Again, this is the problem with these debates, the data we are presented with is often unintelligible.

  • 645. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:22 am

    LR: ” I don’t think there is a set number for starting salary.”

    There most certainly is.

    “I know my daughter’s 2nd grade options teacher started at $44K 4 years ago.”

    That was starting salary 4 years ago.

    “I’m guessing teachers in worse situations get paid a bit more because it’s combat pay, right?”

    Wrong. That’d be “merit pay”.

  • 646. Patricia  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:24 am

    @641 Chris Wouldn’t it be nice to make the CTU documents public to compare to the CPS ones? There was a CTU one shared just before the strike. The CPS one was on the Trib. I find it curious that teachers do not have more of the details at their fingertips but perhaps that trickles down once CTU leadership goes to HOD. I like Erik Zorn’s pleas to make them all public.

  • 647. Katherine  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

    One last thing,

    All children when they come into your family are a Birth–USA is pretty disgraceful with how we claim we love babies yet we do not help parents, and parents who are adopting a child that a bio parent can’t or wont take care of are doing society a special service–they should get Extra benefit somehow given how much $ the state saves (costs of abandonment or neglect) in social services.

    “”And in any case, I have no objection to letting the teachers keep the unused sick days for a year or two. But I have a problem with letting them bank the sick days for their entire career, and then getting a huge payout at the end.””

    State workers which include our glorious politicians can accrue days for years, at least as of 2011. To change this would mean the Politicians would lose that benefit too as all of the benefits are tied together. Because I am a state employee I get whatever Quinn or Madigan gets in terms of basic benefit, and to reduce that they would have to have their benefits reduced and that won;t happen.

    Remember these are the people who vote themselves off-election year payraises when we get none. Raises are the only thing we don;t get that they help themselves to at least once every two years at most levels of elected officials. They also get reimbursed for things other workers can’t get reimbursed for.

    City employees don;t get all the same benefits that we do but there is considerable overlap and there is a push for everyone to have access to the same benefits out of fairness or uniformly cut them. Also what is termed a holiday is different as well.

    Teachers aren’t asking for anything unreasonable there and there is tremendous pressure on them not to have sick days Ever, so they never get that benefit–they should get compensated.

  • 648. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Patricia: “Wouldn’t it be nice to make the CTU documents public to compare to the CPS ones?”

    It would be, but (1) I suspect there are a lot of moving parts, where if A, then B, but if not A, then X, so the proposal would be convoluted, (2) They’d be very seriously negotiating against themsleves, and have to deal with internal sniping about “why did you give that up/whay aren’t you asking for more” that would be distracting w/in the CTU.

    I *do* think that it would be beneficial for all if they spelled out and publicized their concept of evaluations, and had done so a while back. But that dog has sailed.

  • 649. Patricia  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:43 am

    @647 Good point, but I see a lot of sniping already from teachers posting here. I worry about the fallout after the strike because there are so many things to be fixed that cannot be put in a contract. I think a lot of teachers passionately have their hopes up and feel unified but will be upset with the final outcome. The fallout could be a lot of bitterness (or should I say even more). I guess first things first———-end the strike and then start the healing and addressing issues that are bigger than the contract?

  • 650. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:45 am

    @angie, I don’t deny that that is the crux of it.
    The dilemma is that what one side calls “extort,” the other side calls a “fair contract.”

    Thus my shocked and happy surprise that this strike may soon be over.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 651. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

    646. Katherine: “Remember these are the people who vote themselves off-election year payraises when we get none. Raises are the only thing we don;t get that they help themselves to at least once every two years at most levels of elected officials. They also get reimbursed for things other workers can’t get reimbursed for.”

    Well, you could start by asking your union not to give political contributions to these corrupt politicians.

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

  • 652. cubswin  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

    @613. mom2 siad….

    “The news this morning doesn’t sound as positive about a deal as last night. Beyond mad.”

    It’s not over until it’s over. CTU would have changed its PR approach even if they knew they were going to hold out for all next week. KL with “happy silly talk” was going to start making parents mad.
    All we can be sure of, at this point, is that the CTU wants us to believe that they are seriously negotiating for a quick end. Many teachers believe they will probably be back Monday, so hopefully that will happen.

  • 653. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Fixed link for post #650

    http://tinyurl.com/9dtymye

  • 654. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:00 am

    @434 Jackie: One of the Stanford studies (later than the one everyone quotes) followed students in New York charter schools for a number of years (not sure how many, but I think it was at least five). The control group was students whose families had applied for charters but were not selected in the lottery. That eliminated the “your parents care enough to apply for a charter” distinction. The kids in charter schools did better than the kids in the control group, and the longer they were in charters the greater the gap in performance.

    As for using charters to achieve cost savings, this does concern me, for two reasons. Charters were intended to be laboratories where experimentation could establish what works, and they are dong a good job at that — even the failures tell us something. But the tension between charter schools and unions who feel their jobs are threatened has prevented “what works” from crossing over to regular district schools, with only a few exceptions. Moreover, underfunding charters means that, unless a charter school has an “angel,” teachers and administrators are underpaid, kids don’t have a full array of courses, and administrators are constantly under financial pressure. The school where I am on the board has been unable to afford a full year of science and social studies until this year, when the addition of ninth grade resulted in high-school level funding for sixth grade and above. Before this, we were able to afford only a semester of each — and it shows in our science scores. A real P.E. teacher is a pipe dream, although our kids have a full array of active programs to take advantage of. It’s the same with art. That adds to the work of our regular teachers, but, underpaid or not, they are willing to step up.

    In the long run, everyone should be accountable to the families of students for actually educating their children, and all schools should be well enough funded to ensure that kids are educated without piling sacrifices on their staffs.

  • 655. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:05 am

    @436 Teachermom: The overall percentage of students with IEPs in charters is roughly equal to that in the CPS population at large — 12% vs. 13%, last time I did the numbers. There are some schools that have fewer special ed students, but that is true in regular district schools, as well. And, as I have been pointing out ad nauseum, charter schools are currently funded at about 75%-80% of the regular district school rate, so they are already feeling the budget pinch.

  • 656. mom2  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Keeping all other aspects of charters vs. regular CPS schools out of the picture, do charter schools cost CPS and the city money or do they save CPS and the city money?

  • 657. AnonMom  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Charter schools are less money

  • 658. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:22 am

    @452 Meg: Charter schools already use teacher evaluation systems. The school where I am on the board has been using the Danielson system as a base since it opened four years ago. But it’s not a year-end thing. All teachers are observed at least once a month. New and struggling teachers are observed more frequently, sometimes as often as once a week. After each observation, the observer, (principal, curriculum director, lead teacher, or dean of students and families (who observes for issues with school culture)) meets with the teacher to discuss what they saw. These are not the people who determine whether the teacher will be given a raise, promoted, or given a new contract. The executive director does that, based on her own semi-annual observation, which includes a semi-annual formal review. In addition, the professional development program is much more robust than at most regular district schools. School gets out at 2:30 once a week (ordinarily the school day is from 8:15 to 4:00) so teachers can meet in grade-level or subject-level groups, or as a whole. Sometimes they discuss a book they have been reading (e.g., Driven by Data), and sometimes they review a video of one of the teachers in action. This discussion is led by the teacher in the video, who is responsible for critiquing his/her own performance, and talking with the other teachers about what’s good and bad about it, both sharing the good ideas and soliciting input to address the problems.

    Every school is required by CPS to describe its evaluation system in detail as part of the original and renewal charter applications. A charter without a good evaluation program won’t be approved.

  • 659. A Parent  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:30 am

    @621 – Parents keep your kids out of school!!?? Didn’t you mention that you have taken your kids out of CPS?

  • 660. A Parent  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Just after you do amonymouse.

  • 661. James  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Some of us were musing yesterday that the reason that kids are out of school yet again today has to do with CTU’s need to extend the strike into the weekend so tomorrow’s big rally can go on. And, not coincidentally, there seems to be a lot of talk about the rally in the media — the Sun Times, the Trib, local NPR. Well, you did it, CTU. You managed to keep 400,000 kids out of school for an entire week, and so your big party will be on CNN. Get a good night’s sleep tonight and get down there early. It’ll boost your chances of getting on TV.

    One wonders, however, what exactly the point of this rally is — other than the obvious media mongering. If we really are very close to an agreement, why do this? I’m sure we’ll all be treated to lots of shouts about this strike is over the very soul of public education in a free society, and about how we’re fighting to address the intolerable, third-world working conditions that Rahm Emmanuel has foisted on us, and about how this fight is a noble, international fight for all the children of the earth. But when the actual contract is finally revealed — which, by law, cannot address any of those puffed up expectations — won’t the now very riled up membership be disappointed? When the contract doesn’t fundamentally transform the system or require the mayor to be publicly executed, what then? When everyone sees that this was always just about getting a contract with improved pay and benefits, will teachers and their parent-supporters feel duped? Will they vote against the contract?

    So just what IS the point of holding a huge rally/party/celebration that will further inflame passions on the eve of getting this finally settled?

  • 662. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:43 am

    @509 Jackie: I doubt that whatever schools are closed will be replaced one for one with charters. Some areas of the city (west and south sides, notably) have seen a big population decline in general, and a precipitous population decline in school-age children. Schools need to be consolidated, not replaced. This is painful for communities that have formed a neighborhood identity around their schools (a factor that contributes to the outrage when a nearly empty school performing at a truly disgraceful level is slated for closing) but we can’t give everybody everything they want.

    An odd byproduct of past closures of under-attended schools has been recruitment struggles for charter elementary schools. CPS offered vacant schools to charters, which happily took advantage of the offer, because facilities for charters is a huge problem. But that meant that charters were moving into areas without enough school age children. Travel is not as much of an issue for high school students (gang boundary problems notwithstanding), but there is a positive correlation at my school (strictly a middle school until this year when we added 9th grade) between attrition and the distance traveled by the student. Being too far from school is the number one reason our children choose to leave. I think that charter elementary schools are wising up — of course finding a facility in a neighborhood with overcrowded schools is still a problem, so we have something of a conundrum.

  • 663. SutherlandParent  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Smart guy, Rod Estvan–he said this back in August:

    “If you’re preparing teachers for a strike, you have to create a sense of militancy and a sense of expectation,” said Rod Estvan, education policy analyst with disability rights group Access Living. “Once you create that sense of expectation, you may have created thresholds below which you cannot go.”

    From the same article:
    “This seems more than saber rattling,” said Terry Mazany, who served as interim schools superintendent last year.

    “What we may be seeing is an impasse between reality and expectations,” said Mazany, chief executive officer of the Chicago Community Trust. “CPS is clearly mindful of the economic cliff that lies ahead, and at the same time, the union is seeking to secure benefits and protections for its members.”

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-24/news/ct-met-cps-contract-talks-0826-20120824_1_chicago-teachers-union-president-karen-lewis-rod-estvan

  • 664. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Today the Tribune has a story about a “Strike-themed Educational Camp” for kids in Logan Square. Young children gathered for activities such as “who could sing protest songs the loudest”. Then these small children took to the streets with signs in support of the teacher strike. By the way, the association running the camp relies on volunteer teachers. So the kids are getting a completely unbiased lesson, right?

  • 665. SutherlandParent  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:51 am

    @660 James, I was having the same conversation last night with some other CPS parents! We figured there was no way the kids would be back in school before the big rally.

    We also realized that none of our kids received much homework the first week of school, even from teachers who traditionally give lots of homework that first week. We came up with two possible explanations: (a) with the longer day, the kids had more time in class to go over materials and didn’t need to do as much homework; or (b) the union was hell-bent on striking, no matter what CPS brought to the table, and teachers didn’t plan to be grading homework during the strike.

    No question, both sides are playing games here.

  • 666. cubswin  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Perhaps CPS didn’t make a good offer pre-strike as part of their strategy. Who knows.
    It will be interesting to see the offer. It will be interesting to see how CPS plans to pay for their commitments.
    Not much will change for the majority of students.

  • 667. klem  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:03 am

    @664 Sutherland Parent: My daughter goes to an SE school that ALWAYS gives homework. Even over the summer. But she did not receive one speck of homework her first week of school–we also suspect because they knew they were going to strike.

  • 668. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

    P.S. @452 Meg: Our teacher evaluation system does include test results, too — we administer the NWEA three times a year and if growth is slow it means the teacher gets extra attention from administrators and lead teachers. Last year the entire math department got intensive attention and although math gains were flat from September to January, we made up the difference by May. No one was punished. Our administration looked at it as an institutional problem.

  • 669. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:07 am

    The Strike themed education camp sounds awesome. Pol Pot would be proud.

  • 671. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

    @596 Christopher Ball: The ISBE site includes a spreadsheet covering every member of both major state retirement plans: salary, education, etc. etc. The file is massive, but you can sort by district and school, move portions to a new tab, and copy the new tab to your computer. Here’s the link:

    http://www.isbe.net/research/htmls/teacher_service_record.htm

  • 672. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:16 am

    @James, I have no idea what the CTU will position the rally as, but I certainly don’t see the end of the strike as meaning that everything is A-OK in CPS. We’re still stuck with a fairly shitty, underfunded school system that can’t seem to educate a lot of its kids. We have schools with poor facilities, kids sweltering in some schools, fairly large class sizes, lack of a lot of stuff that a decent suburban school would have.

    I would love to see the CTU somehow mobilize teachers AND parents to fight for those things (outside of the contract and strike zone.) If nothing else, CTU has certainly proven that they have the skills to organize a large-scale protest unlike any I’ve seen before in the city. They had details with parking instructions! If we could harness that power to improve the schools (while keeping kids IN school) it would be awesome.

    We need a new color other than red, though, for that protest.

  • 673. cubswin  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

    @ 661. Family Friend said…..

    “An odd byproduct of past closures of under-attended schools has been recruitment struggles for charter elementary schools. ”

    Which makes the prediction of a large number of charters puzzling. If significant consolidation of existing tier 1/2 schools is necessary, how can a significant number of charters be added to those areas?

    At the high school level, adding two Nobles per year into tier 1/2 neighborhoods makes a lot of sense. But that doesn’t add up to a lot of charters. Noble isn’t a traditional high school replacement, and at some point growth will stop.

    Many more questions than answers. I wonder if the BOE really has a plan, or is just hanging on day by day.

  • 674. cubswin  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:22 am

    671. cpsobsessed | said…..

    “If we could harness that power to improve the schools (while keeping kids IN school) it would be awesome.”

    I thought we already pay them a couple billion a year to improve schools. Maybe the problem is CPS forgot to add “improve schools” to the contract? 🙂

  • 675. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:27 am

    @ 598 A differing perspective: Your story is compelling (and uplifting) but it’s based on an assumption that I disagree with: that the ability of poor and disadvantaged kids to learn is analogous to having a drug-resistant cancer. We must base our education reform efforts on the premise that all children can learn, that just as many poor kids have the fundamental ability to excel as rich and middle-class kids. I am talking about rejecting “the soft prejudice of low expectations.” U.S. schools as a whole have been sliding for a generation or more. Even kids from rich suburban districts score poorly in relation to students from a fairly large number of other countries. It’s my personal belief that middle-class families do a better job of compensating for the deficiencies of our schools than poor families. If we continue to blame families for our schools’ failures, we will never change anything. We are not going to break the cycle of poverty if we wait for parents who are themselves badly educated to shape up and start having discussions about current affairs at the dinner table!

  • 676. mom2  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:28 am

    cpsobsessed – I would have joined them in your proposed fight had they not decided to strike or if they decide to give up pay raises in order to pay for smaller class sizes and more social workers, aids and nurses.

    Otherwise, I’m with James on what is and was really going on and don’t believe a word of their signs and talking points about how this has anything to do with improving thing for our kids and their future. And if I see one more sign about how Rahm is evil and he must go because somehow he caused all the schools to be hot, have no books and for all the kids to be poor, I’m going to scream. The schools have had all these issues long before Rahm even thought about running for mayor.

  • 677. cubswin  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:31 am

    @611. Chris said…..

    “Mouse: if theres a limit of 28 for your (neighborhood) class, but 32 enroll, who has to choose which 4 get sent to another school? You’re not going to get another full time teacher and two 16 kid classes (both head count and classroom space), so what’s the alternative? Which four families get shafted?”

    That’s a great point. Managing schools is so much more difficult than creating lists of demands with no budget considerations. The CTU can never be a full partner because it will never take responsibility for the hard realities of managing real schools.

  • 678. mom2  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:32 am

    AnonMom – if charters are less money as you say, then having more would end up giving CPS more for all these things we all know the schools need, right? Is the only fight against charters the worry from teachers that they won’t pay them the same good rate or what is it? I keep hearing how, if they didn’t fund charters, we would have more money, but then I hear that charters, even with our funding, end up costing us less than having a regular school open for those kids. So confused.

  • 679. Bee  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Just wanted to say thank you for cpsobsessed for this website. I am a concerned parent in OH where we have many of the same issues and national media coverage of the CTU strike has been very lacking. Thank you to the contributors for the links to the Trib, Sun-Times and other resources. Unfortunately what you are experiencing in Chicago is systemic throughout the US public educational system.

  • 680. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:39 am

    @675. mom2: I agree 100%.

  • 681. AnonMom  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

    @677 – Charter school teachers are also not part of CTU, this is why charter schools are not part of the the strike. If charter school teachers are not part of the union, this weakens the CTU. The charter school debate is VERY complicated.

  • 682. Jasiu  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Regarding class size, leaking pipes and roofs, supplies, no books, desks, etc. These issues should be taken care of in an efficient manner at each school so that teachers can do their jobs effectively. Unfortunately, due to bureaucracy, politics, priorities, and funding they are lost or intentionally ignored.

    Maybe we can use social media and the internet to bring more awareness and get the BOE and principals/administrations to address these issues at the schools that need them. It certainly works when such issues are brought up on twitter, facebook, or blog sites. Many corporations quickly move to address such issues in those cases. Additionally it would give many readers here a better perspective of the issues and how they are addressed.

    A picture (or video) is worth a thousand words so can pictures/videos be taken of various deficiencies/issues be taken and posted online? Kind of like a wall of shame for the CBOE. They can be uploaded to youtube or various pic sites and linked here (or maybe even have CPSO set up a dedicated post and link at the home page so people can easily see, discuss, and bring to the attention of or pressure others who can do something about it).

    Obvious issues with this are who will take the pictures? students, teachers, volunteers? I’m not sure about school policies regarding this (they are public schools but there are privacy issues) and some people can lose their jobs if it is found out they took the picture. Pictures with teachers and students faces (or other identifiable info) would need to have that info blotted out (like Google street view does). There are anonymous ways to upload so the uploader is not persecuted.

    There are definitely challenges in doing this but it does not seem that the current systems in place at struggling or high poverty schools that need awareness of this the most are getting it.

    Thoughts?

  • 683. CPS Parent  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:41 am

    638. LR The reason it is not necessarily financially attractive for teachers, especially those with many years of experience to move to suburban districts is that their seniority does not transfer. Their starting salaries would be same as a first year teacher who is just out of school. Most districts are unionized and most contracts do not allow for differences in starting salaries under any circumstance. You might also not be aware that all teachers within a district earn the same amount, K through 12, despite the differences in workload.

