More 26,000 teachers in Chicago went on strike
More cities/states have found that they needed to reform the contracts with public employee unions—including teachers unions. They have found it’s necessary to make reforms like Governor Walker of Wisconsin.
The main remaining issues are:
—Teachers evaluation: should teacher’s performance be tied to how his/her students do in standardized tests? Chicago Mayor Rahm insisted teachers should be evaluated on student performance on standardized tests—union officials feared that over 25% of teacher would lose their jobs. Perhaps, there should be standardized tests to evaluate the teachers instead. If they don’t pass, let them go—sort like “when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go!”
—Whether openings should automatically go to the laid-off teachers: Chicago wants laid-off teachers to re-apply. Unions want laid-off teachers to get automatically re-hired.
Some numbers/quotes to consider
—Today’s strike in Chicago means almost 400,000 children will not be able to attend schools daily. 87% of these kids come from low income families.
—Average Teacher’s salary: $74,839, among the highest in the nation.
—In 2010, Chicago spent about $13,078 per student. And Chicago students have performed poorly in reading, math and science tests. Again, there should be standardized tests to evaluate the teachers. Don’t pass, don’t teach!
—Average class size: 20 (elementary) and 24.6 (high school).
—Romney criticized the teachers union. “I want our kids to have the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow and that means put our kids first and put the teachers’ unions behind.”
—In 2008, teacher unions donated over $5.7 million in political contributions, 95% to Democrats and 5% to Republicans
—Since 1990, teacher unions have made almost $64 million in political contributions, 96% to Democrats and 4% to Republicans
—Pre-school teacher Karen Kreinik, 46, said: “It’s absolutely shocking to me that we have a Democratic mayor who is anti-union.“
Obama remained silent on the strike
—In 2008, teacher unions donated $119,258 to Presidential candidate Barack Obama (and $9,700 to John McCain)
—In 2012, teacher unions donated $24,936 to Presidential Barack Obama after he failed to convince Congress passing his so-called jobs bill that would allocate hundreds of millions to hire more teachers, i.e. paying back to teachers unions