Friday, September 14, 2012

The Irony of Accountability

Accountability is important to the Illinois Educators Association (IEA) as reflected in a recent radio spot that states: “supports quality educators, fights for our schools and holds politicians accountable.” Of course, the irony is the Chicago Teachers appear not to want to be held accountable for the results they are currently delivering as evidence by the push back regarding teacher evaluation during this first strike in 25 years.

 Here are some of those accountable facts:
Then looking at the average page for a teacher in Chicago being just over $71,000 (not including benefits) with 13 years of experience, the question is who is being accountable?

Accountability it appears from the teachers' perspective is all about more money and not being held accountable for the results. What is so ironic is during the Depression when poverty was probably more severe than it is today, students actually learned. Even though who dropped out, probably had a better education than many students today. I know this to be true as my father was a student in the Chicago Public Schools during the Depression when the family moved to Chicago to find work to pay the taxes on the family farm in northern Wisconsin. He later returned to the family farm and graduated high school at the age of 16.

Additionally what is always ignored is the number hours and days a teacher actually works. Currently within the Chicago Public Schools, the current school day runs five hours and 45 minutes for most elementary schools and seven hours for most high schools. There is a proposal to extend those hours to seven hours for elementary schools and 7-1/2 hours for high schools.

Back in the 1950's when I attended public elementary school, we had to be at school by 8:15am and did not leave until 3:15pm. High school was even longer from 7:30am to 3:15pm. 

Did you notice these teachers are not working a full 8 hours?

Yes they probably take work home with them as many professionals in non education roles do as well.  To get ahead in today's private sector does require working more than eight hours. The excuse we take work home no longer is valid given the annual salaries.

The legal minimum for school days in Illinois is 176 days and in Chicago it is 180 days.  Then teachers usually receive additional days for professional development to parent teacher meetings. This increases the actual work days to 185.

However, the general full time workforce works 260 days (52 weeks times 5 days) and even taking away two weeks paid vacation for some, this reduces the number of actual days to 250.  So how can one compare the annual salary of a person working 250 days to someone working 185? This is called comparing apples to oranges and yet the media allows teachers' unions to do this all day long.

Also since the average citizen of Chicago who pays the salaries of these striking teachers is working 65 more days and is receiving almost half of the pay ($46,877) of the teachers when factoring in all the benefits, does this make sense especially given the poor results?

Accountability is a two way street and yes we need quality teachers. We need to hold politicians accountable.  However we also need to hold teachers accountable and stop paying for less than desired results because a mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Our young people deserve more than what they are receiving from the classroom to the boardroom.

Tags: Chicago Public School's Teachers Strike, CTU, accountability, high school graduation rates, fourth grade reading scores, teacher evaluation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

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