If you want an accurate analysis of the Wisconsin teacher protests as a microcosm of the nation’s teaching force’s feelings, read Diane Ravitch’s CNN editorial.
Not only does she discuss the growing anger of teachers everywhere, but she points out the hypocritical nature of the “reformers” and those elected officials who claim to be improving the system:
One must wonder how it is possible to talk of improving schools while cutting funding, demoralizing teachers, cutting scholarships to college, and increasing class sizes.
One point I might add to her article, especially about the value of collective bargaining, is this: five states currently do not have collective bargaining rights, and they rank near or at the bottom of the ACT and SAT rankings. Take a look for yourself:
- South Carolina – 50th.
- North Carolina – 49th.
- Georgia – 48th.
- Texas – 47th.
- Virginia – 44th.
What teachers and their bargaining bodies advocate are not simply about pay, benefits, and pensions; they advocate for research-based ways to improve student learning as well, and the results are favorable to both teachers and students.