Teachers' Strike End in Sight After City Makes Concessions
Sides hoping to have school tomorrow
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Sep 13, 2012 8:45 AM CDT
A large group of public school teachers seek support from neighborhood communities as they march on streets surrounding John Marshall Metropolitan High School, Sept. 12, 2012 in West Chicago.   (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

(Newser) – Bad news, kids of Chicago: There may be school tomorrow. Negotiators for both the city and the teachers union emerged from yesterday's talks with fresh optimism, saying they hoped to have school back in session by Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. "I'm smiling. I'm very happy," union President Karen Lewis said. That's because the district made what its officials termed a "pretty generous concession," revising an evaluation plan that could have seen almost 30% of teachers dismissed if they couldn't improve their performance.

Under the new proposal, teachers who score poorly on their initial evaluations will only be dismissed if their scores dramatically decline from there. The evaluations, which teachers complained relied too heavily on standardized tests and didn't take into account external factors like poverty that might hurt performance, are perhaps the biggest issues in the strike, the AP explains. The city also agreed to nix a provision allowing it to rescind raises in an economic crisis, among other concessions, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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Sep 13, 2012 2:50 PM CDT
(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers. syn- socialism.
Sep 13, 2012 11:32 AM CDT
Urban teachers are victims of their own philosophy, which is the philosophy that we are all born equal. Your average public school teacher is following the false doctrine that most kids should be "book smart" and go on to college. In reality, half or most urban kids have low cognitive abilities. This means that teachers have effectively made their work goals impossible to achieve. Urban teachers instinctively know this (although they will never admit it,) and that is why they are constantly fighting higher performance standards. Urban schools should only have a FRACTION of their students in high school. I'd say something like 20% - 30% of urban high school students actually belong there, the rest are nothing more than future welfare cases and criminals. The legal age for dropping out should be 13. By 13, you should know basic reading, writing and math and be able to get a job at McDonalds, which is exactly where most urban kids should be encouraged to work. Let urban high schools only be places for those that are HUNGRY to learn, those that exhibit normal to above cognitive abilities, those that are disciplined, those that are not prone to savage instincts. The American education system follows the error that everyone belongs in college, and that everyone can or should be "book smart." This is why you average Urban High School is like a jungle, where students are more concerned with staying alive than learning, because all the trashy/violent kids are forced in with the valuable civil kids.
Sep 13, 2012 11:22 AM CDT
I have heard it more than a few times. Anyone here able to quantify this with real direct experience? Are Chicago schoold really THAT bad? As bad as I hear?