Compromise in Chicago: Strike may be over

Chicago teachers have reached a tentative deal with Mayor Rahm Emanuel to end the weeklong strike. While details aren’t yet clear, it appears the mayor has compromised on a plan to tie 40 percent of teacher evaluations to growth in student test scores. Student performance will account for a smaller percentage of a teacher’s rating.

. . . the union won assurances that if a teacher is laid off because of a school closing, that teacher gets preference in hiring decisions in other schools as long as he or she has positive teacher evaluations.

It’s also believed teachers who receive poor evaluations will have more protections before being fired.

Teachers will vote on the deal over the weekend. It’s likely schools will reopen on Monday.

“Some Chicago teachers seem to think that they shouldn’t be held accountable until poverty is solved,” writes New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. Instead of asking for higher pay to attract better teachers, “the Chicago union seems to be using its political capital primarily to protect weak performers,” he writes. “There’s now solid evidence that there are huge differences in the effectiveness of teachers, even within high-poverty schools.”

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  1. In other words, Rahm’s their bitch. Despite all the moralizing by the pundits about the evil teacher’s union, it won. Unless I’m missing something?

    • Sure, the larger picture.

      The public perception of teachers has been on a glide path for a long time for precisely this sort of thing. Unions can’t do anything but continue to demand higher pay, better bennies and less accountability or what’s a union for so the future’s arrived – the descent of public perception of teachers is having political repercussions and not those favored by union members.

      If anything, the victory of the CTA is Pyrrhic in nature since it merely confirms – noisily and unequivocally – the reason for that drop-off in public regard for teachers. It may be have ramifications for Emmanual since, as the union’s bitch, he’s going to have one more bump on the road to a second term. How Emmanual’s bending over for the unions will play in the general election is also a worthwhile question.

    • What is means is that a lot of Chicagoans are ignorant of the repercussions of this deal and Rahm likely was pressured by public sentiment. Parents were fed up with having to arrange babysitting or having their kids home and wanted the problem to go away quickly…and Rahm is a politician that worships polls. And lets face it… if the parents are choosing to send their children to these schools, they’re likely not going to understand the finer points of the debate.

  2. Stacy in NJ says:

    Like so many other large cities run by Democrats, Chicago is broke. Good luck to its citizens when they can no longer float their muni-bonds. The future of Chicago is Detroit. Good luck with that.

    • Bullshyt. Unlike Detroit, one of the strengths of Chicago’s economy is its incredible diversification. As usual with Stacy, if she can snark and blame it all on Democrats, she will.

      From wikipedia:
      Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States—approximately US$532 billion according to 2010 estimates,[80][81] after only the urban agglomerations of New York City and Los Angeles, in the first and second place, respectively. The city has also been rated as having the most balanced economy in the United States, due to its high level of diversification.[82] Chicago was named the fourth most important business center in the world in the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index.[83] Additionally, the Chicago metropolitan area recorded the greatest number of new or expanded corporate facilities in the United States for six out of the seven years from 2001 to 2008.[84] The Chicago metropolitan area has the third largest science and engineering work force of any metropolitan area in the nation.[85] In 2009, Chicago placed 9th on the UBS list of the world’s richest cities.[86] Chicago was the base of commercial operations for industrialists John Crerar, John Whitfield Bunn, Richard Teller Crane, Marshall Field, John Farwell, Morris Selz, Julius Rosenwald and many other commercial visionaries who laid the foundation for Midwestern and global industry.

      • Apparently the “incredible diversification” isn’t much of a defense against irresponsible spending which typifies so many larger cities. Chicago’s projected deficit for this year? $635 million projected to hit $800 million in two years.

        That’s against a $3.2 billion budget. Not as bad as the federal government but then Chicago can’t just print money.

      • Jab, you left out something from that article: “…In June 2012, Chicago had 391,000 unemployed with a 9.4% unemployment rate against a national average of 8.2%.[100]…In 2012, Chicago has the highest murder rate in the Alpha world cities with 19.4 murders per 100,000, compared to New York (6.0) and Los Angeles (7.5), and ahead of Mexico City, Moscow, and São Paulo.[118]”

        I’m sorry, but what was your point?

  3. Roger Sweeny says:

    Right now Chicago Public School teachers are legally required to live in the City of Chicago. However, they are not required to send their children to the Chicago Public Schools, and 39% do not.

    I wonder if that percentage will increase, decrease, or stay the same.