Thursday, April 26, 2012

Groucho may have been right

Last week, I sat on a panel of union members interviewing one of the candidates for state legislature in my area.  I am a full member of the union, though with reservations.  I found it hard to ask questions so laced with self-interest, and I ended up unsure whether I could support the candidate BECAUSE he was so stridently union.  "Over my dead body," he assured us regarding any legislation that would undermine public employee unions.

It seems to me that the urgency of protecting the union is treating the symptom, rather than the disease.  The social climate regarding schools is poisonous--distrust fouls the air.  Those who distrust teachers want accountability.  Those same are distrusted by teachers, who respond by seeking mechanisms of protection.

If the reformers spent some more time in class rooms and worked along with teachers, rather than mandating at them, we might have a chance at real trust-building that minimized the need for convoluted and ineffective instruments of accountability and protection.

Short of that, I may need to invoke a stylization of Groucho and get out of this club that wants me as a member.

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