In his email, Stephen asks:
I have read a few blogs that lambaste Teacher's Unions and I'm trying toWell, first let me give you the traditional anti-teacher's union argument, so that I can debunk it. (Note: this is not something that I truly believe in, I'm just summing up everything I've heard.)
understand the pro-union side of the topic. It seems important to me that
teachers' rights be protected, and it also seems that unions are
consistently demonized - these portrayals seem unrealistic and
oversimplified. But I'm having a hard time finding a comprehensive,
well-articulated pro-union argument, but I know it's out there.
- Teacher unions are simply parasites that live off of the lifeblood of their membership, providing enormous salaries, perks and benefits for a privileged few.
- While the need for labor unions during the industrial revolution was very real, that was quite a long time ago. Union membership has been declining for almost thirty years; only 12% of America's workers are currently unionized now.
- They alienate their membership by using dues money for political purposes, causes and candidates that their rank and file may or may not endorse or even vote for.
- They protect the jobs of bad teachers who are either incompetent, evil or both. They protect and entrench layoff policies and procedures that leave the older, less motivated teachers within a schools system while amputating the newest, youngest most vital teachers.
- On the national level, they manipulate statistics to make the public believe that the country is in a midst of a teacher shortage; if only teachers were paid more, they say, then we'd have to beat them off with a stick.
- Indeed, teachers' unions and their ilk are quite possibly one of the biggest impediments to change within the American educational system, hurting the very people they are supposed to protect-- their students.