I highly recommend this book to all citizens paying taxes. As you might not know, teachers have the option of saying "no" to joining the "Teacher Trust" (union) but you still have to pay "tribute" as the author puts it. For what purpose? You're not entitled to the health benefits so you shouldn't be forced to pay anything. The only reason I'm a member is because I don't want to look for health insurance, dental, vision, life insurance, etc. It's easier to shut up and just give my 1% and enjoy the "benefits" that the union has "fought" so hard for. The author also mentioned that you can't say "no" to PACs, which is funny because I didn't sign the form and got no reaction from the AFT. As a teacher, I see people quote the union contract daily. The contract is only as good as the union that's going to back it. So we still have 35 students in a classroom, no lockers for personal belongings, no heat in the winter or air in the summer (please, be serious), no supplies, no textbooks, etc. The tenure, the building seniority, and the back-stabbing is ridiculous. Our contract is up August 2008. Nothing will change. There is so much unionism going on that I'm considering turning to a private or charter school.
From Publishers Weekly
"The problem with America's government school system is socialism. The solution is capitalism-the introduction of a free market." This provocative theme, stated explicitly by CBS Marketwatch columnist Brimelow, aptly sums up the premise of this lengthy opinion piece on what's wrong with American schooling and how to fix it. The real villains in the government educational scam, according to Brimelow, are the unions, with their bloated bureaucracies, political maneuvering and teacher protection rackets. Brimelow's prescriptions go further than suggesting we simply get rid of unions. His remedies run along predictable ideological lines: turn education over to market forces, hand over responsibility for teacher education to private firms instead of universities and abolish the U.S. Department of Education. Competition, in this paradigm, will solve all of education's problems. For politicians seeking ammunition in the war on public education, Brimelow shares plenty of anecdotes highlighting what he sees as the excesses of teacher unions. Unfortunately, his text suffers from selective use of research and unnecessary teacher bashing (e.g., he opens the book with a commentary on how extraordinarily fat teachers are) to make the point. He can also be hypocritical, as when he accuses union spokespeople of hyperbole when warning against vouchers, merit pay and other conservative proposals for school reform, yet engages in much of the same, detracting from what might otherwise be a welcome addition to the national conversation on education.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc
And so you get rid of the unions, and all children will be happy and perform at their full potential. Give me a break.