Saturday, November 06, 2010

Unions, tenure prevent school districts from removing bad teachers

This story about the union-bashing event here in South Texas, sponsored by the 
corporate IDEA charter schools operation, appeared in The Monitor, Saturday Nov 
6, 2010. It shows the links between the militarization and bureaucratization of 
K-12 schools and the intention to do the same to higher ed. Both “education 
reform” movements are funded by the billionaire boys’ club (Bill Gates, Eli 
Broad, the Wal-Mart empire, & numerous hedge fund managers, free marketeers, 
etc) because they want to maintain social control over a population facing 
increased unemployment and poverty. They aim to stifle dissent and intellectual 
freedom in the universities, among other things. “Waiting for Superman” is their 
latest propaganda salvo to convince the public that teachers and their unions 
are the main cause of children’s poor learning.

Here are two links to excellent criticisms of this devious film and its funders:

Reed: Unions, tenure prevent school districts from removing bad teachers

MISSION — Unions and tenure, once necessary parts of the public education 
system, now hamper learning, the president of South Texas College said Friday 
STC President Shirley Reed spoke after a screening of “Waiting for Superman,” a 
documentary about failings of public education and the promise of charter 
The screening was sponsored by IDEA Public Schools, which runs 16 charter 
schools across the Rio Grande Valley. The nearly two-hour documentary follows 
five students who, unsatisfied with their local school districts, attempt to 
enroll in charter schools.
“Waiting for Superman” director Davis Guggenheim also directed “An Inconvenient 
Truth,” a documentary about former Vice President Al Gore’s campaign to raise 
awareness of climate change.
Critics have given Guggenheim’s recent film high marks, and it’s now playing at 
Cinemark Tinseltown in Mission.
“I knew not to ever allow tenure,” Reed said. Instead, STC professors receive 
one-year contracts. Anyone who doesn’t meet the community college’s expectations 
isn’t likely to stay.
“The other thing that I knew about working in the system so many years is ‘Don't 
allow the unions in your door,’” Reed said. Teachers who aren’t helping educate 
the college’s 28,000 students should be removed, she said, adding that unions 
hamper the flexibility required to ensure quality teaching.
“With just those two factors, we were able to create an environment where 
teachers really care about the success of our students,” Reed said.
Her comments were echoed by David Guerra, president of the International Bank of 
“It breaks my heart when I see, for example, some other states where the 
teachers unions are so strong and when you have the president of the teachers 
union come across as ‘It’s about the union first, the teachers second, the 
students last,’” Guerra said.
IDEA has announced plans to launch 22 new schools across the Valley by 2012, 
which would include 15,000 students across Hidalgo and Cameron counties. The 
Texas Education Agency designated IDEA “exemplary,” the highest of four ratings, 
this year.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

A response to this article noting the actual consequences of STC policies can be found at