“OK, please try and help me understand this study. From what I understand, they concluded that when looking strictly at test scores instead of seniority, when they laid off teachers with higher test scores they found out that they laid of teachers with higher test scores--that's simply brilliant and worth every penny spent on studying this. I hope they do a follow up on whether fire or ice is hotter.
Of course, it doesn't look at the value of a system that allows and encourages teachers to stick around in the profession more than 2 or 3 years, after they get a bit more expensive. I wonder how many great future teachers you can recruit with the idea of just last until 70 without getting laid off and you'll qualify for a pension that (at least in Illinois) will be so low you will be below the poverty line---oh and you won't get social security and in fact if your spouse does get social security, their benefits will be cut because of your pension.”
“The teachers unions didn't ask for this. We were totally with Senator Obey who wished to take the money out of RTTT. Both the NEA and AFT gave traditionally been some of the biggest advocates for school breakfast and lunch programs. This is a false choice and unlike this blogger with her own agenda, I hope the American people are a bit smarter. Teachers are now being blamed here for what exactly? Wanting jobs?”
“The people who pushed for this aren't teachers unions. They're people like you. Teachers unions rightfully did not believe that Race to the Trough funding would make much sense if it came at the expense of 35 students in the classroom. Obey's bill made a lot more sense for the students and teachers of this country. This tradeoff is both abhorant and unnecessary.”
“You have an excellent point Teach. Some TFAers like Michelle Rhee go on to run major district school systems with their vast couple years of classroom experience. As somebody who left a lucrative career in broadcasting to go into education in my 30s, I know that not everybody receives the calling to teach at an early age--I just think it's pretty silly to think you can go into the classroom and be proficient with a small fraction of the hours of training that a cosmetologist must have to be certified.”
“I'm in no way a defender of Marilyn Stewart. In fact, I'm a member of CORE who is working hard to unseat her as head of the union, but as teacher at a 95% Hispanic school, I must take offense. Your own arguments strike me as crass and opportunistic. Do you really believe that the union didn't care while the 41% of our students who are Hispanic suffered, but then began to care when the other 59% were involved? Do you really think there is no overcrowding in our predominantly-Black schools?
What Marilyn Stewart did was rather transparent political expediency, but I do wonder if the overcrowding would be as bad in Hispanic schools if so many weren't served by charter schools that routinely discard their most difficult students and return them to the public schools when they prove too challenging or too expensive. Perhaps if the state hadn't given UNO that $100 million grant earlier this school year, there might be some money to ease overcrowding in the public schools.”
“We were really never shown a budget. We were shown a poorly made power point. There's a big difference. However, let's remember that CPS put the budget deficit at a cool one billion dollars. Now, if you figure that they got $300 million in pension relief, they're looking to make up $700 million. If they cut our raises, they will save about $80 million.
If given a choice between raises and keeping manageable class sizes that at the same time save jobs, the teachers in Chicago would overwhelmingly turn down the raise. The problem is that it doesn't the problem. Instead, we sacrifice and next year when the same budget problems occur, we will be asked to make just a slightly larger sacrifice.
CPS has not played fair with us. They have threatened to break the contract by not placing removed teachers in the displaced teachers pool and they have not let teachers know if they have a job for next year despite a June 1st deadline.
If CPS will open their books and come to the teacher's union to negotiate there are some tremendous places of waste. Some of them I know you and I disagree on Paras, but others I bet we'd agree on quite a bit. The keystone of any union is collective bargaining and I don't have a problem in negotiating with the city. Most teachers were dead set against such a long contract, but the city insisted because they wanted labor peace for the Olympics.”
“Paras, too often when I read your articles it just feels like somebody has given the uninformed first year teacher down the hallway a bullhorn. You may in time reallize what's actually going on or like most TFAers, you may simply leave your education hobby for something more lucrative. At a time when urban school districts like Chicago face a budget crunch, we simply can't afford to keep paying for people to dabble a couple of years in education while they find themselves. I admire Linda Darling-Hammond who sacrificed her own career in order to present some excellent research on TFA (http://www.ncate.org/documents/EdNews/StanfordTeacherCertificationReport.pdf), but even she failed to look at the true cost of the program.”
Teach4Equality on Jun 8, 2010 at 21:38:54
“Hey Joe. I would appreciate it if you respected fellow educators by avoiding assumptions about what this and other TFAers are going to do with their professional careers. Although not everyone stays in the classroom, the vast majority stay in education - be it policy, law, non-profit, or community outreach...usually focused on improving the lives of the families and in the communities where they once taught. Calling it a "hobby" is extremely disrespectful and undermines everything this gentlemen and many others dedicate themselves to everyday. If you would like to have a reasonable debate refuting his points, I'm sure he would gladly accept. But saying that he just doesn't understand because he's a new teacher doesn't yield progress for our students.”
hp blogger Paras Bhayani on Jun 7, 2010 at 22:06:47
“Let's say I concede all your arguments about TFA. Debate me as a Chicago and Illinois taxpayer.
What is CORE's solution to the deficit, apart from open up the books and find lost money? Yes, $450 million is lumped together -- do you really think it's all a fake deficit and all of this money is in a slush fund? Why haven't the auditors who prepare the CAFRs blown the whistle?
By the way, I agree we need TIF reform, and that we will ultimately need higher state income taxes.
But do you think you can convince taxpayers to fund 8 percent pay hikes for existing staff, starting salaries of $47,000, given the current state of the economy? I don't. And as long as you can't, and given that TIF reform will not close the deficit overnight even if all of them expire tomorrow, then the choice is between 2,700 layoffs or a step increase without a lane increase.
I don't want to suggest that you're minimizing the deficit issue in order to win an election; I do believe CORE has played the debate straight, much straighter than the current CTU leadership. But is there any way out of this choice that's feasible?”
“CPS has overstated their budget deficit by an average of $465 million dollars for the past 8 years. It's a game they play at this time of year to try and get more money from the state. Do you really think that everybody should just take their word that their books are legitimate this time?”
hp blogger Paras Bhayani on Jun 6, 2010 at 11:24:20
“They have not provided accounting for that amount of money, and they should. But that's very different from stating they are just sitting on that money and are overstating the deficit by that amount.”
“Nobody running the Chicago Public Schools has any education background. Before going to CPS he ran the CTA and before that he was with the police department. This is the kind of typically classless move that we expect from Ron.”
mphalen on May 2, 2010 at 14:03:00
“This is actually the kind of move we expect from Daley. He wants the schools to fail so he can privatize them. That is why he is chosing non-educators to run the schools. Take Arne Duncan for instance.”