'More' is not an option

Striking Chicago teachers displaying blindness to reality

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The word for today is “myopia.”

“A visual defect in which distant objects appear blurred; ... nearsightedness. Also called short sight. ... 2. Lack of discernment or long-range perspective in thinking or planning.”

On Monday, 400,000 public school students could see myopia demonstrated on the streets of Chicago, as myopic teachers shut down the city’s classrooms in a strike aimed at making some of the nation’s best-paid teachers – $76,000 a year on average, before benefits – paid even more, despite Chicago’s obvious inability to afford it.

Chicago teachers are already the highest or second-highest paid teachers in America. But remarkably, the teachers’ union turned down an offer of a 16-percent raise over four years.

This, despite the fact that the Chicago school system says it is already headed for a $1 billion shortfall this year.

Nor are Chicago teachers clamoring to be compensated for doing a great job. Fact is, one of their grievances is about the city’s desire to use student achievement as one benchmark in teacher evaluations.

Indeed, you can see why they’d fight that: A 2009 report indicated that on one state standardized test, “more than 70 percent of high school juniors fail to meet state standards.”

“It is clear that the vast majority of Chicago’s elementary and high schools do not prepare their students for success in college and beyond,” said an official who commissioned the report. The official, suspicious of information coming out of the school system, called for “an independent auditor to ensure the credibility of published reports on student achievement at Chicago Public Schools.”

And despite dropout rates that are said to be near 40 percent, one report faults Chicago Public Schools for “inflating its performance figures ... through such techniques as counting students who swap schools before dropping out as transfers but not dropouts.”

And that was before the massive cheating scandal in Atlanta public schools.

The bottom line: It’s quite likely the system isn’t being completely honest about its effectiveness, and the teachers’ union still wants more. And at a time when “more” just isn’t an option.

Moreover, as commentator John Fund writes, the union wants more when the average family in Chicago earns $47,000 – and “at a time when most families are not getting any raises or are looking for work.”

And myopia can blind you to other plain realities as well. Fund notes that, “Teachers pay only 3 percent of their health-care costs and out of every new dollar set aside for public education in Illinois in the last five years, a full 71 cents has gone to teacher retirement costs. ...

“The showdown in Chicago will be a test of just how much clout the public-employee unions wield at a time when the budget pressures they’ve created threaten to break the budgets of America’s major cities.”

Nor do public-sector unions across America either understand or care what their demands are doing to our country. Can they not see what is happening in other union-heavy nations such as Greece? Apparently not.

This is not a purely Chicago matter. This is a crisis of vision in just about every major American city, including Washington.

But whatever else unfolds, at least Chicago students can now use “myopia” in a sentence.

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carcraft
27035
Points
carcraft 09/11/12 - 05:27 am
4
2
Well this is Chicago and

Well this is Chicago and Obama's home town and the teachers in the teachers Union are Obama supporters. The Car company bailout was about unions, I wonder if Obama will endorse this walk out? This is a brilliant move by the teachers union because they know Emanuel will settle the strick to avoid embarrassment to Obama. Obama being held hostage by a union is just too sweet !

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 09/11/12 - 06:24 am
1
0
It's
Unpublished

just "middle-class Americans" going for your share of the pie. I wonder how much the union leaders ( who are being paid through out this ordeal ) care about those students who now face a bleak future? Not one cent! Just as an aside, my wife is a retired teacher and administrator.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 09/11/12 - 06:30 am
1
0
There will be no teachers, but
Unpublished

buses will transport students t o school for their three free meals a day and baby sitting by Miss Temps.

Entitlement knows no bounds. From the White House to the outhouse. We have become that overstuffed, bloated, self debasing moron who kills the goose that laid the golden eggs.

All of the social planners are having a celebration in Denver on the taxpayers dime. The theme is "Government fiddles while the country collapses from its gluttony".

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 09/11/12 - 07:48 am
3
1
Chicago

There is nothing that comes out of Chicago negatively that surprises me anymore. I believe the city has been doomed from the beginning.......................(I am sorry for the good people that live there, but, as the old saying goes, the good always suffer because of the actions of the bad).

seenitB4
90784
Points
seenitB4 09/11/12 - 08:15 am
1
1
Well now

It says...
A 2009 report indicated that on one state standardized test, “more than 70 percent of high school juniors fail to meet state standards.”

They have some real problems........

CobaltGeorge
164589
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/11/12 - 08:41 am
4
1
Yep

just keep supporting the Destructive powers of the Unions. They will destroy America...Handwriting on the Wall.

dichotomy
34405
Points
dichotomy 09/11/12 - 09:18 am
7
2
Isn't it fun to see

Isn't it fun to see ultra-liberal mayor Ram Emanuel confronting the teachers union after he proclamed condemnation from the White House for the Republican governors of Wisconsin and New Jersey when they were attempting to reign in the out of control teachers union contracts. And I see Obama made his usual vote of "present" when he was asked about Chicago teachers strike issue.

