Monday, April 21, 2008
The attack on teacher unions...
..... is broad-based and international - Lois Weiner put together an excellent presentation at the Teachers Unite forum last week and I hope to have the video up in a few weeks.
Naturally, one aspect is money. Non-union teachers can be paid less - don't be fooled by 125K salaries - the numbers still don't compute in terms of time. The other costs associated with contracts are health care, preps, and class size and other aspects.
But it goes beyond to the ability of organized unions (not the UFT, of course) to drive a progressive education agenda by mobilizing people.
Teachers are the point people all over the world in bringing information to the mass of people and are viewed as potentially dangerous to any agenda unless they can be controlled through fear and intimidation. That's the Taliban assassinate teachers, especially those working with girls. And why teachers in Mexico have been murdered. This is echoed all over the world where teachers are amongst the leaders of progressive movements - except here.*
Thus the real reason for the attack on tenure and senior teachers, people who are the most capable and knowledgeable in terms of resisting the idiot ed ideas being fostered on them.
They want teachers to respond when they are told at 12 midnight that it is really noon to say, "Where are my sunglasses?"
*[Analysing the Kahlenberg "Tough Liberal" book on Al Shanker with supplemental reading goes a way to explaining a lot.]