By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner

The difference in how Chicago’s low-income, minority students are being treated by the city’s two major school systems during the pandemic should make school choice skeptics reconsider their position.

At the heart of the issue is the Chicago Teachers Union’s absolute refusal to allow an in-class learning option for public school students. CPS teachers haven’t been in the classroom for nearly nine months and now CPS officials want to partially restart in-person learning at the beginning of 2021. CTU is hinting they’ll strike for the fourth time in less than a decade to stop that from happening.

In sharp contrast, over 2,000 Catholic school teachers of the Chicago Archdiocese have been teaching in-person, five days a week, to 34,000 city students since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

It’s not as if CPS students and teachers are more at risk from COVID than their private school counterparts. CPS and the Archdiocese serve the same Chicago communities. CPS serves about 350,000 students, 85 percent of them minorities. The majority of city students the Archdiocese serves are also from minority, low-income homes. The students may be the same, but the way they are being treated is far different. Here’s how:

1. In-class vs remote learning

The difference between remote versus in-class learning can’t be understated. The damage the former is inflicting on minority and low-income families is incalculable.

There’s no denying the issue of classroom learning is complex. COVID hits minorities disproportionately hard. Those demographics are more likely to live in multi-generational homes and their higher incidence of underlying medical conditions makes their outcomes worse.

But remote learning only adds to the struggle of minority and low-income households. Minorities are more dependent on service jobs that can’t be done from home. Being stuck at home to take care of their kids means a loss of income that parents can’t afford, missed medical diagnoses, drug addiction, deeper poverty…the list goes on.

And for students it means lost socialization time, additional depression and anxiety, and bigger learning gaps that in turn mean bigger earning gaps in the future. 

And then there’s the terrible cost of crime. Chicago youth are at far higher risk of dying from homicide than they are from COVID-19. That’s been the case since the start of the pandemic.

As of December 29, five Chicago youth had died from COVID, but 109 had died as a result of homicide. That’s 22 children dead from homicide for every one COVID death. You can’t help but wonder how many fewer Chicago youth would have died from homicide if schools had been open.

Despite knowing the damage remote learning is doing, the Chicago Teachers Union remains adamantly opposed to reopening schools in January. Never mind the overwhelming evidence of the scientific community showing that schools are not transmission hotspots. Never mind the psychological and developmental harm being done as a result of kids not being in the classroom. Never mind the steps taken by CPS to make schools more safe. 

2. Power over education

The CTU’s ability to refuse an in-class option is tied directly to the lopsided bargaining power the state grants Illinois teachers unions – including the ability to strike. Illinois is just one of only 12 states that gives its teachers unions the ability to strike – a power that the CTU has used to great effect. 

The CTU has gone on strike three times in less than a decade. 2012’s strike lasted one week. 2016’s strike was a one day show of force. And 2019’s was the longest in three decades, with teachers demanding more even after Mayor Lori Lightfoot had already offered the union what she termed the “most generous” contract ever.

With each strike, city officials appeased the union. And each time the CTU left CPS worse off financially, increasing the strain on the near-bankrupt and shrinking district. CPS’ credit rating at Moody’s is now four notches into junk territory – worse even than the Detroit Public School’s rating – while CPS’ student enrollment has dropped by nearly 100,000 students since the year 2000.

Long-term contracts are another source of power. By locking in raises over several years, teachers can guarantee their incomes no matter how badly the private sector that pays for them suffers – or whether teachers are even in the classroom.

The 2019 teacher contract is a perfect example. The CTU locked in a 5-year deal with CPS that gives the average teacher a 24 percent raise; school nurses, a 48 percent hike; and teaching assistants, a 31 percent increase.

That contract was already unaffordable for ordinary Chicagoans in 2019. The pandemic and subsequent economic devastation has made the terms of that contract even more absurd.

The relationship the Archdiocese of Chicago has with its teachers couldn’t be more different. Teacher employment functions just like it does for most employees in the private sector. Teachers have at-will contracts and there are no unions or collective bargaining laws. Salaries are still based on a pay scale, but they’re set by the Archdiocese.

3. Teacher costs 

The result of that different relationship is that the Catholic schools provide education at a far lower cost to parents. 

Teacher salaries – the biggest cost component of any school – aren’t even close. A 30-year career catholic school teacher with a Ph.D. is paid $59,390, according to the Archdiocese’s salary scale. In comparison, a new Chicago teacher with a bachelor’s degree gets $60,116.

That’s an incredible fact. The most experienced, highest-educated Catholic school teacher costs parents less than a first-year CPS school teacher.

