Boston Teachers Union: Promoting Mediocrity

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?



2 Responses to Boston Teachers Union: Promoting Mediocrity

  1. Gerry Ashley says:

    Ironic, don’t you think? A union that ought to be supporting any mechanism that rewards their members for being more productive would stymie such a program?

    And, is it asking too much or placing too high a burden on their brain cells to see the bigger picture? That being the betterment of students in preparing them to compete in a job market that doesn’t look kindly on the ignorant for well-paying jobs (except, obviously, Upper-level Teacher’s Union Official’s positions)?

    But hey… maybe what I saw and experienced in the former Soviet Union was the exception to the rule: All workers in a similar job get paid the same no matter how much experience or the level of quality. It’s the Obamanation of “Spreading The Wealth Around A Little…” to quote “The Chosen One” as he spoke to Joe-The-Plumber.

    OK, so let’s take this concept and go viral with it:

    ALL policemen will get paid the same whether they fight crime or eat donuts during their shift.

    ALL Doctors will get paid the same whether they successfully remove tumors or accidentally knick a major artery in the process of accidentally removing a viable organ instead of the tumor.

    And…wait a second… I wanna make sure Kanye West isn’t “in the house” before I proceed… OK, here we go:

    ALL rap and hip-hop artists will make the same as the others regardless as to whether or not they’ve “got game.”

    ALL movie stars should get paid the same whether their movies bring in $200,000,000 worldwide or tank at the box office.

    Warning: Old Curmudgeon Comment Allert!

    Personally, I had no problem with the old incentive that used to be in place in all schools, regardless of whether in a rich neighborhood or poor. And it was simply this: Students received the reward, not teachers, if they did well. The reward? A higher grade than the dolt sitting next to you who, and a lifetime of knowledge. Priceless!

    Yeah… that Boston Teacher’s Union… I think they’re really on to something… but it’s not quality education, or the student’s best interest.

    I’m just sayin’…

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