New Mission

New Mission

My idea is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues. I’d like to see different successful schools, wherever they may be, up close. I’d like to sit down with directors and administrators. I’d like to speak with government officials who keep a pulse on the education affairs of their communities. I want to learn more about education around the globe through speaking with locals, seeing the schools, and shaking hands with the people responsible for implementing the systems. If you know of any outstanding (public or private) special needs schools in other parts of the world, I’d love to hear about them. If you know any education experts from around the world, I’d love to be introduced to them. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas. Read more about my mission.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

The Teachers Union Needs to Examine Its Priorities

The New York Post reported today that the teachers union spent $6.3 million to lobby for traditional public schools and teachers tenure while fighting to limit charter schools, which I think raises some serious concerns about what the teachers unions have come to represent, what their priorities are, and how they are spending their money.  Teachers serve the important role of instructing and molding our children but politics seeems to get in the way of that mission, and the concept of doing what is best for our children has been eclipsed by the teachers unions' fight to protect their teachers.  Shouldn't tenure be a mechanism for rewarding the good teachers rather than a way to insulate the bad ones?  The recent abolishment of NYC's "rubber rooms," for instance, suggests that we will not insulate teachers who have committed serious errors just because they are teachers.  So why should tenure be used as a source of immunity for teachers who are doing a poor job.

And with respect to the public school vs. charter school debate, what would happen if it were established that charter schools really do correlate with increased student progress (more research needed): would the teachers unions continue its opposition because they have become accustomed to the benefits and security offered by the union?  What if the teachers union saved some of the millions of dollars being used to lobby for public schools and against charter schools, and instead utilized that money in a way that could improve the public school system?  Perhaps to incentivize and reward good performance of its good teachers.  The rights of children to receive an appropriate education should come first.