Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teachers to picket School Board vote

Not long after the election of a new union president we see the teacher's union engaged in some picketing already!
The president-elect of the Chicago Teachers Union planned an "emergency picket'' today protesting a special Chicago School Board vote to raise class sizes and lay off up to 2,700 teachers.

"It's an emergency board meeting, so we're having an emergency picket,'' explained King College Prep teacher Karen Lewis, who takes over as head of the nation's third-largest teachers union on July 1.

Meanwhile, attorneys hired by current CTU President Marilyn Stewart said the board's layoff plans seem unusually onerous, as Board officials are contending that tenured teachers who lose their jobs due to rising class sizes will not be entitled to the 10-month pay cushion their displaced colleagues have received in the past.

"The board is putting them [tenured teachers] out on the street,'' said CTU attorney Jennifer Poltrock. "The only thing we can do about it is file a grievance ... which is the slow-boat-to-China route.''

Under the current contract, teachers displaced due to school closures are sent into a "reassigned teacher pool'' from which they can substitute-teach for four days a week, look for a job the fifth day of the week and continue to earn their usual pay for 10 months.
Speaking of teachers, we see that they haven't fared very well under a new evaluation system:
Far more Chicago schoolteachers received the worst rating under a new evaluation system intended to measure how educators connect with students, new research shows.

Eight percent of teachers got at least one unsatisfactory rating — defined as doing academic harm to students — under the new system, piloted in 44 Chicago elementary schools. By comparison, just 0.4 percent of teachers in the same schools were deemed subpar when they were evaluated using the traditional checklist one year earlier, according to the report released Tuesday by the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago.

The report offers a first look at Chicago's efforts to revamp how it measures teacher effectiveness. The findings come amid a national push to reward good teachers, train struggling teachers and remove bad ones from the country's classrooms.

Illinois lawmakers, for instance, recently backed legislation to require that student learning be a significant factor in teacher evaluations.

But classroom observations also play a role when judging a teacher's effectiveness, said Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality.

"A system that relies only on test scores would not be accurate or appropriate," she said.
Via CapFax morning shorts!

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