Save the Children, Lose the Teachers’ Unions

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“I got an opportunity to watch the documentary ‘Waiting for Superman,’ and it confirmed much of  what I have been saying. Teachers are a national treasure. Teachers’ unions are the new empire of evil. Whoa! That’s harsh. Yes, but not nearly as harsh as flushing thousands of uneducated children into the streets to fend for themselves, when we should be educating them for our future.

The reason I chose the word ‘evil’ is the patent dishonesty the teachers’ unions use to advance their agenda. The steelworkers’ union doesn’t talk about looking out for the steel; they say they are looking out for their members. The United Auto Workers union doesn’t talk about looking out for the cars, they say they are looking out for their members. The Teamsters union doesn’t talk about looking out for the trucks they drive; they say they are looking out for their members. But listen to any pitch from the National Education Association or the American Federation of Teachers and they are always ‘fighting for the children.’ What utter twaddle. If that is true they should all be horsewhipped for the awful job they are doing. Who are they fighting with? The parents? The taxpayers?  It is a bald faced lie. They are fighting for the teachers and the children be damned.” – Bill O’Connell.

Liliana Z. commented:  When I taught in a rough school, I was really glad to have a teacher’s union. I don’t agree with them all the time, but teachers definitely need representation when dealing with hostile parents, students, or administrators. It happens, trust me. It’s not as simple as great teachers= great students. There are many variables. How do you measure who is a great teacher and who isn’t? Student test scores? Not valid for many reasons. In my own experience, I went from being a “great” teacher (I taught kids who were at grade level and could actually read) to being a “terrible” teacher my second year (I taught remedial kids with all kinds of behavioral and learning issues). Trust me, teachers want to teach. Our greatest obstacles are lack of support from home and the attitudes of the students themselves, many of whom are thwarted by unimaginable obstacles. I taught a 13-year-old mother, a girl who lived in a homeless shelter, a kid who lived in a garage with his whole family, and countless wannabe or actual gang members. Don’t tell me that’s all the fault of teachers or unions.

Here’s the other side. It contains more facts than I can offer from my own experiences – http://fairtest.org/real-facts-about-waiting-superman

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