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(CNSNews.com) - 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.”
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education administered National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests in reading and math to students around the country, including in the Chicago Public Schools. The tests were scored on a scale of 0 to 500, with 500 being the best possible score. Based on their scores, the U.S. Department of Education rated students’ skills in reading and math as either “below basic,” “basic,” “proficient” or “advanced.”
U.S. Department of Education: 79% of Chicago 8th Graders Not Proficient in Reading
CHICAGO (AP) — City officials vowed to keep hundreds of thousands of students safe when striking teachers hit the picket lines Monday and school district and teachers union leaders resumed negotiations on a contract that appeared close to being resolved over the weekend before the union announced both sides were too far apart to prevent the district's first strike in 25 years.
Chicago Teachers on Strike, But Many Schools Opening to Serve Free Meals
Liza Featherstone is a public school parent in Brooklyn, New York. She's also a contributing writer to The Nation, and writes on education for Newsday, the Brooklyn Rail and many other publications.
Liberals, you know what hurts children? Look in the mirror. Your complicity with a regime of austerity that deprives poor people's kids of everything they need in order to thrive. That's what the teachers are protesting. Not only are they seeking to improve their own dismal labour conditions, they are fighting to save Chicago’s public schools - and kids - from Democratic politicians who seek to destroy them.
If the city were to stop spending vast sums of money on privatisation experiments, it would cost relatively little to give all Chicago children the well-rounded, quality education they need. By going on strike, the teachers are building political power, putting themselves in a position to force such changes.
That's probably why so many parents support the teachers. The Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, which loves neo-liberal school reform and hates teachers, in a news story today, attempted to show how disruptive the strike was for working-class families. This was not, of course, difficult to demonstrate.
Whether parents work in offices or a bakery, bringing kids to work is stressful, and in some jobs simply untenable. Yet most parents interviewed in the Journal article supported the teachers' strike.
Indeed, a poll today published by the Chicago Sun-Times, a Democratic-leaning paper biased against the teachers, found that - even using "likely registered voters", a poll sample that would likely be more conservative than the general population - nearly half the Chicago residents surveyed supported the strike.
Sure, it's inconvenient for parents to find childcare - or bring kids to work - when teachers are on strike. It's also inconvenient to go to the doctor, or take medicine, but worth it if the patient would otherwise die. Public education can't be saved without a serious political shock to the system. Chicago's teachers understand that.
Originally posted by Indigo5
reply to post by xuenchen
Perception and spin...
Chicago's 8th grade reading profficiency levels are average for it's size. I went to the actual website cited by the partisan hack of an outlet, CNS News...."Conservative News Service"...and checked the cherry picked numbers.
Here it shows Chicago (8th Grade - Reading Proficiiency) compared to the nation..
So this seems a hit piece aimed at the striking teachers...
Originally posted by Flatfish
Of course Chicago teachers earn above the national average. I wonder if it might have anything to do with living in Chicago where the cost of living is also higher than the national average. Furthermore, I think I heard something about a 4% raise that was negotiated in their last contract that was never paid, so at least a fourth of the 16% in raises they're asking for, were already owed to them.