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(Mother Jones)   So, what is the Chicago Teachers Union Strike about? Well, for one, they want air conditioning   (motherjones.com) divider line 244
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7382 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Sep 2012 at 9:03 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-12 08:05:28 AM  
I don't know how hot it gets in Chicago, but I remember going to school in Georgia in schools with no air conditioning in the seventies and eighties. It has left me with no fear of hell. The sweat used to pour off of us in class. Sometimes, by the time I finished an assignment, the paper was so soggy it was difficult to handle and read. Try to concentrate while desperately fanning yourself with a paper fan in that kind of heat. It can not be done.
 
2012-09-12 08:53:11 AM  

Lunaville: Try to concentrate while desperately fanning yourself with a paper fan in that kind of heat. It can not be done.


Nevertheless, the teachers will be evaluated for their effectiveness.
 
2012-09-12 09:07:15 AM  

Lunaville: Try to concentrate while desperately fanning yourself with a paper fan in that kind of heat. It can not be done.


If they taught you anything they would have taught you to stop fanning yourself because in actuality you're only making yourself hotter.
 
2012-09-12 09:07:30 AM  
Even worse, in many schools you're not allowed to have the doors and windows open for the security and noise. I know people who weren't on the side of the teachers and when they heard this crap changed their mind.

And Lunaville, with classes starting much earlier and going much later (and year round schedules as well), there is plenty of opportunity for classes to be taking place in 90+ weather here in Chicago.
 
2012-09-12 09:10:19 AM  
If the strike keeps up they'll be teaching in July. They better hope they get air conditioning.
 
2012-09-12 09:13:11 AM  
So basically they want higher wages, benefits to same the same with no increase on their part, and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

This is why unions are shiat, why should they get special treatment in pay raises/health insurance when everyone else has to deal with this economy?
 
2012-09-12 09:13:12 AM  
I remember this episode. Everybody thinks the teachers want justice but in reality since it is so unbearably hot they want "just ice" for their drinks, haw haw!
 
2012-09-12 09:13:46 AM  

TheHighlandHowler: Lunaville: Try to concentrate while desperately fanning yourself with a paper fan in that kind of heat. It can not be done.

Nevertheless, the teachers will be evaluated for their effectiveness.



No they won't. The tests they use don't measure effectiveness, they measure mastery of specific content. If the only thing your car's speedometer did was tell you if your average speed was faster, slower, or equal to 45 MPH once, at the end of your trip, could you evaluate the effectiveness of your brakes or engine?
 
2012-09-12 09:14:29 AM  
And a massive pay raise the likes of which you would never see.

Would you like a 16% raise over 4 years? Because that's not good enough for them.

And what do you mean they have no A/C? I guess that wasn't part of the billion dollar stimulus.
 
2012-09-12 09:14:37 AM  

steamingpile: So and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

?


Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of a teacher's ability?
 
2012-09-12 09:15:08 AM  

Lunaville: I don't know how hot it gets in Chicago, but I remember going to school in Georgia in schools with no air conditioning in the seventies and eighties. .


I'll bet those schools had windows that opened. I try to forget ever having gone to school in Georgia.

People die in Chicago from the heat, so much so that other cities respond very seriously to "heat waves" which would be considered normal summer temps in the South and Southwest.
 
2012-09-12 09:15:20 AM  
Knowing how bad kids smell in the heat, I can't blame them - and trust me, I know a thing or two about bad smells.
 
2012-09-12 09:15:34 AM  
We didn't have AC either... but of course, my elementary school school was built in 1911 and the junior high was built around the same time. I don't think that should be a standard these days though.
 
2012-09-12 09:16:10 AM  

Lunaville: I don't know how hot it gets in Chicago, but I remember going to school in Georgia in schools with no air conditioning in the seventies and eighties. It has left me with no fear of hell. The sweat used to pour off of us in class. Sometimes, by the time I finished an assignment, the paper was so soggy it was difficult to handle and read. Try to concentrate while desperately fanning yourself with a paper fan in that kind of heat. It can not be done.


I remember my first week of high school here in Oklahoma CIty. It was over 100 degrees everyday. No A/C. They made the radical decision to allow us to wear shorts that week.
 
2012-09-12 09:16:34 AM  
We learned this 40 farking years ago. Turning our schools into windowless sweatshops with no ventilation makes for a pretty farking non-conducive learning environment.
 
2012-09-12 09:16:42 AM  

steamingpile: So basically they want higher wages


THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!
 
2012-09-12 09:17:00 AM  

Carth: steamingpile: So and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

?

Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of a teacher's ability?


