Chicago teachers panic at thought of performance accountability
posted by Tom Patterson
at 14 September, 1:00 PM 0
What are the teachers in Chicago smoking,? Their union president claims they just want a “fair contract” and says they are fighting for “education justice”. But what’s fair? Chicago teachers already average $71,000 in take-home pay plus a plump benefits package, far above the average compensation of others who work the full year. Yet they turned down a 16% pay raise. But the Chicago teachers aren’t risking public backlash and throwing their political friends under the bus for economic reasons. No, they are in full panic mode at the thought that they might be held accountable for performance. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel wants to install a teacher evaluation system that counts changes in student test scores as a major factor while the union favors seniority and credentials, the status quo. Union members probably have reason to be concerned. Pres. Karen Lewis claims up to 6000 teachers could lose their jobs under a performance-based evaluation system. That sounds like negotiating hyperbole, but there actually may be that many bad teachers out there. Although Chicago’s teachers rate highly under their current evaluation system, Chicago’s schools system is one of the country’s worst. 79% of the eighth graders aren’t proficient in reading, according to the US Department of Education. The graduation rate is 55%. A recent study showed that only 6 out of 100 high school freshman eventually earned four year college degrees, 3 put of 100 minority males. My guess is that this strike won’t last long, the White House will pull the plug on this election season embarrassment. The bigger question is how long can teachers’ unions leverage political influence to evade accountability and promote their own interests against those of their students?
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