Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I was fascinated by the debate in Chicago over the length of time schools kids spend time in schools. There is no question that the big concern is teachers is their excessive salaries and their pensions, not the children. And that's sad. The fact is Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is not right about much, is right about the schools. Children need to stay in the elementary school classrooms longer than the 5 hours or so they are there now. Emanuel wants to increase their time in school and that's a great idea.
The Chicago news media (Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times) are preoccupied with the subject. But the truth is they don't care about school children at all either. They care about selling newspapers. Even the TV media which slurps up sloppy seconds on news, follows the lead of the Tribune and the Sun-Times reporting only on Chicago's school dilemmas.
Well let me give some information that no one seems to care about.
Suburban schools started one week before Chicago's schools and will probably remain in class days longer than Chicago's schools.
Suburban children are in class more than 6 hours every day and there is nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, Emanuel is right. School children should be in class at least 6 hours but the Chicago Teacher's Union doesn't agree. The issue for them is salaries and wages and costs. It's not about the children. Teachers complain about their salaries but they get great salaries and great benefits. But they always want more.
Chicago's Mayor Emanuel should win this fight and force the kids to stay in school longer.
It may be different from some kids in High school. There, the children in junior and senior year may have to work to help their families and staying in school longer might be a costly burden for them. But that's easily resolved by giving those children permits to leave school early.
The point is, children should be in school all day and at least 6 hours or more. That's where they learn. And if teachers don't want to be teachers, maybe they should join the unemployment line and see what it's like being without a job.
They have great healthcare benefits that are far superior than anything their students get. So quit whining, teachers and start focusing on what's good for the students. Your union has done far more for you than you deserve, getting more benefits than the students. While your salaries have increased, school programs have been cut.
I wonder if they teach about all this in economic classes?
-- Ray Hanania