If CTU leader and “social justice” thug Karen Lewis is happy and union activists are cheering, you know it’s bad news for everyone else. As you’ve no doubt heard, school is back in session in Chicago after a week of child abandonment. Left-wing Democracy Now reported: “On Tuesday, 800 delegates of the Chicago Teachers Union voted overwhelmingly to suspend the strike to put an agreement with the city before the entire membership. The deal calls for a double-digit salary increase over the next three years, including raises for cost of living, while maintaining other increases for experience and advanced education.”
Steve Gunn at the invaluable EAGNews breaks it down:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the school board waved the white flag of surrender and sold out the children of Chicago.
The teachers did not get the ridiculous 30 percent raise they originally sought, but came away with a seven percent increase over three years, according to the LA Times. That’s absurd in a school district with a budget deficit approaching the frightening $1 billion mark.
The teachers also maintained raises based on nothing but seniority and earned college credits. Merit pay, which would have rewarded the best teachers and put pressure on the underperformers, did not make the final cut.
The teachers reportedly also pushed through a policy forcing the district to call back laid off teachers for open staff positions, instead of allowing principals to fill the jobs with the best available teachers.
And worst of all, Emanuel backed off on his plan to make student test scores worth 50 percent of teacher evaluations. Instead they will only comprise 30 percent, which means, as ABC News put it, the system “will be more forgiving for teachers.”
As a result, thousands of mediocre or miserable teachers who could have been weeded out by a tougher evaluation system will remain employed. That probably means that students will continue to struggle academically, because the district did not insist on replacing bad teachers with good ones.
The only silver lining would be a change in Illinois state law that bans teacher strikes once and for all. A total of 37 states have banned teacher walkouts, and even Pennsylvania, the teacher strike capitol of the nation, is considering legislation that would do so.