Chicago Teachers Strike
The teachers in Chicago, along with the support of the community, got together to go on strike. Their purpose for this was to bring education reform to the poverty stricken youth of Chicago. In Chicago, almost nine out of ten students live in poverty. Chicago is full of school districts that seem to of been forgotten and isolated from the rest of America, receiving little funding for education.
The schools are so poor; teachers had to purchase their own school supplies for the children. Furthermore, because the schools lack financially, many programs needed to enrich students in other areas of study like: the arts, music, technology, gym, and library/research studies have been removed from the curriculum. This can deter students and hinder them in the long run because it puts students at an uneven playing field. For example, these students are lacking academically and not able to compete with other students around America.
The life chances of the students in Chicago’s urban communities are lowered when compared to the rest of the children in richer areas of America. This is not because the kids are not as smart or inferior but because they lack what wealthier children in better school districts have. This is an injustice in which the kids of Chicago are suffering.
As a result, the teachers are striking so that a tentative agreement can be met. The agreement is composed of four parts. The first part is that students have a day full of high quality education to help them prepare for their next steps in life. The second part of the agreement is that the students get evaluated in another aspect other than testing
. This will be effective, because this way, teachers do not have to teach for students to pass a state exam, but instead they can teach the students so that they can actually grasp the content. The third part of the agreement is to fix schools that are struggling financially, instead of closing them. Help the schools become the backbone and pillars of the community, not ignored places of shame and pity. The fourth part of the agreement is that teachers should be more respected and acknowledged for their handwork. The educators are not to blame; they are trying to make the education system right for Chicago students and should not be discouraged for doing so.
Another concern of the teachers on strike was their pension fund. The school district drained it reserves. This means that soon the fund will collapse and run out in a few years because they are paying out more money in benefits than they are receiving. The pension system must be fixed or replaced immediately to further end cuts in the classroom.