It’s Teacher Freedom Week

It’s Teacher Freedom Week
August 13, 2014

Joy Pullmann

Joy Pullmann is a research fellow on education policy for The Heartland Institute and managing... (read full bio)

School Choice Weekly #49

It’s actually National Employee Freedom Week, which is the positive way to say a national week aimed at raising awareness that union members don’t have to be. Polls show nearly a third of union members would prefer not to be. Of course, a large number of union members are teachers, many of whom are enrolled into a union the minute they accept a government teaching job.

In Nevada alone, related efforts from the Nevada Policy Research Institute have resulted in 1,450 teachers leaving the state union, depriving it of approximately $1.1 million in dues each year. That, of course, weakens the union’s political power.

Since union policies are bad for kids because they prioritize adult comfort over efficiency and academic achievement, that’s a good thing. Unions support, among other things, paying teachers according to years on the job and credentials amassed, not instructional effectiveness. They also support other aspects of tenure that make it a costly hassle to fire a teacher and have even resulted in keeping child molesters in classrooms. As many school districts have found, even the “teacher development” that unions sponsor tends to benefit the unions more than the teachers, because it functions more as networking and message-spreading than actionable upgrades to a teacher’s craft.

If the third of union members who want out nationally managed to act on their wishes, unions would lose tens of millions of dollars every year, which those individual workers would personally gain. There’s an economic stimulus conservatives can support.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, Nevada Policy Research Institute


IN THIS ISSUE:


School Choice Roundup


Common Core Watch


Education Today

  • DEMOGRAPHICS: For the first time in U.S. history this fall, nonwhite students will be the majority in K–12 public schools, at 50.2 percent of the student population. Unfortunately, the United States is worse at educating Hispanic and African-American kids than their Caucasian counterparts, and the rising generation will bear perhaps the biggest debt burden in the world’s history.

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Joy Pullmann

Joy Pullmann is a research fellow on education policy for The Heartland Institute and managing... (read full bio)