Kindergarten teacher strikes in NZ raise again the question of what teacher unions actually bring to the table. Reason magazine has a short summary of how Californian teacher unions act against the interests of children. Who would have thunk it: Teacher unions resisting giving principals the ability to sack teachers that can't teach! Making it obvious once again that the interests of teacher unions are not cognisant with the interests of students.
Two law changes however, Propositions 74 (on teacher tenure) & 75 (paycheck protection) seek to makes some changes, in California at least. Two chances of that happening here... [Hat tip Stephen Hicks]
Meanwhile, as New Zealand kindergarten teachers strike for more pay we hear the usual blandishments about what they're paid, and how they're worth this, or how they're worth that. But of course without a real market in eduation it will never be possible to establish what teachers are actually worth -- without a market there's just no way to establish what anything is worth. As Ludwig von Mises explained years ago, "central planning by the government destroys the essential tool — competitively formed market prices — by which people in a society make rational economic decisions." If kindergarten teachers truly want to find out what they're
worth, the best thing they could do is to argue for an end to the central planning of education.
The teachers union, NZEI, are also complaining that a demand to increase contact time from 25 hours to 30 or 35 hours is " unworkable as it would not allow enough time for teachers to do essential non-contact work." Perhaps they could reflect that if much of the Ministry-mandated paperwork requirements were removed, then spending so much non-contact time on nonsense would be unnnecessary, and spending more time in the classroom with children would be possible.
Linked article: Hey, teacher unions! Leave those kids alone!
The impossibility of socialism