Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Are Teachers Unions Losing Their Luster?

Let's hope so.

Earlier this week Politico’s Ben Smith reported on how tough economic times are leading politicians from both parties to start attacking government unions...

But politicians are not the only ones questioning their old labor allies. Hollywood, who has long been ally of teachers unions (witness the 1998 Rob Reiner funded Proposition 10), is also beginning to notice. Over the past year, three new documentaries The Cartel, Waiting for Superman, and The Lottery have all taken critical looks at our nation’s public school system and produced damning indictments of teachers unions.

State and national level unions serve no one but their leadership. If people on the left are finally noticing this, they're a little late to the party but we're glad to see 'em.


allen (in Michigan) said...

I'm glad these guys are finally starting to come up to speed but the evidence of the decline of the teacher's unions has been around for a while.

Probably at the top of the list is the passage of NCLB. Huge bipartisan support in both House and Senate and it caught the unions flat-footed.

Then there's the fact that the unions have been unable to stop the march of vouchers. They're in forty-four states now and it's beginning to look like they won't be able to keep the inevitable caps in place. New York just bumped up its cap against very strong union resistance and I can tell you that the pressure's been on in Michigan for some time to bump up the cap with, possible, success this year.

The unions haven't even been able to drive a stake through the heart of the voucher idea. That's been making slow but steady progress.

So yeah, the unions have been losing their "800 pound gorilla" status for some time.

mazenko said...

I completely agree with of the non-collective bargaining/workplace condition/professional development angle of the state and national components. Though I concede the significance of having a larger more expansive voice. The important concern is to "throw the baby out" in terms of the importance of collective bargaining and the clout of teachers as a profession.