Civic leaders in Cincinnati get it: Teachers union contracts can stifle educational improvement
The Sunday print edition of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Enquirer has a rather remarkable letter to the community from a host of the area’s civic leaders.
This “Letter to the Community from Strive Partnership” pulls no punches about how the current contract between the teachers union and the Cincinnati Public School System (CPS) “continues many of the failed policies of the past.”
The letter lists some of those failed policies. These include:
• Rewarding “…teachers for seniority while ignoring the success or failure of their students,”
• Restricting “…the superintendent’s ability to create innovative alternative schools,” and
• The fact that “…teacher transfer and placement processes prevent schools from assembling the best possible instructional teams.”
It’s good to see that so many civic leaders understand these issues and are willing to speak out publicly, with their names included, in such a frank letter.
It really is time for teachers’ unions everywhere, and that definitely includes Kentucky, to step up to their responsibilities. Teachers unions represent professionals, not factory workers. That requires some changes in union leaders’ thinking if we are ever to see new standards that will grow the performance and prestige of this absolutely critical profession while insuring that the members of the profession are treated fairly.