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Destroy the teachers union- agree or disagree?

also- are you in a city or a nice suburb?

Tue. Sep 11, 1:50pm

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"Destroy" is a pretty harsh word. There are pros and cons to teachers' unions. The pros are that teachers' union can have a positve impact on the learning environment and the availabitly of tools and the student-teacher rations. The cons, tenure and tax increases.

I don't believe in fomulaic raises that have nothing to do with performance (earn another degree, get a raise. Stay in the sytem another year, get a raise. Go to a new job and have your saliary determined based on how many years you've worked in the system, raher than your value.) On the other hand, I do not belive that we always give the teacehrs the tools they need to do the job we expect.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007, 2:55 PM

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I think it is totally contextual. In nice suburbs, you have excellent top notch schools with unionized teachers. Kids graduate and go to great schools. In the inner city, you have a totally different situation with many kids graduating to low expectations. Now that is not the total fault of unionized teachers necessarily, but the teachers union does its best to prevent different approaches (like charter schools). Unions by definition have power (why give them dues otherwise). My thought would be that in a school district that is up to standards- the Union is in effect, but in sub par schools, the Union is essentially not valid. Does this make sense?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007, 3:11 PM

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Why do you ask?

Teachers unions are wonderful and save many lives (pay scales, benefits, quality of educators).

Many charter schools do not require teaching degrees. Sometimes they do not require any degrees.

Please note that every state varies A LOT on Education laws, so it is hard to have an across the board discussion.

I come from a nice suburb and have parents & other family members who teach in suburban, very highly rated schools. I plan to teach in a public school near a large city.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007, 9:55 PM

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If you knew how nasty and dictatorial the local boards of education can be to teachers and similar staff (reference point is nice suburb with a pay scale that makes living within 30 minutes of the school district impossible), most would find themselves on the side of the teachers. How's this (circa 1999): we're going to increase your workday by 50 minutes and 1 class, and you have to agree to that before the contract negotiations can even begin.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 1:35 AM

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agree fully- they only serve to protect their own interests, not the students. The worst thing is that they protect bad teachers. We should be able to fire bad teachers and pay more for good ones.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 3:24 PM

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3:24- you said "The worst thing is that they protect bad teachers. We should be able to fire bad teachers and pay more for good ones..." but there's the problem- how do you determine a good teacher from a bad teacher?

If you go by test results, you end up with teachers who just teach the test. If you go by grades, you end up with teachers who just transfer bad kids out of their classes, or schools that transfer the bad kids to other schools. And if you go by popularity, well, what will you be left with?

Teachers unions protect both teachers AND kids from knee-jerk parents and politically motivated school boards. They serve the same purpose as police unions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 4:12 PM

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Who serves their own interests? Unions or School Boards?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 4:36 PM

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I am a member of a Inner City school faculty,let me tell you it is bad enough with the union I can't imagine it without a union !

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 6:25 PM

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It's all about the money...

I have two theories. You can test them and see if I'm right.

My first theory is "whenever a congress person talks about education they're diverting your attention from something they don't want you to know".

My second theory is "it's not about the teacher unions, it's about the money". Why are mayors complaining about unions and budgets in the same speech? Without unions states can hire two new teachers for the same cost as 1.5 experienced teachers. In some cases two new teachers for the same cost as 2 teachers. What do you think would happen if they could Indiscriminately hire and fire teachers based upon whatever criteria they determine to be effective at the time. I know this sounds a bit like a conspiracy but I challenge you to test my theory. Why don't we work with the unions to improve the process of placing teachers on notice and making it easier to take appropriate actions?

They claim 5% of the teachers nationwide are considered "poor or ineffective' teachers. For comparisons the number in the private sector is 10% of their employees are considered "poor or ineffective" performers. Our teacher population is extremely effective and productive compared with the private sector.

Ask any Principal and they will tell you it is extremely difficult and very time consuming to take corrective action or terminate a teacher not meeting certain criteria. The process needs to be improved. Eliminating Unions has nothing to do with solving the problem.

Unions prevent lawsuits. They have a set of procedures and when followed the teacher has very little recourse, if any, to take legal action for against the school.

I'll close with my new bumper sticker:

Those that can and want to teach, do.
Those that think they can teach call themselves congressmen.
Those that think they know how to teach call themselves parents.

Spend a 3 months in school, silently listen to 3 or 4 parent teacher conferences, listen to the abundant parent's request for special accomondations for their children, and you will wonder how teachers every have an opportunity to do what they want to do, teach.

Thursday, February 03, 2011, 2:49 PM

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Ahhh...but if I have an ineffective lawyer, doctor, contractor, accountant, gardener, etc. I can get fire them and so can their employers. That's my only beef with unions - the protection and shuffling of ineffective, bad teachers.

Thursday, February 03, 2011, 3:19 PM

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I'm so glad someone resurrected this thread. Looks like they are finally being targeted in the way they need to.

this is from the ny times a few days ago:

Seizing on a national anxiety over poor student performance, many governors are taking aim at a bedrock tradition of public schools: teacher tenure.
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Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg News

Gov. Chris Christie, Republican of New Jersey, is seen as having a good chance of winning revisions to tenure laws.
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Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Gov. Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, told a group in Miami last month that “good teachers know they don’t need tenure.”
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Joe Jaszewski/Idaho Statesman, via Associated Press

Gov. C. L. Otter, Republican of Idaho, has presented an education plan that states bluntly, “The state will phase out tenure.”
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Cathleen Allison/Associated Press

Gov. Brian Sandoval, Republican of Nevada, said, it was “practically impossible to remove an underperforming teacher.”
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The momentum began over a year ago with President Obama’s call to measure and reward effective teaching, a challenge he repeated in last week’s State of the Union address.

Now several Republican governors have concluded that removing ineffective teachers requires undoing the century-old protections of tenure.

Governors in Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Nevada and New Jersey have called for the elimination or dismantling of tenure. As state legislatures convene this winter, anti-tenure bills are being written in those states and others. Their chances of passing have risen because of crushing state budget deficits that have put teachers’ unions on the defensive.

“It’s practically impossible to remove an underperforming teacher under the system we have now,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada, lamenting that his state has the lowest high school graduation rate in the nation.

Eliminating tenure, Mr. Sandoval said, would allow school districts to dismiss teachers based on competence, not seniority, in the event of layoffs.

a good start!!!

Thursday, February 03, 2011, 5:12 PM

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save the teachers union! suburbs

Saturday, February 05, 2011, 10:36 PM

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"Ahhh...but if I have an ineffective lawyer, doctor, contractor, accountant, gardener, etc. I can get fire them and so can their employers. That's my only beef with unions - the protection and shuffling of ineffective, bad teachers. "

This is exactly how I feel.

Sunday, February 06, 2011, 5:24 PM

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