Recently Education Week’s Madeline Will wrote a piece called, “How Teachers’ Unions Are Influencing Decisions on School Reopenings.”

Here some excerpts from the article about what’s being said about the unions and reopenings:

  • “Teachers’ unions have an outsized voice—you can’t do reopenings without the teachers,” ~ Bradley Marianno, University of Nevada.
  • “’The unions have made it pretty clear that they do not want teachers back in school buildings until they’re 100% sure they’re safe. I think the rallying cry of, ‘If one teacher dies, isn’t that too many?’ is a pretty strong argument.” Katherine Strunk, Michigan State University
  • “Educators and teachers’ unions are not infectious disease experts or public health officials, and frankly, that’s who parents trust in making these decisions. The balance of power is off. It’s very striking to us as parents and families—we have a group of elected officials who make deals with labor unions and decide what policies we’re going to do, and we’re just supposed to take it and be on the roller coaster ride.” ~ Keri Rodrigues, founding president, National Parents Union
  • “What we’re seeing now is just a typical anti-union animus. We’ve been pretty clear about what is needed [to reopen schools safely], but what is needed has not been a priority. Now there’s blame [directed at us] that the powers that be didn’t prioritize what is needed.” ~ Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers
  • “There’s tremendous concern among educators and parents that these decisions are not being made with student well-being and educator safety first and foremost—that the heated political rhetoric overshadows responsible decision-making to keep educators and students safe.” ~ Colin Sharkey, executive direction, Association of American Educators (a nonunion professional organization for teachers)
  • “When we see the cases on the rise, [and] we don’t see an investment in health and safety protocols that are needed, educators feel like they’re not being heard… Many of our educators say, ‘We were treated as heroes in the spring, and then we were demonized in the fall. I think people forget that our educators have their families, too, and they are trying—it is very stressful. They’re trying to make it work, they really, really are.” ~ Cheryl Bost, president, Maryland State Education Association

Hang on, folks!! That roller coaster ride we’ve been on for so many  months shows no signs of ending…

~ With thanks and 2021 hopes, Carol