“Only 7% of Detroit Public-School 8th Graders Proficient in Reading”
Which naturally means the President of the United States should interfere with the state’s attempts at reforming a broken public sector union that is draining Michigan of resources and preventing any real reform to education.
Because he’s for the children. And, as it happens, for those public sector employees who essentially hold the state hostage during each “collective bargaining” go round — vs those who wish to opt out of unions, and the dues that go to fund the money laundering and the quid pro quo that occurs between union leadership and the Democratic Party, all at the expense of the taxpayer. CNS:
In the public schools in Detroit, Mich., according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 7 percent of the eighth graders are grade-level proficient or better in reading.
Some public school teachers in the City of Detroit and around the state of Michigan are reportedly taking a vacation or a sick day today to protest right-to-work legislation likely to be approved by the state legislature. Under current law, Michigan public school teachers must pay dues to the teachers’ union. If the right-to-work law is enacted, Michigan public-school teachers will be free to join the union and pay dues to it if they wish, but they will also be free not to join the union and not to pay it dues.
Statewide in Michigan, only 32 percent of public-school eighth graders scored grade-level proficient or better in reading, and only 31 percent scored grade-level proficient or better in math.
68 percent of Michigan public-school eighth graders are not proficient in reading and 69 percent are not proficient in math.
Over the past decade, Michigan’s public school have shown no improvement at all in teaching children how to read. In 2002 just as in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 32 percent of Michigan public-school eighth graders scored proficient or better in reading.
The state’s public schools have made a slight improvement in teaching math. In 2000, only 28 percent of Michigan public-school eighth graders were proficient or better in math. By 2011, that had inched up to 31 percent.
We used to say that there are no bad students, only bad teachers. And while this adage clearly underestimates the likelihood of truly disruptive and disengaged kids, it remained — for a time — an ideal.
There are plenty of good teachers, but there are plenty of shit teachers as well, those just looking to put in their time so that they can collect their benefits and pensions and enter early retirement. And public sector teacher’s unions, for instance — because they are based around seniority and tenure rather than performance — are in the business of protecting the mediocre and the poor at the expense, oftentimes, of promoting the excellent.
Now, I have nothing against self-interest and a desire to protect that self-interest. But at the same time, it’s perfectly fair to point out that what these clashes with public sector unions are often about are simply that: the battle between taxpayers funding the inefficient, ineffective system promoted and guarded by, eg., the teacher’s unions, who don’t wish to be challenged; and taxpayers looking for another way to allow qualified teachers to teach their children without those qualified teachers having to answer to union bosses and contribute to the political agenda that keeps them as individual educators powerless to affect any real or broad change.
That is to say, it’s fair to point out that the public sector unions often put their own interests ahead of those they are claiming to champion — and yet then they turn around and try to claim some moral authority to an increase in pay and benefits, despite poor performance, because they are selflessly giving to the children.
And we all know that to be horseshit. Otherwise the performance would be better, and these teachers wouldn’t be more heavily invested in p0litics and union fights than they are in elevating student performance.
Once again, Obama is on the wrong side of the issue. Regardless of whether or not an ill-informed public, spun by emotional appeals and shame tactics, back the public sector unions or not.
The truth exists outside of any faulty consensus declaration of said truth. Which is why reality has so often and so demonstrably beaten back and crippled economically unsustainable economies.