If a recent spate of Wall Street Journal articles is any clue, a week before the election we could be sitting on a tectonic fault with the potential to turn into an education earthquake—and that might actually be a blessing. It has to do with teachers, their unions, and U.S. politics—all of which would benefit from some profound movement.
Writing in the Journal on October 19, Eric Hanushek declared that “there is no ‘war on teachers.’” Three days later, a pair of Journal reporters displayed the National Education Association as the fifth biggest contributor to 2010 election races. And on the same day, in a piece headed “Gov. Christie’s Ultimate Test,” reporter Monica Langley described the Garden State’s feisty chief executive as “well aware that the fate of his fight with the teachers union could determine his own.”
All three are true. Hanushek’s key insight is that “we are seeing not a war on teachers, but a war on the blunt and detrimental policies of teachers unions,” especially when it come to purging classroom ranks of a smallish number of chronically weak instructors.
(photo credit: mar is sea Y)