Education Reform and Teacher Unions
The Coeur d’Alene Press editorial asks the question:
What do Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Carolina and Georgia all have in common?
They’re all following Idaho’s lead in education reform, as are a number of other states. But this specific sampling came forward during the recent meeting in Coeur d’Alene of state school superintendents to unite in their determination to ditch the status quo in public education and ring in a new era of learning.
We confess to being fascinated by the energy and eagerness of the state education officials we interviewed last week. While their approaches vary somewhat, they’re all focused on several vital goals:
The group of state superintendents that met with The Press is bipartisan yet also agreed on several other things. One of those is that unions are an impediment rather than an expedient in improving public education. June Atkinson, a Democrat and the top public education official in North Carolina, said one of the reasons her state has been so progressive educationally is because the state does not allow teachers’ unions. John Barge of Georgia, a Republican and career educator, said the same holds true for his state. They agreed that being able to deal directly with educators, not layers of union representatives, has been instrumental in moving forward with reform and better results.