View Poll Results: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

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  • Yes, entirely.

    7 10.29%
  • Yes, partially

    19 27.94%
  • No, partially

    10 14.71%
  • No, entirely

    29 42.65%
  • Other.

    3 4.41%
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Thread: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

  1. #11
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I know several teachers who detest their union. To clarify your post:
    No.

    So-called "good" teachers get paid more because of the goonion, too.

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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winnb View Post
    I'm pretty sure you know there are no benefits to the schools. Teacher's unions are not formed to benefit schools, they're formed to benefit teachers. In the same way Firemen unions are formed to benefit fireman.
    While I personally think there is only the very slightest possiblity that teacher unions benefit schools in any way, I am sure someone could come up with several ways.

    So I provided the option.
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Not all teachers are paper pushers.
    I was speaking about unions and jobs in general. There is no reason why someone whose job is not a risk to their health should get health insurance from the employer.An employee gets injured on the job sure the employer should pay for the medical expenses(assuming it is not the employee's fault).
    I don't know much about the details of the education system, but maybe administrative personnel should have separate unions from actual educators. That way, it can be better determined exactly who gets how much money, and more money can go to actual teachers than to bureaucrats in the school system.
    That makes sense.
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    While I personally think there is only the very slightest possiblity that teacher unions benefit schools in any way, I am sure someone could come up with several ways.

    So I provided the option.
    Well then I apologize for my hasty remark. You're right, there could "possibly" be some way they benefit the schools. I can't think of anything, but someone else might....
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    On the other hand, teachers isn't exactly a "results oriented" occupation. Teachers can't force students to learn. The only students who learn are those who want to. Also, many teachers have their hands tied on how they can teach. Not every student learns the same way, which is why we need schools to be able to teach using different kinds of methods. It's not fair to punish teachers if it's the policies of the school board or the stubbornness of the students that are causing students to fail.
    Every class will have slackers and overachievers, in differing proportions. I think it's important to compare a student's performance at the beginning of the year with his performance at the end of the year.

    Suppose two teachers are teaching exactly the same class, with exactly the same mix of smart/stupid students, who had an average 7.0 grade reading level at the beginning of the year...and at the end of the year, the first teacher's class read at an average 8.5 grade reading level and the second teacher's class read at an average 7.2 grade reading level. I think we can fairly conclude that the teacher's ability might have something to do with the disparity. Especially if the same disparity continues for year after year with the same teachers.
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    No.

    So-called "good" teachers get paid more because of the goonion, too.
    Not as much as they could if the schools had merit pay, instead of a silly everyone-should-be-paid-the-same-regardless-of-ability mentality that pervades teacher's unions.
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    I don't know much about teachers unions, but do they have any say over what curriculum is taught?

    For that matter, I don’t know what limitations most (or any) schools put on their curricula.

    Personally, I think schools should be more focused on results. If a teacher can teach his/her students the subject, and they pass a test on such (obviously without any teacher knowing what the test questions will be), that should be the end of it.

    Perhaps teachers should be given a budget, some reasonable “don’t go here” guidelines, and let loose upon the various providers of school supplies.

    A few checks during the school year, via tests…

    And teachers should have ongoing classes/seminars that they must attend, put on by various persons who study the art of teaching (and it is an art).

    Just a few ideas off the top of my head.

    Thoughts?
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Not as much as they could if the schools had merit pay, instead of a silly everyone-should-be-paid-the-same-regardless-of-ability mentality that pervades teacher's unions.
    Probably not. If you look at the things schools are doing in order to reform schools (standardized curricula that take lesson planning out of the hands of teachers, for example), they generally take the opportunity to BE good out of the hands of classroom teachers.

    One exception to this trend is charter schools, who often innovate and give individual teachers opportunities to do good work (and who mostly don't have unions) but those teachers' salaries are heavily influenced by union scales.

    If teachers actually got respect from...well, anyone...they might not need unions. But teachers are regularly exploited, mostly because (unlike with most markets) the consumers are much more distant and much less attuned to quality in the product.

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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    Probably not. If you look at the things schools are doing in order to reform schools (standardized curricula that take lesson planning out of the hands of teachers, for example), they generally take the opportunity to BE good out of the hands of classroom teachers.
    I see this as a major issue.
    If my limited experience in this world is any indication, it is very rare for any two people to process data in exactly the same way.

    So standardized curricula or teaching methods would seem, perhaps, to only be effective for a portion of the students.
    Education.

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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    I don't know much about teachers unions, but do they have any say over what curriculum is taught?
    No they don't, that is decided by the state (if it is a public school).

    For that matter, I don’t know what limitations most (or any) schools put on their curricula.
    If they're private schools, they can put whatever limitation they want to.

    Personally, I think schools should be more focused on results. If a teacher can teach his/her students the subject, and they pass a test on such (obviously without any teacher knowing what the test questions will be), that should be the end of it.
    Pedagogy is so much more than knowing the content material. Teaching strategy and methods is necessary. There aren't any "tests" that can analyze any single teacher's pedagogic style, simply because each teacher have their own different style.

    Perhaps teachers should be given a budget, some reasonable “don’t go here” guidelines, and let loose upon the various providers of school supplies.

    A few checks during the school year, via tests…

    And teachers should have ongoing classes/seminars that they must attend, put on by various persons who study the art of teaching (and it is an art).

    Just a few ideas off the top of my head.

    Thoughts?
    Speaking as a teacher, we already go to seminars about once a year, and usually these seminars are a waste of my time. It's just a rehash of the information that we already know: "we need to motivate our kids", "we need to come up with more creative lesson plans", "we need to incorporate technology in our lessons", all of these things we already know.

    Most of the teachers I work with are what I would call "good teachers". And there are a few "problem teachers" too, who makes things very difficult. There are many reasons why they are the way they are. I wont give out much detail, but one teacher here is waging a war with the administration and has been doing so for over 7 years (as far as I know). S/He feels that she has been mistreated and out of retaliation s/he is not cooperating with what the administration wants. So as a result, the previous principal and superintendent decided to assign the "worst" students (as s/he calls them, and actually it's not far off from the truth) for all of her classes. This forces s/he to have a hard time, and the result of that is forcing her classes to have more failing students.

    I understand why s/he would put those students in the middle of this war, because what happened to him/her was indeed unfair. But the administration is also at fault for putting those students in the middle of this. This is just a cluster**** of a situation. However, the administration changes every 3 years or so, which makes them weak. Incoming principals takes 1 year to get to know the teachers, 1 year to propose a solution, and the final year the problematic teacher just has to wait through before taking on the next principal.

    The origin of this problem isn't from the teacher, but it's a part of it. A lot of situations are like this, as I've heard. The war between teachers and the administration gets very vindictive, and the students are simply collateral. I think the first step to a solution is to realize that the problem in public education isn't always within the classroom. A lot of things are going on outside of the classroom and elsewhere on campus.
    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    Let the public school provide the basics, you as the parent can do the fine tuning.

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