Teacher preps threat a ploy to get us nothing?

[Jim's report was originally published at his blog, Second City Teachers.]

Several teachers have been wondering if the city´s demand that principals direct two of the four teacher-directed prep periods - to plan lessons, grade papers and do paperwork - was just a ploy.

A ploy is described as an action designed to turn a situation into one´s advantage.

In this case, what would make teachers more upset than to threaten during negotiations to take away two teacher preps. The principals already have one prep that they direct so that teachers cannot grade papers, deal with parents or students, and attend to the ever mounting paperwork.

Something sounded fishy here so I asked one principal if they really wanted to direct two more prep periods. How about the Reach evaluating new teachers four times a year? No thank you, very much!

Principals do not have a union, and therefore appear to have little if any say about the whims of the Chicago Public Schools.

Troy LaRaviere, the director of the Chicago Principals Assoc., looked into the CPS prep demand back on September 10th.

Troy said that he had not heard this demand from principals so he decided to survey admins to get data.

The data showed that a majority of principals or about 70 percent are against the idea of directing two more preps.

His survey showed:

- A supermajority (68%) of principals and assistant principals are opposed to the district’s proposal to reduce teacher-directed preparation time and increase principal-directed preparation time.

- 92% of school leaders want 30-minute morning teacher preparation time restored (97% either support or are unopposed to the restoration of morning preps).

- 93% want full-day professional development opportunities for their teachers and 74% want four to eight full teacher PD days per year.

So in terms of less preps for teachers, it was a ruse - or action intended to deceive us. Watch Mayor Lori Lightfoot say, ¨Ok, you got me. We won´t take more preps away from the teachers. You won.¨

Which is B.S.

¨This was a fake fight,¨ one union member wrote. ¨CPS principals never wanted our preps. Good distraction though. Got people riled up. Then CPS can give in on this (in exchange for something that costs them money) and CTU can say, “When we fight, we win.”

¨At the end of the day, the teachers are no better off...but have been tricked into thinking this was a win.¨

Let us hope our union does not fall for this trick!


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