Saturday, February 19, 2011

Do teacher unions want collaboration or conflict?

The same question could be asked of education reformers.  Although everyone seems to agree with the recent calls for civility, much of the rhetoric and actions we're seeing in the current debate is not amicable.

Some consider Wisconsin Governor Walker a bully for pushing an agenda to strip teachers of their rightful union rights.  On the other hand, the Governor says he will not be bullied by the teacher unions.

Big Government served up a list of antagonistic actions by teachers.  Here are a few:

• Last summer, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis told union members, “When we join forces together with our parents, our students and our communities and fight smart – well, they haven’t seen a fight like this. Not in a long time.”
•Lewis ramped up the rhetoric at a rally last fall, telling union members, “I’m not wearing earrings because we’re in a fight, a real fight.”
•United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew attacked New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, saying “It’s apparent the mayor shares his definition of democracy with Hosni Mubarak.”
•In a recent letter to union members, Indiana Federation of Teachers President Rick Muir repeatedly refers to the state’s education reform efforts as a “war.” “Make no mistake about it,” Muir writes, “we will lose the war if we sit back and do nothing.”

It was disheartening to see all the negative posters on display during the teachers' march on the Wisconsin legislature.  Ann Althouse posted photos here and here.

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