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Christian Schneider
Beware of Backfire « Back to Story

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I think that they should go back ti work it is so ashame for them just to request more money when the nation it self is facing terrible financial situations they should put them selfs back to work and just let the union board leaders negotiate there contract we need our kids to stay in school we ate not going to have out kids pay the price and stay at home they must. Go to school since the beginning of there career they was all told how much money they would make even when they where in collage now they want more money teacher make the poorest salary compared to other professional graduates if they don't like there pay well u assume there fired find a diferent job my kids are not rich and they don't go to a privet school. These teacher want to get rich from teacher put children lets just send them to work. To a factory take the pay or leave. It sincerely carlos
"I'm guessing the 90% of parents living in the same area making LESS than the teachers would like to make MORE and make what the teachers make."

Why exactly should a teacher's pay be tied to the incomes of the neighborhood they are working in? I suppose teacher's in Browsnville or East New York should only get what parent's in those neighborhoods make? That is a ridiculous idea. Teachers are people holding Masters Degrees who usually have to put in a lot of time off the clock. Why shouldn't they receive a professional's salary?

Why don't we tie your salary to the lowest income people in your city and see how you feel about it?
"How many people commenting against teachers on this forum would actually be content living on $76,000/year."

I'm guessing the 90% of parents living in the same area making LESS than the teachers would like to make MORE and make what the teachers make.

But I'm sure their cost of living doesn't matter. Tax them more to cover the 1 BILLION dollar shortfall next year and move on, right?

The poor need to pay more so you can get maid more... and we should feel sorry for you, not the parents of the kids you teach who work more hours at less pay... because... poor you and only you?
Once again a conservative Wisconsin kook twists the issues around. This article is full of errors, misjudgments, and plain flat out lies.
How many people commenting against teachers on this forum would actually be content living on $76,000/year. This isn't the middle of nowhere, this is Chicago, a very expensive city. You can easily attribute 20K of that to the generally higher cost of living there. There is little chance a teacher in Chicago is going to be in a position to buy a house in the city who's children they are raising anytime before they are quite old.
Teachers are easy targets in every economic downturn. I left a non-union job in Healthcare to become a teacher 5 years ago {before the beloved GWB and Chewmey ruined the economy} and work for Chicago P.S. I left because I wanted to make less money teaching low-income, minority students to stand up to those who sell them short and stereotype them. I know the corporate game well. Played it well too but every time I got a long stare or were told you're a 'special' person, I thought about how some excellent teachers encouraged me become the arrogant, uppity, over-educated African-American man I needed to be in order to not be intimidated, threatened or belittled by those who wanted to keep me in 'my place'. Surprisingly, many of these people are the same dodos who vote against their self interests and blame collective bargaining for America's ills. I don't agree with the union on all issues but forcing your will upon a union {Rahmney Emanuel/Scott Walker} is not always going to work. The mob is in Wisconsin big time but they support RePubs so the corrupt union argument won't hold water even in a Pre-K classroom debate. They helped Walker win. The mob in Chicago will actually benefit more by laundering businesses to land lucrative TIF grants doled out by Hizzoner R.E. Unions are no longer profitable for the new breed of of financially savvy 'gangsters'.Teaching is not easy, many of you are hopelessly clueless and wouldn't last one hour in the most rosy classroom with an aide. Extensive training is necessary and REQUIRED to become a teacher and it is not cheap. Compared to my previous career with commensurate education, I am taking a huge pay cut. It's not all about the money for teachers but Rahmney dug this hole himself. He had a strong fiscal argument but chose to push rather than pull. I support the CTU not for being a 'perfect' union per se, but for standing pat for the students and teachers who the mayor and CPS administration see only as lab rats in an algorithmic teacher replacement experiment.
Barely enough to live on?!? An average of $76,000 is upper middle class and if a husband and wife were both teachers, they'd be pulling in more than $150k alone! Keep in mind that the $76,000 doesn't include pension costs, health care benefits, or early retirement costs.

