USA Today points out that fewer than 2% of all teachers nationwide lose their job due to poor performance, thanks in large part to teachers’ unions.
In Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont — states in which fewer than half of fourth-graders are proficient at reading or math — the average school district did not remove a single tenured teacher in 2007-08. It’s no wonder: Dismissing one teacher can cost upwards of $100,000, and the legal struggle can drag on for years.
In a related note, the California Teachers Association leads the Golden State in campaign contributions. And Michelle Rhee has been publicly lambasted for her successful efforts to improve DC’s public schools.
The tragedy, of course, is the creation of a system which rewards bad teachers and fails to reward the best teachers. But then again, for teachers unions, is education really the point?