  • 684. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Teachers have mentioned the important civics lesson kids are getting through this strike. Let’s fast forward to the last day of school before summer break in 2013, when 400,000 kids lock their teachers in schools and head outside with the following signs:

    I Hate Ms. Crabtree! She’s a Bully and a Liar!
    Grades Punish the Disadvantaged!
    I Need More Time to Finish My Test!
    We Should Be Paid to do Homework!
    Less Homework, More Recess!

  • 685. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:48 am

    @655 mom2: Overall, charter schools save CPS money. The average cost per student is under $10,000 per year. The average cost per student (“Operating Expense Per Pupil”) is over $15,000 for CPS overall. The funding formula for CPS charters is hideously complex, and generally serves to obscure the fact that CPS is not paying the statutory minimum for elementary charter students.

  • 686. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Two Visions for Chicago Schools

    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/sep/12/two-visions-chicagos-schools/

    Diane Ravitch: “According to most news reports, the teachers in Chicago are striking because they are lazy and greedy. Or they are striking because of a personality clash between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and union president Karen Lewis. Or because this is the last gasp of a dying union movement. Or because Emanuel wants a longer school day, and the teachers oppose it.
    None of this is true. All reports agree that the two sides are close to agreement on compensation issues—it is not money that drove them apart. Last spring the union and the school board agreed to a longer school day, so that is not the issue either. The strike is a clash of two very different visions about what is needed to transform the schools of Chicago—and the nation.”

  • 687. James  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:51 am

    @671 cpsobsessed —

    I agree — but especially with the part about addressing these issues outside the strike zone and once kids are where back where they belong: in school.

    I fear that, in the big picture, this strike may have done more harm than good, since I think a number of parents are pretty angery at CTU right now for doing this to our kids. If they truly wanted to shed light and be heard on some of these more fundamental issues, then why not have announced a one-day strike in which they could mount a huge rally downtown to force CPS and parents to listen to them? And afterwards, go back in the classroom and work while the contract is negotiated. They could always go back on strike for a day or two or longer if they felt momentum in those negotiations had stalled. But what they did — just storm off and make vague, unclear demands, many of which by law could not be accomodated in the contract — was, and is, wrong. And it’s left behind some genuine and justified anger.

  • 688. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:52 am

    684 — your numbers make no sense at all. Provide a link so we can verify your claims.

  • 689. Solidarity forever  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:53 am

    @667 That is awesome that teachers get extra help if the growth is slow. If only CPS operated in the same way. Instead, they say the teacher is bad and let them go regardless of the countless variables. This year we are so bombarded with tests that we are wondering how to make it work. We will be doing the following: NWEA testing 3x per year, Dibels 3x per year, TRC 3x per year, mclass math 3xper year, performance assessments every quarter, MAP testing, not to mention the real tests that we have to give that actually match up with what we are teaching. TRC, Dibels, and mclass are performed 1 on 1. That can amount to nearly 45 minutes per child for just those three. This is for KINDERGARTEN! If we have no teacher’s aids, how will be test each child for 45 minutes each on a one to one basis three times a year? How will we have 5 year olds sit at computers to take NWEA? We will be testing so much that there is no time to teach! If our evaluations are based on these results, I am scared that teachers will be forced to teach to the tests and the children will benefit nothing.

    @ 622, 623 and 631: I understand the desire people have to discuss our salary. I just wish they would get the numbers right instead of believing what they see on TV. When I started in CPS 8 years ago, I started at 38,000. The salary I took home was 1,000 every two weeks. Despite already enormous student loan debt, I went back to school, got a masters+30 and achieved National Board Certification. I added a HUGE chunk of change onto my loan debt. Now, I take home $1749 every two weeks. So I wonder Angie, how on earth would your numbers be accurate if I am Step 8, Lane 4 and my salary is less than what you posted for a beginning teacher? I understand that pension is included in the numbers you provided, but do you include your retirement plan money in your monthly budget? The average CPS teacher (according to Bruno) works 58 hours per week (this is prior to the extension of the school day). That does not include the hours I put in over weekends, holidays, and breaks. It does not include the professional development hours that not only are unpaid, but we pay for out of pocket, in the summer. I spent $600 dollars this summer on PD with no promise of reimbursement. In addition, the burnout rate in CPS is within FIVE years. So tell me, with turn over like that, how would the average compensation be of someone with so many years? CPS only accepts two years of experience towards the pay scale if you come from another district. I am perfectly willing to allow my salary to stay the same. I am not thrilled about taking a pay cut when I will be working an additional 20 hours a month. Regardless, I would take a pay cut over having 55 kids dumped into my class without additional resources. I really do appreciate all of the people on here that are showing respect for how difficult teaching can be.

  • 690. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Latest poll shows 66% of CPS parents support teachers in this strike. 75% feel the mayor has done an average, below average, or poor job handling the strike.

    Most parents appear to want the CTU to represent their children’s interest.

    If this strike has done nothing else, it has raised many people’s understanding of the issues.

  • 691. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    There is no need for a pay cut, if Emanuel would halt the rapid expansion of charters.

    Former interim CEO Mazany said Chicago charters have not been shown to outperform traditional public schools.

    It is very expensive to start up a new school, and there is no improvement in outcomes.

  • 692. Pvt. Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    @Family Friend. What about money given by the State of Illinois for charter school capital budgets? Then there are also the tax credits that charter funders can get in form of the New Market tax credit as well as just regular old tax credits people/businesses/orgs get for donations. In a discussion of the overall cost of charters to the public, these grants and credits should be factored in as well. I don’t expect you go have these numbers 🙂 because I haven’t seen the total cost calculated anywhere. But there is a true cost to taxpayers that is obviously higher than the total of what CPS spends on charters.

  • 693. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    @672 cubswin: I think fewer and fewer new elementary charter schools will be located in areas that are not overcrowded. CPS is kind of schizophrenic about approving charters. They like to give charters to networks rather than single-campus schools, despite the fact that, at the elementary level, a disproportionate number of the highest-performing charters are single campus schools (Namaste, Polaris, Alain Locke, and Academy for Global Citizenship, to name a few.) CPS also says it will give a preference to schools planning to locate in CPS buildings — that way they can recover some of the money they pay charters in occupancy fees the charters must pay for CPS facilities. But the networks generally have the ability to fund (through borrowing, mostly) their own facilities, because they have the size and track record that makes lenders willing to give them money. And they know better, often through hard experience, than to locate in areas where there are not enough students.

  • 694. Sped Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Considering that kids with disabilities seem to get the dregs in CPS, I’m fine with a teachers’ strike shining light on issues in the schools. So, count me among the supporters of the teachers and the strike. Perhaps because I’m used to having to fight for my child’s rights, I’m comfortable with collective action.

  • 695. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    682: ” You might also not be aware that all teachers within a district earn the same amount, K through 12, despite the differences in workload”

    There are relatively few Unit districts in the ‘burbs, so it’s mostly k-8 and 9-12 who separately have teh same pay across grades of instruction.

  • 696. Sped Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Oh, BTW, I’m not trashing the good work of CPS for kids with special needs. But, overall, sped is neglected.

  • 697. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    #689 – That’s amazing that 66% of the parents say that in the poll, becuase I haven’t come across a single CPS parent yet who supports the strike. Not one.

  • 698. Patricia  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    @ Family Friend. Thanks for your calm thoughtful posts…………..you seem to be the Todd Pytel of charters 😉

  • 699. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    @689. anonymous :”Most parents appear to want the CTU to represent their children’s interest.”

    I would like that too, but for some unexplicable reason, CTU is hell-bent on representing the interest of the lowest common denominator among the teachers.

    As for that poll, apparently, it accepts multiple votes, and has no way of verifying if the vote comes from a parent, a teacher, or a voting bot set up by a computer-savvy teenager.

  • 700. CPD Backs CTU 100%  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    @682. Depends on where you go, and yes, transfer of years is negotiable, so experienced teachers do not have to start at the bottom of the salary schedule. Or district have a policy as to what they will credit you for.

  • 701. mom2  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    696 – other than a few friends that are also teachers, I, too, have not found a single parent that supports the strike. They say they support the teachers, but not the strike. They think the teachers should get respect and schools should have the supplies and facilities they need but that a strike won’t solve that. Period.

  • 702. Pvt. Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    @solidarityforever. Wow. I had no idea that was the the state of kindergarten in CPS. Its completely insane. Ed reforms come and go but this is seriously out of step with anything that has been done in the past to improve outcomes. Interestingly, this is not at all what drives educational excellence in kindergarten at the University of Chicago Lab School or Parker (where Rahm and Penny Pritzker send their kids, respectively.)

  • 703. Momto2  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Here is the page on CPS where you can get the spreadsheet listing employee salaries.

    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Pages/EmployeePositionFiles.aspx

    It is in pdf form, so you will need Acrobat reader to view it.

  • 704. Lisa  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    @696–I support the teacher’s strike because I support the teachers and I truly believe the strike was the only way they could be heard. And, I am a CPS parent. Pleased to meet you 🙂

  • 705. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    688: “The average CPS teacher (according to Bruno) works 58 hours per week ”

    Self-selected sample bias, and self-reporting issues.

    NOTE: I *completely* agree that most teachers spend many. many out of school hours on their job. But I also know *for a fact* that there are many teachers who do minimal “work” outside of “work hours”. And, those in the latter group would not have responded to that survey (which had a low response rate).

  • 706. CPD Backs CTU 100%  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    @Angie: if you think that adoption is just filling out paperwork and going to pick out a kid at an orphanage, you are a ***

  • 707. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I exported the teachers salary info and looked at an elem school I’m familiar with. based on the numbers in there, the average salary (not clear what that includes) the average salary at that school is $72.6. the teacher base is somewhat on the older side. the range was from $50k – $89k. Many of them are making in the $80’s (this is for teachers who probably have 25+ year on the job.) One interesting note is that a teacher who has been fabled to be making $100k is making $80k.

    At my son’s school which has a younger teacher base, the average is $65K. Most of the teachers he’s had who have a few years of experience are making in the upper $50’s range.

    At NSCP I saw 6 (out of 63) teachers who make $90k+ ($91 being the max.)

    Again, no idea what all is included in that “salary” number.

  • 708. Momto2  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Here is the law regarding Nursing Mothers in the Workplace:

    820 ILCS 260/1 et seq.
    2001 ILL. ALS 68; 2001 Ill. Laws 68; 2001 ILL. P.A. 68; 2001 ILL. SB 542
    Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act.
    Section 10. Break time for nursing mothers.
    An employer shall provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child. The break time must, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. An employer is not required to provide break time under this Section if to do so would unduly disrupt the employer’s operations.
    Section 15. Private place for nursing mothers.
    An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee described in Section 10 can express her milk in privacy.

    Thus…you don’t get a break whenever you want. You don’t get a sub for it. You do it when your scheduled break (ie. lunch and/or prep time) is. To suggest otherwise is in direct contradiction to language which provides: “An employer is not required to provide break time under this Section if to do so would unduly disrupt the employer’s operations.”

    Also, it can’t be in a bathroom stall. The general interpretation is that it should be in a private room with a chair, table and electric outlet.

  • 709. James  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I hope #705 is removed. Totally inappropriate.

  • 710. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    @705. CPD Backs CTU 100%: Here is what I know about adoption: it takes forever, it requires mountains of paperwork, and each country has a different set of rules, so you have to find a reputable agency that works in the country of your choice.

    And that is all I care to know at this point. If CTU is keeping 400,000 children out of school just so they can insert a special adoption clause in their contract, it needs to be outlawed and busted, effective immediately. The end.

  • 711. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    688: “So I wonder Angie, how on earth would your numbers be accurate if I am Step 8, Lane 4 and my salary is less than what you posted for a beginning teacher?”

    As I noted above, angie pulled from the wrong cahrt. I think she used (w/o doublechecking) the 48.6 week pay schedule, when you and most (all?) classroom teachers are on the 38.6 week pay schedule.

  • 712. CPSMom&Teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    As a gifted student advocate….I see gifted and average students getting the shaft. There are laws, processes, and tests that focus quite a bit of attention on SpEd students (and it is deserved). (Pushing more testing ties with teacher evaluations will cause average and gifted kids to get even less support as more classroom focus will go toward the failing students.)

    Parents need to find out how many SpEd students are in their child’s classroom. Not just the students on the roster, but push-in for high needs students as well. Find out if your child’s teacher (in each subject) has an aid (whether for an individual student) if even for 10 or 15 minutes during certain periods.

    In one class, I have 33 students; 10 identified SpEd students and no aid. Not even for 10 minutes. With the tracking and RTI going on for those 10 students in just one 45 minute class, our average and gifted students get lost in the red tape of data, IEPs, and RTI. I have 97 students total.

    Where are the parent voices for our average and gifted students? Each CPS school has services for SpEd students (though often lacking in funds) the same cannot be said for CPS schools and gifted programs.

  • 713. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    A lot of parents wish the strike weren’t necessary. But realizing it is they support the teachers. The polls are consistent here in showing increasing support even as the tv and radio ads increase. And throughout the racial groups.

  • 714. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/gyrobase/mayor-emanuel-pushes-chicago-teachers-toward-strike/Content?
    oid=7412909&storyPage=2

    “In short, after Daley took away teachers’ tenure, Emanuel increased their hours, cut their pay, portrayed them as money-grubbers, closed unionized schools, and opened more nonunion charters, thus depleting the union’s power through attrition. And I haven’t even gotten into the merit pay issue, which he’s also tried to shove down their throats. And you wonder why teachers are so angry they went on strike.

    In some quarters they garner understandably little sympathy, especially among parents who are inconvenienced or students who miss out on important athletic events or crucial college deadlines, or who just need the time in school.

    Still, keep this in mind before you join the rip-the-teachers chorus.

    Mayor Emanuel’s pushing us toward a system in which all teachers—charter and union—are lower-paid, at-will employees who have about as much job protection and say in their workplace as grill-line workers in a fast-food restaurant.

    Please tell me how that’s good for kids.”

  • 715. H. Nathan Wilcox  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    @689 – I heard that (or a similar) poll quoted on the radio this morning, but the 66% was given as % of black residents that support the teachers, the latino number was similar. The overall number was in the 40’s (can remember exactly). Given that the black and latino population is approx. 60% (?) of the city population, imagine how unpopular the CTU is with white residents — deaveraging would put it somewhere in the 20’s!

    I may be quoting a different poll, but it is very interesting.

  • 716. Progress??  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    We are a little less than an hour and half away from the scheduled delegate meeting. I haven’t found any indication that an agreement has been reached. Can anyone provide any insight to this process?

  • 717. Jennifer  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I am another CPS parent who supports the strike. This blog isn’t representative of the entire city … Before anyone accuses me of being a CTU rep who just jumped on this blog today–I have been reading this blog daily for years (but have only posted a handful of times because I’m more of a “listener”). I find the strike support to be somewhat neighborhood-specific, but that’s Chicago for you! My neighborhood has red ribbons tied to each lamppost.

  • 718. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Reforming education

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-perspec-0914-jeb-20120914,0,6375294.story

    “No, this strike is about the Chicago Teachers Union clinging to bargaining positions sharply at odds with the current direction of public education.

    It is about two concepts that every professional in the workplace understands.

    The first is that if your boss is held accountable for the performance of the team, the boss gets to decide who to hire. Second, and most important, your job review is based on how well you do your job.

    These sound like common-sense principles but are anathema to many teacher unions, particularly the CTU. It not only wants to block meaningful assessments of teacher performance but also wants to dictate to principals which teachers they can hire.

    The union’s position basically amounts to this: All teachers teach equally. And if some appear not to be doing their job, it is the fault of their students or the students’ home environment or school administrators. Therefore pay and job security should be based on longevity, with tenure protections so ominous that termination of even the worst teachers is too burdensome to even attempt. This is the mentality that brought us the infamous New York City “rubber rooms” for teachers who were accused of wrongdoing but could not be fired.

    The interest of children is secondary to the interest of adults.”

  • 719. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Someone sent me some research that I haven’t had time to fullylook at yet that said that strike opposers tend to be white and more likely to have kids in private school. So I think there is definitely a difference based on who you ask (like most things in life.) One of the mom bloggers who was in my CPS call (private school mom who seems to enjoy bashing on a certain neighborhood cps school) and wrote an anti-strike piece said that she was surprised each blogger in the call did not say whether they were for or against the strike. I guess I’m surprised that people see it as that black and white…. You have to be fully for or against???

  • 720. Cake for all!  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Is anyone bothered by how much the CPS execs make? 6 figures

  • 721. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Are you kidding me? They polled 1,344 households, some of which are not even affected by the strike?

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120914/NEWS13/120919844/teachers-strike-creative-ideas-passed-around-but-still-no-deal

    “Support for the union from Chicago parents appeared to be holding up. A new poll for Capitol Fax by We Ask America found 66 percent of parents with children in Chicago Public Schools supported the strike.

    The majority of people who opposed the strike were either white voters or had children in private schools, Capital Fax said. Some 85 percent of students in Chicago Public Schools are either African-American or Hispanic. The poll surveyed 1,344 voting Chicagohouseholds on Wednesday.”

  • 722. Cake for all!  |  September 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Angie, do you have a job? Or do you get paid to bash constantly

  • 723. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    @721. Cake for all!: I’m home watching the kids while their teachers are partying downtown.

  • 724. anonymouse teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Chris, what I meant by “I don’t care who watches the kids” while a breastfeeding mother pumping was that it is simply not my problem to bear. It is the company’s issue and problem to deal with because they must comply with the law. It is not the teacher’s issue or the CTU’s issue. The full burden falls squarely on the school district to provide that person. How they manage that is not the problem of the breastfeeding mother.
    Whoever mentioned that I should keep my own kids out of school (they are not in CPS because I feel the BOE does not serve children well)–I agree. I will keep my own kids out of their school in solidarity with any other group of parents who would sacrifice something of their own for children other than just their own. I can homeschool my kids on off hours if need be. Happy to do it. Let’s start a movement.
    Angie, the comment about parents scheduling adoptions during summer months is the most obnoxious thing I have ever heard. I suppose you think that pregnant mothers, whether they are 4 months along or 9 months should all give birth during the summer too in order to meet the needs of students. Nice one.
    I spoke with my rep this morning. CTU is forbidden from even bringing up issues like class size or more nurses or social workers, as in, we can’t even utter a word about it unless CPS does first. According to state law, if CTU attempts to advocate for these things, it becomes an illegal job action. So, until CPS allows the topics, CTU’s hands are tied.
    Sorry, folks, gotta go fill out suburban job applications. Staying long term in a district that doesn’t take any action at all to protect and care for its neediest kids doesn’t gel with my code of ethics. To me, it is kind of like the non-abusive parent who stands by and does nothing while the abusive parent refuses to feed their mutual child. I can’t do this long term. I feel complicit and I have to get out. Maybe I can take over someone’s family leave due to an adoption!

