Saturday, October 13, 2012

Unintended Consequences

            Teachers can make or break a class but with the protectionism provided by unions several unintended consequences occur. The idea of protecting teachers’ rights is great but unintended problems occur: bad teachers are protected among the mix of excellent teachers. Campbell Brown raised awareness against the movement of unions according to the New York Times when she posted several comments that “teachers union must stop protecting those who commit sexual misconduct with children” and “it is impossible to not see that we have a broken system that is in need of change”. Brown points out that the public education system is not working and ironically according to Myron Lieberman this is true, “the most striking feature about the explosive growth of the teacher unions is that it has occurred during reported declines in student achievement and huge increases in spending for public education”.
            During this time of growth two major unions were established: the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The NEA was founded in 1857 and leaned towards college education while the AFT was founded in 1897 and supported the individual lives of teachers, “with the explicit aim of improving teachers’ salaries and pensions”. Present day these unions still exist and most teachers are content but there are some that challenge the form of the public education system.
            Overall teacher unions have satisfactory benefits but misleading unintended consequences such as the protectionism of bad teachers.

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