This dispute in New Jersey between the district and union falls in line with a national trend. Perhaps the most effective resolution is for the Obama administration to require unions to collaborate and remain active stakeholders in the full proposal process.
I firmly believe that unions can be a good thing, a strong counterbalance to the forces that drive companies to wring every last dollar out of every single transaction, whether with their customer or their employee. But that's not the whole story, so let's run through it.
The Waiting for Superman director discusses what it takes to be an effective teacher today and his hopes for his children. "It would be the happiest day of my life," says Guggenheim, "if my son or daughter came to me and said, 'Dad, I want to be a teacher.'"
The working conditions for teachers in North Carolina have become untenable. On Facebook and Twitter, I am inundated with updates from my home state, pleas from fellow North Carolina Teaching Fellow alumni about their bottom-of-the-barrel pay and their worthless Master's degrees.
The Springboro Board of Education angered local residents after posting contract proposals in the midst of negotiations with the teacher's union, but another recent event has overshadowed the efforts of the president and other members of the board to privatize Springboro schools.
When kids first learn to cross the street, we tell them to stop, look both ways and assess the traffic before they proceed. Similarly, when it comes to decisions affecting the education of millions of our nation's public school students, we should exercise the same common sense.
Public employee unions face a new, and mortal, threat. It's not the unfunded liability of union pension plans or municipal governments' resort to bankruptcy to void union contracts. No, the new existential threat facing government unions comes from... the First Amendment.
While the CTU didn't get everything they were after, their organizing raised awareness about the larger trends towards privatization and increasing isolation of the lowest income children in inferior, under-resourced schools.