Thompson: I Still Think Brad Jupp Is A Genius
I just read Brad Jupp's contribution to I Used to Think... Now I Think... and I find my opinion of him unchanged. As for my own beliefs, well, I used to think that 49% of the union's job was protecting its members, while 51% was representing students. Now I agree with Jupp that the primary purpose of unions should be measurable improvement of student performance. I used to think that the best thing we could do for kids was to merge the teachers' and the principals' unions. Now I agree with Jupp that unions should also recruit early childhood and adult educators, and teachers in dual-enrollment programs, charter, online, and private schools. I still think that innovative union leaders like Jupp are moving as quickly as possible to bring the rank-in-file into the reform process, but now I agree that we need a mass movement to close the achievement gap. Jupp respects the opinions of his former colleagues who say that teacher-bashing and simple-minded "reforms" are making it more difficult to persuade teachers to support innovations like the ones he pioneered, but he mostly blames the internal structure of unions. I used to think that teachers would have to mount an aggressive legal campaign against the misuse of reforms pushed by Jupp's colleagues in the Duncan Administration before we can move forward collaboratively. I still do. -JT (@drjohnthompson)Image via.