  • 725. Meg Welch/IBobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    “Are you kidding me? They polled 1,344 households, some of which are not even affected by the strike?”
    Angie read your own quote. Those who oppose the strike tend to be those NOT in CPS.This idea that the only legitimate opinions on the strike are held by those who are directly and immediately affected by it is fallacious and should be put to rest. The implication is that you can form a valid point of view on a public policy issue ONLY if you have direct subjective experience with it. To hell with objectivity.

  • 726. Meg Welch/IBobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    @708, Some of us think @705 is no more inappropriate than your telling Pvt. Mom to “Just go away”.

  • 727. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Have to ad, since I work in consumer research if that poll was done by phone (which is landlines) — that can affect the sample and of course outcome given that many homes do not have landlines anymore, and if the survey was conducted in english may not represent hispanic accurately. But data continues to show that strike support is more than non-support.

  • 728. James  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    @722 Angie —

    lol — and you aren’t alone!

    There are a number of us that appreciate Angie’s posts and agree with her, especially when she, unlike many CTU supporters, brings actual, you know, facts to the table.

    And get over yourselves on the adoption comment. Was it her most artfully worded response? No. But does it mean that she’s an awful, hateful woman who thinks adopting a baby is like picking up a six-pack of beer? Come on. Stop using that single poorly worded comment to bash her and ignore everything else she’s saying. It’s a lame and transparent dodge.

  • 729. CpS88  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    722 Angie, u sound a little nutz, but…Most of us with kids in private school care about the strike because our tax dollors go to the schools. We care and hope the kids get back to school ASAP

  • 730. West Looper  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    “The strike is a clash of two very different visions about what is needed to transform the schools of Chicago—and the nation.”

    A strike cannot resolve that clash. Time will tell what vision works and what parents want. The suggestion for a one-day strike seems like a good way to focus on the issue without punishing the students.

  • 731. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    @687 anonymous: Warning: really wonky post about charter funding.

    As I said, it’s complex. Every year, each school district in Illinois is required to send a financial report to ISBE. The report is based on an ISBE template, which also must be submitted. I will try not to include too many links, which leads to problems with posting.

    Start here: http://webprod1.isbe.net/ilearn/ASP/index.asp

    This is the summary of the financial reports for every district in the state. Make sure the correct year (FY 2011 is the most recent available) is in the window at the left, then look below that to select the format in which you want to view the report.

    Besides the name of the district, there are three key items in this spreadsheet: the district number (column C), which is necessary if you want to get the full report for a particular district, Operating Expense per Pupil (OEPP; column AC), and Per Capita Tuition Charge (PCTC, column AF). In the 2011 spreadsheet, CPS (district number 15016299025) is on line 303. Following out to column AC, CPS’ 2011 OEPP is $13,615.56. I apologize — the OEPP in the draft report was over $15,000, and I hadn’t checked the final number before my earlier post. In column AF, CPS’ 2011 PCTC is $9,126.93. I am not sure why PCTC is still an estimate, which OEPP is final.

    Illinois law requires that charter schools receive between 75% and 125% of PCTC, plus “proportionate” amounts of federal poverty and professional development funding, 105 ILCS 5/27A-11(b) and (c). and special ed funding. I don’t think a single district in the state pays 100% of PCTC. The two schools chartered directly by the state do, which serves as an incentive for districts to give fair consideration to charter proposals.

    CPS doesn’t say what percentage of PCTC it pays, but I have done the calculations. For elementary students, it pays $6,027 per pupil (66% of PCTC). For schools not located in CPS facilities, it pays a $750 facilities supplement, raising the payment to $6,777 (74% of PCTC). For high school students, including 6th through 8th grades at schools that have high schools, the payments are $7,534 (83% of PCTC) and $8,284 (91% of PCTC). Additionally, schools receive Title I poverty funds tied to the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch. It ranges from about $350 to $550 per student. (It doesn’t count toward compliance with the PCTC percentage.) The total is still well below $10,000. Federal professional development funds are around $100 per kid, but it’s a block grant so there is a great deal of variance among schools. Finally, special ed is “reimbursed.” Until this year, reimbursement was capped at $65,000 per special ed teacher, including benefits, which as anyone who looks at special ed salaries knows, is a joke. We had a choice between special ed teachers with no experience and dipping into our other funds — and using inexperienced teachers just does not get the job done. Beginning this year, the cap is $95,000, which is a lot more reasonable. CPS uses the number of instructional minutes in our kids’ IEPs to calculate the number of special ed teachers we get, but we have found we need an extra teacher, because of the voluminous paperwork involved in demonstrating compliance with the IEPs. As for special ed clinicians, CPS makes the same calculation based on IEPs. Until now, they have sent social workers etc. out from central office — if you need 30% of a FTE, they would send someone for one and a half CPS school days. Starting this year, for new and renewing charters, schools will have to hire their own clinicians, which is presenting difficulties for single-campus schools. How do you hire 30% of a social worker? Even if you could, you would be prohibited under your health insurance contract (with the insurance company) from offering that person health care benefits. I hope single campus schools will form cooperatives.

    If you want to see CPS actual annual financial report, which includes calculation of OEPP and PCTC, go to the ISBE website at isbe.net. Under ISBE Agency Info, click on Division Links. Under Fiscal Support Services, click on School Business Services. Click on the last bullet point, Historical. Click on Annual Financial Reports (note that Charter School Audits are also available on this page). Click on 2011 (or whatever year you want), then School Districts. Finally, use the CPS District Number above (15-016-2990-25) to click on the CPS report. Click over to Tab 28 for calculation of OEPP and PCTC.

    I can bore you even more if you like — but I stand by by statement that charters are underfunded compared to regular district schools. They get less than $10,000 per student, and elementary schools get a lot less than that. Even if it’s $10,000, that’s only 73% of per pupil spending for CPS students overall.

  • 732. Patricia  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    @729 West Looper. Completely agree. Now if we can just find a time machine……………maybe it is right next to the money tree. Problems solved 😉

  • 733. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    @723. anonymouse teacher: The teachers’ adoptions are simply not my problem. It’s their issue and the problem to deal with, the same way the rest of the working parents deal with it. If they can make it work without holding the kids hostage, so can you.

    So you’re one of the 39% of the Chicago teachers that send their children to private schools? Nice.

  • 734. Momto2  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    @723 – You are wrong about what the law requires. Please read my post above. A nursing mother must use her break time to pump. In fact, it does not have to be paid time.

  • 735. Cake for all!  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    You seem to be blogging more than watching. Gasp. What if your kids teacher blogged instead of watched the kids.

  • 736. James  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    @725 Meg —

    Wow. I hope you aren’t referring to the original #705 comment, in which the poster called Angie a “moron” and said he hoped she hadn’t had children, though in much more crass and obscene terms. You really see them the same way? If so, that’s shocking.

  • 737. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Mouse: ” It is the company’s issue and problem to deal with because they must comply with the law. It is not the teacher’s issue or the CTU’s issue. The full burden falls squarely on the school district to provide that person. How they manage that is not the problem of the breastfeeding mother.”

    Fair enough on the calrification, but note that the state law doesn’t require what you’re asking for, so there’s nothing to sue about, with respect to breaks.

  • 738. Cake for all!  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    And if the school does not provide a break time due to a lack of extra staffing?

  • 739. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    726 — if you read the entire report, you will find support from black and Hispanics was higher than from whites. Angie left that out.

  • 740. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    @727. James – Thank you!

  • 741. Momto2  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Your break time is your lunch and/or prep period. Are you saying you are not getting one of those?

  • 742. Cake for all!  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Yes! Many teachers miss lunch when the staff to watch the kids are absent

  • 743. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    “Your break time is your lunch and/or prep period. Are you saying you are not getting one of those?”

    Under the old schedule in most elems, lunch wasn’t til the end of the day, so that would present a problem …

  • 744. Momto2  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Why are we talking about the old “close campus” model…is that in effect in any school anymore?

  • 745. mom2  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    anonymouse – “CTU is forbidden from even bringing up issues like class size or more nurses or social workers, as in, we can’t even utter a word about it unless CPS does first. According to state law, if CTU attempts to advocate for these things, it becomes an illegal job action. So, until CPS allows the topics, CTU’s hands are tied.”

    You see, this is where I am so confused. You are not even allowed to bring it up, but all the signs on the picket line say that this is why you are striking.

  • 746. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    YOU GUYS NEED TO STOP INSULTING EACH OTHER. Please don’t let us be called a freak show / train wreck. Make inflammatory comments about ideas, not people, please.

  • 747. Cake for all!  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    They use the things they can bring up to bargain the things they cannot bring up in the actual meetings.

  • 748. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    The Salary of a Union Plumber
    By Andrew Latham, eHow Contributor

    Plumbers are some of the best paid professions in the construction industry.
    Plumbers are among the highest paid workers in the construction industry. According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2008 there were about 555,900 jobs in the plumbing sector. In 2008, most plumbers — 56 percent — worked in new constructions, repairs and maintenance jobs, while the rest worked for government agencies as well as industrial and commercial employers.

    Read more: The Salary of a Union Plumber | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8628169_salary-union-plumber.html#ixzz26TCMAuQK

    Your comparison doesn’t hold water.

  • 749. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    mom2 — A law was passed restricting negotiations to wages and benefits. Karen Lewis decided to ask CPS to extend the negotiating issues to include working and learning conditions. CPS can say no. But the 66% of CPS parents who support the CTU would not like that very much. So he is talking about these issues, too. But he need not.

  • 750. mom2  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    So CPS did bring these things up and therefore now they can talk about them and have them part of the teacher’s contract? Is that correct? Getting promises for things that directly help the kids is something other parents would appreciate.

  • 751. DZV  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    We’ve had tons of people honking and giving us a thumbs up. Since I’m actually on the picket lines in various areas over the city all week versus just reading papers and sitting here all day blogging, I’d say we have about 80% support (honks vs. rahm’s favorite phrase).
    We canvassed neighborhoods and had petitions signed today: I got about 100 signatures. I’m part of a group of 50 people. How much canvassing, talking to people, and checking out “babysitting sites” did you do today Angie? Don’t say you had to babysit your kids, our teachers came out in strollers by the droves!

  • 752. Momto2  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Does anyone have any facts or data to support the claim (repeated often) that Rahm’s friends are going to make money off of charters? My experience with charters is based on my husband’s participation on a charter board…and our collective donations to the school. Many of the people on the charter board were affluent (my husband not included); however, none of them were making money by being on the board. Actually, it was the exact opposite. They expected board members to make multi-year pledges to the school in very significant amounts (read $5k to 10k a year). They also expected board members to seek donations from friends and corporations. This money is critical because they have to pay for their own facilities and they do not get the same amount from CPS per student, that other schools get.

    Also…many of these people have unique skills based on their professions. They meet, at least monthly, and give of their time for free. Those who also serve on special committees give much more time. If you asked anyone who is a board member, they would see this time spent as public service. I feel like the way they are dismissed as another form of corporate greed is actually very disrespectful.

  • 753. CPC4Chicago  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Early reports filtering in that talks are done for the day and a contract proposal with a recommendation for approval will be presented to the delegates on Sunday (not today apparently.) All pending an agreeable session tomorrow at 9 a.m to finalize the language that was agreed upon in principle today.

    http://www.suntimes.com/15142156-761/ctu-official-contract-proposal-to-be-recommended-to-delegates.html

  • 754. anonymouse teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    from the ncsl.org site
    “Among many provisions, Section 4207 of the law amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 (29 U.S. Code 207) to require an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express milk. The employer is not required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time for any work time spent for such purpose. The employer must also provide a place, other than a bathroom, for the employee to express breast milk.”

    No, the employer does not have to compensate for the break time, I never said that. I said they have to provide it. The law does state as written above that, “require an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express milk.” The employer must provide break time EACH time she HAS NEED to express milk. If my prep time is at 2 p.m. but I need to pump at 10 a.m., I need to pump at 10 a.m. otherwise I will be leaking through my shirt. Pumping has a schedule to it. School schedules are not as flexible as one might imagine. If an employee needs to pump at a certain time, the school needs to provide that teacher with a break AT THAT TIME, not whenever it is convenient for THEM.

    Momto2, great question. I am lucky to be in a school where we actually do receive our contractually mandated lunch and prep periods. I can think of at least a dozen schools where this is not the case.

    And Angie, like Rahm Emmanuel, I choose not to send my kids to CPS anymore. It is not a system that values children based on my many observations of 40 kids in a room, schools with no math curriculum, temps into the 100’s, lack of any science materials, leaking roofs, etc. I also have a family situation that prevents me from keeping my children in CPS. I had to choose whether or not my kids would ever see their father or to keep them in a system that is beyond hope. I chose to send them somewhere with a BOE that supports children and so they could see their dad.

    Really have to get off this site so I can fill out apps.

  • 755. anonymouse teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    @749, last thing. No, as far as I can tell, CPS is completely refusing to bring any of these issues up.

  • 756. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    @750. DZV : ” Don’t say you had to babysit your kids, our teachers came out in strollers by the droves!”

    I’m supposed to be impressed with that? It’s your strike, not mine.

  • 757. Cake for all!  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Dzv. I’M impressed!!!!

  • 758. Solidarity forever  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    As for the nursing mother issue: Teachers get a lunch period and a prep period. However, that is our only time during the day to prep for teaching. I personally, eat lunch in about 10 minutes and spend the rest of the time getting ready for the students. If that was the only time provided for nursing, there would not be enough time to prep or eat. In many schools, teachers only get a few preps a week and until this year, most only had a 15 minute lunch period (which included the time to drop your kids off and get them settled). At my last school, I didn’t have a single prep period for the last month of school so that specials teachers could be used as subs. I think you are forgetting how long it takes to get ready for a full day of instruction. This is not a job where we get true “breaks”. If I was sitting around drinking coffee during my prep period, the administration and my colleagues would have a big problem with that.

  • 759. Cake for all!  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    The luxury of having a job and having a job where you wouldn’t get fired/ reprimanded for taking a week off. I have seen parents lose jobs because of kids having behavior problems in school

  • 760. H. Nathan Wilcox  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Let’s also keep in mind that Rahm left a million dollar a year job in investment banking to run for his former seat in congress. If his goal was to get rich, it would have been a lot easier to stay in banking.

    Also, we need to keep in mind that private organization can (and often do) perform service better and at a lower cost than government agencies. This is a fact that has held up across many sectors throughout the world — thus the global trend over the past 20 years to privatize public institutions.

    I’m not saying this is always the right answer, but in the case of charters. The DATA from posters like Family Friend (@730) and the earlier thread on charter schools suggests that charters are about equal to “real” schools in effectiveness and 10 – 20% cheaper. I think most of us when buying two equal things will pick the one that is 10 – 20% cheaper — keep in mind it is all of our tax dollars that are paying for these schools (there is no money tree).

    I personally would be willing to pay more for better schools, but I can understand why the city is doing what it is.

  • 761. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    @758. Cake for all! : The luxury of having a job where you work 39 weeks of the year, and can hold the children hostage to extort more money from the taxpayers.

  • 762. Patricia  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Let’s hope the strike is settled or at least called off by Monday. In the meantime, the quote below from the Suntimes article posted above is good for HS parents today and if the strike continues, a resource for all us parents trying to “home school at home” while stringing together childcare, etc.

    “Starting at 3 p.m. today, CPS will make available coursework online in subjects such as AP calculus, biology and Spanish for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

    If the strike continues Monday, the online coursework will be expanded for students in third-grade and older. Course registration begins at 3 p.m. today on the CPS website,”

    http://cps.edu/childrenfirst.

  • 763. Meg Welch/IBobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    @751, I see your point, but don’t expected donations of 5k to 10k, with further expectation of the board member pulling in corporate donations, privilege affluent, well connected people? I see your husband was a member and not of this type, but were most of the board? It seems this is modeled on the boards of nonprofit charities, but schools are different, and contrast this with LSCs where the intent is to involve parents and community members who are democratically elected -all the stakeholders. I don’t deny that the board members donated useful professional skills and have good intentions, but it seems it could become quite an exclusive club.

  • 764. Momto2  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    @762 – This charter school serves 90+ percent low-income (and probably the rest don’t have much higher family incomes). It is the rich, giving to the poor…not an exclusive club at all.

  • 765. Momto2  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Also…the schools run by this charter serve communities where you don’t get people running for the LSC…

  • 766. Jennifer  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    CPS Board of Education Pres. Vitale & the Chicago Teachers Union leadership have announced a tentative agreement. School will likely be back on Monday. Stay tuned — we’ll keep you updated here and on the CPS Twitter feed.

  • 767. Jennifer  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Sorry. “Here” above = Facebook.

  • 768. cubswin  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    @751. Momto2 said …..I feel like the way they are dismissed as another form of corporate greed is actually very disrespectful.

    The willful ignorance of many CTU members about how Chicago charters are financed and operated is obviously self serving.

  • 769. another CPS mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    The only person I know talking sense about charters and truth about the numbers in CPS is Rod Estvan of Access Living. Wish all his writings and reports touching on charters in CPS were collected in once place. I’ve seen his work for six years now. That’s a lot of backgrounding, by the way.

  • 770. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    @ 754. anonymouse teacher : “No, as far as I can tell, CPS is completely refusing to bring any of these issues up.”

    Ha! Did I call that yesterday, or what? See post #519.

    There will be nothing about nurses, social workers or better schools in the new contract, and CPS and Rahm will get blamed for it.

    Of course, there is absolutely no proof that the union asked to negotiate about these things in the first place, or that they offered any salary concessions in order to get them, or that CPS refused to discuss them, but who cares about such insignificant details?

  • 771. Tchr  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I am a CTU member and used to work in a charter school. Actually, this week I found out that 3 of the teachers at my school worked at charters but left because they were burnt out with the extra long hours, extra responsibilities, and low pay.

  • 772. CPD with a lot of guns  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Angie, DIAF

  • 773. Meg Welch/IBobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    @768 Can you post a few links for the Estevan reports?

  • 774. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    “DIAF”

    Way to stay classy, CPD.

  • 775. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    http://preaprez.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/the-truth-in-black-and-white/

    For those of us, like Angie, who have never taught.

  • 776. SoxFan2  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    774 – article written by a retired CPS teacher. Wow, who would expect it to be written pro teacher?

    What does DIAF mean?

  • 777. junior  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Tentative deal reported…
    http://www.suntimes.com/15142156-761/source-tentative-deal-on-teachers-union-contract.html

  • 778. anon  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    DIAF is used mostly as a form of friendly jest such as “I hate you!” (Go DIAF) or in the sense of shock or disbelief at news or information, or as general disdain towards it

  • 779. SoxFan2  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    771 DIAF?????? Wow, taking this all way too seriously, are u?
    What is CPD (police, park district, pattymelt?)

  • 780. Wireddifferent  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    777 i don’t think so, looked it up. It means “die in a fire”. Yes, that’s really friendly.

  • 781. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    DIAF = Die In A Fire

    http://www.netlingo.com/word/diaf.php

  • 782. anonoymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    @777 – DIAF – Die in a fire, googled it. NOTHING friendly about it. Unless you and your friends banter around death threats.

  • 783. anon  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    CTU just finished delegates meeting, and agreement is still being worked on. Will not consider anything until language is final.

