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Chicago Teachers: Are They Nuts?

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 07:56 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
The expectation of not being evaluated is crazy - everyone is evaluated for their job...

The teachers don't take the position that they shouldn't be evaluated at all. I'm not sure where you came up with that. They do, however, take the position that their performance as teachers shouldn't be evaluated on the basis of their students' performance on standardized tests.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 07:58 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

I can compare the cost of public vs. private having just moved my kids to public (which I am happy with thus far). We paid about $7k tuition each for our children in private (this would be elementary age - goes up for middle and high). The public school system costs - and this is public data provided in helping to compare school districts is above $10k for all the various public schools. Some of the worst school districts actually spend more per student.

So why can private schools charge significantly less per student?


Less bureaucracy and no Teacher's unions. They are actually interested in educating students.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 08:02 am
@Linkat,
There's a problem with that sentiment.

Teachers are being evaluated not on their performance but on how their students perform on their very flawed standardized tests. So basically teachers are being evaluated on their ability to make students MEMORIZE the answers to these standardized tests rather then actually understand these answers.

As for this unnecessary competition between private and public jobs? Schools are engines of profit so the comparison in itself is flawed. Besides, one should support rather then denigrate the teachers and their possible attempt at getting better salaries and benefits rather then dumping on them for their shrewd tactics.

Its the I'm not getting ahead therefore THEY should suffer like me mentality which keeps those of us in the private sector from ever getting any better deal. Private sector hierarchy (though technically not a real collective mind) knows it can get away with murder because they see this jealous mindset and that this rage against those who are getting a livable wage and benefits is basically a useless distraction and not a tool to get these benefits themselves.
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 08:05 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

I can compare the cost of public vs. private having just moved my kids to public (which I am happy with thus far). We paid about $7k tuition each for our children in private (this would be elementary age - goes up for middle and high). The public school system costs - and this is public data provided in helping to compare school districts is above $10k for all the various public schools. Some of the worst school districts actually spend more per student.

Apples and oranges. You're comparing system-wide costs in the public system to one private school's average cost per pupil. Did your private school have buses? Did it provide special education classes? Did it have to hire security? Did the teachers have health care and pensions? Did the school provide free meals to underprivileged students? Did it have any underprivileged students?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 08:17 am
@tsarstepan,
Actually to be honest - I don't blame the teachers - most good teacher would be ok with being evaluated - good teachers would be rewarded for being good. I blame unions for many of this stuff. Many teachers have to sign onto a union to teach and therefore are "forced" to follow union rules. I've not had many public/private teachers I have had issues with. I've found most to be hard working, dedicated to teaching these little monsters.

I may have gotten mis-information on the evaluation as I agree they should not be evaluated (or at least in total) due to the tests scores - I actually detest these MCAS and think they are waste of time. My understanding was they were fighting to gain tenure security over annual evaluations.

Quote:
Its the I'm not getting ahead therefore THEY should suffer like me mentality which keeps those of us in the private sector
No this isn't the issue - it is the fact the economy right now is not so good - taxpayer cannot afford more money. Where is the money going to come from? It is being a realistic about what money is available. They should be compensated, but fairly - you cannot get blood out of stone - if the teachers are getting paid via the city taxes, then the economy of the city should determine the basis of increasing benefits/salaries for the city workers. Housing values go down (where most of taxes come from) then revenue is going down for the city and like normal business as a result those that work for the city should not expect an increase in their salary/benefits. In an upswing the reverse should be true.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 08:26 am
@joefromchicago,
yes and no - they did provide benefits to underprivileged students, free or reduced tuition - they did not have buses (it doesn't make sense for smaller schools), but they have other things that public schools did not. The teachers had many benefits including 100% free tuition for their children.

My public school does not have security other than the same my former private school had - basically the office and a locked door with buzz in. The class sizes in the private were significantly smaller so they offered more individual attention - for example my daughter was ahead of the other students in one class so she got a specialized academic plan.

The private school offered many academic opportunities than the public: math olympics, spelling bees, geography bees, etc. And musicals each quarter. All paid for by the school and included in with the tuition. They had a dedicated art, computer, music, gym, language teacher - even with only having a little over 100 kids in the school.

If anything you would think the public schools would be able to take advantage of their scale. You would think that one art teacher for 400 students would be cheaper per child than 1 art teacher for 100 students.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 08:30 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

As for this unnecessary competition between private and public jobs? Schools are engines of profit so the comparison in itself is flawed.

For the record, it's supposed to read aren't engines of profit.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 09:07 am
Rahm is a bully!!!
http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site205/2012/0910/20120910_044705_su10-Chicago_500.jpg
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  9  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 10:18 am
@Linkat,
Private schools can avoid costs that public schools cannot because private schools can pick and choose their students -- public schools can't. A private school can say: "You're a special needs student? We don't want you. You have disciplinary issues? We don't want you. You're handicapped? We don't want you." And then the private schools turn around and say "we spend less money to educate our kids than they spend in the public schools." Well, sure you do. If public schools could cherry-pick their students, I'm sure they could cut costs as well.

