Well, it's just that the teacher issue regarding unions isn't unique.
I think that for the most part unions are essential but in order for them to BE essential they have to stick TO the essentials, right?
If your union is metalworkers, it's not helpful if the union succeeds in lowering the quality of the metalwork coming out of the shop
just because they focus on keeping some idiot employed who can't do the job.
Metalwork unions should be equally concerned with making sure that their union brothers are skilled and productive employees, and
they should not be afraid to dispose of the layabouts and the incompetents.
My occupation is film and video and you can't BE an incompetent layabout because we don't have union halls where you just show up
and pluck a gig from the bulletin board. We don't have the equivalent of a school district with administrators and human resource departments.
We have producers, directors and production companies.
You have to make yourself a desirable worker and get picked, get yourself hired onto a show or a production.
Thus the unions in my area of skill concentrate on seeing to it that union brothers get adequate pay, proper benefits and good working conditions.
But you have to know what you're doing, or you just don't get hired. And if you screw up enough you're gone, and if you keep screwing up you won't
get hired on anything else anymore.
Maybe that's because the resulting effects of incompetency show up instantly, shots get blown, productions fail to keep on schedule, shows don't get delivered.
Why shouldn't teachers have to live by the same requirements? Sure, the effects don't show up instantly but they can be measured fairly easily in real time.
If nine kids out of a class of 30 fail a single test, that's one thing. If 23 of them fail a single test, that's another. If nine kids fail every SINGLE test every time, that's still another problem and if 23 kids fail every SINGLE test every time, that's STILL another problem.
If six kids are discipline problems, that's one thing, if 23 of them are discipline problems, that is a different problem.
These are all easily defined metrics that school districts can use, and unions need to have an agreement and understanding as to how to deal with them.
If a teacher is failing her students, she needs to receive a failing grade just like students would.
And if it turns out that the district is the one failing the teacher, then the district needs to receive the failing grade instead.
Unions should be able to put union politics aside long enough to recognize the difference and react accordingly, otherwise the union gets the failing grade instead.