JLS, your Reagan quote is a red herring since he was talking about private sector unions (subject to competition) and not public sector unions...if you remember what he did with the air traffic controllers, you would've seen the difference.
You're right. We should ensure that the teachers who help shepherd our children through the early part of their lives earn barely enough to live on. The very idea that they want a 6% raise after not getting a raise for years is outrageous. After all, we all know the cost of living in Chicago is JUST like Milwaukee.

"[W]here free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost. They remind us that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. You and I must protect and preserve freedom here or it will not be passed on to our children."

- Ronald Reagan (Labor Day Speech at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey, September 1, 1980)

Well this makes sense... teachers barely make double the average pay of the parents of the kids they're teaching here.

Clearly they need more than a 16% raise over 4 years... they also need to know they can't be fired ever, even if they're incompetent.

You couldn't expect them to work for less, or risk firing, not when they're only making double what you are... it'd be unfair to expect that.

Right Union Members? That's the argument I'm seeing... are you sure you want to fight this battle on this hill?
There is a much better way to educate our children. Find the best teacher in the U.S. for every subject and have him or her teach every child in the country via a tablet computer such as an iPad. The learning modules could be downloaded and reviewed at any time from anywhere, and could be interactive. Think of the advantages: it would be completely fair since the richest kid and the poorest kid would receive the same educational opportunity. Kids could progress at their own pace without being held back by disruptive students. Learning could occur year round and on weekends, depending on the motivation of the student. There would be no lost education time because of teacher illness or strikes. It would save tens of billions of taxpayer dollars per year. No new schools would ever have to be built. It would save the environment since we wouldn't be wasting time and energy transporting kids and teachers to and from school. Home schooling has already been shown to work better than traditional education methods as demonstrated by test scores. Chicago spends $17,000 per pupil per year. Why don't we spend $500 and buy each kid a tablet computer and start using technology to get better results? Inner city kids deserve better than what they are getting now.
Mr. Schneider, you make some valid points about the teacher's salary demands. However, in comparing the public schools to the charter schools you leave out some glaring differences, i.e. that charter schools can deny enrollment to any child they want to. Which means, they don't have to accept the severly behavior disordered or the academically struggling student. They are not the be all, end all to schooling.
The "D. SAMUEL DAVIS - 14 Points" is a remarkably thorough accounting of this situation - Worth reading and quoting!

ARNE DUNCAN created this mess, which RAHM EMANUEL now finds himself in -- Unless the Democrats plan to 'leave the walking wounded' on a battlefield of their own creation!

THAT HAS BEEN THEIR CUSTOM!
Public Unions are just the Mob Collection agency for the Democrat Party.

One would have to be brain dead not to recognize the inherent corruption in Democrat politicians rewarding unions with tax payers money in return for votes and money!

In fact, the Unions and their bought Politicians have been so greedy & corrupt they are bankrupting this Nation!
A technical point: Scott Walker managed to eliminate collective bargaining for most state employees over benefits but not over salaries. Exempted were firemen and policemen. No mean accomplishment, of course, but not the blanket achievement (yet) this article describes
Good article. What hurts their cause even more is the fact that they are overwhelmingly ugly, obese sows, loudly demanding MORE! They can go to hell.
I mean 350,000 kids to 25,000 teachers is 14 students per teacher.
Note that 350,000 children and 25,000 children gives student to teacher ratio of 14. There were 30 students in a classroom when I was growing up.
The problem is, the CTU is facing Rahm Emanuel, not Scott Walker.
We can only hope!
Mr. Schneider, the Illinois Policy Institute has no interest in honesty. For instance, the way they repeatedly compare arithmetic mean & median as though they are one-and-the-same. You should look for better sources in the future.
The polling on this claims that 47% of Chicago positively supports the CTU. It seems this is a reflexively union town. That may well not survive, however, the inevitable understanding that even a fraction of the union's demands will more quickly and utterly bankrupt the city while teachers are yet further removed from anything resembling accountability. Also, just having the dern kids at the house is not going to age well. As for the students lagging academically, I doubt perfect attendance with these specimens we see on the picket lines is to the intellectual benefit of anyone.
Emanuel can't keel over on this one. It's his Sister Souljah moment. His gun control in Chicago encourages killings and makes Chicago the killing capital of the country. Unlike Obama who is still blaming George Bush at the end of his term, Emanuel cannot blame his predecessor who is a Democrat.

