An open letter to Mayor Emanuel.

Dear Mayor Emanuel,

Hear me out:

I currently teach in Duval County Public Schools. My base salary last year was approximately $41,000 due to having a bachelor’s degree and being in my tenth year of teaching .

The base salary of a full-time appointed teacher in a 38.6-week position in Chicago Public Schools with a bachelor’s degree and 10 years in the system was over $70,000 last year .

Your school system offered a nice raise to the teachers union, which responded by going on strike. I’ll take the union at its word that the strike is actually a response to the charter school movement and the evaluation system and so on and so forth, but still, it’s a nice raise they turned down.

With all that in mind, I make the following proposal:

Hire me to teach in one of your high schools for $70,000 per year, with whatever benefits you’d give to a tenth-year teacher. My salary will never change–not even for inflation– so that’s $70K this year, $70K five years from now, $70K ten years from now. You can use whatever evaluation system you think is “fair,” you can fire me at will, you can fire me without cause. And if I decide I made a mistake, or become unhappy with the job, or get tired of the snow, fine– I’ll quit, no harm, no foul. We’ll shake hands and that’ll be it.

Just drop me an email, and I’ll have my people talk to your people.

Sincerely,

Vincent D. Viscariello

P.S. Perhaps “sincerely” is a bit of an overstatement since I know you’ll never read this letter or make this deal, and if you did we’d probably both end up floating in the Chicago River with dry-erase markers jammed in our eye sockets. And I’m pretty darn happy with my job down here, so even the sweet deal I proposed might not be enough to pry me away. I guess the point of all this is that it’s been way too long since some of the teachers in your city went hungry.

5 comments

  1. When I first heard this on FOX, I immediatly and seriously reconsidered my decision not to go into teaching. Might I also add the average income in Chicago is ~40k. Additionally, these teachers currently get a 16% par raise (over 3/4 years) and they were trying to get it changed to 30%. Still, I then thought of me, a Floridian, attempting to survive in Chicago weather.

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  2. I say convert ALL the schools to charter schools with them hiring the teachers, because I don’t think a single student in Chicago has learned any course material. They did, however, learn that teacher they claimed never cared about them and is a selfish prick is actually those things.

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  3. I don’t mind paying teachers top dollar if the quality of the product is good. Teaching our children is one of the most important and difficult jobs there is.
    I’m glad Mr. Emanuel is stirring things up. Until now, there has been little threat of competition to the CPS teachers. Having choices is good. Competition is healthy. It forces us all to up our game.
    Since Emanuel’s arrival I’ve been much more engaged in learning about the CPS school system where my daughter is enrolled. Initially despair and anger ruled the day when I saw all of these dismal statistics (especially having just paid a monstrous real estate tax bill). I was surprised and heartened to learn that these stats had little to do with the quality of CPS and much more to do with demographics: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/September-2012/NAEP-Scores-Suggest-Some-Progress-in-Chicago-Public-Schools-Performance/
    Our problems are much more complex than just teacher pay and performance. Everything starts with the parents.

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