It was claimed that 150 members of the Baltimore teachers union had gathered to protest in front of school system headquarters to protest an issue the union has with school Chief Andres Alonso. The story in the Baltimore Sun tries its best to make it seem a united cause by teachers but one upon reflection it becomes obvious that the 150 protesters were not who they pretended to be. In a teachers union of 12,000 members a showing of 150 is bad enough a representation but when many of the 150 protesters aren’t even teachers, well, doesn’t that say how little support this union has on the issue? So, if many of the so-called protesters at this rally weren’t even members of the union in question… just who IS the Baltimore teachers union representing?

At issue is whether the schools should require teachers to spend at least 45 minutes per week in planning sessions with colleagues. The union says that teachers don’t have time for planning for their own class work, much less time to be forced to meet with colleagues. Alonso claims he won’t budge from his position and therefore the union wants him fired.

Not earth shattering conflict, to be sure and the fact that the issue isn’t moving too many of Baltimore’s teachers to protest shows that. Yet, even as they can’t get much support from their own members the union is still pressing forward with their own agenda.

Here is what the Baltimore Sun says about the makeup of the 150 protesters. Two of the 150 were a city councilwoman and a national union official, neither of whom represent the actual teachers of Baltimore.

Among those who turned out to support the union was Edward J. McElroy, president of the American Federation of Teachers, which has 1.2 million members. And City Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton, who spoke at the protest, said she would introduce a resolution asking the council to intervene on behalf of teachers.

And here is the most telling paragraph in the story:

Last night’s protest attracted more than just teachers. Some education advocates used the rally to further their argument that the city should have an elected school board, rather than the current structure where the mayor and governor appoint the board jointly. Other unions, including electrical workers, sent representatives to show their support.

So, let’s consider this. There were only 150 protesters in the first place. If we take away the “other unions” and advocates for separate issues how many ACTUAL teachers union members were at this thing?

It seems that the original 150 out of 12,000 members is even smaller still.

And that leads one to wonder just how much representin’ that union is really doing anyway?

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