Unions standing in the way of progress? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!
The Boston Herald reports that a plan that rewards teachers whose students receive passing grades on Advanced Placement tests — and offers incentives for the students, too — is, predictably, being opposed by the Boston Teachers Union.
Grinchlike union bosses are blocking at least 200 of Boston’s best teachers from pocketing bonuses for their classroom heroics in a puzzling move that gets a failing grade from education experts.
The Boston Teachers Union staunchly opposes a performance bonus plan for top teachers – launched at the John D. O’Bryant School in 2008 and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and Exxon Mobil foundations – insisting the dough be divvied up among all of a school’s teachers, good and bad.
“It’s insanity,” said Jim Stergios, executive director of the nonpartisan Pioneer Institute. “They’re less concerned about promoting the interest of individual members than maintaining control over their members.”
The union, of course, describes it differently. In a classic case of asserting his union’s power over the interests of teachers and students, head honcho Richard Stutman insists that good teachers and bad alike should receive bonuses:
“There’s no one solely responsible for the development of these students… They should all share in the money.”
But by denying the bonuses, the union places itself squarely in opposition to progress and betterment of Boston schools and Boston students, both of which for the most part can use all the help they can get.
…[B]y thwarting performance bonuses, the union is hurting students, argued Morton Orlov, president of the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative at MassINSIGHT, the business-backed group that administers the bonuses.
Orlov said the 10 state schools that accept the bonuses saw a 39 percent increase in students who passed the AP exam.
Why, oh why do we allow unions to have such a deleterious effect on the education of our children, when those unions clearly don’t have the best interests of the students — or even the teachers — at heart?