This week is the Republican National Convention. Most of my friends know I am very interested in politics, not as a partisan, but as an observer (and sometimes heckler). So, this week I want to show some of the opinions I heard from people I know who will be voting for Mitt Romney, Jason Chaffetz and Orrin Hatch.
Most people in Utah hate the NEA. The hatred is so deep, teachers here who are members of the union are mistreated by parents who think the union is dictating the local curriculum. Now, I do think the unions have way too much power and protect useless teachers. As a substitute, I am not represented by the union and am seen as little better then as a scab. I have met and subbed for great teachers and am close friends with a number of very good teachers and they dislike the union, but are in the union because they know if they don’t join their jobs are in jeopardy. They also know the local members have little to no impact on the national union.
Many teachers and parents have said in my hearing that the teachers unions do not have student’s interests in mind. I agree, because unions only represent their members. Children don’t pay dues. This is not a bad thing over all, but when some of the teachers I have subbed for are giant failures and when parents show up and thank me for doing what the teacher does not do–teach the subjects and help their students find success–I become very concerned. I don’t agree that the unions are waging war on children, but they are not interested in supporting the needs of children because children’s needs are not teacher’s needs. This at worst manifests as violent indifference.