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New Phi Delta Kappa Poll Makes Case for Teacher Membership Alternatives

Update, 8/23: The new PDK poll isn’t alone in making the case for teacher alternatives. PACE membership director Tim Farmer makes a great case that “professional associations are the future of teaching” today on the Ed News Colorado blog.

The state of American public opinion on teachers and their unions, as reported in the recent Phi Delta Kappa / Gallup poll, suggests a strong value to giving our public educators not only professional membership alternatives (which Colorado law allows) but also the information to help them make wise and suitable choices (one of the main reasons for this website). A new release from the Association of American Educators explains:

Results of New Poll Confirm Need for Non-Union Teacher Organizations

Alexandria, VA — A survey released last week by Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup indicates that Americans overwhelming support teachers, but not teachers’ unions. Among the survey results 71% of respondents said that they have trust and confidence in America’s teachers. However, when asked about the teacher unions, 47% say they believe the unions have hurt education, compared to only 26% believing the unions have helped education. While the findings are nothing new to the growing number of teachers disenfranchised with their unions, it appears that the public has begun to draw a distinction between teachers, as individual professionals, and the actions of the teachers unions.

AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner commented on the national poll today, releasing the following statement:

“This survey shows that Americans are beginning to realize the disconnect between teachers and unions. Unfortunately for teachers, they are often coupled with policies of the teacher unions that are bankrupting states, degrading the professionalism of teachers, and worst of all, hurting our nation’s children.

Teachers are not synonymous with unions, as union leaders would have you believe; rather, they are individual professionals with ideas to bring to the education dialogue that will aid in student learning and the American people are taking notice.

Because of the unprofessional tactics and support of left-wing causes, teachers are fleeing the unions and seeking alternative organizations that will better represent them as professionals. The results of this poll give further evidence of the need for the non-union educator movement – a movement that embraces innovation and reform while focusing on excellence in the classroom and student achievement as the highest priority.

As the new school year gets underway, I encourage teachers across America to take these findings to heart and choose membership in an organization that best represents them and their profession. Those who don’t identify with the unprofessional, hyper-partisan tactics of the unions should join with the over 300,000 other teachers who have embraced truly professional organizations like the Association of American Educators.

Clearly as respected professionals, teachers should distance themselves from the self-serving interest of labor unions and align themselves with an organization that respects their true priorities.”

The Association of American Educators is the largest national, non-union, professional educators’ association, offering an alternative to the partisan politics and non-educational agendas of the teacher labor unions. AAE does not endorse, support or contribute to any political cause or candidacy. AAE has members in all 50 states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $15 per month.

On our website you can find information on membership options for teachers in Colorado — including AAE’s state affiliate the Professional Association of Colorado Educators (PACE). You also can listen to this recent podcast interview with PACE’s new membership director Tim Farmer.