Chicago Teachers Union strikes over teacher performance accountability; AFT President Randi Weingarten on a possible BAR exam for teachers, need to avoid placing ‘blame’ for poor performance
Chicago’s 25,000 public school teachers went on strike for the first time in 25 years Monday, according to CBS News, after the latest contract talks broke down Sunday with no deal.
Key issues in the strike are salaries and benefits, job security and teacher evaluations. Chicago public school teachers make an average of $71,000 a year. Both sides said they were close to an agreement on wages but discord still remains over issues involving teacher performance and accountability, which the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) saw as a threat to job security. Many parents and students were angry Monday, with some families wondering what they were supposed to do with their kids with no classes being held.
“I am disappointed that we have come to this point, given that even all the other parties acknowledge how close we are because this is a strike of choice,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has already forced teachers to lengthen their school days. “Because of how close we are, it is a strike that is unnecessary.”
When it comes to teacher performance, Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, has big ideas for better preparing teachers to educate, including a BAR exam for teachers. Watch Weingarten explain below:
“Why don’t we do in this country what we do for lawyers and doctors?” Weingarten said. “Why don’t we have not only a set of professional standards but why don’t we also make sure that every teacher has to meet them before he or she enters the classroom? That would be good for teachers to feel more prepared and good for the students they are serving. So, what we are proposing is a BAR exam for teachers. ”
While there are many ideas about how to improve America’s education system, Weingarten says that it really comes down to “problem-solving to ensure all kids get a great education.”
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