Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Importance of Teacher's Unions in Florida

Teachers Unions

Teachers unions in Florida have gotten a bad rap recently. They have been accused of everything from protecting bad teachers to standing in the way of reform and nothing could be further from the truth. All they have done is insist teachers get due process and tried to make sure education reform was data driven. Charter schools, virtual schools and merit pay the darlings of the conservative reform movement have either been proven not to work or proven not to work any better and they take much needed resources away from cash starved public schools.

Regardless if you like teachers unions or not you must recognize their significance and importance. They are the last line of defense in Florida fighting to prevent our governor and legislature from privatizing public schools, This would put control of our children’s education in the hands of for profit corporations that are more concerned with the bottom line rather than what is best for our children. The legislatures latest proposals gives charter schools 15 year contracts (teachers will only have one year contracts) eliminates local school board over site and allows them to be managed from anywhere, states or even countries away. Teachers unions think it’s best when locals decided their education policies and what is best for their children.

The plan is to privatize public education will effectively destroying it and once it’s gone it will be gone and there will be no coming back to the time when local districts decided what was best for their children. That will be lost forever.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher


  1. If the claim is that the teachers union has a bad rap because they stand in the way of reform, then the rap is deserved.

    You state that the teachers unions are fighting prevent the legislature from privatizing schools and although you use the words "fighting for" there are many that see it more as obstructing.

    Remember the legislature is voted for by the people to do the work that the people desire. The teachers union has the job of protecting teacher’s jobs so that the teachers union can collect dues, because the teachers union is a business. The teachers union must keep the monopoly going in order to continue doing well.

    I would opine the teachers union is no more concerned with the ultimate welfare of the children than corporations are. The people concerned for the children are the parents.

    The money should follow the child, because it is the parent that has the child’s best interest at heart, not the local district. The local district has it's budget's interest at heart. Giving people a choice would merely move decision making to the parent, not the corporation. As a taxpayer, I simply have no problem with a parent using my money to send their child to the school of their choice. I see no reason for that family to pay the district and then have to pay again to actually educate their child in the manner they see fit. If they are unhappy with the alternate school’s performance, then let them decide to take them back to a government public school. But let them decide.

    Public schools won't go away, but they would have to actually give up their current monopoly and compete to attract that child and the money pinned to his shirt sleeve.

    Last, regarding your claim that charter schools do not work is simply too easy to refute. Newark, NJ charter schools have to use a lottery system due to the parent desire to send their children there. According to the Economist, since Minnesota introduced charter schools in 1991, many other states have started their own and the results have been "broadly positive".

    Rick Sorrell
    Tax Payer

  2. Nice comment

    Yes some public schools are struggling but you have to look at the reasons behind that. Here in Florida many of the problems have been created because of the powers-that-be meddling in education and their desire to privatize it (many not all). You also basically said elections have consequences, well so too does ignorance and apathy; we shouldn’t embrace those things just because either.

    You know we don’t have multiple police or fire departments, or militaries to chose from yet for some reason people think; hey let’s have all these different school systems. Private schools and charter schools by the way despite the fact they don’t have the same accountability and play by their own rules as a group don’t do any better than the much maligned public school system. I have no doubt there are great charter schools, I however both think the best solution is to fix the problems in public education first and for profit charter schools should not be financed by the tax payer.

    You paint a picture of a room full of thirsty sociopaths guarding a glass of water. I would argue that the unions protect teacher’s interests and teachers are the vanguards of children’s interests, if we have to have a sociopath I would rather it be the union than legislatures who meddle and who have ulterior motives and corporations that are only concerned with the bottom line.

  3. Teacher should be respected with their professional for they mold us to be a great citizen and as well, a role model in school next to our home. Teacher is important as well as education caters on us

  4. Teachers have more DIRECT positive impact on our students learning than almost any other factor. We have been become parent, social worker, disciplinarian and .....oh yeah we have to try and impart knowlege. I challenege anyone to go to their local schools and see for your self what challenges great teachers face every day. We do it wothout the support or respect of most parents and legislators and we are told to do more with less. We do it anyways because we want to make this a better world then the one we found. If this sounds "pie in the sky" you need to thank all the people that chose to stand in fron of you and make you the person you are and they are proudly called, TEACHERS!!