(H/T Schroeder) Yesterday was the 240th anniversary of the birth of the great and revolutionary musical genius Ludwig von Beethoven. Because it fits my mood for today, here’s the triumphant finale to the legendary Fifth Symphony:
Colorado is an interesting place for education reform, for many reasons. Among them are issues related to teacher professional membership and representation:
In Colorado, public school teachers have a right to join or not join (and not pay fees to) a union or other professional membership organization.
In Colorado, elected school boards are not obligated to enter a collective bargaining relationship with teachers or other employees.
In Colorado, no state laws define collective bargaining for government workers, nor any of the related procedures and guidelines.
In Colorado, school districts with active collective bargaining agreements are required to post them online (and have them available in the school office) for transparency and easy public access.
The first three on the list could apply to very few other states. (I think Utah may be the only other state with all four.) But what they together reflect is a strong basis for local control of education. Local control for school boards to decide — in some cases restricted by the parameters of existing agreements — whether and how to bargain. Even more local control for individual teachers to decide whether and how they want to be represented.