Teacher Unions Effects Upon Education. Essay

Teacher Unions Effects Upon Education. Essay

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When originally created, teacher unions were a noble cause meant to prevent teachers from being taken advantage of. Fight from the beginning, teachers unions and schools have been in conflict over several issues. Now though, as a result schools’ eagerness to cut costs, along with the union’s unwillingness to allow teachers to be fired, the student is becoming collateral damage. This conflict that exists between the teachers unions and school administration must be resolved through mediation, focus on students, and stronger laws to prevent teachers suing districts. At one point, America had schools that it was proud of. There are many areas where teachers and school unions will likely never see eye to eye; the school districts place the student as their primary concern, and the teachers unions place the teachers as their primary concern. Just as Joel Klein once said, “You can never appreciate how irrational the system is until you’ve lived it.” (Qtd. in Brill, 30 ).
Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of the Washington D.C. schools said “tenure is the holy grail of teachers unions” (Qtd. In Dillon, 1); teacher unions treat tenure as one of their most prized possessions because it is, tenure is and always will be vitally important towards the goal of the union. The tenure system offers teachers, who have been teachers for longer times (typically 2-3 years), the assurance that they will not unjustly lose their jobs. Why then, does the tenure system protect these teachers? The simple answer is that the tenure system protects the majority of teachers, and that is what the union wants. The tenure system is outdated; Michelle Rhee is a former chancellor of public schools in Washington. She made drastic changes to the schooling system...


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... protecting these teachers and would not allow the school to rid of them. It appears that when a Union wished for a legal matter to be expedited, they have no problems expediting it, however when the school is in favor of the legal issue, “it takes between two and five years for cases to be heard by an arbitrator…” (Brill, 3). When you consider the thing that teachers are callable of doing with the protection of tenure, it is surprising that the number of fired tenured teachers is so small. Our public schooling system needs to develop a backbone; we need to stand up for what we know must be changed. No longer should teachers enjoy benefits and pensions limited only to the teaching profession. No other occupation offers tenure and benefits, and pensions as does teaching. That’s because the other occupations have long since eliminated those as a cost saving measure.

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