Wonder if they dare bring Obama in to "act" as the mediator/savior to spruce up his "tough guy" image for re-election?
I hope Rahm Emanuel fires them all. I will send him a basket of fruit if he does.
Somehow I doubt that people around Chicago are as intelligent as those in Wisconsin. Chicago is a typical "buy their votes with handouts" Democrat-run area. I think with the teachers' strike you're simply seeing people who have been pampered forever pushing the envelope a little bit more
The Chicago teachers believe they have Obama and Emmanuel cornered. It will be very interesting to see how this turns out.
Speaking as someone in Illinois, we can only wish. Chicago, even IL will never fit the WI example, if only.
"There’s no reason to believe that the Chicago teachers’ strike won’t similarly backfire on union loyalists. "

Except that Illinois, and Chicago in particular, are owned by Organized Crime which owns the Unions. Wisconsin, esp. Madison, though certainly leftist, isn't.
If your numbers are right, 25,000 teachers walkout leaving 350,000 students in the lurch, then that is 1 teacher for every 14 students.

What gives?
If your numbers are right, 25,000 teachers walkout leaving 350,000 students in the lurch, then that is 1 teacher for every 14 students.

What gives?
Want an education?
Don't to Chicago.
You should never let a good crisis go to waste. Here is a great opportunity to help the children of our county, and start an education system that works or throw the children of the usa under the bus and give the teacher unions what they want due to their campaign contributions.
What an embarassment to education.
Or this strike is for Obama look good 'saving the children' Why else strike during a time of huge unemployment that is getting worse?
The Chicago citizens should take that fat pig Karen Lewis and roast her over an open fire, then render the fat from her immense blubber to fuel the heat for the CPS schools.
What the article did not make clear was that the teachers union demanded that 30 per cent raise in two years. That raise would have made the average teacher salary 98,800......more than double the average salary for Chocago area residents, And these teachers as a group have almost the most abysmal record in,the country for actually teaching their students, GREEDY UNION THUGS
Illinois gave America Obama..., they should now pay back the country and help us all REMOVE him!
They all should be fired! They obviously suck as teachers anyway! If the NFL can get by with replacement refs, sh!tcago can get by with replacement teachers, and they'll probably do a better job.
Chicago teachers are overcompensated already. They make about double the average national compensation for all workers:

According to Salaries.com, average salary for a Chicago teacher is $55,607, which represents just 70.1% of total compensation. That means that benefits such as obese defined-benefit pensions and cadillac health care plans are worth another $23,820 for a total annual average compensation of $79,427.

In addition according to AllEducationSchools.com, teachers work about 500 hours less than the typical 2000 hours worked by other professions, so an annualized teacher salary is $105,903 (79427/1500*2000) or $53 per hour!

Not bad, considering the job security and other advantages of being a public employee.

But the unionized slugs want even more and a whopping 16% more is not enough (it never is).

Fire. Them. All.
Arthur - unions aren't the issue, it's unions of public employees, which even Democrat Franklin Roosevelt was against. "All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service."

The problem is that public unions have been co-opted by one party - the Democrats, and the ability of these unions to make enormous donations of taxpayer derived money to Democrats has corrupted the entire system.

Would public unions give up the ability to make political donations?

