June 14, 2024

Look for the Union Label

Timothy Birdnow

In a discussion on Facebook about the problems in education and the need to dismantle the Department of Education I made the following observation:

Get rid of it and break the teacher's unions. Those are the two prerequisites for fixing our broken education system.

An argumentative Facebook friend disputed that:

Dita Sullivan:

The Teacher’s Union isn’t really the problem. And, frankly, it’s kind of ignorant & stupid of the non-left to keep repeating that meme.
Teachers need protection, just like any other people who work. The real problem is the very concept of government education, which in America reflects our society’s anti-intellectualism, and is suppressive and conformist . And because it is by definition not selective, is designed to be mediocre to accommodate the stupid. A system like that requires teachers who are barely educated (except in kindergarten marxism and psychobabble) and of course those teachers will throw their weight behind a union that’s more of the same.
The Teachers’ Union doesn’t create the crappy curriculum - that’s done by the school boards. Getting rid of the Teachers’ Union isn’t going to give us a better curriculum or
intelligent, educated teachers.
Parents who haven’t taught their children how to tell time on a clock or how to write with a pen don’t have the right to cavil about unions. Parents who don’t have books in their home, who don’t read for pleasure and don’t read to their children, don’t have the right to cavil about unions. Parents who think that the government should be in charge of their children’s education are getting the results they deserve.

I reply:

Dita Sullivan

Teachers are government employees and no government employee should be represented by a labor union. You have nobody negotiating for the people who are actually paying them. The union works for the teachers(well, for themselves) and the negotiators work for the political class. It is a case of a wolf and a lion asking a sheep what's for dinner.

The teacher's unions have labored to dumb down education so as to protect teaching jobs and to get more money. And they also promote radical causes which attract terrible people to education.

As Albert Shanker, former president of the United Federation of Teachers, said " When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children." Of course they DO pay union dues indirectly as the taxpayers pay the teachers to pay the dues.

I agree; public education is designed to promote mediocrity at best. It's purpose is to train unskilled labor to be capable of following simple instructions and little more. And to produce people who will vote the way they are expected.

I abandoned a teaching certificate back in the early nineties I was working on because I couldn't take the stupidity any longer. My fellow students were complete imbeciles, I would add.

But the teacher's unions very much do influence the curriculum and the qualifications required by the state. https://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2485/Teacher-Unions-INFLUENCE-ON-INSTRUCTION-OTHER-EDUCATIONAL-PRACTICES.html They lobby for more than just money. They promote practices used in education, as well as push for what they see as "proper" curriculum. They spend money to get leftist politicians elected. They pressure their members into promoting things like DEI.



who do you think helps get the bad school board members elected Dita?

I agree; the first and primary educator is and should be the parents. They need to teach their kids to read and enjoy reading. They need to do a better job.

But the fact is parents are lazy only because we made it easy for them with public education.

The point is though we can't simply eliminate public education; it's not going to go away. It has to be reformed. I would add public education worked fine until the sixties and the radicalization of education began. it's not the thing itself that is the problem (although education was better when it was all private) but the execution. And we simply won't be able to just break up public education all at once. The best we can hope for is to reform it and hope it withers over time.

Eliminating federal standards is a big start.Things like No Child Left Behind have made a mess of it.(I know. NCLB is largely dead now, but it has been reborn under different names and remains as an idea.) The answer is to make it more accountable to parents and less under the thumb of state governments and especially the feds.

But most certainly the unions are a big part of the problem. They are the ones promoting much of the nonsense being taught in schools these days, and stand in the way of any real reform.

Dita, there has been a movement to force homeschooling parents into the teacher's unions, and force them to follow the woke guidelines. Also, the unions are pushing to make homeschooling illegal in places like California. Those are two examples of things the teacher's unions do to mess up education. The unions also fight against charter schools even while trying to unionize them. https://americanschoolchoice.com/teacher-unions-fight-charter-schools-still-want-their-teachers/ and they have long done that with private education.

So yes the unions are a big part of the problem.

BTW it is fine to say the parents are getting what they deserve but the fact is it is a societal problem whether we like it or not and if schools are putting out neanderthals then all of America suffers. It's part of why we can't get our orders right at McDonalds, or why we have to use self-serv for checking out these days. The lower end workforce is too stupid to work. And they live off our dime via the "social safety net"

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:43 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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