Terry Moe, author of the new book "Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America's Public Schools," writes in today’s Wall St. Journal that “this has been a horrible year for teachers unions, “ but they still “remain the pre-eminent power in American education.” That power, he predicts, is short-lived because
they are losing their grip on the Democratic base. With many urban schools abysmally bad and staying that way, advocates for the disadvantaged are demanding real reform and aren't afraid to criticize unions for obstructing it. Moderates and liberals in the media and even in Hollywood regularly excoriate unions for putting job interests ahead of children. Then there's Race to the Top—initiated over union protests by a Democratic president who wants real reform. This ferment within the party will only grow in the future.
Then there's a crucial dynamic outside of politics: the revolution in information technology. This tsunami is only now beginning to swell, and it will hit the American education system with full force over the next few decades. The teachers unions are trying to stop it, but it is much bigger than they are.