American Morning

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September 2nd, 2009
02:06 PM ET
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. daryl

    The Teachers Union is part of the reason our schools are in such decline. In my district the AVERAGE pay (40,000+) is equal to the AVERAGE household income. They also receive bonuses across the board not based on merit. In addition, the school board can not weed out teachers who are performing poorly. It is ridiculous. It is part of the typical union mentality that is destroying this country. The teachers don't care about the end result, they just want to live off the hog. What makes it worse is that the tax payers can't stop it. Our property taxes go up everytime they threaten to strike. You can see why I am a HUGE supporter of alternate forms of education.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:48 am |
  2. akarmenia1

    tomgnh –

    You are absolutely right that teachers are entitled to collective bargaining and union representation. Has anyone argued otherwise?

    The question is not whether or not teachers have the RIGHT to unionize, but whether or not the unions are actually helping the schools. In this particular instance that CNN had the courage to report, the anser is no. Unions push their agenda even when the individual teachers don't even want it, resulting in teachers getting fired and school hours getting cut. Those are facts.


    September 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  3. tomgnh

    The attitude I encountered when I taught was "How nice that you committed to work so hard for so little pay," coupled with "If you ask for better compensation you're selfish."

    If teachers relied on public generosity to survive, they would still be living in the age one bank referred to when it advertised "We even gave loans to TEACHERS when no one else would."

    Let's not pretend teachers are treated as professionals. In terms of employment, they are workers, and entitled to collective bargaining and union representation.

    September 23, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  4. Elizabeth Thompson

    As a public school teacher, I know that I work just as hard as the charter school teacher as Kipp. Yes, we are not obligated by our principals to be available after school, however, we do it anyways. On the weekends and after school, I plan my classes and my students do have access to my cell phone number. The cell phone policy will discontinue when I start my family. Teaching is very rigorous and includes many responsibilities, however, teachers are unappreciated, underpaid, and humiliated in present society. We are not respected by the public, therefore, our students have a tendency to not respect us.

    One of my closest friends work at a charter school and she is suffering. She is underpaid and has no representation. The principal blamed her for single handedly making her students fail the FCAT and constantly harasses her, yet she has no representation. She wishes she had a union. She can only file complaints to the board of the specific school, and they are friends with her ineffective principal. The county wanted to fire the principal, yet they couldn't, because the chairman of the school wanted him to stay.

    I am only 26 years old, however, I am quitting the profession after only 4 years in June. I love the students, however, I want a family soon and I cannot support one on only $38,000 per year, with unpaid maternity leave. It's not fair to me nor is it fair to any other teachers in the same position.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  5. akarmenia1

    I love how sensitive union teachers are about anyone else who doesn't want to ruin a school by forcing higher wages and fewer hours. It's is seriously funny that you thought that this report implied that teachers are lazy, uneducated, or anything else. It was simply a report about how some teachers realize that paying a group of teachers more means that you have to fire a few others. Maybe you unioners should go back and take an economics class. If you have x amount of dollars and y amount of teachers to pay, and each teacher gets z amount, then the only way to increase z is to decrease y or increase x. In simply terms, the only way to pay teachers more is to increase taxes of fire teachers. This is why unions favor socialist agenda – because they think that if you just increase spending and government control then all our problems will be solved.

    September 4, 2009 at 12:17 am |
  6. A teacher

    As a teacher I was disappointed in your report on Kipp Ujima Village Academy. While I applaud their results, why is there the impression left from your report that the only way to get those results is for teachers to work more hours for less pay? I believe your report contributes to the backward notion in our country that teachers are not true professionals. I studied and worked hard and received my professional license just as any doctor, engineer or lawyer, yet I am often expected to work above and beyond without the extra compensation. And if I say that, the thought is, well I must not be dedicated to my students. Why can't we have both, as many countries around the world do?

    September 3, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  7. ms.c

    I would like to thank all the teachers that I have had because I can read and write and do math. I would like to thank all of the teachers working today for ensuring that there will be doctors, lawyers and presidents tomorrow. I would like to thank the teachers yet to come for keeping America prospering. I just want the children and governments now and yet to come to do their parts. Raising taxes to move education in these United States is necessary so that other children can prosper as the children at Kipp are prospering.

    September 3, 2009 at 8:10 am |
  8. Dee McDonald

    It's obvious that the unions want the charter schools to close. They don't care about education, with them it's all about the money.

    September 3, 2009 at 7:48 am |
  9. akarmenia1

    Thanks, CNN, for finally reporting something that challenges the teachers' union.

    September 3, 2009 at 12:45 am |
  10. A

    As a NYC public school teacher I was extremely upset by your report on the charter schools vs. union in Baltimore. First, your report depicted charter schools as perfect, superior, and the only places with dedicated, hardworking teachers. Just because public school teachers are union members does not mean they are lazy, uncaring and undedicated.

    Many charter schools do a fantastic job operting with longer hours and high expectations, moving struggling students up grade levels and raising test scores. However, many charter schools do not live up to their promises and are staffed by overworked and inexperienced teachers. Your report failed to mention that many charter schools have a very high teacher turnover rate – often 30-50% or more each year. Teacher burnout is a huge problem at charter schools.

    Most public school teachers (all union members) are hardworking, dedicated and would do anything for their students. I easily work 70+ hours/week during the school year for my kids, so do not discount me because I am a teacher union member.

    President Obama is pro-charter school, but this is still a new idea and not yet proven. A question we must ask is: are charter schools sustainable? Some yes, others no. I've visited many charter schools in NYC, and believe me, they are not all working.

    Also, your report failed to mention that charter school teachers must opt to be part of a city teacher union...therefore the teachers at this KIPP school DECIDED to be part of the Baltimore Teachers Union, it was certianly not forced upon them.

    Are unions perfect? No. But are charter schools perfect. Certainly not.

    I found this report bias, incomplete and misrepresentative.

    September 2, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  11. Cheryl

    I love that this particular charter school is doing well, and it is doing so due to what many teachers have been begging for for years...Smaller class sizes, more one-on-one time with students, and up-to-date technology.

    As a teacher, I do whatever I can to help my students. When the school district cuts back on funding, I spend my own money to buy supplies and set up online web tutorials. I would love to give my students more, but it comes down to money. Outside of the school day, I continue to take classes for a higher degree and classes for teacher re-certification. I have to pay for all of this on my own. There is no compensation, but I do it to keep current on new methodologies in teaching.

    It sounds to me that the Baltimore Teachers Union would also like the same success as the charter schools. At the same time, they would like the teachers to be fairly compensated for the time and money they put in to making their students more successful. Teachers in lower income school districts know that their budgets are stretched thin as it is, so they put in as much time as they can for their students. Like any other occupation, the pay should reflect the competency and success of the employee.

    I applaud the teachers at the charter school for giving so much of themselves. I love teaching, and there is nothing I want more than to see my students reach their goals. Public school teachers want the same as charter school teachers. It would be wonderful if there were no need for charter see all public schools given the tools to make their students achieve.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:17 pm |