Tag archive for education

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…

Benefit costs gobble up more of school budgets

According to a new Census report,¬†America’s public schools spent slightly less in 2011 than they did in 2010, according to a new census report, but the cost of employee benefits continued to grow, reflecting a 20-year trend in which benefit costs have risen much more …

The public school hiring boom in administrators

I’ve written before (here and here, for instance) about our decades-long public schools hiring spree and its impact on local budgets and taxes. Now the Friedman Foundation has a formal study on the issue that looks specifically at the growth of administrative (non-teaching) personnel in …

Zero tolerance for kids, mucho tolerance for teachers

I’ve been asked why I always assume that teachers’ union contracts are designed to protect bad teachers from accountability, given that the average public-school teacher one talks to is aghast at the idea of protecting miscreants. Yet the teachers’ unions and their top officials often …

One win, one loss as California’s legislative session closes

There’s mixed news out of Sacramento today, as the California Legislature barrels toward the midnight deadline to close out its current session. On the upside, AB 5, a bill which would see the teachers unions dictating the terms of teacher evaluations, has died a merciful death. As I noted yesterday, this will leave the state’s education system still in need of reform, but thankfully spared from even further capture by the unions. The news on pensions, however — where Democrat-led “reform” looks prone for passage — is not nearly as heartening

California teachers want to collectively bargain accountability standards

I’ve written here before about California’s AB 5, the proposed law that the all-powerful California Teachers Association is attempting to use as a vessel for union control of teacher evaluations. With the Golden State coming up against its deadline to pass legislation tomorrow, there is a mad dash to get the bill to Jerry Brown’s desk in time. If that happens, the consequences for California’s schoolchildren will be dire

California teachers union attempting to manipulate accountability standards

California lawmakers should be reading their Ralph Waldo Emerson. There’s a great bon mot from the transcendentalist author — “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” — which bears on the future of education in the Golden State. When the California Teachers Association — the enormously powerful union that resists teacher accountability at every turn  — gets behind a bill that claims to implement performance measures for educators, you know it’s too good to be true.

A big win for parents in California charter school fight

California’s educational establishment suffered a rare blow in 2010, when the state became the first in the nation to allow parents of students in underperforming schools to pull a “parent trigger,” a mechanism that allows a majority of dissatisfied parents to compel reform up to and including conversion of a failing public school into a charter. The reform wasn’t perfect — for one thing, it placed a tiny cap on the number of eligible schools — but that hasn’t kept the state’s union-led establishment from opposing it at every turn. Yesterday, in a small town in the Mojave Desert, those reactionary forces were dealt defeat in court.

Look at who they have to deal with

Is this “bargaining in good faith”?

Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union are in the midst of very tough negotiations over a new contract.  A strike is a distinct possibility.  In order to get a sense of where the district and the union are coming from, I attended the CPS budget presentation meeting at Malcolm X College last week.  CTU advertised the meeting and urged its members to attend, so the meeting should serve as a good barometer of the relationship between the two.  Unfortunately, it would appear that the union’s mindset will be a major obstacle to both constructive talks and positive change in the Chicago Public Schools.

Judicial ruling may kick-start teacher accountability in California

One of the many ways in which California teachers unions resist accountability is through their long-standing opposition to using student achievement as a metric by which to judge the classroom performance of educators (a tool that is used in at least 30 states). The problem for the unions is that this resistance is in violation of the Stull Act, a piece of legislation signed into law by Governor Ronald Reagan in 1971. But a ruling out of Los Angeles County Superior Court earlier this week looks to be bringing the obstruction to an end.