Monday, September 17, 2012

The Chicago Teacher Strike

People call teaching an easy job.  You make a lot of money.  You get summers off. All you do is play all day.

I want everyone that even has a second of entertaining these thoughts to spend a day in a middle school.  Seriously.  Go volunteer.  And then talk to the teachers there.

So teachers in Chicago are striking.  Good for them!

For everyone that thinks that they are asking for too much, this is what they are asking for:

  1. The school day will be extended.  They want to be compensated for that.
  2. Test scores are factoring HEAVILY into teacher evaluations.  This could lead to hundreds of jobs lost and schools closed.  We all know that most standardized testing is bullshit... so this is a whole lot of BS too.
And that's it... They'd like a cost of living increase... and maybe air conditioning.. but the above are the two biggest sticking points.  As said:  "Other things the teachers want: air conditioning in the classrooms, teacher evaluations that don't depend too much on student test scores. They're not asking for yachts."

I understand that as salaried employees the extra hour doesn't factor into an hourly wage... 

but come on!  Teachers already work 80-100 hours a week for 9 months.  Giving them more work for the same money is an insult.

And as for standardized testing.  We all know that a multiple choice test isn't the best measure of learning.  We also know that to pass these things, teachers rely on rote memorization.  No one learns what they need for life by memorizing facts.  But the writing on that is on the wall.  In Texas, Republicans want to discourage critical thinking.  And that's a scary thought.

If we value this future of this country we really need to look hard on how we're preparing young people for life.  Life's not a multiple choice test.

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