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   I’ve been around the mulberry bush a couple of times about teachers and unions.  It’s nice when someone puts a piece together that concisely answers the usual bally-hoo about how bad unions are and how things would be fixed if there was just more free market, because more competition always fixes everything all the time no matter what how dare you even question that assumption you commie pinko-intellectual socialist!!!1!

Lie #1: Unions are undermining the quality of education in America.

Teachers unions have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but as education professor Paul Thomas of Furman University tells AlterNet, “The anti-union message…has no basis in evidence.” In fact, Furman points out, “Union states tend to correlate with higher test scores.” As a 2010 study conducted by Albert Shanker Fellow Matthew Di Carlo found, “[T]he states in which there are no teachers covered under binding agreements score lower [on standardized assessment tests] than the states that have them… If anything, it seems that the presence of teacher contracts in a state has a positive effect on achievement” – by as much as three to five points in reading and math at varying grade levels.

Even so, Thomas doesn’t believe that high test-scores should be taken as the primary indication that union teachers are good for kids, noting that “union states tend to be less burdened by poverty while ‘right-to-work’ (non-union) states are disproportionately high-poverty” – and poverty, as we well know , has its own, profound impact on student performance.  

For these reasons among others, union presence can never be isolated as the sole relevant factor in producing higher student achievement. But teachers unions are still important to student success. Why? Most importantly, perhaps, because they fight for equality of opportunity in education by, for example, opposing attempts to resegregate American schools . One of the reasons the CTU so resolutely opposed the school closures  Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Board of Education threatened was because closures have proven to have disastrous consequences for displaced students in Chicago, who are generally forced to move from one underfunded, low-performing school to another. Teachers unions oppose such injustices because they support the rights of all children to have access to high-quality education — not just the kids whose parents can afford high property taxes. That’s a good thing for America’s education system, not a bad one.

The debacle that is going on down in Wisconsin is enough to make a person ill. The Daily Show comes through to show how tainted the corporate media actually is and how egregiously the population is affected by corporate propaganda.

In Canada watch the clip here.

In the US and possible elsewhere go here.

How do you fix the budget? Attack the poor and middle class. It is a message that never loses traction.

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