You know why we are in so much trouble? Because President Obama is in bed with the unions and they are helping one another. For example, teachers in the nations third largest school district have decided to go on strike for the first time in twenty-five years.
The Huffington Post reports:
Teachers in the nation's third-largest school district voted overwhelmingly to authorize the first strike in 25 years if their union and the city cannot reach a deal on a contract this summer – signaling just how badly the relationship between teachers and Chicago school officials has deteriorated, union officials said Monday.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced the result of last week's balloting – nearly 90 percent of its 26,502 members voted to authorize a strike _and called it "an indictment of the state of the relationship between the management of CPS and its largest labor force members." State law requires 75 percent approval.
"From 1965 to 2009 the federal government spent $2 trillion on education, and yet it's not enough. What do we have to show for it?" Glenn said on radio this morning.
"I can't say we're failing our kids. We're only failing two-thirds of our kids. That's it. Right only 33% of fourth graders. 32% of eight graders. 38% of 12th grader read at their great level or above," he added.
"Despite all of this, teachers are now paid over 45% than they were paid in 1961 after adjusting for inflation," Glenn said.
"If you had your industry had that kind of track record do you think after inflation you'd get almost a 50% raise?" he asked.
"Now, no one is accusing them of making too much money. But someone is making a lot of money. The teacher's unions."
Glenn emphasized that he is not saying that the teachers don't care about kids - far from it. However, he did say that the teachers union is not set up in a manner that places kids as their top priority. Instead, they become bargaining chips for higher salaries from cities and states that are already taxed with financial burdens.
He then read a quote from Bob Chanin, the National Education Association's former top lawyer, who was discussing the NEA and their priorities. He said, "“This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary. These are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights and collective bargaining. That simply is too high a price to pay.”
He then played audio of Chanin saying in the same speech, "Which is why, at least in my opinion, NEA and its affiliates are such effective advocates. Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children. And it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power."
Clearly, the unions are at best as concerned with collective bargaining and power as they are as they are on improving education, dropout rates, quality teachers, and the achievement gaps. But its clear from the quality and track record of public education that these factors that matter for children and the future of the country are a distant second to money and power.