After a week and a half, Chicago teachers have agreed to suspend the strike. Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school system, began its strike on Monday in protest of unfair teacher and student regulations.
Should the strike have been stopped though? It is important that children go back to school at the appropriate time. Every day that a student is out of school, they chance losing vital information. Every time there is a snow day, for instance, teachers as well as students get behind in the curriculum causing a packed schedule. But how and why can they go back to a school system that does not even honor all the necessary guidelines for a better education. Two of the primary reasons for the strike: lack of classroom space and the proper curriculum deficiency.
While some things were accomplished during the strike, there is still much more to be done; not only in Chicago, but all over the nation. Teachers have one of the most underrepresented jobs. According to salary.com the average salary of Elementary School teachers is $52,344. Most of the money goes right back into the school system in order to provide better materials for the classroom. According to Illinois Interactive Report Card of Northern Illinois University, the average teacher salary in the Chicago Public School district is $71,236. This figure includes the elementary and high schools.
In some European countries and Korea, teachers are paid more, have better benefits, and work shorter hours. So why is it that the US is excluded from this? There are people who mope around and do nothing all day that are earning far more than teachers. The Kardashians, from the hit reality TV series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, earned $65 million dollars in 2010 alone (realitytea).
On the 18th the teachers union delegates decided to return to school on Wednesday. The negotiation included a new teacher evaluation system and re-hiring laid off teachers. During the strike 29,000 public school teachers and 350,000 students were out of the classroom. So was suspending the strike fair, I think not. In the long run the same problems as well as new problems will surface, contributing to another strike. It may not occur in Chicago but it will transpire somewhere else in our nation. The main point is teachers need better compensation and respect.