CPS salary schedule, Archdiocese salary schedule

This entire situation should be unacceptable to Chicagoans. 

Chicago teachers are being paid more than ever by taxpayers, but still deliver a substandard form of education that’s doing real harm to the people they claim to care for. Take the test scores of black students at CPS, for example. In 2019, 70 percent of black 3rd-graders failed to meet the state’s expectations in English-language arts, according to the Illinois Report Card. 

The scores only get worse as students spend more time in the system:

  • 83 percent of black 8th-graders failed to meet the state’s expectations in English-language arts
  • 85 percent of black 11th-graders failed to meet SAT expectations in English-language arts

For math, similar trends hold:

  • 80 percent of black 3rd-graders failed to meet the state’s expectations in math
  • 87 percent of black 8th-graders failed to meet the state’s expectations in math
  • 87 percent of black 11th-graders failed to meet SAT expectations in math

Forced remote learning might make all of those statistics worse.

***********

You can’t help but think that school choice would fix two things at once. One, it would give more parents access to private schools that are willing to do whatever it takes to provide a better education, at a far lower cost.

And two, creating viable alternatives for parents would help end CPS’ monopoly-type behavior over education – forcing the union and the administration to care more about the needs of the Chicagoans they serve.

Either way, students end up the winners. 

Read more about getting students back into the classroom:

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Joe Blow
23 days ago

spend the most and get the least in return, as is the Illinois, corrupt, union way!

Riverbender
21 days ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

But…but it’s for the children.

Dale
24 days ago

What a joke! Big money and the students still can’t read or write!

James
24 days ago
Reply to  Dale

Education is not the same as making widgets. Double the money making widgets will presumably double the manufacturing results, all else being equal. Making a similar commitment to education may well bring some improve but likely much smaller than you’d like. More money devoted to educatoin usually does help but not in anything approaching straight-line predictability. If you are expecting perfectly delightul outcome results for that extra money spent you’ll always be disappointed/aggravated. That’s what happens in the world of trying to improve people versus making more widgets.

Susan
23 days ago
Reply to  James

That is truthful but not useful information.
What illinois taxpayers, parents and students require is actionable information as to how to survive the devastating effects of monopoly/monopsony which Illinois political industry maintains on education provision.

Heyjude
23 days ago
Reply to  James

I don’t think parents expect “perfectly delightful outcomes”. They expect some semblance of an education for their children, which is a perfectly reasonable expectation. It is not being met in many schools.

James
23 days ago
Reply to  Heyjude

“Reasonable” is a qualitative assessment as much as it is quantitative. The student body backgrounds, educational skills and levels of motivation vary greatly from one to another. There have been several politically motivated concepts to make it seem otherwise such as the “Mastery Learning” concept–that literally every student will be “successful” in every class. Now, that sounds good but isn’t all that great in practice since the 100% “success rate” means some combination of slowing down to the level of the lowest-ability students and boring those who are significantly more able to the point of sleepiness. So, the end result… Read more »

Susan
23 days ago
Reply to  James

All of your responses are calibrated toward maintaining status quo. Status quo is beneficial to you and yours, while it represents an existential threat to the economic survival of taxpayers and the future life prospects of children whom you and yours hold captive.

If you are as reasonable as you indicate, and truly want to to build bridges toward a mutually beneficial solution, you might suggest actionable solutions like offering vouchers as a net zero sum prospect for parents willing to put in the efforts you describe (school budgets must subtract the cost of such vouchers from levy).

Locke
23 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Agree completely.
These comments from James are endless and circular.
The epitome of naval gazing, with no solution in sight.

Doesn’t seem to matter to him .. we’re funding these quixotic adventures in something that used to resemble education with our hard earned money.

James
23 days ago
Reply to  Susan

I’m neutral toward the voucher system for public education. on the side it gives parents freedom of choice. That’s part of downside as well, since a good many such choices will be based on parents and students going with what seems most comfortable as they choose to define it. That tends to bring more emphasis to like seeking like and more “us vs. them” thinking. Public schools by their policy of mandatory attendance at certain schools or at least schools within the same district force some degree of social interaction between students of greater levels of difference. In the first… Read more »

Locke
23 days ago
Reply to  James

So why are we having to paying top shelf prices for bathtub beer?

