Unions Prevent Kids from Learning in L.A.

The L.A. Times has been publishing a great series about how the city’s schools have been dropping the ball on education. Specifically, the Times points out that the L.A. schools district has had at its disposal stats that could have helped it to engineer a better education policy for its students but has ignored these stats. Why have they ignored these stats? Fear of unions.

The Times has a database of the effectiveness of nearly 6,000 L.A. area teachers. These findings, the Times informs us, were based on a method called “value-added analysis. It is a method that is beginning to be used to rank teachers and help administrators design a more effective education for kids all across the country.

The Times also says that the L.A. school administrators had this info all along and never used it. Why would that be? (my bold below)

L.A. Unified has had the underlying data for years but has chosen not to analyze it in this way, partly in anticipation of union opposition. After The Times’ initial report this month showed wide disparities among elementary school teachers, even in the same schools, the district moved to use value-added analysis to guide teacher training and began discussions with the teachers union about incorporating data on student progress into teacher evaluations.

That’s right, fear of the recalcitrant unions that are more interested in making sure that teachers are unaccountable and cannot be questioned. Unions that are more interested in fat pensions and rich benefits and are less interested in the education of our kids.

It just goes to show that the ideals of former teacher union bigwig Albert Shanker are still ruling the roost in our system of mis-education. In 1985 Shanker said:

“When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.” — Albert Shanker, former president American Federation of Teachers

And now our school systems and administrators acre cowering in the face of teachers unions instead of sticking up for our children.

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