A survey released by the Association of American Educators
raises some interesting questions about the political and
professional attitudes of K-12 teachers nationwide.
The survey shows a clear majority of respondents support
vouchers and other forms of school choice. While AAE members are
non-union, Steve Gunn of Education Action Group wonders if this support
does not extend to union-member teachers as well.
"That sort of raised the question
whether or not ultra-liberal, anti-reform positions that the unions
take, that the union leadership take, if that's really indicative
of what rank-and-file teachers across the country think, and I
think there's a disconnect there," he says.
Gunn believes the survey shows a shift in the way younger
teachers think, regardless of their affiliation.
"I think that there's a feeling that in general those of the
profession are becoming more open to reform, particularly younger
teachers," he adds. "They see the obvious problems, they recognize
that the unions are just coming from a selfish standpoint, trying
to protect the status quo and they want what's best for students
and they want what's best for their profession."
AAE is the largest, non-union professional educators'
association and does not involve itself in partisan politics.
As school reform measures pick up steam, millions of Americans
in all 50 states took part this week in a host of National School
Choice Week events.