Teacher Unions Under the Light – Long Overdue


If it wasn’t for the “perception” that the BC Teachers Union (BCTF) was dominating the BC College of Teachers (BCCT) we would not have the benefit being enjoyed now of scrutinizing our teacher unions, particularly in BC.

In America there have been tons of books blaming the teacher unions for public education failures for years:

– The Worm in the Apple: How the teacher unions are destroying American education (Brimelow)

– The Teacher Unions: How they sabotage educational reform and why (Lieberman)

– NEA (National Education Association): Trojan Horse in American Education (Blumenfeld)

– The War Against Hope: How teachers’ unions hurt children, hinder teachers and endanger public education (Paige)

– etc., etc.

We now see a third movie in the USA hitting the topic:  “Waiting for Superman” which will show in Vancouver very soon.  The earlier movies were “The Cartel," written and directed by Bob Bowdon, and "The Lottery," by director Madeleine Sackler.

It’s this third movie that might do the trick.  That is, be the cataclysmic event that will discharge the teacher unions from their parasitic dominance in public education.  One commentator likened one of the teacher union leaders to "something of a foaming satanic beast".

You may wonder about the title, “Waiting for Superman”.  Well, one of the heroes in the movie said that as a poor child, in a poor school, he prayed every night for Superman to save him.  Today he is a zealous leading light in educational reform.

Lest our average teachers feel they are being attacked unfairly, STOP !  This is not teacher-bashing !

This latest movie makes very clear the distinction:

"It's very, very important to hold two contradictory ideas in your head at the same time," Newsweek commentator Jonathan Alter says in the film. "Teachers are great, a national treasure. Teachers' unions are, generally speaking, a menace and an impediment to reform."

Thank the gods above and below for a chance to talk about these issues in BC.  Even after the Avison Report I hope we can keep on talking about where some of the faults lie in our education system.

(by Tunya Audain 100926, comment to The Report Card blog by Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun Education Reporter on post: “Update on Don Avison's review of BC College of Teachers” 100921)

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