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I think the issue of why teacher's unions were formed is the same as for coal miners, factory workers, dockworkers etc.: low pay, poor working conditions, benefits, retirement, political hiring and firing. Unions did not solve all those problems, but they improved many. The problem with teaching is that it can not be quantified like a factory worker's job: do this and do it right, do it again. That said, where teacher's unions have gone awry is not staying involved with the issues that do separate teaching from factory work. Training for workers is an even bigger issue for teachers. Looking at other college degree required professions, its obvious that the American education model did not allow for private practice as for lawyers, doctors and engineers who work with publically funded resources, but may not be public employees. Following the guild model, teacher unions needed to promote professional development, promote evaluation models that are not one size fits all (i.e., a PE class and a 3rd grade class need different assessment features) and duh, promote administrator training to do fair assessments that promote quality learning not only quality teaching. Instead, teacher unions got way too involved with defending bad teachers, and blaming everyone and everything except their lack of leadership in improving the learning of students. Time for game change, or let's move on to voucher based education with teachers working in a private practice model.
posted 2 years, 2 months ago
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