I think opposition to the “interests of educators *as a class*” in this instance stems from an objection to the way the class is defined and defended. It’s perfectly consistent to be pro-medicine while being radically opposed to union protection of the wages of doctors as a group. In practice people do often say, “Well, $75,000 is too much for a teacher,” and this way of formulating it is unhelpful and even anti-educator. But the fact that people are saying stuff like that just a symptom of the education union disease, which causes wages to be bargained over in a messy political process rather than set by mechanisms where *what insensitive outsiders think does not matter*.
Now, I am also not an idiot. I realize that in some industries having wages set justly yet efficiently, by decentralized competitive processes, is more difficult than in others. But I believe one thing strongly — the way that wage bargaining works for public school teachers now is clearly very far from the best achievable outcome, and causes a lot of harm to students as well as to the good teachers. Accusations of hypocrisy and other forms of moral suasion are not going to get people to stop complaining because there’s a lot of real harm in what they’re complaining about, so we may as well start redesigning the mechanisms rather than trotting out the old union lines in this bizarre white-collar context.
If I read your first paragraph correctly, you believe that many people are opposed to the interests of teachers because teachers have unions. This position (which incidentally strikes me as a crazy position to hold) is, I think, exactly and correctly described by the excerpt. Indeed, it is quite clearly anti-educator, anti-labor, and certainly not pro-education (as such a position has no identifiable relation to the quality of education provided by schools).
I think that professional ed-reformer types often go out of their way to assert that they are not actually anti-teacher or anti-union; in fact I think that (my interpretation of) your read on the situation is more accurate than their self-presentation — that is, people who spend their time plotting ways to blow up teachers’ unions (and schools, and school systems) are probably not actually very interested in providing an education of highest-possible quality to American students.
I’m having trouble with your second paragraph because it appears we have very, very different preconceptions. I’m not at all sure what harms you think accrue to students from collective bargaining by teachers. A few days of school missed? That can’t be what you mean (and while it’s not ideal, major strikes by teachers are so rare that it could hardly merit mention). But then what? Teachers’ positions in these negotiations tend to align closely with what I would call pro-education positions: see for example their one-page summary of their demands here. (And yes, I understand that there are a few things on that list that don’t really have to do with the contract negotiations; nevertheless, teachers’ unions are one of the few powerful organizations that take these positions.) Meanwhile, the vituperative attacks of ed reformers tend to take strange forms like insisting on using poorly-conceived measurement criteria, demanding the firing of schools full of teachers, pointless administrative reorganizations, disruptive innovations, turning public schools over to for-profit companies, etc., none of which appear to have any convincing link to students learning anything.
The other parts of your second paragraph also seem strange to me — can you name any examples at all of jobs where wages are set “justly yet efficiently, by decentralized competitive processes”? There is a massive power imbalance between an employer and a potential employee, and consequently employees should, in general, be able to collectively bargain for their wages and benefits; this has nothing to do with the nature of the work that they’re doing.