It’s all about the children… Or not.

As I’m sure you’re going to read this morning, in our good old fairy land of Chicago, the teachers have decided to strike (in other words, they walked off the job). In my world, if I walked off my job, I would be fired. You probably would be as well.

So the question is, why are they striking? Is it for better classrooms for the kids? Is it for longer teaching hours or a new curriculum? I have something difficult for you to hear, but it has nothing to do with the kids. It has to do with money and keeping their jobs. “… Among the issues of concern was a new evaluation that Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said would be unfair to teachers because it relied too heavily on students’ standardized test scores and does not take into account external factors that affect performance, including poverty, violence and homelessness. She said the evaluations could result in 6,000 teachers losing their jobs within two years. City officials disagreed and said the union has not explained how it reached that conclusion.”

So in other words, it’s not the teachers fault that they suck. It’s other “external factors”.  Some schools have been staying open to give students a “free lunch”. Ever hear the words “there is no such thing as a free lunch”?

In any event, some more startling facts for you – the average household in Chicago earns about 47,000$… the average teacher… 76,000$. Oh and that’s before benefits. My favorite part is that only 15% of fourth graders are considered proficient in reading. That’s not the teachers fault though. “External factors”.

“When he took office last year, Emanuel inherited a school district facing a $700 million budget shortfall. Not long after, his administration rescinded 4 percent raises for teachers. He then asked the union to reopen its contract and accept 2 percent pay raises in exchange for lengthening the school day for students by 90 minutes. The union refused.”

So… I guess it really doesn’t matter how in the hole you are or how much red ink you splash on some paper – the teachers still need more money and better benefits. I think all public sector unions are a complete oxymoron and need to be dismantled ASAP. Because the truth is that they don’t care about you, or your kids.

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