Chicago Teacher's Strike

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GloriaInTX's picture
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Chicago Teacher's Strike

Do you support the Chicago teachers strike?

Today, the 26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union are on strike because they can't accept a 16% raise over four years, tougher testing and accountability standards, and non-automatic rehiring.

Once again, the Chicago Teachers Union is showing its true colors: self-serving public sector bullies more interested in their well-being than the well-being of students.

Consider that public school teachers in Chicago make an average of $71,000 a year, while a majority of the roughly 350,000 public school students, overwhelmingly minority students, receive free or discounted school meals, meaning they are at or near the poverty line.

What do these well-paid teachers bestow on the poor children and families of Chicago? Nearly 80% of eighth-graders in Chicago public schools are not proficient in reading or math, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

In fact, little has improved in Chicago since the 1987 strike. Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times points out that "In 1987, 43% of incoming Chicago freshmen would drop out of high school without graduating. Today's drop-out rate is 39.4%, the lowest it has ever been."

A dropout rate of nearly four students in 10 is a national disgrace. For 25 years, Chicago's teachers' unions have held the city's parents and students hostage while morally and financially bankrupting the city. Chicago public schools are $665 million in debt, and that debt is expected to exceed $1 billion next year. For 25 years, the union has blocked and impeded educational progress. The time for change is long overdue.

For decades, conservative education reformers like myself have been pushing for performance pay, strict accountability, flexible rehiring practices for school principals and longer school days to improve our public schools. Now, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, through the Race to the Top grant requirements, are trying to implement similar measures in Chicago's public schools. Duncan, whom I sometimes agree with, and Emanuel, whom I almost never agree with, both seem to be taking the traditionally conservative side of this issue.

Chicago teachers' strike is a test for Democrats - CNN.com

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
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I don't know how public servants like teachers got to be the bad guys. I know a lot of teachers. I'm married to one. I know the depth of their commitment to their students. Teaching isn't like other professions - the more experience and training a teacher has, the better teacher they are likely to be, but they are also more expensive which, in times where districts cut schools' budgets over and over and over again would make the most experienced and most educated teachers the most vulnerable if not for the unions that ensure that experienced (read: expensive) teachers cannot be dismissed without good cause.

The testing has created an enviornment where teachers are expected to "teach to the test" with no data that shows that high test scores correlate to applicable knowlege and real learning; the point of teaching should be less about rote memorization of easily forgotten facts, and more about the process of how to learn, how to research, how to think. The other fall out from the testing is that the poorest schools that are in most dire need of better resources (updated books, well trained teachers, updated facilities) are at the largest risk of losing yet more funding.

In the midst of all of this, rather than looking at ways we actually can improve our public schools, conservatives are pushing to further defund schools and divert money towards private schools in a very thinly veiled attempt to get the American tax payers to fund religious education.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Teaching isn't like other professions - the more experience and training a teacher has, the better teacher they are likely to be, but they are also more expensive which, in times where districts cut schools' budgets over and over and over again would make the most experienced and most educated teachers the most vulnerable if not for the unions that ensure that experienced (read: expensive) teachers cannot be dismissed without good cause.

If that is the case then I would think that good teachers would welcome evaluations to determine who are the good teachers instead of just how long you have been on the job.

Illinois lawmakers voted in 2010 to require that all public schools use student achievement as a component of teacher evaluations by the 2016-17 school year. In Chicago, Emanuel is living up to a promise made during his inauguration speech by demanding the Chicago Teachers Union agree to make the change years ahead of that schedule.

"As some have noted, including (his wife) Amy, I am not a patient man," Emanuel said after he was sworn in as mayor a year ago. "When it comes to improving our schools, I will not be a patient mayor."

The issue of teacher evaluations has only been on the table in Chicago for a few months, and Emanuel acknowledged this week that his swift push for change could be a factor in why his relationship with the union has been so contentious. In other big cities, a more patient approach has led to success in finding agreement with reluctant teachers.

The deal reached Wednesday in Boston will allow administrators to rely more heavily on student achievement in crafting teacher evaluations and remove from the classroom those receiving poor evaluations within 30 days. That contract came after 400 hours of contract negotiations that spanned more than 50 separate sessions over two years.

"Change is hard and is often hard-fought. But we should make special note that through all the tough negotiations, neither side let their frustrations spill onto the students of the Boston Public Schools," said Mayor Thomas Menino. "I tell you, this is a contract that's great for our students, works for our teachers and it's fair to our taxpayers."

Slowing down the timeline for implementing the use of student performance in evaluations has also led to success elsewhere. Chicago's current offer to teachers includes not counting the new evaluations for a year as any kinks in the process are worked out. In Cleveland, the city's school district made its deal with teachers by agreeing to a loose framework for the new evaluations that would take four years to implement. The school system and the union spent a year constructing the evaluations, and then began a two-year pilot process that will not incorporate student test scores. That will come for the first time in the 2013-14 school year.

