Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I have a good friend who is a retired school principal. She has told me many times how hard it is to get rid of a bad teacher. Teacher unions are an impediment to good eduction. Here is Margaret Wente's take. Last year a Toronto Star investigation unearthed numerous examples of teachers you wouldn’t want anywhere near your kid. One high-school teacher reportedly made lecherous remarks to his female students, drank with students at parties, swore constantly in class, slapped the girls on their buttocks and showered with the boys. Although he was eventually fired by the school board, he remained a teacher in good standing with the provincial licensing body, the Ontario College of Teachers. Its disciplinary arm meted out a one-month suspension and told him to take a course on “boundary issues.” Because he was “on the low end of the spectrum” of problem teachers, his name was never published. Bad teachers are well defended by their unions, which makes it so hard to get rid of them that powerless school administrators generally give up. Instead, they try to get the bad eggs to move on – a process widely known as “passing the trash.” The regulators are captives of the unions, too. The OCT is dominated by former union executives who caucus together before meetings to hammer out the party line. In theory, their job is to serve the public. In reality, they serve their own.