Many citizens, scholars, and politicians
believe that enhancing the education of failing students
includes busting unions.
Successfully busting unions will result in abolishing teacher
tenure rights which may result in limiting the teachers’ access
to just wages and benefits. This will also undermine teachers’
right to due process and could begin a national process for
undermining the rights of all citizens.
Potential union busters need to understand that the union plays
an important role in protecting teachers when faced with
Union busters need to understand that we
must first address the defensive routines employed by teachers
who are confronted with allegations of ineffective instruction.
When a teacher is confronted with ineffective teaching
allegations they normally exhibit one of two defensive behavior
If the teacher is non-tenured they may
attempt to make improvements in all required areas and if the
students continue to fail they will blame the
administrator for providing an
ineffective evaluation and plan of action for improvement or
they may blame students, parents, and other factors. The end
result is the teacher has not improved to the level needed to
increase achievement for failing students.
If a tenured teacher faces allegations of contributing to
failing students they may also blame students, parents,
administrators, curriculum, or the entire school system and
bring in union representation to protect them from any further
blame. Once again due to defensive routines the teacher may not
improve to the level necessary to increase student achievement.
In both cases teachers are not afforded the opportunity to exist
in an organization that enables them to grow. Instead the
organization blames the teacher without admitting how the system
contributes to the dysfunction of the school.
School districts must begin this process of growth by developing
a shared vision. When school staff members have different
visions for the students that they service the end result is a
dysfunctional school which results in unnecessary student
failures. Once this vision has been developed then school
officials must provide a development process that will graduate
the teacher to the developed shared vision. This process should
be refined annually according to the vision of new incoming
Next, schools must involve teachers in team building which leads
to the growth and success of the school’s students. This will
provide teachers an opportunity to address the needs of the
students without it becoming punitive.
This process will offset the defensive routines that continue
to contribute to dysfunctional
organizations such as failing schools.