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What can be done to stop the obscenly powerful teachers unions?

The collective bargaining power and political clout of teachers unions allow teachers to receive contracts that often run to more than 100 pages, and are filled with provisions for high wages, fantastic health benefits and retirement packages, generous time off, total job security, teacher transfer and assignment rights, restrictions on how teachers can be evaluated, restrictions on nonclassroom duties, and countless other rules that shackle the discretion of administrators. These contracts make the schools costly to run, heavily bureaucratic, and extremely difficult for administrators to manage. They also ensure that even the most incompetent teachers are virtually impossible to remove from the classroom. The public school system, as a result, is not even remotely the kind of institution one would design if the best interests of students were the guiding criterion. What can be done to fight these organisations? Fine. Pay for teachers may not be great (average 25,000 dollars a year to start, I believe), but so what? I wouldn't want a teacher that only cares about a paycheck. I made about the same as new teacher when I was in Iraq being shot at every other day, and I didn't complain.

Asked By: Incorrectly Political - 1/26/2007
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
In the eighties, the U.S. taxpayer paid millions for an incredible study done by the Carnegy Foundation that investigated, objectively, what this nation could do to regain our strength in math and science and technology. Local control of public schools and Christian fundamentalism had diminished our national scores to... More
Answered By: patois - 1/26/2007
Additional Answers (11)
We could start by hoping that teachers will want the job without the aformentioned securities. There is already a teacher shortage. Most college grads earn way more than teachers, so I suppose we could eliminate the requirement for a college education. That would probably not improve things. I just quit teaching in... More
Answered By: matt s - 1/26/2007
 
Where I live, teacher salaries are less than what average business pay for similarly educated people doing professional jobs. Health benefit are no better. Vacation and sick day policy in par with businesses EXCEPT for the long summer break, perhaps make up for less days per year at work... More
Answered By: tkquestion - 1/26/2007
 
Stop bowing down to them. Allow true open enrollment. Give tax credits to parents who home school. Allow open enrollment in alternative schools (Christian, etc) and have the government give the money for that student to that school as at least partial tuition instead of making the parents pay for the public school... More
Answered By: rider3171 - 1/26/2007
 
I have a Bachelors degree in Science, a Masters degree in Biology and a Masters degree in Education. My day begins at 7:00am and many of my dayys last until 10:00pm writing lesson plans, grading papers and doing research to make my science classes content rich and structured for the 373 students who come to my... More
Answered By: Sciencemom - 1/26/2007
 
Until I retired as a public school teacher, I was the district representative to the Michigan Educators Association. I naively thought I could have an influence, but the administrative structure was so stacked against an individual having an influence, I gave up. The result of the union excesses is very evident in... More
Answered By: saddlesore - 1/26/2007
 
If you look at simple pay scale, you may have been paid equivalent to a teacher's salary to be shot at in Iraq, but you also only need a high school diploma or GED to do so. I mean no disrespect by this as all of my family has served in the military and my mother and brother are currently serving. Remember you also... More
Answered By: goldenrae9 - 1/26/2007
 
Sorry. I believe you've asked an unanswerable (but extremely well stated) question... More
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Answered By: salty - 1/26/2007
 
I guess they failed you! You spelled obscenly wrong... More
Answered By: commentstogo - 1/26/2007
 
I teach in Texas and it is against the state law for teachers to be part of a union. Therefore there is no collective bargaining, no strikes and teachers have very little clout. Therefore it would seem that Texas could be your model for the "ideal" non-union educational system. Unfortunately, things are not as great... More
Answered By: dkrgrand - 1/26/2007
 
The short answer would be to send your children to a private school. Here in Canada there ARE affordable private school options... More
Answered By: Jetgirly - 1/26/2007
 
One answer, though slow to accomplish the desired goal, might be found in looking at www.runningstart.com (or just plain running start). Another site, www. NovaNet.com, could also "evolve" to supplant public high schools. Both sites are up and running but will need to evolve, which I predict WILL come about sooner... More
Answered By: caesar - 1/27/2007
 
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