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Letters: What the Chicago strike is about

September 12, 2012

Re "School strike bigger than Chicago," Sept. 11

Teachers believe in accountability. We constantly test and evaluate our students, study the results and determine what needs to be taught.

I have 36 fifth-graders. They work hard, and I work hard. I know how they are doing in math, language arts and other subjects. I don't need to give them an official multiple-choice test and then send it away to be scored by a testing industry. Standardized testing pleases politicians because it's easy, but actual teaching and learning is much more complex.

The bottom line lies at the heart of the Chicago teachers' strike: The best schools are well funded and encourage creativity. Why can't poor kids in Chicago have the same kind of education?

We teachers are sick and tired of having the finger pointed at us when we are handcuffed by a lack of funding and a dearth of honest, informed intentions.

Phil Brimble

Los Angeles

Greetings from Earth to the striking teachers and to those who are losing or have already lost their jobs. And those who have had pay cuts if they still have jobs. And those who have retained employment but must do more to make up for those who are gone.

What planet does the Chicago Teachers Union live on?

Many of us Earthlings wonder how the union can hold our kids hostage when, according to Chicago public schools officials, the teachers average more than $70,000 a year before benefits.

Union leader Karen Lewis should think hard before prolonging this strike.

Timothy D. O'Reilly

Chicago

I'm a Republican, and I'm solidly behind the striking teachers. Many teachers willingly take on the most problematic students, and they're among the last ones who should be let go, regardless of test scores.

The best ways to evaluate teachers include observing how they handle their classes and to ask the opinions of parents. But evaluations tied to test scores are simply an easy out for incompetent administrators.

Patrick M. Dempsey

Granada Hills

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