Difference between Partnering with and Pandering to Teacher Unions

After reading the NY Times op-ed piece today, it strikes me that we should think about the differences between partnering with teachers unions and pandering to them.  Link is:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/12/opinion/chicago-teachers-folly.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

There are many teacher union leaders who know how to advocate for their members while also participating in the dialogue, strategy, and work for kids.  I enjoyed terrific union leader partners when working in Seminole County, FL (with NEA’s Nancy Wheeler) Wilmington, DE (with NEA’s Linaya Yates-Lea) and Jacksonville, FL ( with FTP-NEA’s Terrie Brady).  All three were fierce in advocating for their members and fairness.  Not one ever compromised on what was also in the best interest of the students.

If you want, note a good example of pandering to teacher union leaders in the musings of school board member John Young in Wilmington, DE.  Certainly there are others.

The circus in Chicago, is the mastermind of union boss Karen Lewis.  Her motives seem to not be aligned with the interests of teachers or students.  Lewis appears to hardly be a leader, and she is certainly no educator.  The sooner there is more solidarity among the mayor, the school system, and all parents, then the teachers will have political support and backing necessary to select a real union leader, one who knows how to and cares to serve the interests of teachers and kids.  That is the best way to build a strong union.  Sniping and striking at the point they did in these negotiations is unconscionable.

Again, the NY Times piece is worth a read.  Link is:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/12/opinion/chicago-teachers-folly.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

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