Anonymous asked: What are your thoughts on the Chicago Teacher Strike?
I support the teachers.
There’s a lot more to it than what is being shown in the media.
The teachers are primarily demanding:
Smaller class sizes. Some classes can have upwards of 40-50 students in poorer neighborhoods.
Air conditioners installed in all classrooms that are without.
More wrap-around services for our schools including an on-staff nurse, counselors, etc. Currently the city has a city-wide ratio of 1 counselor to ~350 students, and many schools do not have a nurse or have a nurse that is present only one day a week.
Focus on best practices and teacher evaluative systems away from standardized testing and towards more holistic methods of assessment. They would prefer the Danielson rubric which has been implemented.
These problems stem from the fact that schools are supported by local taxes, thus schools in poorer neighborhoods are underfunded and suffer. The teachers are evaluated in the underfunded school by the same metrics as teachers in well funded schools. This creates a lot of problems. If teacher salaries are to be tied to school performance without any additional considerations then those schools who reside in districts that are poorly funded and have classroom sizes of 40-50 students+ are being punished for factors beyond their control.
The next thing that these teachers are opposing are the charter schools that Rahm Emmanuel is giving contracts out to via political kickbacks.
They reason there is so much focus on wages and benefits is because technically salaries and benefits are the only issues that the teacher’s union can legally strike on. The issue of pay is largely settled, but because by law they can only strike for pay and benefits they are in a no win situation.
There is also the matter of Chicago Public Schools diverting $70 million to city police to avoid paying teachers’ contractual 4% raise last year.