Union boss: Attempts to remove ineffective teachers an attack on ‘human rights’

Victor Joecks

Lynn Warne is the president of the Nevada State Education Association, and she appeared on Anjeanette Damon’s “To the Point” show over the weekend, where she made the following comment about AB 225 and some other minor education reform bills passed by the 2011 Legislature. (7:30 mark)

Warne: Provisions in those bills [including AB 225], much of which we supported, really struck at the heart of what we feel are educators’ rights, workers’ rights, human rights really, and there was no compromise to be had. (Emphasis added)

Striking at the heart of “human rights” is a serious charge, so let’s consider what AB 225 did.

Now, while AB 225 certainly represented an improvement over the old system, where 95 percent of teachers received tenure after one year of teaching and became virtually impossible to fire afterwards, the new system only allows a bad teacher with tenure to be removed after three years of poor performance.

In other words, a poor teacher would be able to harm the education of 50 to 100 or more students before a school is able to remove him or her for subpar performance. The stakes here are exceptionally high for students, because students with poor teachers learn only half as much as they would with an average teacher and a third as much as they would with an excellent teacher.

So Warne, union boss of and representing NSEA, believes that removing a bad teacher from the classroom is a violation of “human rights.”

Keep in mind that having an ineffective teacher three years in a row often cripples a student academically for years or a lifetime.

In other words, union boss Warne believes ineffective teachers have a “human right” to potentially permanently harm your child’s future.

That’s outrageous.

Students vs. union. Your child vs. union bosses. An effective education for your child or dues for the Nevada State Education Association.

Those are the stakes. Those are the sides.

The political fight over education reform is about deciding which side you’re on – the side of students, like the kids in your neighborhood, or of union bosses, who want to preserve the failing status quo.

Union bosses like Warne stand with the failing status quo.

We stand with excellent teachers committed to providing a challenging education for your children.

Union bosses like Warne stand with ineffective, dues-paying teachers.

We stand with students.

Whose side are you on?