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Thompson: Chicago Contract Highlights Balanced Response To Seniority

SenioritySeniority would have been the easiest of issues to resolve if "reformers" had been willing to mend, not end it.  The obvious solution would have been the agreement signed by the Chicago Teachers Union after the recent strike."When a school must cut positions, teachers rated 'unsatisfactory' will be dismissed first, followed by probationary teachers."  In a rational world, such an obvious compromise could have been a stepping stone to a collaborative agreement on the tougher challenge of designing fair evaluations.   The problem is that the management will always be tempted to use teacher evaluations, along with school closings, to rid themselves of veteran teachers, with higher salaries, as well as educators who do not agree with their "reform" theories.  The only solution is eternal vigilance.  Like unions across the nation, Chicago teachers will need to work with the district on implementing evaluations and closing schools. An open process is the best way to deter future attacks on teachers. But, it is equally important that unions and elected officals establish their credibility in terms of fighting back when necessary.-JT(@drjohnthompson)Image via.  

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