Teachers’ unions control over public schools must be contained

Star Parker
Conservative Opinion

Star Parker

Founder & President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education
Archive |

When school districts around the country were busy figuring out when their schools should reopen in the wake of the pandemic, teachers’ unions urged caution. Union officials were worried about packed classrooms, poor building ventilation and unvaccinated students. On the other hand, anti-union voices cautioned that unions were harming the education of our youth. There’s both data and opinion about whether teachers’ unions effectively help students. Some studies claim school districts with strong union support funnel more funds to the classroom, while critics of teachers’ unions cite a hyper-political machine that doesn’t serve either students or teachers well. That’s what Straight Arrow News contributor Star Parker argues, citing deep pockets and a political bent that only serves to strengthen itself.

Coinciding with the upcoming elections, students are now back in school. That’s because, even in the most liberal places, schools have opened their doors. That’s not to say that the campaign to keep students out of school is over. Here in Washington, D.C., students are required to have the vaccine if they want to receive an education.

As many parents are already aware, it’s the monopoly of control that teachers’ unions have over our public schools that has kept students away from their teachers. Teachers’ unions have the deepest pockets. Their far-reaching power and influence at the local, state and federal levels grow every year.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress just released data showing math and reading test scores of 9-year-olds over the past two years. The results? Math and reading scores not only declined – it was a historic free fall. These scores have steadily risen every year – until now. It’s the sharpest drop since this data collection first began in 1973.

Ultimately, the data revealed a loss of roughly two decades of progress in student scores. One of the most significant finds from this data, although tragically not too surprising, is the impact that school closures had on students’ performance. Students who were able to go to school performed starkly better than students who were remote learning.

It was the teachers’ unions who were the champions of closing schools. Not just at the local and state level, either. Exposed emails and communications between the largest teachers’ unions and the CDC have shown how the CDC changed its guidance to reopen schools at the direction of the teachers’ unions. 

Yet it’s no surprise that teachers’ unions have so much influence. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, teachers’ unions are among the largest political spenders in the nation. Over $66 million dollars in donations in 2020, and over 95% of that went to Democrats. That’s not including the millions in lobbying and other political efforts, especially against private schools that opened their doors long before public schools did. 

Coinciding with the upcoming elections, students are now back in school.That’s because, even in the most liberal places, schools have opened their doors.

That’s not to say that the campaign to keep students out of school is over. Here in Washington, D.C., students are required to have the vaccine if they want to receive an education.

As many parents are already aware, its the monopoly of control that teachers’ unions have over our public schools that has kept students away from their teachers.

Teachers unions have the deepest pockets. Their far-reaching power and influence at the local, state, and federal level grows every year.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress just released data showing math and reading test scores of 9 year olds over the past two years.

The results? Math and reading scores not only declined – it was a historic free fall. These scores have steadily risen every year – until now. It’s the sharpest drop since this data collection first began in 1973.

Ultimately, the data revealed a loss of roughly two decades of progress in student scores. One of the most significant finds from this data, although tragically not too surprising, is the impact that school closures had on students’ performance. 

Students who were able to go to school performed starkly better than students who were remote learning.

It was the teachers’ unions who were the champions of closing schools. Not just at the local and state level, either. Exposed emails and communications between the largest teachers’ unions and the CDC have shown how the CDC changed its guidance to reopen schools at the direction of the teachers’ unions. 

Yet its no surprise that teachers’ unions have so much influence. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the teachers unions are among the largest political spenders in the nation.

Over $66 million dollars in donations in 2020, and over 95 percent of that went to Democrats. That’s not including the millions in lobbying and other political efforts, especially against private schools that opened their doors long before public schools did. 

No wonder President Biden so eagerly gave a speech recently at one of the largest teachers’ unions in the nation. When giving the speech, he barely even spoke on education. Instead, he spoke about power, and the threat of it switching to Republicans in the upcoming election.

This wasn’t a speech for our nations’ students, for the struggles they’ve faced and their uncertain futures. No, there’s no concern for that.

No talk of what needs to be done to better serve the core mission of our teachers – educating our students. No mention of what is to be done in addressing the two decades of progress in student test scores that has been wiped out.

This was a speech for donors. 

And this speech about the election, one that’s predicated on maintaining power, is surely one that will resonate with teachers’ unions well. 

Teachers’ unions continue the fight to keep their control of public schools through all levels of government. 

Fighting for their own special interests, instead of the interests of students, they destroy the progress of our past and damage the hope for a better future.

 


Get unbiased straight facts, context, and perspective!