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Friday, November 25, 2011

And why do you blame the teachers union?

I will sometimes post on message boards about education issues. Invariably somebody rants about how the teachers unions have held public education back. Now I have issues with my union but its not because they have held education back.

Despite my issues, out of the two groups, the teachers union and the Florida State government it is really a no brainier who to support. One group, the union cares about teachers and schools and using tried and true reforms. The other, the state wants to punish teachers, use gut reaction reforms and privatize schools

I always ask, can I get an example why you think this way, and nine times out of ten they never respond with one.

Well today I got a response and this was it:

Sorry g. I missed your question about unions holding back education. Just one example? By maintaining the job of teachers that can barely speak English let alone teach English. Just another for the road. The teachers ability to execute the position being measured by a proficiency test.

First this wasn’t sourced, it sounds like something Limbaugh said on his show or something somebody heard from a neighbor or a friend of a friend. People hate the teachers unions and don’t even know why.

Next, the union doesn’t hire teachers, so if a teacher was hired and wasn’t competent that would fall on the administrations shoulder.

Teachers do have to take a test to become certified and then go through a new teacher program but these requirements are determined by the state and again not by the union.

After a teacher is hired the principal can let them go at 97 days, or can let them go at the end of years one, two or three and this is if they are a member of the union or not.

And this is why people hate teacher's unions?

Now say somehow this teacher made it past year three and was on a professional contract (which will not exist for new teachers come July 1st), that’s when the union would step in and not to protect the teacher but to make sure the teachers rights to due process were followed. There is a procedure in place to get rid of bad teachers. The union just makes sure the administration follows it.

Listen friends if you haven’t come to the realization that the teachers union is not obstructionist or just exists to protect bad teachers and that these are tired old talking points, like most people have, it’s time you woke up.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

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