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Thread: Chicago Teachers Strike 2012

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    Re: Chicago Teachers Strike 2012

    That's not even funny.

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    Re: Chicago Teachers Strike 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    Graduation rates are important. If Johnny can't read, write, or do math, at least theoretically (and discounting social promotion), he won't graduate. Who's supposed to be teaching little Johnny the "Three R's"?
    I never said they weren't important. I said that the entirety of teacher performance cannot be measured by it and that it's idiotic to do so. Just as idiotic as it would be to say that housing rates are down because of realtors.

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    Re: Chicago Teachers Strike 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by nathanj63 View Post
    #1 -- Pay and benefits are not really a big issue. I saw a number of signs today saying things like "If you think it's about the money, you need to do your homework" or "It's not about the money." It seems at this point especially the board and the CTU are close to agreeing on pay and benefits going forward. This is honestly at the bottom of my agenda.

    #2 -- I honestly think that the strike has everything to do with the complete lack of respect given teachers by the board, the media, and others. They don't trust us to know how to teach our own kids! Stop micromanaging us!!! These programs/curriculums, the longer school day, merit based testing, the closure of low performing schools, all of these ideas that are implemented in hopes of improving student outcomes came from the top. Who is missing from this conversation? The teachers! We are HONESTLY the experts when it comes how to best educate our students. But NO ONE has been asking us what WE think about what should be done! And again, it seems to me that this comes down to a lack of respect. They are wasting their most precious resource, US! Beyond that, they are treating us like children and not respecting the time, effort, and professionalism we put into the job!

    #3 -- I completely understand why people would be for a merit pay system. I personally would not be against one, but I would need to see it first. I would personally worry that it would end up rewarding teachers who teach at the better schools -selective enrollment schools, magnet schools, etc.- and punish those who teach in the most challenging schools, which is the exact opposite of what you want. I would worry about whether I will be responsible for students who miss 10%-25%-50% of class. I would be worried that it would be to my disadvantage to teach students how to do proofs in Geometry because they are not on the ACT, even though I feel that teaching students that type of rigorous logical thinking is extremely beneficial.

    #4 -- I would worry that perhaps the way the test is set up 99% of the teachers are evaluated as poor and then the board has justification not to pay us more money. I would worry that it would encourage gaming of the system. I would worry that there are 100 other issues I haven't thought of. Furthermore, I think that the focus on standardized testing ends up stifling teachers. Teachers are going to end up teaching to the test, and is that what you would want for your child? 7 hours of ACT prep? The teachers of Chicago are already under a lot of pressure because many of us work in very challenging environments. Ease up on us, have faith that we know how to teach, and let us use our own intuition.

    #5 -- Finally, there is a constant threat for all teachers that their school might be closed. They closed my school despite a huge turnout of teachers, students and community members against the school closing as well as a finding from an independent arbiter that suggested they keep my school open. They continue to use low test scores as a justification to close down neighborhood schools and then open charter schools in their place. Many charter schools end up doing everything in their power to avoid the old students that went to that school and kick/"counsel" them out if they end up applying.
    #1 -- Then the union should say that in writing, shouldn't they? Your union won't even put the sticking points along with their proposed resolution down on paper. How is that good faith negotiating? "We'll just sit here and keep moving the target." Why aren't they putting on paper that ya'll agree to the increases as proposed? If it's not about the money, the union would do that.

    #2 -- You don't go on strike because of a lack of respect. How would anyone know if all of those "micromanaging" points coming down from above will work or not? The union has blocked their implementation at every turn...spending millions to lobby the state legislature to do so.

    #3 -- See, that's what drives the rest of us crazy: "I personally wouldn't be against one (merit-based pay), but . . ." Well, wake up and smell the coffee. The rest of the world operates in a merit pay world. What is stifling about standardized tests? There should be a standard curriculum. How a teacher wants to teach that curriculum should be up to them. But WHAT to teach shouldn't be up to individual teachers. Why should it be?

    #4 -- With all your worries, it would seem that you have no confidence in yourself beyond the job securities your union can provide. That's really sad. Especially for a teacher.

    #5 -- Teachers should be fighting for the same privilege charter schools have. Why are teachers' unions not clamoring for an environment that's conducive to learning?? Once a child is 16 years old, when they're sleeping in class, disrupting the classroom, bullying the nerds, making the hallways unsafe, intimidating teachers, slashing tires - they should be gone. Give the ones who want to learn a safe place to learn. Why isn't the teachers' union fighting for that?

    And you know what I read here? It's all about the teachers. Even in your very thoughtful post, there is little within it to indicate that your concern is for the children.

    The light is shining brightly on public unions today . . . especially teachers' unions. I think you need to really examine what your union is fighting for. Is it for your dues? Or is it for what will actually help schools improve? And then, after you've done that? Realize that the taxpayers are on overload.
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    Re: Chicago Teachers Strike 2012

    For the record, the Union and the Board have come close to agreement on salary already, so I don't know why people are still debating that.

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    Re: Chicago Teachers Strike 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    I never said they weren't important. I said that the entirety of teacher performance cannot be measured by it and that it's idiotic to do so. Just as idiotic as it would be to say that housing rates are down because of realtors.
    There is no comparison between teachers and realtors. And I didn't say that you said graduation rates aren't important either. Graduation rates are an important measurement, not a trivial one. That's what I intended to say, and I would add that pretending otherwise is foolish.

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    Re: Chicago Teachers Strike 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    For the record, the Union and the Board have come close to agreement on salary already, so I don't know why people are still debating that.
    Link? I haven't heard that from either side. And "close to agreement" is not agreement.
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    Re: Chicago Teachers Strike 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    There is no comparison between teachers and realtors.
    Yes, there is. I just made it. There are numerous factors outside of a teacher's control that determines whether a student graduates just as there are many factors outside of a realtor's control that determine whether a house sells. Do you disagree with that?

    And I didn't say that you said graduation rates aren't important either. Graduation rates are an important measurement, not a trivial one. That's what I intended to say, and I would add that pretending otherwise is foolish.
    I agree that graduate rates are an important indication of the success of an entire education system. However, I was responding to a post that was measuring teacher performance solely on graduation rates and commenting that doing so is foolish. As a result, I'm not sure why you are addressing this to me since it's not what I was talking about, but we agree, so...

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    Re: Chicago Teachers Strike 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    Thankfully, the trend is against education degrees and a shift toward Bachelors of Arts or Science degrees. This is a "win." If you have a legit degree and training in, say, math, you do have other career avenues. Agreed that if all you have to offer is pedagogical theory, you may be screwed. Too bad, and welcome to reality.

    So let's cut to the chase and talk about experience? Have you ever worked in a classroom? Or are you a well-intentioned theorist?
    You rang?
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    Re: Chicago Teachers Strike 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    There is nothing lower than somebody who insults teachers. I mean, really, school teachers. You hate school teachers? If you did poorly in school, that was your fault, not your teacher's fault. Get over it already.
    This. And it reminds me of a discussion that I've been needing to start...
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    Re: Chicago Teachers Strike 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    That is simply BS and not even useful BS at that.

    It is not impossible to fire teachers and they are fired every year all over the nation.
    depending on the locality. But I said "nigh on impossible", not "impossible". Teachers are notoriously difficult to fire, resulting in many that should be fired retaining their job because it isn't worth the effort for the unsure result. We put poor educators in our classrooms because our education system is currently designed to benefit its' employees rather than our students.

    Contracts are entered into by two consenting parties. If one has people working for them that cannot or will not carry out the procedures necessary to fire teachers then the onus is on them.
    And if one is representing the other, then there aren't really two contending parties.

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