Heyjude
23 days ago
Reply to  James

If the current education system is not capable of educating students, for whatever reason, why should we maintain it? That is one of the reasons for vouchers and charters, which unions adamantly oppose. In my view, the education establishment has had ample opportunity to implement their vision for education. It has failed by any objective measure.
Please note that I say educational establishment. The system is broken, not necessarily the teachers. In many cases, as you point out, they are trying to make a bad system work. But they don’t seem to be advocating for any change either.

Last edited 23 days ago by Heyjude
James
23 days ago
Reply to  Heyjude

“Education” occurs in many places and in many ways, informally simply by living long enough, increasing one’s exposure to new things, people and places. Academic success is a worthy goal, but its only a part of becoming educated in the fuller sense. I can recall many famous people who have become “successful” as most would see it, yet whether college educated or not clearly misuse the English language from time to time and consistently do so with the use of certain words or phrases. How is that even possible after at least 12 years listening to teachers and other adults… Read more »

Locke
23 days ago
Reply to  James

I pay double (private + the public viig) for schooling, my choice. This has been happening in my family since 1981. There are many more out there, like us. Yet, the system is always financially teetering, education is always ‘just skating by’ with it’s tin cup out, and the scores are always descending (negative slope). Yet I’m fully somehow pro education, as long as it is worthwhile education. I see more and more ‘seasoned’ graduates, an oxymoron – but the newly minted Masters who’ve themselves never worked a day is mind-boggling, coming into my company with paltry skills in reasoning… Read more »

Locke
23 days ago
Reply to  James

James .. from ‘The Jungle’, Upton Sinclair:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” …

Trolling is quite unbecoming at a certain point.
We are whispering ‘Memento Mori’ into your ear with these rebukes.
And, it would seem, you will end up like Caesar did, regardless.

There are better systems that cost less.
IL is broke, and hurtling toward dire financial straights.
Yet, you fiddle away here, a modern day Nero.

James
23 days ago
Reply to  Locke

It is equally difficult to get a man to understand something when doing so requires tax money to be collected from him.

Down town James

Locke
23 days ago
Reply to  James

RATT (1984) – ‘Round and Round’
Enjoy your naval gazing.

James
23 days ago
Reply to  Locke

That’s what conversations about public education almost always are and almost by definition. Inevitably it involves conficting opinions involving philosophical differences as to what’s important enough to be taught and what isn’t. Then, there’s the nitty gritty of how long to hammer away at it all at public expense. Those kinds of things are forever debatable, pleasing some and abolutely disagreeable to others—all of whom have to pay for it. Its truly endless, leading the bored-by-it-all masses such as you finding navel gazing far more interesting as a passtime.

Locke
23 days ago
Reply to  James

.. and Rome burns ..

James
23 days ago
Reply to  Locke

Locke him up!

American Eagle
21 days ago
Reply to  James

I expect my kids to be taught to read at grade level or better. The CTU is failing badly on that “widget.”

Locke
23 days ago
Reply to  James

The US system of Education is modelled on the 19th century Prussian system, as implemented by Horace Mann. https://medium.com/age-of-awareness/turning-out-12th-grade-widgets-b8e076decd59 Not my words, but I quote: The prospective widgets pass from parents to lower level factories to higher level factories. Elementary schools, junior high schools, and high schools, apply more and more processing. A billet of steel is gets its rough shape at a forge, then goes to a machine shop to for fine milling. Maybe the part will be galvanized or plated. We, you and I, have had this E X A C T conversation, almost verbatim before, on this… Read more »

James
23 days ago
Reply to  Locke

I’m with you all the way. If the public at large thinks the outcomes are not worth the cost, then let’s get rid of the present system and create a new one. I’m theoretically in favor of the old European model of giving make-or-break tests at various student age levels. Passing such tests is required to go to the next level or maybe do so at public expense at least. The current model of requiring almost literally every student to take the harder subjects is a waste when most go on to careers never needing such knowledge. That sort of… Read more »

Eugene from a payphone
20 days ago
Reply to  James

If you can point us to any reputable research that shows money has brought improvement to test scores, graduation rates or levels of economic success after reaching adulthood for CPS students we’d appreciate it.

