While kids in D.C. head to school for just another normal day, their counterparts in Chicago are likely staying home as unionized teachers enter a third day of a strike.
Yesterday Washington Teachers’ Union President Nathan Saunders tweeted that D.C. public school teachers should wear red in solidarity with their colleagues in Chicago, who are fighting over the implementation of a controversial teacher evaluation system. In a statement, Saunders explained:
We support our fellow teachers and union members in Chicago as they take a stand against unfair compensation, inadequate benefits and punitive evaluations that place too much emphasis on student test scores which will undoubtedly lead to a less stabilized environment for teachers and students.
As the New York Times writes today, the fight in Chicago mirrors a national trend of cities and states pushing for more intense teacher evaluation systems. In D.C., the IMPACT evaluation system introduced under former Chancellor Michelle Rhee sought to better measure how well teachers are doing and reward them — or punish them —accordingly. Since IMPACT took effect, some 400 teachers have been let go for performing below expected standards, 98 of them last month.
[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at DCist.com.]