Home » Teachers’ Unions (Page 5)

Buffalo Union Stands In Way Of Teacher Evaluations

The Buffalo teachers union leader refuses to give the go ahead for new teacher evaluations, despite parents and the community urging for an agreement. The district stands to lose federal School Improvement Grant money, which the state refuses to hand over to the New York district until it reaches an agreement with the local teachers union on new teacher evaluations.

Get the latest updates from the Buffalo News, which is hosting a live blog of the school board meeting on the teacher evaluation decision here.

AAE Supports Union Power Check

The Association of American Educators (AAE) testifies before the Utah Senate Education Committee in favor of a bill (SB 82) that would penalize those not following current law that allows all education associations equal access to schools. The organization’s membership director says the unfair reality is that districts shut their doors to the AAE in favor of the union, preventing the AAE equal access to teachers.

The committee approved the penalization measure 5-1, and the measure now awaits the full Senate.

Closing Protest Gets Personal

The Chicago Teachers Union is behind the protest at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house, according to press releases handed out by CPS officials. Protestors are upset about the city’s plan to close or restructure failing schools, saying city officials didn’t take time to listen to community concerns or notify parents of what was going on. CPS fights back saying, “what has been tried in the past has not worked and going back to the same failed policies is not in the best interest of our students.”

"Save Our Schools"? More Like Save Our Status Quo

Last month’s march on Washington D.C. by the group erroneously titled “Save our Schools” is something out of a bad back-to-the-future movie. Ignoring all the evidence and progress made by upsetting the status quo, the usual suspects – teacher unions and their allies – are gathering with the goal of putting “public school stakeholders back at the center of all education policy conversations, and to refocus national, state, and local efforts on providing the resources and support schools need in order to provide a high-quality education for each and every student.” Really? Because we’ve actually put parents and rank-and-file teachers back at the center of the discussion, a place the status quo has never tolerated for them. Reform to this group of alleged public school advocates means only more money, no high-stakes tests, and no accountability.

Fox Business: John Stossel's Take: Stupid in America

By John Stossel
Fox Business
September 15, 2011

School spending has gone through the roof and test scores are flat.

While most every other service in life has gotten faster, better, and cheaper, one of the most important things we buy — education — has remained completely stagnant, unchanged since we started measuring it in 1970.

Why no improvement?

Because K-12 education is a government monopoly and monopolies don’t improve.

The government-school monopoly claims: Education is too important to leave to the free market. At a teachers’ union rally, even actor Matt Damon showed up to deride market competition as “MBA style thinking.”

“Competition may be okay for selling movies and cell phones, but education is different,” says the establishment. Learning is complex. Parents aren’t real “customers” because they don’t have the expertise to know which school is best. They don’t know enough about curricula, teachers’ credentials, etc. That’s why public education must be centrally planned by government “experts”.

Those experts have been in charge for years. They are what school reformers call the “Blob.” Jeanne Allen from the Center for Education Reform says for years attempts at reform have run, “smack into federations, alliances, departments, councils, boards, commissions, panels, herds, flocks and convoys, that make up the education industrial complex, or the Blob. Taken individually they were frustrating enough, each with its own bureaucracy, but taken as a whole they were (and are) maddening in their resistance to change. Not really a wall — they always talk about change — but more like quicksand, or a tar pit where ideas slowly sink.

And the most powerful part of the Blob is the teachers’ union.

This Saturday, I interview Nathan Saunders, the President of the Washington DC Teachers’ Union, and Joseph Del Grosso, President of the Newark Teachers’ Union. They say things like, “the unions have a pretty strong history

Read More …

Looking forward to 2011

champagneWasn’t 2010 supposed to be the Year of Education Reform? ‘Race to the Top’ was going to transform the education landscape, ‘No Child Left Behind’ was to get a facelift, school turnaround options were going to transform our lowest achieving public schools…

How’d all that work out for everyone?

– Maryland and Hawaii winning ‘Race to the Top’ money? For what, exactly? They’ll be battling their unions until 2015 just to move the dial slightly on any of their promises.

– ESEA reauthorization during an election year? Good luck.

– At least we learned a few things about turnarounds, namely that they aren’t going to work unless the culture of a failing school is turned on its head.

Before we get accused of ending a year on a sour note, though, allow us to throw ourselves into the group of hopefuls looking to 2011 as a year that gets things done for our kids and for our schools.

Why the positive change of heart, you ask?

November.

Beginning next Monday, a new Congress just might leave substantive education policy decisions in the hands of those who have been getting the job done all along – Governors and state legislators.

And so, we end 2010 as many began, hopeful that substantive changes will come to our schools in the form of greater choice for parents, real rewards for our best teachers and accountability for those who steer the ship.

To help this process along, we offer up these 10 Education Reform New Year’s Resolutions for state lawmakers:

1. Increase the ability of higher education, mayors and other independent entities to authorize charter schools so more children have access to quality public school options.

2. Eliminate arbitrary and unnecessary caps on the number of charter schools that

Read More …

Comments(0)

All in the family

duncannea(originally posted on Politico‘s The Arena blog)

Unpopular positions? Tough love? The teachers unions want you to believe they are being punished by the president’s policies. It makes for great copy and provides cover for both the unions and the Education Department as they manipulate Capitol Hill for a second multi-billion dollar bailout. But the truth is, it’s all in the family.

The administration’s education policy, including the “Race to the Top” initiative, has been easy on unions and their members. States have received money for saying they are going to factor performance into evaluations, when in reality to make meaningful performance pay work, you must either require performance to trump local union contract provisions or change the contract itself. Additionally, districts have been paid money for saying they will turn around failing schools. No one in the status quo is hurting or being forced to change very much because of what the president is saying. The talk is good and strengthens reformers’ hands, but the teachers unions won’t feel any discomfort until someone or something cuts into the lock they have on how schools operate and how policy is crafted.

Read the entire post over at The Arena

Comments(0)

The sky is falling

dontchangeIf you’ve picked up a newspaper or turned on the evening news lately, it’s been all doom and gloom for schools, teachers and the future of American education.

First, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) tag teamed behind Education Stimulus 2.0 in a hearing on the ED budget, claiming that another $23 billion is “absolutely necessary” to save up to 300,000 teacher jobs, proving that everyday is Christmas for the unions (I guess last year’s $100 billion just wasn’t enough).

Then the NEA asked us to remember the children.

Tons of federal money + jobs + children + tears + zero historical context = Media Tsunami

Former CER colleague Neal McCluskey, however, actually grabs the data and puts it all into perspective:

For one thing, in 2007-08 public schools employed more than 6.2 million people; even the 300,000 figure is tiny compared to that huge number.

More importantly, preceding our schools’ few recent years of financial woe were decades of decadent plenty. According to inflation-adjusted federal data, in 1970-71 Americans spent $5,593 per public-school student. By 2006-07 we were spending $12,463 – a whopping 123 percent increase that bought lots of teachers, administrators, and other shiny things!

And, he points out, it hasn’t bought the student achievement demanded or intended.

Comments(0)

Edspresso Lounge

Edspresso Archive

Education Blogs