Thursday, September 6, 2012

When Chicago Teachers Strike, It's Time for Replacements

One of my very favorite movies is The Replacements.  This cinematic gem came out in 2000 and starred the great Keanu Reeves as quarterback Shane Falco who leads a rag tag team of replacement players when the regular players get greedy and go on strike.  Like a veritable Island of Misfit Toys, the team is full of players with major issues that would keep a pro team from ordinarily considering them.  The kicker smokes during games and has huge gambling debts, the wide receiver is fast and can't catch.  The linemen are fat and speak with accent.

In the movie, they don't win the Super Bowl, they simply connect with the fans and win some games while the regular players are out on strike.  When the strike ends, they even defeat a team using real players because their love of the game overcame the talent and training of the players who had made football their lives.

Evidently, somebody as city hall saw this movie, because with teachers threatening to go out on strike next week they're starting up Children First Schools in 144 locations throughout the city and although these schools can't provide instruction, they will provide two meals and a chance for adults a chance to live out their dreams by working with children.   Maybe they work at Central Office crunching numbers or they have a couple of arrests for indecent exposure and could never pass a criminal background check or maybe they just have a short fuse and normally would not trust themselves around kids.  It doesn't matter.  The CPS will call on them all to come forward and just like the Replacements overcome their obstacles to touch our children's lives. Just because you're convicted of drunk driving a couple of times doesn't mean you no longer have anything to offer kids.

Sure, some people might say it's dangerous putting as many as twice as many students as a school is designed for into an environment where they are being supervised by people not used to working with children and where they can't receive instruction, but that's the edge of the seat risk that only a gritty bunch of outcasts can overcome.

I wouldn't actually trust my own kids to this kind of chaotic amateur hour, but I think it could be great for some students.  Who needs teachers to get an education?  Ok, maybe not an education, but to have a great time watching Finding Nemo or Swiss Family Robinson?  Hear that Chicago Teachers?  We're putting Children First, kind of.


  1. Here's the extent of what I can stomach at this point. Is there school Monday or not?

  2. Replacements teachers may take long to process. How about online liberal arts degree instead?