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Don't Blame Teachers Unions For Our Failing Schools

The BriefGet Up To Speed

Teachers unions: They'€™re powerful, they'€™re defensive, and they'€™re stubborn. And if it seems their leadership places a premium on protecting its members above all other interests€“ we should not be surprised, because protecting jobs and wages is what unions were created to do. And there'€™s the rub, say critics who argue the unions are shielding too many teachers who do their jobs poorly:€“ teachers who should be replaced, for the good of the children. Indeed, so central is good teaching to good learning, some say it'€™s the unions as presently constructed€“ more than anything other factor€“ that are undermining America'€™s schools. But can it really be that simple? In a ranking of whom to blame for what'€™s wrong in America'€™s classrooms, do teachers unions really come before slashed budgets? Or crumbling infrastructure, broken homes and the influence of narcotics? Do bad teachers so outnumber good ones that the union represents a collection of educational misfits? The question comes down to a decision: do we need to reform the unions before we do anything else , and if we do, is that the fix that will once again make US public education the model system it once was?

  • Paul Butler

    3 Items
    • Former Federal Prosecutor & Professor, Georgetown Law
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    Paul Butler, author of ‘Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice,’ talks about jury nullification, and current issues in the war on drugs and criminal justice with Post-Exchange reporter Jamie Loo.

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    If you are ever on a jury in a marijuana case, I recommend that you vote “not guilty” — even if you think the defendant actually smoked pot, or sold it to another consenting adult. As a juror, you have this power under the Bill of Rights; if you exercise it, you become part of a proud tradition of American jurors who helped make our laws fairer.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    I have jury duty on July 2, and I can't wait. If I get put on a jury in a non-violent drug case, I'll vote "not guilty," based on my principles -- even if I think the defendant actually did it.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  • Nick Gillespie

    4 Items
    • Editor-at-Large, Reason
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    Gillespie and Welch answer the question: ‘What does a libertarian think about the war on drugs and how do we change it?’

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Gillespie speaking at an SSDP conference on the topic of ‘What Would a Sensible Drug Policy Look Like,’ and discussing how drug prohibition functions as a ‘structuring event’ in American life, forcing all sorts of activity to pay hypocritical and misdirected lip service to a Just Say No mentality.

    Saturday, October 25, 2008

    Legalize drugs and then tax sales of them. And while we're at it, welcome all forms of gambling (rather than just the few currently and arbitrarily allowed) and let prostitution go legit too.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    Why is it that ostensibly pro-drug movies can never quite deliver the goods, can never quite depict drug use as something other than depraved?

    Thursday, March 1, 2001
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