Hey Chicago Public School Teachers, Please Don’t Come Back

When I am, by any possible measure, utterly failing at work I will sometimes refuse to show up, leaving everyone in a lurch, until I get not just the 4% pay raise I was promised regardless of my performance, but the 30% raise I believe I’m due.

Wait. Actually if I tried that I would be immediately fired. Because I am not a  Chicago public school teacher.

Despite the Chicago Public School system earning a 3/10 rating on GreatSchools.com, and despite being promised a 4% raise the middle of the worst recession I have ever lived through, thousands of children are without instruction and thousands of parents are left to scramble for childcare in Chicago.

Education came up a lot during last week’s DNC. And for a party that talks such a big game about equal opportunity, America’s public schools should be a focus. Unfortunately, no one really talked about the reality that — here I’ll paraphrase a line from Condi’s RNC speech — in America you can predict whether a child goes to college based on his or her zip code. So much for equal opportunity.

The DNC speechmakers did mention multiple times Obama’s record of “supporting public school teachers.” And if by “supporting” the speakers meant “giving in to,” I’d say that’s accurate.

Sadly, “supporting public school teachers” often means fucking public school students. How else would you describe Obama’s decision to eliminate the immensely popular and successful DC voucher program?

And now, as Jezebel puts it, “local organizations are holding activities in places like churches and non profits so public school students aren’t just messing around.” Way to go private sector filling in the space left by teachers unions.

But ironically, I’d call this a step in the right direction. Considering that private school tuition ranges in Chicago from $2,850-$35,906 per student per year while the city spends $21,024 per student per year, to produce a far, far shittier result, I would beg the striking Chicago teachers to never, ever come back.

Even granting that it probably requires more resources to get the same results for the average Chicago’s public school kid as the average private school kid, it probably doesn’t require tens more thousands of dollars per student per year.

No, the ability of private schools to offer a better product at a lower price can be at least partly attributed to the fact that when private school teachers do a shitty job and then refuse to come back until they get a huge raise, they get fired.

Let’s stop allowing our elected officials to “support public school teachers” at the expense of our society’s most vulnerable population.

Photo by Capitalism Institute.

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