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Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups'

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.

Education 404

theodp writes "The striking Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is holding a massive 'Wisconsin-style rally' Saturday as ongoing negotiations try to bring an end to the strike that has put education on hold for 350,000 of the city's schoolchildren. 'The 30,000 teachers, school social workers, clerks, vision and hearing testers, school nurses, teaching assistants, counselors, and other school professionals of the Chicago Teachers Union are standing strong to defend public education from test pushers, privatizers, and a national onslaught of big money interest groups trying to push education back to the days before teachers had unions,' explains the CTU web site. 'Around the country and even the world, our fight is recognized as the front line of resistance to the corporate education agenda.' Some are calling the strike — which has by most accounts centered on salary schedules (CPS salary dataset), teacher performance evaluations, grievance procedures, and which teachers get dibs on new jobs — a push-back to education reform that has possible Presidential election implications. The big winners in the school strike, Bloomberg reports, are the city's largely non-union 100+ charter schools, which remained open throughout the strike. Charter school enrollment swelled to 52,000 students this fall as parents worried by strike rumors sought refuge in schools like those run by the Noble Charter Network, which enjoys the deep-pocket support of many wealthy 'investors.'"

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404 comments

Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups' (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351477)

Of course they do. They hate the competition.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (2, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41351615)

Here in Canada they'r one of the biggest. The part about this that really irritates me is that they've been getting annual raises about four times the rate of inflation and threatened to strike during a huge budget shortfall at the first mention of pay freezes. A completely classless move. There are very large numbers of people waiting to get into teaching, yet the pay keeps going up. What ever happened to supply and demand? If there's that big a supply, the rate of pay increase (if any) should be at or below the rate of inflation, I think, especially for a public sector position like teaching.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (5, Informative)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41351713)

getting annual raises about four times the rate of inflation

Check your numbers. If the real inflation rate was as low as their request, then gasoline would be about $1.50, a day at the hospital would be about $750, a loaf of bread would still be 50 cents, higher ed tuition would still be about $1000/semester....

There are very large numbers of people waiting to get into teaching

For kindergarten teachers in my sorta-rich suburb, yeah the competition for teaching jobs is incredibly intense. For ghetto areas like big cities, where you need to wear a bullet proof vest, often there's racial hiring quotas, there are serious issues getting enough staffing. Its very much like the demand for police officers in different locales... oddly enough the nice places have 10 applicants per position, and the bad places have 10 positions per good applicant...

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41351851)

Check your numbers. If the real inflation rate was as low as their request, then gasoline would be about $1.50, a day at the hospital would be about $750, a loaf of bread would still be 50 cents, higher ed tuition would still be about $1000/semester....

Can you cite this? I'm interested in finding where you got your numbers from. In the US, food and fuel is specifically exempted from determining the amount of inflation. Perhaps it is the same in Canada.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41352021)

In the US, food and fuel is specifically exempted from determining the amount of inflation.

Yes, that's exactly why that politically motivated figure is meaningless.

If you could exist merely by purchasing iphones, for food, energy, and shelter, then the inflation figure would matter. As it is, its merely a measure of how much the govt has already decided to raise social security payments.

We do the same game with unemployment. Someday, in the American workers paradise, none of us will have jobs anymore while reported unemployment will be 5%, and inflation will always be 2% even if the price of a cup of coffee is doubling every month.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41352035)

In the US, food and fuel is specifically exempted from determining the amount of inflation. Perhaps it is the same in Canada.

Doesn't that make it pointless for a large proportion of the population.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (1)

ildon (413912) | about 2 years ago | (#41351913)

Nerdfest is talking about Canadian teachers, not Chicago teachers.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41351985)

I believe our teachers are already paid quite a lot more than US teachers as well. Up to about $100K, I believe.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351811)

There are very large numbers of people waiting to get into teaching, yet the pay keeps going up. What ever happened to supply and demand?

Well, the better question is why does the Ontario government keep subsidizing the training of enormous numbers of teachers in taxpayer-supported universities, when there is an enormous existing surplus of teachers.

Perhaps 1 in 10 teachers graduating today from an Ontario university will be able to get a full-time teaching job after graduating.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41351933)

The Ontario premier's wife is a teacher, and over the past eight years he's seemed to have little to no interest in doing anything but hiring more teachers and giving them large raises. Our teachers are already paid far more than in the US. When the budget shortfall became an obvious problem (although anyone with a clue could see it coming), did he start talking about freezing teacher salaries? No, he started talking about reducing *doctor* salaries.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351995)

Also, there is far more than flat out salary to take into consideration when talking about teachers. Remember, they get a couple months off every year. They get great medical and retirement coverage. In fact, look into "PERS" in Portland, where we have a problem of many teachers being able to retire at MORE than their salary and it bankrupts education spending, overall.

And if teaching really IS such a destitute profession, then don't go into it. I'm sorry, but you're not a saint or a hero or anything else. And, worse, you KNOW what you're getting into. I don't feel sorry for teachers whining about pay or respect any more than I feel sorry for smokers. Things have been the same for decades, so you have NO excuse for "well, gosh, I didn't know smoking would ruin my health and eventually kill me!" nor do you have an excuse for "oh, gosh, I didn't know teaching was going to pay so poorly!".

And, frankly, I was in school not that long ago. Fifteen years ago, few teachers were worth even shitty pay. They tended to be dumb, angry, spiteful, ignorant people and there were only a few inspiring exceptions in my decade of schooling. I did more to educate myself DESPITE the educational system and the teachers than BECAUSE of them.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41351643)

Unions have a lot of money and political pull too.

In many ways they have more political pull per dollar. Because the Unions in the US need just as much reform as the business system does.

Why am I paying out of my paycheck to something that will use for political campaigning for a party I may or may not believe in.
That money should be used to pay for a small staff of legal experts, and for operations. The rest of the money should be held to pay for strikers pay during a strike.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351673)

Public sector unions should be outlawed.

