One Key to Finland’s Successful Schools: Teacher Unions. — One Union Gal Speaks Up.

As I was surfing Twitter today, I saw this tweet to our AFT President, Randi Weingarten. The tweet was sent by Matt Frendewey, the National Communications Director for @schoolchoice aka the American Federation for Children.


Needless to say, being a union gal, this caught my eye.

I am not sure why Mr. Frendewey believes that children are better served in non union schools, but most of us know better.

One example of a country with exceptional schools and the majority of its teachers in unions is Finland. We have heard about Finland’s high rankings on international tests like the PISA for years.

Recently, Henna Virkkunen, Finland’s Minister of Education, was asked about the role teacher unions play in Finland. Specifically, referring to the anti union climate in the US, she was asked if unions are seen as a problem standing in the way of reform.

She responded:

“It’s a totally different situation in Finland. For me, as Minister of Education, our teachers’ union has been one of the main partners because we have the same goal: we all want to ensure that the quality of education is good, and we are working very much together with the union. Nearly every week we are in discussions with them. They are very powerful in Finland. Nearly all of the teachers are members. I think we don’t have big differences in our thinking. They are very good partners for us.”

Does that sound to you like unions are bad for schools and children?


For more on the success of Finland’s schools, check this Smithsonian Magazine.

… and, oh yea, don’t believe everything you read on Twitter.




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