"This is complex work and it takes time to build it thoughtfully and carefully," said Cleveland schools CEO Eric Gordon. "It really has been a joint commitment in the beginning. We all believe that this is the right (approach)."

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=161046568

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

If that is the case then I would think that good teachers would welcome evaluations to determine who are the good teachers instead of just how long you have been on the job.

My second paragraph deals with that. The tests that are out today don't measure learning in any meaningful way, they measure rote memorization, which is not the same as true learning. Again, true learning has a lot more to do with learning the process of gaining knowlege than it does simple memorization of facts which can be easily forgotten again after the test. Great teachers should not be teaching to the test, they should be teaching the process of learning; that is a true quality education. I don't think teachers are opposed to assessments, they are opposed to inaccurate methods that don't paint a true picture of a child's actual learning and exert undue influence on the amount of time that children are spending studying for test questions instead of focusing on real applicable knowledge.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

My second paragraph deals with that. The tests that are out today don't measure learning in any meaningful way, they measure rote memorization, which is not the same as true learning. Again, true learning has a lot more to do with learning the process of gaining knowlege than it does simple memorization of facts which can be easily forgotten again after the test. Great teachers should not be teaching to the test, they should be teaching the process of learning; that is a true quality education. I don't think teachers are opposed to assessments, they are opposed to inaccurate methods that don't paint a true picture of a child's actual learning and exert undue influence on the amount of time that children are spending studying for test questions instead of focusing on real applicable knowledge.

There is more to an evaluation than just how well students do on a test. There should also be more to it than just the amount of years spent on the job. The teachers in Chicago want no evaluation at all, even though their salaries and benefits are higher than not only teachers in other areas, but also comparable private sector jobs.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Acheivement tests are specifically used to determine the amount of money that a school district is given, which has a resounding effect on the money that can be spent, among other things, on teachers. Can you cite where they are saying that they want no evals at all? I haven't seen or heard anything where teachers are admandant against evals, more that they want fair evals that actually measure their performance.

Why shouldn't teachers make a decent living? They are doing a very important job.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Why shouldn't teachers make a decent living? They are doing a very important job.

There is a difference between making a decent living and bankrupting the city. They are already being offered a 16% pay raise over 4 years and that isn't good enough, which is why they are on strike.

For 25 years, Chicago's teachers' unions have held the city's parents and students hostage while morally and financially bankrupting the city. Chicago public schools are $665 million in debt, and that debt is expected to exceed $1 billion next year. For 25 years, the union has blocked and impeded educational progress. The time for change is long overdue.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

There is a difference between making a decent living and bankrupting the city. They are already being offered a 16% pay raise over 4 years and that isn't good enough, which is why they are on strike.

I read another article that said one of the sticking points was that they were adding 54 minutes to each school day. This is the equivelant of a week. Should they not be compensated for that time? If they worked 5 fewer days, they would be docked the wages. Another thing I read mentioned wanting the buildings retrofitted for air conditioning. Even though some areas of CA have very mild summers, buildings are still required to have AC. Don't get why that's not reasonable either.

I'm not sure how CPS can single-handedly bancrupt a city. Perhaps something else is awry.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

There is more to an evaluation than just how well students do on a test. There should also be more to it than just the amount of years spent on the job. The teachers in Chicago want no evaluation at all, even though their salaries and benefits are higher than not only teachers in other areas, but also comparable private sector jobs.

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Acheivement tests are specifically used to determine the amount of money that a school district is given, which has a resounding effect on the money that can be spent, among other things, on teachers. Can you cite where they are saying that they want no evals at all? I haven't seen or heard anything where teachers are admandant against evals, more that they want fair evals that actually measure their performance.

Why shouldn't teachers make a decent living? They are doing a very important job.

I haven't found it either. The contract that ended 6/30/12 had teacher evaluations in it. Most teachers I know welcome feedback from administrators and colleagues.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I read another article that said one of the sticking points was that they were adding 54 minutes to each school day. This is the equivelant of a week. Should they not be compensated for that time? If they worked 5 fewer days, they would be docked the wages. Another thing I read mentioned wanting the buildings retrofitted for air conditioning. Even though some areas of CA have very mild summers, buildings are still required to have AC. Don't get why that's not reasonable either.

I'm not sure how CPS can single-handedly bancrupt a city. Perhaps something else is awry.

They already have only a 5 1/2 hour day. So that would just make it the same as most other teachers.

Chicago Schools To Extend Length of School Day | Education News

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I don't know how public servants like teachers got to be the bad guys. I know a lot of teachers. I'm married to one. I know the depth of their commitment to their students. Teaching isn't like other professions - the more experience and training a teacher has, the better teacher they are likely to be, but they are also more expensive which, in times where districts cut schools' budgets over and over and over again would make the most experienced and most educated teachers the most vulnerable if not for the unions that ensure that experienced (read: expensive) teachers cannot be dismissed without good cause.

