Case Study: The Chicago Teachers Strike

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As the Chicago teachers strike moves into a second school week, the primary — and often thorny — issues continue to revolve around how teachers are paid, evaluated and rehired when a school closes. Here is an update of the key issues: Teacher pay: The union and Chicago Public Schools appear to agree on a traditional salary schedule that other districts have begun to abandon. CPS teachers will be eligible for three kinds of raises: a base raise; a "step" raise for adding a year of experience, and a "lane" raise for a master's degree and additional graduate credits. The automatic base increase would be 3 percent in the first year and 2 percent in the next two years, under a three-year contract. If the contract is extended to a fourth year, the base raise would be 3 percent. Step and lane increases would continue, though it was not clear how much they would be. Some steps will be larger than others, as a way to retain experienced teachers.…show more content…
Raises would vary, with some teachers potentially getting raises in the "late 20s (percent)," Carroll said, especially if they earn a graduate degree or more credits. CPS teachers on average earned $71,236 in 2011, state data show. Teacher ratings: A 2010 law required a new teacher evaluation system that judges teachers in part on their students' academic gains. Some reformers and lawyers believe that the new evaluations should never have been an issue in the strike, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pledging to go to court over the issue. The reforms, pushed by the Obama administration, have been controversial around the country, with some teachers saying the ratings based partly on student performance are unfair and could lead to the dismissal of thousands of teachers. But reformers say they will keep the best teachers in the

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