Sunday, February 15, 2009

Teacher union President Bernstein picks fight with "business"

In a Journal op-ed piece this morning link Don Chalmers,
Chairman of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce,
and Terri L. Cole,the Chamber's President and CEO took issue with recent remarks by Albuquerque Teachers Federation President Ellen Bernstein.

Bernstein's remarks;

Members of the business community
"... have no business in the education business." and

"either need to support the kind of funding education
needs ... or they need to be quiet."
I remember being stunned by the remarks when they were first reported. They are inappropriate on so many levels.

Chalmers and Cole correctly point out;
"The business community will not be quiet.
...businesses statewide contribute approximately
$4.5 billion in revenue to the state of New Mexico each year."

"We have as much of a stake in our state's education
system as anyone, including educators."

"Our goal is to be a part of the dialogue instead of trying
to silence legitimate stakeholders."
Hard to argue with the inherent logic in their position.

Harder still, finding the logic in Bernstein's position;
talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

While it is true that
education will not be fixed by a greater investment.
It is equally true that
education will not be fixed without a greater investment.

It isn't about the money we spend.
It's about the money we waste.

Wasted money is the issue; for the union and for business.

My two cents; if there wasn't so much money being wasted,
less new money would be needed, and it would be easier
to come by.

The Albuquerque Teachers Federation is yet to take a position
on an impartial standards and accountability audit of the
leadership of the APS.

The audit would effectively end the waste that flows from
corruption, incompetence, and the practices that enable them.

I am more than a little surprised that neither the Chamber of
Commerce, nor the Teachers Union will climb on board the
effort to compel an audit.

It is almost like they both have a hidden agenda which includes
enabling good ol' boys to escape accountability for their
corruption and incompetence.

I can understand the Chamber's reticence to support an audit
that would effectively end the careers of corrupt and
incompetent good ol' boys, as they are all members of the same club.

I cannot understand the Teachers Union's reticence to end
corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS.

I see only an up side for teachers, and no down side at all.

So what am I missing?


Anonymous said...

It isn't about the money we spend.
It's about the money we waste.

Wow, well said!

Anonymous said...

Having tried to reason with Ellen on something so very rudimentary and basic like "the purpose of a union", and getting nowhere, this doesn't surprise me.
APS' Join A School (JAS)chapter links businesses to schools. They bring in guest speakers, businesses donate water,drinks and snacks to sports teams, donate clothes and school supplies to poor kids, give the school great awards to give out to students and staff. JAS was already understaffed and stressed by the economy, working their asses off to get the same results from local businesses with half the staff, and bad economic times....
...and Ellen B comes and puts the proverbial bullet in their heads. Way to go Ellen, you must be real proud of yourself?
Ellen B likes to say "We only deal with adult to adult, teacher to admin issues. If kids are involved at all, then we can't help you."..then she "fights" for more kindergarten play time, then she insults local businesses?
Is she not so bright, or is it she's not an elegant speaker, or is it that once more someone's been promoted past their abilities?
Tune in for Ellen's next big adventure for the answer....

Anonymous said...

I dropped my Union membership after 3 or so years. Ellen needs to review what the heart and purpose of a Union is. I feel post-vindicated!