Usually, the more language that is included in an agreement, the more restricted the school board and administrators are in making decisions.
Collective Bargaining Hinders School Management Decision Making
The agreements that arise from collective bargaining establish the respective rights of school management and the employee union. Usually, the more language that is included in an agreement, the more restricted the school board and administrators are in making decisions.
Too many school boards have agreed to include in collective bargaining agreements subjects that hamper their ability to make timely and crucial decisions that affect the delivery of educational services. The end result is that administrators and teachers both become bound by a rigid and cumbersome set of work rules and procedures.
Needlessly complex union and legal requirements have led to an ineffective and time-consuming accountability process for many districts. The burdensome contractual requirements for the evaluation, discipline, and discharge of employees have frequently lead administrators and school boards to determine that the cost of maintaining high standards of employee professionalism is just too high, leaving ineffective or even incompetent teachers in the classroom.
Toward the end of his life, Albert Shanker recognized that accountability is essential to providing quality education:
The key is that unless there is accountability, we will never get the right system. As long as there are no consequences if kids or adults don't perform, as long as the discussion is not about education and student outcomes, then we're playing a game as to who has the power.64