Friday, January 25, 2008

Teachers Union vs. The Kids

I've said too many times before--if I'm paying money for a union, I don't want that union to look out for the kids. That's what their parents, the school administration, and the elected school board are for. I want a union to look after my pay, benefits, and working conditions, and nothing else.

Yet, the teachers unions will always talk about how what they support benefits students.

Except when it doesn't.

The short version: Bruce Randolph was once one of the worst schools in the state, but recent reforms have turned it around. Now the school's principal, teachers and union reps want exemptions from several provisions of the teachers' contract, which they say are hindering their efforts.

Guess what the union said...

In any event, it's going to get very interesting in Denver, because the Bruce Randolph administration and faculty refuse to back down. Greg Ahrnsbrak, a union rep at the school, said, "They [the union] are doing everything they can to block a real reform effort. Reform is happening. You're either going to be on the bus or beneath it. I want to be driving it."

I like this guy Ahrnsbrak.

1 comment:

allen said...

A couple of years ago a new principal took one of the worst elementary schools in the Detroit Public School district and not only turned it into the best one but put it on par with the best in the state.

The year following the leap in scores the district had to lay off a bunch of teachers due to the decline in enrollment. Contract terms required the bumping of lower seniority teachers and the school was flooded with a bunch of teachers who had no buy-in on the changes and attainments of the school and scores promptly collapsed.

It's sad but it's also predictable given the organizational and governance structure of public education.

Even worse though is that these sorts of actions are the default situation. Enough in the way of public outcry and abuse might pressure the union (or the school board) to bend but once the pressure's off it's business as usual.