The argument I hear most often to defend the behavior of teacher’s unions is that their mandate has nothing to do with education. They are there to protect their members and better their pay, working conditions, etc. I have no problem with this argument actually. I would rather they embrace it more often rather than repeatedly trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes by pretending to care about students, parents, and the world in general.
My point here is that despite what we all know unions fight for, they have their own agenda.
That, however, doesn’t account for the case of “Patricia Adams,” not her real name, who was remanded to the Rubber Room for two years before eventually making her way back into the classroom. “Bravo!” said the U.F.T. Web site. “Though she believes she was the victim of an effort to move senior teachers out of the system, the due process tenure system worked in her case.” This fits neatly into the union-promoted narrative of management trying to deep-six experienced teachers in favor of novices from TFA and elsewhere.
Except it turns out that Patricia Adams was Rubber Roomed less for “seniority” than for “passing out in an alcoholic stupor in a classroom full of 34 students.” After two years (paid) out of the classroom, she came back for a semester and then moved to a desk job where she was eventually found in another stupor, and fired, earlier this year. Yet the U.F.T. Web site remained unchanged. Brill describes what happened next:
Read the whole thing. Adams herself notes that the union has its own agenda and her case had nothing to do with seniority. I know this is just an anecdote, but it makes me wonder what other “examples” unions have used in the past that twist reality.