I just read a blog of a friend of mine who saw “Waiting for Superman”. For those of you who have not seen this movie, take the 90 minutes and take a look.
The basis of the movie is how our educational system is broken, the people out there trying to fix it, and running into the traditional roadblocks of unions and poor administration trying to protect their personal interests.
I’ve written several blogs about how I believe unions are bad for education, and really, most public jobs. I don’t belong, nor would I ever belong to a union, not because I don’t believe in their validity, but because they would restrict my ability to earn to my potential.
I actually believe unions are in place because administrators are lazy, that administrators don’t want to do the hard work of evaluating their employees. It’s easier to index everyone into one standard, no matter how different the output is. Oversight is hard work. And, this is the bargain we’ve made.
So, as I rail against unions, and more specifically teachers’ unions, it’s not about wanting to reduce the pay of teachers. I don’t like that great and poor teachers are paid the same. Where is the incentive to be excellent? Why should that great teacher be paid the same as the poor teacher? And, why are we even paying a poor teacher?
I’ve always felt that education should be about the kids, not job protection. Yes, we need to be fair to the teacher, but the only way to do that is to treat them differently, not the same. The good teacher should be paid more, much more.
Maybe, with that system, we’ll draw better teachers, instead of people choosing an occupation because it has three months off in the summer with an almost lifetime guarantee, and retirement benefits before the age of 60.
We need to do better.