Education is on my mind these days as I’ve got two posts coming up this week on higher education. But today we’re looking at the situation in Wisconsin.
I don’t think there is any simple solution: my father was a public school teacher; Kris’ father was a public school teacher; we have family members who are public school teachers; I coached high school basketball for a decade with public school teachers. For me this isn’t about teachers qua teachers, but about fiscal responsibility. My experience with public school teachers is that they are hard-working and passionate about their profession.
This article below reveals there’s more going on here that budget cuts and collective bargaining. There is a widespread distrust of public schooling in America, and teachers have to bear the brunt of a criticism that is often ignorant and wildly uninformed.
The uprising in Madison is symptomatic of a simmering rage among the nation’s teachers. They have grown angry and demoralized over the past two years as attacks on their profession escalated….Now conservative governors and mayors want to abolish teachers’ right to due process, their seniority, and — in some states — their collective bargaining rights. Right-to-work states do not have higher scores than states with strong unions. Actually, the states with the highest performance on national tests are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, and New Hampshire, where teachers belong to unions that bargain collectively for their members….
The real story in Madison is not just about unions trying to protect their members’ hard-won rights. It is about teachers who are fed up with attacks on their profession. A large group of National Board Certified teachers — teachers from many states who have passed rigorous examinations by an independent national board — is organizing a march on Washington in July. The events in Madison are sure to multiply their numbers.
As the attacks on teachers increase and as layoffs grow, there are likely to be more protests like the one that has mobilized teachers and their allies and immobilized the Wisconsin Legislature.