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(Chicago Sun-Times)   Chicago's teacher's union says the two sides are "kilometers apart". Parents complain that it's finally time to get off the metric system   (suntimes.com) divider line 35
    More: Followup, Chicago Teachers Union, Steinberg, WGN-TV, Lewis, Chicago  
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647 clicks; posted to Business » on 14 Sep 2012 at 11:02 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-14 10:32:03 AM
American heathens. Get with the metric program already.
 
2012-09-14 11:07:26 AM
I love me a good strike! It warms the cockles of my heart!

gettoptens.com
 
2012-09-14 11:11:49 AM
I side with the teachers on this one.

The entire public education system in this country is ruled by corruption and graft, thanks to local officials that simply don't care about anything but lining their pockets and gaining political favor.

The teachers, amazingly, have somehow been made the scapegoats.

Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools. If anything, they're a symptom.
 
2012-09-14 11:16:10 AM

realmolo: I side with the teachers on this one.

The entire public education system in this country is ruled by corruption and graft, thanks to local officials that simply don't care about anything but lining their pockets and gaining political favor.

The teachers, amazingly, have somehow been made the scapegoats.

Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools. If anything, they're a symptom.


They are trying to link pay to performance, which even Obama supports. How exactly are the teachers not at fault for their students not being able to read?
 
2012-09-14 11:20:06 AM

xtragrind: realmolo: I side with the teachers on this one.

The entire public education system in this country is ruled by corruption and graft, thanks to local officials that simply don't care about anything but lining their pockets and gaining political favor.

The teachers, amazingly, have somehow been made the scapegoats.

Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools. If anything, they're a symptom.

They are trying to link pay to performance, which even Obama supports. How exactly are the teachers not at fault for their students not being able to read?


Because the teachers have no control over the 17 hours a day the kids aren't in school, when the kid doesn't have breakfast, or gets his dinner from a 7-11, or doesn't have books at home or only hears/sees spanish or many other reasons which directly affect a student's performance in school.
 
2012-09-14 11:24:33 AM

gopher321: American heathens. Get with the metric program already.


But, Socialisms.
 
2012-09-14 11:29:17 AM

xtragrind: realmolo: I side with the teachers on this one.

The entire public education system in this country is ruled by corruption and graft, thanks to local officials that simply don't care about anything but lining their pockets and gaining political favor.

The teachers, amazingly, have somehow been made the scapegoats.

Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools. If anything, they're a symptom.

They are trying to link pay to performance, which even Obama supports. How exactly are the teachers not at fault for their students not being able to read?


Decreased budgets, increased class sizes.
 
2012-09-14 11:30:06 AM

xtragrind: realmolo: I side with the teachers on this one.

The entire public education system in this country is ruled by corruption and graft, thanks to local officials that simply don't care about anything but lining their pockets and gaining political favor.

The teachers, amazingly, have somehow been made the scapegoats.

Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools. If anything, they're a symptom.

They are trying to link pay to performance, which even Obama supports. How exactly are the teachers not at fault for their students not being able to read?


Teachers are not against pay for performance in theory, they are against the idea in how it is practiced. If we can come up with a performance measure that is reasonable and effective, most teachers would be okay with it.

How it works now: student enters your 5th grade class with a 2nd grade reading level. By the end of the year he is at a 4th grade reading level, you are punished since he is still below the 5 grade reading level. Get an effective measure and you can start to grade on performance. Not saying it will be easy or 100% free of flaws, but what we use now is terrible
 
2012-09-14 11:30:31 AM

Pants full of macaroni!!: gopher321: American heathens. Get with the metric program already.

But, Socialisms.


If it works for the French, it will work for you.
 
2012-09-14 11:32:37 AM

xtragrind: realmolo: I side with the teachers on this one.

The entire public education system in this country is ruled by corruption and graft, thanks to local officials that simply don't care about anything but lining their pockets and gaining political favor.

The teachers, amazingly, have somehow been made the scapegoats.

Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools. If anything, they're a symptom.

