Sunday LeftoversAugust 2, 2009
NJEA Endorses LegislatorsAugust 3, 2009
The actions of the teachers unions in both Baltimore and New York make sense from their perspective. Unions exist to advance the interests of their members. The problem is that unions present themselves as student advocates while pushing education policies that work for their members even if they leave kids worse off. Until school choice puts more money and power in the hands of parents, public education will continue to put teachers ahead of student
Wall St. Journal editorial on the excellent academic achievement of the kids at the Ujima Village Academy in Baltimore, a KIPP charter school that has a population of 99% African-Americans of whom 43% qualify for free lunch. Union rules in Baltimore have run up the salaries of Ujima teachers so that the school has been forced to cut out programs and lay off teachers. The article also notes the recent UFT grievance in New York City against PTA-hired teaching assistants who were paid $12-$15/per hour. The union’s success means that parent groups may no longer independently bring in assistants but must use union members, who are generally less qualified and are paid $23/hour plus benefits.