Margaret Wente has a column in today’s Globe and Mail, which identifies the problem with the Canadian public education system as the teacher’s unions, as I argued in a post the other day. She offers no solutions: apparently the obvious cannot be said out loud in the mainstream media yet. But the fact remains that no significant improvement to the public school system will be possible until the teacher’s unions are broken.
Bad teachers are well defended by their unions, which makes it so hard to get rid of them that powerless school administrators generally give up. Instead, they try to get the bad eggs to move on – a process widely known as “passing the trash.” The regulators are captives of the unions, too. The OCT is dominated by former union executives who caucus together before meetings to hammer out the party line. In theory, their job is to serve the public. In reality, they serve their own.
The Star’s embarrassing revelations prompted the OCT to hire a distinguished retired judge, Patrick LeSage, to tell it how to reform itself. His sensible suggestions, released last week, are a laundry list of the obvious: Disclose the names of all teachers found guilty of misconduct, hold formal public hearings for the most serious cases and revoke the licences of teachers found guilty of sexual misconduct. He also recommended that more non-teachers should sit on the panels that hear misconduct cases.
But these measures don’t go far enough. So long as the unions are allowed to dominate the regulator, “no procedural overhaul, no matter how ingenious or rigorous, is likely to lead to increased effectiveness or public confidence,” writes Doretta Wilson of the Society for Quality Education.
Why she cannot draw the obvious conclusion is that left-wing ideology is so powerful in this country that we cannot even talk about the necessary steps we need to take to promote educational reform. This is a sad commentary on late modern Canada.
Cross-posted at The Politics of the Cross Resurrected.