Where’s The Beef?

A lot of people are chattering about Checker Finn’s critique of moderate Democratic education reformers and their reaction to the Wisconsin situation. But it seems to me Finn would have a much stronger case if he could (a) show where some moderate Dem has reversed course on a position in the wake of Wisconsin or (b) acknowledged that, in fact, so far the only people who have really changed course are Republican governors in states like Indiana or Florida.  To say that moderate reform Dems who were against abolishing collective bargaining before the Wisconsin episode are still against abolishing it now is true, yes, but doesn’t seem like much of an argument…So partisanship is fun but I’d actually be more interested in hearing Finn’s take on the other argument making the rounds:  By overreaching Republicans like Scott Walker may actually be setting back efforts to make some common-sense changes to teachers contracts.

3 Replies to “Where’s The Beef?”

  1. the issue of where reformy types stand on collective bargaining seems relevant and understandably unclear to me — my attempt to round up where DFER,SFC, MRhee and others stand on bargaining and strike rights is here:


    far as i can tell, only DFER specifically and explicitly disavows limits on bargaining and strikes… but i’m sure we’ll learn more as time passes.

    / alexander

  2. I would respectfully disagree. Most of the things AR mentions in his TIME article resulted from the collective bargaining process. If EDreformers are to be for ending LIFO clauses, evaluation restrictions, and the lethargic way due process occurs, and changing salary schedules, those things occur in the lengthy 838 pages of District-Union bargaining agreement.

    Governor Walker is seeking to end unions ability to collect dues through public infrastructure paid for by tax dollars. I don’t feel this is overreaching, just a return to normalcy and equivalency. If I am a taxpayer and not part of a union, do I want my tax dollars being used in public government to help that collection process? No thank you. I think that is sensible.

    If unions want to collect their dues, that’s fine, I have no problem with that, they can do it outside of the realm of what public tax dollars support and are paying for. In addition, union dues are tax-deductible. That means others are paying a portion less taxes than I am so they can bargain for better wages. In effect, I am subsidizing their ability to collect higher wages. I don’t see how my tax dollars would be benefiting me in that circumstance, nor do I really see how that would be a public good.

  3. Collective bargaining is more of a socialist way of doing things , nothing wrong with that. The capitalist system is great but sometimes its too much in favour of the big boys having too much control over the worker.

    No matter if you are a democrat or republican we need to level the playing fields and collective bargaining assists with that

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