A number of Chicago Public School teachers are expressing their opinions about the strike on September 10, 2012 in their blogs. They discuss some of the reasons for the strike, such as their views on pay raises, tenure, and number of hours they work in a day. Other bloggers are concerned about the negative consequences of the strike. Here is a sample of some of the different views on the strike.
As a Latino English Teacher, Ray often writes about the positives of the Chicago Public School system, but, on the eve of the strike, at his blog , The White Rhino , he wrote, ” After months of contemplation, after many conversations with friends, I’m in. Tomorrow, I will wear red for the first time in my 17-year career.” Although he doesn’t agree with all of the stances of the Chicago Teacher’s Union, he is committed to “defending his profession.”
Another blogger argues at Education Archive , “The Chicago Public Schools want to give teachers a 2% raise for 29% more hours. For a beginning teacher this is $3.08 an hour. That’s considerably less than many of her students would make babysitting.” The concern is that The Chicago Public Schools had promised to give teachers a 4% raise this year,at the same time administrators were “granted large pay raises. According to this blogger, the concessions that Chicago public school teachers are asked to make in the contract negotiations are unacceptable, such as the proposal to extend the school day by 90 minutes.
According to Ms. Katie, the misguided attempts at nation-wide education reform are one of the problems in the Chicago Public Schools. Consequently, at the “Classroom Soothe,” a Chicago high school teacher argues that the CPS strike is “ground zero,” for the debate on school reform. The whole education community in our country is looking to Chicago to see “how we are leading the way against corporate-style education reform that hurts and disempowers the students and teachers in the classroom, the curriculum of our neighborhood schools, and the local leadership of parents and taxpayers for a rich public education system.”
Not all teachers who blog believe that the strike is positive. Marylin Anderson Rhames , a Chicago charter school science teacher, refuses to take sides, pointing out that the main victim’s of the strike will be the students, particular those living in low income neigborhoods. She writes, “Kids will be the ultimate loser in this labor dispute. ” However, at Harold Lounge , a blogger shares a letter from a teacher contending the strike is a response to the classroom conditions not conducive to classroom learning. Although the efforts to change those conditions are laudable, some bloggers have issues with the possible negative consequences of strike. Fred Klonsky a retired public school teacher, writes that he doesn’t believe the plan to keep schools open staffed by “scabs” will be safe for children to attend during the course of the strike.