The testing has created an enviornment where teachers are expected to "teach to the test" with no data that shows that high test scores correlate to applicable knowlege and real learning; the point of teaching should be less about rote memorization of easily forgotten facts, and more about the process of how to learn, how to research, how to think. The other fall out from the testing is that the poorest schools that are in most dire need of better resources (updated books, well trained teachers, updated facilities) are at the largest risk of losing yet more funding.

In the midst of all of this, rather than looking at ways we actually can improve our public schools, conservatives are pushing to further defund schools and divert money towards private schools in a very thinly veiled attempt to get the American tax payers to fund religious education.

What religious education is being publicly funded or trying to be funded?

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

Did I just read that you guys send your kids to school for SEVEN hours a day?????? Elementary school kids???? Thats insane! How are those kids learning anything in the last few hours. They must be exhausted. Our elementary kids go to school from 9 til 2:38. Thats 5 1/5 hours, unless my math is off. Wholly Crumbs!

Sorry, total sidetrack from the debate, just....wow! I dont know much about this strike and contract, but I will say that in my experience, when teachers strike, the media always says its about the money, and it rarely ever is. There is usually something else that they are trying to sneak in, like evaluations that make it so if a principal doesnt like you they can fire you, or 7 hour school days, or funding cuts.

Joined: 05/23/12
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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Acheivement tests are specifically used to determine the amount of money that a school district is given, which has a resounding effect on the money that can be spent, among other things, on teachers. Can you cite where they are saying that they want no evals at all? I haven't seen or heard anything where teachers are admandant against evals, more that they want fair evals that actually measure their performance.

Why shouldn't teachers make a decent living? They are doing a very important job.

I also think teachers are doing a very important job. But, there are lots of professions that even get paid less for their important work. Teachers get more breaks than lots of other professions - than any other profession I know of. So I'm not sure they aren't being compensated fairly.

Joined: 05/23/12
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"ftmom" wrote:

Did I just read that you guys send your kids to school for SEVEN hours a day?????? Elementary school kids???? Thats insane! How are those kids learning anything in the last few hours. They must be exhausted. Our elementary kids go to school from 9 til 2:38. Thats 5 1/5 hours, unless my math is off. Wholly Crumbs!

Sorry, total sidetrack from the debate, just....wow! I dont know much about this strike and contract, but I will say that in my experience, when teachers strike, the media always says its about the money, and it rarely ever is. There is usually something else that they are trying to sneak in, like evaluations that make it so if a principal doesnt like you they can fire you, or 7 hour school days, or funding cuts.

You were freaking out about how much food we pack and now about how many hours LOL Smile

My kids go from 7:40 - 3:45 M-F. So like 8 hours in all.

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To answer the debate question Smile Protesting during this time is unfair to the kids. If these teachers care about the kids, they should find another time to negotiate. These kids are losing time to learn. I'm not sure how they will make up this time if they are getting behind, plus, from what I understand a lot of these kids live in rough areas, which means poverty. Due to this, they probably don't have strong resources at home to supplement their education. Their parents probably are struggling and what are they doing with them while they are working, probably scrambling. I don't think school is their babysitter, but in school is where these kids need to be.

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"myyams" wrote:

What religious education is being publicly funded or trying to be funded?

This is the agenda behind the push for school vouchers. In essence, tax payer money would be used to provide vouchers that parents could then use to pay for private schools, the majority of which are religious.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

This is the agenda behind the push for school vouchers. In essence, tax payer money would be used to provide vouchers that parents could then use to pay for private schools, the majority of which are religious.

What's wrong with this? Don't parents still pay tax that go toward the public schools they aren't using if their kids are in private (religious or non religious or homeschooled) schools? I guess people could say that they are paying tax and don't even have kids in school etc. It's just that sometimes the feeder school is horrible and parents want their kids out of them but can't yet afford to move from that area into a 'posh' area that has a 10, but they at least want to try to get their kids into a better school environment, albeit religious or secular 'private' school. Do you think those children should be deprived of that opportunity?

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

They already have only a 5 1/2 hour day. So that would just make it the same as most other teachers.

Chicago Schools To Extend Length of School Day | Education News

You know that's not the point. It doesn't matter how long their contracted work day is, their work hours and salary were negotiated and that is what the contract is.

If you had a contract that you would preform 45 hours of work over the course of the week and based on that your salary is negotiated at X. Your boss unilaterly tells you you will now be required to work 50 hours per week with no increase in pay and no negotians. Your boss unilaterly tells you you will now be required to work 40 hours for 11% less pay. See the difference?

All of the salaried positions my X held were based on a specific number/average of hours. Yes, some weeks were more; some were less. But a permanent deviation of 11% would result in negotiations over salary also.

Looking at non-salaried employees, you can't unilaterly tell an employee they have to work 11% with no increase in pay. The labor board would be all over that.

Also, according to their contract, their work day is 6 hours 45 minutes. (With lunch which would be standard after 6 hours.) The student day is scheduled 8:30 - 3:30 which is 7 hours. But if you really think that's all the time teachers put in, follow me for a week. Heck, even a day would suffice.

