Letters to the Boston Phoenix editors, April 6, 2012
MORE TEACHING POINTS
The Boston Teachers Union (BTU) is not obscene (see "Q: Who Hates School Reform?" Editorial, March 23). The BTU is made up of teachers, not CEOs — like the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. The BMRB tends to attack municipal workers and their unions for many reasons. The bad teacher argument is a myth. Teachers in Boston are as good as, if not better than, any other district in the United States — or the Western world! If teachers are a problem, why don't we replace all Boston teachers with teachers from Winchester? Better yet, maybe the BMRB can give it a go for a full school year (no, not as principal for a day).
A cost-of-living adjustment is not a true raise. Your editorial says the union's demand for a raise is 10 percent — that's not one year, that's spread out over three. Extending the day without compensation will set a bad precedent for future negotiations. Teachers are indeed great, and deserve to be treated with respect. We deserve a union, otherwise privateers masked as education reformers will take over. Trust teachers, not corporate executives, with your kids' best interests.
COLUM ANTHONY WHYTE
As my over-polite Boston Public Schools first-grader would say, this is a big bunch of I-don't-want-to-say-it. But what I absolutely have to say is: who body-snatched the Phoenix, and what did they pay? As a parent, I beseech you to resist your enlistment to the war against our children's teachers. But perhaps it's too late. The dishonesty in this piece is overwhelming, and the doublespeak so eerily familiar. Corporate education reform, is that you? For who else would shake the Etch A Sketch pad so wildly at every phrase? Teachers, whom you assure us you already love and respect for their enormous contributions and sacrifice, should be even more lovable and admirable by sacrificing more? And to back up your point that their workday is too short, you point out that even they already add unpaid hours to it? Fellow parents, educate yourselves about education and what is in store for it if we imbibe this load of — I'm gonna say it — crap.
EDITORS' NOTE: As anyone who read the editorial knows, our beef is with the union leadership, not the teachers. The union is determined to protect those teachers who are second rate.
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