A+PEL Pushes Back Against Teacher Unions

The Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana came out swinging against the unions earlier this week. Their President, Polly Broussard, summed it up when she said:

Contrary to the union narratives – teachers are leaders, not followers – they want innovative policies that can help them to excel. Systems, policies, and external groups like unions all too often take away a teacher’s responsibility and debase their role as a leader and as a professional. Louisiana needs more highly effective teachers and we need them right now.”

For those of you who don’t know, the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL) is an independent professional association of over 7000 teachers from across Louisiana. It has been around since the 1980’s and has recently grown to over 7000 teachers.

A+PEL was created because teachers were fed up with the union tactics. They wanted a professional organization that would promote professional development and stand up for teachers and students.

A+PEL just released their membership survey for 2013 and it shows that teachers are really not that different from doctors, lawyers and other professionals. They simply want the tools, resources and respect necessary to improve themselves and their peers.

According to Kelli Bottger, Director of Communications for A+PEL, the membership survey  “highlights the depth of concern that teachers have for the status of education in Louisiana.”

A+PEL’s membership survey was conducted March 18-25, 2013 and over 400 teachers participated.

Key findings:

  • Teachers want to be rewarded for excellence
  • Teachers appreciate tenure but not as a shield for ineffective teachers
  • Teachers want autonomy
  • Teachers agree that effectiveness should be a factor in Reduction in Force policies

Apparently, over 50% agreed that teachers should receive an increased salary for good student performance and over 75% agreed that ineffective teachers should be released first when it comes to Reduction in Force (RIF) policies.

No wonder the teacher unions get so mad that A+PEL offers their members liability insurance at a lower rate than the unions do...

According to Keith Courville, A+PEL’s Director of Professional Development, “This data supports our long held beliefs that classroom teachers are ready to rise to the challenge of educational reform. They are seeking proactive solutions for the benefit of students, not excuses for ineffective teachers.”

With education reform continuing to be a hot topic in Louisiana, it’s great to see teachers banding together to improve the quality of education.



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