School funding is down nationwide. California is trying to pass a ballot initiative that will merely restore schools to the funding levels of a few years back. I just read this article, which observes that Tuscon schools are struggling to protect full-day Kindergarten and turning to parents for suggestions on where to cut. And it's not just that Rahm Emmanuel doesn't like teachers - having plundered their pension fund to cover district expenses, he still has a $1.5 billion deficit to handle (perhaps he could begin by getting Penny Pritzker and the UofC to cough up that TIF money they took or shaking down his buddies at Exelon).
Yet as funding decreases, standardized test goals keep going up. So what if Kindergarten is a half-day, forty kid cattle call? The Common Core standards are in, and those kids need to do better every year. Who cares if your physical plant is falling apart? Those kids better be scrambling toward one hundred percent proficiency.
Not that it impacts Excelon, Rahm Emmanuel, media pundits, or government officials if the funding falls and the test scores don't increase. Clearly, an inability to do the impossible is the fault of lazy, greedy teachers on strikes of choice. Right?
In other news, when the contract details come down, I look forward to seeing apologies from the anti-union "liberal media". (Someone should have told the New York Times that Illinois teachers aren't actually allowed to strike about class size or classroom conditions, but I guess fact-checking is for little people). I won't be holding my breath or anything, of course.