Thursday, February 25, 2010
Modern "Progressive" Education Reform: Union-Busting
This is absurd. Teachers are at a disadvantage to administrators by definition, and any employer is potentially oppressive. Why on earth would a school be any different? There are any number of examples of how teachers get mistreated routinely (too many prep-periods, unsanitary classrooms, unannounced scheduling changes, feckless discipline follow-through, poor communication, unwarranted and ineffective professional development and curriculum mandates, just to name a few). And this isn't even getting into capricious or malicious treatment.
Schools are not like regular job environments. The main difference is simply the level of personal sacrifice and professionalism that is required as part of the job. In return, teachers have fought for and won certain privileges.
No one wants bad teaching. I don't want it for my kids or anyone else's. But effective solutions must be considered in the context of the realities of teaching. It must also be said that this is especially true with respect to teaching in poor schools, where the environment can be downright hostile due to a variety of socioeconomic reasons.