The problem with teachers’ unions *UPDATED*

My dad was a California teacher and a member of the teachers’ union.  He’d also been a communist in his youth in Weimar Germany and socialist Israel, so you’d think a union would have been a comfortable fit (although he was a Democrat by this time). In fact, he loathed the union.

He had two reasons for doing so:  First, union management was in bed with school administration, so the teacher’s got pay raises that were about half the rise in costs due to inflation, while the union leadership ensured that both they and the administrators kept up with inflation.  The result, for us, was a barely living wage.  Already then, back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the system was rigged.

Second, even then, the union had nothing to do with education, and everything to do with Leftist politics.  The big fight I remember was over bilingualism.

The union wanted to teach Hispanic students only in Spanish because it was unfair and imperialist to force them to speak English.  My dad, who spoke English (and exquisite English it was) as his third language, stood up in a union meeting and spoke out against this misguided policy.  He was booed down as a racist.  The only person who stood up in his defense was a teeny old black lady who roundly castigated the crowd for consigning a generation of students to the ghettos.  No one had the courage to call her a racist, but she too was booed down.

Teaching can be an honorable profession.  Many teachers are deeply committed to their students and to the greater cause of a true education.  But the teachers’ unions are a cancer that has nothing to do with education, and everything to do with advancing Leftist ideology.  The only thing that’s changed since my father’s day is that the teachers, too many of whom now cater to a distinctly Leftist slate, get a living wage.

And with that introduction, I suggest you read Zombie’s latest about the protests teachers staged in California last month.

UPDATE:  More on teachers’ unions and their unsavory friends.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Ymarsakar

    Chris, My purpose for purchasing your products was, as it is with most, for self-defense, to say otherwise would be a lie.

    What is different about my motivation is that it is primarily to defend the innocent teachers and children of the elementary school where I am head janitor. I am the only male in this school. It may strike you funny, but recently, and enraged parent walked into the neighboring high school and spun the head on the neck of a coach with absolutely no provocation. Kids here are regularly caught with dangerous contraband and there are several racially-oriented groups within walking distance of our school who appear to harbor anger toward school personnel. Parents have become bellicose and belligerent. The principal, a woman, has admitted to me that she, at times, fears for her life. Knowing that our police dept is a sham, I took it upon myself to learn how to stop an assailant “right now” using your courses.

    It is unfortunate that my salary will not permit attendance at any of your seminars even with your generous $200 discount coupon. The cost is simply out of my league. Thank you for your and your team’s work, it is noble, needed, and austere. I have learned so much from you and practice the art best I can. I have never been involved in, nor do I intend to enroll in martial arts classes.

    I am certainly not afraid of any human approach with the intent of causing injuring to myself, my co-workers, or the students. I do notice that your DVD have altered my view of an approaching person, be it friend or foe. I look for posture, position, and targets always, just in case.

    I am fully aware that all parties involved in a fight sustain injury, but you have brought me beyond that; to utilize an aggravating blow to myself as a catalyst to bring the confrontation to a definitive and conclusive end with me walking away from an incapacitated body. Respectfully yours, *************

    A comment I read at TFT’s blog.

  • Ymarsakar

    Btw, all the money that would have gone into school security and distributed network security initiatives? Got sucked up by union hacks and centralized bureaucratic overlords. Straight into their bank accounts.

  • Gringo

    There are too many ideologues, who never let facts get in the way of their assertions,  in the Ed business. I remember taking an Education course some years ago where the professor informed the class in no uncertain terms that the old assimilation model for immigrants, of teaching them English by the immersion model,  had failed.  I knew  three people: a family friend,  my junior English teacher, and my brother-in-law  – who had not known English before beginning school in the US, and who had learned English by the immersion method .[two had been born in the US]. All 3 of them had earned graduate degrees- one a Ph.D. on Shakespeare.
    I thought of co-workers in Latin America who hadn’t known Spanish before getting on a drilling rig in Latin America, who through immersion, learned how to communicate in rig Spanish.
    Several weeks after the Education professor had made that claim about the failure of the immersion model, I read about a star  baseball player in his early 20s who,  though he had come to the US ten years before, had difficulty  speaking and understanding English.  His not being able to function in English, in spite of being in the US since he was 13, was not a ringing endorsement of the education model applied to him in NYC- the bilingual model.

  • suek

    >> the professor informed the class in no uncertain terms that the old assimilation model for immigrants, of teaching them English by the immersion model, had failed.>>

    Did he explain the standards that led him to that conclusion?

  • Charles Martel

    A few years ago I had the sad experience of sitting at a dinner party with one of our grammar school’s third grade teachers. Ours is a highly regarded K-8 school district and is often cited as one of the reasons why so many refugee families from San Francisco’s atrocious public schools decide to relocate here.

    The discussion had turned to the judicial usurpation by the Masschusetts Supreme Court after it had suddenly discovered the ancient and equitable right to homosexual marriage that the state constitution’s framers apparently had forgotten they put in. As we discussed original intent versus the “living document” theory, the teacher opined that how were we to know what the framers really had in mind, and wasn’t that what the courts were for, to give contemporary meaning to an otherwise murky and virtually unknowable document?

    Even the hardcore leftists at the table were shocked into momentary silence. I gently informed the teacher of the existence of the Federalist Papers and the voluminous correspondence among the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, as well as the thousands of scholarly volumes that had dealt with the framers’ intents in the two centuries since.

    That explanation went right over her head. It conflicted with her conviction that we can make it up as we go along. Her final arbiter in approving the supreme court’s high-handed action was that it would make homosexuals feel good. That was the depth and substance of her “thinking” on the matter.

    Multiply that woman by a few million and you can see why so many of our children have been lost to logic and rational thought.  

  • Gringo

    Did he [actually she] explain the standards that led him to that conclusion?
    No. Just that the immersion model had failed.
    Very emphatically. Which is sufficient for proof in some circles.