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. #41
    Advisor Rassales's Avatar
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    Well, it came from my mother. I don't know why she would lie to me. It's a small school district with less than 30 teachers.



    Like I said, I would assume that it's the poorest teachers that value the unions because they know the union protects their job.



    The incompetents love the union. My mother, on the other hand, doesn't think much of it.

    Mom would never be a union rep because according to her the union is "full of bullies that could care less about education".
    I don't wish to cast aspersions at your mother, but I'd note that when we feel strongly about something, those feelings tend to color our impressions. This is true for all humans. And our assumptions usually are poor supports for an argument. After all, we tend to come to the same conclusions we are predisposed to believe. If I think an organization is full of "bullies," then I'll tend to believe that anyone associated with that organization is a bully, and I'll think other bad stuff about them too. The problem comes when I then use my impressions of those people as a justification for my original impressions. This is what I suspect may be happening in this case. We must all guard against this kind of circular reasoning. Without other corroboration, this kind of "evidence" is a questionable contribution to a debate.

    If someone thinks an organization is so faulty that even their own participation in it could not change things, I'd say that disqualifies them from making an objective evaluation.
    Last edited by Rassales; 02-03-10 at 01:01 PM.

  2. #42
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Why are teachers' unions good if you think education should be a priority? How do teachers' unions benefit our education system?
    By providing bargaining power to retain our best teachers (as well as attract new ones) against politicians who decide that they have other priorities than providing quality education.
    Last edited by Catawba; 02-03-10 at 02:38 PM.
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  3. #43
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    As in:

    What benefits, if any, do they provide for schools?

    What problems, if any, do they cause for schools?
    Government unions are practically never good.

    It's completely unethical.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  4. #44
    Advisor Rassales's Avatar
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Government unions are practically never good.

    It's completely unethical.
    How is it unethical? I can see why striking (particularly strikes against public safety) might be considered unethical, but collective bargaining of any kind?

  5. #45
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    How is it unethical? I can see why striking (particularly strikes against public safety) might be considered unethical, but collective bargaining of any kind?
    They already had representation in government, now they have double representation that can boost their job benefits at the expense of everyone else without merit.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  6. #46
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    They already had representation in government, now they have double representation that can boost their job benefits at the expense of everyone else without merit.
    I'm not sure how your reasoning works here. Are you saying that a worker has no right to negotiate with his employer if that employer is government? Everyone has the opportunity to "boost their job benefits." Why should government workers be different?

  7. #47
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    I'm not sure how your reasoning works here. Are you saying that a worker has no right to negotiate with his employer if that employer is government? Everyone has the opportunity to "boost their job benefits." Why should government workers be different?
    They already have an avenue to do this, their employer is already under their control to some extent, they can vote.

    Essentially they are allowed to do more than just lobby for better benefits, they can lobby to get laws changed to benefit their industry at large.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  8. #48
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    They already have an avenue to do this, their employer is already under their control to some extent, they can vote.

    Essentially they are allowed to do more than just lobby for better benefits, they can lobby to get laws changed to benefit their industry at large.
    So if you have stock in a company, you shouldn't form a union?

  9. #49
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    Yes, you're right, but if you don't know what I'm talking about, chances are you haven't been near a public school in an economically challenged area recently. This is a fairly recent trend I'm citing, but it's going on many places. In my opinion, it's ruining K-12 education--and it's a response to regimes like No Child Left Behind.
    I am pretty sure I know what you are referring to. And I'll cite the works of Jeannie Oakes. I don't recall the name of the study she had done, it's been a few years since I've read it, but it goes something like this:

    In areas where the majority of the students are of lower SES, the schools tend to use lesson plans that have the qualities of what was referred to as classical conditioning (as in Pavlov and Skinner). These schools tend to have larger classrooms and they also to use the "one size fits all" lesson plans, to follow the lesson plans provided by the instructional guide that comes with the Teachers edition.

    In areas where the majority of the students are of higher SES, the schools tend to use lesson plans that have the qualities of what was referred to as higher order and abstract thinking (as in Piaget). These schools tend to have smaller classrooms, better equipment, etc, and the lesson plans tend to allow the student to reach the correct conclusion on their own, as opposed to a mechanical way of thinking (as in the former example).

    What is the difference? Lower SES schools produce the type of worker that would be optimal to follow orders and to follow instructions, in short blue collar jobs. Higher SES schools would produce white collar workers. Jeannie Oakes' study confirmed that this is the norm, but it's not the only factor however, there are several other variables to keep in mind as well.


    I don't doubt you're right, but those charter schools (and I mean publicly funded charters) have to qualify for approval by local school boards, so those boards have control over their pools of students, etc. If other schools suffer in the ways you've suggested, its the fault of local boards.
    It most certainly is. Profit based education means that there is money to be made, and the people on those school boards know exactly how to make that money (with the Charter schools).
    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    Let the public school provide the basics, you as the parent can do the fine tuning.

  10. #50
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    Please forgive me if, in my earlier post, I implied you hadn't been around schools recently. I hadn't seen this post when I said that. I'm a teacher educator (I work in an academic department with undergrads before they go into teacher training programs but I teach methods courses as well as content courses) and the situation I described is the one most of my students enter in our local schools. I teach them a lot of stuff that they then aren't allowed to practice in local schools. I tell them that "the half-life of an idea in American education is about five years" but this trend does not seem to be abating.
    No worries. What state are you from?
    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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