Teacher Union Could Derail Peña’s Whole Agenda
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  • wigwag

    “It’s always dangerous to read US policy frameworks in other countries’ domestic disputes, but this teaching reform battle is looking a lot like the battles here.” (Walter Russell Mead)

    I don’t know if its dangerous, but it is stupid. Actually many of the top rated education systems in the world, thrive even though they operate in a unionized environment where teachers have far stronger protections than they have even in the United States.

    In survey after survey Finland is at or near the top of the list in terms of educational achievement yet it has all of the features that Professor Mead deplores. Teachers get life time job protection through tenure, they are almost impossible to fire and they work in a heavily bureaucratized and rule-laden environment. Yet Finnish students outperform students throughout the rest of the world.

    Guess what; Japanese and German students also perform in a world class manner yet their teachers are heavily unionized as well.

    How does Professor Mead explain the discrepancy.

    The reality is that teachers unions and the protections they afford students have little or nothing to do with student achievement

    • Bruno_Behrend

      I would gladly impose Finland’s system here overnight.

      About 75% or more of our teachers would be fired as unqualified, and they would then have to fire 80% of administration to hire doctors, lawyers, MBA, and top level business execs to fill in the void.

      Education spending would stay the same, 10s of 1000s of useless wage-suckers would be fired, and we would get the talent we are paying for.

      Sadly, Finland, a tiny homogeneous country of white lapsed Lutherans, is much more manageable than the racially, economically and culturally diverse USA, where unions extract monopoly prices as they destroy entire generations of poor and disadvantaged youth through their incompetence and over-weaning greed.

      Make me dictator, and I’ll impose Finland. Watch the unions scream “this isn’t what we meant!.”

      They want Finland wages for their Zimbabwe system. We are right to want to dismantle it.

      The reality is that teachers unions and the protections they afford students have little or nothing to do with student achievement

      That’s a perfect reason to get rid of them. If they have no effect, but simply cost us more, of what use are they?

  • ljgude

    I think there is a cultural difference:

    “many of teachers want to protect lifetime jobs that they say are sold or often passed from generation to generation”

    I have heard an economist friend refer to that passing of unionized jobs from generation to generation in Mexico as major barrier to social mobility and economic growth. And a major barrier for the non-unionized who can go to seek their fortunes “el Norte” or, if they are serious about making some real money, join a drug cartel. I encountered father to son job passing in the New York City Electrician Union in the 60s. But generally speaking jobs are neither inherited or bought and sold in this systematic way in the US. Good luck to the President Pena.

    • Pete

      The parasites love unions they are in and try to form them at every opportunity..

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “It’s always dangerous to read US policy frameworks in other countries’ domestic disputes, but this teaching reform battle is looking a lot like the battles here.”
    It does look like the battle in Wisconsin, and for the same reason, people working for the Government and not doing the job they are being paid to do.

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