Thursday, March 22, 2007

Reporter Talks To CTA, With Predictable Results

With recent reports suggesting improvements (or at least changes) in the way California delivers public education, Dan Weintraub, reporter and blogger extraordinaire for the major Sacramento newspaper, editorializes about the impact the California Teachers Association will have on any changes. You can go read Dan's article if you choose--and I recommend you do--but I'll just cut/paste some of the interesting quotes from it:

[T]he California Teachers Association...will play a major role in deciding how far those changes will go, if they go anywhere at all.

And based on a conversation with the union's leaders this week, it sounds as if the CTA is going to be very skeptical, to put it mildly, about major changes in the way the schools do business.

CTA President Barbara Kerr said her 335,000-member union will fight any attempt to overhaul the schools...

The CTA isn't likely to entertain such changes any time soon.

...would have to be bargained separately in each of the state's thousand-plus districts as part of their union agreements...

"We are putting our money where our heart is," Kerr said. (Notice she didn't say anything about using a brain. --Darren)

[T]hey do support increased flexibility -- as long as it does not endanger job security for teachers.

For starters, they would like to start by getting rid of the requirements of No Child Left Behind...

So, the CTA. Partners in your child's education, or selfish obstructionists? You decide.

Update, 3/26/07: If you're a California teacher and don't like what you're reading, perhaps you should consider joining CTEN.

1 comment:

allenm said...

Here's a perfect example of one of the structural elements that contributes to inefficiency and ineffectiveness of public education yet is doing exactly what it's supposed to do.

The union is trying to further the interests of its membership through the use of the political power enjoyed by the union. That being the reason for the existence of unions, why would anyone expect a union to act in any other manner? Yet by acting in this rational, proper and legal manner the effectiveness and efficiency of the public education system is not improved and is quite possibly reduced.

It's much the same with the other actors. Either there's no incentive to drive toward excellence or the incentives are damaging to the system. Given that, the wonder is that the system works as well as it does and that's keeping in mind that for some kids it doesn't work at all.