Kevin Hirn OLO #2 I recently viewed the documentary “Waiting for Superman”.

Although I enjoyed the film and thought the dilemmas faced by inner-city families were poignantly articulated, I disagreed with its selective framing of education problems. The film seemed to blame failing school performance on teacher’s union’s insistence on acceptable tenure policies, arguing that tenure keeps inept teachers protected from sanctions. However, the alternative to tenure in public schools would simply be to, which would seem to invite politicized and capricious administrative decisions regarding teacher’s careers. Such an act would further disincentivize people from becoming teachers at a time when teachers are direly needed. I certainly have some personal biases that influence my view on the issue. My mother is the union representative for the Chicago Public School that she works at. Nonetheless, I think that my views are justified: teachers, like every other class of employees, are entitled to collective representation to protect themselves from employer exploitation. Rather than demonizing teachers’ unions, a more productive approach to education reform should begin with the addressing the unequal provision of funds between different areas, as well as the criminalization of urban youth.