On the topic of teachers unions, COVID-19 has been a real education.
In good times, teachers unions will go to the mat to defend a corpse in the classroom if that’s what it takes to prevent an unfit teacher from being fired. And in bad times, they will go to the mat to avoid having to show up for work.
Take it from Cecily Myart-Cruz, the head of United Teachers Los Angeles. She fought tooth and nail to make sure teachers in the L.A. Unified School District, while receiving full pay, stayed out of the classroom for three full academic semesters, leaving 600,000 students without any serious educational opportunity. Not only that, but at her insistence, L.A. teachers only had to teach virtual half-days, facilitating no more than four hours of Zoom learning per day — again, with full pay.
So that’s the first thing about unions — they like not working.
What effect has their laziness had on children? Myart-Cruz makes clear — they don’t care. And that’s the second lesson about unions.
“There is no such thing as learning loss,” Myart-Cruz bellowed during an interview with Los Angeles Magazine’s Jason McGahan. “Our kids didn’t lose anything. It’s OK that our babies may not have learned all their times-tables. They learned resilience. They learned survival. They learned critical-thinking skills. They know the difference between a riot and a protest. They know the words insurrection and coup.”
Of course, they could have learned such things from just a week of playing Tour of Duty or binge-watching Star Wars. And unlike those obvious, common things, times tables represent specialized knowledge that is useful for schools to teach.
But as facile as Myart-Cruz’s response was, that’s not the truly amazing thing. The amazing thing is what this union boss conceded — that the members of her union do not meaningfully influence the lives of their students through their work in the classroom.
When Myart-Cruz tells you who she is, and what her union is, believe her.
Still, quite a few parents disagree as to the value of in-person education. They have the temerity to view schools as entities that exist to serve them as taxpayers — not the other way around. They don’t want to pay the salaries of callous and lazy union bosses. They don’t want unions to hold their children’s future hostage.
This is why, for example, pandemic lockdowns have led to a doubling in the rate of homeschooling. Thanks to the efforts of union bosses like Myart-Cruz, 10% of all students are now homeschooling and completely free of union influence.
Meanwhile, charter and voucher programs across the country are liberating still more students from public sector unions’ toxic influence. If she and her ilk keep it up, it won’t be long before teachers unions are out of business entirely.
For that reason, we fully support Myart-Cruz and her efforts to shirk work and disregard the well-being of students. In the short run, this will hurt a few students in Southern California. In the long run, it is helping parents everywhere understand that they must do anything they can to avoid dealing with public schools or teachers unions.
This will hasten the day taxpayers and parents no longer make unions fat and happy with their tax dollars, just so these unions can damage the national political culture, destroy children’s innocence with useless leftist claptrap, and generally promote ignorance as learning.
Happy Labor Day.