The Vergera case is not about ending tenure it’s about destroying labor. (rough draft)

It’s not about tenure, it’s about destroying labor.

Please don’t think for a moment that the Vergera court case
in California was about doing what is best for teachers. No, it was all about
destroying labor as are most of the education reforms being implemented.

The plaintiffs backed by a silicon valley billionaire claimed that
teacher work protections, including tenure, were detrimental and unfair to poor
and mostly minority students. How the judge came to agree is an assault to the

If first year or relatively new teachers are cut before more
experienced teachers that is not only tragic but it is not the fault of teacher
unions either. Unions do not set budgets nor do they let teachers go. Yet
instead of blaming politicians who seem to always cut education first, they
somehow blamed work protections for more experienced teachers and this judge
either bought it or was bought.  

Education reformers would have you believe you can separate the
relationship between teacher and student but the truth is you can’t. They are
symbiotic, they depend on each other to exist. Policies like ignoring
discipline and cutting budgets hurt both children and teachers alike as does destroying
work protections for teachers. This hurts teachers for the obvious reasons but it
also hurts students too because as the teaching profession becomes more and
more unappealing fewer qualified people will enter and stay. Who will teach our kids when they make the profession so unappealing that professionals won’t want to do it? 

We are all saddened when talented new teachers are cut but
the truth is it often takes years for teachers to grow into being effective.
Now are there some rookie teachers that hit the road running and some veteran
teachers that have stayed to long? Of course but the truth is the numbers for
each group are small.  Furthermore if
there is a veteran teacher not doing their job then that isn’t the fault of
unions or work protections either. That’s the fault of an administration that is
not doing its job.

Does it take time and documentation and sometimes even money
to get rid of an ineffective teacher? Again sure but that’s the way it is in
any profession and I remind you that the procedures are mutually agreed upon
between unions and administrations. Unions do not dictate to localities.

Ed Reformers will complain “but unions use their membership
to drive those procedures” as if that is a bad thing. Shouldn’t we all want our
teachers to have good pay and benefits and have procedures in place to make
sure they are treated fairly? Is that to much to ask of society?

The Vegera case would have you believe so but how will kneecapping the teaching profession help
kids? The answer is it won’t but that was never the reason behind it in the first place instead it’s about destroying the power of labor. These billionaires want to be
able to make decisions, many of which they will profit off unencumbered by
groups banded together to look out for their interests even when those interests
are entirely intertwined with the interests of children.  

In Florida there has been a similar court case making its
way through the courts. The plaintiffs not backed by a billionaire took a
different direction however. Instead of blaming teachers and unions they believe
its inadequate resources that are holding our schools and children back.  If we’re saddened by young teachers being cut then lets not cut budgets. If we think teachers have to many work protections, negotiate but be prepared to pay more to have them give up those rights. instead of doing what is right they would have you believe Mrs. Migilicutty at the top of the pay scale at PS this or that is to blame for all the woes in education
I would like to point out that
unions do not create curriculum, establish budgets, set policy nor do they hire
or fire teachers. All they do and all they can do is make sure the mutually
agreed upon contract language is enforced and through their membership lobby
for things they feel are important. In my home state of Florida sometimes they
win like with the parent trigger but more often they lose like with senate bill
736 that ties pay to how students do on standardized tests, something testing
experts say is ridiculous.

The ed reformers are always talking
about the needs for children. If only this were about the needs of children, it’s
not and people shouldn’t think for a second it is.

One Reply to “The Vergera case is not about ending tenure it’s about destroying labor. (rough draft)”

  1. Those who work with the public often need protection from those they serve. People in general can be irrational, unethical, prejudice, down right mean, and many other, nasty, horrible things. This movement to hold teachers accountable for societal issues, like poor parenting, the effects of the media, drugs, etc, is negatively effecting education. You aren't going to have dedicated career educators much longer. Who in their right mind will spend the time and the money to major in education when the average career in education becomes 5 years, especially in a low paid career where people are let go for things they have no control over?

    But on the bright side. It's cheaper to pay for the 'one and done' variety of teacher. We just love 'Teach for America' around here, with it's 2 year obligation and no education degree required.

    I personally know many career educators, and they are the backbone of their schools. Are some burned out…certainly, but not enough to take away the only protections for that entire group.

    Mark my words (yeah go ahead and use that Sharpie on the monitor)….You are not only witnessing, but you are participating in the end of public education as we know it. That same system that made us the greatest nation in the world, somehow came into question, mostly by those who have no right to criticize. We have overhauled something that was not broken, and now it doesn't work right. If we keep up with these major changes (we like to call them initiatives) then it won't work at all. We're almost there now, and remember … when you do nothing… that IS something.

    Stand up for your favorite teachers today.

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