Teachers join unions to protect and promote their occupational interests as employees: in job security, in better wages and benefits, in restrictive work rules. These job interests – which are the core interests that motivate union behavior – are simply not the same as the interests of children or the requirements of effective organization. Throughout the modern era, as a result, the teachers unions have often used their political power to block or weaken major reform efforts – efforts that would expand school choice, evaluate teachers based on performance, pay teachers with some reference to performance, move bad teachers out of the classroom, and more – because these reforms are threatening to the jobs of their members. Similarly, the unions have used their power in collective bargaining to impose work rules – seniority based layoffs and transfers, restrictions on teachers assignments, onerous evaluation and dismissal procedures, and the like – that are not designed to promote effective organization, and indeed are perverse and counterproductive.
Oy vey, are firefighter unions bad for putting out fires? Are police unions bad for enforcing the law? Of course not. They help ensure that we have a compensated workforce that is provided basic protections but for some reason, teachers are selfish and myopic for wanting the same thing.
His argument that the union tries to stop reforms is correct, except he forgot to add the word bad before reforms. Merit pay has evidence that says it doesn’t work. There are so many holes in at least Florida’s teacher evaluation system that it should have been called the colander and no union protects bad teachers they just make sure due process is followed and what Moe never mentions in his extended teacher bashing rant is districts have to agree upon the rules too. Believe you me unions especially in Florida where teachers can’t even strike are not imposing their wills upon anyone. .
Finally who do you think is fighting for what’s best for students, politicians who are always looking to cut or to benefit themselves, donors and cronies or that organization that represents teachers those on the front line who have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
Moe would have teachers be the equivalent of barefoot and in the kitchen.
To read his mind numbing and ridiculous piece click the link: http://www.redefinedonline.org/2013/06/terry-moe-dilemma-of-teachers-union-power-wont-go-away/comment-page-1/#comment-41423