Chicago Teachers Union Strike to Continue

Karen Lewis – Weirdo

The Chicago Teachers Union is continuing its strike, at least for a few more days. They don’t even seem to be pretending it’s about the children anymore.

Union president Karen Lewis said teachers want the opportunity to continue to discuss the offer that is on the table.

“Our members are not happy,” Lewis said. “They want to know if there is anything more they can get.”

Yes, they want to get more, because this isn’t good enough:

With an average salary of $76,000, Chicago teachers are among the highest-paid in the nation. After weeks of talks, the district proposed a 16 percent raise over four years, including bumps for experience and education – and far beyond what most American employers have offered in the aftermath of the Great Recession. (Read More)

The Wall Street Journal noted how the union and bad teachers are the big winners in this debacle.

Teachers won big, however, on what they really care about (other than money), which is limiting the degree to which student test scores count in teacher evaluations. Student performance will count for only 25% starting this year, moving up over the next two years to 35%. This leaves the rest of the evaluation to the kind of subjective judgment that has long kept the worst teachers firmly in place.

The union nixed merit pay—everyone has to move in lock-step, you know—and teachers that do somehow get a ranking of “needs improvement” suffer no consequence in the first year. After a repeat of that ranking, they move into a category of “unsatisfactory,” which means they get 90 days of remediation to shape up. If they don’t, they are then put on a path to dismissal, which in the past has taken from two to five years but which Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale says will now take about nine months. (Read More)

Oh, and here’s a fun fact: Almost 40% of Chicago’s public school teachers send their own kids to private schools. I’ll bet they’re grateful to the private school teachers for not going on strike.

Update: Linked by Scared Monkeys and The Other McCain – thanks!