Re: “Unions legally obligated to members first” (letter, 9-17).
The writer tells it like it is. The educational needs of our children have always held a subordinate place in comparison to what is in the self-interest of the teachers’ union membership and its leadership, as is the case with all “trade” unions.
The trouble is, this trade union is responsible for preparing coming generations for competition in a world marketplace with countries whose children spend more hours per week in schools with more demanding curricula, especially in math and science. Past abusive working conditions for teachers are no longer credible reasons to justify union claims of victimization – not in this age of employee protections, decent pay for the most part and generous benefits.
Our school boards of education were elected – and their leadership hired – to direct all available/professional resources to the mission of educating children to our highest standards. The mission of the teachers’ union runs at cross purposes.
Union objections to the use of student achievement test scores (as one of the pieces of teacher performance evaluations) because they are contaminated by out-of-school factors like poverty, parenting skills, etc., remind me of a student who thought he deserved to get a passing grade because he showed up in class.
(Hagener is a retired Tacoma school psychologist.)