Private sector unions must be voluntary.

All problems solved.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (4, Insightful)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 2 years ago | (#41351807)

Why should public sector be any different from private sector?

What is more democratic than voting for something to change?

So many of your current entitlements (by which I mean safe working conditions, 8 hour days as opposed to 14 hour days, paid vacation) was won by unions. You should take a history lesson my friend!

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (4, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41351993)

So many of your current entitlements (by which I mean safe working conditions, 8 hour days as opposed to 14 hour days, paid vacation) was won by unions. You should take a history lesson my friend!

You have a very distorted view of history. The 8 hour day and 40 hour work week was instituted by FDR, ruled unconstitutional and then overtime pay was created as a fix. This was all part of FDR's fix to unemployment during the recession. The concept was if spread a little work around it was better then someone grabbing a lot of work at the expense of others. It was a mantra of the Socialist parties and the communists parties in th3 first part of the 1900's.

Safer working conditions would have been the norm without unions too. As soon as the government got into the habit of playing insurer for occupational injuries, working condition standards began being implemented by law and tort. You can thank the Unions for getting some state workers compensation laws passed though. But they have been in place long before Unions had legal rights to exist (1906 for federal employes and earlier in some areas). To claim safe working conditions outside a specific factory or a specific job is a little misguided to say the least. OSHA and MSHA are direct results of the government paying out for on the job injuries. They were created in the 1970's specifically to increase workplace safety and reduce the worker's compensation payouts.

No it wasn't.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (2)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#41351849)

"Public sector unions should be outlawed."

Why? This is (or supposed to be) a free country, you should be able to join any organisation you want.

"Private sector unions must be voluntary.:"

All union membership should be voluntary, and no employee, publis or private should be penalized for belonging to any union, politcal group or religious group.

Freedom of assembly and all that.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (5, Interesting)

trout007 (975317) | about 2 years ago | (#41351855)

I am an employee of the federal government. Not only do I think I shouldn't be able to be in a union I'm not sure if I should be allowed to vote. I realize my salary come from taxing productive members of society. I do believe that my job is constitutional. But if those people that pay my salary decide they no longer want to fund the agency I work for I shouldn't have a vote in the matter.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#41352031)

Rampant corruption and criminal activities of many unions aside, I don't have a problem with unions (even at federal level) existing to help workers avoid being abused and mistreated, but I do have a problem with them then becoming something that politicians at every level have to maintain employment for, even when they're no longer needed. Cutting government spending then always becomes a battle over "they took're jerbs!". Kind of like letting a family member move into your home and then kicking them out years later.

Of course, I don't even know that unions serve a real purpose, anymore. We no longer employ twelve year old kids for sixteen hours a day in dangerous machine shops for a nickel an hour and anyone who has been wronged can seek out legal representation.

However, in the tech industry, I would certainly not ever want a union to represent me and I would not want to be forced to belong to one. I would rather find a new career.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (-1, Troll)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#41351873)

Unions are nothing more than collusion and price fixing and should be outlawed. They may have served a social service in the lax regulatory environment of the nineteenth century, but have no place today. If its not okay of widget makers to get together and agree on a minimal price to sell widgets, it should not be okay for labor to collude for compensation requirements either.

Additionally the Unions hate the citizen United decision because they think it gives some corporate interests undue influence. This is funny because in most cases their own membership is no less compulsory than anyone who has a job an organization whose management they might not feel represents them politically. Often the Unions' political agenda is as far removed from an individual members political views. If there are any restrictions corporate participation in the political process (in the name of freedom to exercise property there should not be) basic justice demands Unions face those same restrictions.

Re:Chicago Teachers Rip 'Big Money Interest Groups (1, Insightful)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 2 years ago | (#41352087)

Why are you paying money out of your pay check for wars you probably don't think you should be in? After all your tax bill would be considerably smaller if the US didn't spend more on military spending than the next 26 countries combined.

We all pay for things we don't want, don't need or consider immoral. It's a fact of life.

They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (5, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#41351487)

and say they want a 30% increase over 2. They are already some of the best paid urban teachers in the whole country. Insane.

http://reason.com/reasontv/2012/09/15/the-deep-logic-of-the-chicago-teachers-s [reason.com]

Don't want to be held accountable, even opposing Obama's merit-based suggestions in favor of tenure, etc.

I'll say what I always said: it's about the children, alright, about using the children.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (2, Insightful)

TyFoN (12980) | about 2 years ago | (#41351513)

Yes, it is insane to pay those who are teaching the children well.
Much more sane to pay lobbyists a few million a year to make sure the teachers have no say in legislation.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351535)

Teachers are employees, not elected officials. They do not have a mandate to dictate education policy to the public and state governments.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (5, Insightful)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 2 years ago | (#41351823)

This is the most ridiculous thing I've seen in a while.

Are you telling me scientists should have no way to determine what science policy should be?

If the politicians aren't listening to teachers about what education policy should be, then how do politicians have an informed opinion on such things? Oh yes, that's what lobbyists are for.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41352033)

Well, maybe scientists can dictate policy on religion, and priests can dictate science !
That would be ridiculous!

wait...

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41352057)

Tell me, if the scientists strike because they do not like the policy set forth or somehow didn't get what they wanted from the government, does public services stop being provided?

If the police unions determine they do not want any investigations into the legitimacy of any shootings or complaints about misconduct or dereliction of duties, is that justified in your opinion? I ask this because this is what the striking teaches are essentially saying- they are demanding that they not be held accountable for their job performance. It isn't that they shouldn't be allowed to say we should be doing X, the problem is that the government said, we need to do X, here is the law, and the teachers saying wait, we are striking until X is no longer the law.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351547)

... except they aren't teaching; they're miserable failures. And they're already paid very well for a seasonable job. Talk about teacher salaries in Georgia or Mississippi, but Chicago's teachers are well paid.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351555)

They do a LOUSY job.

