I personally think the real reason for the strike is teachers don't want the system to change. The government has been putting more pressure on them to get results and improve our nation's children's standing scholastically in the world.
The government has been looking at test results of the students to determine which teachers are the "best or worst". Teachers and schools that don't (measure up) will be eliminated. The notion of "tenure" status for teachers is disappearing. Years (served) in the school system will no longer guarantee a teacher a job.
The government has also been leaning towards giving parents the option to use vouchers to place their children in schools with a reputation for graduating students that go onto college. One such example is Urban Prep Academy. For the third year in a row, (every senior) at Urban Prep Academy, the only all-African-American, all-male charter high school in Chicago, has been accepted to college.
However the knock on such schools is they only accept or work with the kids who (want) to succeed.
I recently read the average class size for schools in India is 75! Japan has 40-50 students per teacher. Both countries are kicking our ass! Therefore class size is NOT the problem with public schools and teachers need to stop telling that lie.
The (real problem) is bad parenting skills along with a lack of parents working with their children's teachers to ensure the students accomplish the goals set.
Parents who use voucher programs or are williing to get onto a "waiting list" are the same parents who sit down and help their kids with homework, hire tutors, and (insist) their kids do well. A lot of parents today are "hands off" when it comes to educating their children. Most of them view school as a (free day care) center. If a teacher has the balls to try to discipline or punish a child for unruly conduct the parents, school system, and court system attacks the teacher. (There is no unity among the adults when it comes to eduacting students). The government is NEVER going to issue any blame to the parents AKA (the voters).
Yes, we should demand more from our teachers but we also must demand more from their parents as well as the students themselves! One man's opinion! :-)