By John Hubbuch
I have written several columns defending the experienced, advance- degreed $100,000 teacher. I will continue to do so. The positive impact they make in the lives of children is much greater than any hedge fund manager.
But I will defend good teachers- not bad ones. A key issue underlying most teacher contract negotiations is just how do you get rid of bad teachers. Make no mistake there are bad teachers in every school system. The parents, the principal, the teachers in the building , even the kids know who they are, but the all for one mentality of the trade union trumps the supposed professionalism of the educator, and the bad teacher stays --negatively impacting the education of generations of children.
Now the union will pay lip service to the concept of evaluation. It's just no evaluation technique is the right one. An administrator is not in the classroom, and might be out to get the teacher for personal reasons. Test scores don't measure accurately. Parent input is denigrated. Eventually Goldilocks found "just right", but teacher unions never due.
If a salesman doesn't sell goods, if a cab driver runs into trees or if a doctor kills his patients, they get a new job. If a teacher fails to teach, he gets a yearly bump and another year on his pension benefits. It don't seem right. In twenty years when there are no teacher unions, educational historians will point to the union protection of bad teachers as a contributing reason for the demise of these unions. So be it.