Well now, it appears we in Chicago have a little bit of a problem. Or of course if you are a student or a concerned parent or guardian of a Chicago Public School system stuent, or if you are a teacher or aide to a teacher, you have a larger problem than perhaps does a citizen who has not that direct link to the school system.

English: Source: http://www.chicagob2b.net/lin...

English: Source: http://www.chicagob2b.net/links/pages/CitySeal1.gif This image is a copy of the official seal of the City of Chicago, Illinois, as designed and adopted by the City in 1905. As such, it is a work authored before 1922, and is therefore in the public domain. A 1895 edition of the seal can be seen here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The CPS executive, Jean Claude le Buzzard, has his big fat salary and I would venture a guess that his executive staff is very nicely padded indeed. Do the rank and file teachers get the same benefit of having a worthy salary, getting a fair hearing, getting the leeway to keep a disciplined and proper learning environment, and having the right to demonstrate their dissatisfaction when they deem it right?

It is in the Constitution after all, in the First Amendment– the right to peaceful assembly, the right to free speech and freedom of the press.  CTU President Lewis is mobilizing the teaching professionals to consider necessary action against the mayor-appointed school board and the padded executives. The teachers are the educators and the watchers and guides for the students during those times of day when they are in the formal education setting, and so they deserve nothing short of what I would call combat pay. Theirs is the task of preparing young minds for the future, for work and home life, for marriage and traveling and speaking in public and launching people to the moon and planets and designing the craft to get the astronauts there.

An executive is a business person and not necessarily an educator. NASA has seen its share of executive businessmen who were not astronauts leading their programs. Teachers need to lead the schools and be on the board, not some contingent of high-rate or overpaid business people or the elite of society. It is time the school board was eleted by the public and held accountable thereunto- our tax dollars support the schools and pay their salaries. You want the high salaries and the perks- EARN THEM, don’t demand them.

Demanding isn’t the right way to get things- didn’t you learn that when you were kids? Or were you spoiled brats who always got the permissive parents to let you have your own way all the time? What do you do now- so much as air something and expect someone to throw themselves on the ground for your cause; expect instant support and love and kowtowing? Throw a temper tantrum and get your way then; be a brat on the board now, or on the official commitee now… well, well… what have we here, folks? Grown-up brats… or civilized adults?

Disappointing all of this is… really and truly disappointing for everyone in Chicago. A really embarrassing situation for us all when minds cannot meet in a civil manner, when the adults cannot put themselves in the background and let the students stand out and take center stage. They are the future… but there are so many sides and facets to this story as there are any other story.

Compensation is expected for any job, and for the most part we look for visible, tangible, monetary, spendable compensation. But wouldn’t it be nice to look away from that sensible sort of payment and see the wonder in the face of a student who is about to graduate, when they get that first passing grade on a test, when they can stand up and read before an audience and not make a mistake… when they get to that national spelling bee and win it, and when they announce they are going to university to major in mathematics and are able to dedicate a thank you to the special teachers who made that learning journey possible?

Compensation and reward… teachers and students… we can all enjoy the benefits of earning a reward, we are all or can all be teachers and we should always learn. Thus instead of threatening and bickering, posturing and finger-pointing, will you please take the time, think of the students and our nation’s future, sit down and be civil, work in the rules of parliamentary procedure and keep your tempers level?

We in Chicago will thank you for making the effort… for our nation’s future.

Divi Logan for ®EDUSHIRTS, Nashville and Chicago, ©2012.

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