Thomas Casey's Jan. 31 "My View" regarding teacher unions restates a series of unfounded allegations that he has been promoting for years. The repetitive nature of his attacks does not by any means make them more true. Casey should refer to a recent study in the Harvard Education Review, which concludes there is a "statistically significant and positive relationship between state teacher unionization rates and state standardized test scores" as well as graduation rates and scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
These results should be no surprise since state teacher unions emphasize increasing standards for student performance as well as assuring safe and secure school environments for learning and teaching.
Because the Orchard Park Teachers Association has departed from the outmoded conception that all relations between teacher unions and school districts must be adversarial, Casey infers that there must be some sort of conspiracy between the association and the administration. He overlooks the power of the strong common interest we have in educating every student.
Casey has publicly referred to teachers and parents who have strong differences with the association, but asserts that these people are afraid to express dissent publicly because of fear of retribution against themselves or their children. Association members have suffered this particular insult for too many years. Both as an organization and as individuals, members will not condone such behavior. Open, candid and civil dialogue can only help in our children's education.
If Casey or his political allies were to review honestly the achievement of the students in the Orchard Park Central School District, they would see a steady pattern of improvement on a past record of excellence.
A fair-minded person would have to acknowledge that the Teachers Association has had a positive role in that success.
SCOTT L. SHIFFNER
President, Orchard Park