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Do You Support Seattle's Striking Teachers?

Do You Support Seattle's Striking Teachers?

Today marks the fourth day of the Seattle teachers' strike, where more than 53,000 children are forced to stay home as the Seattle Education Association and Seattle Public Schools continue to negotiate the end of the teacher walkout.

At the heart of negotiations is teacher pay, a proposal to extend school days in the district, and student testing. Certainly, all three of these issues are sure to resonate with teachers across the country, not just in Seattle.

Specifically, Seattle teachers are demanding

  • increased teacher pay that is competitive with the increase of living in Seattle
  • a minimum of 30 minutes of guaranteed recess for all of Seattle's public school students
  • improved teacher evaluations
  • a solution to disproportionate disciplinary practices (i.e., suspending, expelling) 
  • de-emphasized student testing 

Though the SEA has said it has received support from across the country and the world, some are critical of the striking teacher's demands.

Take, for example, Forbes contributor Scott Beyer's opinion on the matter, which refers to the strike as an extension of summer vacation in his article "For Seattle Teachers, Summer Vacation Rolls On With Work Strike." 

Indeed, his opening paragraph says it all on how he feels:

"How would you like a job that pays average salaries and benefits exceeding $90,000, offers a nearly 3-month summer vacation, and requires some of the shortest work days of its profession? For the average U.S. household–median income $51,939—this might seem attractive. But for Seattle’s unionized public school teachers, it merits enough outrage to go on strike."

Not to single out Beyer, because there are many across the web who express a similar sentiment.

Says Jazz Shaw in the article "Seattle Teachers Strike Because the Economy is Too Good:"

"Making the school day 20 minutes longer is one of the major hardships? Professional, salaried positions generally come with an expectation that you work well beyond the minimum eight hours called for from hourly workers. I can’t wait to see what their other demands wind up being. But in the meantime, waiting is all that the students and the parents will be doing. Mark this up as another fine hour for the unions."

But while Beyer, Shaw and others may express strong opinions using statistics and a general feeling about what constitutes hard work, Education World would like to ask for the opinions of educators across the country who work in the profession and therefore experience issues similar to those of the striking workforce in question.

So, teachers, what do you think? Do you support the striking Seattle teachers and their demands? Share your voice by taking our poll and referring to the comment section below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/14/2015

Do you support Seatte's striking teachers and their demands from their district?

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