Essay Question: Teachers & Unions In 20 Years

I read somewhere recently that only seven percent of the US workforce remain unionized, though of course in education that number is much higher.  For better or for worse, the overall trend is clear -- more and more industries are either shutting down (manufacturing) or moving overseas, or becoming much less union-dominated than they were.  Pensions and employer-paid healthcare plans are going the way of the dodo bird, or at least they have in other sectors.  But maybe education is different?  Put your own opinions aside for a moment -- and your own personal benefit -- and ponder the following:  Do you think that teaching will be as unionized as it currently is in 20 years, or more like 50-50, or do you think it's possible that unionization in the education profession will have basically gone away by then?  Assuming such a thing happens, will the trend overall improve the quality and performance of teachers, or turn teaching into some sort of service industry fast food kind of job? Answers will be graded.  Remember back up your answer with at least one concrete bit of historical (or anecdotal) evidence.  


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  • Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics and being a white male I should in theory live to be 75.7 years old. Since I am currently 57 years old Alexander, it is likely I will not be around in 20 years to see if my guess of what will happen to teachers unions will happen. As the economist J. M. Keynes once wrote: "The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead."

    Rod Estvan

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