That's like complaining that it costs more to send someone to prison than to send them to school. If schools were run like prisons, they would cost the same. Likewise, if private schools were subject to the same rules as public schools, the costs would be similar.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 10:42 am
@joefromchicago,
But in my example this has not happened. As a matter of fact one particular classmate of my daughter's had a special need due to hearing issues. The public school did nothing to help out whereas the private school went out of their way to make accomodations for this. So in theory what you are saying may be true, but in reality not all private schools operate this way. They were able to make accomodations due to their smaller classrooms.

So if a private school is able to make such accomodations (that a public did not at least to the satisifaction of the parent) and still charge a lower amount per student and not have a larger scale to benefit per teacher, how come the public school costs more? And this public school was in an affluent area where you would not have all the subsidies that you would in lower income town.

A big part of the additional costs are the unions and politics and yes some for special needs - but when you look at the differences in special needs it is small in comparing to other costs. It can be noted by looking at those cities/towns with the lower income families - I did note these expenses per child are higher than the other school districts - but they do have an even higher benefit due to scale and those towns that are more affluent still have higher per student costs.

Yeah the rules are different - private schools aren't paying for the red tape, beauracity, politics and unions. They still have to adhere to testing and other requirements that public schools do. And if they began discriminating against handicap children I'm sure there would be an outcry.
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 10:42 am
Karen Lewis (the union president) said they should just raise taxes on the 'ignorantly wealthy' of Chicago since they should be made to pay their fair share.

I think property taxes in the wealthy 'burbs of Chicago could be doubled and those 1%'ers wouldn't even notice it. They're paying a driver's ed teacher almost $200K (salary + benefits) - heck, why is driver's ed even included in public schools?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 11:02 am
To be fair - I read what the schools have offered and I am wondering what the heck is wrong with it - they are being more than fair.

For the evaluations - union had already agreed to the evaluations, but even so the school district has offered to make adjustments (of course depending on what these adjustments are - but in any case the union should not have accepted it in first place then.

Job security - union wants laid off teachers to be hired back when openings occurs whereas school district teachers would have the first right to jobs that match their qualifications at the schools that absorb the children from the closed school and reassigned teacher pool for five months or give them a three-month severance package. Arguement against automatic re-hire is principals will be forced to hire teachers they feel are not qualified.

SALARY and BENEFITS: The school district has offered a 16 percent raise over four years — double an 8 percent offer made earlier — as well as ‘‘modified step increases’’ that it says reward experience and provide ‘‘better incentives for mid-career teachers’’ to also note Chicago is among the highest paid teachers already.

Longer school day - the school district is allowing the hiring of nearly 500 teachers to cover a longer school day without forcing teachers to work longer.

I don't understand the problem then - it seems that the district is compensating for everything that is being discussed above?
http://www.boston.com/news/education/2012/09/11/contract-issues-the-chicago-teachers-strike/yYRIw90BYI0AmQKcuZoJTJ/story.html


Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 11:12 am
@Linkat,
That's 4% per year. I think I read the military will only get 4.5% for the next four years, so substantially less.

I don't really think the strike is about pay, though.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 12:07 pm
@Irishk,
Yes and how many people in any job are getting a 4% increase in pay? That is high in today's economy (please leave high level executives out of it - that is a whole other can of worms). And they already are making in the high end of teachers.

4.5% vs. 4%? Are you saying that the military is getting 4.5% over 4 years or each year?
Cycloptichorn
 
  4  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 12:12 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

Yes and how many people in any job are getting a 4% increase in pay?


My salary isn't subject to automatic pay increases, but has risen 100% over the last 5 years as I've moved up within my organization to positions with greater responsibility.

But, you can't really DO that as a teacher. Unless you move into administration of the school, what avenues do they have to increase their salary through position changes? Few. That's why automatic raises are so important to them: it represents their only real ability to increase their compensation barring a change to another profession.

Why would anyone stick with a profession which provides limited opportunities for salary increases, while also dealing with crap work conditions? It doesn't make much sense, and we aren't going to be able to attract and retain the best people to be teachers without some sort of movement in this area.

Cycloptichorn
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 12:19 pm
@Linkat,
Quote:
4.5% vs. 4%? Are you saying that the military is getting 4.5% over 4 years or each year?
Over 4 years.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 12:22 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
But in my example this has not happened.

Your example isn't statistically significant.
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 12:40 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
And they already are making in the high end of teachers.
I think they're either the 1st or 2nd highest paid in the nation (NYC is supposedly 2nd), but the $72-76K average salary quoted for Chicago teachers doesn't include benefits.

Their health insurance copay is only 3% (which some of the seniors I work with would kill for).
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 12:52 pm
@joefromchicago,
My only point is - it can be done. I would imagine you can take a greater sample - with charter schools included - and see that you can reduce the cost per child. Government involvement almost always causes higher costs and the union involvement does as well.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 12:54 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Again - private schools retain teachers at a much lower salary. Not sure why other than the dedication of the teachers. I am not even saying they do not deserve it - but logically how can you increase their salary without increasing revenues from the towns? You need to have money to pay for the salary. Other than increasing taxes, how do you propose paying for these increased costs?
 

 
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