I'm interested in the support for the notion that communists hate unions.
The CTU teachers are NOT trying to protect their "lavish paychecks" (I'm sure they'd argue with you but the are busy on their gold plated toilets and driving their ferrari's). They are fighting an unjust evaluation system do your research before you write untrue things. You keep saying unions are greedy and bad, you know who else hates unions? Communists. You're too busy calling democrats "communists" that you fail to look in the mirror. Right wingers claim to be "anti-big government" yet want government to prevent unions? Who is the communists now?
What does the 26 cities over 250K and the greatest poverty level have in common?

All are heavy unionized and all have been controlled by Democrats for many many years!

Does this fact and the Blue States bordering on Bankruptcy penetrate the mental fog surrounding. the Liberal mind of most Democrat voters?

Of Course NOT!

Never have so many been oblivious to the obvious.

They still think the Democrat Politicians are concerned about their Welfare.

The same party and polities that reduced the black population into welfare bondage and the most dependable Democrat voters will work just as well for the rest of the population.

Just reduced them to poverty and Depending on Welfare and you have a Democrat voter for life!

President Zero and the Democrats are pursuing the same polities and spreading poverty for the rest of the Nation that have turned those cities and blue States like Calif., Illinois, New York etc. into basket cases and made them dependable votes for the Democrats!

The more the Democrats can spread Poverty, Welfare and the Entitlement mentality the more Democrat voters they make and the closer they get to a Third World Socialist Food Stamp Paradise controlled Lock, Stock and Barrel by the Democrat party!
I look at Karen Lewis and visions of Albert Shanker come roaring back . And when you think of Albert Shanker , one immediatly thinks of Woody Allen's line in Sleeper about Shanker getting his hands on nuclear weapons . But as to Lewis , " This is what democrat-cy looks like .
Illinois' governor is no Scott Walker, nor is the state likely to elect a Scott Walker anytime soon--no such character on that state's bench---just as no Scott Walker will be elected in CA or any other fiscal basket case state. As such, a WI scenario taking place in IL is tough to envision
Public employment unions must be made illegal. While reforms like those of walker have gone one step, one fairly large step, in the right direction; the final fix must include the end of public employment "unions".
This strike is actually a good deal for the taxpayer. Incompetent teachers don't have to be paid, while unmotivated students weren't learning anything anyway.
Illinois is a cesspool of the democrat party...it is run lock, stock and barrel by the incredible leftist BS of the democrat party.

I no longer live in IL.....I'd like to come back for a time....but, it is dangerous to do so. I have a truck, and I'm afraid I'll be given plenty of unjustified tickets, as IL is looking for any way to raise revenue.

You people who vote for democrats are total chumps. YOU are responsible for the cesspool IL has turned into.
Some thoughts:

1. The Chicago strike pits two Democratic interest groups against each other - this is the real story. Over the last 50 years, through policies that encouraged single parent families (which was made morally acceptable through years of conditioning by the Democratic media) Democrats have destroyed the family of those in the minority community. No father in the home impacts on the children's incentive to get an education. School work does not usually come naturally children, and without a strong home and secure home life a teacher's task is impossible.

2. The lack of a strong family as well as exposure to Democratic media which made violence morally acceptable leading to preposterous levels of crime and a culture in Chicago and elsewhere that accepts violence as the norm. And since to be human to is create family, gangs offer children an extended family and sense of belonging lacking in the home.

3. This is today's Democratic Chicago - it doesn't work, it can never work and in Chicago (and Detroit, Newark etc.) we see where all cities under Democratic control are heading. A community of children raised in one parent families, conditioned by Democratic media, has led to a culture where education isn't a priority at all.

4. It is easy to see where the failures are - for example, why do children in Asian families (and children in prior generations of Jewish families) do well? It is not only a strong family unit, it is a culture that stresses education as the number one priority.

