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Speaking Truth to Power

EDUsolidarityThis post is a contribution to EDUSolidarity, the net roots campaign of hundreds of American teachers explaining “why teachers like me support teacher unions.”

by Roseanne McCosh
20-year teacher, Bronx

Why do I deserve or need to be protected by a union? I have sent numerous emails to former Chancellor Joel Klein and have had my comments printed several times in the New York Daily News’ Voice of the People and in our local Norwood News in the Bronx. My comments targeted the inadequate Every Day math program that is failing our students, the lack of rigor of past state tests which resulted in inflated scores (before the 2010 scandal), the appalling overcrowded conditions in my school that interfere with student learning and two violent students that assaulted classmates and were returned to school only to once again commit acts of violence against classmates. Union protection allows me to speak truth to power and advocate for children. The violent students were removed immediately after my comments were printed in the newspaper. Writing to the press to expose what Joel Klein swept under a rug would have put my career at risk had I not had union protection.