Thursday, March 13, 2008

Book Recommendation - The Alliance Against Education Reform

The following piece appeared on the Heartland Institute's website
and also appeared in their monthly newspaper called School Reform News. By going to the Heartland Institute's website you can order a free subscription to School Reform News. You can order a copy of the book through or ask your local library to order a copy for the library.

Teacher Unions Exploit Due Process to Protect Their Own ... And Students Are the Victims

Written By: Richard G. Neal
Published In: School Reform News
Publication Date: March 1, 2008
Publisher: The Heartland Institute
Wherever teacher unions exist, the rigors of state-mandated due process are exacerbated by excessive procedures negotiated by the union designed to frighten off any principal who tries to discipline a teacher. Plus, the unions have access to top-notch attorneys specifically trained to defend teachers brought up on dismissal charges.

In my book, The Alliance Against Education Reform (AuthorHouse, 2007), I discuss the meaning of due process and dissect its complicated requirements as they pertain to teacher discipline.

For several years, I was responsible for handling all disciplinary actions, including dismissals, for a large school district. During that time I presented seminars to school board members, administrators, and attorneys in other districts on how to dismiss tenured teachers.

From these unique experiences I learned many lessons, including the following:

School board members don't want to get involved in dismissing teachers.
Union reps are well-prepared to defend even the most incompetent teacher and will do so to enhance their image as defenders of "exploited" teachers.
Dismissal procedures are rigged to protect the guilty. Whereas tenure originally was designed to protect competent teachers from interference with their academic freedom, tenure has degenerated into a process for protecting the incompetent.
-- Richard G. Neal

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