Have unions in the teaching profession harmed the quality of teaching? An opinion piece in today's New York Times
(registration required) thinks so. "Quality decreases whenever there are shortages of a service or commodity," says the author, a dean of a school of education. Naturally, he's opposed to increasing supply by reducing the licensing requirements ("it flies in the face of professionalism") but he does argue for merit pay.
With a dearth of teachers in fields like special education and mathematics, wouldn't it be appropriate to pay those teachers more, to attract more professionals into these critical areas? A differentiated salary schedule could also reward outstanding teachers and board-certified teachers. If the faculty union at City University of New York can agree to a contract permitting outstanding professors and those in hard-to-fill areas to get higher salaries, surely the teachers' unions can show some flexibility.
Well, it won't happen here in Minnesota
. And only administrators get it in MnSCU. Not faculty.