by CTU Communications | January 26, 2015
|Douglas Johnson, C.||28||winner|
Hearing and Vision Testers
Health Service Nurses
New U. of C. Report Shows Disconnect Between Data-Driven District and Realities of Life for CPS Families
by ctu communications | January 22, 2015
CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) today responded to “School Closings in Chicago: Understanding Families’ Choices and Constraints for New School Enrollment,” a new report by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) that addresses the impact of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s mass school closings on thousands of Chicago children. The report finds that while the majority of students from closing schools enrolled in higher-rated schools—but not the highest-rated schools that prove most beneficial for students—there is a significant gap in the number of students enrolling in district-designated receiving schools and the number enrolling in a school of parents’ choosing.
“Among those students who reenrolled in a CPS school, 66 percent attended their designated welcoming school,” according to the report, as parents generally chose the school closest to their homes. Child safety, transportation and schedule challenges mattered far more to parents than the district’s school-quality rating, highlighting the growing disconnection between the city’s decision-makers and the lives of every day Chicagoans and their families. Many parents’ definition of school quality is different than the district’s view of school quality, which is based primarily on test scores. Parents, on the other hand, looked for qualitative indicators of a school’s success, such as “after-school programs, certain curricula and courses, small class sizes, positive and welcoming school environments, and/or one-on-one attention from teachers in classes,” according to the CCSR.
Such decisions by parents demonstrate that test scores are a minor consideration compared to more important day-to-day relationships and school activities. Parents demanded that their schools stay open to maintain small class sizes, relationships with staff and strong environments. The mayor’s decision to close schools obliterated these important social bonds, put student safety at risk and created unnecessary transportation and scheduling challenges for families. The mayor’s plan also did not save any money or lead to major improvements in student performance—which were among parent and community claims that fell on deaf ears throughout the closing process.
“The district’s claims of a failing system weren’t strong enough to justify closing 50 schools, and the promise of enrollment in a higher-rated school is no guarantee of success, especially when that school performs only marginally better,” said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey. “The mayor and his handpicked Board of Education are trying to spin the fact that school closings actually hurt students, and parents’ desire to enroll students in a school of their own choosing shows that community concerns are much different than what is coming out of the 5th floor of city hall.”
by ctu communications | January 21, 2015
by dan montgomery - president, illinois federation of teachers | January 19, 2015
|Today, as we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are reminded of the importance of supporting each other through both good times and bad.
During the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike of 1968 -- his final campaign -- Dr. King said,
“Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike. But either we go up together, or we go down together.”
King may not have been an AFSCME member of that local standing up for his own collective bargaining rights, but he stood tall with the community members whom he considered to be his sisters and brothers.
We should take a note from Dr. King as we continue his fight for dignity, non-violence, and respect for all. When one of us is bullied by someone in the workplace, a self-interested politician, or anyone in a position of power, it is our duty to show them our solidarity.
We honor Dr. King’s legacy when we look out for each other.
Let’s spend today – and every day – looking out for each other. Even when we aren’t on a picket line, every act of solidarity counts. The struggles for strong communities, strong schools, and a strong labor movement require all of us to put our differences aside, roll up our sleeves, and do the work together.
by ctu communications | January 17, 2015
by CTU Communications | January 15, 2015
The Chicago Teachers Union’s highest delegated body voted at its January 14, 2015 meeting to make a concerted effort to oppose the Common Core State Standards-aligned standardized exam known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The body, whose approximately 800 elected members represent teachers, clinicians, and paraprofessionals and school related personnel (PSRPs) in every fully-public school in the Chicago Public Schools system voted overwhelmingly that its officers and staff should support a broad-based, grassroots campaign of parent opt-out and opposition to the test’s implementation. Click here to read the full resolution, which lays out the many reasons for CTU members’ opposition to the PARCC and the steps it plans to take in this campaign to engage parents.
by ctu communications | January 15, 2015
by Ronnie Reese | January 14, 2015
Police brutality is not a black problem, nor is it a white problem. It is a people problem, and due to our city's status as one of America's major urban hubs, it is a matter of utmost importance to public school educators. As the Black Lives Matter movement brings the issue to the fore, the Chicago Teachers Union stands in solidarity with the tens of thousands of people in Chicago and across the country who are protesting what many believe are immoral and unjust grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, New York. The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner represent fathers, brothers and sons, and as educators, either of them could have been a student in our classrooms.
Police aggression, militarization, profiling and a negative perception of low-income, disenfranchised communities are all components of a much greater problem. But above all, it is of utmost importance to understand that we must go beyond "black lives matter" in understanding that all lives matter, and how what we currently experiencing is an indictment our nation's historic treatment of justice. As the past shows, recent uprisings are not new, but merely the latest incarnations of a broken and racist system.
Please click here to continue reading at huffingtonpost.com.
by ctu communications | January 13, 2015
CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and the Grassroots Collaborative are part of a broad labor and community alliance that has recently submitted a letter to the Government Accountability Standards Board (GASB), asking to make the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) report on the budget losses attributable to the Tax Increment Financing (TIF), a program that the joint letter claims, “directly undermines the Chicago tax base and greatly reduces the revenue available to fund public services like schools, libraries, and public safety, by diverting revenues to benefit what are often private, for profit companies.” The GASB is the federal entity responsible for generating rules for municipal finance. For the first time, the rule-making board is opening up its process to groups concerned about tax abatements.
The letter also calls for the GASB to “adopt stronger language to clarify that all programs that in fact reduce available tax revenues to government bodies be subject to these reporting standards.” CPS is currently not required to report on financial losses due to the TIF program, even though more than 50 percent of TIF dollars comes from property taxes that would otherwise go into the schools.
While Chicagoans wait as the federal board deliberates on the new rules, the CTU and the Grassroots Collaborative call upon Mayor Rahm Emanuel to implement these necessary transparency provisions immediately. It should not take federal action to force the mayor’s hand when he has made numerous claims about providing the city with more transparency regarding the TIF program. Some estimates show that Chicago’s public schools have lost an average of $250 to 450 million a year due to TIF, not to mention losses that have accrued to parks and libraries.
“Even though it will have taken the mayor four years to deliver on his promise of TIF transparency, we believe that Chicagoans have waited long enough and deserve to know how much our schools suffer due to the loss of funds siphoned from schools into the pockets of wealthy developers in the TIF program,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey.
by CTU Communications | January 09, 2015
January 7 and 8 are unpaid Weather Emergency Days. In the next paycheck, CPS will advance holiday pay anticipated for King Day and Presidents Day to minimize hardship. Before the year ends, those school days will be made up and members will be paid for the makeup days. Upcoming paychecks will reflect the following:
January 9: Full Pay
January 23: Five Days’ Pay
February 6: Nine Days’ Pay
February 20: Full Pay
March 6: Nine Days’ Pay