I rarely find myself getting angry in this space. For the most part my job is very fun and involves writing about topics designed to entertain and inform. But, every once in a while I come across a story that makes me fume.
Having been a union member myself when I first made the journey west to Las Vegas I know the powerful feelings that the topic can evoke. This is especially true in this economic climate and with negotiations getting tense between the Bartenders Union and the Casinos this post may ruffle some feathers. That is not my intention.
A month and a day after Edward Savarese, a math teacher in his first year, was awarded with one of the Seven Teacher of the Year awards he was laid off, a victim of the seniority policy enforced by the Teacher's Union. The layoffs were required to pay for raises for more senior teachers.
Now I am not here to bash teachers, most are amazing, but as with any union the good comes with the bad. The good: higher wages, better benefits and a stronger collective voice. The bad: the Union protects bad employees. "It drives me nuts how the union protects the mediocrity," said Savarese.
Savarese is right. Things need to change. The weak, incompetent and lazy should not be protected at the expense of the good, the proactive and the strong. As a friend of mine says "this world runs on incentive versus disincentive." I say we start putting the incentive back in this world. In a time when we need great teachers more than ever how can a system that fires a Teacher of the Year deserve any respect?
What say you? Comment Below.
PS : Edward Savarese was quickly snapped up by another school district. Hancock Elementary School hired him before he even knew of his layoff at Sewell. The award likely was responsible for this job offer. While it seems to have worked out for Savarese, the system that created this situation still damages the careers of other teachers and the education of the Valley's students.
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Image Courtesy of Thomas Hawk