It is disappointing and demoralizing to discover that state schools Supt. Bill Honig spoke about teachers in such a patronizing and divisive manner at the California Principals' Conference in Irvine on Nov. 21. We referred to a strong force within the unions interested in keeping things in conflict.
We believe that the California Teachers Assn. has always been and is now interested in cooperating with school management in a collegial fashion. We do find, however, that some managers find the concept difficult to embrace, so it was not surprising, although disheartening, to read that the principals burst into applause at Honig's charge that some unions seek confrontation for their own good and not that of education.
Honig talked about offering teachers more participation. The idea of "offering" participation is offensive. Teachers have always been and are now the most significant participants in the educational process. Ask anyone who's ever been a student!
Honig referred to a faction within the teachers' unions who want to "play ball" with the educational reform movement. In fact, our association presidents, Mary Futtrell of the National Education Assn. and Marilyn Russel Bittle of the state teachers' association, have been leaders of the education reform movement, not because they wanted to "play ball" but because they, and we, want the best for the children.