Posted by: Greg Huff | February 25, 2011

Education Debate Raging on Facebook


The debate about teacher pay and benefits and what states are doing about it rages not only in the halls of the state capitols of Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio, it rages on Facebook as well. Below are my responses to some comments by those outraged and sympathetic to teachers if not the teachers unions. The quote below was posted by one of these people and I address it and his further statement (not posted) below.

“A teacher affects eternity; she/he can never tell where their influence stops.”

~Henry Brooks Adams~
Adams is the grandson of John Quincy Adams and great grandson of John Adams.

I agree with the quote by Henry Brooks Adams above, which is why I do not want unions dominating public schools. I don’t understand the second part of your next statement but will address the first.

Labor like any market is subject to supply and demand. Without unions, good teachers would rise to the top and demand top pay. Bad teachers would fall to the bottom and the worst would fall out to pursue other activities.

Without unions public schools would not be hampered by the onerous union rules that prevents efficient actions in the administering of schools making it much more expensive to run them.

Many private schools do pay their teachers less and most if not all have higher scholastic achievement. The teachers want to be there because (among other reasons) they do not want their dues going to political issues they do not agree with.

Unions prevent good teachers from getting paid what they are actually worth and bad teachers from getting paid what THEY are worth or getting fired. We’ve all heard the stories of the “rubber rooms” where teachers that are going through some sort of ethics investigation (such as child molestation) and cannot be in the classroom are shunted to the side while being paid their full salary and benefits for years.

This does not even address the pensions and health care obligations of the states that is bankrupting the them. As I said in my earlier post, politicians do not, and cannot negotiate with the unions in good faith. Because unions can make or break a politician (by either bringing the considerable resources of the union to bear for or against the politician) they immediately abandon their fiduciary duties to the public and give in to the union demands. So what if we have to raise taxes to pay?

Well, the jig is up. The public sees the overspending and out of balance salaries and benefits of teachers and other public “servants” and no longer agree to more taxes. They see the teachers and other government workers picking their pockets to pay for these lavish perks.

Unions enshrine mediocrity. Go along, shut up and pay your dues and your job is protected. Don’t worry about actually teaching your students and insisting they learn.

Sorry, teachers and children are too important to be sabotaged by such a system.

Another poster (and friend) objected to blaming teachers for these problems so I responded:

I am not sure anyone is blaming the teachers, however, Don is right that since the Dept of Education and government unions have dominated, it is our kids that have suffered and the entire nation because of lowered academic levels.

I believe all government union contracts should be voided out of hand. Politicians have never negotiated, never been able to negotiate in the best interest of the public because they were either being paid by the unions in the form of campaign contributions or they were under duress from the unions because they were campaigning against them.

Government unions are a thing made in Hell.

A free market in education would end once and for all the domination of government by government unions (at least in education). The Wisconsin situation has brought this to a head and it will mean a fundamental change in the nation and the educational system.

If you wish you can see a fuller explanation go here: https://politicallyempowered.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/death-rattle/

And here: https://politicallyempowered.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/statist-theory-%E2%80%9Cvice-is-nice-but-political-incest-is-best%E2%80%9D/


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