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  • Looking Out for Number One: Union Dues

    New York City principals and parents have resourcefully devised a way to better equip their children’s local public schools to meet their needs. For years, some public schools in Manhattan have raised money from parents to hire additional teaching assistants to aid lead teachers in the classroom. The aides, who are independently hired, serve as lunch monitors, art instructors, and after-school teachers, and cost the schools a little more than half that of a unionized assistant. But after receiving complaints from the teachers union, the Bloomberg administration has nixed the hiring of independent teachers’ aides. According to the New York Times:

    The system was so successful, according to parents, that it evolved into a training ground for future teachers: At least half of last year’s assistants had graduate degrees in education and New York State teaching licenses.

    Parents in participating schools are so supportive that they pony up as much as $700 annually to pay for the extra hands. Yet any assistants hired in the coming school year must now be employed by the Department of Education, due to union representatives’ opposition to the popular practice. Ron Davis of the United Federation of Teachers said in the Times article:

    It’s hurting our union members, and to some extent it could be hurting kids because we don’t know how qualified they are.

    But Mr. Davis is just following union leaders in elevating the interests of union members above that of New York school children. In a speech at the National Education Association (NEA) convention earlier this month, retiring general counsel Bob Chanin explained bluntly why “NEA and its affiliates are such effective advocates”:

    Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children. And it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power.

    This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality, and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary, these are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights, and collective bargaining. That simply is too high a price to pay.

    Union leaders in New York are in lockstep with those ideas. They have managed to crush an independent, parent-driven practice that is successfully meeting the needs of their local public schools.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Looking Out for Number One: Union Dues

    1. Joseph Fitzpatrick says:

      Obama, like Jane Fonda, Timmy Hadden and Nancy P. Boxer, Franks, the whole gangster Govt. are nothing less then Fabian Socialist. The joke is on all those who voted for him and even some GOP. Some GOP are just wolves in sheeps clothing. I say we sweep the "house" clean and the "senate." Get rid of old baggage. Send them back to Hary reed place in Nevada. "Searchlight, NV" Maybe they will find their searchlights out in the mine shafts? God bless our brave men/women Soldiers who are fighting and dying for the protected, even the demogods and others all over this crazy world.Oh! I think we need a special investigation about N. Pelosi lies and memo's about the CIA, what good for goose, is good for the gander too. Add Boxer, Franks, etc. They have no respect for peers or their own people they claim to represent. How about they resent you all.Wake up America! We are burning up like Rome. While they drink cool-aid and goosip and hide their "pork money" in outside USA shores. so that why most demogods are fat and out of shape. They say the pray of jabez!

      Joseph Fitzpatrick

      Cheney,WA

    2. Joan, Oregon says:

      Once again the NEA implies that the parents do not have the ability or the sensitivity to "care about children" properly. Somewhere along the way we have bowed to their supposed superior knowledge and lost the right to determine what that education will look like and how it will be accomplished. The responsibility to see that a child gets a good education does not belong to the state. I pray more parents will say,"Enough," and take back both the rights and responsibility.

    3. charles terner says:

      So I suppose you would have no objection to anyone coming into a school. Remember these "employees" aren't even fingerprinted!

    4. Spiritof76 says:

      So we know the problem. When will there be a parents revolt supported by the general public to get rid of the power of the NEA? We have to take action at all fronts- unions, Congress, White House, fascistic businesses. In short, we have to take back our country to its founding principles.

    5. Pingback: As If Life Isn’t Complicated Enough, Here Comes Washington

    6. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      Once again, we see how unions control things. If they do not want it, it will not happen. And to answer the question of people employed and not fingerprinted, no teacher in our City has been fingerprinted unless they were arrested or applied for a gun permit. The union here, has prevented the finger printing of teachers!

      They always complain about Big Labor, Big Pharma and Big Oil. You never hear about Big Union or Big Education, do you?

    7. Keith somewhere in t says:

      Mr. Charles Turner:

      Fingerprinting doesn't assure safety or quality. Market competition does.

    8. Daver Ft. Worth says:

      If it was a "simple" question, we'd be in good hands; the bazillion simpleton bureaucrats would largely ignore it and the parents and teachers would solve it. Hey wait a minute–isn't that the way it used to work?

      Just as the election of this African American president has only stoked the fires of racial unrest in this country–so to has the election of a fiercely pro-union socialist eroded the ability of average Americans and their communities to solve simple budget problems.

      Of course don't expect the union leaders or elected officials to have their kids within a thousand yards of these under-staffed schools.

      Keep it up Obama's, maybe soon none of us will be proud to be Americans anymore?

    9. dr_donn says:

      This problem will never be solved as long as the union is involved. Teachers are also to blame for allowing the unions to dictate how your children are educated. The only way to fight it is to home school you children, set up a co-op for home schooling, move to a right to work state where the unions do not make polocy or send your kids to private school.

    10. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      Isn't this the same district that has the "play room" for teachers facing disciplinery action? or is it somewhere else?

    11. kathy, Washington St says:

      Teachers are not to blame for allowing unions to dictate how the children are educated. Publishing companies, test creating companies, politicians and administrators dictate how children are educated and how teachers will do it. The union supports allowing the teachers to do what they are trained to do. Teachers need to be allowed to assess the needs of the students and teach the skills they are missing in the way that is best for the student. Teachers are not allowed to do that and the union is trying to help, not hinder that process. Before you make snap judgments about teachers and the union, go and talk to some teachers. Ask them who tells them how to do their job. I know they will be happy to tell you. I am a teacher, an active union leader and the proud parent of a child who went to public schools.

    12. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Having been envolved in choice curiculeum, text books for classes, what is not know by the public at large is the following;

      Pulishers of higher education class books, share in the profits with the professor ordering the texts for the class. This is why, more and more, even throughout the year you may have three different, expensive texts for the indentical class. Resale value, none.

      As for Unions, what is also little know to the public, is most all large Unions have aBoard, appointed by the President of the Union or the Governor of the State, and this Board usually consist of five members.

      This Board is solely responsible for all political endorcements, campaign contibutions and everything made public as to Union Preferences.

      This Board when it has an openning, fills that openning among themselves. The Union Membership has no say what-so-ever in the choice of the new Board member.

      Natuarally the Unions Political philosophy always remains the same. No matter what the members may feel or vote.

      Hozro

    13. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      Currenly the Unions are in the way!

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