It’s not the teachers, it’s the unions

For the most part, teachers across America are hard-working, committed, good people.  A teacher raised me.  My Dad was willing to work for a pittance because he had a genuine calling to teach.

Nowadays, teachers ostensibly get paid much more money than my Dad did, but at what cost?  As this video shows, the money isn’t really going to the teachers.  It’s going to the unions and the politicians, i.e., the employees’ representatives and the employers’ representatives, two groups that should create balance by pulling against each other put that, instead, suck up wealth by working in tandem against the taxpayers:

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Comments

  1. jj says

    All perfectly true, but don’t be so quick to grant the teachers a pass, either.  A large part of what the unions do is protect the ones who should be canned for ineptitude from being so, by the endless war they wage on merit pay.  If so many of them merited anything beyond firing, then I’d be more in their corner – but they don’t.  I was probably fifteen when I realized that I was better read than any English teacher at the local high school.  I didn’t go there, but knew a lot of folks, and had two neighbors on the school board.  Knew plenty of the teachers.  The head of the English department didn’t know the difference between a transitive and an intransitive verb, either.  I was very unimpressed.  But that wasn’t the fault of the union; that ignorance was squarely on the heads of the individuals.

  2. Charles Martel says

    In the late 90s I was on the local K-8 school district board and had many interactions with teachers, especially their union reps. I came away from my four-year term with mixed emotions.
     
    The teachers were mostly pleasant people, so dealing with them wasn’t a problem (their union reps could be a different matter). One thing I quickly learned, though, was not to presume a high level of education or awareness among them. They were all the products of college education schools, which for the past 50 years have attracted the dumbest and dullest because their courses require no strenuous thought or wide-ranging reading. Their payoff would be a tenured job with a generous vacation and great retirement benefits.
     
    So while I could relate to them on a friendly level, I knew that it would be impossible to engage almost any of them in discussion like the ones we have here in Bookworm Room.
     
    Despite the system being rigged to make it almost impossible to root out an incompetent, most of the teachers I met were not in it simply to take up space and collect a paycheck. At the same time, though, I realized that they had all come to acquiesce in a system of automatic 3-percent-per-year salary hikes and a group think that considered this to be a fair and inevitable state of affairs. In other words, they were not about to tell their union reps that maybe they should ask for less or declare a year-long moratorium on pay increases when the school district ran into a budgetary pinch.
     
    Rather than display what I once stupidly believed still existed—union solidarity—when the question of finding money for pay raises came up, they all were happy to recommend that we go to a last-hired/first-fired procedure to free up salary money. The thought of volunteering for a temporary pay cut–which would be paid back in plusher times–would be rejected out of hand. Yet they would also howl and complain when we accepted their proposal to start looking for positions to eliminate. Cake and eat it too time.  
     
    I know there are teachers who despise their unions and their corruption. But even they have been co-opted. The parasites who run the teachers unions may be greedy, but they are also clever. Even as they are stealing millions to stay in power, the rank and file look the other way because the gangsters at the top have dripped enough down from the honey pot to keep them quiet.

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