Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teaching you a lesson

  This week teachers in Chicago, the nation’s third largest school district struck as contract “negotiations broke down over health benefits and job security”, according to Karen Lewis president of the 26,000 member Chicago Teachers Union. Wow was I stunned. I was dumfounded to hear her say they were striking over those sticking points in particular. Far be it for me to complain about teachers, my son is home schooled, but health benefits and job security?  Holy flippin’ cow!!! I was almost positive the first two years of the most pro-union administration in the last 20 years passed “universal health care”, which I am sure “guarantees every American health insurance”. On top of that I discovered through a bit of research that 1 of every 54 doctors will lose his/her license, 1 of ever 89 lawyers will lose his/her license, but only 1 of every 2500 teachers will be laid off, much less fired. Now you all know how I feel about lawyers, but how much job security can one “profession” need for goodness sake 1 out of 2500? During my research I learned that Chicago “teachers originally sought a 29 percent raise over 24 months while the board proposed 2 percent annual increases under a four-year contract. Emanuel said the board boosted the offer to 16 percent over four years”, according to Bloomberg writer Tim Jones. I instantly knew there was more to this story than meets the eye. It turns out the real sticking point in negotiations is the performance evaluation standards proposed by the school board. The board proposed an evaluation process that ties directly to teacher compensation based on standardized student testing. The Huffngton Post reports union leadership “estimates 6,000 teachers could lose their jobs within two years as a result of the new evaluations.” Now I realize not everyone thinks standardized testing is the best thing in the world, but it’s better than the current process, under which, “99.7 percent of teachers in Chicago Public Schools received a satisfactory to distinguished rating”, while only “15% of their 4th grade students can read”, according to the Dept of Education.  In addition, the school district has the second highest average teacher salary in the nation, but the shortest school day nationally.  I am no teacher, but you have got to be kidding me? How can you be #2 in salary with the shortest school day and yet bitch about a 30% raise, job security, and evaluations?  There is no logical explanation whatsoever. We all know teachers are critical to our nations future, but we also know (or should know) that our current system is at least 30% of our national problem, We continue to churn out half capable, semi-educated nitwits into our work force. They have no idea how our country was formed, or about our very short history, nor can they add, read, or write (look at this rambling sentence structure, I am giving you a prime example). Personally, I think most people think school is a taxpayer funded daycare system. They simply drop their kids off and expect them to be fed, clothed, entertained, and perhaps stumble upon some information. I don’t blame teachers for this disaster, I blame students, union leaders, politicians, but most of all parents; most of which are to stupid (probably publicly educated) to realize their taxes are paying for this crap. School choice is the only answer, but first the union stranglehold on politicians (of all stripes) has to be broken. Don’t believe me, just ask Scott Walker.

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