After 25 years without a strike, Chicago public school teachers are out walking the picket line.
“This is not a strike I wanted,” . “It was a strike of choice … it’s unnecessary, it’s avoidable and it’s wrong.”Emanuel said in a late-night press conference.
All of this confusion left parents scrambling to figure out what to do with their children come Monday morning. “I have to be at work at 8:30 I can’t afford to miss a week or more of work, and I can’t leave my 9, 12 and 14 years old kids home alone”, said a mother of 3 CPS students.
As an employer, we understand the pressure that this places on parents who are torn between obligations at work and home.We have times where one or more of our employees will bring their children to work, rather than take days off or leave children home alone.
It is my hope that the strike will end quickly. I understand the positions of both sides. Teacher hold an important place in preparing our children to be successful contributing members of our nation. They deserve to be well paid, but I’m not sure that the city has the funds. Teachers must be accountable, just like workers in any other job, but we need a fair way to make those determinations.
Standardized test scores are great in a world of “Standardized children”. The problem is not all students start off at the same place. For some schools going to a 30% dropout rate would be a major improvement, at other schools, parents would be mortified if the dropout rate was even 10%. Schools like Payton, Northside, Whitney or other selective enrollment and honors programs are filled with the city’s smartest kids; so there is no excuse for the scores NOT being impressive. Other teachers find themselves in classes of 28 kids, gang-bangers, kids who are malnourished, maybe homeless, then we are surprised when the scores are so different.
That is a bit like saying “Wow, I can’t believe your Ford Escort cant keep up with a Ferrari.”
Maybe we should base teachers evaluation on level the of improvement that students experience.
Unions are not the problem. Teachers are not over paid. Get the class sizes down to 20, and watch scores rise. Problem is that costs money, more money than Chicago has available.
Only take the smartest kids, watch scores soar, but what about the rest of the children?
No these problems are not easy, but if we want to stay a world power, we are going to have to invest in education, while also holding teaches accountable. lets hope that the strike will end soon, and that it will be at least another 25 years without a strike