The New York Times wrote:
CHICAGO — Teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district went on strike Monday morning after negotiations for a new contract collapsed, giving some 350,000 students an unexpected day off but leading to frustrations among parents and indications that a settlement may not be close.
Some random thoughts, in no particular order:
- From what I've seen/read, the biggest wedge is some sort of teacher evaluation system that includes standardized test scores. The teachers claim that this is unfair, as factors outside of their control will bring down scores (e.g. poverty, single-parent homes, etc). The city claims that evaluations wouldn't be counted the first year, which would be used as a test run, and that they'd tweak them after the first year to be fair but effective.
- Rahm addressed the media last night after the union announced that it would strike, and he was all "HULK SMASH!!1!one", which at least gives some hilarious context to the quote from union president Karen Lewis (the online article I found it in has since taken it down) which went something along the lines of "He's got a vision, and he's going to make it happen, and nobody is going to get in his way. If they do, he'll bully them and swear really loudly until he gets his way."
- The Chicago Public School headquarters is about a block away from my office, and the rally has spread from the sidewalk in front of it in the morning to all of Clark St. (and part of Adams) by the time I left work. I wasn't all that shocked to see a few thousand people out in the streets, Chicago being a festering breeding ground for righteous bleeding hearts who are willing to demonstrate for just about any cause (in this case the "children"). What did surprise me were the number of teachers that had taken their kids to watch and support the protest. It rubs me the wrong way that the only parents whose daytime plans for their kids were unaffected by the teachers strike were the teachers themselves.