School board's Kindall to back teachers' union with resolution

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 10:05pm

The Metro Nashville Board of Education could soon weigh in on state Republicans’ efforts to strip teacher unions of their collective bargaining ability.

Longtime school board member Ed Kindall told The City Paper Wednesday he plans to make a motion next board meeting (March 8) to express disapproval of state legislative attempts aimed at ending the teachers’ union’s right to collective bargaining. The school board’s vote would amount to a non-binding resolution that would symbolically express the board’s position.

“I feel we’ve had a pretty good relationship with our teachers’ union over the years,” Kindall said. “We’ve had some times when we’ve had a lot of debate about salary increases, raises and that kind of thing, but I think overall they’ve been helpful to us in many instances.

“I really can’t quite figure out why we need to do away with collective bargaining,” he said.

Anti-collective bargaining legislation sponsored by Republican state Sen. Jack Johnson of Brentwood cleared the Senate Education Committee last week 6-3 along party lines. Johnson criticized the Tennessee Education Association as a “fierce proponent of mediocrity,” and referred to collective bargaining as an “albatross” hindering the education of children.

The Tennessee School Boards Association has already endorsed Johnson’s bill to curb collective bargaining rights for teachers.

Kindall said his resolution would put Metro’s school board on record.

“It’s a resolution basically stating to the TSBA and whoever’s introducing the legislation what the position of Davidson County is, the Davidson County board of education,” Kindall said.

But there isn’t any guarantee the nine-member school board will approve Kindall’s resolution, opening up the possibility that the board could express support for the anti-collective bargaining legislation.  

“I don’t know if it will pass or not,” he said. “Maybe some board members will say, ‘I don’t want to participate’ or ‘I don’t agree with you.’

“We try to recruit teachers, [and] we try to get very competent teachers in the system,” Kindall said. “I think in the last two or three years, anyway, we’ve been weeding out pretty rapidly a lot of the so-called incompetent teachers through dismissals and other kinds of actions. I know that critics say that we’re soft on teachers for whatever reason. I don’t know where that comes from.” 

13 Comments on this post:

By: teacherfriend on 2/23/11 at 11:31

Thank you Mr. Kindall. I would love to hear what the Board thinks of these anti-teacher bills.

By: govskeptic on 2/24/11 at 6:08

Mr. Kindall has always supported the MNEA and it's members
much more than the children or taxpayers while serving on
the Board lo these many years! Education and a reasonable
balance of all parties seems to always get lost!

By: spooky24 on 2/24/11 at 7:04

"I really can’t quite figure out why we need to do away with collective bargaining,” he said"

Is this guy out of touch or what. He is going to weigh in on and argument that he knows absolutely nothing about. More union fodder. Just another 90's tax and spend that has evolved into a wrenched version of that which is borrow and spend

The people who dish out the property tax to pay for the board want more that just blind allegiance to the unions- and to hell with the kids. I though he got voted out anyway.


By: morpheus120 on 2/24/11 at 7:36

Spooky, you're the one that doesn't know what they're talking about.

Only five states do not allow collective bargaining for educators, effectively banning teachers unions (like what is being proposed in Wisconsin). Those states and their SAT/ACT rankings are as follows:

South Carolina – 50th
North Carolina – 49th
Georgia – 48th
Texas – 47th
Virginia – 44th

Meanwhile ground zero of the union battle, Wisconsin, is ranked 2nd in the country.

By: Ingleweird on 2/24/11 at 9:16

Amen, Morpheus.

How do these Republicants expect to retain quality teachers by weakening their ability to earn tenure? Certain Metro schools have unique challenges to meeting standards: students living in non-english-speaking households, comparatively apathetic parents unwilling to encourage learning or enforcing proper social interaction, transient foreign students who (are allowed to) leave to visit their home countries DURING the school year. How are any of these factors attributable to teachers? Why should their jobs be in jeopardy because they chose to teach the needier schools?

Are there no captains (administrators) willing to admit defeat and jump their sinking ships? Administrators are the ones in charge. If they can't weed out the good and bad teachers on their own and meet their established goals without getting the Capitol Hill chest-pounding, mouth-breathing, grandstanding gorillas involved, then the administrators should be the ones out of a job, not teachers.

No, I am not a teacher, but I do value education for all.

By: Nitzche on 2/24/11 at 9:31

Is Ed Kindall still alive?

By: JeffF on 2/24/11 at 12:04

Wasn't aware that the ACT/SAT scores were that important of a statistic, especially since many states require students to simply take the test without doing well before graduating. I would imagine that Wisconsin is not #2 when assessment testing is judged.

By: Antisocialite on 2/24/11 at 12:50

JefF said:
Wasn't aware that the ACT/SAT scores were that important of a statistic, especially since many states require students to simply take the test without doing well before graduating. I would imagine that Wisconsin is not #2 when assessment testing is judged.

Since the No Child Left Behind Act allows states to use their own methods of assessment testing every year it is difficult to compare states directly using those tests alone. ACT/SAT scores are one way of standardizing performance in order to effectively rank the states side-by-side. Regardless, what anyone 'would imagine' has no bearing on the reality of the situation.

By: WmCoWatchdog on 2/24/11 at 1:52

Why don't liberals want to share all the facts? Just read the following articles:

The only reason Wisconsin ranks so high on SAT scores is because only 7% of the students take the test in the first place. Tennessee ranks 12th with a participation rate of 10%, and we spend almost $3000 per student less for comparable results. Regardless, the need for collective bargaining and tenure has passed. We are not getting our money's worth in either state. It's time for compensation to be based on performance and real results.

By: pswindle on 2/24/11 at 1:56

Thank you Mr. Kendall for understanding. This shows how out of touch the GOP is.. All they want is a two class system. Is this not why we came to American for equality and a chance for all to have the dream of a good life.

By: spooky24 on 2/24/11 at 4:10

You can rant and rave but it's going to happen. Rhode Island simply sending all teachers layoff notices--so they can pick and choose who to fire later put a different spin on everything. Phony polls, ludicrous statical numbers and blaming politicians, who were given a mandate to do these things by a majority of the voters, just shows desperation. I am at a loss why some people just can understand that as a nation, and a state, we just can't keep borrowing money endlessly-with no repercussions ever. Governmental spending-at all levels-has got to be curtailed and these are just the first steps. Live with it.


By: Radix on 2/25/11 at 8:22

Love teachers. Hate unions.

By: pswindle on 2/25/11 at 10:04

It seems most GOP governors are backing off of what the fool in WI is doing. Haslam better think twice if he wants more than one term.