The Teachers Strike May Have Been In Chicago, But It's All Our Problem

The Teachers Strike May Have Been In Chicago, But It's All Our Problem

Matt Kibbe looks at why the "resolution" of the teacher's strike in Chicago is not in the best interests of the children and taxpayers of the state: The Chicago Teachers Union Strike may be resolved for now, but the events illustrate a serious problem facing the United States: union bosses are manipulating government leaders, using teachers and students as human shields in their fight to maintain power over the educational system. Their stranglehold on education has to end if our children are to have any hope of getting the education they need to compete in the world. [media-credit name=" " align="aligncenter" width="300"][/media-credit]Teacher pay got a lot of attention in coverage of the debate, but it was far from the only issue at play in the strike, which ended Wednesday under the promise of a resolution that appeased the union bullies. The primary disagreements were over who has the power to hire and fire teachers, and accountability for student performance. The union insisted that it should have the right to dictate who gets hired to fill jobs in the district. Primarily, it wanted to take hiring authority away from school principals by requiring that laid-off teachers be hired back. Union leaders also rejected the perfectly reasonable demand from the city of Chicago that standardized test scores play a role in evaluating teacher performance. A roofer is judged by how well his shingles keep out the rain. A CFO is judged by her company’s balance sheet. A journalist is judged by the accuracy and fairness of his story. Yet somehow union leaders think teachers shouldn’t be judged by the outcome of their work. Teachers’ unions exist to promote what’s best for teachers, not students. As Albert Shanker, the late president of the American Federation of Teachers, once reportedly put it, “When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.” (Shanker’s supporters dispute that he said this, but the quotation’s staying power illustrates the accuracy with which it represents union motives.) Because they exist to protect the status quo, unions oppose the kind of meaningful education reform America needs. They oppose education tax credits, school vouchers, charter schools, merit pay, and virtually all attempts to impose real accountability. They instead support a system that sees the United States spending nearly two and a half times more per pupil today than in 1970. What have we received in return? Stagnant math and reading scores for 17-year-olds, and a decline in science scores.

Teachers Strike Hurts Families

When you put the interests of your paycheck ahead of the children you're teaching, you shouldn't be surprised that when you go on strike children are hurt.  Jeff Jacoby looks at the impact: The true long-term impact of the Chicago teachers strike may not be known for some time. But there is no mystery about its impact in the immediate term -- anxiety, panic, and disruption for myriad mothers and fathers left in the lurch when 30,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union walked away from their classrooms last week just as a new school year was getting underway. "Parents and guardians frantically sought last-minute child care, pleaded with their bosses for leniency, and hoped that their kids would return to school sooner rather than later,"reported the Chicago Sun-Times. "Citywide, for thousands of families, stress was high." The paper quoted Martina Watts, a mother in West Garfield Park, one of the city's rougher neighborhoods: "I might be losing my job over this. As long as they're on strike, I can't work. I'm not getting paid." Construction worker Allen Packer told a TV interviewer that he had to switch from full-time work to a part-time night shift so he could be home with his young daughter during the day. "I kind of understand what they're trying to do," he said of the striking teachers. "But this is not just them." He gestured toward his daughter. "It's her education, first of all. Then my paycheck for the food."

Teacher's Union Bosses: 30% More Taxpayer Money and Less Work or We Strike!

Teacher's in Chicago, Illinois have voted to authorize a strike over their demand for a 30% pay increase (funded by the taxpayers) and smaller classroom sizes. The union wants a two-year deal that reduces class size and calls for teachers to receive a 24 percent pay raise in the first year and a 5 percent pay raise in the second year. The strike would start at the beginning of the next school year should the union not come to terms with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. With their neighbors on one side in Indiana enacting a Right to Work statute and their neighbors on the other, in Wisconsin, enacting reforms to save taxpayers money, it is clear Big Labor in Illinois hasn't gotten the message. Taxpayers want reform, choice, efficiency and freedom. That message will take root in Illinois soon. Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton said the public schools cannot afford a strike. "At a time when our graduation rates and college enrollments are at record highs – two successes in which our teachers played an integral role – we cannot halt the momentum with a strike," she said. "Our teachers deserve a raise, but our kids don't deserve a strike and taxpayers cannot afford to pay for 30 percent raises." You might remember this video from a previous Chicago/Illinois Teachers Union staged event titled "Give up the bucks!"    

Teacher's Union Bosses: 30% More Taxpayer Money and Less Work or We Strike!

Teacher's in Chicago, Illinois have voted to authorize a strike over their demand for a 30% pay increase (funded by the taxpayers) and smaller classroom sizes. The union wants a two-year deal that reduces class size and calls for teachers to receive a 24 percent pay raise in the first year and a 5 percent pay raise in the second year. The strike would start at the beginning of the next school year should the union not come to terms with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. With their neighbors on one side in Indiana enacting a Right to Work statute and their neighbors on the other, in Wisconsin, enacting reforms to save taxpayers money, it is clear Big Labor in Illinois hasn't gotten the message. Taxpayers want reform, choice, efficiency and freedom. That message will take root in Illinois soon. Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton said the public schools cannot afford a strike. "At a time when our graduation rates and college enrollments are at record highs – two successes in which our teachers played an integral role – we cannot halt the momentum with a strike," she said. "Our teachers deserve a raise, but our kids don't deserve a strike and taxpayers cannot afford to pay for 30 percent raises." You might remember this video from a previous Chicago/Illinois Teachers Union staged event titled "Give up the bucks!"    

Union goons shoot up home with mother and 8-year-old daughter

Union goons shoot up home with mother and 8-year-old daughter

It was a quiet April evening, shortly before midnight, and Deanna Ussery had already gone to bed. The house was dark except for a nightlight in the bedroom of her eight-year-old daughter, Sheila Ann. Suddenly, there was an explosion of gunfire, and 12-gauge shotgun slugs shattered Sheila Ann's bedroom windows, ripping her bedspread and tearing holes in the wall just above her bed. Miraculously, no one was hurt. Sheila Ann was away for the night. A made for TV movie? No, a real-life story of terror in Hot Springs, Arkansas, as set forth in the official record of a trial against a United Steelworkers of America local in Garland County Circuit Court. It is a story of union violence and harassment against five courageous women who defied the strike orders handed down by officials of a USW local against National Rejectors, Inc. of Hot Springs. Even after the strike was over, the women were subjected to name calling, obscene language and threats. Glue or grease was rubbed on their chair seats at work. Supervisors had to accompany them to the bathroom for their protection. There were repeated incidents of hair-pulling, shoving, slapping and tire-slashing. They were pursued in their cars by thugs who tried to run them off the road.