5. Through modification of the culture, Democrats have made education irrelevant in Chicago and elsewhere.

6. Why do the teacher's support the political party that more than anything else has destroyed the community in which they teach? The answer is that when public unions were created they were allowed to make political donations. The unions donated only to the Democratic Party. This created a system that is inherently corrupt, since what is being donated is really taxpayer funds and the donations are made to those that determine the conditions of employment. It also means that the unions have to accept all of the other Democratic policies even those that are poisonous to education.

7. Democrats created the culture in Chicago and other cities where teachers are simply unable to teach since the children are in a culture that doesn't place a priority on education (despite lip service to the contrary). In these circumstances how can a teacher possibly convince a child to learn? The result is the violence in Chicago, and the videos of the flash mobs, which are all distressingly similar, although we have all been conditioned by Democratic media to keep quiet about it.


8. I think of the many great scientists, the artists, writers, musicians and others from the Jewish communities of the last generations. Aren't we are losing similar contributions from a much larger number when children are fed into the corrupt Democratic maw? How much have we lost and how much more are we going to lose before this insanity ends - if it ever ends?

9. Chicago teachers are being asked to accept performance based ratings when they know that without students willing to learn performance is almost entirely irrelevant.

10. Democrats are satisfied with the culture they have created in Chicago and elsewhere, since those in it give Democrats 100% of the vote. Therefore, for Democrats there is no incentive to change anything since for the Party the system is working perfectly.

11. To reiterate - there is no chance for any improvement in the public school system in Chicago or anywhere else under Democratic control. The educational programs that are proposed from time to time are laughably useless (except as a means to transfer tax money to favored Democratic causes and individuals) when the real problem is the creation of a culture that is steeped in violence and lawlessness, with no interest in education.

12. In these circumstances, the teacher's Union is entirely correct that what they are being asked to do is irrelevant to education. Standardized testing however, is needed as some sort of objective measurement, and this is the best anyone has found. But, if the students are all or mostly all willing to do well in school then, yes, testing is unnecessary. But when the system is in shambles because Democrats have created a culture that doesn't make education a priority (to say the least), then standardized testing is necessary, if only to give some insight into how bad it is.

13. The band aid solutions proposed by Chicago will not change a thing. There is no future for the children of much of Chicago - under the Democratic culture created for them they are bound to fail.

14. For Democrats the good news is that when failure does come, the former children of children will be the responsibility of another Democratic interest group - the prison guards union.


---------------------------------------
How can anyone accept the status quo?
Of the 16% contract increase, dues will account for 1-2% going to Democrat coffers. No wonder the head of the union makes over 500k per year and spent 350k on corporate jets.
If this goes on to long, Obama will tell Rahm to settle in the teachers favor and after he;s re-elected, Obama will bailout Chicago and every other Democrat run town or state in trouble
This will be nothing like Wisconsin. Why? Because the Democrats need the union vote and will capitulate to their demands in exchange for their votes.
This does reiterate the position of Walker; however, the unions aren't losing dues and a 16% contract increase does nothing to solve their fiscal problems.
Start with the gov't not collecting the dues from paychecks....easy to do.
See how many of them pay for their "representation".
i can tell you've not lived in illinois......chicago is a giant ever-expanding cesspool of dictatorial liberalism with a mob mentality leadership that tolerates NO contrary positions...the only outcome is that in their mad bent to destroy others..they'll include themselves.
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
The teachers will win and the voters will return the Democrats to power in the city until Detroitness makes them all move to inhabitable places.
I have an idea. Privatize the whold system. Less money, better results.
@JSD - I appreciate your teaching service and your support for the teachers. The vast majority of us feel that the teachers are engaged and working hard to teach. But your reluctance to associate assessments for performance or accountability for their efforts are typical of the arguments that we continue to hear from the striking workers. And the comment about re-teaching echo's Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis warning that “this is no way to measure the effectiveness of an educator,” and she griped in a statement about the impact “poverty, exposure to violence, homelessness, hunger and other social issues beyond our control” can have on student performance.

