View Full Version : Are teacher's unions to blame

09-29-2005, 01:38 PM
for the sad state of education today? Or, do you feel that everythings fine from an instructional basis? Or, are you from New Jersey?

09-29-2005, 01:50 PM
:) :rofl for the sad state of education today? Or, do you feel that everythings fine from an instructional basis? Or, are you from New Jersey?

Hell NO!

09-29-2005, 01:50 PM
:) :rofl for the sad state of education today? Or, do you feel that everythings fine from an instructional basis? Or, are you from New Jersey?

okay, I do not blame just the teachers unions, I think that perhaps they play a part, but teachers are so under valued. they spend as much time if not more with our children than most of the parents do and yet, their worth is very very underpaid.

I would have to hear more about any gripes against the teachers union to comment. with being military our children went to the post schools for the most part except

IN NJ WHERE WE WERE FOR 5 YEARS. THAT IS WHY I LAUGHED! but I will say that our kids had very good teachers there. In Eatontown NJ. With our son having severe asthma and allergies, the school system was far more organised and got us fixed up with doctors etc than here in OH. and our dau graduated from there.

but getting back on subject, the education thing has a lot of blame to spread around, the unions, poor teachers or burned out teachers, parents who interfere too much and those who do not care at all, states that do not put education as high on the chart as it should when it comes to money being invested, people whose children when graduated forget and do not want to worry about the children next door. Levies that are not voted in because of people who have NO children left in their homes and feel that they have done their duty (and then wonder why the kids are running wild) :thud :file

and role models. when was the last time that a singer, actor or athlete said in a commercial to stay in school? :file

Lyn Is Snide
09-29-2005, 01:52 PM
for the sad state of education today? Or, do you feel that everythings fine from an instructional basis? Or, are you from New Jersey?

In part, yes. The importance of providing a good education for children is far outweighed by their need to make sure there are no changes that will effect these people personally in any way. If there's no change, there's no improvement. Public education in the US not only needs a change, it needs to be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up. At this point, I don't think pouring more money into the already existing structure is doing any good at all. It's purely money down the drain.

I realize this doesn't sound very liberal of me, but I absolutely don't agree with the conservative stance on education either.

09-29-2005, 01:53 PM
Here we go. I hardly have time to write all that I would say on this.

Are unions sometimes greedy and nearsighted? I suppose so. I would point to the UAW as examples of unionism falling far away from its true spirit.

But TEACHER'S unions are one of the biggest lobbiers for better education in this country. Never forget that the union is made up of its members. Job security, pay, benefits, all are things that are vital to hiring and retaining the most excellent teachers. Critics focus on that because of the money and taxpayer issues. First off, to that I say it IS the job of the union to help secure benefits and pay for teachers, so who is to criticize them for that? Or for any contract that management ALSO must agree to, along with county legislatures and so on who set the tax rates and the budgets. But within that union, is all the members, all the teachers, ALL the people who know best how to teach children.

I guarantee you that any one teacher knows better how to fix education than any number of George Bushes and any number of Monday morning quarterbacks who are all talk and no action, never having been on the front lines of teaching. There are a lot of things I'd change about unions but I still maintain that the membership and the unions are among the best informed and the best advocates we have.

09-29-2005, 02:00 PM
Fust, I used to are a teacher. What do you think about the fierce defense the Unions (there are 2 I believe) put up in favor of grossly incompetent teachers?

09-29-2005, 02:11 PM
I haven't followed any particular cases of that, so I can't comment really on why they would be defending those people. But in general, incompetent or not, unions still have a duty to see that due process is adhered to. Even the worst teacher still has the right to union representation and to due process along the way.

I've seen plenty of teachers get fired despite the union. Although usually it's for misconduct of some kind. But don't think it doesn't happen. A union cannot cure incompetence, it can only enforce the contract. If a school wants to get rid of a bad teacher, they need to make a case, a progressive case, prove that the person is truly incompetent and be fair about it. They also need to tighten up their hiring practices. Another example: if management or taxpayers is concerned about bad teachers, at the next contract negotiations they need to make proposals about tenure, about probationary periods, about maintaining continuing education, about training, and about disciplinary procedures.

PS if you think it's hard to get fired as a teacher, try being a government employee.


09-29-2005, 02:30 PM
I do not dispute that the unions have excellence in education as their goal. The problem is that there is a conflict of interest between the commitment of improving education and the PRIMARY JOB OF A UNION, protecting the jobs of their members. I refused to join the Union and was referred to as "That smart ass Jew" (I'm not Jewish, but what the hell, my first name is Sid). The administrators, whom I loathed, loved me because I was non-union. The teachers, whom I was mostly disinterested in, hated me.
I didn't join because of the above conflict of interest. I guess this is all about me, but, what else is interesting to talk about?
In my exalted opinion, education will not make great strides until excellence is demanded, first, from the teachers. I have seen teachers that were so brilliant and so effective as to be unbelievable. This has to be the expected norm.
Lastly, for now, all the bitching and moaning about how the parents aren't doing their job is the mark of an incompetent teacher. A good teacher doesn't look for excuses, only for opportunities.
And if elected, I will... sorry, wrong speech.

