The NEA and The Poison Apple

Unions are at the center of any attempts for education reform.  They are against a parent's desire  to make those who educate their children be accountable for what they teach and how they teach it.  As the NEA sees it, their job is to protect their members regardless of performance.   Current NEA mandates make firing a teacher for even criminal charges, very difficult and the paperwork onerous, to assure that the vast majority of poor teachers keep their jobs and continue to provide sub-standard education to their pupils.   This subverts the right of pupils and parents to the rights of teachers.  They also keep their toadies in Congress in line with exorbitant campaign contributions if they stand against charter schools.   It is impossible to be for education but against charter schools, if the quality of education is the goal.  The NEA has made it clear that only union members be allowed to provide whatever quality of education the teacher feels like providing without any regard for end product.

They use scare tactics to their members that they would be fired without cause if the union were not there to protect them.  It should be concerning to anyone with any knowledge of federal laws (like the EEOC) that already give them protection from indiscriminate job loss.  The fact that teachers don't understand how the government works and have some knowledge of federal protections actually makes a case for why accountability standards are sorely needed.

At the university level, professors are not only protected from job loss, regardless of performance, but have the say in how the university is run.  This is like letting the inmates run the prison.  Any change in status quo or accountability standards, are almost impossible at the university level.  Take the case of the University of Florida when professors forced the school to return a substantial donation from the Koch Foundation to fund a business school.  Any attempt to provide students with an alternative view of the business world, presumably not as evil doers but as a productive venture, must be vilified.  How can professors, employees of the school, determine the quality and source of school funds, trumping the Board of Trustee's decisions regarding the educational standards of that university?  Unfortunately, this is not an isolated instance.   This is the gold standard for unions and one they have instituted at the primary education level.  No charter schools and no measures of performance, just business as usual.  Move along folks there's nothing to see here.  The storyline runs that it's the parents fault if their children fail at school.  What's a teacher to do if the home environment doesn't do their job for them?   Parents are now the scapegoat for lack of results.

If the NEA really for education reform and standing for educational excellence, they would be proposing accountability measures that would be fair to their members but also strive to provide a measure of performace.  They are not.  They are fighting for status quo and a lack of accountability.  This is always a union's position.  They are not an organization that proves its value through professional standards of conduct but for the lack of professional standards and performance. 

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