My personal view is the Education Union is great for teachers but poor for progress in education. I don’t like how the union have tried to bully me (a non-member) to sign up by refusing to represent my colleagues until I and other non-members paid the $500+ yearly membership. I also don’t like how they spend members money and are resistant to most proposed changes and innovations in education.
Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way, makes the same point to the ABC’s Leigh Sales:
LEIGH SALES: How much of a barrier or otherwise have teachers’ unions been in countries that have undertaken major reforms?
AMANDA RIPLEY: A big barrier. I mean, this is one of the surprises, is that everywhere you go in the world, pretty much teachers’ unions are powerful, there are contracts in place that principals and school leaders complain about, there are real limits to the ability to dismiss a teacher for performance all over the world. So, you know, be that as it may, it is a challenge in every country.
It is important to mention that:
a. Teachers often require union support because their job is incredibly difficult and stressful
b. Unions play a positive role in teachers’ lives.
c. Assessing the performance of a teacher isn’t easy to do and often such an appraisal deserves to be contested vigorously.
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