Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Chicago Teachers Union Strike

The Chicago Teachers Union went on strike this year and caused the schoolchildren to lose a week and a half of school before a settlement was reached. The union was demanding a 30% pay increase over the next two years although the average Chicago teacher already makes $76,0000 a year before benefits, while the average Chicago family earns only $47,000 annually. The District already faces a $700 million deficit this year. The Chicago teachers are some of the highest paid teachers in the U.S., and they also have the shortest workday. The strike served to distract attention from some of the major problems the system faces, and still faces after the strike was ended, such as the failure to properly educate the children, and the fact that the system is near bankruptcy.

The teachers union president complained that the new teacher evaluations could "result in 6,000 teachers (or nearly 30% of our members) being discharged within one or two years. This is unacceptable." She seemed to be admitting that almost one-third of Chicago teachers are underperforming.

The 350,000 students in Chicago attend school fewer hours than any students in the top ten U.S. metro areas. The settlement changes the school day from under six hours to seven hours.

Chicago Public Schools spend $14,000 per student. There is a 56% graduation rate. Last year, only 31% of Chicago Public School high school students met Illinois state academic standards.

79% of Chicago public school 8th graders are not grade-level in reading, and 80% are not grade-level in Math. Only about 55% of high school students in Chicago graduate, and there's a lot of question about what those who do graduate have learned.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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