"U.S. Department of Education: 79% of Chicago 8th Graders Not Proficient in Reading"

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41352077)

You clearly don't understand. The reason education is poor is due to lack of salary. If you pay them more, they'll suddenly be better teachers! And if you fund education more (in both states I've lived most of my life in, education counts for well over half of state taxes, so I don't know how much more funding they want --- 100% of it?!), they'll suddenly provide great education. Yep. It's all about money. Money will somehow magically make education work. Don't blame us for being a shit system with shit teachers. Blame the evil tax payers who only give us 54% of every fucking tax dollar. If you would give us 98% of every tax dollar, we'd totally be able to do our jobs...! Yeah... that's the ticket!

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (4, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#41351589)

Meh, 16% is more than private sector raises. If they dont want that they can go to the job hunting line.
It is really about evaluation and them not wanting to be evaluated so they can keep their job of not doing shit.
This comes from the son of a Teacher, and family members who are teachers/went to college for teaching.
And this comes from them as well.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (1)

TyFoN (12980) | about 2 years ago | (#41351665)

Of course you need to evaluate them too. I'm not sure how it is in the US as I don't live there, but are the salaries equal in the private and public schools? If not there is no point in evaluating the teachers in the public schools as all the good teachers will have drained to the private schools with higher salaries.
Having equal salaries in the public schools makes sure you don't get the worst teachers by default.

If the salaries are equal then my statement is moot of course, but if not I'd much rather pay the teachers than fueling several wars abroad if I was a US citizen.

Oh, and I work as a risk analyst in one of the biggest banks in the world so I'm not exactly a leftish radical or something if anyone thinks that!

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41351783)

but are the salaries equal in the private and public schools? If not there is no point in evaluating the teachers in the public schools as all the good teachers will have drained to the private schools with higher salaries.

My sister in law would be LOL at this time. Its the other way around... The primary private school competitor is a nun, willing to teach for free. You'll make more money at McDonalds than as catholic school teacher. They are the minor leagues for the public schools who recruit from them.

The "cream of the crop" at private (usually religious) schools vs "not so good" at public schools is the average parental quality. The kids are about the same (other than having been raised better, on average, by the private school parents)

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (3, Insightful)

kidgenius (704962) | about 2 years ago | (#41351819)

Private schools tend to pay quite poorly in comparison to public schools. That's because most of the private schools are church-based. They charge students a tuition, but they don't make back enough in tuition to cover costs 100%. Couple that with the church not being able to kick in a ton extra, and the pay is about 50-80% of the public school rate.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351593)

How much is "well?" This argument seems to work no matter how much teachers are paid. My guess is that if teachers were paid a million dollars a year, and were asking for an increase, anyone opposed would be accused of being against good pay for teachers. As the GP said, Chicago teachers are already some of the best paid in the country. 30% is huge. Student outcomes have not increased by 30% over the past two years, so why should teacher pay be increased by that much over the next 2?

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#41351647)

Yes, it is insane to pay those who are teaching the children well.
Much more sane to pay lobbyists a few million a year to make sure the teachers have no say in legislation.

How do you know a teacher is underpaid and overworked? Don't worry, they'll tell you.

Idk how it is your area, but in my state, property owners pay for the bulk of the funding of the schools. My parents have their own house and a rental house, and to pay the property and much larger school tax bill on the rental property alone, they need to collect slightly over 3 months rent a year before they see a penny of revenue. It is not unusual for the school to demand and be handed 10-12 increases in budget each year. Just sustainable over the long term...

Our teachers get paid more than they do, starting at around $40k and going up as much as $120, depending on tenure and degrees - the attainment of higher ones past bachelor's, which once hired, is also paid for. They get a pension after 20-25 years. They get the caddilac of health plans for their entire families. They get a host of sick and vacation days during the year, those days roll over into the next year and so on, and any left over at the end of their career are paid out in full. They have the summers off (mostly) and often attend a conference somewhere which is usually a 1-2 hour a day work excuse in order to go someplace nice paid for by the taxpayer. Oh, and unheard of job security. There's nothing quite so cushy in the private sector for low level employees.

The professors in the local community college, in the same county, get much less than the HS teachers do.

HOWEVER, I realize this is mostly taking place in the richer suburbs of America and is not everyplace. I'll grant that. But even with all that, our kids aren't doing extraordinary.

In the words of Comptroller General David M. Walker, Healthcare and Education is where America spends way more than 1st world country, often 2x as much, for worse results and with no outcome testing of any type.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcWrdM-a_Uo [youtube.com]

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (-1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41351831)

There's nothing quite so cushy in the private sector for low level employees.

Yeah, that's the problem. In my grandparents generation teaching was a pretty cruddy job with poor pay and benefits and long hours compared to private industry (other than having summers off). The problem is that teaching has pretty much stayed the same for a couple generations, in fact we have an excellent 1900 era education system, unfortunately its 2012, while we've destroyed our lower and middle class jobs by shipping them out of the country and/or importing illegals (what does "illegal" mean, if we will never enforce the law, just like financial regulation? Why can't we do this for weed?). So the problem is once you destroy or downgrade every job that's better than teaching, its NOT the teachers fault that they remain as having the best deal around thats not destroyed yet. The R party is playing with fire, if they great unwashed ever see thru their strategy, they're in big trouble.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351649)

Yes, it is insane to pay those who are teaching the children well.
Much more sane to pay lobbyists a few million a year to make sure the teachers have no say in legislation.

H-1Bs are cheaper. And you can use the Chicago kids to staff the restaurants and gas stations that the H-1B workers will need.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351891)

Yes, it is insane to pay those who are teaching the children well.
Much more sane to pay lobbyists a few million a year to make sure the teachers have no say in legislation.

They aren't teaching the children well. Look up how those kids are doing. Some of the lowest in the country.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (2, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#41351921)

Except that public school teachers most places are paid well. Its largely private school teachers that work for next to nothing. If you take the typical public schools teach salary and divide it out to a per month number over 9 not 12 because they don't work summers, most of them are compensated better than they would be in another field with the same credentials.

