Education Unions

The UFT and New York City school policy

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has been keen to show how he his different from his predecessor Michael Bloomberg. As I’ve argued elsewhere, nowhere is this clearer than in school policy. This is even reflected in the ease with which teachers are now getting tenure.
Bloomberg …

Philly: More dubious budget reporting from NYTimes

The NY Times finally decided to jump in with its take on the controversial story of Philadelphia’s school reform commission cancelling the teachers’ contract. Not surprisingly, in a story largely sympathetic to teachers (pointing out, for instance, that they make less in salary than neighboring suburban teacher) the Times ignores most of the relevant fiscal facts…

The legal landscape of forced dues

One of the major Supreme Court cases of last term, Harris v. Quinn, has spawned other cases challenging forced dues or agency fee payments in the public sector as a violation of non-union member employees’ First Amendment rights. At the top of the list is Friedrichs v. …

Did the UFT leadership go too far with Sharpton?

Al Sharpton’s rally on Staten Island this weekend to protest Eric Garner’s death due to a police choke-hold came and went peacefully. But the rally laid bare significant divisions between members of the United Federation of Teachers and the union’s leadership as well as tensions …

The tie that binds public employee unions and Wall Street

Some people think that public employee unions can serve, as private sector unions once did, as a counterweight to wealthy business interests. However, when it comes to a hugely important area of public policy, pensions, the unions are more often allies than adversaries with investment …

Philly schools “inadequate” at $12,000 per student

The Philadelphia school system last month projected spending about $2.4 billion next year to educate about 200,000 students. The state commission that runs the city’s schools, however, wants millions of dollars in additional spending just to offer what it claims would still be an “inadequate” education. How is it that a school district that spends more than the national average per student can’t manage ? One look at its personnel costs and perks, including exploding pensions and legal services for union members, gives you an idea why…

Judge’s tenure ruling adds needed truths to crucial debate

Once in a while, a court ruling is so clear-headed and sensible that it shocks the political establishment. Such was the case with Tuesday’s ruling by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu in a case involving tenure and other protections for California teachers. …

A blow to teacher tenure in California

A California judge has ruled that the state’s teacher tenure laws, dismissal procedures, and lay-off processes are unconstitutional because they violate students’ civil rights to an equal education. These provisions, the judge argued, “shock the conscience,” and are akin to segregated schools in the old …

Democrats Against Themselves

The divisions within the Democratic Party are vividly on display in the politics of education.  One fault line  is between populists, such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the newly elected Mayor of Newark Ras Baraka, and moderates, such as Chicago Mayor …

Union’s tax initiative sparks Nevada Democratic civil war

An initiative sponsored by the Nevada State Education Association, the state’s teachers’ union, to raise taxes on businesses by some $700 million has drawn a thumbs-down from the state’s AFL-CIO, which this weekend voted to join major business groups in opposing the so-called Education Initiative…