James
20 days ago

Has the higher prices you’ve paid for electricity, food and most basic consumer goods since you were a child brought you better quality products? I’d say not in most cases, but inflation invades every area of a family’s financial life. Education is no exception in terms of its cost. To the extent that it rises faster than the CPI locally, then you have to wonder as to the value it has brought. I have no data on that, but we all know the cost of buying, learning, using and maintaining computerized equipment has added its own budget component in more… Read more »

DixonSyder
24 days ago

Several years ago my local school district was crying the blues about needing a tax increase or disaster would follow. No sports, no gym, no library, no school clubs, no drama class or school plays, no band and more. They ran the tax increase for about 4 elections until finally at a local dog catcher election (satire) they won by a dozen votes. $1.5 million in new taxes. The absolute first thing that was done was to spend $1 million on PAY RAISES! We teachers are here for the children………Bull…t

Last edited 24 days ago by DixonSyder
James
24 days ago
Reply to  DixonSyder

It would mean a bit more to the reader if you could detail how many employees were in the district at that time. If we knew their average salaries we could then know the bump each got on average at least. In the abstract that $1.5 million has no real meaning.

DixonSyder
24 days ago
Reply to  James

The meaning is that the most important thing about raising taxes was to give raises. They needed a computer supervisor, new position, they needed a library assistant, the district super, who makes about $125K, got a raise. In the abstract it was about spending 75% of the new cash on themselves. It’s for the children?

Fed up neighbor
24 days ago
Reply to  DixonSyder

Just like the CTU’s Stacey Davis gates who just received a 40,000 dollar pay raise omg 40,000 in the middle of a pandemic and no students or teachers in class, it’s for the children this phrase is getting old.

Last edited 24 days ago by Fed up neighbor
debtsor
24 days ago
Reply to  DixonSyder

Your dist sup makes $125? The ones in the suburbs of Chicago make $250k+! With paper mill eDd’s from no name universities. I’ve let those losers know how I feel many times about their leftist indoctrination of my children. I’ve written the board asking to have them fired many times.

DixonSyder
23 days ago
Reply to  debtsor

There are 4 local school districts. 1 high school with a district superintendent, 1 grade school district with 2 elementary schools and a superintendent, 1 district with 3 elementary schools and a superintendent, and another district with 3 elementary schools and a district superintendent. All of these elementary districts feed to the 1 high school with approximately 2000 students. Overkill on administration? The high school superintendent makes $185 K. After all is said its about $1 million for district superintendents along with staff etc. The one making $125K has about 500 kids in the district.

Freddy
23 days ago
Reply to  DixonSyder

Rondout dist 72 has approx 161 students with super making $200K+ including benefits.
Union dist 81 has 100 students with super at $206K according to Tribune
Deland-Weldon Cusd 57 has 199 students with no super but salaries are very low for most including principal at $77K

James
23 days ago
Reply to  Freddy

Such things happen because the community allows it to happen. They need to organize to either share administrators with neighboring districts or consolidate districts. Barring those outcomes you are getting what the community wants to happen either through passive inattention or purposeful local politics. Get organized to change things, deal with it as is or move elsewhere. Those are the options for complainers.

James
24 days ago
Reply to  James

Okay, you’ve learned something. Next time if other voters have a similar opinion maybe any such tax increase either will not happen or be a much smaller one. We can hope such will be the case, right? Maybe one of you in that group can run for the school board and make sure money gets spent more to your liking. Again, one can only hope.

Riverbender
23 days ago
Reply to  James

It means plenty to this reader and I assume others when it speaks of the reality that the tax increase went to raises just as it has happened over and over again in the school district that I live in. The “it’s for the children” is unmasked showing instead its really for raises for the teachers and administrators.

Fed up neighbor
23 days ago
Reply to  Riverbender

You are absolutely correct, 263k for just 1 superintendent out here by me and at least 35 administrators in the 100k plus club unbelievable, greed greed greed no oversight into these school districts they do as they please and getaway with it.

Eugene from a payphone
24 days ago

I have felt for a long time that the annual per pupil expense outlay in a district should be given annually in small bills to a custodial parent to pay for school on a use it or lose it basis. The parent could shop around for the best deal for the child, or if the parent buys say a car or vacation instead then no school for the child. It would eliminate a lot of discipline problems.

Freddy
24 days ago

Don’t forget all those who send their kids to private schools still have to pay for public schools. Same for those who home school. And the price they pay to public schools out of property taxes is determined by the value of their homes. In private schools tuition is not based on the value of your property but for lower incomes there may be scholarships or reduced tuition available if for instance they become members of the church.

Susan
24 days ago
Reply to  Freddy

You are describing free market, value based education provision compared to incestuous government controlled monopoly/monopsony.
Even a casual analysis of th numbers presented in this article reveals that superior student outcomes can be achieved at a fraction of the cost of status quo.
Those seeking serious solutions to status quo should try to implement tactics which have proven effective for those who have destroyed Illinois while narrowlu enriching themselves.
Free market is prohibited in Illinois. Therefore, how about trying to start a competing monopoly, a nuunion?