    CTU will not trust CPS until language is locked in stone and vetted by attorneys.

    House of Delegates is meeting again Sunday. The major news media is wrong — a tentative agreement has not yet been reached, though things are close.

    Teachers still on strike. School Monday? Not yet. Will know for sure on Sunday night.

  • 784. mom2  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Patricia, do you or does anyone know if your child can take an online course only if their school is one of the ones listed? It says all cps high school students can take the courses and then it gives a list of schools offering online courses and some are not listed.

  • 785. WL  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Should we organize a parent’s walk to against the teacher’s strike? The greedy union are destroying our kids’ lives. We have to stop it right now, and prevent this situation happen in the future. We are tax payer. These teachers receive their salary from our tax contribution. They shouldn’t simply walk out the school….
    IT IS not only an issue between the teacher union and the city authority, it is also between the teachers and the parents.

  • 786. DZV  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Possibly one more party day! Angie want to join me? Oh yeah, you”ll have to watch your kids because we’re partying!

  • 787. Loud, Black, and Proud  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    WL: organize your parents’ walk. We’ll see lots of greedy, white, privileged parents around the crown jewel schools of the system. The parents on the west and south sides will see this and be even more indignant at the CPS and the elites. Ever since Obama took over, white people have lost their minds. If white kids were being murdered at the same rate as brown and black kids, you’d see the army rolling through Chicago.

  • 788. Patricia  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    @Mom2– it looks like any CPS HS student can take the course, but there are dedicated sites available. I am not sure exactly what it means, but it looks like there are some “surprise surprise” legal technicalities of credit recovery, AP, elective and for credit vs. not for credit.

    Here is a press release I found on cps.edu.

    http://cps.edu/News/Press_releases/Pages/09_13_2012_PR1.aspx

    “Students who enroll in online coursework for CPS course credit (credit recovery and AP classes) can work on these classes from any computer outside of a CPS school, as dictated by State law. Students who enroll in online coursework that is not for CPS course credit (the General Elective classes) can work on these classes from a computer anywhere.

    There are many locations available to students through the CPS Children First plan where students can use computers to take for-credit classes, including 78 libraries and hundreds of community centers located in neighborhoods across the city. A full list of Children First plan sites is available here.”

    This will be extended for 3rd and up Monday in the event of a continued strike.

  • 789. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    ” School Monday? Not yet. Will know for sure on Sunday night.”

    After 10pm again, right? [something unpleasant]

  • 790. LBPnope  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    786 LBP–really, thought the tier system helped abolish that? FYI the crown jewel schools are based on tiers, not brains.

  • 791. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    @691 Pvt. Mom:

    There is no general capital funding of charter schools. UNO and a couple of the other big Hispanic political organizations got some capital funding — most of which has not been appropriated — through the state legislature. But that is for a very limited part of the charter sector. Most charters have to borrow. New Market tax credits are great — they mean more loans are available — but the bank gets the tax credit. The charter school still has to pay back the loan.

  • 792. James  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    @788 Chris —

    Much better media coverage that way. And CTU and KL assure themselves that they (and not school) will once again be at the center of hundred of thousands of families’ lives this weekend.

    Can anyone tell me why CTU can’t act today (or tomorrow at the latest) to suspend the strike? Yes, the details have to be worked out and we reserve the right to go back out, but for the sake of all the families and children we have inconvenienced, we are announcing now that you need not make alternative child care arrangements on Monday and you should plan to be back in school that day.

    So selfish. So incredibly selfish.

  • 793. Loud, Black, and Proud  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Uno got $100 million dollars. The CPS students got the shaft.

  • 794. lawmom  |  September 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    @784 above regarding parents organizing, Chicago Students First is attempting to do just that.

    I joined because it looks like a reputable organization and parents and students need a voice in this debate and I didn’t find many alternatives. One of their staff, Mr. Gonzales, was on WTTW Chicago Tonight last night speaking about the strike. I thought he was quite articulate.

    It is day 5 of the strike. Do you want your kids back in school?

    Please take the Chicago Students First poll: http://bit.ly/TTGROQ

    While CPS is dealing with CTU negotiations, Chicago Students First still need to self-organize. We are looking for EVERY CPS parent! Please forward this message and ask your friends to register with our site: http://chicagostudentsfirst.blogspot.com.

  • 795. What  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    792 what is Uno?

  • 796. Patricia  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    @ James—I thought of you on this post 787 above. HS students have access to online courses starting at 3 today. Of course, it would be better to be back in school, with the teachers teaching. While our kids are hostages, they can at least access the online for HS starting today at 3 and it will apparently extend 3rd grade and up beginning Monday. So if I fall asleep (again) waiting for the Sunday night strike news………………….

  • 797. James  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    @796 Patricia —

    Thanks! We’ll check it out. It’s nice to see that someone is trying to reduce the burden of this strike on students. We know who isn’t: CTU.

  • 798. HS Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    @776 – Junior. Thanks for that. Very frustrating that we will have to wait and hear late Sunday again. The interesting and not so shocking point made in the article you posted is that supporters of the strike are beginning to feel that we’ve had enough (as opposed to others who feel that it has been more than enough).

    544 – Greater good – I can see that you are young and idealistic (not a paid student pounding keys on a social network site!). That’s a good thing, stay that way. When you mentioned that “kids will stay out of school as long as it takes” and one of the 5 known talking points is 3 billion in A/C – well, let’s just say its a little disconcerting.

    @627 – thank you private parents and others non CPS for all you do.

  • 799. City Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    @791 CTU can’t go back because that’s how much they don’t trust CPS. That’s how much the trust has been broken and eroded.

    Back when my daughter was in first grade, it was possible to request a change of bus stop, if your bus met CPS criteria set for a bus stop crossing being unsafe (ie. across an intersection with a certain amount of traffic, no crossiing guard, etc.). It took a group of parents 10 weeks of persistence to get CPS to abide by its own criteria and change the bus stop (for a site that clearly exceeded the criteria). Along the way we were stonewalled and lied to. It was an eye-opening experience. Eventually, after a great deal of time and effort, and a little bit of ingenuity, CPS finally acquiesced. Given that experience, I can certainly understand why the CTU feels it can’t back off until they have everything in writing and vetted.

  • 800. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    @770 Tchr: You have my sympathy. So many of our charter teachers get burned out because of the long hours, extra work, and low pay. I know it’s not easy, and I am frustrated that we can’t pay our teachers well. The ones that stay long term usually have a second source of household income, and some have previously been burned out at a regular district school. They like the fact that they know they are having an impact, and that their voices are heard.

  • 801. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I meant 771, not 770.

  • 802. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    @ 795 What:

    This is from the UNO website:

    “In 1984, UNO began as a grassroots effort between community groups, block clubs and churches to fulfill the developmental needs of the Hispanic immigrant community in Chicago. By creating elements that unite communities, UNO believes in the potential to transform entire neighborhoods, giving families a better chance at achieving the American dream. Over the past 25 years, UNO has focused on three direct principles: improving education, promoting citizenship and cultivating leaders, all to ensure the economic advancement for generations of Hispanics, and setting an example of what’s truly possible.”

    It’s an Hispanic civic organization with tremendous political power that also operates 11 charter schools (and growing — 11 may be last year’s numbers). The schools are pretty good, and I personally like the leadership.

  • 803. teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    @799: The experience of parents with students with special needs is exactly the same as you just described! I’m a teacher and a mom of a special needs child, and the cps will do everything, including violating due process, to avoid giving needed services.

  • 804. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Patricia: Thank you for your kind words.

  • 805. WL  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    @787. Hi, “Loud, Black, and Proud “, first of all, it is nothing to do with black and white. I am not white, and my kid is in South side school also. My neighborhood school has been failed for many years in ISAT evaluation. It is a big shame to say that the school was well equipped, and consumed a pretty good money to keep it running. But the school only can take care the kids for 6,7 hours. It is not a cure-all place. Do you expect anything in union negotiating list can stop murder ? No, they just want a big raise and better pension.

  • 806. About Uno  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    @ 802 Juan Rangel, head of Uno and its 11 schools, pays himself $266,000 per year.

    If that’s the leadership you like, I hope you get your money’s worth.

  • 807. HS Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    @697 – Sarge – sure seems that way. Also ask any of your friends if they have been polled. No one I know has. Angie – really 1344 households and their are 400,000 kids? Oh brother.

    Angie – thanks for all your details. You definitely keep the conversation lively!

  • 808. City Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Oops. Post 799 refers to James @ 792. And it should read, CTU can’t “act” today, not “back.” It’s time for me to take a step away from the computer. Sigh. .

  • 809. Jackie  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    WL that sounds like a great idea. Pick a time and location. If I am 5 to 10 minutes, maybe 3 days late can you wait for me?

  • 810. James  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Does anyone know what time the delegates will consider suspending the strike on Sunday? I’d really like to know. I know that some folks here are CTU members and so will probably know when they are meeting. Although you may hate me for opposing your strike, at this point, I’d ask you to have some sympathy for a dad struggling with all this. I just want to know when we’ll know on Sunday so I can figure out what my kids will be doing on Monday morning. Thank you.

  • 811. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Speaking of salaries people pay himself.

    “A” Is for Agitation: Radical Chicago Teachers on Parade

    http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2012/09/12/a_is_for_agitation_radical_chicago_teachers_on_parade

    “While she pays solidarity lip service to the 99 percent, Lewis is part of the deep-pocketed elite of public employee union chiefs who blame everyone else for their own financial and educational ruin. She’s good at pandering to her Che Guevara T-shirt-wearing colleagues and trash-talking the political machine. But she is the machine.

    The Chicago Teachers Union rakes in nearly $30 million in forced dues from rank-and-file teachers every year. CTU is an affiliate of the behemoth AFL-CIO, which dropped an estimated $100 million in forced dues to support Democratic candidates and causes during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.

    Before Lewis took control of the CTU, the union was teetering on bankruptcy and owed millions of dollars in loans. The previous CTU president pulled down nearly $300,000 a year in base salary and compensation. Local union watchdogs reported that top CTU officers and staff with six-figure salaries and bonuses also received:

    “… a monthly expense account for each administrator — officers, coordinators and field representatives — of $1,500; a car allowance of $7,000 per year (whether or not you have a car); 85 percent of car insurance and expenses paid; parking allowance; cellphone allowance; life insurance paid with union dues; and among other perks, a 53rd week of yearly pay for “working” over the Christmas holiday.”

    Lewis assumed the CTU presidency in June 2010. “Teachers union officials declined to provide information on Lewis’ salary,” The Chicago Tribune reports, but records show that she made more than $71,000 for half a year’s work in 2010 — along with compensation from the Illinois Federation of Teachers in 2011 totaling at least an additional $64,000 on top of her unknown base salary and benefits. “

  • 812. 8th grade mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    @807 – a well done poll with scientific sampling (i.e., households are randomly selected to participate, drawn from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds,etc) is totally valid with only 1,000 or so respondents. This is taught in statistics classes and social science research methodology courses. People don’t have to know someone who answered a poll for it to be valid.

  • 813. Cake for all!!  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Which is why the polls on that new blog are not valid. Not random.

  • 814. (hopefully not so) Sad Chicago Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Just a little Friday humor – this could just as easily apply to us:

    A template for every awful political discussion you’ve ever witnessed on Facebook.

    http://www.happyplace.com/2672/a-template-for-every-awful-facebook-discussion-youve-ever-witnessed

  • 815. Cake for all!!  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    We don’t know either. A few times this week I found out what was happening when I woke up at 5:30am

  • 816. (hopefully not so) Sad Chicago Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    This just in:

    @BreakingNews: Wisconsin judge strikes down Gov. Walker’s law ending most collective bargaining for public workers – @AP

  • 817. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Angie, a h.s. chemistry teacher who taught for 17 years is an elite!

    So how would you describe the folks who have funded your PAC, Stand for Children? Rauners, Pritzkers, Zells, Grififns?

  • 818. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    “CTU president pulled down nearly $300,000 a year ”

    Is the CTU president’s pension paid for by the public pension fund, but calculated on union salary, like other Chicago employee union heads’ pensions are?

  • 819. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    http://dianeravitch.net/2012/09/11/a-chicago-teacher-why-i-am-striking/

    Angie, this is for you. Just in case you wanted to hear what burdens many students are shouldering — since you haven’t taught and wouldn’t know firsthand.

  • 820. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    @752 Momto2: I don’t think any data supporting the claim that Rahm’s friends make a lot from charters exists — it’s just not true. Charters have very little money to spend. You and your husband have had the opportunity to see up close how lean a charter operation has to be.

    I think the concern arose because privatizing other public operations — janitorial services, e.g. — has resulted in paying workers much less (the difference can be a more than 50% drop in average pay, and slashed benefits) while the owners of the service get a profit. The government saves money because, even with the cost of the profit included, it’s less than paying the old public-unionized janitors. And yes, connected businessmen do tend to get those contracts.

    That can happen, at least in part, because it’s possible to get people to do janitorial work for outrageously low wages. I don’t think we want to have the people teaching our kids living at a subsistence level. (Or, for that matter, our janitors; there should be a happy medium.) The teachers at my school are underpaid, but they still make at least the CPS starting salary — it’s the big raises we can’t swing. Charter schools are non-profits. CPS has to approve our budget every year, and we have to provide audited annual financial reports to both CPS and ISBE. Our budgets and financial reports are public documents. Our administrators make about 80% of what they would get at CPS, and the percentage gap is usually greater for them than it is for our teachers. They all work longer hours.

    From my perspective, I don’t necessarily want cheaper schools, I want better schools. We have to stop raising the cost while lowering the results. I think CPS needs to figure out how to be more efficient. I know there is a lot of paperwork associated with being a giant school district, but I also know that the central office is in chaos. Three superintendents since 2008. A revolving door in the top positions. Whole departments done away with, then repopulated with new people and a different department name. No one knows what they are doing, or even where the historical documents are. More importantly, no one knows who they answer to: is it Brizard, or is it the Mayor’s handpicked chief operating officer? I don’t think Brizard is a great leader (for example, he makes the same speech everywhere he goes, without much personalization to his audience) but I would not want to be in his shoes.

  • 821. Jackie  |  September 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    @Angie – a link to a Michelle Malkin article? Really?

    I have refrained from making comments such as, I feel like I woke up on Fox and Friend set around here. But….why not. Thing may be over soon!

  • 822. HS Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    @812 – “People don’t have to know someone who answered a poll for it to be valid.”

    That would be an overly literal interpretation of a casual comment.

    How exactly was this poll done, do you have that information?

  • 823. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    lawmom, you may have joined Juan Jose Gonzalez’ group, Stand for Children. Or you may have joined Michelle Rhee’s group StandFirst. Or both.

    Juan is from California and went to Princeton, it wasn’t necessary for him to work his way up in the world. Michelle Rhee I think you know Under her tenure in D.C., the district suffered a large test cheating scandal.

  • 824. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    @806 About UNO: Juan Rangel is the head of a multi-million dollar organization — at least $40-$50 million a year. How many people at the head of that kind of operation make less than $266,000? He is on the go all the time, early to late, seven days a week, and he produces results. I don’t begrudge him the money. And he doesn’t pay himself. UNO’s board of directors has to approve it, and if he wasn’t doing the job they would not give him the salary.

  • 825. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Did Juan Rangel graduate from college?
    Does he have any teaching or administrative credentials?
    Or is this the usual political backroom deals and cronyism Chicago is known for?

  • 826. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    http://schoolsofthought.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/09/my-view-rhee-is-wrong-and-misinformed/

    Michelle Rhee, wrong and misinformed. Her tenure as school chancellor in D.C. brought down Mayor Feinty. He was not re-elected because of her, even with Duncan campaigning alongside her.

  • 827. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    @817. anonymous :”So how would you describe the folks who have funded your PAC, Stand for Children? Rauners, Pritzkers, Zells, Grififns?”

    The difference here is that union salaries and political contributions are funded by the taxpayers. Taxpayers pay the teachers, who in turn give a part of that money to CTU in the form of dues.

  • 828. Cake for all!!  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    If he is in it for the kids, he wouldn’t mind a pay cut though. I mean, it is for the kids. And the average salary of the families that go to UNO? Would you venture less than the $47,000 Chicago average?

    I am sure he would work the long hours, for the kids, for much less.

  • 829. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    The teachers choose pay dues out of their salaries. Same as police, fire, etc. (And the city’s political climate, the patronage, and cronyism means job securities of any kind are very necessary.)

    So, to go along with your line of thought, if a teacher buys a nice house, should you complain that her mortgage payments are coming out of your tax dollars?

    Her grocery bill?

    Her dinner tab?

    Pretty ridiculous.

  • 830. Jackie  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Family Friend – don’t know anything about Rangel (but this board will soon inform me)

    But to believe a board controls a CEO is naive. It is quite often the other way around. Most Corporate boards are made up of other CEO and past business associates all giving each other large pay raises. It’s a bit of a circle je…, well you know.

  • 831. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    http://preaprez.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/stand-for-childrens-jonah-edelman-explains-how-they-out-foxed-illinois-teacher-union-leadership/

    Btw, lawmom, Stand for Children’s Director is Jonah Edelman. Billlionaire Bruce Rauner invited him to Chicago in the all of 2010, once Emanuel announced his candidacy.

    He was funded by the local billionaires. He pushed though IL SB7. He bragged about it here. It’s worth a look to understand who you are hanging with.

  • 832. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    “Juan is from California and went to Princeton, it wasn’t necessary for him to work his way up in the world”

    His older sister was the first person on either side of their family to go to college.

    So, how exactly did he not have to work his way up? Would you criticize Craig & Michelle Robinson the same way? Or is the difference bt Chicago and California so great, that Californians have a life on easy street no matter what?

  • 833. Jackie  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Angie once you pay someone, it’s their money. The teachers voted 90% to strike. If they did not want the union, they could vote to dissolve. But it seems they think its money well spent.

  • 834. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    “The teachers choose pay dues out of their salaries.”

    And, if they choose to not, there are *no* negative consequences? That’d be a first in union history.

  • 835. local  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    They have the choice to be an agency payer.

  • 836. Chi-town Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I have heard this movie “Won’t Back Down”, coming out September 28th, deals with these contemporary education issues. Might be something we will all want to see.

  • 837. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Chris/Juan how nice to meet you. At last.

  • 838. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Wow. Karen makes a pretty good buck serving Kool-Aid.

  • 839. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2011-03-28-1Aschooltesting28_CV_N.htm

    USA Today asks if the gains in test scores under Rhee were the result of cheating.

  • 840. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    @829. anonymous : “So, to go along with your line of thought, if a teacher buys a nice house, should you complain that her mortgage payments are coming out of your tax dollars?”

    Why would I complain about that? That’s her personal stuff.

    But if people are going to complain about the salaries of CPS and charter officials, I have every right to talk about the salaries of your union leaders, and the money they give to corrupt politicians.

  • 841. Cake for all!!  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Just saw an anti teacher commercial. Be nice if they put that money into schools instead of politics.

  • 842. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    http://dianeravitch.net/2012/09/09/a-parent-reviews-the-parent-trigger-movie/

    Parent ses the movie and is saddened by it.

