There have been teachers union strikes in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and West Virginia, and now there’s one set to go off later this week in Arizona. Readers know my disdain for union strikes generally: they’re nothing but legalized extortion—”nice business you got here. Be too bad if something were to happen to it. Like, say, it’s destroyed because nobody works here anymore.” It isn’t possible to negotiate when the other party is sticking a gun in your ear—even if it’s “just” a metaphorical gun.
But it’s especially despicable when it’s a teachers union strike. These persons are using children as hostages to back up their extortion. And the Arizona one is all about ego and hurt feelings.
Lynn White, a high school biology teacher in Gilbert, AZ:
People feel like the state doesn’t respect the job we do as public school teachers[.]
Never mind that respect comes the way any honest American gets it: by earning it with actual deeds. It certainly doesn’t come because this or that person, or collection of them—think they’re special. And in the case of public school teachers, those deeds are how well they teach, as demonstrated by the quality of their graduated students. And that’s not very high (scroll down the table at the link to see Arizona’s bad and worsening performance in 4th grade math).
Arizona should replace the strikers en masse with substitutes and insist on actual teaching performance.