On Monday, September 10, members of the Chicago Teachers Union took to the streets to protest scandalous proposals such as merit-based pay raises, teacher evaluations, and a paltry 16% salary increase. As a result, 350,000 Chicago students were kept from learning. After more than a week of very public whining and foot-stomping, an agreement has apparently been reached between the CTU’s House of Delegates and the schoolboard.
A summary of the contract terms went out to all delegates, and it included this statement:
“Our brothers and sisters throughout the country have been told that corporate ‘school reform’ was unstoppable, that merit pay had to be accepted and that the public would never support us if we decided to fight. Cities everywhere have been forced to accept performance pay,” the statement said.
“Not here in Chicago. Months ago, CTU members won a strike authorization, one that our enemies thought would be impossible. Now we have stopped the board are imposing merit pay! We preserved our lanes and steps when the politicians and press predicted they were history. We held the line on healthcare costs. We have tremendous victories in this contract; however, it is by no means perfect. While we did not win on every front and will need to continue our struggle into the future, we soundly defended our profession from an aggressive and dishonest attack. We owe our victories to each and every member of this rank and rile union. Our power comes from the bottom up.”
Among the terms of the tentative agreement is that evaluations of first-year teachers won’t affect tenured teachers. Additionally, CTU Delegate Dave Hernandez, who teaches at Social Justice High School — yes, Social Justice High School — was thrilled at the prospect of teacher pay being irrespective of job performance:
The defeat of merit pay — something other urban districts have instituted — as well as the preservation of “step” pay increases for additional years of experience and “lane” increases for additional degrees also was seen as a plus, Hernandez said. So were special pay hikes for the most veteran teachers.
Hernandez et al. must be so proud of themselves. Accountability? They don’t need no stinking accountability!
CTU’s supporters are lavishing praise upon the striking teachers:
That guy sounds like a walking, talking argument against the Chicago Public School system.
Oh puh-leeze. Students first? First off the cliff, maybe.
Teachers returning to the classroom already have instructions from CTU president Karen Lewis:
Call us crazy, but Karen Lewis is the last person who should be doling out educational advice. Contrary to the badge of victimhood she displays so proudly, it’s the children of Chicago’s public schools who have suffered during this debacle.