  • 843. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    “Chris/Juan how nice to meet you. At last.”

    Yes, that’s exactly right. Now, which one of the dozen or so “anonymous” Trolls wokring on the CTU payroll are you?

    And, again, defend your “he didn’t have to work his way up” statement. Or do you think that the Urban Prep kids who go to ivies “didn’t work their way up” either? What about your dear leader, Karen? She didn’t work her way up, because she went to Dartmouth?

    Honestly, that attitude is part of the problem, and I *dearly* hope you aren’t teaching my kids.

  • 844. Jackie  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    How much pressure do you think Obama got from the national unions? After feeling such pressure, I would have loved to be in the room when he called Rahm.

  • 845. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Well, Juan Jose Gonzalez, it is time you dropped your alias here, don’t you think? I think you would do a more credible job if you wrote as yourself, a director of Stand of Children, don’t you?

  • 846. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    “Well, Juan Jose Gonzalez, it is time you dropped your alias here, don’t you think?”

    You first, TROLL.

  • 847. Cake for all!!  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    “Why doesn’t someone do a reality show featuring the everyday lives of teachers, students, administrators, and parents. Cameras can be pointed down to not show students’ faces. Let everyone see the good, bad, frustrating life of school. See the overcrowded classrooms, students using phones daily, teachers going through the motions, teachers giving it all, students trying, not trying. Poor funding. no time to plan. take home work. LUNCH ROOMS. Teachers losing planning time because of covering classes because of no subs. impossible schedules. Yes, let everyone see it.”
    Interesting comment

  • 848. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    http://parentsacrossamerica.org/beyond-the-parent-trigger-hype-and-propaganda-just-the-facts/

    Beyond the hype.

  • 849. 8th grade mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    @813 – sorry. I thought they were discussing a poll conducted by a major media outlet. I am only checking this periodically, and may have missed the background posts.

  • 850. Paul  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Well folks, it looks like the light at the end of the tunnel.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-chicago-teachers-strike-0914-20120914,0,5804860.story

    Unfortunately, I think we’re up for more clashes between CPS and CTU. Those school closings and turnarounds are going to be ugly.

  • 851. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    It’s okay, Juan, you’ve already inadvertently dropped your alias as Chris. Not to worry.

  • 852. anonymouse teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    @770, CTU is strictly FORBIDDEN by LAW from bringing up these issues. If we do, we violate state law and then the strike is illegal. We can hold picket signs all we want, but the negotiators cannot do it. They only people who are allowed, by LAW, to even mention the topic during negotiations is CPS. LAW. We can indirectly pressure and obviously, CPS knows we want to negotiate over these things, but THEY REFUSE. CTU can talk about these issues in the media as things that affect kids, but we are not allowed to bring it up.
    I am not sure what is so difficult to understand about that. Of course CTU is blaming CPS for it because they are to blame. How can we bargain or offer something in exchange if they will not even engage in dialogue about it?

  • 854. Chi-town Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks for the info #842 and #848. Based on the info you posted, you perceive “Won’t Back Down” as anti-union and are against the movie. I am going to have an open mind about it ,and plan to see it. It seems relevant to current education debates.

  • 855. Chris  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    “It’s okay, Juan, you’ve already inadvertently dropped your alias as Chris. Not to worry.”

    Yes, becasue it’s soooo hard to find out facts about public figures when one is already on the internet. Do you need a remedial lesson?

    I feel sorry for the children and families you are failing, anonymous.

  • 856. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    What on earth is an anti-teacher commercial?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 857. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    @A-Mouse, interesting article about boston since the media keeps holding then up as an example.

    They say they were treated with respect there — I really wish they would elaborate on that more. It’s such a nebulous word, used by teachers here and there.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 858. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    @852. anonymouse teacher :”I am not sure what is so difficult to understand about that.”

    I’m not sure your union reps are telling you the truth, that’s all. NBCT Vet spent a lot of time arguing that Karen Lewis is forbidden from ever mentioning these non-bargainable things, and then she goes on TV and talks about them in her press-conference.

  • 859. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Juan, really, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it. I just wanted to let lawmom and the other folks here know the kind of organizing work Stand for Children does, like post on cps obsessed incessantly.

  • 860. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    http://dianeravitch.net/2012/09/14/why-big-business-intervened-in-chicago-with-an-ad/

    Why did Big Business intervene in Chicago with a slew of ads?

  • 861. Jackie  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Re: Don’t Back Down

    The trailer looks like the school and the teachers are the bad guys. But may the movie is more balanced as a whole.

    But, the people who worked at the CPS preschool we attended for 2 years were awesome, everyone one of them. Velma Thomas, thank you so much.

  • 862. Paul  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    What blows me away about this whole experience is the nearly unanimous sense of entitlement by our teachers. They believe, contrary to all the evidence, that they are underpaid and have low levels of benefits. They are willing to keep kids out of school in order to advance their own self interests. They don’t see any reason for why they should receive lower raises during a recession or when the city is broke.

    These teachers have dedicated their lives to teaching mostly underpriledged kids. And, during a recession, it’s those kids’ families who are most affected. Those kids’ parents have higher levels of unemployment. They are the ones that become more dependent on government services, especially public schools. And, I don’t understand how the teachers can go on strike and close those schools, under the guise of helping those kids, in order to better guarantee their own jobs and higher wages.

    There are lots of problems with CPS, its management of funds, its turnover in leadership, its communication with parents and teachers. But, I’m convinced that the teachers union, and its exercise of power this week, is one of its biggest problems. Rahm ran for office on a platform that the city is not an employment office, and that public employees work for the people. It is astounding to me how far from that point of view the teachers are. Teachers believe they are advocates for the underpriledged, and that they must force the people into paying teachers what they believe their work is worth. There’s no sense of service there.

    Now, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with advocating for yourself or pursuing your own self interests. And, there’s nothing wrong with thinking you’re a very important person and deserve more. I think that about myself every day. But, when you take drastic action to pursue that self interest (shut down the school system) and say that you’re doing it for the good of the children, you’ve taken it too far. And, I think you’ve done some damage. You’ve damaged the good will you had with many parents who feel they’ve been exploited and that their children were used as pawns. You’ve damaged the ability of the school system to pay for its operations and potentially to reform schools that desperately need it. And, you may have damaged the taxpayers’ willingness to invest in its traditional public schools.

  • 863. Cake for all!!  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    So wait. Chris is really Juan Jose of stand for children? Messed up.

  • 864. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Paul,
    Here is another close look at the aims of the CTU in calling this strike. The issues are not simple and it is easy for it all to get twisted. But I hope you will read it. Mark Naison is a Fordham U. Professor.

    Chicago’s Teachers “Won’t Back Down” and Inspire Teachers throughout the Nation by Mark Naison
    Posted: 14 Sep 2012 07:36 AM PDT

    “Whatever the outcome, the Chicago Teachers strike shows that cross section of the nation’s teachers are fed up with being made the whipping boy for the nation’s failure to reduce racial and economic inequality and provide equal educational opportunity for its citizens. You do not mobilize tens of thousands of people to put their jobs at risk and take to the picket line without a powerful undercurrent of frustration and rage with the way they have been treated.

    “The strike won’t stop Education Reformers, who have the support of the nation’s biggest corporations, from cementing their stranglehold on education policy on the local and national level and from consolidating their influence in both major parties. But it pulls aside the facade of support and compliance with the Obama Administration’s education policies that the Democratic National Convention hoped to project and reveals how wildly unpopular Race to the Top is with many of America’s teachers and a small, politically-savvy group of public school parents. The strike also provides a powerful antidote to the propaganda campaign for the new Hollywood teacher-bashing movie “Won’t Back Down,” which hits American theaters at the end of the month. The sea of red shirts marching through Chicago, and the teachers around the country wearing red in solidarity, show that teachers may not be as easy a target as the movie’s backers anticipated.

    The Chicago Teachers Union has flipped the script on Michelle Rhee, Democrats for Education reform and other backers of school privatization and showed how a teachers’ union can be a militant advocate for the right of students to have a school experience which includes music, art, sports and class sizes small enough to receive individual attention. There is no guarantee that the strike will achieve its major goals, but it has already succeeded in giving America’s teachers a huge emotional lift and in forcing the media to recognize that teachers’ voices cannot be marginalized and suppressed without significant consequences.

    “Mark Naison is a Professor of African-American Studies and History at Fordham University and Director of Fordham’s Urban Studies Program. He is the author of three books and over 100 articles on African-American History, urban history, and the history of sports…”

    http://withabrooklynaccent.blogspot.com/2012/09/chicagos-teachers-wont-back-down-and.html

  • 865. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I have something to tell you. None of you are real. I’ve created a series of online identities because if I can get to 2 million hits the billionaire reformers have offered me a big payout to buy the site.

    If you’re a real person reading, the rest of the “people” on here are fakes. All Trolls for cpsobsessed.com.

    Mwah hah hah!!!!!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 866. lawmom  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Anonymouse teacher and Anonymous, I hang with whomever I choose, whether it is billionaires or impoverished — I am equally poised to deal with both with respect and politesse. And I think that parents and students need to have a VERY CLEAR AND LOUD VOICE in our public education system.

    Change is coming, whether you want it or not.

  • 867. anonymouse teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Paul, I think I see your perspective. But personally, I find it insulting. Many of us were willing to take a pay freeze in order to get some things for our students. To say that “there’s no sense of service” makes me so angry. Some of us went on strike for issues that, from our perspective DO or WOULD make the lives of children better. I really believed we’d be successful in pressuring CPS to provide the services kids really need. It seems like that may not have happened.
    I don’t feel like I am underpaid. I have fabulous benefits and I know it. I truly believe it is bad for kids to close schools that underperform especially when the district has a policy of “starving” those schools of resources. I truly believe it is bad for kids to test and test and test and test and test.
    You believe that CPS is capable of reforming schools, for the good of kids, right? I believe, like most teachers, CPS has zero capability to reform schools.
    Would it have been enough for you if CPS teachers had agreed to a pay freeze if no other costs had gone up (benefits, etc) or would you only have felt like teachers had a sense of service if we had taken a pay cut in the form of reduced salaries and increased health premiums? For the sake of argument, what kind of pay cut did you need to see in order to believe or feel like the “for the kids” argument was credible? 5%, 10%, 20%? If teachers said, “We’ll take a 20% pay cut and CPS, you have to cap class sizes at X and provide nurses and social workers and reading specialists and if you don’t we are going on strike” would that have been enough?

  • 868. Angie  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    @862. Paul: Right on. The teachers talk a lot about the underprivileged kids they teach and the problems they face at school, but when it comes to their pay and benefits, they seem to live in some kind of surreal world disconnected from the fiscal reality.

  • 869. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    The fiscal disconnect occurred when the mayor decides to rapidly expand charters — at the same time — as he is lengthening the school day.

    If you agree that a longer day should have the fine arts, reading coaches, social workers and nurses to help kids and improve outcomes, then it will have to cost money. If you think that the longer day needs to be held in schools that don’t leak, with safe playgrounds, then it costs money.

    Don’t try to do both poorly. Do the longer day well.

    Terry Mazany, former CEO, said Chicago charters don’t outperform their traditional public school counterparts.

    Leave charters for now.

  • 870. Chi-town Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Wow!! I am amazed at the reaction of the movie “Won’t Back Down”. I heard about it and shared it. Did it hit a nerve? Teachers shouldn’t feel threatened by it. Whether you necessarily agree with the “agenda” or not, it seems like it is about parents and teachers working together to better the system for kids. Ultimately this is what education is supposed to be about. This sounds refreshing after a week of the strike back and forth.

  • 871. Jackie  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I knew I was not a real person, just an apple juice dispenser!

  • 872. Patricia  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I find the Obama comments interesting. While it may (or may not) pressure Obama, remember ILLINOIS is NOT a swing state. Obama will win Illinois. That is why labor unions are making Illinois CTU contract their cause. It is not about the students or teachers either from the national union preservation efforts.

    Who else are labor unions going to vote for? They will vote for Obama.

    Who does Obama need to convince? Independents in swing states. Look at the swing states? Obama may actually get positive bump from fiscally conscious independents.

    Plus, Obama has global things to deal with, like the slain ambassador to Lybia and the “reverse of the arab sprint” happening.

    Maybe he is calling Rahm……….maybe not.

  • 873. working together  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    cnn wrote a article worth reading……..
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/14/opinion/noguera-chicago-schools/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

  • 874. Patricia  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    oops “reverse of arab spring” not sprint

  • 875. CPD Who Knows Who You Are  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    @Angie: Did your kid go deaf so she wouldn’t have to listen to you spout off with inanities?

  • 876. CPD Who Knows Who You Are  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Btw: CPD stands for Certain Principled Disciplined defender of the wronged

  • 877. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    872 — Where else can Dems go? You know, that’s just what Emanuel said a year ago. Well, they can stay home. There’s so litle difference between the two parties — both parties of the rich and entitled.

    However, the ramifications for Emanuel’s re-election are different, aren’t they?

  • 878. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    870 — It is fiction. I has never happened anywhere.

    But many parents and teachers already work together in schools for the children’s benefit every day.

  • 879. CPD Who Knows Who You Are  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Does Angie stand for Any Given Nebbish Isn’t Entitled ?

  • 880. cubswin  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    So, No contract details at all?

  • 881. CPD is a troll  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Yes, I am!

  • 882. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/opinion/sunday/can-great-teaching-overcome-the-effects-of-poverty.html?_r=2

    This takes a good look at what the strike means.

  • 883. Katherine  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Just about all movies do not show unions for what they do, and are anti-union, the new one featured above included. Hollywood movies aren’t places where one finds the truth so it isn’t surprising. Hollywood finance is white upper middle class and wealthy and was and is anti-union.

    Unions pushed for all of us the achievement of the 8 hour day, the 40 h week, the weekend, ending child labor, equal rights, housing loan/developments etc but people forget pretty quickly where their easier life came from.

    Only american movies I can think of aren’t anti-union is Matewan, and Norma Rae.

  • 884. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/opinion/sunday/can-great-teaching-overcome-the-effects-of-poverty.html?_r=2

    Excerpt, which I hope will lead you to the link.

    “For the past few weeks, I’ve been spending time at Harper High, a neighborhood school in Englewood that started classes in mid-August. Over the past year, the school lost eight current and former students to violence; 19 others were wounded by gunfire. The school itself, though, is a safe haven. It’s as dedicated a group of administrators and faculty members as I’ve seen anywhere. They’ve transformed the school into a place where kids want to be. And yet each day I spend there I witness one heartbreaking scene after another. A girl who yells at one of the school’s social workers, “This is no way to live,” and then breaks down in tears. Because of problems at home, she’s had to move in with a friend’s family and there’s not enough food to go around. A young man, having witnessed a murder in his neighborhood over the summer, has retreated into a shell. Just within the last month, another girl has gotten into two altercations; the school is naturally asking, what’s going on at home?

    The stories are all too familiar, and yet somehow we’ve come to believe that with really good teachers and longer school days and rigorous testing we can transform children’s lives. We’ve imagined teachers as lazy, excuse-making quasi-professionals — or, alternately, as lifesavers. But the truth, of course, is more complicated. “

  • 885. lawmom  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Anonymous, please find another place to post because you are boring me.

  • 886. SoxSideIrish4  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    ha! I knew Chris was Juan from Stand and no one believed me months ago. He just knew way too much and gave that Stand spiel.

  • 887. SoxSideIrish4  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    #884~anonymous~great read~excellent teachers is not a solution to poverty

  • 888. SoxSideIrish4  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    As for the person who asked if Juan Rangel UNO director if he went to college~NO, but he did graduate from St. Rita HS in 1983.

  • 889. Jackie  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    lawmom, the internet door is waiting you….. don’t let it hit you…..

  • 890. Jackie  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I have post that are not getting through, because they have links, I assume. But the movie Won’t Back Down, is made by a company owned/funded by a right-wing billionaire. He also gives much money to the Discovery Institute, which is pushing “intelligent design” in the schools.

    So are charter schools going to be an end-a-round for many right-wing christian agendas in the future?

  • 891. Mom73  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    628. BuenaParkMom -Good news the project you mentioned is now fully funded.

  • 892. DZV  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    All the talk how government employees are paid by taxpayers and some how we should all grovel and be grateful to the taxpayer for paying us. That’s just “silly talk”. When I chose to become a public school teacher, I didn’t sign up for a life of “servitude”. If I did, you’d be calling me Sister Mary Something and I’d be teaching at a Catholic School. We see how well that’s going nowadays.
    And where do you think money comes from in the private sector: the trees? Yes, it comes from you too!
    Maybe you should walk into your local stores, gas stations, and eateries and demand that you get it for free or on the cheap because your supporting them.
    My salary, my money. If you’re pissed that you haven’t gotten a raise then maybe you need organize and strike. Don’t forget company CEOs are making a fortune off your back, making you work for less, longer and harder, while they’re all vacationing someplace you’ll only visit on the internet.

    BTW.. you don’t HAVE to join the CTU, but you do have to pay a smaller portion in dues. It’s called fair share, since you do receive the benefits they have have negotiated on your behalf. They just won’t be there if you need their representation in a grievance and such.

  • 893. EdgewaterMom  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Wow, I am really sad to see how nasty things have gotten here today. I am grateful for all of the thoughtful, informative posts that I have read on here in the past few weeks. I have learned so much.

    If anybody is new to this site, please know that there are many concerned, intelligent parents and teachers who participate here and actually have meaningful discussions. Today those types of posts are lost among the crude remarks and accusations that are flying around that are not helping anybody.

  • 894. SutherlandParent  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    @865 CPSO–I knew it! As Neo from the Matrix said, “There is no spoon.” 😉

    C’mon all, our fearless leader, CPSO, has already asked us several times to play nicely in the sandbox. Suggesting fellow posters die in fires, criticizing peoples’ parenting skills and claiming other people are trolls is making this blog almost unreadable–and that’s a real shame, because this has been a wonderful resource for information and intelligent, spirited debate. I’d hate if all of us have to go into timeout.

  • 895. SutherlandParent  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I need to learn to type faster, EdgewaterMom–what you just said!

  • 896. HSObsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I just logged in for the first time in 24 hours: Can someone please summarize what I missed in 140 characters or less? 🙂

  • 897. Meg Welch/IB obsessed  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Edgewater Mom- Like!

  • 898. DZV  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I found this site a year ago and I was thrilled to find some place that had parents who cared about their children in CPS. I’ve sat silently watching and impressed with all the great ideas a lot of people had. I’ve been truly saddened and disgusted by a lot of things parents have said about teachers and the union these past few weeks. I’ve had to comment only because this site is the talk amongst teachers on the picket line.
    There are lots of us reading silently then discussing what’s being said here. We play guess what neighborhodd they’re from and who their neighbor is, and I’d love to be in the teachers’ lunchroom where some of these parents send their kids.
    But once this strike is over, I’m moving on. This place is like a horrible expressway accident that you can’t stop looking at.
    As we told the few who were nasty to us on the picket line: It’s OK to say what you said. We’re public school teachers, we teach everyone! We’ll still teach your kid! Education for all: poor, ignorant, arrogant, beligerent, entitled. We do it all!