They are trying to link pay to performance, which even Obama supports. How exactly are the teachers not at fault for their students not being able to read?


What I've never yet understood though is, how do they gauge the "performance"? Is it just "What % of your students were able to get above an X score on this standardized test?" If so, I am with the teachers, that is BS.

Teachers get wildly different classes rooms between districts, between schools, even within the same school... you'll have 1-2 "Alpha/Advanced" classes, and then the "rest" of the school classes. So, the teachers that don't teach the Alpha classes are supposed to be penalized because all of the smart students were pulled together into their own classes?

I am not suggesting you shouldn't have "gifted/advanced" classes... certainly you don't want students who can achieve more stuck in a class where everyone is going slow. IMO, the only way to grade a teacher is to take each student, check how they rank at the beginning of the year, and then check them at the end of the year, and use the % of improvement for that specific student, not that that student was able to achieve a certain "score level", which might not even be plausible considering where they started out, or the overall attitude of the student.... they should probably also do like the olympics, throw out the very highest increases and the very lowest changes, so that anomalies don't come into play. How the hell is it the teachers fault if they get a group of unmotivated, below average students coming into their classroom?

I think a system like that, teachers overall should be ok with.... you are basing it solely on improving the individual students over the course of when you have them, not trying to make them try to reach a blanket across the board "score"... they also would not be subject to a few students causing what their merit is based on to screw up what their performance is based on. If a teacher can't get any of their students to improve at all during a year, then, yeah, you have a problem there, and that system would catch that.
 
2012-09-14 11:36:26 AM

FarkedOver: I love me a good strike! It warms the cockles of my heart!

[gettoptens.com image 600x492]


You do realize who the big fish is in that picture, right?
 
2012-09-14 11:37:10 AM

realmolo: I side with the teachers on this one.

The entire public education system in this country is ruled by corruption and graft, thanks to local officials that simply don't care about anything but lining their pockets and gaining political favor.

The teachers, amazingly, have somehow been made the scapegoats.

Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools. If anything, they're a symptom.


If the teachers were, I don't know, teaching -- they might have my sympathies. As long as they're using children as pawns, fark them.
 
2012-09-14 11:37:29 AM
How to fix the education system: line up every 'administrator' and anyone else who contributes nothing to the system or teaches nothing.
Decrease their numbers by 90%, done
 
2012-09-14 11:40:46 AM

meanmutton: FarkedOver: I love me a good strike! It warms the cockles of my heart!

[gettoptens.com image 600x492]

You do realize who the big fish is in that picture, right?


We can go with "tax payers" or we can go with a capitalist government.
 
2012-09-14 11:43:54 AM

meanmutton: If the teachers were, I don't know, teaching -- they might have my sympathies. As long as they're using children as pawns, fark them.


We're asking teachers (and in reality all workers) DO MORE WITH LESS AND DO IT FASTER!! Workers every where have the right and the obligation to organize and agitate. Strike actions should occur more often.
 
2012-09-14 11:50:22 AM

xtragrind: realmolo: I side with the teachers on this one.

The entire public education system in this country is ruled by corruption and graft, thanks to local officials that simply don't care about anything but lining their pockets and gaining political favor.

The teachers, amazingly, have somehow been made the scapegoats.

Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools. If anything, they're a symptom.

They are trying to link pay to performance, which even Obama supports. How exactly are the teachers not at fault for their students not being able to read?


Same way doctors are not at fault for you not being able to climb a flight of stairs.
 
2012-09-14 11:52:15 AM

entitygm: How to fix the education system: line up every 'administrator' and anyone else who contributes nothing to the system or teaches nothing.
Decrease their numbers by 90%, done


If you aren't the principal or his secretary, you should have to teach a class. Can't swing that? Go "administrate" a phone company office.
 
2012-09-14 11:58:53 AM
While we at looking at cost saving measures why don't we implement conservative ideas into this whole thing.

