Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Chicago Strike

It is day three of the Chicago teachers' strike, and I had sincerely hoped that it would come and go before I needed to comment on it. There is too much to be frustrated about here to condense into a few short sentences. Certainly the false sentiment that "both sides have the best interests of the students at heart" never fails to amaze. Obviously they don't, otherwise the teachers never would have considered striking and the school board never would have allowed a strike. At any cost. More frustrating to me, however, is this nonsense:

The board proposal would leave some 28% of teachers in danger of dismissal within two years, he said, calling that "an insult to our profession."

Do you know what's really insulting? That teachers think theirs is the only job you can suck at without getting fired. I realize that isn't the most eloquent argument I have ever constructed, but my reactions to 350,000 students being refused the already deficient education the state is offering them because teachers who are already making twice what my wife does have undertaken a self-righteous quest for a self-serving "educational justice" prompts a reaction in me more visceral than intellectual. At the end of the day, the problem with education is not the possible lack of continuity that comes from a higher turnover rate for teachers but the motivational impotence of an entrenched tenure system. We don't just need to pay teachers less, we need to fire more of them. Trim the fat, as it were, and let fresh blood in. It is time to treat teaching like other occupation: perform or find another profession. It's that simple.

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