  • 899. Portage Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    This is from the Washington Post regarding the movie, “Won’t Back Down” for those who are interested.

    I haven’t seen “Won’t Back Down” yet but a number of people have, including parent activist Rita Solnet, who wrote the following. Solnet is a former director of leadership development at IBM, an organizational consultant and a longtime parent activist in public schools. She is the vice president of the Community Academies Board for Palm Beach County, Fla, a member of the county’s School District Curriculum Advisory Council and a founding member of the advocacy group Parents Across America.

    By Rita Solnet
    “Change a school, change the neighborhood.”
    That’s a line from the controversial, star-studded movie, “Won’t Back Down,” scheduled to be released on September 28th.
    I attended a Washington D.C. screening of this compelling movie over the weekend. I carried a small notebook and a long list of preconceived notions about what I expected to see in this film. I walked out with a long list of of questions as to what I didn’t see portrayed in the film.
    The synopsis describes this movie as: “Two determined mothers, one a teacher, who look to transform their children’s failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education of their children.”
    However, the messages in this feel-good, underdog-winning movie go far beyond what this summary depicts.
    Within the first few minutes, projected on the screen in large letters are the words, “Inspired By True Events.” That conveys the message that parents and teachers took over and ran a school somewhere in our nation. That never happened. I suppose that sells better than opening the film with, “This is Fictitious.”
    Outstanding performances by star-studded and new young actors will put this movie on the Academy Award nomination list, I’m sure. The actors did a superb job of drawing you into the movie.
    I cried several times despite knowing that this movie was funded by charter school privatizers seeking fistfuls of dwindling education dollars.
    I cried despite knowing that the story behind the “failing” school was not told.
    I knew that the divisive and unsuccessful “parent trigger” laws that have been passed in California and a few other states — and are being considered in about 20 others — was intentionally disguised in this movie as a fictitious law cleverly named “Fail-Safe,” yet I still wept.
    I wanted to jump into the movie and help these moms win. The audience audibly cheered for the underdogs every step of the way. Who wouldn’t? Moms in the face of adversity knocking down barriers to help their kids chances for a better future. Of course, I’m on their side.
    Unfortunately, this film depicts a story that is more about good vs. evil than about the truth behind public schools today and the movement to privatize them. Portraying a complex public education system as irretrievably broken — and blaming abusive, older teachers and their rabidly protective unions is much easier than illustrating the complicated truth, I suppose.
    Realities that make true school reform so hard were left out of the film.
    Despite many classroom scenes, you never once saw a child even taking a test — and we know that standardized tests take many weeks out of instructional time, with even more for test prep.
    You never heard why the school was labeled “failing” or what the criteria was for receiving a “failing” grade. Instead you heard teachers in their unusually large break room complain about other teachers who had “the highest salary with the lowest performance.” You heard comments like, “We don’t coach teachers here; we protect teachers.”
    As a parent volunteer in public schools for 16 years, it startled me not to see anyone working on the problems together in this movie. I didn’t see parents talking to teachers to help improve the school. No sign or talk of School Advisory Councils, of PTAs, not even parent friends talking to each other over coffee about how they could organize to speak to the principal or district or board to improve the school. Not all principals are underhanded and despicable as they are in this movie.
    There were no scenes or discussions of parents at school board meetings to formally complain and formally request solutions be put in place. When you organize and speak as a group, you can be heard.
    Why was this mom and teacher’s first step to conduct a takeover? Because it is fiction.
    Yet I worry about the dynamic a movie like this creates.
    Will this movie launch open season by shrewd for-profit charter operators — including some with abysmal academic records — to stir a commotion and skip directly to the takeover step?
    Disgruntled parents and guardians will see this film that is supposedly “Inspired by True Events” (but those events are never mentioned or referenced) and think it’s appropriate to storm the school board to demand a school takeover.
    But before our nation agrees that it is a neat idea for parents to demand takeovers, everybody has to know the real issues that caused the problems. People can choose to blame teachers unions, but they should remember that the problems people are trying to fix in public education are the same in states with unions and without unions.
    Are there teachers who don’t belong in a classroom? Yes. They should be removed. But the difficulties that schools face are long and deep, and they start with the impoverished conditions in which many children live. That doesn’t mean kids can’t learn. It does mean that ignoring their issues will make it much harder for even a great teacher to reach them.
    There is no question that children who need help should get it now. But the answer isn’t the parent trigger. In fact, in Florida earlier this year, an effort to pass a parent trigger law died after not a single major parent organization — including the PTA — endorsed it for fear it would lead to the takeover of public schools by for-profit charter management companies.
    Of course we need parent involvement in improving schools. But that isn’t enough.
    We need significant change at the state and federal level. The failed No Child Left Behind bill, which has been sucking the life force out of our public education system, must end once and for all, and many of the policies states adopted to win federal dollars in President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative must be reversed.
    And parents, grandparents, retired educators, and local citizens can partner with schools to improve the quality of public education. That creates good will among citizens vs. divisiveness, turmoil, and uncertainty inherent in a parent takeover.
    “Change a school; change a neighborhood.” I’d modify that to ‘Change school reform rules; change a neighborhood.”

  • 900. Hyde Park Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    @787 Loud Black, Proud,older don’t start with that black and white stuff.I am nonwhite as well and oppose the strike.Blacks need to stop blaming other races for all the problems they face and be accountable .I am black, but foreign born.I see how the values of many blacks here are just not focused on education.Too much focus on sports,music,bling bling baloney.Not enough Black parents appear to focus on their kids academic lives.Then they wonder why their grades are poor.Why some can’t speak proper English or articulate their thoughts.Honestly, I cringe.I know I will get tarred and feathered for my post , but its the sad truth people sort of ignore.This strike isn’t about the whites versus the blacks, sorry.That racial excuse for everything is getting old.

  • 901. CPSMommy1908  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Check out CTU’s Truth in Black and White Video…. Something to think about – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prM0HWKrWVI&feature=plcp

  • 902. Todd Pytel  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I’m not surprised at the level of nasty attacks today – that’s what happens when you have a vacuum of hard information to actually… you know… *talk* about. Sadly, I don’t think there will be much more to say until Sunday’s HoD meeting. Until then, I’ll just skim over the nastiness.

    I’ve talked with a lot of people more knowledgeable than I am about union and contract politics today. Numerous possible hypothetical motivations and tactics were discussed. Tinfoil hats were adjusted. The consensus seems to be that no one really knows anything. It’s possible that lawyers are just ironing out details, as the mainstream media suggests. It’s at least equally possible that there’s going to be a surprise of some sort on Sunday. We won’t know until then, and there’s very little to go on in the meantime.

    I desperately hope I can go back to school on Monday and see my kids. That’s all I want to do. But I would advise parents against assuming that’s a certainty or even a likelihood at this point.

  • 903. anonymous  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/if-these-politicians-thin_b_1879706.html

    This is funny, not nasty, and we could all use some levity.

  • 904. Navigator  |  September 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I appreciate education choices for families. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but it is an option. Traditional public schools are not for everyone, but it is an option. Private traditional schools are not for everyone, but it is an option. Charter schools are not for everyone, but it is an option. Clearly when it comes to our children’s education, some of us will get heated. Some feel very strongly about one option over the other. That is fine, just keep in mind another parent/person may not agree. I think education choices are a good thing. I think these choices are here to stay and I think we need to work together. I think the emotion of the strike brought our opinions to the forefront. Rather than try to argue with someone over one way being better than another, be thankful that option is available for that family. Yes it is about money, but bigger yet, it is about finding the right education fit for a particular child/family.

  • 905. Portage Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    @903, thanks for the article, I enjoyed reading it and I agree. I support our teachers for the incredibly hard job they do. Teacher evaluations are about accountability says our mayor but where’s the accountabillity of our politicians who are supposed to serve us but are really looking out for themselves and their friends. Penny Pritzker who is on the Board of Ed is from one of the wealthiest familes in the city of Chicago yet a subtantial amount of TIF money was given to her new hotel enterprise. Where is our outrage there? No we reserve that for our teachers who dared to stand up to the mayor.

  • 906. CPSfinesse (formerly anon)  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    @904 Navigator “I think education choices are a good thing.”

    I totally agree. Except the main problem is that all of the choices are not available to all of the children.

  • 907. Tim  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Todd #902

    Your post is the most depressing thing I’ve read on here all day. It has to end. It has to end this weekend. We have to go to school on Monday. I can’t believe that isn’t going to happen.

  • 908. anonymouse teacher  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Todd, yeah, that is what my delegate told us this afternoon. That there might be a vote on Sunday but that nothing was a done deal. I am so worried this will all be for nothing.

  • 909. none  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Navigator: Having option is good, but it must start with equality. If the rich has the choice to send their kids to private Latin school while the poor children has to struggle in a squalid building, then the word “choice” itself is meaningless!

    To all the teachers (Todd, Carol, Katherine, and others) – I just want to say ‘thank you”, even though I don’t know any of you. Please dont let all the “unpleasant” posts on here ruining your evening!

  • 910. EdgewaterMom  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I have to say that when I heard that they were delaying the vote until Sunday and we would not have an announcement until late Sunday evening, I began to have serious doubts about getting back to school on Monday. I hope that I am wrong (this ordeal has made me very cynical!) and that both parties are being honest and that everybody has every intention to have the kids back at school. I hope that the CTU is just trying to get one last weekend of media attention and truly wants to end the strike.

    The fact that CPS announced online classes for high school students today and beginning Monday for lower grades also made me wonder. I hope that they are just being prepared for every possibility and am trying not to read any more into it.

    I am sad for the students, sad for the teachers, and sad about the horrible state of things at CPS.

  • 911. lawmom  |  September 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    @889 –For some reason my full post did not go through. I am a CPS mom who has been a member of this site for over 2 years. I have not been duped by billionaires. I am on several Boards who help underprivileged families for various reasons, some special needs, some for legal aid, etc. I will support families and students and help them have a voice. I have to say that I am very concerned with the lack of respect that is being posted on this Board in this thread. It hasn’t been like this in the past and if we can’t have intelligent discussions without the vitriol, this is greatly concerning.

  • 912. Jackie  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    lawmom, than you will agree, telling someone you are bored of their posts and to leave is wrong?

  • 913. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    @825 anonymous: Juan Rangel is the head of UNO, not the head of any of the schools. Schools are only one aspect of UNO’s programs. He does not hire teachers or structure schools. It really does not matter what his education is. He is a community organizer grown into a political powerhouse. I believe he has some college but not a degree.

  • 914. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    @830 Jackie. Boards should control their executive directors or presidents. If they don’t they are not doing their job. Board training for non-profits should include a major section on the difference between governance and management. Staff is responsible for management, the board is responsible for governance, which includes setting the direction of the organization and ensuring that the Executive Director or whatever the leader is called follows that direction. A founding ED, who recruits the initial board, can be a problem — but I am aware of more than one non-profit board that has fired the person who founded the organization. On my board we realize that our most important duty, aside from financial oversight, is to rigorously review the performance of our ED every year. And even though she does a great job with financial management and educating the kids, we have had a lot to say on other issues, which vary from year to year. We are all interested in improving, and she takes our critique well. Things do improve.

    I know about those corporations where the President controls things — there are many, many fewer of them since federal law changed after the Enron scandal.

  • 915. Family Friend  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    @831 anonymous: Jonah Edelman was fired from Stand for Children more than a year ago.

  • 916. HS Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    @873 Working together – excellent opinion piece from CNN – both sides have a point. Here are a few excerpts

    “The union must acknowledge that the system needs an effective way to evaluate teachers and an expedited process for removing those who are ineffective. If the union rejects using test scores as a basis for evaluation — and the research shows that using test scores in this way is both prone to inaccuracies and could create disincentives for teachers to work with the neediest children — then it must put forward another model that is workable.”

    “”No” is not an answer. The problems created by ineffective teachers are real and cannot be ignored.”

    “Chicago would do well to learn from the example of Boston, which also has been under mayoral control for several years and has been a leader in reform despite the presence of a strong union.”

    “The big difference is that reforms in Boston have been carried out with teachers and not on them.”

    Pro or anti union we all need to agree that it is truly “for the children”. We need a cohesive plan and guess what – there seems to be a model for it.

  • 917. HS Mom  |  September 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Family friend – thank you for all your detailed and well versed information. I have learned quite a bit. You are a wealth of knowledge.

  • 918. Pvt. Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:07 am

    @896.HSObsessed. “I just logged in for the first time in 24 hours: Can someone please summarize what I missed in 140 characters or less?”

    It was a troll-tastic meltdown. But then I had a vision of Studs Terkel telling me to enjoy the beautiful day and a beer. And so I did.

  • 919. Family Friend  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:08 am

    @869 anonymous: I disagree with Terry Mazany about charters. When he was in office I thought he had an anti-charter agenda, because he was just not paying attention to the data.

    I spent some time with the 2012 ISAT results yesterday. Of 55 charter elementary campuses, 35 had a better median composite score (% meets and exceeds) than the citywide median of 74.2% and 20 had a worse score. Of the 20 that were worse, 9 had over 70% and only 3 had under 60%. Of the 35 that did better, 20 had at least 80% and one was in the 90s. All of these schools are in high-needs areas. I didn’t have time yesterday, but I want to compare the “exceeds” scores as well.

    I once took a group from the board of a very well-regarded suburban school district to visit Alain Locke. They were stunned when I told them that Locke students, 100% inner city (Garfield Park) black kids, scored better on meets and exceeds than their 65% white, upper middle class suburban kids. They were really blown away when I pointed out that Locke’s “exceeds” percentage more than doubled theirs. They came away from that visit believers. I wish I could have brought the entire board, because they are still trying to figure out what to do about their achievement gap between whites and minorities.

  • 920. Family Friend  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:20 am

    @870 re Parent Trigger Law: California passed the country’s first Parent Trigger Law a couple of years ago. If a school is failing (meets listed conditions), parents may petition to invoke one of four changes. Parents of a school in Compton were the first to try to take advantage. They petitioned to convert their school to a charter school. The school board refused to accept the petition because parents had not shown their IDs when signing (sound familiar?). They took it to court. I don’t remember how it came out because by the time it was decided most of the parents had moved their kids to a new charter school in town. Meanwhile, the state passed rules establishing requirements for the petition process.

    This summer, parents in Adelante won a court decision upholding a petition to convert their school to a charter, because the district had violated rules prohibiting them from “encouraging” parents to remove their signatures from the petition.

    I am sure the movie (starring Maggie Gyllenhall – yay!) dramatizes the situation, but the parent trigger is real, and I think it’s spreading to other states.

  • 921. SoxSideIrish4  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:35 am

    #915~FamilyFriend~Jonah Edelman was NOT fired from Stand for Children more than a year ago.~they told ppl that but he is still listed as CEO on all literature and he gave a speech at the same place Rahm was this past several months. Look up their site~he’s still listed.

  • 922. anonymous  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:49 am

    @ 919 Family Friend: I’m sure you have it all worked out in your mind and in your talking points, but remember: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    Privatize education, pay teachers and school workers a whole lot less, host a revolving door because working in a charter school is not a sustainable endeavor, kick out kids who don’t comply and send them back to their public schools…how ’bout that…

    P.S. Since you like to throw around statistical success stories, why don’t you speak to the percentage of charter school graduates who STAY in college and graduate from college?

  • 923. Charters are anti-democratic  |  September 15, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Charters better have higher scores for all the selecting of students that they do. Either the selecting of students happens during the application phase because only parents who are involved in their children’s lives bother to seek a charter or the charter removes students who are “difficult” and shuttles them back to their neighborhood schools. Let’s look at the percentage of incoming freshmen charters retain. Then, let’s let grade school counselors assign kids to charter high schools and see what happens to those scores.

  • 924. cpsmommy  |  September 15, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Maybe this belongs on another thread. Making up the days. Here is a suggestion for CPS.

    Kids come back from winter break early (Jan 3-4) – 2 days
    Eliminate Lincoln’s b-day or President’s Day – 1 day
    Eliminate staff development days 11/2 and 3/29 – 2 days
    (these would be moved to end of year to teachers work two days after school is out)

  • 925. Jackie  |  September 15, 2012 at 8:02 am

    I was listening to NPR, and an education reporter for trib/or/sun, said charter consultants come in and teach parents what to say to force school closings. One thing is to say, everything about your school is failing and just trash it, whether it’s true or not.

  • 926. Jackie  |  September 15, 2012 at 8:07 am

    The more I learn the more I fear

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Anschutz

  • 927. Jackie  |  September 15, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Philip Anschutz owns Walden Media which made Won’t Back Down and Waiting for Superman

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walden_Media

  • 928. Navigator  |  September 15, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I am sorry not every choice works for every family. Private schools are not an option for my family, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be eliminated. I have been on this board long enough to know if our neighborhood school was the only option, many would move. So while an education option might not be good for one particular family, it might be good for someone else. After skimming through posts, it is clear many feel very strongly against charters. The great thing is that you don’t have to send your children to a charter. However I don’t think it is right to work at taking that option away from someone else. This week I was not able to send my children to school, outside factors closed the school. As a parent I didn’t have a say in this decision, it seemed very un-democratic. Should union supported schools be closed because unions can choose to strike and essentially close the school? No way do I think they should be closed. Education choice is better for families. Don’t try to dictate what families should and should not do with their children.

  • 929. Navigator  |  September 15, 2012 at 8:30 am

    oops* -Private schools are not an option for my family, but that doesn’t mean it *should be eliminated.

    Please have a wonderful Saturday everyone.

  • 930. Paul  |  September 15, 2012 at 8:59 am

    In general, I’m not a fan of charter schools. The only time I wished my kids were in a charter school rather than our traditional neighborhood was during this strike. Otherwise, charters, to me, feel too gimmicky and unstable. If the Board decides it’s failing, they just don’t renew the charter, and everybody moves to another school.

    However, if my neighborhood school was not a good option. and I’m afraid that I don’t believe that most of the neighborhood schools in CPS are not a good option. And, I lived in one of those neighborhoods, I’d be praying for a charter school to give me another option.

  • 931. Todd Pytel  |  September 15, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Family Friend – Thanks for your thoughtful posts about charters. While I do have numerous concerns about how charters are being used by our current administration, I believe that they do have a role to play and that it’s possible for them to contribute to the overall strength of our school system. Since you seem to be a data guy, I have a number of data questions…

    1) You were just comparing charter ISAT performance to the citywide median of 74.2% M/E. What was the median score for the 55 school sample you examined?

    2) You mentioned way upthread that charters served about the same percentage of students with IEP’s as traditional schools. Can you cite a source for that? Also, do you have any data comparing the types of IEP’s or level of services between charters and traditional public schools?

    3) You mention that your school pays teachers at least the CPS starting salary. As has been noted here numerous times, that’s a very attractive salary for new teachers. However, you imply that you can’t keep up with the step raises in the union pay scale, which already compare rather poorly to many suburban districts in the long run. What is the average number of years of service for your teaching faculty? What percentage turn over each year? (You might not be in the position to answer the next two…) Have you seen any changes in the quality of your hiring pool over the last several years? Finally, given the mayor’s proposed charter expansion in the near future, do you believe you will retain sufficient depth in your hiring pool over the long term to continue recruiting the kind of teachers you need to fulfill your mission?

