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National Review editor takes on teachers unions

Rich Lowry of National Review Online describes what he calls the “shame” of teachers unions.

No other group has shown as much contempt for its own work during the coronavirus crisis as teachers.

Their unions are actively fighting to keep kids out of the classroom and also to limit remote instruction, lest it require too much time and attention from people who are supposed to be wholly devoted to educating our children.

This has been a wrenching time in the U.S. labor market, with tens of millions thrown out of work. It’s been an inspiring time. Workers we never would have thought of as essential before — grocery-store employees, delivery guys, meat-packing workers — have kept absolutely necessary parts of the economy operating even while most of their fellow Americans were staying at home.

Not only have doctors and health-care workers put themselves on the line, but cops and firefighters have done the same.

It’s not correct to say that all these people have done their jobs uncomplainingly — many have worried, understandably, about their safety and wanted more protections. But all have shown up. All have been there, during the horrific spring outbreak, during a brief respite, and during the current summer resurgence.

Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge our debt to them is a thoughtless ingrate.

Then, there are the teachers unions.

Their approach has been a diametrically opposed to that of the everyday heroes of America. Their first and last thought has been of their own interests. They have sought to limit their labor while still getting paid — at the ultimate cost of the education of kids who may never fully make up the gaps in their learning during their time away from the classroom. …

… [T]he unions have represented institutional laziness and selfishness at a time of incredible strain for parents across the country.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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