Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Mailbag: Newark

Highlighting the Newark Teachers Union’s complicity in making a mess out of the city’s schools, our new project,, has been up and running for a mere three days. In that time, however, we’ve already received a good number of comments from site visitors, running the gamut from sarcasm (“I guess all other schools in the US are perfect as well as their teachers”) to praise (“Finally! Someone had the guts and the courage to say out loud or on a billboard what the people of New Jersey and the good teachers of Newark Public Schools already knew”). One letter signed “Teacher in Newark” is worth sharing in its entirety:

I wholly support your website and its efforts. No where else in America can someone simply maintain a job based on 3 years and a day. In fact, this goes against the values of the meritocracy system we want to instill in our students. What happens if a new (good) principal walks into a weaker principal’s old mess of tenured teachers who should never have been tenured in the first place? They can make no change and little effect on anyone wrapped in this sort of security blanket, thus keeping failing schools in an unbreakable downward spiral. It is my experience as a teacher in Newark for the past 10 years that the only teachers who are passionate about defending tenure are the very ones who know that they are not skilled or talented enough to keep their jobs without it. It is about time that someone sees the root of the problem of our city’s declining academic performance and has the courage to say what others are afraid to say. Bravo!

Categories: Teachers Unions