  • 932. EdgewaterMom  |  September 15, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I also have reservations about Charters. However, it seems like the GOOD charters are a great option. I think that having options is a great thing. However, I fear that CPS wants to rely too heavily on charters, rather than fixing CPS.

    If I lived in a neighborhood without a decent local school, I would definitely want to try a charter. I do think that a big part of the Charter schools’ success is the fact that the students and parents are all committed to education. While I would hate to see the city fill up with charter schools and local schools filled with only the children with behavior problems, special needs etc, I also hate to say “Hey, nobody gets to go to a school filled with other kids that are committed to education.”

    Again, if I trusted CPS, this would not be a problem. They could open a few charter schools to give students options, WHILE CONTINUING to invest in CPS. It seems like it should not have to be an ‘either or’ option.

    I don’t know much about the charter schools in Chicago, but I have heard great things about Noble. I guess I need to start researching more about this, because I think that it is going to become a critical part of the education debate in Chicago.

  • 933. CPS Parent  |  September 15, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I think for many parents the choice between the “neighborhood” school or charter school is a decision making process that involves more than test scores.

    I find it interesting that the same voices who rail against standardized test based valuation of schools are very quick to deride charter schools which are sub-par exclusively by their test scores. It seems to me that parents who are choosing low scoring charters are looking beyond test performance when making their choices.

  • 934. cpsobsessed  |  September 15, 2012 at 9:35 am

    @cps parent: well that is an interesting point about the test score usage inconsistency.

    Likewise, I wish that rahm etc would not be so quick to judge the charters on test scores given the apples to oranges comparison.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 935. In search of a parent group  |  September 15, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I am a minority parent from the southside of Chicago and I know that combination represents a small percentage of the CPSO audience, not to mention the regular poster. But, I truly value the opinions and information that is exchanged on this site and I think most of the “real” posters want what is best for the children of CPS. With that said, I am hoping someone can point me in the direction of any organized parents groups that seem to really be “for the children” with no hidden agendas.

  • 936. Tchr  |  September 15, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Good questions Mr. Pytel. Family Friend and other charter supporters, I would also add, what specifically about the teachers or curriculum at charter schools make them better than regular neighborhood public schools? I think that Namaste and Academy for Global Citizenship have very interesting outlooks on education and nurturing the whole child. I think that many teachers would feel the same, but with demands for higher test scores, accountability for time on instruction, and data, data, data, I am not sure that every charter school or public school can replicate what these small schools do. (I read an article the other day that in a preschool, less time was spent on teaching how to wash hands and brush teeth and that cots were taken away because nap time wasn’t educational enough!)

    What inside the classrooms in charter schools make them better? Is it just getting the cream of the crop? Do the teachers really know more, care more, teacher better? What kind of teaching goes on? How is it different than what happens in a neighborhood school? What kind of curriculum? Or is it the behavior regulations? We all read about that school last year that fined students for chewing gum and having shirts not tucked in. Do charter schools nit pick behavior to keep students in line? Is THAT what makes them better than other schools? And if/when students rebel and are kicked out, where do they go?

    I do realize not every charter school is the same. Individual schools may be great and others (perhaps in a different neighborhood or managed by a different company) may not be so good. But other than keeping the “rif raf” out (which is understandably appealing to parents), what teaching and learning inside the schools is happening? And what is happening, is it something that can be replicated in other schools?

  • 937. anonymous  |  September 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Forget Democrats for Education Reform Now or their subset Education Reform Now. They are funded by hedge fund managers.
    Forget Stand for Children. They are funded by billionaires locally and nationally to push an agenda across the country regardless o what the local school district desires.

    Both groups support the privatization of public schools — their reforms are top-down mandates, which is how we came to hae a strike after 25 years of labor peace.

    I’ll list some groups that are not funded by the wealthy. You might want to read PURE’s blog and from it get to know the very knowledgeable Julie Wosthof. Also Parents Across America, which has an informative blog. Leonie Haimson, of Class Size Matters. Local groups include Raise Your Hand, 19th Ward Parents, Grimes-Fleming’s Parents, and Parents4Teacher. All have Facebook pages to follow.

  • 938. Jackie  |  September 15, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I don’t think it is a “test score” inconsistency. Test scores can be very useful as a broad measure of many students over many years, but when using them to bore down on a class-by-class basis, standard deviations come into play.

  • 939. anonymous  |  September 15, 2012 at 9:59 am

    http://www.isbe.state.il.us/charter/pdf/biennial_rpt_09-10_10-11.pdf

    Here is the Illinois State Board of Education report on charter performance. The latest figures available show charter schools’ performance is deteriorating significantly.

    Charter School Academic Performance

    In 2009-2010, 26.3% of charter schools made Average Yearly Progress. And 13.6% of charter schools made Average Yearly Progress in 2010-2011.

    The 2009-2010 high school graduation rate among all charter schools was 80.3%. The 2010-2011 high school graduation rate among all charter school was 63.5%

  • 940. anonymous  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Charters are not a magic bullet and their expansion divert funds away from traditional neighborhood schools that need more support to serve the increasing number of poor students.

  • 941. Todd Pytel  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I agree with Jackie – standardized tests are a useful long-term, aggregate measure of academic achievement. (Though not the only one, of course.) I certainly study our school’s EPAS results very closely every year. Even there, though, you need to be aware of demographic shifts that may be affecting overall results – it’s not as simple as just “we went up” or “we went down”. But measuring whole-school results over a span of several years is a completely different thing than using tests to measure teacher effectiveness in a single year, with small samples, and possibly numerous confounding variables.

    And those are great questions from Tchr. I would love to know more about what goes on in charter classrooms – this knowledge-sharing was a major purpose of charters in the first place, but is sadly nonexistent in the current landscape. My impression from charter teachers that I’ve spoken with is that instruction runs the gamut from truly fascinating, innovative work to nearly thoughtless script-following and test-prepping.

  • 942. Tchr  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Fwiw, I work in a “bad” school that has been making gains in our test scores in the past few years. Yay! Our test scores are going up, and if they continue going up quick enough, hopefully our school won’t be closed or turned around and we won’t all lose our jobs. Boo. Our curriculum is very narrow, and I teach way more reading than I teach science or social studies. Boo. The upper grades are in heavy ISAT prep mode from Day 1 until the kids take the tests.

    If our school ever got to being a 90/90/90 school (90% free lunch, 90% minority, 90% achieving), it still would never be the type of school most dedicated parents would want to send their child to. Who wants to be taught how to take the ISAT every day of their school life?

  • 943. anonymous  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Where is Juan / Chris and Angie today?

  • 944. anonymous  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Tchr, I agree with you about test prep taking over the curriculum. Is it the right way to go?

  • 945. cpsobsessed  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:14 am

    @tchr; I agree – great list of questions for a parent when looking at charters. Obviously each is gonna be different.

    @Todd – when you’ve looked at the schoolwide numbers have they made sense? My first glance at the value-added numbers by school looked like there wasn’t much consistency in a 2 year period.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 946. Katherine  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:15 am

    905. “Penny Pritzker who is on the Board of Ed is from one of the wealthiest familes in the city of Chicago yet a subtantial amount of TIF money was given to her new hotel enterprise. Where is our outrage there? No we reserve that for our teachers who dared to stand up to the mayor.”

    The school Board from day 1 has suffered from “appointments” which means the board will be populated with people who agree with Administration and with few exceptions have been very wealthy or politically connected people. Most politically connected people are very wealthy. With CPS wanting to wash their hands of dealing with the realities of poverty impact on education they are more than happy to have rich people take over their own responsibilities.

    To have a fair school board 2 CPS parents in a free school should be elected in an all school election, and “appointments” should be done with CTU, Parent council input.

    The school board is out of touch and all the policy degrees and ‘book learnin” and spreadsheets the policymakers claim to have does not replace understanding the experience of education in schools.

    I am against Charters because that is money that won;t go into fixing the neighborhood schools, creating a two-tiered system which is so un-democratic and ulitmately classist. We have to educate gangsters and kids with social problems and homeless kids too–if we don;t they are being doubly failed. Just being purely economic, this costs us more money in the long run; Kids who the system fails usually can’t get a job or could/do turn to crime. Expensive for everyone.

    We are supposed to be a class-less society but we have become so again through CPS.

    If the million/billionaires care so much about education they can fix the schools than rather look a it as a new business–a business that doesn’t serve all the customers, just some it picks.

  • 947. Katherine  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Tchr

    good for you–it is sad to have to teach to the test.

    I hope your school stays open and get parents involved to keep it open! The kids obviously are doing well and better (well at least in the testing sense) and it will be a source of pride in the community.

    If you need more Science resources contact me, in fact anyone should contact me, as it is our worst area in Chicago.

  • 948. cpsobsessed  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I really wish we could lure a hard core reformer onto this board to act as a counterpoint. I’d be curious to see how they’d respond to some of the issues posed about charters….

    I guess regarding why they don’t fund the neighborhood schools with their billions is that they’d say that so far, the way the big urban school systems have tried it, it doesn’t work. Then they saw success in some of these first high profile urban charters. And they have high hopes of extending that model…

    But the obvious point remains – what is the fallout to the remaining schools?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 949. cubswin  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:20 am

    @938. Jackie said…..

    “I don’t think it is a “test score” inconsistency. Test scores can be very useful as a broad measure of many students over many years, but when using them to bore down on a class-by-class basis, standard deviations come into play.”

    That’s true. What’s often not pointed out is that testing does seem to be a fairly good indicator of principal performance.
    Hopefully, over time testing will align better with good curriculum, and become more accurate at measuring teachers. Thoughtful educators in the reform ‘camp’ aren’t idiots who think current testing practices are good enough.
    Testing as part of evaluation and pay currently works fairly well in school system where there’s trust between teachers and bosses.
    I’m glad testing is in the new contract. But I hope it’s a ‘go slow’ approach. I doubt the BOE really wanted the extreme position they first presented.

  • 950. cpsobsessed  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Okay, I am going to stop reading/posting for a while but you guys always suck me in!
    I lot of people have emailed me with links, petitions, etc and I have to look through those….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 951. cubswin  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:25 am

    cpsob, you have hard core reformers here. ‘Chris’ was all over the board yesterday.
    The advantage most reformers have is exposure to both types of low income schools (union and charter).

  • 952. Tchr  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Something I think about every day…

    Am I thinking of children and their needs more when I conduct my kindergarten classroom in the way most would think of a kindergarten classroom (lots of dramatic play, games, handwriting, how to be a friend, how to share, working problems out with friends, etc)

    Or am I thinking of the children and their needs when I teach them the proper way to color in a bubble on a multiple choice test, when I push,push, push reading and non-fiction texts and leave out fun fiction stories? (This way helps them become better test takers as they get accustomed to the way questions are asked and how to answer them… THIS WAY also serves my needs as it helps me keep my job and my admin sees the scores and growth they want to see…. But is it really in the best interest of the children and their needs? I justify both by TRYING to do a combo. Who knows if it is enough and if my school will still be closed.)

  • 953. anonymous  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:26 am

    948 — you have got charter supporters here already.

    Expanding charters means less money for neighborhood schools.
    Charters perform about the same, maybe a few better and some worse.

    CPS can’t afford a quality longer day and a big increase in charters. Why not support the neighborhood schools?

  • 954. cubswin  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Tchr, you make a case for a longer school day.

  • 955. Todd Pytel  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:28 am

    @945 (CPSO) – Generally, yes. They make sense. Their implications about which programs, departments, and initiatives are strong match up reasonably well with what see or suspect from our day-to-day experience. However, I have a lot more demographic and program information available to help slice up those results, as well as historical data to better understand where a given set of students were when they entered and thus what kind of progress they made. If you’re only using what’s publicly available, you don’t get nearly enough of that contextual data to get a clear picture of what’s going on.

  • 956. cubswin  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:31 am

    IMO, charter discussion should really be split between primary and secondary. Or perhaps k-5 and 6-12.

  • 957. Jackie  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:31 am

    anonymous – when i fist started posting on this topic, I was called a troll. I did not like it and stood up for myself and others. I was ticked when lawmom told you to leave the site, its wrong. Chris’s facts, ideas and opinions are who he is.

  • 958. anonymous  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Tchr — I understand your dilemma.

    Testing has become a fact of life for even our littlest kids.

    I think it is because of the money to be made when every kid is tested in every subject, and every teacher’s performance is evaluated by these tests. And the teacher’s test scores will follow them throughout their career, another product or sale.

    But for the kids? I know you know this, but I have to say that test prep is just so boring.

  • 959. Elmer  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Juan / Chris and Angie might be prepping parent for the mayor’s press conference at 11:30 today.

  • 960. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Children are being tested to death thanks to no child left behind. And as many folks know, test scores don’t tell the whole story. And, in my opinion, a yearly ISAT score doesn’t indicate whether the teacher that year was effective or not. But testing should be used as part of a child’s assessment. If a child was performing at a high level at the beginning of the year then slips to average at mid-year, what’s going on? If a child begins the year as a poor performer and makes no progress by the end of the year, what’s going on? What intervention is appropriate and is this intervention working? Are high performers being appropriately challenged to keep them engaged? Are struggling students identified and given the help they need to ensure they improve? And are struggling students monitored to make sure that the interventions are working? This is the type of information that would be useful to have at hand when evaluating the effectiveness of teaching at schools…whether charter or not.

  • 961. Pvt. Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Two great comments here. I hope that when the strike happens some of the teachers who have stopped by won’t go away.

    “I would love to know more about what goes on in charter classrooms – this knowledge-sharing was a major purpose of charters in the first place, but is sadly nonexistent in the current landscape.”

    Exactly.

    “If our school ever got to being a 90/90/90 school (90% free lunch, 90% minority, 90% achieving), it still would never be the type of school most dedicated parents would want to send their child to. Who wants to be taught how to take the ISAT every day of their school life?”

    Somewhere in all of these threads someone at one of the better performing neighborhood schools said that they got a new principal and that the plan for this year was not to do test prep. That person said that at the principal’s previous school they had just focused on working well with the core curriculum and the test scores came out just fine. SES (or more precisely parent SES) is the best predictor of test scores. Higher SES parents, who implicitly assume at least average performance in these tests, seek out more challenging, more fulfilling environments. From our own experiences (and we weren’t tested nearly as much back in the day!!) we know that these generally do not involve worksheets, answering the questions at the end of the chapter, etc. They are usually hands-on, open-ended, project based, experiential, and in some way driven by the student’s own engagement with the material. This is why neighborhood schools in poor areas need more resources than they’re getting. There’s no special sauce. Even surmounting the Herculean task of getting to the 90/90/90 doesn’t necessarily mean that the majority of students have been educated in the way that will make them truly competitive with peers who have had the luxury of more engaging educational experiences throughout their schooling. Its not just the funding disparity between say, a Winnetka first grade and an Englewood first grade, but the whole way the children are being educated.

  • 962. Todd Pytel  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:42 am

    @958 – There is certainly a great deal of money being made by various parties through the current testing arrangements. I think the home page of Pearson (the biggest educational corp) speaks volumes. Go check out http://www.pearson.com. Right on top, right in the center you get their current share price. Good to see we’ve got our priorities straight.

  • 963. Tchr  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Cubswin. That extra time has been directed to give an extra block of reading. Seriously. (track e) No time for play!

  • 964. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:52 am

    There’s no good way to find all of the blog comments, reports and testimony by Rod Estvan (note spelling) of Access Living. You could Google “Rod Estvan” + “charter schools”, “Rod Estvan” + “CPS budget”, “Rod Estvan” + “disabilities” or “disabled” or “special needs”, etc. He posts on District 299 Blog, Catalyst-Chicago, substancenews.net, and is quoted (far too rarely) by mainstream media. You might also find some links to his posted reports or press releases referencing them here: http://www.accessliving.org/index.php?tray=search_results&search=report%20Estvan&ordersr=datePublished&orderdirsr=DESC.

  • 965. EdgewaterMom  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:52 am

    @Tchr It sounds to me like we need to change the way that we test young children (and testing in general). If the tests are testing the right thing, then “teaching to the test” would not have to be so negative! I agree, it is ridiculous to have to teach 5 year olds how to fill in a bubble!

    Are any of the current tests helpful? I have heard some teachers say that NWEA is useful and actually gives them good information, but I honestly don’t know enough about any of the tests to have an informed opinion.

    For the older kids, I am really hoping that the tests that come out for Common Core are much better than the ISATs.

  • 966. CPS Parent  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:53 am

    935. In search of a parent group – I think all the parent groups in Chicago have agendas. Generally speaking there are the pro-charter school groups and the anti charter school groups. Stand for Children is one of the most “pro” and is less of a parents led group and is well funded by charter school proponents. A genuinely “grassroots” group is Raise Your Hand (RYH) which is virulently anti charter and seems closely associated with the CTU and its members.

    You pick your battle and choose a group.

  • 967. cubswin  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:54 am

    @ Tchr
    The only way I personally tolerated elementary school was recess, PE and art. Schools just aren’t made for boys.

  • 968. cubswin  |  September 15, 2012 at 10:58 am

    @964. another CPS mom …………

    “There’s no good way to find all of the blog comments, reports and testimony by Rod Estvan”

    Rod is great, but he’s also apparently been a paid lobbyist for the CTU. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t express his honest opinion. But most people spending a lot of time researching are being paid by someone.

  • 969. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Radical differences? Maybe I’m missing something, but how exactly are the Chicago charter schools so radically different (experimental laboratories?) than the general full-service neighborhood grade and high schools? Is it mainly time-on-task or student population differences? Everyone I know who’s attended a charter school talks about their schooling in a way that makes it seem like it’s the same as what’s offered in the neighborhood schools in terms of its design and structure. I’d love to see really different models, like the old Metro high school (the school “without walls”) or project-based schools, or one-subject per month schools, etc.

  • 970. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Rod a paid lobbyist of CTU. No, he’s a white guy who’s a paid lobbyist of Access Living, a former trader and high-level financial guy, a graduate of CPS low-income schools, former sped teacher in all-black “ghetto” CPS high school, former Corey H monitor, parent of CPS graduates (one SE and one sped), and massively talented and insightful person. From what I can tell.

  • 971. Katherine  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:08 am

    948. “I guess regarding why they don’t fund the neighborhood schools with their billions is that they’d say that so far, the way the big urban school systems have tried it, it doesn’t work.”

    They never tried it–they gave the Boards more money in some cities but teachers, social workers etc would argue (and correctly) that it never got to the kids–i.e. addressing their problems.

    No matter how much you appropriate money to an entity if the management does not properly target it to the underlying CAUSES of problems (poverty; violence etc) rather than the result (TEST SCORES) then nothing changes.

    They haven’t tried–I dare them to actually look at causes–the social workers and case managers are a rich source of info in our schools–info that is not being used to improve kids services.

