Although Chicago’s public school teachers are among the highest paid in the nation, they wanted more, and according to the settlement reached late Tuesday, September 18, they are getting more. Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed the settlement as marking “a new day and a new direction” for Chicago public schools. He said it provided “higher pay for teachers and a higher standard of education for students.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched an initiative it claims is aimed at strengthening religious freedoms in South Carolina schools. But conservative legal advocacy groups that have battled the ACLU for years over First Amendment issues argue that the strategy is focused more on barring religious expression.
After a full day of discussions about public education among a select group of establishment educators and allied think-tank types, the best recommendation they could all come up with is the need for more “effective teachers.” Not to be outdone by the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on Education, the New York Times, in its second annual conference held on September 13, decided to put its three cents in the ongoing discussions on public education which seem to have attracted the attention of the establishment cognitive elite.
The teacher strike in Chicago is more than just about salaries, benefits, and collective bargaining. It is more about the struggle between the visions of two liberal personalities than anything else: Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union and Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago.
Day two of the Chicago teacher strike commenced Tuesday, leaving nearly 350,000 students between kindergarten and high school age without schooling for another day, while forcing parents to decide whether to stay home from work, pay for childcare, or leave their children at home to fend for themselves.
More than 200 politicized teachers participated in the recent Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, N.C., representing their unions, not their students. Since 1980, politicized teachers have been one of the largest groups represented at the DNC, and they represent the far left of the political spectrum.
After a debate over new teacher contracts collapsed on September 9, 20,000 public-school teachers in Chicago’s education system went on strike, leaving hundreds of thousands of students without schooling or supervision. Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, said later that day they had made progress on resolving many provisions in the contract, but “we have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike.”
Hong Kong voters went to the polls on September 9 to support liberty-minded candidates after months of massive protests and even hunger strikes against proposed communist “brainwashing” in government schools, which opponents said was an effort to indoctrinate children into supporting the brutal dictatorship ruling over mainland China. Anti-Beijing sentiment is still at an all-time high and continues to grow.
In a previous article I referred to education as the “orphan issue” in this great presidential election. Of course, every candidate mumbles something about education, but everyone seems to know that American public education is like some sort of huge stone, like the one in Mecca, that is impossible to move. It just sits there inert, unresponsive, brainless. Yet, it absorbs billions of dollars a year and turns out many young Americans who can barely read or write.
Good tutors learn a great deal from their students. Each student is different, requiring the tutor to be flexible, patient, and creative. I always enjoyed the challenge of a new student because it required much ingenuity on my part. And because I was being paid for my services, unlike the public schools which are "free," I had to show that my teaching was producing positive results.