  This dispute is not really even about 'compensation' per say, its about the accountability and the tenure system. Essentially this about teachers want to keep their seniority system and the tenure system, rather than a new one which would attempt to measure than reward or punish performance.

Virtual not other profession enjoys such a lack of accountability for the results employees achieve.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351573)

Nationally, teacher salaries and benefits cost over $500 billion annually. Imagine reducing teacher staffing by 10%, or teacher compensation by 10%, or an equivalent combination. That would free up $50 billion annually for Gates, Broad, Walton, Pearson, etc. Education reform is all about getting this money, period. McSchools are on the way and they will be standardized, popular, and highly profitable - just like the restaurants. Enjoy your future McLearnin', Americans!

I'm not a teacher, I have kids in public schools and I think they suck (the schools), and I think ed reformers are a combination of deluded and evil and making the situation worse year after year after year after year...

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (2)

rdelsambuco (552369) | about 2 years ago | (#41351703)

Absolutely. Public/private partnerships set up to funnel tax payer money to charter schools staffed by McTeachers. I WAS a teacher; what a shitty job. I think public/private partnerships were called fascism back in the day.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (4, Insightful)

UPZ (947916) | about 2 years ago | (#41351601)

Teaching inner city kids is no easy job. I say this as someone who volunteers in inner city schools. These teachers need to be paid adequately. However, unions may not be the best PR that teachers need right now, especially with their long track record of protecting the incompetent ones.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about 2 years ago | (#41351639)

Depends on the city. What are Honolulu kids going to do, put pineapples in your chair?

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41351745)

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/14694941/special-report-youth-gangs-in-hawaii [hawaiinewsnow.com]

What, did you think Hawaii was a special case because all the pictures show you a tropical paradise?

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#41351679)

A 16% increase over 4 years works out to be 4% a year, which just happens to be a little lower than the average inflation rate over the last 4 years (yes, it's lower than that at the moment). Which means, in terms of spending power, its just maintaining the status quo.

As for "merit-based" performance metrics, they don't measure the teacher's performance; they measure the students. What that will mean is that teachers will be competing to teach the students more likely to meet the metrics. The good teachers will get those postitions, and the teachers who don't make the cut will be relegated to the difficult students. So the students who get the worst teachers, will be:
* Poor students, who don't have access to tutors or other extra curricular methods of learning
* Students with disinterested parents (parental involvements is one the major predictors for academic achievement)
* Students in classes of disruptive people
And the teachers who teach them will be stuck in a position of no advancement, because their students are consistently out-performed by other demographics.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351777)

Except what is consistently not mentioned in every biased report I've read is that along with the 4% raise the mayor proposed a 20% extension of the school year!

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#41351789)

A 16% increase over 4 years works out to be 4% a year, which just happens to be a little lower than the average inflation rate over the last 4 years

Try again, bubeleh. The average inflation over the last four years, according to the Departmen of Labor's CPI, has been somewhere around 2.5%. The last year in which inflation topped 4% was 1991.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41352079)

The average inflation over the last four years, according to the Departmen of Labor's CPI, has been somewhere around 2.5%

He's talking about real world inflation, like how much the cost of living has increased, commodity prices that are relevant to the median person, etc. Price of food, price of gasoline, price of real estate/rent, price of sickcare insurance, etc.

You're talking about the completely imaginary govt figure which is a statement of how much the govt has decided to increase CPI indexed transfer payments, social security, .mil pay and pensions, federal pay, etc. What the govt's willing to provide as a pay raise has no interaction what so ever with "how much stuff costs". There's a thing veneer of respectability where they exclude everything not fitting the message. So, yes, the average iphone cost plus maybe the average cost of a cedar 10 foot 2x4 maybe has only gone up 2.5%, but it doesn't "mean anything" in the real world other than SS checks and .mil paychecks are going to be 2.5% higher. What it really means is the politicians think they'll lose too many votes if they only paid out 2.4% more, but they wouldn't get enough extra votes if they paid out 2.6% more to make it worth it compared to other pork barrel expenses.

It would be very much like if instead of arbitrary payraises at work, people we given imaginary cooked books to base their raises. Just admit its arbitrary and mostly made up.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41351859)

What that will mean is that teachers will be competing to teach the students more likely to meet the metrics. The good teachers will get those postitions,

There is a leveling effect. The definition of "good" will of course be "hotties" "brownnosers" "groupthinkers". Generally speaking people who are not good teachers or good role models. The bottom half of the barrel due to competition won't even be getting jobs. So its not so much that the bad kids will be stuck with the 2 out of 10s, they'll be stuck with the 6 out of 10s. The long term effect of low quality teachers teaching the good parent's kids and better than average quality teachers teaching the bad parent's kids is a leveling effect on educational outcomes. The weirdest part of the whole story is although its the usual socialist / pinko / commie / leftist technique and goal of social engineering, but its pushed hard by the -R party and opposed by the -D, which is the historical opposite of what you'd expect.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (0)

jbwolfe (241413) | about 2 years ago | (#41351899)

I was going to post after reading the 50 or so comments, but I see finally someone gets it- you already said what I was going to say. Except that I'd also mention that the union had a 4% raise from the existing contract cancelled by the city prior to negotiations. It seems from the comments that whenever a union is involved, people automatically forget that unions are made up of non-1%ers, are middle class, and are just getting by while corporations are reaping huge profits (only in this case, Chicago is as bad off financially as the middle class). Too many are completely uneducated about labor and resort to knee jerk assumptions. I don't think the sticking point here is wages- at least not primarily. The teachers are indeed fearful of letting standardized test scores overwhelmingly influence their teacher evaluations and I think that's a valid concern- as you pointed out. I don't think it's too much to ask for a peer review system or to de-emphasize the scores as a means to evaluate.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41351705)

merit-based suggestions

In other words, the plan where teachers who work in tough environments where students have not decided whether they want to graduate from high school or become criminals are punished. "Merit based" evaluations of teachers are not all they are cracked up to be; teachers cannot magically affect improvement if parents and cultures are not working with them. There is also the question of what basis is used for evaluations -- do you really think scores on tests show how well teachers are doing in their classrooms?

