Superintendent Lowell Billings of Chula Vista Elementary School District in San Diego County seems to think that there is a basic conflict between being a union leader and raising the bar of teaching performance.
It is true, of course, that unions work to protect incompetent teachers.
But so do administrators.
I'm afraid that most teachers and admininstrators in schools care more about how they are perceived than how they actually perform.
But that's true in most professions, isn't it? Isn't it also true in most professions that currying favor with the powerful will get you farther than striving for excellence? Look who we have for president of our country. This is not a man who strives. He's not really concerned about learning as much as he can, or asking how he could do better. And his recent pardon of Scooter Libby proves beyond a doubt that loyalty matters more to him than honesty and obedience to the law. Yet he has risen as high as a human being can rise.
Can we expect more from our teachers than we expect from our president?
Here's the quote from the June 5, 2007 CVESD board meeting minutes:
Dr. Billings bid farewell to outgoing CVE Vice President Robyn Higginson. He mentioned that she is a formidable advocate for all teachers and strong union leader, yet (!) someone who raised the bar with our articulation/collaboration curriculum and instruction.