by Greg McCrea-WDEA President
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s attack on teachers’ unions at the Republican National Convention this week was an attack on all teachers.
Christie is a bully, and like most bullies he likes to puff up his chest and pretend to be the big man on campus. He has the taste of blood in his mouth and an appetite for picking on teachers. He wants you to believe that he’s taken on the bad guy in education and chased him out of the schoolyard.
But unionized teachers aren’t the bad guys in education. Unionized teachers have dedicated their lives to their students and helped build some of the best schools in the country. There’s a reason why Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York are among the top ranked states for education. It’s because they support unionized teachers who are highly qualified, teachers who inspire our kids to do their best.
Christie painted a picture in which Americans are fed up with their kids’ schools and teachers. But in a recent Gallup poll asking Americans about their own children’s education, 75% of K-12 parents said they are satisfied with the education provided by their local schools. Americans have confidence in their local schools, they support the kindergarten teachers, coaches and bus drivers who work with their kids day in and day out.
The so called reforms that Chris Christie and politicians like him are suggesting are dangerous because they’re turning our schools into testing factories and stripping our kids of opportunities in the arts, foreign language, and advanced courses.
These same politicians are also suggesting that teachers shouldn’t have the right to organize into unions, that they shouldn’t have their first amendment right to freedom of assembly and association. And that kind of political rhetoric, Chris Christie’s kind of bloated political rhetoric, is not only out of touch with American families, it’s un-constitutional and it’s un-American.