1. Fire the janitors - We can force the children to clean.
2. Fire all other non-essential personnel - Security people, administration (i.e. secretaries), bus drivers
we can rotate a student to be security and monitor halls - self regulation! Gotta love it! Secretaries BAH! who needs thems!? The phones will answer themselves, the mail will handle itself too i'm sure. Bus driver.....make the spoiled brats walk to school. Busing just promotes the idea of feeling entitled and we don't want that.
3. Shorten the school day and week as to save electricity. Those little shiats don't need to learn read or write well they just need to learn to be good workers.
4. At least double class sizes so that we can let go of some teachers and then blame the existing teachers for not doing a good job!
 
2012-09-14 12:02:58 PM
*click* *click* *click* *click* *click* *click* *click*
 
2012-09-14 12:26:35 PM
Kilometers is a racist code word, implying that Rahm (a jew), and his former boss (Obama), are uppity, thus implying what uppity is usual attached to. It's a tragedy that the teachers union is trying to slander our president this way.
 
2012-09-14 12:31:05 PM

FarkedOver: While we at looking at cost saving measures why don't we implement conservative ideas into this whole thing.

1. Fire the janitors - We can force the children to clean.
2. Fire all other non-essential personnel - Security people, administration (i.e. secretaries), bus drivers
we can rotate a student to be security and monitor halls - self regulation! Gotta love it! Secretaries BAH! who needs thems!? The phones will answer themselves, the mail will handle itself too i'm sure. Bus driver.....make the spoiled brats walk to school. Busing just promotes the idea of feeling entitled and we don't want that.
3. Shorten the school day and week as to save electricity. Those little shiats don't need to learn read or write well they just need to learn to be good workers.
4. At least double class sizes so that we can let go of some teachers and then blame the existing teachers for not doing a good job!


No no no no, we need to incorporate more liberal ideas into education:
1. Hire more people, it doesn't matter for what or if they're needed. Education is a jobs program, and more people on the payroll is the end in itself, not the means.
2. Spend more money. The only metric of how much we care about education is how much money we spend on it. We know how to spend the taxpayer's money more wisely than they do anyway, so they should just shut the hell up and fork it over. Anyone who objects wants children to be stupid and/or die.
3. Never fire anyone. There's no such thing as bad public teachers, just ones who need counseling or early retirement due to "stress".
 
2012-09-14 12:35:45 PM

jjorsett: No no no no, we need to incorporate more liberal ideas into education:
1. Hire more people, it doesn't matter for what or if they're needed. Education is a jobs program, and more people on the payroll is the end in itself, not the means.
2. Spend more money. The only metric of how much we care about education is how much money we spend on it. We know how to spend the taxpayer's money more wisely than they do anyway, so they should just shut the hell up and fork it over. Anyone who objects wants children to be stupid and/or die.
3. Never fire anyone. There's no such thing as bad public teachers, just ones who need counseling or early retirement due to "stress".


I'm ok with this.
 
2012-09-14 12:44:45 PM

realmolo: Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools.


Yeah, because there are so many other professions which unite to make sure that even the incompetent ones can't be fired.

Think about it...INCOMPETENT TEACHERS are not fired. WTF?
 
2012-09-14 12:48:13 PM
This story is from Tuesday. My understanding here in Chicago is things have changed greatly in the last few days.

Dated news.
 
2012-09-14 12:59:50 PM

Hyjamon: xtragrind: realmolo: I side with the teachers on this one.

The entire public education system in this country is ruled by corruption and graft, thanks to local officials that simply don't care about anything but lining their pockets and gaining political favor.

The teachers, amazingly, have somehow been made the scapegoats.

Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools. If anything, they're a symptom.

They are trying to link pay to performance, which even Obama supports. How exactly are the teachers not at fault for their students not being able to read?

Teachers are not against pay for performance in theory, they are against the idea in how it is practiced. If we can come up with a performance measure that is reasonable and effective, most teachers would be okay with it.

