While many of the 'winners' were teachers who committed reprehensible acts and yet were not fired, the majority of the nominations we received were for teachers who simply didn't seem to care about teaching
Washington, D.C. (Vocus) August 19, 2008
Today the Center for Union Facts (CUF) announced the "winners" of its "Ten Worst Union-Protected Teachers" contest, which the group launched in March 2008.
The contest allowed anyone 13 and older to nominate the worst union-protected teachers in America through CUF's website http://www.TeachersUnionExposed.com. After receiving over 600 nominations, CUF has identified the ten worst and offered each of them $10,000 to quit the profession forever. The purpose of the contest was to illustrate that unions have made it so difficult and costly to get rid of bad teachers that it can be easier to pay them to quit.
"Unsurprisingly, none of the 'winners' chose to take the prize money," said CUF Executive Director Richard Berman. "When your job security is virtually guaranteed -- due to outrageous union tenure rules--regardless of your performance, why would you quit for $10,000?"
Had one of the chosen "ten worst" opted to take cash and quit teaching, he or she would also have had to allow his or her name to be made public. In the absence of any "winners" agreeing to take the money, the CUF will not be publicizing their names. However, below are some examples of "winning" behavior verified by news reports:
- "Winner" pulled up, drunk, to the drive-thru window of a fast-food restaurant. After ordering, he became angry that he wasn't getting his food fast enough, so he took out a gun and started waving it at restaurant employees. After his arrest, he pled no contest to all charges and was sent to jail. His students, meanwhile, were told he was caring for an ill family member. Once he was out of jail he was reinstated for several months before the media got wind of the story.
- "Winner" had already been accused of fondling a teenage girl when three girls accused him of making lewd comments. Investigators found him guilty of "conduct unbecoming of a school board employee." His punishment: write out the district's sexual harassment policies.
- "Winner" had sex with two of her male teen students. She was warned by the school principal and colleagues to stop driving students home after school, and she also allegedly bought students alcohol. She now teaches second-graders.
"While many of the 'winners' were teachers who committed reprehensible acts and yet were not fired, the majority of the nominations we received were for teachers who simply didn't seem to care about teaching," continued Berman. "The fact is, our education system isn't imperiled as much by the rogue teacher who has a sexual relationship with a student (that person should simply be in jail) as it is by the entrenched mediocrity that is bred by bad union policies such as teacher tenure and the absence of merit pay."
Berman concluded, "We held this contest to jump-start a conversation about the negative impact teachers unions are having on our public education system and to advocate on behalf of good teachers by promoting merit pay and opposing teacher tenure. We hope to continue to promote these ideas any way we can."
TeachersUnionExposed.com is a project of the Center for Union Facts (CUF) (http://www.UnionFacts.com). CUF is a non-profit organization supported by foundations, businesses, union members, and the general public. We are dedicated to showing Americans the facts about today's union leadership.
Center for Union Facts
Sarah Longwell, 202-463-7106, longwell @ unionfacts.com