Stubborn Teachers Unions

Nov 12, 2020 by

Call me stubborn.  It’s a badge of honor that I’m proud to have earned and am fit to wear as a public school and teachers union defender. It was pinned on us by the Fordham Institute’s ( no relation to the university) Chester Finn Jr, whom the New York Post this week called an “education guru” and expert.The word Finn actually used was “obdurate”, by since I am a remnant of the generation of New York City’s public school alumni who were required to study vocabulary, I know it’s a slightly pretentious synonym for “stubborn.”

Mr. Finn, a cobweb-brained intellectual poser attributes what he calls “the insane and irresponsible” closing of schools not to the virus but rather to the teachers unions being “obdurate”.  From his perspective in ivory tower solitary confinement, the pandemic is illusory, hyped or an outright hoax.
Mr. Finn is an ultra-staunch apostle of private schools, largely because they tend to be union-free and thereby pure.  If it weren’t for those pesky teacher unions, he avers, the doors to public schools would be wide open and kids would be flocking in to learn.

Perhaps Finn doesn’t know that all 47 buildings of Success Academy, the most touted charter school syndicate in New York City, will be padlocked until at least late March.  In-person attendance will be zero.  By contrast, there is face-to-face learning using the hybrid model underway in our public schools.

Will Mr. Finn recant or put a pinch of finesse on his sweeping fallacy?
Classroom instructors are wise to the aspiring dictators of educational policy who spring from no-nothing think tanks with preconceived antagonisms. They are a familiar phenomenon.  Mr. Finn takes it a step further by claiming not only superior mastery of educational verities, but also a surpassing grasp of public health best practices.

Teacher unions have saved lives by their blessedly “obdurate” insistence on safety as the first and foremost driver of school re-opening practices. They have advocated positions unapologetically rooted in research.  To Mr. Finn and his untutored cohorts:  it’s the science, stupid!”

Ron Isaac

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