I’ve had no time to read up on news in the past two weeks because I’ve had a lot to do. I just started reading up a little on the teacher’s strike and seem to be getting to various opinions.
On the one hand, there’s the side that sympathizes with the teachers, and are criticizing Rahm Emanuel:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called for a longer school day, more control for principals in picking teachers, thorough evaluations for teachers, and expansion of the city’s charter schools. The teachers have said they felt under siege, and pitted against a larger national education trend that they say fails to consider Chicago’s realities, like the fact that 87 percent of public school students here come from low-income homes. (via)
And then I found a CNN opinion article that says that the teacher’s are repeating history (in a bad way):
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.”
I agree that Conservatives seem to be blaming all these statistics on teachers rather than looking other socioeconomic indicators. But what I don’t understand is, are the teacher’s asking for higher pay? From what I can tell, they are only striking because of the strict measures Emanuel is calling for. I think I’ll have to read further.
//Ignore this. Just collecting links for my own purpose.