Until something else that comes up that is fairer.. its all we have. We need some sort of unbiased way of evaluating teachers... after all, its their union that wants it that way, so the UNION should come up with a fair way to access their members abilities.
 
2012-09-12 09:17:10 AM  

FarkedOver: If they taught you anything they would have taught you to stop fanning yourself because in actuality you're only making yourself hotter.


While doing so does generate heat, the increased convective cooling from increased airflow across the skin may well outweigh the thermal cost of the muscular activity.
 
2012-09-12 09:18:24 AM  
Give me 76k a year and I will work with out a/c nine months of the year and not in summer!
 
2012-09-12 09:18:51 AM  
As a teacher myself, I'm obviously biased, but I have to wonder how many teacher strikes over the years have been for unnecessary or non-critical things? Do teachers strike to get a better quality of scotch in the teacher's lounge or the like? Going on strike is kind of a huge risk; I can't imagine that people choose to do it for trivial reasons, at least most of the time.

I understand that Chicago is a special case in some ways (one hotel I've been to there has had a union "on strike" and picketing out front for a few years running), but I don't get why people would need to be convinced that the teachers are striking for a legitimate reason.

/Start living up to my naively lofty expectations, you stupid humans.
 
2012-09-12 09:18:53 AM  

dwrash: Carth: steamingpile: So and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

?

Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of a teacher's ability?

Until something else that comes up that is fairer.. its all we have. We need some sort of unbiased way of evaluating teachers... after all, its their union that wants it that way, so the UNION should come up with a fair way to access their members abilities.



There are better testing solutions, tests that measure improvement instead of mastery of specific content. They cost money though, so they aren't an option.
 
2012-09-12 09:19:14 AM  

randomjsa: And a massive pay raise the likes of which you would never see.

Would you like a 16% raise over 4 years? Because that's not good enough for them.

And what do you mean they have no A/C? I guess that wasn't part of the billion dollar stimulus.


Billion, trillion, what's the difference, right?

No, the stimulus wasn't for A/C.
 
2012-09-12 09:19:16 AM  

steamingpile: keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.


I'm totally with you on this one. I desperately want to see a system where teachers are promoted based on how good they are at teaching, and where it's easy to fire bad teachers, regardless of how long they've stuck around.

All we need to do is figure out how to tell which teachers are good. And come up with a definition of "good at teaching" that we can all agree upon. Any suggestions?
 
2012-09-12 09:19:55 AM  
I once had to teach for a couple of months late in the school year without air conditioning; since this was middle school, the pungent stench of puberty and shame was magnified to an unbearable degree.
 
2012-09-12 09:20:14 AM  

fracto: dwrash: Carth: steamingpile: So and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

?

Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of a teacher's ability?

Until something else that comes up that is fairer.. its all we have. We need some sort of unbiased way of evaluating teachers... after all, its their union that wants it that way, so the UNION should come up with a fair way to access their members abilities.


There are better testing solutions, tests that measure improvement instead of mastery of specific content. They cost money though, so they aren't an option.


Since this is a problem caused by the unions.. they should be willing to foot the bill.
 
2012-09-12 09:20:31 AM  

steamingpile: So basically they want higher wages, benefits to same the same with no increase on their part, and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

This is why unions are shiat, why should they get special treatment in pay raises/health insurance when everyone else has to deal with this economy?


Know how I know you didn't actually read the article?

I live with a teacher, and it's infuriated both of us (her especially, obviously) that in all of this strike coverage, hardly any news outlets are actually reporting on why they're striking. Even this article misses what is perhaps the biggest sticking point: new education reforms want 25% of a teacher's evaluation process to be based on standardized test scores, and Rahm wants that percentage upped to 40%.

Put aside all your anti-union sentiments, all your talk of "how am I going to find a babysitter for my kids???", and ask yourself two questions: 1) Do you honestly believe that standardized tests as we know them in American classrooms have ANYTHING to do with measuring a student's learning; and 2) Can you honestly say that such an arbitrary metric should be used to provide the lion's share of how we decide if a teacher's doing his or her job well?

No good teacher---NOT ONE--is against performance evaluations. EVERY good teacher is against using standardized test scores as the basis for their evaluation.
 
2012-09-12 09:22:25 AM  

dwrash: fracto: dwrash: Carth: steamingpile: So and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

?

Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of a teacher's ability?

Until something else that comes up that is fairer.. its all we have. We need some sort of unbiased way of evaluating teachers... after all, its their union that wants it that way, so the UNION should come up with a fair way to access their members abilities.


There are better testing solutions, tests that measure improvement instead of mastery of specific content. They cost money though, so they aren't an option.