Unions are labour monopoly (1, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41351739)

Unions are monopoly on labour, and government does not crack down on their illegal practices clearly, especially government unions, that shouldn't even exist. If you are a government monopoly, you shouldn't have the right to unionise but even if you do have a public sector union, then you shouldn't be able to hold people hostage with a strike.

The people in the private sector are hit pretty hard. First of all every time a union gets a pay raise, that's an involuntary pay cut for the private sector workers, most of who do not even make as much money as these public sector union employees. Interestingly enough, the proportion of people who send their kids to private schools is higher among the public school teachers, teachers are twice as likely to send their kids to private schools than the rest of the parents [washingtontimes.com] ! They are more familiar with the system, so they understand that the value is just not there for the kids.

Teachers do not want to be evaluated based on performance, that's what unions are afraid - to allow teachers to be graded (just like they grade students, nice hypocrisy right there).

Re:Unions are labour monopoly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351925)

And roman_mir is an imbecile cunt who constantly froths with Randie rage. Repeat after roman_mir: 'capital good, labour bad'.

Re:Unions are labour monopoly (2)

Marxdot (2699183) | about 2 years ago | (#41351937)

you shouldn't have the right to unionise

I see you're espousing freedom as usual.

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 2 years ago | (#41351791)

They are already some of the best paid urban teachers

Why the need for the "urban" qualifier?

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351839)

Except in exchange for that 16% increase over 4 years they had to accept a 20% increase in the school year. Doesn't sound like a raise to me. Sounds like a pay cut!

Re:They rejected 16% salary increase over 4 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41352049)

The balls to ask for 30% increase in two years is fucking insane. I work in the technology sector and we've essentially had a pay freeze at our company for three years. I'm making what I made three or four years ago, only its worth shit because of inflation. And these cunts are demanding 30% for what amounts to government-provided baby-sitting? (And don't tell me its otherwise -- anyone who thinks teachers truly earn their pay and provide a great service hasn't been in the educational system for at least fifty years).

Take back education (0)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#41351489)

Hopefully the CTU can take a few steps back towards an education system which isn't brought to you by McCorporation Inc (TM All rights reserved).

Re:Take back education (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351563)

The teachers don't support any sort of reform, and the current system is obviously not working. It's just like the demonstrations in Greece and Spain against austerity. Childishness. Me! Me! Me! They don't care about the kids, or they would have their own reform plan.

They are against any kind of accountability for teachers.
They are against any kind of accountability for schools.
They are for keeping the current "more pay for graduate degrees" pay schedule, even though studies show that teacher graduate degrees have no correlation with student outcomes.
They are against school choice, even against huge evidence that school choice improves schools.
They are against pension reform, when pensions are bankrupting states like California and PA.

What are they for? More money and shorter school days.

Re:Take back education (1)

rdelsambuco (552369) | about 2 years ago | (#41351683)

Ed reform is all about getting teacher money, period. McTeachers will cost much less, and they're on the way. I'm LOVIN' it!

Re:Take back education (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351827)

Case in point. Hate on current reform attempts, yet offer no alternatives.

Newsflash. The current system is broken. We can fix it now, or we can wait for the inevitable tax payer revolt. Ironically, the choice will be up to the teachers union. When the tax payer revolt comes, I will feel no sympathy for them.

Re:Take back education (1)

rdelsambuco (552369) | about 2 years ago | (#41351953)

There is no alternative to Taylorization. McSchools will be as much about learning as McDonald's is about nutrition. Give people what they WANT cuz there's a sucker born every minute! Ayn Rand has a lot to say on this, but I bet you already knew that. A simple alternative would be locally controlled public schools, but that would require an already educated, active populace. HA HA HA. No, not in America. Americans hate education - they love training, certifications, compliance, and conformity. They love winners and losers. Here's another alternative: why not do what Finland does? Finland is tops in whatever measurement you want to use for learnin'. Rhetorically you lose, but rest assured - the future you want is coming so you win in the end. I guess.

Abolish (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351501)

Abolish all public service labor unions. They are "ultra" voters who in some areas overwhelm the common voter and take over government.

Re:Abolish (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about 2 years ago | (#41351531)

Abolish all public service labor unions.

How do you propose to do that? The government can refuse to engage in collective bargaining with the workers, but the workers still have the right to strike if they feel they are being mistreated. Organization of labor it is simply the natural consequence of the every American's right to freely associate, and people are free to decide they will not show up for work.

You could threaten to fire any workers who strike, but rehiring a large workforce is a costly prospect. Thus, collective bargaining is arguably the better option.

Re:Abolish (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#41351629)

but the workers still have the right to strike if they feel they are being mistreated.

Actually,. some public service workers do *not* have the right to strike. Striking in such cases is simply refusing to report for work, and can get treated accordingly--you get fired. Ask the old PATCO air traffic controllers' union about that.

Re:Abolish (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41351727)

The difference between a right to strike/protest and being able to strike then keeping your job after it is resolved is a law passed by the government. It is in fact these laws that force employers to recognize unions and collective bargaining in the first place.

With 8% unemployment or better depending on your local environments, replacing a work force will not be all that hard. I'm willing to bet that some if not a majority of the existing workforce would be willing to be part of the replacement workforce too. I saw it happen back in the 1980's when a local glassware plant went on strike, closed in the middle and reopened under a different name. I know people working there who were before this happened and they say they just recently started making the same kind of money they would make before the big strike 20 some year prior.

