I bow to no one in my animus against teacher unions, a blight upon our nation.
(I wonder if this will come up at my charter school meeting this afternoon. If it does, I hope it won’t take long; I have to pick up our kids from swimming.)
Fox Business Channel’s John Stossel has done some research, and come to similar conclusions:
Some teachers are more effective than others – yet the union frowns on giving the best teachers extra pay for excellence. They even frown on paying lousy teachers less. They snarl at the idea of ever firing a teacher. Public school teachers typically get tenure once they’ve taught for about 3 years. After that, the union and civil service protection make it just about impossible to fire them. They basically have a job for life. …
This is not how it works in real life: the private sector. Remember when GE was a phenomenal growth company, rather than the bloated “partner” with Big Government it is now? Its CEO at the time, Jack Welch, said what was crucial was “identifying the bottom 10 percent of employees, giving them a year to improve, and then firing them if they didn’t get better.” …
But the unions say that failing teachers should be given chances to improve. Lots of chances. “We need to lift up the low performers and help them do better,” Nathan Saunders, head of the DC teachers union told me. “There’s a cost of firing teachers… the quality of life of that person is deeply affected by that termination.”
Boo-hoo. Notice that he didn’t mention the kids who are stuck in that class with the teacher being a second, third, or fourth chance?
It is not enough to make teachers and other public employees pay more for their benefits, even though public employees still pay considerably less for their benefits than private-sector employees. Of course, the savings can now be mapped (from Facebook):
Good teachers must be rewarded better, and bad teachers need to find another line of work.