Freddy
24 days ago
Reply to  Susan

True. The average tuition in private schools in Rockford K-12 is about $7K. Keith school is an exception at approx $13K depending on grade but still less than Rockford dist 205 at well over $16K. Curious- What are private school tuition in your area? Question? Who really owns or holds title to the public schools in any area? Is it the taxpayers-employees-unions-the State? They are public institutions(with no say) but run as private corporations where only stockholders do have some say. Are we as taxpayers shareholders in the public schools considering we pay the bulk of the costs? If we… Read more »

Locke
24 days ago
Reply to  Freddy

$8780 for 2 students, K-8, western suburbs of Chicago. Price assumes active parishioner with 20 hours volunteering per family. Else billed at end of year at $20 per hour.

Next year, price drops to $4925 for 1 K-8 student, but HS Tuition clocks in for freshman as $12975.

So, private appears to be more ‘efficient’ with this spend, vs. the ever increasing public. Still on the hook for the public, which is a racket if there ever was 1.

Susan
23 days ago
Reply to  Freddy

We voters have accorded monopoly/monopsony “rights” to our “representative boards” (elected officials of local school boards and Springfield politicians). These boards have no legal protections from conflicts of interest and are usually comprised of those whose households benefit from teacher friendly/taxpayer unfriendly compensation policies. Running for school board costs thousands of dollars in yard signs alone. Unions pay for yard signs, complacent disjointed taxpayers do not. The schools are run as monopoly with narrow interests served at expense of captive clientele who are allowed no competitive choice. See comments in this discussion: “The phrase “captive market” is quite apt: Managers… Read more »

Mr_Common_Sense
24 days ago

And did you know that a majority of CPS Teachers, (who have school aged children) enroll their kids in private schools?

nixit
24 days ago

Unions have been failing their Tier 2 members for ten years now. Why do Tier 2 employees have the same salary schedule, the same health benefits, etc as their Tier 1 counterparts when their retirement plans are much smaller?

James
24 days ago
Reply to  nixit

Those conditions exsit only because the Tier 2 employees have freely chosen to accept such employment presumably knowing the different conditions involved. Also, its proboably generally true that any such teacher union represents the majority of its members (Tier 1 so far) much more so than any minority where such interests differ.

Susan
24 days ago
Reply to  James

You could’ ve been describing Yellow Cab drivers who ” have freely chosen to accept such employment presumably knowing the different conditions involved.” Yellow Cabbies may have been forced to pay for medallions, pay union dues, pay payola to dispatchers….
Then along came Uber.,

Morefandave
24 days ago

Yet it’s the CTU that claims that pushing in-person education is racist, among other horrible things. Tony Russo, once Labor Relations Commissioner for New York City, said,”The goal of unions is to get as much from you (employer) as possible and give you as little as possible in return.” I can think of no better example of this than the CTU (although Illinois AFSCME comes close). I feel sorry for the CPS students. Even when back in class, they are getting short-changed being taught by these selfish, ignorant creeps.

george hoth
24 days ago

Let them strike. No work, no pay. And no making up the pay when/if they come back. If Illinois politicians would give vouchers for private schools it would allow for competition AND better education. If the CTU strikes the kids will be no better off then they are now.

Mr_Common_Sense
24 days ago
Reply to  george hoth

The kids will end up smarter if those worthless Union teachers end up striking.

Governor of Alderaan
23 days ago
Reply to  george hoth

Fire the strikers!

Susan
24 days ago

Is there any legal reason that a competitor union could not be formed by public school teachers in Illinois? The Nu-union could promote core principles: 1. We will not thrive when the cost is economic destruction of the community we serve. 2. We will seek higher salaries, in return for opting out of defined benefits and other extraordinary OPEB entitlements which are destroying the community we serve. 3. We will seek generous but reasonable pension contribution matching similar to our fellow humans in private sector. 4. We will seek health insurance that is reasonable and sustainable, and explicitly forego entitlements… Read more »

Thee Jabroni
24 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Sounds good susan but only people with morals would settle for that,most cps teachers have few morals and much greed!

James
24 days ago
Reply to  Thee Jabroni

People EVERYWHERE and in all careers vote for their own interests as a higher priority than anything else, generally speaking? Now, are you trying to tell me you and every other person you know do differently? I don’t think so.

Thee Jabroni
24 days ago
Reply to  James

Not when its bankrupting the state and causing higher and higher taxes on everyone teacher james!