How it works now: student enters your 5th grade class with a 2nd grade reading level. By the end of the year he is at a 4th grade reading level, you are punished since he is still below the 5 grade reading level. Get an effective measure and you can start to grade on performance. Not saying it will be easy or 100% free of flaws, but what we use now is terrible


And meanwhile, the 5th grader who only reads at a 4th grade level gets a social promotion to the 6th grade.
 
2012-09-14 01:13:48 PM

SevenizGud: realmolo: Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools.

Yeah, because there are so many other professions which unite to make sure that even the incompetent ones can't be fired.

Think about it...INCOMPETENT TEACHERS are not fired. WTF?


How do you define incompetence? Seriously. The problem is that in teaching (as in much government work) it's difficult to navigate the middle ground between "fire everybody" and "fire nobody". It's not like the private sector where a manager can say "Bob, you're not meeting your sales quota (or billable hours or project metrics or whatever other standard you want), so we're going to have to let you go." Teachers only have one measurable outcome: students. And there are myriad other factors that go in to whether or not a student is successful beyond the abilities of the teacher.

Additionally, teachers are given tenure to insulate them from the politics of administration, much like college professors. Do you really want a teacher to be able to be fired because they refuse to teach creationism (if it's part of the curriculum)? Additionally, teachers should be encouraged to experiment and innovate, trying new things. How motivated do you think they'll be to do that when their job and salary depends on their students' test scores. We already have a ton of complaints of teachers "teaching to the test" when the only stakes are the schools' funding. Imagine what will happen when it's their own jobs on the line.
 
2012-09-14 01:44:05 PM

rugman11: SevenizGud: realmolo: Teachers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM with our schools.

Yeah, because there are so many other professions which unite to make sure that even the incompetent ones can't be fired.

Think about it...INCOMPETENT TEACHERS are not fired. WTF?

How do you define incompetence? Seriously. The problem is that in teaching (as in much government work) it's difficult to navigate the middle ground between "fire everybody" and "fire nobody". It's not like the private sector where a manager can say "Bob, you're not meeting your sales quota (or billable hours or project metrics or whatever other standard you want), so we're going to have to let you go." Teachers only have one measurable outcome: students. And there are myriad other factors that go in to whether or not a student is successful beyond the abilities of the teacher.

Additionally, teachers are given tenure to insulate them from the politics of administration, much like college professors. Do you really want a teacher to be able to be fired because they refuse to teach creationism (if it's part of the curriculum)? Additionally, teachers should be encouraged to experiment and innovate, trying new things. How motivated do you think they'll be to do that when their job and salary depends on their students' test scores. We already have a ton of complaints of teachers "teaching to the test" when the only stakes are the schools' funding. Imagine what will happen when it's their own jobs on the line.


How's this for an idea of how to evaluate teachers:
Create a board of "experts" in each school district. The number of people on the board depends on the size of the district. People assigned to the board have to meet minimum requirements such as 20+ years classroom teaching experience and a Masters of Education. This board then spends 4 days of the week sitting in different teachers' classrooms and observing how they perform on the job. The fifth day is left for them to organize their observations and compare notes with the rest of the board. The board can then decide if particular teachers are performing poorly, and also pass along effective techniques observed from the "good" teachers.

And you could probably pay for it by just eliminating one redundant administrative position for every two board members.

Using standardized test results or grades is a horrible evaluation method. You end up with teachers simply teaching to the test or inflating grades just to keep their job. And there's also little teachers can do if they're stuck with a class of students who don't give a crap, coming from homes where education is not prioritized.
 
2012-09-14 02:15:28 PM

NeoCortex42: How's this for an idea of how to evaluate teachers:
Create a board of "experts" in each school district. The number of people on the board depends on the size of the district. People assigned to the board have to meet minimum requirements such as 20+ years classroom teaching experience and a Masters of Education. This board then spends 4 days of the week sitting in different teachers' classrooms and observing how they perform on the job. The fifth day is left for them to organize their observations and compare notes with the rest of the board. The board can then decide if particular teachers are performing poorly, and also pass along effective techniques observed from the "good" teachers.


