"When school children start paying union dues, that‘s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children."
~Albert Shanker, former President, National Education Association
"We bear a lot of responsibility for this [resistance to school reform]. We were focused -- as unions are -- on fairness and not as much on quality.The above statements expose a vital truth about why government schools aren't improving. Teachers unions are extremely powerful in America. Unfortunately, that power is primarily used to advance the interests of the unions themselves rather than to improve student performance. This point is well made in a new video from Reason TV and the Moving Picture Institute.
~ Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
Update: I forgot to mention one quibble I have with the video. It states that teachers are forced to join unions. This isn't true in all states. Some states have no official requirement, but the pressure to join the union is so great that there might as well be a requirement. In other states, teachers are not forced to join a union, but are required to contribute to them even if they don't. Still other states have no membership or contribution requirements at all. It's a mixed bag, and the video should have made this clear.