Wrong conditions for a coup
Hopeless optimists in the ed-reform ranks have noted—and exhalted—recent cracks in teacher-union armor, some of which seem to be brought about by teachers themselves. The latest United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) elections saw a reform-minded slate of teachers (self-dubbed NewTLA) take ninety of the 350 seats in the union’s governing body. New York City’s Educators for Excellence, a group of teachers working to reform arcane and detrimental policies like last-in, first-out, now boasts 3,500 members. While it’s easy to become smitten with these examples of change, however, Terry Moe reminds us that they won’t bring about large-scale “reform unionism.” Why? Because unions are inherently designed to quell reform efforts. Further, while younger teachers are more reform-minded than their elder peers (look to NCEI’s recent survey for more), they also exit the profession at higher rates—leaving union leadership unscathed. While any chinks in the armor are likely good for kids and taxpayers alike, imagine the damage to the status quo these reform-minded teachers could inflict if they started working against the steadfast unions and not through them.
|Click to listen to commentary on "reform unionism" from the Education Gadfly Show podcast
“Quiet Riot: Insurgents Take on Teachers’ Unions,” by Andrew J. Rotherham, Time, Aug ust 11, 2011.
“Will Young People Reform Teachers Unions? Dream On.,” by Terry Moe, PublicSector, Inc., August 12, 2011.
blog comments powered by Disqus