Education in Two Worlds: David Berliner's Views on the Teaching Profession
Asked recently about his views on teacher associations, David Berliner, Regents' Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University, had this to say:
When a profession as large and necessary to society as teaching is insulted by state and federal Secretaries of Education, judged negatively by the nation's presidents and governors, see their pensions cut, receive salaries that do not keep up with inflation, often cannot afford to live in the communities they work in, cannot always practice their profession in ways that are ethical and efficacious, are asked to support policies that may do harm to children, are judged by student test scores that are insensitive to instruction and more often reflect social class differences rather than instructional quality, see public monies used to support discriminatory charter and private schools, yet still have a great deal of support from the parents of the children they teach, then there is a strategy for making teachers' lives better. It is called unionization. The reasons for unionization could not be plainer. New and veteran teachers should band together and close down school systems of the type I have described. It will be difficult, of course, and some teachers will no doubt be fired and jailed. But if teachers do not fix this once noble profession, America may well lose its soul, as well as its edge.
The Teacher Educator, 50, (1), 2-3.
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