In effect, the teacher’s union, WHATEVER their goals, is attempting to blackmail the Democratic Party by staging a strike during the 2012 election for President.
The Republicans must enjoy this greatly!
The background tells the real message. As our society downgraded the status of the K-12 teacher from professionals to hourly workers, the unions responded by acting like a trade union for any other manufacturer. This movement,combining Republican ideas about not paying public employees with Democratic ideas about equalizing education to a common denominator , has been a disaster.
To make matters worse, as private sector unions have faded, the teachers unions have become a central support for the Democratic Party. This is most evident in their adamant efforts to depict charter schools as some sort of corporatist, Republican boondoggle. To the unions, the issue is not privatization, it is the loss of trade union like contracts.
The unions opposition to charters ignores the policy of the Obama administration. Four years ago, showing an incredible Profile in Courage, the President appointed Arnie Duncan. The former Superintendent of the Chicago schools now holds the position of Secretary of Education. In that position, Duncan has supported the unions but insisted that they change the union work rules to permit teachers to return to the status of true professionals. Under the reform rules, teachers lose seniority protection, daily and hourly pay, and freedom from pay tied to evaluation. The unions have resisted. As they see it, the union’s job is to protect the status quo.
We face the same issue her in WA state. Rob McKenna, the Republican Candidate, has proposed true reform. His proposals excited me enough to decide to vote for McKenna, even though I greatly admire Jay Inslee his Democratic opponent. Unfortunately, McKenna, a Republican, has shown that he can not and will not follow through on his reform plans. McKenna’s leader, Mitt Romney has said class size isn’t a problem and proposed to cut taxes for millionaires by gutting education funding, leading to fewer teachers. Playing political games with local disputes won’t help educate our kids, nor will fewer teachers. ”McKenna’s budget would leave his promises to rot in the fields tainted by Radical Republican Ryanomic Rhetoric of “Smaller Government .”
As a result of this phoniness, McKenna lost the endorsement he should have had .. from the League of Education voters. .. and he has lost my vote.
So, Chicago teachers .. WTF? Is your strike worth helping sell the Romney Ryan ticket to folks who both support unions and value eduction reform?