Thursday, January 27, 2011

Education and the (state of the) union

Who are we?   What do we stand for?   And how do we position ourselves to be the strongest possible professional workforce?   I wish I could fight for what I believe fulltime.  Instead, I am only left to watch and wonder: what could the teaching workforce be if unions led reform instead of responded to it?   What if teachers were the reformers instead of the protectionists?   That's an educational revolution worthy of pursuit.   The following excerpt is from John Merrow's blog, Taking Note.   In it he captures the heart of Obama's message on education.   If we could only hear it and act on it.
“Stop with the trade union stuff,” the President was saying. “Start putting the interests of students first.”

Unions don’t seem to have much choice in the matter, given the outpouring of anti-union and anti-teacher rhetoric and actions in New Jersey, Alabama, Wyoming and just about any state you can name.

Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers, the smaller of the two unions, seems to get it, but she has to persuade her mostly urban locals to move. The far larger National Education Association hasn’t shown any signs that I have seen that it recognizes that the ground has shifted, dramatically and probably permanently.

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