Since this is a problem caused by the unions.. they should be willing to foot the bill.



In what way is the problem caused by the unions?
 
2012-09-12 09:22:25 AM  

Carth: steamingpile: So and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

?

Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of a teacher's ability?


Do you have a better tool?

I have seen some of the standardized tests, and there didn't seem like there was a way to "teach to the content". In order to pass the Math test, you would have to have a pretty good grasp on the concepts that were supposed to be taught at that level.

It is really no different than any other attempt to put a metric on someone's work. None of them are particularly effective, but no one has come up with anything better.
 
2012-09-12 09:24:13 AM  
The only time I pay attention to these picketing teachers is when there's a hot one in the group
 
2012-09-12 09:24:46 AM  

GameSprocket: Carth: steamingpile: So and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

?

Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of a teacher's ability?

Do you have a better tool?

I have seen some of the standardized tests, and there didn't seem like there was a way to "teach to the content". In order to pass the Math test, you would have to have a pretty good grasp on the concepts that were supposed to be taught at that level.

It is really no different than any other attempt to put a metric on someone's work. None of them are particularly effective, but no one has come up with anything better.


I think this guideline would be a good start.
 
2012-09-12 09:25:12 AM  
I went to summer school in Chicago. The older schools were designed to handle the heat pretty well. Of course back then, they could open the windows and doors and not worry about a bunch of pedos sweeping through, grabbing children and making off with the little darlins.

Great times. Between Grade 3 and 4, I got my first peek of boobs when a hot, young teacher hugged my because I finished all the reading assignments ahead of time. I remember it as if it were yesterday, she pressed my face pushed in against the two soft mounds, I peeked past the light floral mini dress top and saw my very first bra. It was a soft scalloped affair that pulled her breasts up thusly. Probably a Sears 2105 C-Cup in pastel white with modified detailing. I wondered why she even needed shoulder straps. I decided right then that I liked reading and boobs. And not in that order.
 
2012-09-12 09:26:06 AM  

Carth: GameSprocket: Carth: steamingpile: So and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

?

Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of a teacher's ability?

Do you have a better tool?

I have seen some of the standardized tests, and there didn't seem like there was a way to "teach to the content". In order to pass the Math test, you would have to have a pretty good grasp on the concepts that were supposed to be taught at that level.

It is really no different than any other attempt to put a metric on someone's work. None of them are particularly effective, but no one has come up with anything better.

I think this guideline would be a good start.


Got cut off. But I think teachers and school should compile a "Teaching portfolio" as outlined in those guidelines then go for yearly reviews were they present the data they collected and discuss their raises.
 
2012-09-12 09:26:12 AM  

CalvinMorallis: steamingpile: So basically they want higher wages, benefits to same the same with no increase on their part, and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

This is why unions are shiat, why should they get special treatment in pay raises/health insurance when everyone else has to deal with this economy?

Know how I know you didn't actually read the article?

I live with a teacher, and it's infuriated both of us (her especially, obviously) that in all of this strike coverage, hardly any news outlets are actually reporting on why they're striking. Even this article misses what is perhaps the biggest sticking point: new education reforms want 25% of a teacher's evaluation process to be based on standardized test scores, and Rahm wants that percentage upped to 40%.

Put aside all your anti-union sentiments, all your talk of "how am I going to find a babysitter for my kids???", and ask yourself two questions: 1) Do you honestly believe that standardized tests as we know them in American classrooms have ANYTHING to do with measuring a student's learning; and 2) Can you honestly say that such an arbitrary metric should be used to provide the lion's share of how we decide if a teacher's doing his or her job well?

No good teacher---NOT ONE--is against performance evaluations. EVERY good teacher is against using standardized test scores as the basis for their evaluation.


FYI, Tenure is no more arbitrary than standardized tests..
 
2012-09-12 09:28:04 AM  
Standardized tests change the power dynamic. People hate change.
 
2012-09-12 09:28:29 AM  

steamingpile: This is why unions are shiat, why should they get special treatment in pay raises/health insurance when everyone else has to deal with this economy?


Look up 'Crabs in a bucket'. Hint: Everybody should get those things.
 
2012-09-12 09:28:34 AM  

Carth: Carth: GameSprocket: Carth: steamingpile: So and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

?

Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of a teacher's ability?

Do you have a better tool?

I have seen some of the standardized tests, and there didn't seem like there was a way to "teach to the content". In order to pass the Math test, you would have to have a pretty good grasp on the concepts that were supposed to be taught at that level.

It is really no different than any other attempt to put a metric on someone's work. None of them are particularly effective, but no one has come up with anything better.