Joined: 04/12/03
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"myyams" wrote:

To answer the debate question Smile Protesting during this time is unfair to the kids. If these teachers care about the kids, they should find another time to negotiate. These kids are losing time to learn. I'm not sure how they will make up this time if they are getting behind, plus, from what I understand a lot of these kids live in rough areas, which means poverty. Due to this, they probably don't have strong resources at home to supplement their education. Their parents probably are struggling and what are they doing with them while they are working, probably scrambling. I don't think school is their babysitter, but in school is where these kids need to be.

You mean like all summer and the weekend before the strike? If the district cared about the kids...

Joined: 05/23/12
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I agree with all of this.

However, this isn't the time for negotiations. Unfortunately, I've not read about the specifics. If what you say is happening, that suddenly they are required to work more, then that's wrong. Whatever is written in their contracts should be abided by.

I think until then, they need to enroll these children into the Chicago Public Virtual Charter school, get some monitors to sit with them at school in their appropriate rooms, and let the kids learn.

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

You know that's not the point. It doesn't matter how long their contracted work day is, their work hours and salary were negotiated and that is what the contract is.

If you had a contract that you would preform 45 hours of work over the course of the week and based on that your salary is negotiated at X. Your boss unilaterly tells you you will now be required to work 50 hours per week with no increase in pay and no negotians. Your boss unilaterly tells you you will now be required to work 40 hours for 11% less pay. See the difference?

All of the salaried positions my X held were based on a specific number/average of hours. Yes, some weeks were more; some were less. But a permanent deviation of 11% would result in negotiations over salary also.

Looking at non-salaried employees, you can't unilaterly tell an employee they have to work 11% with no increase in pay. The labor board would be all over that.

Also, according to their contract, their work day is 6 hours 45 minutes. (With lunch which would be standard after 6 hours.) The student day is scheduled 8:30 - 3:30 which is 7 hours. But if you really think that's all the time teachers put in, follow me for a week. Heck, even a day would suffice.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"myyams" wrote:

I also think teachers are doing a very important job. But, there are lots of professions that even get paid less for their important work. Teachers get more breaks than lots of other professions - than any other profession I know of. So I'm not sure they aren't being compensated fairly.

Their pay is pro-rated so they are paid for the full 12 months, but the appropriate yearly amount for 9 months or whatever. Teachers also rarely only work during the school hours. My DH goes in 45 minutes before school starts so that he can be a resource to kids who come in needing help for their homework, and stays at least an extra hour after to school for the same reason, and to make sure that all of the kids are out of the building before the teachers leave. He also sponsors an after school club once a week where he stays even later to just stay and basically "watch" the kids so they can have their club on school grounds. He then comes home and spends a chunk of his evenings and weekends making lesson plans, grading papers, communicates with parents, et cetera. All of that is included in his base pay, it's not like he gets extra money for the extra hours spent. Whenever they have extra-curricular activities (fund raisers, dances, parent teacher conferences, whatever) he works those as well, without extra pay. During the summer he does ongoing professional development (taking classes, attending seminars, et cetera) which he does not get paid extra for, although to be fair when he reaches certain thresholds of training hours he does get raises. It's not as simple as school starts at 7:15 and ends at 2:30 and those are the only hours they work. They do a LOT outside of the regular school hours that I think people forget to count in when they are looking at how much teachers work vs how much they get paid. And these people are with your children all day every day, giving them the skills they will need to eventually become productive members of society; you want to attract great people that are willing to work hard, and part of that does need to be reflected in the pay and benefits. I agree with ethanwinfield, if my work came to me and said they wanted me to work an extra week without extra pay, I would be peeved, no matter how much I make now. I'm sure the rest of you would too.

Joined: 05/23/12
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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

You mean like all summer and the weekend before the strike? If the district cared about the kids...

Yes, it should be the district. Whatever is decided before the school year and signed should be abided by. Whatever is to be in the contract should be decided and signed before the school starts. NOW is not the time for these negotiations and issues.

Alissa_Sal's picture
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Posts: 6427

"myyams" wrote:

What's wrong with this? Don't parents still pay tax that go toward the public schools they aren't using if their kids are in private (religious or non religious or homeschooled) schools? I guess people could say that they are paying tax and don't even have kids in school etc. It's just that sometimes the feeder school is horrible and parents want their kids out of them but can't yet afford to move from that area into a 'posh' area that has a 10, but they at least want to try to get their kids into a better school environment, albeit religious or secular 'private' school. Do you think those children should be deprived of that opportunity?

Public school is an investment in the community which is why everyone pays for it whether they have children or not. If your public schools are struggling, diverting money away from them is not the way to fix it. I believe parents have a right to send their kids to private school - as long as they are willing to pay for it or get scholarships from the school. Alternately, I believe private schools have a right to accept tax payer's money, as long as they are willing to abide by the same rules that all public schools abide by, including the first amendment which would mean they need to become secular. I don't think they can have their cake and eat it too.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

I understand. As a parent, I also help the students at school. We have the PTO and I volunteer for TWO schools. I don't get paid for that. Some parents volunteer for escorting students from car to school or school to car. We all fill in. My husband works A LOT of hours he doesn't get paid for. The doing extra work isn't exclusive for teachers. I am not saying it's right. I think teachers should be strict about their time and negotiate all of this into their contracts. Everything should be written down. NOW though is not the time; someone's gotta let go of the tug o war rope til next year's contract negotiations.

