Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Unions are getting smarter

If Connecticut and Connecticut's schools are going to improve, the Teacher's Union needs to step up. The rate of technological change will not wait for teachers who think the future is a linear progression of missed opportunities that are of no consequence. Change matters.

When I'm begging that we embrace change, become masters of our school's destinies, and evangelize the benefits of technological change I often am greeted by indifference. Teachers, administrators, and too many others assume that there are no consequences for watching the world go by. They misread the historical trajectory of the world's wealth and our critical need to move.

Today's younger generation is being financially squeezed into a life of indenture to credit companies at the very time when our president and his band of merry buffoons are draining our ability as a nation to maintain our financial stability.

Within a single generation we may experience a generational political blowback that will include the outsourcing of teaching positions to foreign virtual education suppliers. The cost of education at every level is beginning to exceed the benefit. Teachers have to get the message. And that message is to row, to add value to education so that these kids are the world's best prepared thinkers.

We cannot afford to bicker or pass the buck. Let's work together instead of looking for handouts, five-year plans, or special dispensations. The future is here now. Let's embrace it, teach it, and own our destiny. The alternative is unacceptable.

There is hope in that the UAW is beginning to realize that unions must begin to exercise responsibility for making success happen here. Teachers should take notes. The national treasury is a bank vault full of debt.

From today's Courant:

UAW Chief: It's Time To Fight
Says Industry's Woes Require New Solutions, Union Involvement
1:35 PM EDT, June 13, 2006
By TOM KRISHER, Associated Press

In a speech to about 1,300 members at the UAW's 34th convention in Las Vegas, Gettelfinger seemed to be preparing the union for a different relationship with the troubled domestic automakers as they face challenging times.

"Like it or not, these challenges aren't the kind that can be ridden out," he said. "They demand new and farsighted solutions - and we must be an integral part of developing these solutions."

POP QUIZ: What kind of thinking must unions do?

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