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Anne Hendrickson (not verified)

I grew up in a family, in

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I grew up in a family, in which my father, mother and sister are life-long members of the UAW. I have been active in the Communication Workers of America and I am, currently, an NEA member. I find anti-union statements to be very offensive. Many people are totally unaware of labor history. Many schools do not teach students about this important part of our national heritage. Unions brought many folks the 8 hour day, weekends, holidays, liveable wages, medical insurance, etc. However, let's get real! Teachers work more than 8 hours a day and, usually, on weekends in order to plan and to correct student work. Has anyone ever read a union newsletter? The NEA newsletter is filled with ideas and examples, so that teachers can be effective. The newsletter from the NEA and Edutopia are my two favorite places to find out about how to better serve my students.
Pernell Collett (not verified)

I think that unions act as a

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I think that unions act as a "check" against abuses from uninformed individuals who have the best of intentions, but the worst of ideas. Ultimately, unions are there to protect the work environment of teachers so they can best serve the final consumer: the students. Some business leaders, rabble-rousers and others who are anti-employee (regardless of occupation) are the very reasons that unions exist in education and in other fields. We need to remember that if we do not make things better for children in schools, we ultimately fail society.
Paul K. Betts (not verified)

A couple of comments: 1. I

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A couple of comments: 1. I fully agree with Larry Leverett's bullet points as strategies to address school improvement issues, especially in cooperation with professional organizations/unions such as the NEA and the AFT and their affiliates. To disregard the impact and influence of these organization and the impact and influence of parent and community groups merely polarizes all "sides" causing everyone to assume entrenched positions and, therefore, minimal (if any) progress. 2. Mr. Leverett's main bullet point, however, should have been his thoughts and necessary actions based upon his moment of enlightenment, i.e., the too often ignored responsibility of school administrators to supervise, evaluate, and document the performance of school personnel. This, after all, is one of the main avenues that needs to repaired in the road to school improvement. The responsibility of the union is to ensure that the rights of a worker are not violated. 3. Mr. Bowers, on the other hand, confuses the defense of workers' rights with a "bending-over-backwards" posture of management. School managers must manage their schools to the highest standards. That means that one of their responsibilities is to thoroughly assess the performance of each employee. This is doing their jobs, not bending over backwards. Unions don't protect substandard teachers. Unions protect against substandard school managers/administrators. Please, bring us more articles like this...
Jamie (not verified)

The biggest problem I see in

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The biggest problem I see in today's educational environment is the unwillingness of local and state boards of education to ALLOW NEEDED DISCIPLINE!!! There is no consequence for action! This goes contrary to phrases within those BOE's own LAWS and REGULATIONS, to wit: "discipline shall be maintained to offer a safe and secure environment conducive to learning." However, when administrators try to enforce these provisions the BOE's threaten to remove them instead of the offending student. And of course it is the master plan of the democratic party to lead education to failure in order to make people MORE RELIANT on government, and the people's taxes instead of putting money INTO education. CONGRESSMEN and SENATORS, whether state or federal, are grossly overpaid; while we who would dare attempt to educate our future leaders are scraping by! DO DARE BLAME THE TEACHERS or their unions!
Terry Forsyth (not verified)

I am an educator no longer

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I am an educator no longer working in the classroom. My goal as a classroom professional was to teach in such a manner as to make a real difference in the lives of my students and in my community. I continue working in the field of education with the same goal. I work to make a difference for all children, my own included. When I am no longer able to do that I will resign from the field. My union provides me the opportunity to continue the work with everything from mentoring new teachers to quality professional development opportunities. I believe that it is vitally important to work with people to improve their skills whether they be students or teachers. I am opposed to throwing people away because they are experiencing a rough spot in their lives whether they be students or teachers. Investing in improvement through quality educational experiences works for the betterment of students, teachers and communities.
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