I think this guideline would be a good start.

Got cut off. But I think teachers and school should compile a "Teaching portfolio" as outlined in those guidelines then go for yearly reviews were they present the data they collected and discuss their raises.


Since data and statistics are falsifiable, the task should not be left to anyone with a stake in academia.
 
2012-09-12 09:28:40 AM  

dwrash: CalvinMorallis: steamingpile: So basically they want higher wages, benefits to same the same with no increase on their part, and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

This is why unions are shiat, why should they get special treatment in pay raises/health insurance when everyone else has to deal with this economy?

Know how I know you didn't actually read the article?

I live with a teacher, and it's infuriated both of us (her especially, obviously) that in all of this strike coverage, hardly any news outlets are actually reporting on why they're striking. Even this article misses what is perhaps the biggest sticking point: new education reforms want 25% of a teacher's evaluation process to be based on standardized test scores, and Rahm wants that percentage upped to 40%.

Put aside all your anti-union sentiments, all your talk of "how am I going to find a babysitter for my kids???", and ask yourself two questions: 1) Do you honestly believe that standardized tests as we know them in American classrooms have ANYTHING to do with measuring a student's learning; and 2) Can you honestly say that such an arbitrary metric should be used to provide the lion's share of how we decide if a teacher's doing his or her job well?

No good teacher---NOT ONE--is against performance evaluations. EVERY good teacher is against using standardized test scores as the basis for their evaluation.

FYI, Tenure is no more arbitrary than standardized tests..


Do you know what tenure was created? It has a pretty important purpose and history.
 
2012-09-12 09:29:15 AM  

dwrash: Carth: Carth: GameSprocket: Carth: steamingpile: So and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

?

Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of a teacher's ability?

Do you have a better tool?

I have seen some of the standardized tests, and there didn't seem like there was a way to "teach to the content". In order to pass the Math test, you would have to have a pretty good grasp on the concepts that were supposed to be taught at that level.

It is really no different than any other attempt to put a metric on someone's work. None of them are particularly effective, but no one has come up with anything better.

I think this guideline would be a good start.

Got cut off. But I think teachers and school should compile a "Teaching portfolio" as outlined in those guidelines then go for yearly reviews were they present the data they collected and discuss their raises.

Since data and statistics are falsifiable, the task should not be left to anyone with a stake in academia.


You know how I know you're either trolling or didn't read the link?
 
2012-09-12 09:29:26 AM  
Has anybody put pencil to paper to show how much money the school is allotted per year and exactly where every one of those dollars is going? Put it down on paper, in black and white for both sides to see and go from there. Are the teachers asking for such a big slice of the pie that it is crippling the budget for the rest of the school? Or is it the administrators who are taking home paychecks that are bloated for what they bring to the table? Is there any other aspect of the budget that is unnecessarily taking away from the clear goal of the school system, teaching children? Can I add any more question marks to my comment? Am I feeling lucky, punk?

/?
 
2012-09-12 09:29:38 AM  
I can sympathize with the air conditioning request, but compensation-wise I think they're being greedy. And I say that as someone who works in a school and strongly advocates for higher teacher pay. Demanding a 16% pay raise over 4 years during an economic downturn when you're already some of the highest paid teachers in the nation isn't reasonable. Our teachers haven't gotten a raise in 3 years. (I don't think that's right either, but that's an argument for another day).

Long story short, I think the union is overreaching on this one. Ironically enough, they are probably doing a lot to hurt Democrats and help rabidly anti-union Republicans in an important election year.
 
2012-09-12 09:30:21 AM  

TheHighlandHowler: Nevertheless, the teachers will be evaluated for their effectiveness.


Judging teachers effectiveness based on standardized scores is ludicrous. It makes the assumption that the tests are an effective way to determine if the kids are grasping what they are being taught. They are not.

1) the tests suck. They are aimed at students in the lower end of the middle of the bell curve. Teachers have to teach down to the test for most kids.
2) teacher effectiveness has a relatively small effect on a student grasping the material. Parent involvement has as much of a role but the effort put out by the kids themselves has the greatest impact. Teachers have little control over those last 2 and shouldn't be judged by it.
3) The performance of the administration never is brought into this conversation but should. If an administrator refuses to deal with discipline problems or wont stand up to parents with unreasonable expectations of what the school should be doing for their child, all those problems get piled onto teachers.
4) Many of these kids come from impoverished homes where education or success is given no emphasis. The focus at home is on getting by because it has to be in order to survive. A very very small percentage of teachers are going to have what it takes to help inspire a very very small percentage of kids that they can overcome this. Pretending that these percentages are any higher and judging all teachers by the example set by these superstars is counterproductive.