I believe that her comment's and her's are what a certain former president meant by “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”


Rahm Emanuel
Emanuel Rejects CTU's "25 Percent" Anecdote

Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/rahm-emanuel-karen-lewis-ctu-cps-25-percent-140957593.html#ixzz26Gq1bBws

QUOTE:

In a sit-down interview with NBC Chicago earlier this week, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis recalled a conversation she had with then Mayor-elect Emanuel.

"In that conversation, he did say to me that 25 percent of the students in this city are never going to be anything, never going to amount to anything and he was never going to throw money at them," Lewis said Monday.

END QUOTE

Rahm of course said something like what Lewis attributed to him. Lewis would not make that up.

He is throwing money at the hopeless students, though. I don't see how he could possibly avoid it.
Good article. It is amazing that we have continued to throw money at our education system without asking why the system is failing. The amount of total monies spent on education has risen from just over $400B in 1997 to almost $900B in 2012. Amazingly, we pour over defense budgets and entitlement budgets like there is no tomorrow but are willing to look the other way when it comes to the benefits of our tax dollars being spent on education. Money has not solved the problems so we must look elsewhere - and yes, that includes the teachers. The continued spending, the lack of accountability and the sense that nothing is changing, that we are in fact digressing needs to be addressed. I hope Rahm has as much fortitude as Walker had in Wisconsin.
The reckoning is at hand for the day care providers that call themselves teachers. I teach at one of the best universities in the country and I make less than the average Chicago public school teacher. Unlike them my employment is only as secure as the results that I achieve. I say fire them all and bring in better, more dedicated teaching professionals.
The CTU head, Karen Lewis, wanted a strike. She also stated that she was meeting with other union leaders (external to Illinois).
It seems that the national unions want to display some union power after their loss in Wisc last year.
The unions are playing in a much more favorable game in Chicago than they were in Wisconsin. The Democrats control all levels of government in Chicago, Illinois, and the White House. I can't picture the teachers backing down with all the officials in their corner. However, it is interesting to note that Obama ran his mouth constantly about the situation in Wisconsin but his lips have been sealed tight about Chicago.
The union may win the battle but lose the war
Sadly the Democrats will make it look like Wisconsin when in reality it will be the same Obama Chicago Style Politics. The slight of hand is what they renowned for. I guarantee that sadly the result will only allow for nice speeches by Rahm and Barack.
Democrats have created this Monster of Public unions and now the Monster is eating their craters!
Public Unions are just the Mob Collection agency for the Democrat Party.

One would have to be brain dead not to recognize the inherent corruption in Democrat politicians rewarding unions with tax payers money in return for votes and money!

In fact, the Unions and their bought Politicians have been so greedy & corrupt they are bankrupting this Nation!
Either this nation does away with Public unions or public unions will do away with this Nation!
Looks more like Libya
Wisconsin got it right, it might have been painful getting to the results. Gov. Walker held his ground and prevailed. It's time for all government/public unions be busted in Illinois. They add unnecessary burden and expense to the taxpayers, with little to no accountability.

Wouldn't you like to go to work have no accountability and expect at least a 16% increase in salary for the next four years? The model is not sustainable and as a tax-payer; I have NO MORE MONEY. The teachers are not entitled to job security and are out of touch with reality.

Personally, Rahm should FIRE THEM ALL! Hire/rehire teacher's willing to work without a contract, receive fair wages and benefits (401 no pensions), and are accountable. The change in education starts here, not just in the classroom.

We are still talking about the teachers, lets start talking about our kids and the harm to them. It's the kids that matter, but do the teachers and unions care? It appears not really.

Rahm, lock the doors and start hire/rehire those educators willing to cross the line. SEND THE BULLIES HOME. NO MORE BULLIES IN OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM!
You're all being played.

Rahm, Obama and The Unions are on the same team.

