Friday, August 19, 2005

more on Teachers vs. Kids

Eduwonk responds to yesterday's post about the idea that teachers' unions are at odds with the interests of kids.

I completely agree with him that teachers' unions (and their unions) sometimes pursue policies that are "at odds with the public interest." After spending a year in the employ of a major teachers' union, I am certainly aware that they do not always have the best interest of students in mind when lobbying for or against certain policies. Their desire for the annihiliation of No Child Left Behind is a good example.

What bothers me is when politicians take issues like health care or an increase in salary and imply that by demanding these things, teachers and their unions are somehow against kids. One simply has nothing to do with the other. It's a stance they can take because we are talking about children and we are talking about teachers, who are liked best when they are seen as martyrs and do-gooders, who have no special talents or skills. This line of thinking would not exist if the public genuinely viewed teachers as professionals, with professional training, who deserve to be compensated for their expertise.

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