Re:Abolish (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41351975)

With 8% unemployment or better depending on your local environments, replacing a work force will not be all that hard

For uneducated, untrained, low skill, non-certified jobs. Yes the McDonalds mop pusher would be foolish to strike because he could be replaced in about 5 minutes by another illegal alien.

The law requires that you have a valid teachers license to teach at a public school where I live. That license requires a bachelors degree or post grad degree in a specifically approved "educator preparation program" and only some in state schools are approved. If you went to university in an out of state school, you can apply to request they evaluate your school's program and your transcript but its by no means guaranteed and there's a lot of politics (so if WI admin hates MN admin this year, then maybe no MN teachers are not going to be approved this year). Also only "about as many" licenses are issued as there are teachers... The renewal process is designed to minimize the number of qualified people not working.

So... sure... fire all the teachers... that'll work real well. Graduation rates are about twice annual replenishment rates (aka about half the grads can't get a job in the field requiring a teaching license) so if you assume about a 20 year "career" before burnout/retirement that means your rehiring rate will be about 10% per year for the first few years, with the rate presumably increasing because its a hot field (or maybe grad rates dropping because they don't want to have a career shorter than a pro football lineman when the new union gets them all fired again, and the whole purpose is to crater payrates, making it even less appealing, although of course administrator salaries only and always go up, so...).

You'd end up with something very much like "one room schoolhouse"with a single 22 year old recent grad standing up in the gym trying to teach the entire 300 student elementary school simultaneously, at least for the first couple years.

Re:Abolish (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#41351845)

The way it would be accomplished is to restrict what concessions the state can make when negotiating with unions. For instance, many unions pressure employers to be "union only" shops. The state of Illinois could pass a law saying that no public school district within its borders can refuse to hire a public school employee because he or she is not a union member. Make it a "right to work" state. Since unions charge fees this would motivate many teachers to simply drop their union membership since it would no longer be a requirement for employment. Losing its monopoly on employees would greatly weaken the union's leverage. Whatever improvements in pay/benefits/etc. the union extracts would benefit all employees, members and non-members alike, further minimizing an individual teacher's motivation to join.

Re:Abolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351553)

Thank you for playing, always nice to see the fascists creep out of the woodwork here on /.

The system is not working (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351507)

"U.S. Department of Education: 79% of Chicago 8th Graders Not Proficient in Reading." Teacher evaluations are a must. It is time to get rid of the ineffective teachers that are protected by unions.

Re:The system is not working (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41351633)

"U.S. Department of Education: 79% of Chicago 8th Graders Not Proficient in Reading." Teacher evaluations are a must. It is time to get rid of the ineffective teachers that are protected by unions.

Because parents culture and value system has much more of an influence than anything the teachers could ever do, I assume its a given that you already support taking kids away from their parents if the test results are poor, so the logical next step of optimizing a minor impact area does make sense. Setting up an orphanage system / military discipline dorm for kids with bad test scores would be expensive, but probably fairly effective.

Remember, never optimize the small stuff first. In this non-IT non-CS example, start with the high impact areas first, like parents, then once that is nearly perfected, start to worry about the teachers.

Another interesting aspect is indoctrination and groupthink. So ... teachers as a group are pretty much indoctrinated and into the whole groupthink thing... not so much in an absolute sense, but relative to artists, or PR people, or CS/IT people they're ultra conformist... Hard to find a more conformist group than teachers, maybe accountants or prison guards? Exchanging one clone for another doesn't help much, does it? Its sort of a "getting out your frustrations" plan rather than a genuine improvement plan. Yes, Lord Vader, the death star would have been saved if we just disposed of the bottom 1% performing stormtroopers... um, no, probably not.

Re:The system is not working (4, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#41351653)

So, if teachers have so little effect on what kids learn, why are we paying them at all?

You can lead a nigger to a book, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351741)

But you can't make him read.

Re:The system is not working (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41351759)

Teacher evaluations are a must

What do you plan to base those evaluations on? How do you hope to ensure that the evaluations do not favor teachers who work in "safe" schools in middle class areas, where the students are being pushed by their parents to get high test scores and go to college, over teachers in "tough" schools where the parents are not so worried about education and where the students dream of becoming master criminals?

Re:The system is not working (5, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#41351821)

I'd be all for evaluation if I thought it would be done right. I lack that confidence. If you just look at how a given teacher's students perform then that's not fair to the teacher, since he has no control over those students' educational experience prior to arriving in his classroom. The only objective way to evaluate individual teachers' performance would be to test students every year and measure the delta between each teacher's students over the course of the year that teacher had them. If a given teacher has 5 classes of 25 students each, and those 125 students scored, on average, at the 30th percentile at the beginning of the year, but at the 35th percentile at the end of the year, then maybe we say that teacher did a good job despite his students scoring well below the state-wide average.

There are problems with testing students so frequently though:

1. It's expensive.
2. It cannibalizes classroom time.
3. It encourages teachers to try to game the system by teaching to the test or teaching "test-taking skills" instead of their actual subject matter.
4. It encourages teachers (and principals) to allow (or assist) their students to cheat.
5. It's not necessarily applicable to all types of teacher. How are you going to objectively measure the effectiveness of an art teacher?

Another way to go would be to only evaluate principals and give them more leeway to hire/fire teachers they like and use whatever in-house evaluation methods they want. Test only at school level jumps, i.e. prior to elementary, between elementary and middle, between middle and high school, then after high school. You'd want to be sure to evaluate the principals using the average percentile change of students who went through all grades at the given school. If the set of 8th graders leaving a given middle school has an average percentile rank of 50, but that same set of students averaged in the 40th percentile before starting 6th grade, maybe you give that principal a good rating. The problem here, though, is that it encourages principals to try to get kids who appear likely to regress to leave their school.

As part of their effort to rip big money groups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351517)

Their members will line up into a large mobius strip.