This is a scripted opportunity for Obama to ride in and "save the day" and to show how flexible public Unions are now that they got their pay increase.

This is the sort of propeganda we normally observe in Russia and Venezuala.
I despise the teachers union and would like to see it abolished. That said, the teachers' posts on this thread have a valid point about linking pay to student performance. The sad fact is that the majority of kids in the inner city schools are so far gone that they're literally unteachable. Teachers spend most of their time dealing with havoc and disruption; it's like trying to herd cats. I'm still in favor of linking pay and student performance, but only in a very flexible manner to take these realities into account.
In our little town in Wisconsin, public opinion about "balancing the budget on the back of the poor teachers" did not change until their salaries were posted in the local newspaper. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. And where is BHO is all this? If he can't support his bed bud Rahm, where do his loyalites lie?
As a Conservative, I say 'Good for Emanuel! It's way past time for children and their futures to be the focus of education, not teacher's outrageous demands. Our Country's future is dependent on it!
My hope is that AMERICA is the next Wisconsin.
"Striking Chicago teachers may turn Illinois into Wisconsin."
One can only hope!
Chicago is too corrupt and their people are too lazy. Don't insult Wisconsin
To save the brains we must outlaw the teachers unions.
One difference between Chicago and what happened in Wisconsin: Conservatives around the nation support Wisconsin.

But supporting Illinois? Not so much.
This is what happens when you force the services of one group of individuals on another group of individuals: if teachers had to compete for clients, and be held liable for broken promises, like private service-providers, rather than have clients thrust upon them by the rules of well intentioned but shortsighted governments, they would not be able to demand half the benefits that they do. Modern society, that treats anything short of graduate degree as some sort of failure in life and so forces people of all sorts of abilities and backgrounds to be educated as a group, has turned education into a farce: the degrees lose their value, the term 'academic' becomes an irony and people who may have found success outside of academia have great expenses and penalties (in terms of lost time and potential) thrust upon them.

Unions, in as far as they do any more than research the best opportunities available for their members, ultimately expound the message that the world should pay its members for their services more than the value that the world estimates those services to be worth. It would be great if the schools simply offered the old salaries and benefits but opened their doors of application to other members of the public, even those without teaching "qualifications"; I suspect that the old teachers would be a little less willing to just get up and walk out of class, and that some of the new teachers would offer better services.

As a high school teacher, however, I do enjoy the great vacations, low hours and relatively high pay that the profession affords, so I guess that I shouldn't complain too much at the general public's ignorance of just how much of a scam government enforced, public education is.
The parents of the children at these schools shouldn't be too concerned at the loss of teacher hours. Look on it as a privilege to be free for a short spell of union propaganda spilling out on their children. Let it also be seen how well the pupils can survive without the expensive and crippling expense the taxpayer is being billed for.
Mr. Schneider...I'd appreciate your insight as to Mayor Emanuel's view of this crisis...is it one to waste?
Teachers cannot be judged on "The Dumbest Generation" because no one will have a job. Students today are microcephalics who are going to destroy what our forefathers created. I hate to say it but there is not much hope... they cannot learn. Read Mark Baurlein's book "The Dumbest Generation."
All I ask is this: Make the teachers pass the test before they are allowed to teach the class. Illiterates can't teach and "disparate impact" is completely irrelevant when it comes to children's education.
Chicago teachers could take a lesson from WA State-Seattle teachers who threatened to strike last year and they were able to reach a reasonable compromise that showed the teachers care more about their students than the teachers' pocket books.
There are ways to link teacher performance to test results without falling into the trap of rating the teacher who gets the good students as better.

Look at past student performance. Give tests at the beginning of the year to determine where students are starting from. This will help shape the instruction, so it can serve two purposes: help students, allow fair evaluation of teachers. The good teacher is the one whose students make good progress considering where they started.
Any bets? My guess is that the mayor doesn't even really want to win this thing.
As a current educator, department chair, Teach for America Corps Member and regular critic of traditional education, as well as an advocate for reform, I find myself very disappointed with his article.

