When the President Joe Biden in March 2021 gave his first prime-hour address, he pointedly pointed out one thing yes unified virtually all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic: a shared sense of sacrifice.
“We all lost something — a collective heartbreak, a collective sacrifice, a year of loss in life and loss for all of us,” Biden said. tell the country.
Parents of school-age children, like myself, are among those who have suffered a terrible price during the pandemic, and continue to do so.
Many students have not received direct instruction for a year and a half. “Distance learning” is widely accepted as a pathetic failure. In places where schools have now reopened, strict COVID-19 safety rules on amazing effect made the typical school experience a shell of its own. The spiritual and educational charge of innocent children may never be fully accounted for. People are starting to pay attention.
Despite all this, parents continue to be asked that they be flexible, and so we did.
Most Americans who have learned to adapt because of COVID and its variants could not be more concerned with our plans or priorities. Coronavirus runs the show. So the masses — the working poor in America strangled every day and paying taxes to fund teachers’ salaries and pensions — have learned to adjust.
But two years after the pandemic, many teacher unions simply opted out flexibly. They will not adapt to changing circumstances the way we have come to expect over the past two years. Again, people are starting to notice.
I recently wrote a column blew up teachers’ unions to stage – after the Christmas break – the brief closure of the Chicago School District. With little advance warning, the nation’s third-largest school district was shuttered when Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey announced that the majority of its members had chosen to learn remotely. Sharkey stated that the district failed to ensure its schools and classrooms were safe enough for returning teachers.
More than 340,000 students were forced to stay home for several days. At the last minute, parents were scrambling to come up with a plan to both look after their children and do the household chores.
Ironically, you would think that an organized workforce would intuitively understand the value of collective service. So much for the so-called partnership between teachers and parents.
Teachers from all over the country responded to the column by instinctively attacking me. Many people have challenged me to step away from the keyboard and spend a day teaching in the classroom.
Been there done that. I was a public school substitute teacher for five years at the age of twenty to support my writing habits. My wife has been a Montessori teacher and dyslexia specialist for twice as long, and now she is studying to work with students as a speech therapist.
But we are also parents of three teenagers, and so we know well what other parents think of the public school system. It is not good.
More worrisome is the fact that so many people seem willing to go along with the ridiculous idea that criticizing teachers’ unions is by expanding the attack on the ranks and profiles of teachers — who which my critics seem to imply is above humiliation.
The answer got me thinking about how many Americans were eligible to see unions. Do we consider any criticism of police unions an attack on individual police officers? And do we require law enforcement experience before people can comment on police matters? Are you sure.
Americans need to understand and accept the view that unions – no matter who they represent – are an organism of their own and that they are often quite effective at doing what they are supposed to do: protecting the interests of the people. their members, even if doing so undermines the interest of society.
And public sector unions, unlike private sector unions, do not negotiate with bosses or corporations. While serving the public, they negotiate with elected officials, whose campaigns are often funded by the public sector unions themselves.
Technically, teachers work for taxpayers, which means they work for parents. But you’ll never know it, thanks to the overwhelming influence of teacher unions. Parents have no control over their “employees”.
Public school teachers and administrators like to declare that parents are fully cooperative partners in their children’s education. It is primarily a device to encourage parents to ensure that their children do their homework.
That’s also true, because, in this strange partnership, bosses (parents) have no say in whether their employees (teacher) go to work in the morning. And when parents need help educating their children during a pandemic, while also dealing with the demands of work, their spouse is often nowhere to be found.
This is no longer an internal matter of the school system. It has grown larger than that and spilled over into politics. In the US, more and more parents believe they lack control over their children’s learning. And for the millions of people who have spent 18 months or more of distance learning, they believe it more than before.
It is true that, in the private sector, organized labor is struggling. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 10.8% of private sector workers are unionized.
But, on the other hand, civil servants’ unions are doing well. And they will continue to do well as long as they can successfully promote Democratic politicians who want to continue to maintain their goodwill. Their members remain extremely loyal and stand ready to defend them whenever the unions come under attack.
Whether they accept it or not, teachers – and the unions that represent them – are part of that society. They are part of a collective. They need to start acting like it.