Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Teaching Nobody

The United Teachers of New Orleans are pushing the New Orleans School Board to hire back more of the teachers let go as a result of the city's evacuation.

Problem is, only about one sixth of the pre-Katrina students have returned to the city.

As unions are want to do, they are trying to get full employment for teachers even if those teachers are not needed.

Still unprepared for the coming hurricane season, and plagued by numerous other financial and structural problems, New Orleans has managed to get some of its schools in operation, but nowhere near enough as many to satisfy the United Teachers of New Orleans, which represents about 4,000 teachers who have been unable to return to work.

USA Today reports that the union has sued to force the city to open more schools.According to Louisiana officials New Orleans served 56,000 students before Katrina while today it's handling nearly 10,000 students with a capacity for 2,000 more.

That's not enough to satisfy the union whose leaders argue that by returning soon to a larger school district, ready or not, the city will be able to lure more citizens with a sense of normalcy, ignoring what constituted normalcy before Katrina when the city's schools were among the nation's worst.
The state is taking an unusually practical approach to reopening the schools in the city. As more facilities are needed, another school is refurbished and reopened as a charter school. The charter schools are a common-sense solution to the bare-bones staff manning the school board. Now, each school is responsible for its own curriculum and upkeep.

So far parents seem to be happy with this arrangement although the new media has not covered the new management of the parish schools since their reopening.

Let's hope that this trend continues and gets expanded upon. New Orleans best days may yet lie ahead. But not if the Teacher's Union has anything to do with it.

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