I originally subscribed to CITY with the hope that the publication would meet the standards of my first read -- namely that the publications would be sensible, intellectual, and honest. Instead, this article, along with several recent others, is a mockery of op-ed writing.

For instance, to reduce the discussion regarding attaching teacher evaluations to student growth measures as mere greed is nearsighted at best and plain ignorant at worst. After all, how does one measure student success? Does one base it on standardized tests? How does on evaluate teachers whose students do not take such tests? What of excellent teachers that are forced to re-teach students that have received inferior education through previous instructors? Does this model follow patterns of other successful school districts around the country and the globe?

These are all legitimate questions in the conversation, and they are not even given a cursory note of recognition. I only hope that CITY improves its reporting and begins to lean back toward balance and thoughtfulness, rather than blind-sided brazen critique.
So many misconceptions. I taught at a cps school with 30% absenteeism. There were 27 freshman homeroom classrooms and 5 senior homeroom classrooms. Ninety percent of all phone numbers didn't work. Kids on computers looked up lyrics, shoes, and relatives in the Illinois Penitentiary system. We couldn't give out calculators without students steeling the batteries for their hand-held games. We didn't have textbooks. We had to provide our own paper and the school did not have a normal copy machine. The student's grade school preparation was atrocious. Given these real conditions in an actual Chicago high school, should the teachers be held responsible for student test scores? Despite these obstacles the teachers did an excellent job. I had taught in an excellent suburban district and worked hard as I watched my male students drop out in bunches until the day all the male teachers were fired.
Teachers Unions are part of the Minority Bolshevism coalition out to destroy us. Check it out: http://www.tinyurl.com/8vdkg5s
Teachers Unions are part of the Minority Bolshevism coalition out to destroy us. Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/8vdkg5s
I am wholly disappointed in the blatant bias of this article. 16% over the next four years may seem generous. However, one should include the fact that the teachers were promised a 4% increase last year that never came through.

As for the pension deficit, teachers have paid their share for years. The deficit is the result of districts and localities NOT paying, deferring their share of the contribution, thus creating a colossal funding crisis.

Lastly, testing. There are myriad issues that affect a student's performance on any test. Americans in particular, live in an individualistic culture. Each student brings a variety of strengths and weaknesses into a classroom; we cannot quantify their talents and gifts using a standardized test. Americans by nature defy the possibility. To tie teacher evaluation to one standardized test is a disservice to teachers AND the students they love and endeavor to teach - to inspire to be the very best their individual selves can be. There is NO research that supports standardized testing and/or it's "effectiveness" for measuring student achievement or teacher efficacy.

There are FAR more effective and fair methods of assessing student achievement and teacher efficacy, some of which teachers unions have suggested. The problem is the politicians aren't listening to those who are truly the experts on education and student learning, and the sheeple believe all they hear and see as propounded by the media.

Hat tip to you for maintaining the status quo. My apologies for expecting more.

One item I found amusing was the extension of the teacher workday, from 6 hours to seven and a half. A schedule millions would love to have
City Journal is a bright light in a dank pit of gloom and darkness!

I live in the South and copy CJ articles to my peers at work and friends across the country, to illustrate what a responsible Journal could (should) be.

CJ is not an attack rag or propaganda vehicle, rather a well reasoned debate on serious issues facing the American Public!

If both sides would use the CJ model, we would have a well informated public.

Then we, as Americans could decide the best path for America's future.

Don't hold your breath America!!!

Keep it up City Journal!!!

Stellar work!
The hell with public employee unions. Selfish parasites
This all being orchestrated so Obama can come in and "solve" the problem.Do you think for one minute the Unions would pull a strike in the middle of his campaign season.Wait and see what happens the next few days, mark my words this will happen and the mainstream media will sing their praises