Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

The Center for Union Facts Takes New Jersey (And Takes On the NTU)

It was one month ago yesterday that we launched our Protecting Bad Teachers campaign, educating the citizens of Newark and peoples beyond that the Newark Teachers Union makes it almost impossible to get rid of bad tenured teachers — our research found that only .032 percent get fired annually.

This morning the Asbury Park Press, one of New Jersey’s largest newspapers, published our op-ed explaining the problem. The piece gives a thorough overview of Newark’s bleak educational landscape (with the happy exception of some of its charter schools) and how the NTU is enforcing the patently unacceptable status quo:

The Newark school district has many hard-working, committed educators. But can it be true that in any given year only one or two tenured teachers are unfit to teach? Put another way, in the past four years, less than one-third of Newark seniors graduated with a regular high school diploma. If nothing else, that’s evidence of the need to upgrade more than just a few teachers.

The unions know these bad apples are in the system but protect them.

The op-ed goes on to dismantle the common union response to these absurdly low firing rates:

[T]he union’s typical response to the district’s incredibly low firing rate is that most problem teachers are pressured into leaving before getting fired. But the research that’s available on shows that of all the tenured teachers charged between 2001 and 2005, only 13 left the district for any reason, including termination, resignation and retirement.That’s still less than one in 1,000.

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