James O'Keefe does it again. He got folks to tape a leadership conference for New Jersey's teachers unions. While I do know some good teachers--people who really and truly want to help kids learn, these 'leaders' do not show any of those qualities. What they really are is a reason to get rid of the tenure system altogether since a lot of the video is about how unless you are f***ing a student in the hallway, you can't get fired once you're tenured and how great tenure is because you can get away with almost anything, including using racial slurs to a student's face (anywhere else, that would be a firing offense, apparently in New Jersey, the most that would happen is that the teacher gets demoted). Also, it seems that union leadership conferences in New Jersey include chants and songs about committing assault on the person of the governor of the state. Read the article here and watch Chris Christie's response as well as the O'Keefe video. Christie, as usual, is spot on. The teachers in the video are frightening.
Something that occurred to me while I was watching the video is that this attitude seems to be, in my experience, pervasive through the United States educational system, from K-12 to higher education. I believe that the attitudes shown by the NJ teachers was actually indoctrinated into them during their higher ed experience (since there are so many roadblocks to becoming a teacher if you haven't gone through the entire programming process). As an aside, I find it interesting that a synonym for indoctrination is teaching.
There are two sides of the problem with the educational system in the United States. The first is the fact that the teacher's unions in the US have grown beyond their function into parasitic entities. Instead of working for the good of their constituency, they are working to maintain their own power. One way of doing that is preventing accountability by any teacher to the administration, parents, and the students themselves.
The second side to this coin is government involvement in the educational process and the co-option of that process by the unions. When teachers are having to teach to standardized tests, rather than passing on actual information, when teachers are not required to take more than a few courses in subjects they teach (and pass a standardized test... hmmmm) but instead are taught 'teaching methods' and 'self-esteem building' but don't even have the skills or knowledge to tell if the books that they are using have correct information, then that is a breakdown of the system that is exacerbated by tenure and the unions. Spending has gone through the roof, mainly due to union demands and the increased number of teachers, without any real results.
Himself passed me the below information a few days ago (source: Cato @ Liberty). I think these graphs illustrate my points without my having to elaborate further.....
9 months ago