Chicago is what’s wrong with the American public education system (Update)

Exactly what I expected from the City of Chicago … a complete cave to the teachers union that will result in status quo test scores, embarrassing graduation rates and horrible skill sets for kids “graduating” from the Chicago school system.

From the Internet world, we’ve learned quite a bit this week. This post is kind of a mish-mash of stuff on the subject. One thing is for certain, you’ll see nothing in the next day or so about improving the environment for kids.

Chicago teachers have the highest average salary of any city at $76,000 a year before benefits. The average family in the city only earns $47,000 a year.

Four out of ten kids don’t graduate from Chicago public schools.

A Sept. 2004 study reviewing 2000 Census data told us public school teachers were much more likely to send kids to private school. For those of you who may note the “data is old,” that may be the case but do you honestly think the numbers have changed much?

In Chicago, 38.7 percent of public school teachers sent their kids to private school, yet only 22.6 percent of all families in the city were able to do the same. Think that’s interesting? Seven percent of families in the Hartford, Connecticut area sent their kids to private school, where 25 percent of kids who had a parent working in the public school system went to private school.

Scroll for update.

The Chicago public school system not only provides generous benefit packages, some may refer to them as extravagant. You read and decide. After contributing less than 9 percent to their pension, Tier 1 teachers get, in part…

A member with at least 20 years of service and who has attained 55 years of age is entitled to a pension. A member with at least 5 but less than 20 years of service is entitled to a pension on attainment of age 62. In the case of retirement prior to age 60 with less than 34 years of service, the retirement pension is reduced one-half of 1% for each month that the member is under age 60. A retirement pension is determined by either (1) applying specified percentages which vary with years of service to the average of the four highest years of salary earned or (2) applying a flat 2.2% to the average of the four highest years of salary earned for each year of service.

Where in the private sector can you get this kind of deal? The answer … you can’t. But at least the pension deal is pretty much set and the only variable is how long the participant will live. How about health insurance?

The member is responsible for paying the cost of the insurance and may purchase insurance from the Fund’s providers or other outside providers. Each year, the Board of Trustees establishes a rebate percentage that is used to defray a portion of the cost of the insurance. The rebate percentage was 70% of the individual member’s cost for the first six months of fiscal year 2011 and 60% of the individual member’s cost for the last six months of fiscal year 2011.

You may think these are good health care benefits, but as a reminder this is for retirees … not full time employees.

On Saturday afternoon, the Associated Press did not even bother referencing the proposed details of the deal between the city and teachers union. I read yesterday about the “framework” deal but did not find the original article I had read. I found these notes in the Christian Science Monitor. Along with the four percent automatic raise for each year over the next four years – again, never seen in the private sector – we hear the following. My emphasis.

The framework that will be presented to unionized Chicago teachers on Sunday reportedly includes steeper step increases in pay for tenured teachers, and it lays the ultimate fate of the teacher evaluation piece on the findings of a new city-union joint commission while putting some of the new evaluation standards in effect under the contract.

According to Chicago media, the deal would also add an additional annual 2 percent cost-of-living pay raise, while keeping class sizes at current levels.

It’s not about the money, it’s about the kids. Unless of course it’s about the money.

Update: No school tomorrow in Chicago, the teachers want to review the offer in detail and see if they can get more. The poor teachers feel rushed.

After weeks of talks, the district proposed a 16 percent raise over four years, including bumps for experience and education — and far beyond what most American employers have offered in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

But the evaluations and job security measures stirred the most intense debate.

The union said the evaluation system was unfair because it relied too heavily on test scores and did not take into account outside factors that affect student performance such as poverty, violence and homelessness.

The union also pushed for a policy to give laid-off teachers first dibs on open jobs anywhere in the district. The district said that would prevent principals from hiring the teachers they thought best qualified and most appropriate for the position. The tentative settlement proposed giving laid-off teachers first shot at schools that absorbed their former students.

5 replies
  1. stinkfoot
    stinkfoot says:

    A gullible public is duped into supporting the union stance by being told that the expense is to benefit the children but the children do not benefit- they do not receive a quality education and worse, their inability to read and write traps them in an area where they will have to bear the brunt of possible legacy costs of the agreement when likely agreed upon pension costs bankrupt the city and state… either through higher taxes if they are actually working or alternately through entitlement cuts when cash runs low.

  2. ABO (Romney/Ryan 2012)
    ABO (Romney/Ryan 2012) says:

    Talk about kicking the can, the Chicago school system runs in the red every year and they have to borrow to pay the bills.

  3. Linda Mae
    Linda Mae says:

    As a lifetime member of NEA and CEA, let me also add that these teachers are paying @3% into their medical.? I can’t believe they complain with these “benefits.”? CT teachers vary according to their towns regarding insurance but all pay into CEA retirement fund.? I think the Chicago teachers and those in WI are AFT -? union.? We always considered CEA and locals as associations.? When the cost of living soared, we teachers were told it didn’t count for us – when the COLA tanked, it became the reason we didn’t “need” a huge raise.? I think the Chicago teachers and WI teachers have hurt the integrity of all teachers and their “unions” who tried to get reasonable contracts.?
    Chicago has more problems than their teachers.? It should and could be a model system if Mr. Obama started a campaign to make education and parent support a city? – wide issue.? Money helps, sure, but there are so many others things – which cost nothing – that can help improve educational outcomes.

  4. JBS
    JBS says:

    Linda Mae has much of this correct. The Chicago school system/teacher mess is a reflection of what is wrong with the Obama Regime.
    This is what Liberalism/ Socialism, taken to its most illogical extreme, along with anachronistic and parasitic unions, has bought us. This same scenario is duplicated in every city and town? in America. This strike’s outcome was inevitable. The union called the shots, there was the obligatory “negotiating,” city caves-in, media tells well-edited story. More money missing from the public trough. Business as usual. Nothing really changed
    Chicago keeps its Number One ranking as the nation’s worst school system. Chicago is what is wrong with the nation.

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