I went to a meeting last week with the School Board and parents. The school board is talking about some restructuring they need to do because the district isn’t meeting the NCLB standards.

At the meeting there was a parent of a couple of children in the district. She also is a day care provider. She said that she gets two-, three-, and four-year-olds who don’t know their colors, shapes, numbers, or letters. These are things parents should be teaching their children. But they’re waiting for the government to do it for them.

The district just started to accommodate our gifted children with accelerated classes. Last year they started with fifth grade mid-year because enrollment required another classroom and they put together a class from all the five elementary schools at one of the schools. This year they added fourth grade to the fifth grade class and provided accelerated math and language arts classes at one of the middle schools.

Common Core is requiring changes. TheIllinois State Board of Education is raising the scores required to meet standards on the  Illinois State Assessment Test (ISAT). As parents we were told that our childrens scores might “fall” in relation to meeting standards based on last year’s scores due to the range increase. Personally I’m glad they’re increasing the score needed rather than dropping it to give the impression that more children are meeting the standards than actually are. Finally, they are raising standards. Children will rise to meet them.

There are about one hundred schools on the chopping block in Chicago alone because they are failing the children. Teachers and parents are up in arms over the closings.

One union hack said something like, “they want to close the schools only so they can reopen them as charters!”

Unions don’t want the charters in Chicago to expand. Charter schools are consistently doing better even with the same students (no changes from previous student body – no “getting the best students into the charters” crap…)

Charter school teachers aren’t in the union. They work longer hours. They have more flexibility to do what works for their students rather than being hogtied by the union to certain work rules.

Parents don’t want to lose their free daycare.


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Working Without a Contract

We saw a car today with a sign in the rear window that said, “District 109 Working Without a Contract.”

I take it that District 109 and the teachers’ union haven’t negotiated a new contract.

Of course, even if a new contract hasn’t been negotiated, the old one stays in effect until the new one is negotiated.

The teachers are still getting the same amount of money. They still get the same amount of vacation and personal days. They still get their benefits at the rate they were paying prior to the expiration of the previous contract. All the other aspects of their contracts with the district  remain as they have been.

Some could take that sign to mean that they are working without pay.

Most of us in the real world work without a contract. We are “at will” employees. That means that we can quit our jobs at any time and for any reason. We are free to leave our place of employment. Of course, that means our employer can fire us as well. Employers however are constrained by law as to reasons they can fire an employee, employees are not likewise constrained.

Personally I wouldn’t want to work under a group contract such as those the unions negotiate. I would like the opportunity to prove my worth to a company and have the company compensate me more as a result. If I do a better job, I should be able to be rewarded for it. If someone else is doing a worse job and layoffs come along, I shouldn’t have to worry that I might have to go first if I came in last. My employer should also have the freedom to choose to compensate me more for my added value or to fire me for not doing so well.

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