Let's hold a Wisconsin style protest... (5, Insightful)

salesgeek (263995) | about 2 years ago | (#41351545)

... Because that worked so well in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, the result of the protests were:

* The teacher's union being flat out broken. The state won.
* A failed recall effort.
* A complete loss of support from many parent for the teachers. Demanding more money when people are struggling is never a hit.

Re:Let's hold a Wisconsin style protest... (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 2 years ago | (#41351905)

The recall is the first recall in history where the incumbent won. It's a surprising result, so as a strategy it wasn't a bad idea.

You've got to work with what you've got... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41352013)

And when you have quality educators who produce works like this...

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/09/ctu-believes-in-neiborhood-schools.html

It's no wonder you'd be afraid of Teacher Evaluations. Yes, they can be problematic. But when the teachers themselves can't seem to exercise basic literacy skills... when their union representatives have typos and grammatical errors in their press releases and public websites, it makes the whole effort seem like it's being conducted by a bunch of hacks not highly trained professionals who are irreplaceable in their basic tasks.

At CPS, average individual teacher salaries are higher than average US dual earner income by more than 10%. They're higher than teacher salaries in other major urban districts like NY and LA where costs of living are higher. But remember, compared to you and me teachers only work 9 months of the year! And CPS teachers are people who - I've seen them - show up to work 5 minutes before the start of school bell and are all out the door within half an hour of the end of the day bell. Entire schools full of "dedicated" workers like this. Many years ago they got a contract that stipulated they only had to be in school for 6 hours and 15 minutes a day, and that their prep time and grading papers and all of that could be done at home. Well, now the new mayor would just like his teachers to be in school a little longer each day - do that prep ON SITE again - in part to facilitate students being able to participate in activities like PE and recess and more than 10 minutes to eat lunch.

Do I believe teachers deserve to be well paid? Yes. But sweetheart deals from the former Mayor Daley HAVE paid the teachers well and continued to do so when they received 4% raises in 2008, 2009, and 2010 while the rest of the US economy was in decline. I also don't think teachers who as a body have performed so poorly should be paid so well. I'd like to see a new contract that, whether it has individual performance evaluations or not, has a core condition specific metrics regarding the overall improvement of performance by the student body, e.g. improved graduation rates, reading levels, et cetera. Failure to improve should result in breach of contract... And Karen Lewis - she's a woman who has wanted to strike since the day she was elected president of the Chicago Teacher's Union. She's expecting to get thrown in jail... so I'm sure their strike isn't over yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1YXOSaMZzs

public schools are a mess (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351569)

We need a good public school system. But I can tell you first hand that public schools aren't always best. I have kids in both public and private schools, and the private school is far better. That's one small local example, I know, but the notion that it's just big money or testing that has adversely impacted public schools is ridiculous. There are some valid points there - there should be no candy machines in lunchrooms and teaching to tests can be a problem. But tenure, a sense of entitlement, an overplayed seniority system, and general lack of accountability for unionized teachers is also a big problem. The main problem as I see it is that there is no incentive in *any* of the public school schemes I've seen to strive for excellence. Mediocrity is the high bar most teachers and schools attempt to reach, and if they even get that far they are doing well. If you do what's minimally necessary, you will get paid, you will advance, you will get summers off, and you will eventually get your nice pension at 55. Do *you* get summers off? Do *you* get to retire at 55? Do *you* get to keep your job if you just sorta, meh, show up and just do what you have to do? No way you will be a teacher at the private school I'm familiar with if you aren't trying to help your students be the best they can be. It's just like that.

Of course public schools generally have a harder job than private schools. They have to deal with *all* the kids - including the dumb ones and the ones who parents have no concern for the quality of their kids education, for whatever reason. Parents who spend lots of money on private school generally don't do it capriciously - they care a *lot* about education and they put their money where their mouth is. So it's not completely fair to just blame lazy/stupid teachers (there are plenty of them for sure). Lazy stupid kids and their parents are equally to blame. Personally, I don't care about them. They should not be my problem or my kids problem. One way or another, public schools need to separate kids by ability and give motivated kids the chance they deserve. I know teachers and administrators who try to do that, but the system makes it very difficult.

Re:public schools are a mess (3, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#41351725)

Without necessarily disagreeing with anything else you wrote...

Do *you* get to keep your job if you just sorta, meh, show up and just do what you have to do?

Actually, yes. In my experience most jobs are like that. You have to really suck to get fired. *Maybe* if you're just phoning it in you get to be first in line when there are layoffs. Maybe. But then only if your employer does a good job of identifying who's just phoning it in. Not all do.

Bullshit (4, Insightful)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | about 2 years ago | (#41351583)

I grew up in a northern Wisconsin city where the teachers stuck twice times in four years . It was NEVER about the children, always about pay. Chicago is a big Democratic city, you would think there would be no issue with the citizens WANTING to raise their own property taxes to support the schools. As for charter schools, they represent competition, so of course they are evil.

Re:Bullshit (5, Funny)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about 2 years ago | (#41351651)

I grew up in a northern Wisconsin city where the teachers stuck twice times in four years .

You don't say. . .

Re:Bullshit (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41351947)

competition

This is not even a word that should be spoken if we are talking about education. Education is not a business. If charter schools are doing a good job, that improves the situation for everyone, including public school teachers.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41352005)

Education is not a business.

what kind of delusional bullshit world are you living in?

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351991)

I grew up in a northern Wisconsin city where the teachers stuck twice times in four years .

I bet your teachers were against teacher evaluation as well. The product of public education, ladies and gentlemen.

hmm... (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#41351699)

I'm with them on the complaint about test pushers. But privatization? Why should they care? Can't the union accept private school teachers as members and negotiate with private employers just like it negotiates with the City of Chicago? Other unions agitate for their members who're employed by private entities.

I'm also curious what would stop the city from hiring scabs. Parents would no doubt be unhappy with the decrease in teacher quality (since everybody would be brand new) but at least their kids would be going to school. If nothing else, giving the credible appearance of being willing to hire scabs might give the city more leverage over the union.