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Their pay is pro-rated so they are paid for the full 12 months, but the appropriate yearly amount for 9 months or whatever. Teachers also rarely only work during the school hours. My DH goes in 45 minutes before school starts so that he can be a resource to kids who come in needing help for their homework, and stays at least an extra hour after to school for the same reason, and to make sure that all of the kids are out of the building before the teachers leave. He also sponsors an after school club once a week where he stays even later to just stay and basically "watch" the kids so they can have their club on school grounds. He then comes home and spends a chunk of his evenings and weekends making lesson plans, grading papers, communicates with parents, et cetera. All of that is included in his base pay, it's not like he gets extra money for the extra hours spent. Whenever they have extra-curricular activities (fund raisers, dances, parent teacher conferences, whatever) he works those as well, without extra pay. During the summer he does ongoing professional development (taking classes, attending seminars, et cetera) which he does not get paid extra for, although to be fair when he reaches certain thresholds of training hours he does get raises. It's not as simple as school starts at 7:15 and ends at 2:30 and those are the only hours they work. They do a LOT outside of the regular school hours that I think people forget to count in when they are looking at how much teachers work vs how much they get paid. And these people are with your children all day every day, giving them the skills they will need to eventually become productive members of society; you want to attract great people that are willing to work hard, and part of that does need to be reflected in the pay and benefits. I agree with ethanwinfield, if my work came to me and said they wanted me to work an extra week without extra pay, I would be peeved, no matter how much I make now. I'm sure the rest of you would too.
GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

You know that's not the point. It doesn't matter how long their contracted work day is, their work hours and salary were negotiated and that is what the contract is.

If you had a contract that you would preform 45 hours of work over the course of the week and based on that your salary is negotiated at X. Your boss unilaterly tells you you will now be required to work 50 hours per week with no increase in pay and no negotians. Your boss unilaterly tells you you will now be required to work 40 hours for 11% less pay. See the difference?

All of the salaried positions my X held were based on a specific number/average of hours. Yes, some weeks were more; some were less. But a permanent deviation of 11% would result in negotiations over salary also.

Looking at non-salaried employees, you can't unilaterly tell an employee they have to work 11% with no increase in pay. The labor board would be all over that.

Also, according to their contract, their work day is 6 hours 45 minutes. (With lunch which would be standard after 6 hours.) The student day is scheduled 8:30 - 3:30 which is 7 hours. But if you really think that's all the time teachers put in, follow me for a week. Heck, even a day would suffice.

I'm sure you do put in extra hours, but you also get time off that other people don't get during the summer and holidays. Hey I have plenty of respect for teachers, I have 5 teachers in my immediate family. The point is that these teachers have been overpaid because of the union for years, and with the benefits they receive compensation much higher than private sector jobs in that area and higher than teachers in other areas also. So now when the city is going broke and can't afford to pay them for the extra hours that the kid's need because they are FAILING, they go on strike. So yes in this case I feel the teachers are wrong to go on strike and put their selfish needs ahead of students.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Public school is an investment in the community which is why everyone pays for it whether they have children or not. If your public schools are struggling, diverting money away from them is not the way to fix it. I believe parents have a right to send their kids to private school - as long as they are willing to pay for it or get scholarships from the school. Alternately, I believe private schools have a right to accept tax payer's money, as long as they are willing to abide by the same rules that all public schools abide by, including the first amendment which would mean they need to become secular. I don't think they can have their cake and eat it too.

I know a lot of parents who send their kids to a Catholic school despite being Atheist. They send them there because that particular Catholic school has GREAT education and discipline. Parents are trying to give their kids the best education they know. Often that doesn't reside in the feeder school.

GloriaInTX's picture
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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Their pay is pro-rated so they are paid for the full 12 months, but the appropriate yearly amount for 9 months or whatever. Teachers also rarely only work during the school hours.

So do you think that teachers are the only ones who put in hours that they aren't paid for? I have worked in IT jobs for 20 years and I can assure you that isn't the case. There are MANY other jobs where salaried employees work extra hours or on call for hours that they are not paid for.

Joined: 04/12/03
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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So do you think that teachers are the only ones who put in hours that they aren't paid for? I have worked in IT jobs for 20 years and I can assure you that isn't the case. There are MANY other jobs where salaried employees work extra hours or on call for hours that they are not paid for.

No. Unless your job is just a punch-in-punch-out sort of job (receptionist; data entry, etc.), you take your work home with you. The problem is that people assume -YOURSELF INCLUDED - that teachers don't do this.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

No. Unless your job is just a punch-in-punch-out sort of job (receptionist; data entry, etc.), you take your work home with you. The problem is that people assume -YOURSELF INCLUDED - that teachers don't do this.