James
24 days ago
Reply to  Thee Jabroni

That’s a consideration for some teachers and not for others varying upon their personal belief systems about the welfare of society at large and their right and needs as individual workers. Some prioritize the former, but its likely more prioritize the latter. Perhaps you fall into that former category, but “when/if the rubber hits the road” in your own job’s financiaul situation you might flip to that latter category, too. Its easy to be altruistic at a distance and far less so when its your own family’s security at stake.

Thee Jabroni
24 days ago
Reply to  James

Hhhmmm teacher james,i have morals and wouldnt expect an exhorbinant pension WAY higher than the private sector,especially if its gonna harm every other private citizen tax payer,let me see,average teacher pays into their pension roughly 80,000,but will receive up to 2 million over 20 yrs,NOT sustainable and shows the greed and eliteism of most public sector workers,said it before but gonna be laughing my ass off in a few years when these lazy slobs pension checks bounce!-cant wait for that day teacher james!

James
24 days ago
Reply to  Thee Jabroni

To repeat its easy to be high-minded and altruistic when one talks about such things in abstraction where don’t affect you personally. That’s a luxury. If you were put in the position of people you deride here its likely you would behave the way they do, believe it or not. Point of view explains a lot here.

Thee Jabroni
24 days ago
Reply to  James

Youre projecting your own thoughts and feelings onto me teacher james,just because YOU would do exactly what the other teachers expect,doesnt mean i would,teacher james

James
24 days ago
Reply to  Thee Jabroni

I said its likely you’d have such an opinion. Neither of us can deal with certainty when it comes to your action for a hypothetical situation. Its a bit like “Cadet Bone-Spurs” Donald Trump several months saying he’d run into a school building having an active shooter inside. Lots of people do heroic things in their mind’s eye but far less so when the actua moment of truth comes. If you are different, hurray for you!

heyjude
24 days ago
Reply to  James

I agree that most people will vote their own interests. That is human nature. But the trick is to weigh what you think you will get against the reality of what you are likely to get. In this case, I believe that has been miscalculated on the part of the unions and their members. It only makes sense to vote for promises if those promises can be converted into reality. If they cannot, it is like relying on finding the pot at the end of the rainbow.

James
24 days ago
Reply to  heyjude

That’s the part that requires each teacher to decide the issue independently. “You pay your money and take your chance” logic applies in any such vote, doesn’t it?

heyjude
24 days ago
Reply to  James

Of course, risk/reward is part of any decision. The unions seem to see only the “high reward” part without recognizing that their position is becoming more “high risk” by the day.
When is it time to make the tradeoff of reducing risk by accepting reduced rewards?

Last edited 24 days ago by heyjude
James
24 days ago
Reply to  Susan

The only obstacle most likely is finding enough teachers in any given district to support such new union formation by their majority vote in an election proposing it. But, what’s their real motivator to do so other than the widespread presumption that otherwise the whole financial structure of IL state government comes crashing down on them in terms of supporting their own individual retirements? That’s a presumption and only that so far! I mention that because every reason you imply or state for making a majority vote happen brings all such teachers less security than what they currently have and… Read more »

James
24 days ago
Reply to  Locke

That’s a good article and surely would sway some teachers to vote for Susan’s wish list of proposals. But, I can’t imagine that it would sway a majority of teachers to vote for what she wants as compared to what they currently have as rights and financial security to include even their retirement benefits? The public at large may feel differently, and I’m only responding here to how your article likely affects teachers’ attitudes regarding Susan’s proposals for creating new teacher unions.

heyjude
24 days ago
Reply to  Locke

Excellent article- thanks for linking it.

Susan
24 days ago
Reply to  Locke

Excellent writing. Here is my key takeaway quote:
“It’s usually difficult to appreciate in real time, but the very noncompetitiveness that builds monopolistic fortunes seeds their eventual demise. The phrase “captive market” is quite apt: Managers start treating clients like prisoners, always extracting maximum value from a consumer base they treat with increasing indifference or even contempt.”

susan
24 days ago
Reply to  James

It would be MORE security for new teachers, who do not have to stay in a bad job to vest benefits. Portable 401k beginning immediately is attractive to new hires reluctant to believe the party line and sign up as low-man-on-the-Ponzi-scheme (and who may have scruples preventing them from self-enrichment caused by economic devastation of their own community). Next, the health insurance: it is a financial contract. It does not provide health care. Doctors and nurses and techs and pharmacists provide healthcare. When the complicated-by-design scheme of OPEBs for retired 55-yr-olds becomes clear to actual healthcare providers, a sea change… Read more »

James
24 days ago
Reply to  susan

Susan, you’ve covered a LOT here and much of it is political well beyond “my pay grade” in responding. I don’t want to get into the relative worth of one occupation in society as compared to another for that reason. Its something that might well need discussion but at a much broader level than is likely the case here. It take input from all segments of society rather than Wirepoints commenters alone. Now, let me say what I can as to the issue of you wanting to have new unions representing teachers based upon their more obvious attention to society-wide… Read more »

Locke
24 days ago
Reply to  James

.. and at what point are you going to address falling academic performance in the public schools?
It seems the public route is for 1 thing, in all your scribes here, and that is security.

