Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Non-Union Teachers Group

Utah has definitely been making the headlines recently. I paid close attention to the fight for state wide school choice and was distraught when it did not go through. Initially, it looked like voters liked the idea, so I wondering what had happened. Then I realized, it was the work of the teacher’s union in Utah (UEA) and the National Education Association (NEA) that destroyed the progress choice was making in Utah. It is greatly unfortunate that a union, one said to represent the schools and the students, would waste millions of dollars fighting against a bill that could have done great things to the public education in Utah. I have come to the conclusion the unions are not always making the right decisions for the schools or the children. As individual teachers, they may be great, but when it comes down to collective bargaining, etc, I think they lose sight of what their main mission as a teacher should be.

An article in the Salt Lake City Tribune discusses the relatively new non-union in Utah. It sounds like it may have potential to make wise decisions for the children and for public schools. I am hoping the UEA and NEA do not use their power and money to find a way to discredit them or destroy them, just like we witnessed in the choice movement. I also hope this new group finds ways to actually do things to help the kids. One thing about this group I found interesting was that “most of his group's members were against vouchers, but the group's position was to let the public decide and then work with the outcome.” First of all, it gives me hope that some members do agree with vouchers, and secondly, that this group will not force its opinion on everyone, hopefully. The article also noted that Missouri has such a group as well. There was mention that some states had more members in the non-union groups than in the unions. Hopefully, Missouri will be one of them, and hopefully, it will make some better choices for Missouri schools. Giving choice a chance would be a great place to start.

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