How the Teachers Unions bankrupt our education system.Posted: November 13, 2012
Whenever you talk about teachers, their pay, and how they are undervalued by society, it tugs at people’s heartstrings. To think of them nurturing our youth’s minds while not being taken care of is terrible. I agree teachers do an important job and a lot of times not a very easy one. To argue that teachers are under appreciated based on their pay is logically sound. However until the Teachers Unions are dissipated there will be no true reform of their pay or our education system.
The reason why I feel this way, and you should too, is because the unions have fought tooth and nail to stop an implementation of Merit Pay. You would think that teachers would want to be paid more by simply teaching to (and beyond) expectation. You’d be wrong. The teachers unions are focused solely on one thing, tenure. They don’t care about education standards, they don’t care about your children, they don’t want to become better teachers, they want tenure. This isn’t to say teachers don’t care, but their union as a whole does not.
Tenure is a system that was meant to reward excellence, but in reality rewards mediocrity. From a self serving point of view, the goal of every professional teacher should be to gain tenure. Once tenured, teachers are hard to fire, their hours are guaranteed, they are the last to be laid off, and they get steady pay increases. Tenure is not earned through achievement but through time served. This is why linking pay and tenure to actual performance has been routinely dismissed by teachers unions.
Unless you are inherently bad at your job, wouldn’t you want to be paid based on your skill level? I would think so, most Americans think so, yet teachers unions refuse to literally put their money where their mouths are. So the question has to be, how many teachers are confident they can perform their duties acceptably? It doesn’t seem like many do.
The problem is even worse when you consider that we as a nation spend $800 billion dollars a year on our education system and we are failing to see results. Canada spends $65 billion a year and is beating us in both science and math scores. Maybe part of the reason is we can’t fire bad teachers? You hear about a teacher slapping a kindergarten student and getting suspended, not fired. There was a teacher who told students they couldn’t carry their rosary beads into class, she’s been suspended for months with pay! In the mean time her school had to hire another educator to replace her . We are throwing away good money on bad teachers, all the while we are selling our children short.
So why is this happening? It seems so simple right? It happens because $5.4 million lines a lot of politicians pockets. 95% of which goes to Democrats. Democrats who proclaim their devotion to education, but who never seem to raise the bar for our nation. It’s the vicious cycle of big government. Where inefficiency perpetually reinforces itself. If education was run like a business, teachers would be evaluated yearly. Bad teachers would be first counseled, it cost a lot to train a teacher and fixing their performance is usually cheaper than replacing them. However like all businesses, consistent under performance should mean termination. Tenure was a well meaning idea, however no one should be guaranteed a position for life. Reality dictates that people with no incentive to perform will usually under perform.
Demand merit pay. Demand accountability. Demand a return on your $800,000,000,000 yearly investment.