My last post regarding the professionalization of teachers has been pointed out to me, by my wife, as a broad over-generlization because I don't like teachers unions. My wife is trained as a journalist and thus tends to try to look at both sides of an issues. I am not a journalist and I have an agenda, one which I think anyone who has ever read this blog knows. To be honest, I am not a big fan of the unions, not because I don't think they are bad as a whole, but because the teachers unions get involved in matters beyond advocating for teachers.
If you want a good idea why, please go visit the Educaiton Intelligence Agency where Mike Antonucci has great coverage of union activity, including summaries of the NEA convention, where a lot of politics is discussed, but usually not in light of the duty of the teachers unions--that of advocating for workplace protections for teachers.
The unions play hard ball when it comes to politics and that is fine, I am a big boy and believe that politics is a hard ball game. However, I am willing to play hard ball as well. I think one of the biggest hurdles to treating teachers like professionals is the union itself. Despite its pledges and publicly stated desire to have teachers paid according to the role and status they hold in our society, the union is amazingly change adverse. The union leadership wants to be a player in local and national politics, thus it is far easier to pay lip service to actual professionalization rather than taking steps to demonstrate a desire for professionalism among its members.
For years, the union has been talking a big game about professionalism. If you want to be treated as a professional organization, act as a professional organization.