I know for sure teachers take their work home. I would imagine Gloria, and lots of others do too. I think the issue is that people don't have an extreme amount of sympathy for teachers when they themselves are doing the same thing yet, they are not getting the plentiful days off like teachers are getting. I still agree though that people should get paid what they work.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

No. Unless your job is just a punch-in-punch-out sort of job (receptionist; data entry, etc.), you take your work home with you. The problem is that people assume -YOURSELF INCLUDED - that teachers don't do this.

Exactly!!!! I only bring it up because you (Gloria) were saying that teachers only work 5 1/2 hours a day, which is not correct. The school may only be open for that time period, but teachers do a heck of a lot outside school hours. It's false to say they only work 5 1/2 hours a day and get paid X amount for it. That's the point I was trying to make.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"myyams" wrote:

I know a lot of parents who send their kids to a Catholic school despite being Atheist. They send them there because that particular Catholic school has GREAT education and discipline. Parents are trying to give their kids the best education they know. Often that doesn't reside in the feeder school.

And they are welcome to do it, as long as they are willing to pay for it or get a scholarship from the schools. Again, if the school wants to accept tax payer money and in essence become public schools, then they need to follow the same rules as public schools.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

No. Unless your job is just a punch-in-punch-out sort of job (receptionist; data entry, etc.), you take your work home with you. The problem is that people assume -YOURSELF INCLUDED - that teachers don't do this.

No I never assumed that. My sister and 4 sister-in-laws are teachers I know they put in extra hours.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Public school is an investment in the community which is why everyone pays for it whether they have children or not. If your public schools are struggling, diverting money away from them is not the way to fix it. I believe parents have a right to send their kids to private school - as long as they are willing to pay for it or get scholarships from the school. Alternately, I believe private schools have a right to accept tax payer's money, as long as they are willing to abide by the same rules that all public schools abide by, including the first amendment which would mean they need to become secular. I don't think they can have their cake and eat it too.

To add to this, we are always going to have the need for public schools. Charter schools and private schools have the luxury of picking who they want to attend. They can actively recruit based on test score. If a student becomes a problem either academically or behaviorally, they can be kicked out. Where do those students go? Where do special ed students go?

A charter school designed to take children who couldn't hack it in other charter schools isn't going to have a very good reputation.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

I never said that the teachers were only working 5 1/2 hours. I said that the time they want to extend the day to is only equal to the school day of most other teachers, and yet Chicago's teachers are already paid MORE than most other teachers. Their benefits are also way better than most other jobs. The average teacher salary in Chicago is more than what I am paid in an IT job and I get NO pension.

The CTU wants a pay raise ? 30 percent ? proportional to Emanuel?s 90-minute increase in the school day and 10-day increase in the school year. He has canceled a 4 percent raise and offers only 2 percent. He says benefits the CTU has won ? e.g., many teachers pay nothing toward generous pensions they can collect at age 60 ? could in just three years force property taxes up 150 percent and require classes with 55 students.

George Will: In Chicago, a battle over schools’ future - The Washington Post

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

They already have only a 5 1/2 hour day. So that would just make it the same as most other teachers.

Chicago Schools To Extend Length of School Day | Education News

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

No I never assumed that. My sister and 4 sister-in-laws are teachers I know they put in extra hours.

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I'm sure you do put in extra hours, but you also get time off that other people don't get during the summer and holidays. Hey I have plenty of respect for teachers, I have 5 teachers in my immediate family. The point is that these teachers have been overpaid because of the union for years, and with the benefits they receive compensation much higher than private sector jobs in that area and higher than teachers in other areas also. So now when the city is going broke and can't afford to pay them for the extra hours that the kid's need because they are FAILING, they go on strike. So yes in this case I feel the teachers are wrong to go on strike and put their selfish needs ahead of students.

I beg to differ. Your statements together suggest otherwise.

Out of curiosity, how much should teachers make?

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I never said that the teachers were only working 5 1/2 hours. I said that the time they want to extend the day to is only equal to the school day of most other teachers, and yet Chicago's teachers are already paid MORE than most other teachers. Their benefits are also way better than most other jobs. The average teacher salary in Chicago is more than what I am paid in an IT job and I get NO pension.

George Will: In Chicago, a battle over schools’ future - The Washington Post

How much to teachers make in your area? How much do IT people make in Chicago? Compare apples to apples to see if you are more on par. I'll look it up when I get back from PT.

XDH is the IT guy at his work (and has a side business). Boy did I choose the wrong career. He makes way more than I do and he doesn't even get threatened or called obscenities at his job. And that's from the parents.

mom3girls's picture
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Posts: 1535

I do not support this strike at all. I consider schools to be like police or fire, they are necessary and should not be allowed to strike. We had a strike in our school dist last year and seeing the parents that were trying to deal with childcare, and not knowing day to day what to do with their kids was awful. My 12 year old put into words very clearly why teacher shouldnt strike last year. She said "I feel so bad for some of these kids, they have no adults in their lives they can trust and the teachers just walked out on them too"

I am married to a public school teacher,I know how many hours he puts in, and I think teachers are compensated very fairly. We used to be small business owners (with my in laws until DH decided he really wanted to be a teacher) so I think working in the private sector and seeing the huge difference between what the benefits in public vs. private makes the pay package feel very fair.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I beg to differ. Your statements together suggest otherwise.

