Bad Press?

We learn two things from this Jo-Ann Armao piece at the Washington Post. First, she watches a lot of TV.  Second, she asks the good question about whether all the attention on unions and negative press hasn’t actually caused at least some of the encouraging perestroika we’re seeing — at least from the AFT.

4 Replies to “Bad Press?”

  1. I agree that the negative publicity about unions is encouraging teachers and their representatives to be more proactive in educational reform. We’re now beginning to see changes that will really produce results, such as money to keep thousands of teachers from being laid off, early childhood programs, health and social supports for children, and support for teachers who dedicate their lives to our neediest students.

    I believe we are seeing some changes at the highest levels also. Yesterday I received a (form) letter from President Obama who reiterated his commitment to our “many great schools and dedicated teachers,” his intention to invest in “high-quality, early learning programs available to more young children,” to improvement of the teaching profession “by recognizing talented teachers who improve learning and by encouraging them to stay in the schools that need them most.” And finally this gem:

    “A child’s education does not begin and end with a school bell, and responsibility must extend beyond a school’s walls. Our future success depends on a greater level of engagement between parent, communities and schools on behalf of children. We all share the duty to educate our students, and if we hold them to the highest standards, they will meet them.”

    This is exactly what teachers have been saying all along and now they and their organizations are speaking out. I predict we’ll see some authentic improvements soon and not a bunch of expensive nonsense.

  2. I always appreciate the comments from experienced teachers.
    During the thirty years I was a California teacher the local union leaders acted as sergeant majors. They bridged the many gaps, supported management by explaining rights and working conditions, being especially helpful for new principals, as well as beginning teachers. When a teacher was accused or feeling targeted, the loving arms of support and encouragement was readily available. Most situations escalated because of a communication breakdown. Experienced teacher representatives helped trouble shoot most issues keeping teacher energy focused on helping students become more academic.
    As we have experienced, teachers no longer have job security. During this economic crisis, many tenured teachers have lost their jobs.
    Is union busting happening? What about reasonable working conditions? Has age discrimination happened? Do we really want our highly trained teachers collecting unemployment while students are neglected? Are we federalizing education? If so, do we need to have so many state, county and local district layers? Ultimately, who funds all the mandates? Does every student have a right to an equal education? As changes are discussed, what happens to students legal rights. Hopefully money and energy will not have to be wasted on lawsuits and court cases.

  3. And we all know how well the Communist Party of the Soviet Union fared under perestroika . . .

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