Labor

Even The New York Times Is Against the Chicago Teachers Strike

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Chicago's picket line-walking public school teachers cannot be very happy with today's unsigned editorial from the liberal tastemakers at The New York Times:

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.

Which side are you on, New York Times?

I also couldn't help but notice the contrast between those words and this June 6 Times editorial attacking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for his efforts at bringing reform to that state's public-sector workers, which the Times simply denounced as an attempt  "to break the unions."

The PR campaign for the Chicago teachers strike is not off to a great start.

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  1. the strike is based on union discontent with sensible policy changes

    Translation: Reforms by Democrats are OK, however if Chicago was run by Republicans we’d side with the teachers.

    1. Hard not to come to that conclusion, isn’t it?

      1. As soon as you see the word “sensible” you know they mean “we judge this by the source, not the content”.

        1. if it were a Repub administration in Chicago, the word of the day would be “extreme.” It always happens — when Dems do it, it is sensible; when Repubs do it, extreme.

          1. if it were a Repub administration in Chicago, the word of the day would be “extreme.” It always happens — when Dems do it, it is sensible; when Repubs do it, extreme.

            Don’t try telling that to a teacher. I just had an argument with two of them online, and they asserted such things as 1) $75,000/year was underpaid, 2) That teachers are like doctors, since they both “save lives”, 3) That teaching is more unpleasant than customer service 4) That they should be paid the same as doctors, 5) That a teacher’s performance can never be measured, since there are factors outside their control, and 6) That anyone that wasn’t a parent or teacher could ever understand how important they were.

            1. That anyone that wasn’t a parent or teacher could ever understand how important they were.

              Not that they’d support parental choice or parental triggers, natch.

            2. That a teacher’s performance can never be measured

              I’ve seen that argument as well.

              Truth is that they don’t want to be measured. They don’t want to be evaluated. They know in their hearts that there are some really crappy teachers out there, but they mean well. They all mean well. And intentions are all that matter.
              Your wanting to measure results is an attack on their good intentions.

              Come on! We’re busy paving the road to hell here!

            3. 6) That anyone that wasn’t a parent or teacher could ever understand how important they were.

              Well, since I can never understand how important they are, does that mean I get to stop paying them?

            4. As someone who went through public schools (like, I would imagine, the bulk of the country), I can understand how important good teachers are, and how useless bad ones are.

        2. They say sense and sensibility, but they mean pride and prejudice.

      2. No shit. Team Blue ?ber Alles! Even its constituents.

    2. Translation: Reforms by Democrats are OK, however if Chicago was run by Republicans we’d side with the teachers. If that’s what it takes.

  2. I also couldn’t help but notice the contrast between those words and this June 6 Times editorial attacking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker…

    Well, obviously this time it’s different. It’s Democrat vs. Democrat. If The Times as an entity was going to voice any opinion, it was going to be going against one of its own.

    1. Well also it is making the head priest of the Church of the Messah look bad. When you start fucking with the narrative of collectivist togetheriness, you lose the NYT.

      I’m shocked.

    2. The Times isn’t socialist, it’s fascist. When the unions are serving the cause, they get what they want. DItto for corporations and religious groups. Once their agenda is against the cause, time to bring out the long knives.

  3. What dirt does Rahm have on the NYT editorial board?

    1. Party first – ideas second

    2. They think he’s going to play kingmaker for the next 3 decades, and know he’s got a long enough memory to freeze them out on occasion if they cross him.

  4. NYT is happy to throw Chicago strikers under the bus for making Dear Leader look bad. Any and all cover he needs. The union is ignoring its masters in this. The guard dog was useful in keeping people out of his yard, but now its running around the neighborhood biting little kids. This makes Obama look bad. Obama cannot look bad.

    1. I actually had someone in my Twitter feed yesterday (whom I already know plans to vote for Jill Stein, so) say something to the effect of, how could you vote for someone whose former chief of staff would do this? I’m so used to think of Rahm as a West Wing character and, no, a Chicago-y joke, that I did not realize how high this would rise as a national issue and that it actually might make people upset at Obama in some…insane and incomprehensible way.

      1. Has she already forgotten that he called her a fucking retard? I mean, that’s what a fucking retard would do, so it’s not a shock or anything.

  5. Permanent replacements.

    The “Help Wanted” signs should have gone up as soon as the strike vote was finalized.

    1. As should have the pink slips.

  6. Hey Hey, Ho Ho, higher teacher salaries make your children more smarterer!

  7. So, teacher strikes are “never a good idea,” but it’s extreme to actually prevent teachers from having the right to strike. Odd.

  8. A lot of those kids will be getting better educations during the strike than if they were in school. Mine would be, if I had kids.

    1. If they’re watching closely, they’re getting an education simply because of the strike.
      Think your teachers care about you? Guess what…

  9. As the Chicago teachers’ strike enters its third day, I find their disingenuous, self-righteous money grubbing even more tedious than days one and two.

  10. That a teacher’s performance can never be measured, since there are factors outside their control

    In which case they are nothing more than babysitters, and should be paid accordingly.

    1. No, no, no! You don’t understand!

      It’s the parents’ fault!

      If a teacher can’t get through to the kid, it’s because the kid has shitty parents!

      There is absolutely no way that it is the fault of the teacher!

      Poor student performance is an sign of bad parenting, not bad teaching!

    2. Jesus don’t say that, haven’t you seen the bullshit calculations when teachers try to compare their salaries to babysitters?

    3. Does that shit work with doctors?

      I mean, I have no idea, I assume there are some sort of evaluation even in public hospitals.

    4. If parents had the ability to easily move their kids to another school, the whole need for “measuring performance” would go way down.

  11. My favorite pro-CTU talking point I’ve seen so far are:

    If you think $76k is a lot, why are you fighting to take it away from teachers instead of fighting to get that much for everyone else?

    1. I’ve turned that over in my head several times and still can’t make sense of it. It’s Bizarro logic.

      1. Especially since, you know, a pay cut is not actually on the table.

      2. It’s a revealing statement. Inability to distinguish between public and private sector, inability to understand the concept of thinking about compensation in terms of merit rather than envy. That is, they always think of the rich in terms of “I hate them because they have more than me” without considering whether it was earned or not. So they assume people knocking teachers think the same way, instead of simply thinking that the job they do doesn’t produce $76,000 worth of benefits to Chicago.

  12. On the first day, teachers were out in force picketing and chanting, then trying to figure out how to use the El (hint: put the ticket in the machine, then remove it; hold onto something besides your picket sign while the train is in motion).

    On the second day, I only saw some standing outside the El station trying to convince people of their cause.

    Today, no teachers in sight. They must have got tired.

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