CPS is logging an average 18.4 score on the ACT, IL is 24.7 while private are pumping up averages on the 30+ range.

But yeah, let’s keep our eyes on the prize. Cush jobs and bennies for the membership.

As a tax payer, I call BS in this whole charade.
Let it burn down and just start over.

James
24 days ago
Reply to  Locke

What you are forgetting—or at least dismissing—is that parents who send their children to private schools tend to have better educational attainment themselves, more income and are more likely as a result of such financial sacrifice to periodically review their child’s progress than are those failing such standards. In short, you have a different set of parents sending their children to private schools, and its no coincidence that their children are more likely to be serious abou their school progress. Many (most?) children attending the latter stages of public schooling are “marking time” psychologically rather than giving serious consideration in… Read more »

Susan
24 days ago
Reply to  James

This is a nonsense argument.
Of we tookthe sum of asymmetrical costs of corruption engendered by current system, and paid the current cost of blackmail to Illinois Political Industry ministers, we’d have a pot of public funding left to finance private/charter schools which arrive at better results by way of better professional practices.

James
24 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Rather than agreeing that my comment is a nonsent argument I think what you saying is essentially giving the aruments of the two blind people describing an elephant to a third party where each of us tries to desribe the whole elephant by our experience with feeling or hearing only a part or two of it.

Locke
24 days ago
Reply to  James

Yeah .. see my comment from yesterday, further down in the comment string. I already factored that in. …more income and are more likely as a result of such financial sacrifice to periodically review their child’s progress than are those failing such standards.  My parents, though, worked as a janitor and overnight cleaning lady, because that’s mostly all 1st generation Polish immigrants could get in the late 60s through 90s. They were oppressed before it was cool cachet, 1 even had a nifty tattoo some Kraut ‘just following the rules’ clerk was giving out for those queued up for camp.… Read more »

James
24 days ago
Reply to  Locke

“So what is it we’re all paying for with our hard earned dime? Pensions, your security, what exactly .. when the general populace has none?” For those who are sending children to the CPS schools and probably others where somewhat similar socioeconomic metrics apply you are getting some classes where real learning occur and some where it does not. There are numerous reason for that, and some students succeed in the same classroom where others do not. So, there is the individual’s willingness and ability to pursue what the teacher seeks to teach. Where individual students have that dogged sense… Read more »

Locke
24 days ago
Reply to  James

Maybe it’s the s#it level of teacher the unions are fielding.
Along with the ‘everyone gets a trophy’ mindset.

The world also needs ditch diggers.
And take it from me, not everyone can be an Engineer.

Like I said .. let it all burn down, it’s already rotten.

James
24 days ago
Reply to  Locke

Much is rotten; I grant you that. I think the targetting and use of financial resources for governmental purposes needs far more thought than seems to be given to it. Much of it is on the auto-repeat cycle, it seems.

Susan
24 days ago
Reply to  James

You are 100% right in my opinion, in the position that people will behave in a way reflecting “what’s in it for ME”.
So, in this case, we could transition to Nuunion representing all Illinois public teachers after a certain date, and grandfathered Tier 1 teachers paying for their own legal fees to collect from bankrupted Illinois.

nixit
24 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Pretty sure the existing union has exclusive bargaining rights under the IL Educational Labor Relations Act, which precludes another union from encroaching on their territory and poaching some members. It’s all or nothing. Either you represent all the janitors/teachers/nurses or none. For CPS teachers to disaffiliate from CTU/IFT/AFT and form a new union would require some Byzantine process.

susan
24 days ago
Reply to  nixit

I am not talking about CPS, agree that they are lost cause. I mean Illinois (which is very different than Chicago, but public union predatory practices are informed by Chicago behavior).

nixit
24 days ago
Reply to  susan

The exclusive bargaining rights I referenced are statewide. What I said about CPS applies to all school districts, govt bodies, and bargaining units in general. For example, a local AFSCME unit that represents prison guards at a specific prison could vote to disaffiliate from AFSCME, but it would have to be all the prison guards. You can’t have Teamsters represent some prison guards and AFSCME represent the others as it violates the exclusive bargaining rights. Not an expert, but pretty sure that’s how it works. It’s BS, of course, but that’s Illinois.

