I just made this comment on a newspaper online forum, and I wanted to share it here too.
My thoughts on public sector unions. Especially the teachers unions. I don’t mind paying for something, as long as I know what I’m getting, and get what I’m paying for. But I would like to have a choice in the matter.
First, Nationally our schools are failing. Period. The recent fights in WI have encouraged me to do a little research. The following information can be found at nationsreportcard dot gov. In 2009 12th graders nationally have the following proficiency levels.
- Reading 5% Advanced. 33% proficient. (No real change over 20 years) 36% basic. 26% below basic.
Math 3% Advanced. 23% proficient. 38% basic. 36% below basic.
Science 1% Advanced. 20% proficient. 39% basic. 40% below basic.
Keep in mind that these numbers have not changed by more than a few points in either direction since Carter started the Dept. of Education that doesn’t educate. Also that (adjusted for inflation) we spend over triple on education that we did in 1978.
I would like to make an analogy to buying a car. I think it’s a good analogy, considering our keiki are far more important. Would you buy a car from a company that boasted the following?
- 5% of our cars are perfect, as long as you change the oil, it will not have a single problem for 50 years. 35% of our cars will perform like we advertise. They will get you from here to there, all the computer, and mechanical equipment will function normally, and the life of the car will probably be around 200,000 miles. 40% of our cars will get you from point A to point B, but don’t expect anything else to work. Good luck with the radio, lights, turn signals, power steering, A/C, windows, and locks. They might work, they might not. 15% of our cars won’t make it to the gas station. But you didn’t read the fine print. If you happen to get one of these cars, no refund, we are not liable.
Yet we still don’t see the problems with having an all powerful teachers union that is not responsible for the results. For those that care, I would suggest watching a movie called “Waiting for Superman”.
<edit> If you’d like to do some of your own research into the public sector unions and exactly what is at stake in Wisconsin (can you say grand larceny, writ large?) we’ve been having a discussion on NewsBusters with great cites and a wealth of information. Basically, the real deal about the fury over the loss of “collective bargaining for benefits” is that unions want to continue to force the State to buy its teachers’ health insurance benefits from the Union Trust!
~ Blonde Gator