September 11, 2012

AP Photo Captions in Coverage of Chicago Teachers’ Strike Mention ‘Evaluations’ and ‘Job Security,’ But Not Outrageous Wage Demands

If you tried to get a handle on the showdown between Chicago Public Schools and its teachers’ union based on picture captions from the Associated Press, you would think that the teachers’ strike has nothing to do with money.

The reality is that Chicago’s teachers are, depending on the figures quoted, either the highest-paid cadre of K-12 educators in the nation or so darned close to it that their current demand for a 16% increase over the next four years (down from an original 35%, as Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters noted earlier today) will put them easily 10% ahead of any group of teachers anywhere else in the nation. With that in mind, let’s look at the content of the various picture captions I located as I reviewed the wire service’s latest strike-related stories.

At Yahoo News, in an AP Photo — “Thousands of public school teachers rally outside Chicago Public Schools district headquarters on the first day of strike action over teachers’ contracts on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012 in Chicago. For the first time in a quarter century, Chicago teachers walked out of the classroom Monday, taking a bitter contract dispute over evaluations and job security to the streets of the nation’s third-largest city — and to a national audience — less than a week after most schools opened for fall.”

At the Associated Press, in a picture tied to a report by Don Babwin entitled “Striking Chicago Teachers Get Support From Parents” (the “educated” guess here is that parents opposed to the strike are afraid to say so) — “Chicago public school teachers walk a picket line outside Lane Tech High School on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, on the second day of a strike in the nation’s third-largest school district. Negotiations by the two sides failed to come to an agreement Monday in a bitter contract dispute over evaluations and job security.”

At the Associated Press, in a picture tied to a report by Josh Lederman entitled “Ed Secretary Is Neutral in Chicago Teachers Strike” — “Chicago public school teachers take a group picture as they walk a picket line outside Shoop Elementary School in Chicago, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, on the second day of a strike in the nation’s third-largest school district as negotiations by the two sides failed to reach an agreement Monday in a bitter contract dispute over evaluations and job security.”

At the Associated Press, in a story about evaluations — “Striking Chicago Public School teacher Lanessa Mendoza pickets with fellow teachers from Peck Elementary School as Mayor Rahm Emanuel was visiting with students taking part at the Safe Haven program at Maranatha Church in Chicago, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. The church is providing students with structured activities and a safe environment during the teachers’ strike. Thousands of teachers walked off the job Monday in the nation’s third-largest school district for the first time in 25 years after union leaders announced they were far from resolving a contract dispute with school district officials.”

At MarketWatch, in an AP photo — “Chicago teachers take to the picket lines for the first time in 25 years in a dispute over Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s longer school day, job security and class size.”

I don’t suppose the reluctance to identify the teachers’ outrageous pay increase demand would have anything to do with the fact that the Associated Press’s journalists and photographers are represented by the News Media Guild, a “sector” of the far-left, Occupy movement-supporting Communication Workers of America, would it? (/sarc)

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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