It’s no secret that teacher’s unions don’t serve the interest of the students; they serve the interest of the union. They’re about power. Power to influence how their members are protected and compensated. As more and more people come to this realization more and more people are beginning to realize that taking schools back from those unions is a good thing:
(Reuters) – Hundreds of mayors from across the United States this weekend called for new laws letting parents seize control of low-performing public schools and fire the teachers, oust the administrators or turn the schools over to private management.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday unanimously endorsed “parent trigger” laws aimed at bypassing elected school boards and giving parents at the worst public schools the opportunity to band together and force immediate change.
Now, guess who opposes these types of laws?
Such laws are fiercely opposed by teachers’ unions, which stand to lose members in school takeovers.
I know you’re shocked. Shocked that a union would oppose a law that diminished its influence. But, has this process worked?
Parent trigger laws are in place in several states including California, Texas and Louisiana and are under consideration in states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York. So far, though, the concept has never successfully been used to turn around a school.
But why not?
Parents in two impoverished, heavily minority California cities, Compton and Adelanto, gathered enough signatures to seize control of their neighborhood schools but the process stalled in the face of ferocious opposition from teachers’ unions. Both cases are now tied up in court.
Ahh, not because they were given the chance and then failed. Rather, they haven’t worked because the unions fight ’em every inch of the way.
The good news? The power of the unions have continued to fade:
But in a sign of the unions’ diminishing clout, their traditional political allies, the Democrats, abandoned them in droves during the Orlando vote.
Democratic Mayors Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and Kevin Johnson of Sacramento led the charge for parent trigger – and were backed by scores of other Democrats as well as Republicans from coast to coast.
“Mayors understand at a local level that most parents lack the tools they need to turn their schools around,” Villaraigosa said. Parent trigger laws, he added, can empower parents to do just that.
Let’s hope that the victory in Wisconsin will usher in a new era not just in fiscal reform but in actual education reform.