Why teachers struck
Letters to the Editor September 10, 2012 6:18PM
Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School had a large number of striking teachers , and supporting students and parents outside the school on the first day of the strike. PeterBarash is a social studies teacher at Bell. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times
Updated: October 12, 2012 6:09AM
Mayor Emanuel doesn’t get it. The school board doesn’t get it. And, apparently, the Chicago Sun-Times doesn’t get it. The teachers did not go on strike because of their own economic condition. They went on strike to force our political leaders to provide a quality education for kids.
Politicians love test scores. Why? Because they don’t understand that a quality education means more than being able to take a test. How do you fairly evaluate a teacher’s performance until a child has grown to adulthood? Teachers aren’t turning out cars on an assembly line, but when classrooms are overcrowded and the only measure of performance is a test score, that’s exactly how we treat our kids’ education.
These are not “minor” issues that remain to be negotiated. The Chicago Teachers Union has attempted to force all of us to look at the long-term picture. How our leaders respond will determine the fate of every single child in our school system.
Bernie Cicirello, Portage Park
The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board is seriously remiss in its willingness to parrot Mayor Emanuel and castigate the Chicago Teachers Union for being “unwise” in the call for a strike. Karen Lewis and CTU did not lead us over the edge. We are workers. We sell our time and talent and creativity by the hour. At the core of this strike is Mayor Emanuel’s demand that teachers work more than 100 hours without compensation, each year, for the next four years.
The length and quality of the school day and year are fit topics for concerned citizens. Both Mayor Emanuel’s religious tradition and Christian moral teaching agree that a worker is worthy of her or his wages. Demanding that workers work for free is immoral. When Mayor Emanuel and his hand-picked board can pay for a longer school year, then they can have it. Vilifying the people who point this out is as short-sighted as it is arrogant, and it makes meaningful compromise more difficult.
Mark Datema Lipscomb,
Latin teacher, King High School
Work it out
The primarily purpose of our schools is to educate our young people, but many parents see them as childcare repositories. I’ve listened to many parents on TV lament the lack of childcare during the Chicago Teachers Union strike. But what type of childcare did they have when their children were on summer break? Extend that, and let the teachers and school board workout their differences.
Will Jones, Grand Crossing
I wish the teachers union put one-tenth of the effort into educating our kids as they do into negotiating contracts.
Mark Weyermuller, Wilmette
The trouble with hip-hop
“Hip-hop doesn’t kill people. Guns kill people.” Wrong! People using semiautomatic assault rifles kill people. Hip-hop is complicit in a culture of violence when it make such assault cool [“Hip-hop is not the enemy,” Sunday.].
If unrestricted spontaneous creativity is enshrined regardless of whom it threatens, objectifies, shames or bullies, then that “art” is a part of a destructive culture, not a reflection of it.
Carol DeChant, Evanston
Recently, I wrote to your paper, expressing appreciation for be unbiased with your political articles, showing facts an opinions that were worthy for debates and discussions. However, allowing Jack Higgins to display a political cartoon suggesting President Barack Obama is trying to be God is offensive. Our president has never given the indication that he is a supreme being. On the contrary, he has ethnic groups of great diversity supporting his vision of hope for all Americans.
Verna Hooks, South Shore