Klein presents this as the latest sorry episode in the teacher union's increasingly selfish history. For example, the article mentions the strict work rules the union has won over time that only serve their own comforts at the expense of educating children, including the length of the school day and the near impossibility of firing a bad teacher (NOTE: the Regents proposal to reform this process--"3020-a" reform--was universally ignored by the legislature and governor).
Charter schools, Joe Klein writes, represents a "challenge" to public school system's absence of real accountability and higher student achievement. The late Albert Shanker, the great UFT leader and later the AFT head, worried about how the unions have gone too far in building protections for themselves at the expense of better educational outcomes for children. Klein reminds us of Shanker's 1993 speech fearing a comparison of union-controlled public education to the American auto industry's inferior performance losing market share to others.
The teacher union's behavior in New York has officially become a national embarrassment with an article like this. It could have been worse if the legislature had passed its flawed, union-drafted, anti-charter school bill earlier this month.
for The Chalkboard
(see me Twitter @ "PeterMurphy26")
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