Susan
24 days ago
Reply to  nixit

Then a competitive new union seeking to form would need to appeal for judicial review, adversary to the very same gatekeeper protecting “union rights”, no?
Then the gatekeepers would be forced to clarify in court why they are abl to protect monopoly/monopsony against competition?

Rick
24 days ago
Reply to  Susan

I would add a few more important bylaws to this new union…

All teacher salary, position and merit reviews will be done on an individual basis with their non union manager, not collectively. Termination and hiring of teachers will be congruent with private sector practices.

Susan
24 days ago
Reply to  Rick

Agree

James
24 days ago
Reply to  Rick

One has to wonder about how “due process” is part of this wrinkle. We know who is in the corner of administration. We don’t seem to have an “independent” party here reviewing any steam-rolling of the process. After all, don’t you think the immediate supervisor and his/her superior have already discussed their story in advance? Who is doing likewise with the employee?

Goodgulf Greyteeth
24 days ago

Ever worsening academic performance – even though the A-for-effort lobby redefines “positive test metrics” to their advantage year after year. Costs driven by “day care camouflaged as education,” salaries, benefits, staffing and unproductive work-rules arc up from “too-much already” with every union contract. Accounting angels danced on the heads of pins budget after budget to justify why more-of-the-same, along with more public borrowing debt, and higher taxes, are our only solutions. It’s frightening to think about how much worse this will have to get before stakeholders pull their brain housing assemblies out of their rectal orifices, and chart a different… Read more »

Jmp
24 days ago

Teachers unions have ruined our cities
If they don’t want to open the schools then they can stay home. At half pay
And they can pay for their own health insurance and nothing towards their ridiculous pensions. I guarantee 85% of them would be back at school on Jan 4th
The trouble with this Pandemic is everyone making the decisions have not missed a dollar of income or insurance
Sooner or later we will be bankrupt. I hope I’m still here to watch them really whine!!

Thee Jabroni
24 days ago
Reply to  Jmp

Lol!-me too jmp!!

Thee Jabroni
24 days ago

Chicago teachers wont work,havent worked,still getting paid,whine and cry constantly,try telling us its “for the children”-which is laughable,and whats with this Jesse Snarkey,i mean Sharkey,oops-overbearing little twit that couldnt whoop a girlscout!-lol!!

Rick
24 days ago

CPS offers an inferior educational product, parents need to shop around.

NB-Chicago
25 days ago

Comrade sharkey, gates and their press cheerleader/ enablers see themselves as leaders of a national teachers union movement. For them Chicago/cps-its students & parents, and taxpayers are just a giant stage prop ( at +$24,000 a student/per year with min benifit payments) for them to zoom around and play fake $six-figure-socialist$….please take your fake-ass self and go back to your f-en dirt round in maine mr sharkey

Heyjude
25 days ago

It’s pretty clear which group of teachers actually care about their students’ education. It’s also pretty clear what the other group cares about.

Thee Jabroni
25 days ago
Reply to  Heyjude

Yea,its known as MONEY!!

NoHope4Illinois
25 days ago

Not mentioned is the Leftist filth being pushed in public schools. Families need to run from the public schools if they can!

Thee Jabroni
25 days ago

Im gonna be laughing from florida in a few years when i hear about these over paid ,non working slobs pension checks bouncing!

Bross
24 days ago
Reply to  Thee Jabroni

That’ll be an interesting conversation with your neighbor in FL. Yeah, I left so I wouldn’t have to pay your pension. (Maybe refrain from using the word slob) Bet that’ll be the last Christmas cookies you get. Lol.

Locke
25 days ago

Self sorting populations. CPS is there, knows it’s there, and does not have to strive because it sees itself as a given. Private requires active engagement and desire to go the extra step, and work to say there. 1 is a utility, 1 is a motivated party. Parents pulled me out of CPS for Catholic in 1981, and it was the best decision they could have ever made for my future, and I return the gift for my kids today. Even back in 1981, it was constant strikes and poor level of education (compared to what they themselves had experienced… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by Locke
chumpchange
25 days ago

Hey, it’s fur da kids

Fed up neighbor
25 days ago

One key word UNIONS.