NYC Educator is often outspoken with his opinions, particularly when it comes to issues of teachers’ unions and their detractors. He doesn’t like education outsiders like Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and the Waltons (of Walmart fame) who, in NYC Educator’s words, “toss money about to make sure unionized employees are marginalized.” He found it especially disappointing when Bill Maher, a man also known for his controversial opinions, recently joined the ranks of teachers’ union bashers.
Maher thinks unions need to be broken, but it's pretty clear what can happen to teachers without unions. It's also clear that folks like Joel Klein and Al Sharpton are fine with working people being treated like that, but I'd think Maher would question the privatization of education, particularly given what he said about the Bushies for eight years.
NYC Educator points out that breaking up unions isn’t going to fix education or make bad teachers disappear. It’s the districts, in fact, that provide them with job security.
Personally, I'm not much enamored of bad teachers, and I'm afraid I have little sympathy for them. On the other hand, teacher unions neither hired them nor granted them tenure. What does Maher have to say about the administrations who did? What does Maher think about Chancellor Klein going to Albany to plead for the right to retain 14,000 teachers who couldn't pass a basic competency test, some of whom had failed it dozens of times?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.