Out of curiosity, how much should teachers make?

I don't know what part of Dallas Gloria lives in, but the teachers in the feeder school down the street from me, which has a rating of 10 earn:

s Elementary School
Beginning $46,100
1-5 years $51,375
6-10 years $52,303
11-20 years $51,646
More than 20 years $59,069

However, apparently the salary is higher than the amount of experience from other districts.

In my first job out of college, I earned $29K working in a govt position, 40 hours a week, every week, but I got my 2 weeks of vacation and national holidays off.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

How much to teachers make in your area? How much do IT people make in Chicago? Compare apples to apples to see if you are more on par. I'll look it up when I get back from PT.

XDH is the IT guy at his work (and has a side business). Boy did I choose the wrong career. He makes way more than I do and he doesn't even get threatened or called obscenities at his job. And that's from the parents.

I dont understand this attitude at all, you knew when you chose to get teaching credentials what you would make. At any point in time you could switch professions.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I beg to differ. Your statements together suggest otherwise.

Out of curiosity, how much should teachers make?

Whatever you took it to mean, that is not what I said. I posted a 5 1/2 hour day and followed it up with an article about the length of the school day. That does not suggest that teachers only work the length of the school day.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

How much to teachers make in your area? How much do IT people make in Chicago? Compare apples to apples to see if you are more on par. I'll look it up when I get back from PT.

XDH is the IT guy at his work (and has a side business). Boy did I choose the wrong career. He makes way more than I do and he doesn't even get threatened or called obscenities at his job. And that's from the parents.

IT people make about the same in Chicago as in Dallas. But teachers in this area make a lot less than the teachers in Chicago.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Whatever you took it to mean, that is not what I said. I posted a 5 1/2 hour day and followed it up with an article about the length of the school day. That does not suggest that teachers only work the length of the school day.

Then what was the point of bringing up the 5 1/2 hour day if you acknowledge that there is more to their day than just the school day? Like why throw out that number?

Myyams, all of that is a livable wage, but it's certainly not living the high life. To put it in perspective, I work in the private sector, am 32 and have been at my job for about 6 years, I do have a degree, but it is not in the area that work in, and I already make more than your teacher of 20+ years experience. I also make more than DH who has a Masters in Education, constantly does career development to help him be the best teacher he can be, and works at one of the highest paying school districts in the city. And that's fine, neither he nor I are arguing that he should make six figures or anything. We knew what his pay was going to be like when he got into "the Biz" and obviously he didn't do it to become rich. I just think we should keep it in perspective, like I don't think most teachers are rolling a Benz or anything. They make a living wage, as they should.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

I completely agree that salary isn't a living the high life kind of salary. A teacher's salary isn't. But, again, look at all the off time. How many days per year do they work exactly? And teachers go into this profession know they are not going to live the high life off of this salary.

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Then what was the point of bringing up the 5 1/2 hour day if you acknowledge that there is more to their day than just the school day? Like why throw out that number?

Myyams, all of that is a livable wage, but it's certainly not living the high life. To put it in perspective, I work in the private sector, am 32 and have been at my job for about 6 years, I do have a degree, but it is not in the area that work in, and I already make more than your teacher of 20+ years experience. I also make more than DH who has a Masters in Education, constantly does career development to help him be the best teacher he can be, and works at one of the highest paying school districts in the city. And that's fine, neither he nor I are arguing that he should make six figures or anything. We knew what his pay was going to be like when he got into "the Biz" and obviously he didn't do it to become rich. I just think we should keep it in perspective, like I don't think most teachers are rolling a Benz or anything. They make a living wage, as they should.

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"ftmom" wrote:

Did I just read that you guys send your kids to school for SEVEN hours a day?????? Elementary school kids???? Thats insane! How are those kids learning anything in the last few hours. They must be exhausted. Our elementary kids go to school from 9 til 2:38. Thats 5 1/5 hours, unless my math is off. Wholly Crumbs!

Sorry, total sidetrack from the debate, just....wow! I dont know much about this strike and contract, but I will say that in my experience, when teachers strike, the media always says its about the money, and it rarely ever is. There is usually something else that they are trying to sneak in, like evaluations that make it so if a principal doesnt like you they can fire you, or 7 hour school days, or funding cuts.

Not really relevant to the debate, but in GA where DH works they do the school day differently. Instead of doing a standard 180 day year, they do 160 days and add on an hour to each day. I am not sure about the students, but DH goes from 7:30 to 3:30. I think the students get out at 3:15. In TN where we live (DH commutes), the days are shorter, but they go more days.