My wife's district has 4,000 teachers and runs for 186 school days. Figure seven periods per day and only observing four of every five days and you'd need a minimum of four board members just to ensure that each teacher is seen for ONE hour on ONE day of the year. How would you like it if your performance evaluation was based entirely on what you did from 8:15-8:45 on Tuesday, October 3rd? "Well, NeoCortex42 seems like a pretty good guy, but all he did the entire time was reply to emails."

You kind of made my point for me, which is that it's incredibly difficult to evaluate teachers and, thus, it is not unreasonable for them to oppose current efforts to tie pay to performance. I think some sort of peer review is the best solution, but nobody has yet come up with a system that can be fairly administered without opening teachers to the vagaries of administrative politics.
 
2012-09-14 02:24:17 PM

rugman11: NeoCortex42: How's this for an idea of how to evaluate teachers:
Create a board of "experts" in each school district. The number of people on the board depends on the size of the district. People assigned to the board have to meet minimum requirements such as 20+ years classroom teaching experience and a Masters of Education. This board then spends 4 days of the week sitting in different teachers' classrooms and observing how they perform on the job. The fifth day is left for them to organize their observations and compare notes with the rest of the board. The board can then decide if particular teachers are performing poorly, and also pass along effective techniques observed from the "good" teachers.


My wife's district has 4,000 teachers and runs for 186 school days. Figure seven periods per day and only observing four of every five days and you'd need a minimum of four board members just to ensure that each teacher is seen for ONE hour on ONE day of the year. How would you like it if your performance evaluation was based entirely on what you did from 8:15-8:45 on Tuesday, October 3rd? "Well, NeoCortex42 seems like a pretty good guy, but all he did the entire time was reply to emails."

You kind of made my point for me, which is that it's incredibly difficult to evaluate teachers and, thus, it is not unreasonable for them to oppose current efforts to tie pay to performance. I think some sort of peer review is the best solution, but nobody has yet come up with a system that can be fairly administered without opening teachers to the vagaries of administrative politics.


Yeah, I'm just kind of spitballing here. I'm not sure how logistics would work, but there needs to be a peer review system that takes precedence of objective testing.
 
2012-09-14 02:36:31 PM

rugman11: NeoCortex42: How's this for an idea of how to evaluate teachers:
Create a board of "experts" in each school district. The number of people on the board depends on the size of the district. People assigned to the board have to meet minimum requirements such as 20+ years classroom teaching experience and a Masters of Education. This board then spends 4 days of the week sitting in different teachers' classrooms and observing how they perform on the job. The fifth day is left for them to organize their observations and compare notes with the rest of the board. The board can then decide if particular teachers are performing poorly, and also pass along effective techniques observed from the "good" teachers.


My wife's district has 4,000 teachers and runs for 186 school days. Figure seven periods per day and only observing four of every five days and you'd need a minimum of four board members just to ensure that each teacher is seen for ONE hour on ONE day of the year. How would you like it if your performance evaluation was based entirely on what you did from 8:15-8:45 on Tuesday, October 3rd? "Well, NeoCortex42 seems like a pretty good guy, but all he did the entire time was reply to emails."

You kind of made my point for me, which is that it's incredibly difficult to evaluate teachers and, thus, it is not unreasonable for them to oppose current efforts to tie pay to performance. I think some sort of peer review is the best solution, but nobody has yet come up with a system that can be fairly administered without opening teachers to the vagaries of administrative politics.


As you state, there are just too many teachers and classes to probably effectively do it as a "peer based review" sit-in sort of evaluation. Plus, the teachers are then on a "better behavior" .

As I stated earlier... it isn't that testing the kids is a bad way to "grade" the teachers... but, it has to be based on how well the kids THEY were teaching improved... not based on those kids reaching some level of ability they might not have been able to reach sitting in front of any teacher.
 
2012-09-14 02:56:07 PM

Crudbucket: And meanwhile, the 5th grader who only reads at a 4th grade level gets a social promotion to the 6th grade.


