Teachers Unions Against Teachers and Parents

COMMENTARY Education

Teachers Unions Against Teachers and Parents

Oct 4, 2022 1 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Jason Bedrick

Research Fellow, Center for Education Policy

Jason is a research fellow in the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation.
Parents are awakening to a fundamental disagreement over the purpose of education. Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

On one side are those who believe that schooling is an extension of parenting.

On the other side are those who believe a class of experts know better than parents do about the values that should be instilled in their children.

Politicians side against parents at their own peril.

Mr. DeAngelis rightly questions the wisdom, after COVID, of politicians embracing the teachers unions and opposing school choice. But parents’ anger at the unions and their allies is about much more than school shutdowns and lack of choice. Parents are awakening to a fundamental disagreement over the purpose of education.

On one side are those who believe that schooling is an extension of parenting. Parents want their children to develop virtuous character and acquire the skills and knowledge to earn a decent living and be good citizens. Teachers properly act as parents’ agents to achieve these ends, bolstering that which is taught in the home.

On the other side are those who believe a class of experts know better than parents do about the values that should be instilled in their children. Teachers are thus expected to enlighten children, often against the supposedly benighted values of their parents. If schools need to keep parents in the dark about what’s being taught, or how their children are using different names and pronouns, so be it.

Parents overwhelmingly take the first view and are dismayed to learn how many school officials take the second. Now, they’re flexing their muscles at school-board meetings and the ballot box. Politicians side against parents at their own peril.

This letter originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal