Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Teacher's unions will be the death of us all

'Waiting for Superman' is a film highly critical of our educational system, and particularly the public teacher's unions who hold our children's futures hostage for their own pathetic benefit. There is no greater evil present among the civilized than those who use children as pawns, whether hiding behind them as Islamic terrorists do to avoid being shot at and bombed, or these public teachers unions who through the tenure system deny our children a decent education because they are more concerned about their lucrative and indecent public pensions than they are about the quality of children's education and their future.
This film was not directed and co-written by a radical, right wing conservative: Davis Guggenheim also produced Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth' which leans decidedly left in its views on the man made global warming hoax.
Public teachers unions are killing our education system as well as killing our global competitive position in the marketplace because they value teacher tenure over teacher accomplishment. Public teachers are not promoted and retained because of core competencies at their specific topic of education. Not at all. The teachers union retain and promote teachers solely on how long they have been paying their union dues, i.e. tenure. A public teacher in many of our districts gains tenure after a measly three years in the classroom, and accordingly a secure job for their lifetime regardless of how they perform in that classroom.
All labor unions, regardless of the business they are involved in, strive to achieve one and only one goal for their members: more guaranteed pay for less work. That immutable fact is simply not arguable whatsoever. Teachers unions are no different: rather than work until age 65 at their trade and then retire, these insidious public teacher unions have bullied and threatened via strike tactics to reduce the length of time their members work until retirement (age 52 in many public school districts, or 30 years of teaching), and have also reduced the time required to reach tenure to as little as three years on the job (the point at which the member achieves lifetime union benefits).
After three years, there is no point in getting better at teaching, no point at all. Their job is secure, and many public union teachers simply phone it in from there over the remainder of their career. Once they hit 30 years, 27 of those years mediocre at best performance wise, they can retire with 75% of their full time income for the remainder of their lives, along with 3 or 4% cost of living adjustments annually.
How is this system possibly sustainable? To have a 52 year old retired teacher, living large on the public dime for the rest of their lives while the district they left has to hire yet another teacher to replace the able bodied slug that cashed in? The math is simple: the teacher that cashed in at age 52 earned perhaps $70,000 after 30 years in the typical school district. They will retire with full health care costs paid for and $52,500 annually for another 28 years or so on average. The district will replace that teacher with a rookie public teacher union employee, and pay that teacher (with full health care benefits) $40K to start.
The community in which their union operates accordingly is paying the $52,500 for the non-working teacher (the retired union teacher), along with $40K annually for the young replacement union teacher, and full health care benefits for both. That may be $125,000 and rising each year - PER TEACHING SLOT!! And this is probably a wild underestimation as to the actual costs per district per teaching slot. If the rookie teacher puts in their 30 and retires at age 52 and a new 'rookie-rookie replacement must be hired, and the long ago retired slug lives beyond age 82, then (in current dollars), the district is footing the bill for not only the $40K for a new rookie, but $52,500 for the old rookie newly retired, and $52,500 plus all of those cost of living hikes, perhaps another $35,000, for the 82 year old retiree's pension, PLUS ALL THE HEALTH CARE, and the math starts looking just awful - PER TEACHING SLOT: $200,000 ANNUALLY? $250,000 EACH YEAR, MAYBE? PROBABLY HIGHER THAN THAT AND INCREASING EVERY DAY!!!
Unsustainable. Simply unsustainable. And we haven't even discussed how badly these slacking, unmotivated tenured union teachers are phoning in their work to our children. And we haven't even scratched the surface as to how many teacher's union administrators have been provided with feather bed jobs that are redundant, unnecessary and useless. And of course, we haven't discussed the retirement benefits, health care benefits , etc. of all of these unnecessary and superfluous administrators who also retire at age 52.
And what do we hear, year after year from these unions? We need MORE MONEY!! IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN!! Hogwash and balderdash. Our public school system is awash in taxpayer money, and all of it goes to the union featherbedding of its members for life, all the while their tax base supports these slackers in perpetuity, immune from downturns in the economy, immune from responsibility and accountability.
The educational system as we know it now has to de-certify each and every public union, including teacher's unions, immediately if not sooner. The costs of this unsustainable system will be the death of us all in the long run.
We are already starting to wither and die in the short and medium run. Everyone with eyes can see this as the truth. And this commentary on the sad shape of public education, 'Waiting for Superman' exposes these greedy unions as for what they are: leeches, and parasites on our society.


Silverfiddle said...

Only a liberal could devise such a system...

My solution? Privatize it! Every damn bit of it.

Let Wal Mart, Montessori, defense contractors, whoever, start a school and compete for business.

That's the only way we'll see an improvement.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Hey Fredd,

Not much to add here as I agree with you and that of Silver.

We have lost at least two generations to this utter failure.

Fredd said...

Silver and Christopher:

It is indeed an awful situation. Much has been lost already, and privatization is too slow in materializing (charter schools, of sorts). Charter schools, though, also get state money, and that is not a good thing in the long run, either.

Kid said...

The more money we give the schools, the worse they get. We are rewarding bad behavior. Therefore we will get more of it in scale with what we reward them.

The Federal government has no business being involved education.

For the most part, I figure the mob has taken over the school system.

The Chris Cristie video where he shines a light on reality for the teacher who came to give him a hard time is a great vid.

Fredd said...

Kid: ol' Chris Christie is a real slugger for the cause, I have seen both videos of his recent smack downs of liberals, you just gotta love that guy.

Krystal said...

Privitizing the health care system is the only way to save it. In fact, we need to privitize just about everything "government" job. We'd get more done for a lot less.