Former LAUSD teacher identifies union missteps around evaluations
Why Teachers Unions Are Losing Support
Original article in Education Week's Walt Gardner's Reality Check by Walt Gardner.
As readers of this column know, I've long supported teachers unions. I haven't changed my view. But the events described above are going to backfire by turning off voters who are on the fence. I don't blame them for their new disaffection. Why should teachers who willingly want to take part in an experimental program be discouraged from doing so? Even though standardized test scores have been found to be unreliable in identifying effective instruction ("Problems With The Use Of Student Test Scores To Evaluate Teachers," Economic Policy Institute, Aug. 29, 2010), I believe there is a need for further confirmation to settle the matter once and for all. By taking the position it has, UTLA is unwittingly shooting itself in the foot. Its action will be seen by many as further proof that teachers unions exist primarily to protect its members, rather than to serve students.