Among conservatives -- and for many others as well -- the teacher unions have long been high on the list of roadblocks to school reform. It's a reputation that's often been richly deserved, particularly by the powerful National Education Association and by many of its state and local affiliates.
At the core of that intransigence lay the vestiges of an industrial unionism that was never a comfortable fit for organizations whose members wanted to be regarded as professionals, not as blue-collar assembly line workers.
And this from a columnist at the left-leaning major Sacramento newspaper. Granted, the thrust of the article was a slight deviation from the California Teachers Association's usual one-size-fits-all plan for increased education spending--instead of all districts' getting the same per cent increase, more will go to underperforming schools this year. The fact that the columnist sees such a small change as a big deal says something about the CTA, something that isn't very complimentary.