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Unions protect bad teachers

One of the important take-aways of the Freddie Gray tragedy and the Baltimore riots is the expanded awareness that while the police union does believe in the mission to "serve and protect" the public, their first priority is to serve and protect their members ("After Freddie Gray death, U.S. starts civil rights probe of Baltimore police," May 8). For example, the union fiercely defends a state law giving police up to 10 days before they must answer questions regarding incidents like the Freddie Gray death. This is understandable since a union is created to protect their members. This protection extends to both good and bad cops.

How long will it take for the public to realize the same holds true for the teacher's union? Yes, the teacher's union cares about educating our children ("Howard educators ask Hogan to spend more on schools," May 6). But their first priority is to protect their members, both good and bad teachers, and to keep their members employed and in front of the classroom. Yes, this means fighting to keep both good and bad teachers in front of the classroom.

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Why else would teachers' unions be opposed to charter schools and voucher programs? Is it because they truly believe that these strategies will not help educate children? The more honest answer is because these approaches may result in fewer dues-paying union members.

John W. Egan, Hunt Valley

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