More than 20,000 Chicago teachers walked off their jobs Monday, straining traditional Democratic Party alliances and adding fuel to a national debate over whether teachers should be held accountable for failing public schools.
...Unlike teacher strikes in the past, both Emanuel and the union agree this one is not primarily about money. Officials in the nation's third-largest school district have offered teachers a 16% pay raise over four years and other benefits.
Instead, a key sticking point involves how the district will evaluate teachers under a 2010 Illinois law that requires test scores to be figured into teacher reviews.
This year Chicago Public Schools began rolling out a new system in which student test scores would count for 25% of a teacher's performance rating. It would increase to 30% in two years. The union believes the system is too heavily weighted toward test scores and could put thousands of teachers out of work.
Read full article: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-chicago-teachers-strike-20120911,0,1301512.story
Seventy-nine percent of the 8th graders in the Chicago Public Schools are not grade-level proficient in reading, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and 80 percent are not grade-level proficient in math.
As we approach the High Holidays when we are held accountable for our actions during the previous year, why should teachers not be held accountable?
In other news, reporting on a wedding between two men, the New York Post writes, "Spies said the onstage ceremony was traditionally Jewish — with the exception that Roth and Jackson stomped on two glasses rather than one."
That's the only exception?