I have found that there are three very strong methods to identify what is important to a person or to a group of people:
- Listen to what they say
- Watch what they do
- Look where they spend their money
Teacher’s Unions? There is little doubt that they do not care for kids. They care only for themselves.
Take indicator #1. What they say. It’s not hard at all to find an example of things they say that would indicate what they feel:
3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year…..
CHICAGO — One by one, teachers at public elementary schools here have been voting to buck their own union and take Mayor Rahm Emanuel up on an unusual offer: to accept bonus pay in exchange for waiving union contract provisions and keeping children at some schools longer each day.
First of all, when the employees that a union represents begin to vote against the union, there’s something wrong.
Anyway, back to the story:
Last month, after teachers’ union officials turned down a proposal to pay teachers 2 percent more to teach 90 minutes longer each day, Mr. Emanuel and Jean-Claude Brizard, Mr. Emanuel’s schools chief, took the offer straight to the schools. Any elementary school that went along with the idea, which school officials began calling the Longer School Day Pioneer Program, would get extra money ($150,000 for those that started right away), and its teachers would get what amounts to a 2 percent bonus.
By agreeing to the deal, the teachers waive specific provisions of their contracts involving the length of the school day and after-school pay requirements. Schools get to decide how to use the extra 90 minutes, but it must be spent in instruction (not, say, longer lunches) in areas like math, science, literacy, art and music.
As a trickle of schools, through votes by their employees, have begun taking Mr. Emanuel’s offer, union leaders have angrily denounced it as an end run around the union, as a public relations ploy and as some combination of bribing, threatening and coercing unwitting schools and teachers.
As schools, as teachers, begin to vote to pass this initiative, the union objects? And why do they object?
…union leaders have angrily denounced it as an end run around the union, as a public relations ploy and as some combination of bribing, threatening and coercing…
What they say. What they do.
And what might Emanuel do if he DID manage to wrest away control from the union?
Some union leaders here had other worries about Mr. Emanuel’s true goals to begin with; even before he took office, he supported a bill in the Legislature that would make it easier to get rid of poor teachers and harder for teachers to strike. It would also give him more leeway in extending the school day.
Really insidious stuff. Did’ja know that if you were to fire the least effective teachers you would find:
“Good teachers are ones who get large gains in student achievement for their classes; bad teachers are just the opposite,” explained Hanushek, who said he uses a simple definition of teacher quality. Looking at data from a large, urban school district, he found that effective teachers at the top of the quality distribution got “an entire year’s worth of additional learning out of their students, compared to those near the bottom.”
You can like teachers, even love great ones, but there is no reason to support their unions.