Teacher unions are extremely influential, even to the point of being able to have the Attorney General designate parents who criticize school boards as domestic terrorists, even to the point of being able to have the Attorney General use the FBI to surveil and investigate parents who speak at school board meetings. This is no small matter, especially in light of the fact that the Attorney General proudly announced that his actions are in defense of national security.
What’s the source of the teacher unions’ influence? Is the answer that teachers buy their influence with enormous political contributions, or is the answer that teachers earn their influence with their achievements? Let’s compare. We already know about teachers’ enormous political contributions. Let’s look at their achievements.
On June 28, 2021, the Texas Education Agency published a News Release that contains the following data. In grades 3-8, only 25%-43% of the children in each grade performed at grade-level in mathematics, and only 31%-45% in reading. In high school, only 11%-23% performed at grade level in Algebra, English, and biology.
For 2019, the Maryland State Department of Education published a Report Card for the Baltimore public schools that contains the following data. Only 18%-22% of the students were proficient in mathematics, and only 19%-33% were proficient in English language arts. Yet, 72% graduated high school in 4 years (i.e., were promoted each year).
Trying to understand the Report Cards that are published for public schools in Chicago is more difficult than trying to untie the Gordian knot. Purposely so? Well, don’t we already know all we need to know about teacher achievement in Chicago?
What can we do to save our children from teacher unions? We can provide competition, by providing equal access and funding to private schools, parochial schools, and home-schooling parents. We can eliminate teacher tenure, and hold teachers responsible when they fail to teach our children. We can define teacher union political donations to be criminal bribery, because teachers’ power and wealth come from politicians.
If we put our heads in the sand, if we subjugate ourselves to the influence that teacher unions buy, if we do nothing, our great grandchildren will live in a nation of know-nothings. That will be great for corporations that want cheap labor, great for politicians who don’t want an informed electorate, and great for teachers who want passive acquiescence. It will be far from great for our great grandchildren.