As to the debate, I am not sure of the school districts in question. I can say about the GA schools, that they have given the teachers and staff fur low days every year to make budget cuts. So not only have they not gotten their promised pay raises in the last 5 years (You do not get full pay until you have 10 years of experience), he is making a few thousand less than when he was hired. He is not about to strike though. He is still very thankful for his job though.

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"myyams" wrote:

I completely agree that salary isn't a living the high life kind of salary. A teacher's salary isn't. But, again, look at all the off time. How many days per year do they work exactly? And teachers go into this profession know they are not going to live the high life off of this salary.

DH is not exactly a teacher. He is an interpreter in the Public School system, however, he is paid the same as a teacher and has the same amount of time off as a teacher. So I will use him as an example. DH has three jobs as an interpreter. One as a full time interpreter in the school, one as a video interpreter in a call center, and one as a community interpreter (ER, doctor, and so on). If you count hours worked, he makes about the same per hour at each of his jobs (abt $30/hr), but he makes less per year in the school system because he works less hours. (His check is spread out over the 12 months). Even though the other jobs would pay more per year, he works in the school because he has more time off, but knows that is factored into the pay. (He works his other part time jobs in the summer). Teachers also have the same opportunity to work more by private tutoring, which in his school pays about $18/hour extra.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Then what was the point of bringing up the 5 1/2 hour day if you acknowledge that there is more to their day than just the school day? Like why throw out that number?

Because all the articles state that is the shortest school day in the NATION. Most schools have at LEAST a 7 hour day.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"myyams" wrote:

I completely agree that salary isn't a living the high life kind of salary. A teacher's salary isn't. But, again, look at all the off time. How many days per year do they work exactly? And teachers go into this profession know they are not going to live the high life off of this salary.

Just looked at DH's contract. He works 182 days a year. I then calculated mine, and minus paid vacation and holidays, I work 223 days per year (I'm not going to factor in paid sick leave because I don't know how much he gets per year, although I suspect it's less than my 6 days per year.) I then figured out how much we each earn per day. I'm not going to post that because it's no one's business, but yes, I make quite a bit more per day than he does, and I would venture to say his days are longer than mine from start to finish when you add in getting to school early, staying late, and then coming home and grading papers and lesson planning and talking to parents and what not. Typically, once I'm home, I'm home, although I'm also salaried. So yeah, again, I wouldn't say he's just rolling in it, even for the amount of days he works. Which is FINE, he knew that going in. But people trying to paint teachers as these overpaid fat cats just don't really jive with my reality. Smile

ETA: Sorry, I meant to say that those 182 days per year are school days, and do not include the additional trainings and what not that his school sends him to for professional development (for example, they sent him for a 4 day training class on IB in June.) I don't know off the top of my head how many of those he does, but that also decreases his over all "pay per day" ratio.

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I also wanted to add, that Chicago has a high cost of living. I don't know exact numbers, but I know DC pays much higher than here, but it cost twice as much to get an apartment or buy food. Just because people make more per hour/year there, does not mean they make more over all.

I am of the opinion that yes, cuts need to be made and budgets need to be followed, but teachers are not the first place those cuts should be made.

GloriaInTX's picture
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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

But people trying to paint teachers as these overpaid fat cats just don't really jive with my reality. Smile

I don't think all teachers are overpaid. There are many areas where they are certainly not. We are talking about these specific teachers that are striking. They are not only paid higher than most teachers but their pension benefits are better than most private sector jobs. Did you take your husbands pension benefits into account when you figured out his pay compared to yours?

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I don't think all teachers are overpaid. There are many areas where they are certainly not. We are talking about these specific teachers that are striking. They are not only paid higher than most teachers but their pension benefits are better than most private sector jobs. Did you take your husbands pension benefits into account when you figured out his pay compared to yours?

No, I honestly don't know what his pension benefits are as compared to mine. My company does a pension and matching contributions to the 401K. It's funny, although I know that they do pensions, I don't even know a lot about my own pension benefits, although I am pretty hip to the 401K part. I'll have to ask him about his pension. (And find out about my own!) LOL

I know that Chicago has a higher cost of living than most places, so I don't know how to translate that to the rest of the country.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Because all the articles state that is the shortest school day in the NATION. Most schools have at LEAST a 7 hour day.

I still have no idea what you are trying to say. Their contract that expired 6/30/12 requires a longer work day than 5.5 hours. The students attend from 8:30 - 3:30 so the schools do have a 7 hour day.

But you acknowledge that there is more to teaching than student contacts. If you were required to be physically present at your job for 5 hours per week and put in 40 hours from home, would you have the same attitude if the boss wanted you there for 10 hours a week and 35 hours from home? Are you somehow working more hours because your boss has to see you for an extra 5 hours? Except with teaching, 5 hours of more student time won't increase the overall workload by just the 5 hours of student contact. It will create even more work time outside of school hours. In other words, if your boss said 10 hours in the office and 35 hours from home would result in 45 hours at home.

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