# 5 Myths About Teachers Unions

Jane Hannaway and I take a look at some myths about teachers unions in The Washington Post.  We’re already being tarred and feathered as hopeless lefties in the comment section so it falls you to Eduwonk commenters to set them straight and save the day.

Posted on Sep 14, 2012 @ 2:13pm

## 9 thoughts on “5 Myths About Teachers Unions”

1. PhillipMarlowe

Good one here:

telemachus
2:54 PM EDT
Teaching children is not an industrial activity.

The results depend on student attention, student study habits, home environment, parental support, and probably last and least is teachers.

What exactly is teacher performance and how do you measure it, and what relation does it have to results on exams?

The whole issue is bogus and depends on attaching an industrial business model to a completely inappropriate environment a school.

Of course, Repulbican who hate both unions, teachers, and public schools love it, even though it makes no sense.

2. Andrew

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3. Fuji Smith

PhillipMarlowe, I agree that parents, home environment, and student study habits are very important, but to say teachers are the least important factor in education quality is ridiculous. However, if you believed that to be true then you only confirm what you perceive to be a Republican view of teachers… if they are so unimportant in education quality we can simply hire a bunch of minimum wage babysitters and save about \$50,000 a year per teacher in Chicago. Teacher quality is important, very important, and that is from a conservative.

I find it offensive when I keep hearing teachers are underpaid when, in Chicago, they are averaging \$76,000 a year. That is certainly not poverty level wages… perhaps the problem is that they don’t realize how much is being taken from their checks and given to the union? Perhaps they should be told what that is costing them annually? Some of the good teachers probably are underpaid, while some of the bad ones are overpaid… that is, in my view, the primary problem with unions and the system today. Unions protect the bad teachers while preventing the good ones from being rewarded. Because, in their view, the collective is all the same and teachers can’t be good or bad. They are all equal, and that leads to good teachers leaving for better pay/treatment while the bad ones remain.

The argument in the paragraph above is often used to say that conservatives don’t value or respect teachers. In reality it says the exact opposite. Teachers are an amazing group, doing a job most would not last a week doing. While that generalized statement may be true, it doesn’t say that all teachers are good at their jobs. Some just aren’t, or have given up because of the bureaucracy and “everyone is equal” mentality so pervasive in education has led them to conclude that no amount of effort they put in will be rewarded.

4. PhillipMarlowe

perhaps the problem is that they don’t realize how much is being taken from their checks and given to the union?
Perhaps they don’t realize?!
That must explain the failure of the Chicago Public schools to educate all their students and have them college or career ready.

5. PhillipMarlowe

I notice that one myth about teachers that Andy and friend don’t expose is that they protect child sexual predators.
Of course, to expose that myth would mean for Andy to say he was wrong, or worse, lying.

Explain why Andy does not get money from teacher unions.

6. jeffrey miller

Fuji, check the spelling of the titles of your blog posts–just sayin’. Perhaps it didn’t occur to you that 1) the cost of living in one of the world’s largest cities is high. I teach in an urban district and even after 20 years, I won’t see 76K. 2) Seems like the union did its job in Chicago. Could also be, teachers are actually “worth” over \$100K per year.

If you’re not making 76 a year, can I interest you in becoming a teacher in urban Chicago? Stop grousing already. And hey, maybe there’s a union for people in your line of work.

7. Cybrscrybe

@Fuji Smith ….. bring on the babysitter wages for teachers… if I were paid like a babysitter, then I’d get \$7 an hour(minimum wage) x 120 students (I teach 120 to150 students for one hour each day) = \$840 a day x 180 school days = \$151,200 a year…. a far cry from the average teacher’s salary ranging between \$40,000 – \$80,000.

And if you take it backward… then I’m not even getting paid minimum wage… \$70,000 /180 days = \$388 a day /120 students = \$3 an hour per student.

So parents are saving lots of money by sending their kids to school rather than to a babysitter! Maybe

8. Jennifer

As far as teachers union is working in favor of education and student everything is right. But if they are not which is very much expected they need to face actions..