Funny, I don't hear the lamesteam media calling Emanuel a "TEA Party radical". I guess it has something to do with that old "shoe on the other foot" thingy. Hypocrites.

socks99
250
Points
socks99 09/11/12 - 05:08 pm
2
0
With those high salaries,

With those high salaries, already, it is easy to criticize the striking Chicago teachers; however, these things need to be kept in perspective.

Right now, in many GA schools, falling revenues have made budgets tighter; as usual, the hardest working folks in these systems -- the teachers -- are asked to work harder for less; and to endure yet another wonder-from-above teacher eval system.

In some systems, many of the "higher-ups" are political appointees or others with limited teaching experience; they give a pom-pom performance to "A team" interviewers, and then win the right to lord over the little peons in the school aka teachers!

Even NOW in GA Districts like Gwinnett County, Superintendents and Principles are commanding teachers to get out and campaign against the Charter School Amendment! Teachers, there, are made to attend mandatory assemblies where they are told how and why to oppose the Amendment! No doubt the implicit threat is that "non supportive" teachers might be fired of disciplined!

The Chicago teachers are crazy, no doubt. But when is the last time ACES really looked at how public school teachers are treated in GA? That would go a long way towards "helping" prevent a strike in GA and helping support those who really educate your children. (Not the BOE members, Not the HR folk, Not the Supers, Not the Principals -- the Teachers!)

Conservative Man
5577
Points
Conservative Man 09/11/12 - 05:14 pm
2
1
What do they REALLY care about?...

.....not "the children"obviously...They care more about their pocketbooks than anything else...

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 09/11/12 - 06:03 pm
1
0
chicago's
Unpublished

corruption has been documented since the 1840's.

Riverman1
86905
Points
Riverman1 09/11/12 - 06:45 pm
2
2
If we are going to criticize

If we are going to criticize Chicago teachers for being paid lots more than the average city citizen when was the last time we looked at Georgia teacher salaries compared to those of the average citizens of Georgia?

KSL
134380
Points
KSL 09/11/12 - 07:12 pm
2
1
A lot of people are working

A lot of people are working harder for less. It is the sign of the economy. Obama either doesn't know what he is doing or he is more nefarious than most think.

carcraft
27035
Points
carcraft 09/11/12 - 07:19 pm
2
1
The Chicago Teachers union is

The Chicago Teachers union is simply mugging Obama as Obama tries to stroll to the White House . This is the Chicago way!

Riverman1
86905
Points
Riverman1 09/11/12 - 08:05 pm
0
1
I'm really surprised Obama

I'm really surprised Obama hasn't pulled some kind of federal bailout for Chicago. The way he helped the union auto workers while letting the non union Delco 20,000 workers lose their pensions.

corgimom
34061
Points
corgimom 09/11/12 - 09:16 pm
1
1
I wonder how many adults

I wonder how many adults would want their compensation determined by 5 year old children, who thinks zombie babies are real, wipe messes on the bathroom wall, and lack the ability to put a straw in a drink pouch.
THAT is who should decide the compensation of a teacher?

Throw in kids with serious family problems, like the death of a parent, severe illness, divorce- and kids with serious health issues-
The real question is why would any rational person think that it would be appropriate for young children to determine adults' compensation. It is absurd.

obama
10
Points
obama 09/11/12 - 10:07 pm
1
1
I always hear that to get

I always hear that to get good people as ceo's you have to pay them well. What's the difference with teachers? I have a daughter that is a teacher and her husband is a policeman for a city of about 250,000 people. They barely can survive with both of their salaries. They live in a very moderate home and have 2 small children. It seems like you people want to demonize hard working people. The very people that care for your child 5 days a week 7-8 hours a day. These people deserve a living wage and I don't know about you but I want well educated and well compensated people to teach my kids. I'm glad my kids don't teach here in Augusta after reading all of the comments. Maybe Augusta needs some better teachers to educate the people some they won't believe some of the nonsense I have read here.

Riverman1
86905
Points
Riverman1 09/11/12 - 10:25 pm
0
1
Obama, I'm curious what your

Obama, I'm curious what your daughter and her husband make together? Frankly, I managed to save, invest wisely and do okay making a lot less than what I have a feeling they are making. I don't mean to criticize, but I sat on plastic covered sofas, drove a tiny economical car (lasted longer than my expensive ones) and had a tiny TV for years. I can distincly remember a night out was shopping at Walmart and buying something to cook when we got back home. It takes a while after earning a college degree and getting jobs to "make it."

thauch12
6857
Points
thauch12 09/12/12 - 01:34 pm
2
0
This would be laughable if it weren't so sad...

Most professions (by which I mean professional careers for people who college degrees in this case) reward people for good performance and penalize underperformers. Why should teaching be any different? If I, as a manager/boss, can't lead my team to get results, I lose my job. It doesn't matter that they didn't have the necessary skills or did not want to succeed. And if that happened, I would have no one to blame but myself. Why should we treat teachers any differently? And we wonder why the education system is failing...

And $76K ON AVERAGE?! That means for every teacher with a $40K starting salary, there is someone making $110K. That's absolutely ridiculous. If you can't live on that, there's something wrong. And they want more? Looking past greed, they're willing to let the kids suffer? Fire them all. Every single one of them. To hell with the unions...

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