    The wealthy donors do not want a public system they seem to want a private system they can control. Education is a big business but at the University end I hope that bubble will bust soon so we can get back to focusing on Primary education.

  • 972. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Parent group: PURE. But, its agenda is probably not in line with folks’ here. Check it out, though.

  • 973. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

    @967. cubswin | September 15, 2012 at 10:54 am

    @ Tchr
    The only way I personally tolerated elementary school was recess, PE and art. Schools just aren’t made for boys.

    — That’s the point of the new book making the rounds: The End of Men.

  • 974. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Another parents’ group: Beverly Area Parents for Special Education, led by Mary Hughes, 773 419 0240 or faheyhughes (at) sbcglobal.net

  • 975. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:26 am

    @ 935. In search of a parent group | September 15, 2012 at 9:39 am

    “I am a minority parent from the southside of Chicago and I know that combination represents a small percentage of the CPSO audience, not to mention the regular poster. But, I truly value the opinions and information that is exchanged on this site and I think most of the “real” posters want what is best for the children of CPS. With that said, I am hoping someone can point me in the direction of any organized parents groups that seem to really be “for the children” with no hidden agendas.”

    I’d say every group will likely have an “agenda.” Once a member or leader becomes informed, they form an informed opinion of a solution and method of reaching it. Therein lies the agenda. “Follow the money” is usually a good lens through which to consider any advocacy group, IMHO. Also, ask who’s being “left behind.”

    It’s human nature to look out for our own kids’ interest first, and then try (or just hope) for the greater good. Not many would go a different route, it seems.

  • 976. cubswin  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:27 am

    @971. Katherine said…..

    “The wealthy donors do not want a public system they seem to want a private system they can control. ”

    Simplistically, it splits into two groups. The far right believes the many union teachers are selfish, and teacher unions are inherently evil. The ‘new democrat’ type believe that change must happen, but are much less ideological and intolerant.

    Few people from either group have the slightest interest in making money on schools. (That doesn’t mean schools aren’t ‘big business’, and that companies don’t go after the dollars).

    In many ways the CTU’s fight would be easier if the motivation of their opponent was financial gain.

  • 977. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:32 am

    @ 930. Paul | September 15, 2012 at 8:59 am

    “In general, I’m not a fan of charter schools. The only time I wished my kids were in a charter school rather than our traditional neighborhood was during this strike. Otherwise, charters, to me, feel too gimmicky and unstable. If the Board decides it’s failing, they just don’t renew the charter, and everybody moves to another school.”

    — I seriously doubt that CPS would ever close a charter school once opened. It would be very disruptive to the students attending. The school closures will be saved for the neighborhood schools. — Does anyone know: Has any charter school been closed for “underperforming”? I think I recall one closed for financial mismanagement. Not sure.

  • 978. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Before the proliferation of charters began, were neighborhood schools performing better than they are now?

  • 979. Pvt. Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:35 am

    @973. I haven’t read that book (so I can’t vouch for its content or quality) but its definitely in line with ed researchers’ new concern for a growing achievement gap between low-income boys and girls. The girls seem to be gaining ground while the boys are not. Personally, I can’t see how the testing stuff is helping any. Little boys especially need to move and get their hands messy and be able to break things apart and be shown how to put them together again. Learning how to read doesn’t have to start in kindergarten in order to produce a literate citizenry. Many countries (Finland!) don’t do it this way. We know this. Are any public schools out there working with this issue creatively and having any results?

  • 980. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:37 am

    @ 918. Pvt. Mom | September 15, 2012 at 12:07 am

    @896.HSObsessed. “I just logged in for the first time in 24 hours: Can someone please summarize what I missed in 140 characters or less?”

    “It was a troll-tastic meltdown. But then I had a vision of Studs Terkel telling me to enjoy the beautiful day and a beer. And so I did.”

    — Oh, I would have loved to chat with Studs about CPS, etc. Miss him.

  • 981. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Pvt Mom: See the article version here: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/308135/.

    It’s gonna be interesting in a few months when a bunch of 7th-grade boys take the state tests and go for the grades that will help decide if they win a seat in the SEHSs. Girls have the edge.

  • 982. Pvt. Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:42 am

    “Few people from either group have the slightest interest in making money on schools.”

    What?! Google “new markets tax credit.” Think about why corporations such as Walmart (or, more accurately their foundation) backs charter initiatives. There are definitely people/organizations in this world who stand to profit from either 1) adding certain kinds of lending to their investment portfolio (ie hedge funds) or 2) reducing the overall tax burden of an intractable unionized public school system. Not to mention the publishing and testing industry that profits from the need to compare and contrast schools as Todd mentioned earlier.

  • 983. HS Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:48 am

    @946 Katherine – “I am against Charters because that is money that won;t go into fixing the neighborhood schools, creating a two-tiered system which is so un-democratic and ulitmately classist”

    Katherine, you say your son goes to AJLA. How is this any different from parents who send their kids to charters? Would you send your child to your neighborhood school?

  • 984. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Pvt mom – I haven’t heard of any public schools doing this. Maybe a charter? From what I’ve heard, Sacred Heart is very good at teaching the typical boy. But it’s private, of course.

  • 985. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:48 am

    “As a parent I didn’t have a say in this decision, it seemed very un-democratic.” — Well, you do. You could work to make Illinois a “right-to-work state” so we don’t have closed shops and that would weaken unions. You could work to eliminate the right to strike of public employees in Illinois. You could also work to weaken collective bargaining rights on the national level. Both Republican and Democrat politicians are collaborating on this (unintentionally or not). So, take it back to the roots and you can help shape the society and government you want. Send your kids to Mikva Challenge and get them cracking on this too. (This is NOT snark. I’m serious.)

  • 986. HS Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:51 am

    @948 – yes CPSO – also recent grant for 34 million to fund teachers working in challenging schools turned down by CTU.

  • 987. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:52 am

    FWIW: I love Rod Estvan’s suggestion that all Illinois charter schools should be separated into their own “school district.” That way they could more easily enjoy the benefits of scale and also separate their financials from the public schools. He says the charter schools are poised for a fall financially, and it’d be bad to have that future hooked to CPS. [Hope I interpreted his POV correctly!]

  • 988. hopeful for the future of public education  |  September 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Reading the varying viewpoints expressed about CPS and CTU made me think of a discussion that I had with a friend many months ago. This friend was a teacher at a school which has become a turnaround school. Along with the trunaround status, the school received ( if I recall correctly) around 5 or 6 million dollars to accomplish the turnaround. The school is not that old to begin with, it had AC, and was is pretty good condition according to my friend. My question was at that time, and I guess still is, if AUSL needed 5 or 6 million to improve the space and academics at this school, why were these needs not addressed and funded by CPS prior to the turnaround? It does not make sense to say that the school is underperforming and needs an overhaul that will take millions of dollars to accomplish, yet only come up with these improvements afterwards. Why didn’t they give the school these things before it was shut down? Does it bother anyone else that turnarounds get these huge infusions of cash to presumably make the school better only after CPS turns it over to someone else? It sort of strikes me that CPS admits that they can’t do what it necessary to improve schools on their own. it’s kind of frightening. I guess it is part of the reason I found myself leaning more toward supporting the CTU – they have seen firsthand the inequities of funding and support given to their schools.

    I agree with with the ideas that this new contract will probably have a limited impact on real school issues, like class size, more of the needed services (nurses, counselors, social workers, etc.), but I have hope that it will have at least put these issues out there and will inspire more dialogue and garner more support to make these improvements in the future.

  • 989. Pvt. Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    @980. There’s broader principles at play here that he would have a lot to say about. I’d like to hear them too.

    @981. Thanks. Will read.

    @984. Maybe that HS charter (forget the name) where the guys get the new ties when they get into college? Can’t think if anything being done at the elementary level, though. I would say thats more important because thats when the boys can get turned off to school, thinking that there’s nothing in it for them or that they are stupid when its really how they are being taught.

  • 990. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Anyone good at checking numbers? Here’s Sarah’s new story: http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/news/2012/09/08/20406/central-office-major-turnover-minimal-savings

  • 991. cubswin  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    @982. Pvt. Mom ………

    What?! Google “new markets tax credit.”

    My response was specific to the group “wealthy donors”. Many wealthy people are looking to do good with their money while they’re still alive. It’s much better than ruining the lives of future ungrateful heirs.

    But I will extend my belief in altruistic motivation to the many former union teachers and admins who have stepped up and started charters with the intention of doing better for low income students.

  • 992. Pvt. Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    @991. “My response was specific to the group “wealthy donors”.”

    Ok. Thanks for the clarification. I agree that there is also altruism involved as well. “Many wealthy people are looking to do good with their money while they’re still alive. It’s much better than ruining the lives of future ungrateful heirs.” 🙂 Wish I had that problem… But, yes, both altruism and self-interest are involved and a fair discussion about charters must acknowledge that. BTW, I am actually very much in favor of the “lab school” model for charters. We need lots more opportunities to try things out and scale up what works. I just don’t think we are getting much, if anything, in the way of that for the investment Chicagoans/Illinoisans have made in charters.

  • 993. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Pvt Mom – Urban Prep is the name of the boys high school, I think.

  • 994. cpsobsessed  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Where do the turnaround schools stand on the public-charter spectrum? Are those teachers cheaper, non-union I assume?

    For the school remodeling, it seems the thought is that the school gets an entirely fresh start with staff and appearance. I don’t think there is the sense that a facelift to the building when the (alleged ineffective) staff remains in place.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 995. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Urban Prep is successful at educating some of its freshmen through their senior year. If I recall correctly, about half of the freshies leave the school before graduation. The school reports that it follows its grads into college and supports them. (Perhaps Posse Foundation does that better?) Still, for boys (and girls) from all SES, college is not always the best option. But Urban Prep might help for low income boys. One kid I know who attends there is mainly seeking to get keep out of his dangerous neighborhood school. Google: “Rod Estvan” + “Urban Prep” + 2010 (or other years) for some poop about the school’s methods. 😉 Maybe throw in “ACT scores”.

  • 996. another CPS mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    What I’ve read: Turnaround teachers are younger and whiter as a body than the teacher corp they replace.

  • 997. In search of a parent group  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    @937. anonymous and @another cps mom – thanks for your helpful responses about my search for a parents organization. Hopefully I will be able to find one where the agenda is something I believe in as well. Off the research!

    OAN: is the reason why the delegates couldnt vote on ending the strike today was because they would rather hold a rally/party in
    Union park?

  • 998. HS Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    @997 – you’ll find different takes on this too. They have made a statement that the delegates want to read and review the contract and make sure that all negotiated issues are included and in writing. Which is reasonable. The fact that it co-insides with a Saturday rally, a scheduled “Wisconsin style” fest complete with visiting unions and the ability to get greater press with no agreement may be additional reasons to push back. If all points agreed and in writing one would think the process could be quicker considering that parents are on hold and they are still questioning Monday. Delegates were supposed to meet Friday and changed to Sunday. Unclear if they had a written document Friday but, according to reports they do have one now. They will also have the board rewrite anything unacceptable before starting school Monday.

  • 999. Cake for all!!  |  September 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Interesting. Conflicting.

    http://www.ausl-chicago.org/about-faq.html

    “No. Even in failing schools there are some good teachers and staff, and they find opportunities elsewhere. School turnaround isn’t about any individual teacher. It’s about creating a team of teachers who are specially trained for the challenges of re-creating an entire school culture and transforming an urban school from failure to success. The system-wide, whole school transformation brings in new talent and resources, and dramatically raises expectations for everyone in the school: school leaders, teachers, staff, students and parents. And it is working.”

    “AUSL is a nonprofit enterprise created specifically to help develop a pipeline of teachers selected and trained for the demands of urban schools. AUSL manages turnaround schools under contract with CPS. AUSL schools are and remain CPS schools during their turnaround. The teachers are all Chicago Teachers Union members and all school staff members are CPS employees.”

    “AUSL’s financial support comes from a variety of sources. CPS provides resources to support part of the cost of AUSL’s urban teacher residency program and its turnaround schools. AUSL also is supported by donations from foundations and individuals. Major donors include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which has donated $10 million over four years), New Schools Venture Fund, The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Boeing, The US Department of Education, The Illinois State Board of Education and other groups and individuals.”

  • 1000. Todd Pytel  |  September 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    “Delegates were supposed to meet Friday and changed to Sunday.”

    No. Delegates *met* Friday and will meet again Sunday.

    “Unclear if they had a written document Friday…”

    Delegates did not receive anything in writing about the contract on Friday – neither formal language nor an informal summary.

    “…but, according to reports they do have one now.”

    I’ve not yet seen any reports to that effect.

  • 1001. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Reports say the board was working on this document until 3am, then were back at work at 9am. If the delegates have it in hand now, I sure hope they are Reading it, instead of marching around at the park while everyone waits for them to provide feedback and vote.

  • 1002. HS Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    1000, 1001

    Here’s what the latest Trib story

    “Lawyers for the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools are back at work today attempting to hammer out the details of an agreement that could get 350,000 Chicago public schools students back into the classroom on Monday.
    Lawyers for Chicago Public Schools began drafting a new teachers’ contract this morning based on a framework hammered out during five days of negotiations during this week’s teachers strike.

    They started at 9 a.m. this morning and expect to be done with legal language by Sunday afternoon.He then made reference to the union rally set for noon at Union Park at Ashland Avenue and Lake Street on the Near West Side. Teachers will gather there before marching to Garfield Park.

    “We’re going to take a little break for lunch, and we’re probably going to go to the rally,” he said. “There’s going to be a big rally at Union Park. We expect 40 – 50,000 people there, and then we’re back at it, and we’re going to work as long as it takes today to get something accomplished.”

    Sounds like they are working it out together and trying to get it done ASAP – I sure hope so. I believe the “legal language” is the final detail for the document.

  • 1003. Greater Good  |  September 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Speaking of Finland:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/

    This article raises a number of interesting points, but I want to emphasize just a few for right now, points that feel relevant to the charter vs. non-charter debate. The article states that Finland has have achieved test scores comparable to those of South Korea and Singapore, but by very different means, and with a very different goal guiding their educational decisions. Right now in our American system, most schools strive to achieve high test scores. That is a clearly stated goal, and one that has been increasingly reinforced by funding, evaluations, prestige, respect, and job security. I am not here to say that test scores don’t matter — they do matter, to some degree — but I want to push our thinking in a few directions.

    It is possible for schools to achieve high test scores. Charter schools, neighborhood schools, private schools, Finland, and Singapore have all done this — it’s possible in diverse settings. But we have to look deeper than the scores and understand why and, more importantly, how those scores are achieved. Some schools are able to do it because of their outside SES factors, some schools do it because they can (yes) force kids out when they don’t adhere to strict policies, some schools do it by accident because they provide basic needs that their kids are lacking and then the test scores inadvertently follow. Some schools are able to achieve high test scores by doing test-prep for 100% of the school day. That’s certainly one way to get high scores, but what skills and tools are being taught? And at what loss? Memorization, maybe a bit of question analysis, some attention to detail, all certainly play a role in test prep. These are good things, but they aren’t all of the things necessary for a rich and comprehensive education. Incredibly strict, rigid discipline is one way to help students study and memorize facts, but it might not be the best way for students to struggle with (and learn how to grapple with) their own abilities to create, experiment, and practice the independent self-control that will be necessary come graduation. We need to look deeper at what we mean by “success.” As one commenter pointed out, some schools have helped their students reach very high test scores in high school, but they might actually be doing their students a disservice because of the discrepancy in skills needed for college. They aren’t just academic skills, or facts on a test — they are life skills and social skills, aspects of “success” that are absent from tests. When we choose to focus on test scores, we need to understand what they actually mean, and what is actually happening in schools (for better or worse) to achieve them. There are a lot of potential paths to high scores, but are scores really the thing that matters, or do we have a different goal in mind? In some cases, scores may correlate with what we really want — but this isn’t true in all cases, and the current climate in schools is creating increasing divergence. We can’t forget that we started caring about scores for a reason. Why do we care? How can we go back to caring about, and focusing our efforts on improving, whatever we cared about to begin with?

    We are not Finland, nor South Korea, nor Singapore. But we can learn lessons from one or all of them. We are America, and we already know we are failing on education. We have our own ideals and priorities — but what are they? This strike is a pivotal time to reevaluate our identity as a country (or city) with certain values and goals. We each have our own opinions about this, but what are a few things we can agree on?

    Lastly, I want to emphasize this message from the article, which I think sums up a lot of what I am trying to grapple with myself — Finland has achieved our goal of competition (with other countries) by focusing on a commitment to cooperation (within themselves). How are our goals, and our commitments, and what we emphasize, and what we teach, and their repercussions, really working?

    While charter schools can be incredibly diverse themselves, and I hesitate to compare them too broadly, one aspect that they do share is the need to state and stay focused on a goal. Some schools choose to focus on the goal of obtaining higher test scores. Those schools might achieve that goal, and I will say again, for better or worse. Other schools have different goals, and there is real diversity to be found, although maybe not to the extent that we need. This is a time when CPS needs a goal, Chicago needs a goal, and (dare I say) some charters need some new goals — but what should they be? America needs a new educational goal as a country. Not ten goals, but one goal. A focus, a mission, something that comes first. Children, maybe? What does that mean?

    What does it mean to you?

  • 1004. Todd Pytel  |  September 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    @983 (HS Mom) – “Katherine, you say your son goes to AJLA. How is this any different from parents who send their kids to charters?”

    It’s not, IMO – and my kids attend a well-known magnet, so you could just as well have posed the question to me. But you can’t equate sound individual choices with sound public policy. Opponents of charter schools aren’t faulting parents for sending their kids to a charter if that’s an improvement over their alternatives. That’s a perfectly reasonable decision. But, collectively, perfectly reasonable individual decisions can still weaken our school system.

    Chicago has far too much stratification of schools at every level – magnets and charters are both part of this situation. I think one can make a reasonable case that both extremes of student background, preparation, and talent require specific resources and structures to meet their educational needs. But we’ve extended the cut-offs way beyond the point of reason. There are too many students from academically supportive families that are populating schools full of similar students, rather than being served by appropriate programs in neighborhood schools that could greatly benefit from those students and families. And there are too many disadvantaged children in schools overwhelmed by the culture of poverty, rather than being served by appropriate programs in more economically/culturally diverse neighborhood schools.

    It’s a crappy system, but we’re all in it and have little choice but to play by its rules – our kids aren’t going to get a second chance at a quality education. But that doesn’t mean it’s good public policy and that we shouldn’t be thinking about how to pull back from the course of increasing stratification and segregation that we’re on.

  • 1005. HS Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    @1004 – Todd, I understand. My comment was directed at Katherine’s statement that she is “against Charters because that is money that won;t go into fixing the neighborhood schools, creating a two-tiered system which is so un-democratic and ulitmately classist”.

    Sound individual choices are OK if they are magnets and not charters? Are they both not creating a 2 tiered system and ultimately classicist?

    I completely agree with “sound individual choices” which may include charters for some.

  • 1006. HS Mom  |  September 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    sorry – hit the enter button too soon.

    So, are you suggesting Todd that this movement now, today is in part about eliminating or phasing out both charters and Magnet/SE/gifted?