The United States of America needs to start with the teachers' unions in order to fix the public education system. This will be the best way to ensure that we can pay our teachers more. Them getting more pay will help motivate them and bring more qualified teachers from other countires to boost our education system.
Read their union newsletters, nothing about being better teachers or helping students. It's all about protecting themselves and confronting administration. They aren't the people I want my children to emulate. I am aware of teachers discussing how school boards and school administration have handcuffed them. They even promote unions as protecting teachers and schools. I believe that they have misconstrued the Constitution under the "promote general welfare" Claus as providing an education. At best it provides the opportunity for an education. Nothing in the Bill of Rights advances that education even be a Federal responsibility. For many years communities provided an opportunity, or Churches provided educational opportunities.
I am a former College President and am appalled at how poorly compulsory education has prepared our children.
Teacher unions protect their members' interests which often conflict with kids' best interests, even if not always. They should be regulated to function in a way that this conflict of interest doesn't end up bringing down the quality of education, which happens now and makes these unions corrupt and highly immoral as college educated adults' benefits, job security and wages take precedence over young generations' right to have the best education they could have.
In public education the worst teacher gets paid at the same rate as the best teacher. Thus, the one doing the most harm to their community and society at large is rewarded instead of punished. The worst teacher has no motivation to improve and the best teacher has no motivation to maintain. It is a mini model of socialism and a welfare state--a killer of human motivation. What a joke it has become!
Teachers Tenures are the biggest roadblock in the entire process. There is no reason it should be so hard to fire a bad teacher. Good teachers should be rewarded and bad teachers should be let go. That should be common sense.
A union's purpose is to extract maximum money and benefits for its members. Whether the system is broken or not is ultimately irrelevant to the union, as long as those benefits are secured. Since any effort to reform the education system could jeopardize benefits, the union will instinctively oppose any change. Since the union is powerful, any effort at reform must start by confronting the union.
By union rules, it is often the younger, less experienced teachers who are let go first, even if the younger teacher outperforms more experienced teachers. Also, I read an article mentioning a 25-step process for getting rid of a bad teacher, and it's a process that could take more than two years.
The U.S. needs to start with teachers' unions to fix the public education system because the union system is seriously flawed. Teacher pay is based on tenure, not performance. Once a teacher gains tenure, it takes an act of God to remove that teacher. Retirement and health benefits are well beyond what is offered in the commercial sector. Teachers should contribute more to retirement and health care. Good teachers should be paid more and bad teachers should be fired.
There are numerous cases where teachers who have been accused of molestation have been allowed to continue teaching, due to their tenure. When teachers are laid off, it is often those with the least seniority, regardless of the results that they have produced throughout their employment. Teachers need to be evaluated on their performance, and having teachers' unions prevents this from happening.
"Stop and let the Lady Teach" is a main one, as are a number of other articles from around the country, especially about Joe Klein's reforms of the New York City school system. The focus is now shifted to the teachers' rights, and has shifted away from the true purpose of schools, which is the students' education.
The United States public education system suffers from a chronic lack of funding. School systems nationwide are constantly striving to add more levies and fundraising initiatives on voting ballots to make up for shortfalls in funding due to state budget cuts. Teachers can only do so much, and unions are not the problem. The key to solving the issues is for the federal government to take an interest in public school education in a more meaningful way than the extremely poorly thought out No Child Left Behind Act.
There are some core and fundamental practices of the public school system which will not be helped by starting with the teachers' unions. While there needs to be a conversation within the teacher's union, the core and fundamental beliefs need to be examined, such as No Child Left Behind and other implementations. We need to start by looking at what is best for children, such as recess and access to healthy food at school.
I think that teachers unions should stick around. They serve a vital function in a world that favors employers. While some things could afford to be revamped, such as tenure requirements or immunity from wrongdoing, the unions serve to ensure that teachers are both paid adequately and treated with respect.
Though I do agree that teachers are greatly underpaid for the work they do, messing with the unions and the teachers' pay is not going to make them teach better. Many teachers do their job, and do it well already, for the simple love of education and children. It is the responsibility of parents to install that same love of learning in their children as they continue to grow. The public education system is more flawed by lazy students, than it is by bad teachers.
Although I do agree that unions do pose problems, there are actually more problems with our economy than there are with our education system. A big problem with the education system is actually the parents. At one point in time, parents had more time to spend with their children, doing homework and instilling the values of a good education. Currently, parents have to spend so much time working that they just do not have as much time to give to their children. They then rely too heavily on teachers.