The average salary of a Chicago public-school teacher is about $75,000–well above the national average. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the pugilistic former chief of staff to President Obama, offered the Chicago teachers a 16% raise on top of that, but he made the impolitic demands to lengthen the workday and–here’s the trouble–tighten job-performance standards.
That was enough to send Chicago’s teachers out into the streets and onto front pages all across the U.S.–a country, let’s remember, where the unemployment rate stays rock steady at about 8% and employee evaluations are a quarterly event. …
… It would be so much easier for everyone if there were a Republican around, somewhere, to blame for this mess. Grab a cruller, pick up a sign–republicans vs. education! or books not bombs!–and wait for the compliant media to report that, as usual, the right wing is trying to hurt your children.
Instead, awkwardness. A powerful ally of the Democratic Party battling a powerful Democratic mayor in the hometown of the incumbent Democratic President over work rules that any American worker with a job–which isn’t an impressive number to begin with–would find utterly lenient isn’t a great way to enter campaign season.