Teachers’ unions have been described across the political
spectrum as an obstacle to fixing the schools.

So why not
put them in charge of the schools?

You object
– you want to say they’re in charge already. But that’s not really true.
Consider the California Teachers Association. CTA is powerful, easily the most
powerful interest group in the state. But it doesn’t run the schools. It
influences people on behalf of  its
members. There are middlemen – state legislators, governors, school board
members – who don’t always do exactly what CTA would do. Plus, there’s a big
difference between having influence and actually having the responsibility of
official control.

response by conservative has to been attach the teachers’ unions politically,
with measures such as paycheck protection. But such measures limit democratic
participation by important institutions (unions) and are perceived – rightly or
wrongly -as bullying. And more important, they make Matt Damon mad.

And we can’t have that.

So what’s a better way?

Perhaps the only way to get the
unions to consider changing reforms is to make the clear masters and
administrators of every school in the state.

The thought
occurs after reading a "Man
Bites Dog
" piece in the LA Times. The longtime United Teachers Los Angeles
leader A.J. Duffy, having departed his union post, is now about to start
running schools with a charter company. And once given this responsibility, he
is saying and doing things he never would as a union president; he event wants
to limit teacher tenure and speed up teacher dismissals.

This is a shocking turnaround. An
announcement that retiring Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony is converting to
Judaism would have been less surprising.

The fact that Duffy is now directly
responsible for schools and students seems to have changed his perspective.

Maybe it would change CTA too.