Archive | Unions

New York Times Blasts Chicago Strike

Teachers march in Chicago

Teachers march in downtown Chicago (Nathan Weber for The New York Times)

From the New York Times Editorial page:

Teachers’ strikes, because they hurt children and their families, are never a good idea. The strike that has roiled the civic climate in Chicago — and left 350,000 children without classes — seems particularly senseless because it is partly a product of a personality clash between the blunt mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and the tough Chicago Teachers Union president, Karen Lewis. Beyond that, the strike is based on union discontent with sensible policy changes — including the teacher evaluation system required by Illinois law — that are increasingly popular across the country and are unlikely to be rolled back, no matter how long the union stays out.

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New education film expected to raise eyebrows at Democratic Convention screening

Won't Back Down

A screening of “Won’t Back Down” – a new Hollywood movie starring Maggie Gyllenhaal as a single parent determined to improve her daughter’s failing school who joins forces with a teacher to collect signatures (trailer here) that pit them against the entrenched union – is expected to draw plenty of attention this week at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

The film, based on a true story, was well received at last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., largely because it highlights the battle over school choice, while painting the entrenched teachers unions as blocking progress in the improvement of our schools. Continue Reading →


New movie draws ire of unions

Movie posterFrom the New York Times:

RANDI WEINGARTEN, the powerful president of the American Federation of Teachers, took a rare vacation last week, but tweeting knows no holidays, nor does frustration with what can sometimes seem like constant assaults on the men and women at the nation’s blackboards. So her Twitter account remained active, and on Wednesday it took on a soon-to-open Hollywood movie, “Won’t Back Down.”



Hawaii teachers reject contract, risk Race to the Top grant

A teacher works with students at Mililani Mauka Elementary in Hawaii

A teacher works with students at Mililani Mauka Elementary in Hawaii (Photo: Jeff Widener/The Honolulu Advertiser)

In a move that puts $75 million in Race to the Top grants on the verge of forfeiture, Hawaii teachers voted against a contract that would move the state towards a performance based evaluation and compensation system that is required for the grant, according to the Washington Post.

The teachers, who were warned by the U.S. Department of Education that they were on ‘high risk status’ for not implementing required reforms previously, voted approximately 2-to-1 against the measure (67% against), despite the contract having been approved by its board.

The contract, according to several newspapers, did not spell out details of now the new evaluation system – based partially upon the controversial measure of ‘student growth’ – would work, but it did reverse a 5 percent pay reduction that went into effect a year ago.

Hawaii is far from the only state having trouble implementing its Race to the Top grants, with most behind schedule on required reforms, with New York and Florida lagging furthest along with Hawaii.

To read more on this story, read the Answer Sheet blog in the Washington Post on the topic.