Re:hmm... (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41351931)

Can't the union accept private school teachers as members

The problem is that the union currently represents people whose jobs are threatened by privatization; a deal would first need to be reached that allowed public school teachers to be transferred to charter schools and visa versa, or else the union would have members fighting against each other. One of the issues in this strike was the number of teachers who were fired when schools were closed; a while back, a tentative deal was reached where the city would give those same teachers first consideration for new positions. The union has to represent the interests of its members, and that means ensuring that the members keep their jobs.

It is also hard to say what the fight to unionize privatized schools would look like. Unions had to fight hard in the early 20th century, and have been under constant attack since the 80s. I doubt privatized schools would be willing to work with a union, and they are likely hiring teachers who do not seem like the sort of people who would want to join a union (what do you think they look for in job interviews?).

I'm also curious what would stop the city from hiring scabs

Finding qualified teachers who are willing to work for Chicago's school system is probably not easy. The schools are being opened for half days that include lunch (most students qualify for free or reduced price lunch, and so they would potentially be starving without that service), although with the custodians threatening a solidarity strike that might not last.

Information to reflect on during this strike (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351743)

Ten posts in, and I already see the guy chomping on the high-salary-bit modded at +5. Before that becomes the focus of these posts, let me add something to reflect on.

There is not only a very strong negative correlation between the percent of a school's low-socioeconomic-status students (measured by a school's free-and-reduced lunch rate) and test scores*, but there has proven to be causation as well. [aft.org] Now, urban Chicago has some of the highest poverty rates in the state of Illinois. Creating a system where half of a teacher's evaluation (and, ergo, the chance they keep their job) is based solely on test scores is simply setting up teachers to fail. Teachers know this; when they (or anyone else, for that matter) are put into a position where their evaluation likely will be poor, due to circumstances far beyond their control, resulting in dismissal from their job, it will negatively affect their performance in the classroom. Then, with high teacher turnaround, the quality of new hires will just suffer precipitously.

This evaluation system was never meant or designed to improve teacher performance. It was designed to set schools up to fail. And Chicago Area Teachers have every right to stand up and stop it. Anyone who tries to complain about salaries is merely throwing a red herring into the discussion.

* source: The Star Tribune [startribune.com] . It appears that, sadly, they removed the free-and-reduced lunch data from this year's test results. In previous years, I ran simple correlation calculations between a district's free-and-reduced lunch percentage, and the percentage of students who were proficient on the tests. The correlation coefficient was -.87 for math and -.92 for reading.

Re:Information to reflect on during this strike (1)

glrotate (300695) | about 2 years ago | (#41351881)

Parents too dumb to be able to feed their kids produce dumb kids.

Who would have known?

Re:Information to reflect on during this strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41352043)

I'm sure what you say it true, but what's the solution? Just moving the kids up through the grades until they "graduate" didn't work.

I think schools will have to recognize what you say and sort the pupils into those who are worth teaching and those who aren't. Teachers talk about the "Track 1" students who are college material, but they can't give them special treatment which is too obvious or they face parents screaming that little Johnny (a Track 3) deserves the same special curriculum. Maybe that's where the charter schools come in.

Slashdot (1, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | about 2 years ago | (#41351797)

I am really struggling to figure out how this posting/article fits with Slashdot at all.

Page views (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351989)

Slashdotters are heavily anti-union. Anything that pisses them off generates lots of posts, page views, and . . . PROFIT!

Nerds care about education (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41351999)

For nerds, education is important. We are who we are because we love to learn. As intellectuals, nerds, and geeks, we benefit from anything that improves the state of education, and we suffer from anything that is detrimental to the state of education.

Re:Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41352015)

Exactly. What does this have to do with slashdot?

Do your research (4, Insightful)

Orp (6583) | about 2 years ago | (#41351803)

First of all, WTF does this have to do with tech? This is one of the most inappropriate stories for a News for Nerds site.

But, since we're all nerds, we do our homework, right?

Anyone who wants to engage in an informed discussion about this issue should, at the very least, read the fact finder's report:

http://www.ctunet.com/blog/text/FactFinderCOMPLETE.pdf [ctunet.com]

Yes, it's 80 pages long and still requires a fair amount of context.

I am so sick and tired of idiots blathering on about (a) lazy selfish goddammed overpaid teachers or (b) without unions we'd all be working 752 days a week in sweatshops.

I'm in a union, been down this road before, it sucked ass. I still have a love/hate relationship with unions. But unlike binary data, things in the real world are rarely black and white.

Re:Do your research (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#41351939)

First of all, WTF does this have to do with tech? This is one of the most inappropriate stories for a News for Nerds site.

Because nerds have no interest in education or politics, right? This site has been about more than tech news for a long time.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351969)

So let me get this straight, a school system with a low graduation rate is supposed to be a shining example of why schools need teachers that can't be fired? Explain to me again how that works?

Que the standard comments... (1, Troll)

jbwolfe (241413) | about 2 years ago | (#41352071)

blasting unions as greedy, corrupt, and featherbedding saps on the "American Dream". Too many people are unaware or uneducated about what they owe to unions for the battles fought in the past and for the issues harming us today. Here's a short list: http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/03/05/148930/top-five-things-unions/?mobile=nc/ [thinkprogress.org] . Before some ignoramous says unions are no longer necessary, I'd ask you to take a look at the last decade and see what's happened to the middle class.

As for my perspective, yes I'm a union member and no I haven't had a pay raise for 10 years, my pension is gone, I work twice as much for 55% of the pay (in 2001). If the unions are so all-powerful and greedy, why has my standard of living dropped so much? Did unions in Wisconsin fare better? If union haters get their wish, the middle class is toast and the plutocracy will eventually prevail leaving the US with no backbone to hold it up. I don't have all the answers, but I know ragging on the unions and real attempts to bust them is a just wrong-headed.

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