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Re: “Chicago teachers vote to authorize a strikeā€”as if the mayor didn't have enough problems

CPS' largest budget issue is the teachers' pension. The teachers' pension is the largest issue because of pension holidays that were enacted after the state legislature gave Daley control over the Board of Education. The CTPF was balanced and fully funded BEFORE Daley took over. Then, the pension holidays began. A pension holiday is when a scheduled annual payment is not made to the pension fund. This was done successively for 10 years once the holiday was implemented. Therefore, there should be no surprise that the teachers' pension is fund is grossly underfunded. Then, combine this with the creation of tax-increment-financing (TIF) districts, where tax proceeds are diverted from their intended municipal recipients for subsidies for developers. This has resulted in additional millions of dollars that CPS hasn't received to fund our schools. Then, there is the strategy of opening charter schools and selective-enrollment schools, at the expense of the neighborhood schools. This strategy is effectively cannibalizing the neighborhood schools for the benefit of the charter schools.

Resources and strategies to improve the neighborhood schools are purposely being deprived. The single best way to improve the schools is to effectively train the teachers in the classrooms and establish school management systems that support the teachers' efforts in the classrooms. This has never happened on a grand scale in CPS because those in charge don't want CPS to succeed. If that were the case, successful improvement strategies would have already been implemented and in effect. The research is extensive on what works in education: highly trained teachers, small class sizes, highly trained and effective instructional leaders (the principals, assistant principals and department heads), and effective systems that teach and maintain discipline in the schools which also build up the students.

The main reason why CPS is failing is because of the management decisions made by the mayor's office and its appointed Board and administration. Once you realize this, then we can tackle all of the other contributing factors to CPS' failure.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by ChicagoBrother on 12/27/2015 at 5:31 PM

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