Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Teachers Unions Behind Group To Take Away School Choice From Utahns.

If you are not a regular reader of the Education Intelligence Agency you should be. This is some of the great stuff you are missing.

Utahns for Public Schools = NEA UniServ. With the passage of a statewide voucher program into law in Utah, opponents have decided to gather signatures for a referendum that would first suspend, then overturn the law. The main group is working under the banner Utahns for Public Schools. An alert EIA reader noticed something unusual about the organization. Upon deeper investigation, the roots of Utahns for Public Schools are beginning to show.

On its website, the coalition describes itself as "a group of parents, teachers, and others interested in the quality of education provided to Utah children." This sounds a lot better to the general public and the press than "a group of employees and officers of the Utah Education Association and the Utah PTA."

The organization lists 128 names as county contacts for people interested in signing or distributing the petition against the voucher law. The 128 names are of 50 individuals, almost all of whom can be identified by very specific job titles.

Of the 50 people, 13 are UniServ directors employed by the Utah Education Association, whose pay is subsidized by grants from the National Education Association. Another 12 contacts are elected officers or representatives of the Utah Education Association and its local affiliates, and another 14 contacts are regional directors of the Utah PTA. The jobs of the other 11 contacts could not be immediately determined.

Quote of the Week. "A 4% increase in teachers across the state is not particularly large, even amidst declining student enrollment." – Vermont-NEA Angelo J. Dorta. (March 2007 Vermont-NEA Today)

The Michigan Teacher Glut

"There are thousands and thousands of teachers without job opportunities in Michigan," says Michigan State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan.

Except when it comes to applying for federal supplemental loans for critical teacher shortage areas. Then the state of Michigan has a long, long list of openings for teachers.

Or is it indeed a glut? They are turning away candidates at the teacher colleges in Ontario, Canada, and part of the reason is the oversupply of teachers from "border schools" - that is, teacher colleges in Buffalo and other American cities.

"It's simple supply and demand," said a Canadian official.

Not so simple for some.

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