My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Teachers' Unions Throwing Up More Barriers To Meaningful Reform 

I have long held that one of the greatest impediments to education reform is the teachers unions.

And let me--again--emphasize UNIONS. Teachers are usually too busy working to make bonehead decisions like this one. Only the Big Education interests that run the Unions would make a dumb choice like this.

Denver Public Schools is eager to offer the largest annual pay increase in memory to its classroom teachers - one of its proposals would hike base salaries an average of 7.7 percent.

There's more. With incentives available through the ProComp performance-pay system, average salaries, the district calculates, would rise by a jaw-dropping 18 percent.

Given the slumping economy, stagnating wages in the private sector and the fact that salaries at other local school districts may not keep pace with inflation, you'd think the Denver Classroom Teachers Association would be all over the offer. Instead, the union has flatly rejected it.

The problem seems to be that the union wants more money directed to the older teachers, with an even distribution of money, while the district wants to dedicate more money to younger teachers and to teachers willing to take on difficult assignments, along with the pay-for-performance program that's already in place.

I agree with the Rocky's assessment:

We hope the district wins the support of rank-and- file teachers because its plan puts the welfare of students first. And it honors the wishes of residents who passed the ProComp mill-levy in 2005 and expected a system that rewards teachers who assume greater risks and accept tougher challenges.

This reminds me of how the JeffCo Teacher's Union held out for a few weeks last year when they had a 6.6% raise on the table because rookie teachers didn't have the same job permanence that tenured teachers enjoy.

Seriously, this is the sort of organization that Bill Ritter wants in the room to help solve the big education issues in the state? I find it laughable to think that any group so narrowly focused on their own well-being would have anything meaningful to add to the discussion of actually improving kids' lives.

But, that's part of the liberal pathology--the needs of the few outweigh the needs of anybody else.

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