What If Rahm Were Evaluated Like a Teacher?

As you may have heard, the Chicago Teacher’s Union went out on strike last night.

The traditional news has spun this to largely be about wages.

Late Sunday, Mr. Emanuel told reporters that school district officials had presented a strong offer to the union, including what some officials described as what would amount to a 16 percent raise for many teachers over four years — and that only two minor issues remained.

[snip]

Negotiations have taken place behind closed doors since November, concerning wages and benefits, whether laid-off teachers should be considered for new openings, extra pay for those with more experience and higher degrees, and evaluations. District officials said the teachers’ average pay is $76,000 a year.

Many of them neglect to mention the background: that last year Rahm withheld a scheduled 4% raise and expanded the school day by 20%. Over the summer, the Chicago Public Schools hired more teachers to do this work, but as some teachers went back to work in August, it became clear the expanded day still represented an increased work load for them (for example, some teachers were being asked to supervise recess during their prep period).

And while health care is a big remaining compensation-related issue, many of the other issues have to do with pedagogy and evaluation and with basic conditions for the students.

For example, the CTU objects to tying teacher pay to new high stakes tests, particularly given that the district is leaving teacher training at the same or lower levels, and that teachers believe the tests in question are inappropriate to their students.

And it objects to all the money Rahm is funneling into new charter schools, basically pulling money out of neighborhood schools and putting it into schools that often exclude disadvantaged students or those with learning challenges.

The union wants a limit to how many kids can be put in one class–and particularly ensure that inner city schools rival the student-teacher ratios of the suburbs.

Finally, teachers are striking to make sure the school roofs and climate control work adequately. Just a few weeks ago, they won the big concession of having textbooks in hand for the first day of school!

Ultimately, though, this strike is about whether the “reform” movement has to include teachers as partners, or instead can continue to treat them as obstacles to downsizing and privatizing schools.

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emptywheel @Krhawkins5 I like that she invented claim AQ didn't think we'd do what we needed. Too much time hanging around Scheuer @matthewacole
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emptywheel @Krhawkins5 It's hard to keep all of Bikowksy's fuckups in one brain w/o writing them all down. @matthewacole
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emptywheel @armandodkos Not true. Merkans need villains. If they lose our old unquestioned ones they might have to question what makes a villain.
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emptywheel @matthewacole Ah, didn't see it when I read it first time, sorry.
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emptywheel @matthewacole Did CIA ask you not to name Bikowsky?
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emptywheel Reup: GOP SSCIers excuse CIA for not briefing Congress on torture bc Congress was on vacation. https://t.co/PSFmZ3pLcw Better? They weren't!
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emptywheel @armandodkos Yes. I keep waiting for it to be free on Prime or Netflix. Thus the delay. @joanneleon
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emptywheel @tmprokop Among other things, yes. Also the person who had Khaled al-Masri rendered by mistake. She's sort of a "best of" fuckups in WOT.
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emptywheel @armandodkos ZDT is a conglomerate, but yes, she's a big part of Maya (as I understand--haven't watched it) @joanneleon
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emptywheel NBC summarizes things Alfreda Bikowsky described as doing in Torture Report (w/o name). http://t.co/H1FkAHEl2A More: https://t.co/hb4ut72cOp
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