Seventy-nine percent of the 8th graders in the Chicago Public Schools are not grade-level proficient in reading, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and 80 percent are not grade-level proficient in math.
Chicago public school teachers went on strike on Monday and one of the major issues behind the strike is a new system Chicago plans to use for evaluating public school teachers in which student improvement on standardized tests will count for 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation. Until now, the evaluations of Chicago public school teachers have been based on what a Chicago Sun Times editorial called a “meaningless checklist.”
What, holding teachers accountable for improvement? We can't have that! I know. I am a teacher on the outside looking in trying to get work, and the teachers unions are working on keeping me out because due to my lack of tenure, they won't be able to take as high amounts of money from me as they do my more experienced people, some of whom are just going through the motions. So, they protect the unmotivated. Even the Uber Liberal Sun Times called the former eval instrument a meaningless checklist. Read further for how these selfish teachers haven't been doing their jobs:
Nationally, public school 8th graders scored an average of 264 on the NAEP reading test. Statewide in Illinois, the 8th graders did a little better, scoring an average of 266. But in the Chicago Public Schools, 8th graders scored an average of only 253 in reading. That was lower even than the nationwide average of 255 among 8th graders in “large city” public schools.
With these NAEP test results, only 19 percent of Chicago public school 8th graders rated proficient in reading while another 2 percent rated advanced—for a total of 21 percent who rated proficient or better.
79 percent of Chicago public school 8th graders were not grade-level proficient in reading. According to the U.S. Department of Education, this included 43 percent who rated “basic” and 36 percent who rated “below basic.”
In the 8th grade math test, Chicago public school 8th graders scored an average of 270 out of 500, compared to an average of 274 for 8th graders in “large city” public schools, and 283 for 8th graders nationally as well as statewide in Illinois.
With these NAEP test results, only 17 percent of Chicago public school 8th graders rated proficient in math while another 3 percent rated advanced—for a total of 20 percent who rated proficient or better.
Thus, 80 percent of Chicago public school 8th graders were not grade-level proficient in math. According to the U.S. Department of Education, this included 40 percent who rated “basic” in math and 40 percent who rated “below basic.”
So, Chicago 8th graders, 70-80% of whom can't do grade level math, are somehow being benefitted by missing more days of school. And paying teachers more and giving them less stringent standards is supposed to make the kids' lives and education better. Seriously?
And if some of you out there buy the lame excuse it is about helping get better teachers and it is about the kids, check this out:
Maldonado blamed the union as he walked into the briefing room with his 7-year-old son, Roberto II, carrying a backpack.
“This is the effect of the union right now,” Maldonado, whose wife had the couple’s two other children Monday.
“We’re lucky enough that is not that much of a hardship on us, But it’s a hardship on the kids.”
“The reason that they decided to go on strike is a stretch,” he continued. “If there are no challenges in terms of the financial aspects of the negotiations and the only hang-up is the thing about imposing upon principals to hire laid-off teachers — I mean if I’m going to hold accountable my principal at the school where my kids go for the education of my kids...I need to give (the principal) the flexibility to hire who they perceive to be the best teachers. That’s just logical.”
Those sticking points, though, caused teachers to show up in large numbers early Monday morning, picketing at local schools. “We do not intend to sign an agreement until all matters of our contract are addressed,” Lewis said. “We are committed to staying at the table.”
The school board’s last offer included a 3 percent raise the first year and 2 percent raises the next three years — a slight increase from an earlier offer of two percent raises in each of the next four years.
The package, which would cost $400 million, keeps increases for experience and credentials with some modifications.
Vitale said the contract amounted to a 16 percent raise over four years for the average teacher when factoring other increases. And the raises could not be rescinded for lack of funds — which is what happened this past school year, angering teachers and helping to set the stage for Monday’s strike.
“This is not a small commitment we’re making at a time when your fiscal situation is really challenged,” Vitale said. A $1 billion deficit awaits the system at the end of this school year, officials have estimated. And the district drained its reserve funds to plug this year’s budget.
Do you get a 16% raise over four years? Why should failing teachers?