Ken Shelton, Middle Schools Computer teacher: “…the ultimate goal is to educate the children…”
In contrast to Mr. Shelton, the goal of a teachers union is to perpetuate the teachers union and the political objectives of its leaders, and the goal of the typical school board is to be re-elected. That is, the major players are players of politics. They do not care about winning a game called education. The worst part of this is that these education-indifferent interests are allies in lobbying. The general government is the entity they strive to “educate.” This system does not prioritize children’s education as even secondary.
The vast majority of those who do consider children to be the point of the whole exercise are neither union activists nor school board members. They are teachers. Not all teachers admire education over self-interested politics, but all the ones who should be paid to teach do.
The unions have devolved into a means of protecting bad teachers and paying them the same salary as great teachers. This is an example of a union secondary objective.
Good teachers are not paid enough. Great teachers are woefully underpaid. They teach anyway, even now. How many more good and great teachers might there be if we were able to value teaching skill, passion for educating children and results? I think at least enough to replace the bad teachers at no net present cost. And it would be far cheaper in the longer term.
Average teachers are probably overpaid, and bad teachers should be served with restraining orders keeping them 1,000 feet from students and any educational dollars.
Does our system allow that to be recognized? No. Here are some teachers speaking about why that is.