I can only speak to the Toronto school board, but it's damn-near impossible to fail kids, at least at the secondary level. The boards and administration make a MILLION concessions for kids. It's remarkably difficult to give a failing grade to a student, and that's not at all the teacher's fault.
 
2012-09-14 03:28:51 PM

GavinTheAlmighty: Crudbucket: And meanwhile, the 5th grader who only reads at a 4th grade level gets a social promotion to the 6th grade.

I can only speak to the Toronto school board, but it's damn-near impossible to fail kids, at least at the secondary level. The boards and administration make a MILLION concessions for kids. It's remarkably difficult to give a failing grade to a student, and that's not at all the teacher's fault.


Honestly... at some point what can you do.... there are probably 7th graders who really could use being taught a 4th grade english level, but, are you going to have a bunch of 12 year olds in a class with 8 year olds?

It is one thing to hold a kid back for a year, and they probably do that in extreme cases, but, at some point, they just are going to get thrown through the "system", because, public school, like it or not, to an extent IS a "social" system.
 
2012-09-14 03:41:32 PM
We have to break the backs of the teachers' unions because they're overpaid.

Then we can recruit better teachers by paying them less.
 
2012-09-14 03:56:00 PM
They should get together and talk about it over pints liters of beer and Quarter Pounders Royales with cheese.
 
2012-09-15 11:27:45 AM

GavinTheAlmighty: Crudbucket: And meanwhile, the 5th grader who only reads at a 4th grade level gets a social promotion to the 6th grade.

I can only speak to the Toronto school board, but it's damn-near impossible to fail kids, at least at the secondary level. The boards and administration make a MILLION concessions for kids. It's remarkably difficult to give a failing grade to a student, and that's not at all the teacher's fault.


In our school district the teacher can fail a child, recommend retention, and the child will still be passed on. A lot of this is due to parental consent. Most of the parents don't want their child to be the "dumb" one. You can't retain them without parental permission. The district office does nothing to back up the teacher because they don't want to make waves with the parents.

As for the performance reviews, most of the teachers I know are for some sort of performance based pay. However, they are wanting a fair chance. Large classes, student absenteeism, non-mandatory kinder, and a whole host of things out of the teacher's hands play a big role in the success of the student. Heck, we get kids who start second grade without ever stepping foot in a school. Because of their age, we can't start them in K where they need to be, so the teacher is now tasked with teaching them Pre-K, K, 1st, and 2nd grade curriculum along with trying to bring them up to at least grade level. This doesn't include usually having to also teach them the English language. Put this along side with a school that has a 100% participation rate in free or reduced school lunches, and home lives that don't value education. If you can manage to get a kid to grade level, it really is a cause to celebrate.

As for the people who post that their parents, friends, relatives, etc. are educators and they know how easy it really is, well, your parents, friends, relatives, etc. are most likely the teachers that are needing to be fired. You don't learn a routine and after 5 years it just becomes easy. Sure you will become more efficient at lesson plans, time management, classroom behavior management and the likes. If you are not constantly tweaking that routine, learning new ways to teach a subject, or how to reach a kid, you are doing a lousy job and the other teachers know it. I would never argue that their aren't some lousy teachers, and the good ones know who the lousy ones are, the lousy ones just don't care that they are lousy. Tenure has nothing to do with keeping these teachers, at least in our school district. It all comes down to admin. In ours, you get a 3 year probationary period where you can be fired for any reason (maybe you wear funny clothes). After that, you can still be fired, it just takes cause. An admin can still come in and decide you are a lousy teacher. They just have to document it now and show that they tried to rehabilitate you as a teacher. If you don't improve, they can fire you. Sure it is easier to do it during the probationary period and any good admin will weed a lot of teachers out this way, but if you make it through and think you can slack off, or admin has been known to fire tenured teachers. She always starts off trying to help the teacher improve, and if they don't, she makes it uncomfortable for them by being in their room every single day. This usually causes the teacher to quit, however, if they don't she will end up firing them.
 
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