Monday, September 10, 2012

Teachers Strike Day 1: Keep Calm and Continue Testing

Today, the nearly 30,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union descended on downtown with 20,000 of their parent and community allies to wreak havoc and correct grammar and spelling.  Now, is not the time for us to panic.  Our leader, Mayor Emanuel has described the differences between the teachers union and the city as being minor.  In fact, it seems like the main thing that has prevented a contract is that the differences are so small, it hardly seems worth anybody's time to compromise.

The big problem with the strike is that students are missing valuable school time.  They need 15 days for standardized testing and if the strike goes on long enough, the tests will be very much delayed.   It occurs to me that the Children's First Centers set up at 144 public schools might be the perfect place to test.  While they aren't allowed to teach, testing isn't the same thing as teaching and with students in air-conditioned rooms with 5 or 10 teachers for every student, this is  a great testing environment.

Teachers continue to be greedy.  Just look at some of the things that the city has already caved on:
  • A lunch period for clinicians (These are psychologists, nurses, social workers)
  • Text books on the first day of school
  • A quiet place for social workers and psychologists to meet with students.
  • A solid 2 percent raise for working 13 extra days.
Eventually, we will crush these teachers and continue to put in high quality charters school or at least marginal quality ones in their place.  We just need all parents to keep calm and continue testing.  

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