The concept of cleaning house at a failing school is a prime example of lazy administration taking the ultra easy way out rather than figuring out what the problem is.
 
2012-09-12 09:30:42 AM  
Also, anyone who sends there kids to a CPS school is either poor (sympathy) or stupid (no sympathy)
 
2012-09-12 09:31:04 AM  
Al Gore will not like that at all, AC is causing GW.
So, standardized test are bad? Whne will they fight to kill the ACT and SAT?
Pay Fairness? They are already the highest paid teachers in the USA and yet the reading rates for 8th graders is under 20%? yet they want more?
 
2012-09-12 09:31:18 AM  
Holy cow, steamingpile. I would have sworn you wouldn't get single bite on that one. Fark...where overt and subtle apparently collide.
 
2012-09-12 09:31:22 AM  

Frank N Stein: Also, anyone who sends there kids to a CPS school is either poor (sympathy) or stupid (no sympathy)


Chicago public school school. Whoops.
 
2012-09-12 09:32:35 AM  

dwrash: Carth: steamingpile: So and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

?

Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of a teacher's ability?

Until something else that comes up that is fairer.. its all we have. We need some sort of unbiased way of evaluating teachers... after all, its their union that wants it that way, so the UNION should come up with a fair way to access assess their members abilities.


FTFY. Also, that's retarded. The union isn't a teacher or a manager of teachers; it's a collective bargaining entity. That's like saying the union should have to design the HVAC system they want installed. "How to evaluate teachers" is as broad and vague of a category as "How to evaluate restaurants." The current evaluation systems look at only the most basic measurements because of the fixation we're stuck with to make everything "standardized" (as if that's both possible and preferable). Before we can evaluate teacher effectiveness for real, we need to let go of the idea that we'll ever be able to standardize education or any of its parts in a nation as big and heterogeneous as ours. Also we'll need AC in the classrooms, because seriously.

/I am 200% in favor of kicking bad teachers to the curb; I don't want to do it with a ridiculously over-simplified definition of "bad."
 
2012-09-12 09:32:37 AM  
Just how hot is it in Chicago between September and May?

Can't be much different then Vermont can it? Really get a lot of hot days during the school year?

Anyway, if they were not such greedy pigs, there would be more than enough money to go around.
Union President looks like she ate Sally Struthers.
 
2012-09-12 09:33:37 AM  

Carth: dwrash: CalvinMorallis: steamingpile: So basically they want higher wages, benefits to same the same with no increase on their part, and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

This is why unions are shiat, why should they get special treatment in pay raises/health insurance when everyone else has to deal with this economy?

Know how I know you didn't actually read the article?

I live with a teacher, and it's infuriated both of us (her especially, obviously) that in all of this strike coverage, hardly any news outlets are actually reporting on why they're striking. Even this article misses what is perhaps the biggest sticking point: new education reforms want 25% of a teacher's evaluation process to be based on standardized test scores, and Rahm wants that percentage upped to 40%.

Put aside all your anti-union sentiments, all your talk of "how am I going to find a babysitter for my kids???", and ask yourself two questions: 1) Do you honestly believe that standardized tests as we know them in American classrooms have ANYTHING to do with measuring a student's learning; and 2) Can you honestly say that such an arbitrary metric should be used to provide the lion's share of how we decide if a teacher's doing his or her job well?

No good teacher---NOT ONE--is against performance evaluations. EVERY good teacher is against using standardized test scores as the basis for their evaluation.

FYI, Tenure is no more arbitrary than standardized tests..

Do you know what tenure was created? It has a pretty important purpose and history.


It has a pretty important purpose and history for college level professors doing controversial research and teaching certain topics.

This really isn't the same as protecting somebody teaching 8th grade English.
 
2012-09-12 09:33:39 AM  

NightOwl2255: I remember my first week of high school here in Oklahoma CIty. It was over 100 degrees everyday. No A/C. They made the radical decision to allow us to wear shorts that week.


Shorts?! I wish. Catholic school there were none of these 'shorts'. Because you couldn't wear them to church.

I almost talked my mom into letting me wear a skirt since those were legal.

/Causing trouble since Kindergarten.
 
2012-09-12 09:33:52 AM  

steamingpile: So basically they want higher wages, benefits to same the same with no increase on their part, and keep their promotion based on years instead of how good they are at teaching.

This is why unions are shiat, why should they get special treatment in pay raises/health insurance when everyone else has to deal with this economy?


Because teachers dont get paid what they are worth in the first place.

a.abcnews.com
 
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