Monday, March 10, 2008

Teaching Change

New York Times
Published: March 10, 2008

WHEN teachers at two Denver public schools demanded more control over their work days, they ran into opposition from a seemingly odd place: their union. The teachers wanted to be able to make decisions about how time was used, hiring and even pay. But this ran afoul of the teachers’ contract. After a fight, last month the union backed down — but not before the episode put a spotlight on the biggest challenge and opportunity facing teachers’ unions today.

While laws like No Child Left Behind take the rhetorical punches for being a straitjacket on schools, it is actually union contracts that have the greatest effect over what teachers can and cannot do. These contracts can cover everything from big-ticket items like pay and health care coverage to the amount of time that teachers can spend on various activities.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think that the school system must focus on
1) dismantling the good old boy network
2) get rid of or demote teachers that consistenly scores "1's" on AP math tests
3) Find people that are willing to act as supervisors that will insist on excellence, and when the norm is crappy performance on standardized test that are so important as the AP exams, get willing and able bodies into take over the teaching of said classes.