09-29-2005, 06:29 PM
Lastly, for now, all the bitching and moaning about how the parents aren't doing their job is the mark of an incompetent teacher. A good teacher doesn't look for excuses, only for opportunities. Even a "good teacher" can only do so much.

Parent participation in their child(ren)'s education has proven results. Just compare the test scores of children in affluent areas, as opposed to children in poor areas. There is a marked difference, which most likely can be attributed to parental support at home, and volunteerism at school.

09-29-2005, 06:32 PM
Dear Stinky, you are stuck in the zone of excuses and mediocrity.

09-29-2005, 08:09 PM
Dear Stinky, you are stuck in the zone of excuses and mediocrity. Buckeye (or do you prefer Sid?), in what state do you teach? What grade or subject?

I can only speak from what I have witnessed. The difference between the "haves" and the "have nots" is evident in our district. Our highest performing schools are in our most affluent areas. This is reflected statewide.

Yet we have some of the most dedicated, motivated and hardworking teachers in the District on staff. They have to be - they work a lot harder.

09-29-2005, 08:12 PM
I taught history, senior high, Ohio.

09-29-2005, 08:29 PM
I taught history, senior high, Ohio.
I'm sure you have a totally different perspective than I do. I work at an elementary school, in CA.

09-29-2005, 10:49 PM
everytime the subject of charter schools or school vouchers comes up, the unions start jumping up and down saying that these programs would destroy the public education system. more like it would cause a lot of mediocre teachers and schools to actually live up to expectations.

I was a elementary teacher in west texas and for me, the major blame for the state of public education is standardized testing. even the best teacher will 'teach the test' when the results will influence school funds and the possibility of employment for the next school year. what good does 'teaching the test' do? the kids learn how to take a paper test, but not how to apply the knowledge to real life.

09-30-2005, 05:23 AM
I said this before, but I never took a class in HS that was of any use in "real life" (whatever that is), besides typing.

Having grown up here in NYS where we've had standardized testing for a long time, I feel that the testing did indeed improve the teaching and the learning. It was a goal to attain. You had to know so much in order to graduate. So what if they teach to the test? I don't see what the big deal is over that. The test is the stuff you're supposed to know by the time the class is done. Also, in every class I took, once we had mastered the stuff that would be on the test, there were always additional units in the class on other things. e.g. in physics, we learned about electricity, mechanics, magnetics etc but then when that was accomplished we did units on stuff like particle physics, quantum mechanics etc that was not on the test.

But then again, I live in a state that has about the highest taxes in the country, with most schools adequately funded, with strong teachers unions who support modern educational ideas.

It makes me contemplate why most of the states that complain about standardized testing, poor teachers, crappy schools, are the ones who also bitch and moan about taxes, and don't fund their schools very well.

As for the unions, I agree it's their primary job to ensure teacher's salaries, job security etc, but I don't agree that that makes them a poor advocate for education or that there is an inherent conflict in them doing that. Face it, good teachers aren't going to stay in a school, or even apply there, if they can get paid better somewhere else.

09-30-2005, 07:56 AM
my remarks about parents not doing enough to help the school systems, people with grown children not caring about the levies that support the schools and the other comments, come from a non teacher. never have been. they come from seeing people complain about the kids in the past 6 years of getting more agressive and more vandalism, but then these are the same areas where the levies are not being passed. and so schools have to cut teachers and programs.

in any neighborhood or city, the children in school are everyones problems if they have nothing to do, no place to be after school. rich, poor, etc.

a good teacher can only do so much with their children that they teach. if the school is not supported at home, or if all the child hears is that school is of no use for their adult lives, then in time that is what the child will come to think and believe.

parents who bracket the teachers in as to what they can do to keep their child in line is doing a dis service to both the child and society. when the child becomes an adult, they will have rules that they will pay the consequences for if they choose to ignore or disobey. but they will have lived their young years with thinking that they do not have to be held accountable or that their parents will get them out of any trouble.

saw this at the bank where I worked. young people astonished that they could not talk their way out of a late fee or a negative balance fee. Because they had watched their parents get them out of trouble. and now they are faced with the real world.

so a teacher cannot be always held accountable. yes, there are burned out teachers just putting in time for their retirements. there are young teachers who do not know what the hell they are doing. but there are good people who are trying to teach kids and getting no support or appreciation from the parents and children.