Wouldn’t it be nice if teachers put their students’ interests first? Tragically, from coast to coast they have more pressing things to worry about. In New York the teachers union got the legislature to prevent the state from applying for $700 million in federal funds for the Obama administration’s new program, “Race to the Top,” a school reform that emphasizes school choice and teacher accountability. And in California, when the San Jose school district had to lay off librarians for lack of money, they boxed the books and locked the library doors. No parents were allowed to volunteer so that the kids could use the library books. No sir, state law—enacted to please the librarians union—prohibits anyone but a real librarian from handing out library books.
Our teachers are failing our kids. Too many of them are more interested in their paychecks and their comfort than in their charges. Oh, not all of them—there are still lots of wonderful and dedicated teachers, but too many have ceded their profession and their integrity to unions that work with their political flunkies (aka Democrats) in a “race to the bottom.” Well-off families are fleeing to private schools. The poor kids are left behind and out of luck.
But all teachers get a paycheck. Their ethical obligation is to do their best to further their students’ interest—especially those students who need them the most. Sadly, not nearly enough of them meet that obligation.
If only teachers were ethical. If only… School boards and teachers should consider adopting—and taking seriously—the code of ethics of the Association of American Educators. It says that the professional educator:
o strives to create a learning environment that nurtures to fulfillment the potential of all students
o acts with conscientious effort to exemplify the highest ethical standards, and
o accepts that every child has a right to an uninterrupted education free from strikes or any other work stoppage tactics.
That’ll be the day!