Teachers' Strike End in Sight After City Makes Concessions

Sides hoping to have school tomorrow

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 13, 2012 8:45 AM CDT

(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.

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.
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)
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