How much time do you think parents can take off to watch their kids? Summer camps are closed (and cost money.) This wasn’t scheduled like holidays and summers are. And the parents are paying taxes for their children to be taught by teachers who already make $76,000 a year and just turned down a 16% raise because they don’t want to be evaluated. In this day and age of job uncertainty, unless parents are unemployed, how much can they risk their jobs for these selfish job-secure teachers?

 – Joanne
* * * *


Facts are stubborn things.

Clearly what is most important to you is that someone watches your kids. Great for you. But that’s not a teacher’s job. You’re thinking of a baby sitter. The teacher is the one who most likely has a Masters Degree.

No disrespect to baby sitters.

Teachers are responsible for teaching your kids however, which is an entirely different matter.

Teachers in Chicago don’t make $76,000 dollars. Most make far less than that. You are confusing everyone making with averages. Sleeping during your math class was probably a mistake.

The union didn’t turn down a 16% pay raise. The offer was 3% the first year and 2% the second and third year. You add those up and get 16%? See? Sleeping during math? Not good. The reason the teachers are out is not because of the pay offer. Both sides agree that they are close on that point.

One issue that remains unresolved is this: If you are a teacher with a good evaluation and job performance review and your school closes through no fault of your own, you now have no right to a job in another Chicago school. Makes your “job-secure teacher” argument sound kind of stupid, doesn’t it?

Here’s the thing. If you think taking care of your kids is something you wanted someone else to do, perhaps you should have thought of that before you had them.

But if you want your kids to have an excellent education in a high quality school district, you should be slipping on a red shirt like so many other Chicago parents and joining the teachers in front of your school. They’re actually fighting for your kids.

Although you are apparently too busy with other things to notice.

– Fred

22 Replies to “Disgruntled.”

  1. This was totally perfect. Every time a news “reporter” interviews a complaining parent, I wonder why that parent is so clueless, why teachers are viewed by many as baby sitters, not educators. Your response was spot on. I, too, will pass it on.

  2. Okay, having done a bit of research, I think you should have challenged that $76,000 figure a bit more than you did. From what I’m finding, depending on the source, starting salaries in Chicago are about $50,000 if you include the “pension pick-up” (and I’ll admit I have no clue what that is). Maximum salary is around $82,000 and the average (sources seem to vary widely here) is between $55,000 to $67,000. So where is it that people are getting these ridiculous figures? Just today someone assured me that they know a CPS teacher making $89,000 – how is that possible if the max is $82,000? Is there something I’m missing here?

    1. Perhaps you are right that I should have challenged that number. But after all these years I find it is a pointless discussion. Perhaps you are only looking at base salaries, and someone else is including stipends and extra-duty work, or coaching, or something else. So what? Is Vitale claiming teachers are overpaid whatever it is? Joanne thinks $76,000 dollars is a lot for a professional salary. She’s wrong no matter what it the actual exact dollar amount is.

      1. I see your point (especially the part about the discussion being pointless), but the actual average teacher salary is less than what I make working as a legal secretary, a job I could have gotten with no degree at all (I happen to have a masters degree, but that’s a long story).

        Anyway, my original comment stands – this is one of the best responses I’ve seen to all the typical teacher-hating arguments out there. Love the snark.

  3. Dear disgruntled parent, please read this and put on your thinking cap .Please know though that THIS is unthinkable, What planet does he come from?

    “Remember that Mayor Rahm Emanuel reneged on a negotiated 4% raise. He then offered a 2% raise, with undetermined merit pay to follow as he saw fit and demanded, for this, that teachers work a 20% longer school day.”

  4. Dear Fred,
    Thank you for posting this! I’ve just got home from picketing and I’m heading downtown. Most parents are supportive, but I can’t tell you how many think we are babysitters! I’m especially disappointed in a blog site called “CPSobessed” where parents have been doing nothing but bashing teachers and the Union, calling us greedy, selfish, and a whole bunch of other nasty things.
    From the sounds of it, they seem to be parents who happen to be in great CPS schools and parents that are very involved. Great for them! I wish we had more of them! Unfortunately, that is not where my students come from. Many of my parents are no where to be found and often, my students disappear for weeks on end too. The majority of my “kids” need serious and intense wrap around services, but of course there’s very little to be found at my school due to CPS’s years of neglect.
    I seriously don’t understand how our dear mayor can go on air and tell everyone that the kids in CPS deserve a “world class education” then think this can be done on a shoestring budget (talk about silk purses from pigs’ ears). Since Mr. Mayor made this promise to all the parents and students of CPS maybe we should ask him to start enrolling kids at his “Lab” school?

  5. When the uninitiated calculate our salary they throw in heathcare benefits. A para making $30,000 can show up on paper as $45,000 .It’s frustrating but not pointless to educate the public, Doctors and sometimes lawyers are looked up to for their expertise, and still aren’t responsbile for 25+ young lives everyday. A good assignment for a parent would be to imagine 30 children (not their own) in their kitchen everyday.

  6. And somebody, somewhere, just wrote that the CPS pension is in jeopardy (as well as our TRS), and that will come up next, after all this is said and done. It doesn’t end for those in public schools. The bottom line, Joanne, is to destabilize the CPS system and to privatize your schools. See how happy you are when your children are actually placed in the care of babysitters (TFA & inexperienced teachers), and receive a less-than-stellar education. It will be too late. THAT’s WHY the CTU is standing up now–you know the cliche–“if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.” This is now a NATIONAL struggle–in fact, the whole world is watching. This is ultimately for respect for EVERYONE–“the teacher’s working conditions are the student’s working conditions.” Read an earlier post where a teacher states that she has FORTY THREE KINDERGARTEN students in a class–taught by only her! (I taught K–alone. with 28 students, and THAT was a challenge–43 is INSANE.) Read Teacher X’s blog–“Letter to My Boss” (or maybe you can repost it here again, Fred) about WHY he’s striking (no air conditioners, for example, on the hottest of days–in fact, a group of retired teachers went out & bought a/c’s for their former school!!!)–but you can bet all the CPS offices have a/c!
    The new SB 7 is the reason that teachers must strike on the premise of salary (& blame Jonah Edelman & Stand for Children AND your legislators for THAT one), but make no
    mistake–the teachers are on strike for your children and the very life of the public schools.

    One more suggestion, Joanne–read “Diane Ravitch’s Blog,” and you’ll find out what you need to know about education & profiteering–all over the country. OR–better yet–Google PURE (Parents United for Educational Responsibility–a Chicago group), & keep informed as to the REAL story.

  7. The response is the most reasonable,clear and concised reply that it should be shared across this country.

    Retired Educator but still educating

  8. Fred: One of your best yet!!! And that’s saying something.

    Solidarity from Oregon, buddy. Keep up the good work, and I’m wearing everything red everyday.

    former Illinois teacher

  9. I don’t think it benefits the conversation to ridicule this parent and question her intelligence. She is obviously frustrated and may have some bad information which she could have read in any number of news media that are reporting on the strike. This is from today’s tribune:

    “while there has been little if any debate over a proposed salary boost that would average 16 percent over four years.”

    Please take the time to educate people and share your perspective rather mock and demean their intellect.

    1. No. You’re wrong. The so-called 16% raise includes the already guaranteed step increase, which is not being negotiated. The negotiations only involve the COLA. The traditional step increase, something that is unique to teaching is in exchange for what is a promotion in the private sector. There are no promotions in teaching, unless you leave teaching for administration. The new contract would only involve a change in the COLA, which has been said to be 3% the first year and 2% the second and third, plus compound earnings.

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