Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Of Rhee, DC, Fenty and Randi.


Whole lotta crazy stuff going on in DC, huh?

Rhee wants to basically get rid of tenure, throw a whole bunch of money at the teachers and see if they jump for it. Kind of reminds me of the satirical "volunteers step forward" bit and then everyone but a few people actually end up stepping backward.

You know, I'm one for reform. I like it, I think that things need to change in American education. The thing is that change cannot be brought by one side; nor can it be forced by one side. That's not change....that's uh, I don't even know.

If the union (any union) comes into negotiations and wants to do something, but can't get the district to agree it doesn't happen. You don't hear about that though, do you? You don't hear about the innovative ideas that teacher unions bring to the table that don't make it through bargaining.

In my opinion, the most innovative ideas that get press are the ones that don't happen, that don't get negotiated into a contract, and almost always their collective idealistic deaths are blamed on the teachers' unions and the union leaders.

You have to meet halfway folks-- you can't just say "Hey you, come over here". That just isn't good-faith bargaining.

Now, I've got to tell you what Rhee is doing is admirable-- that is, trying to make the DC schools better for the kids. What is not admirable is how she's trying to break the union with her red/green plan. I think tenure and seniority are important-- but so is being fair. She ain't being fair.

I can see it now...perhaps the WaPo, perhaps Fordham's Flypaper....perhaps even the Republicrats over at DFER/RFER, whatever they're called.

"Teacher union leader blocking significant reforms," says the headline. "Those fat-cat teacher union leaders just want more money," said blogger Wonkish EdType, "less accountability and fewer students in the classrooms of their teachers, so they can put more teachers in the classroom, have more members in their bargaining unit, collect more money for their teacher union PACS to elect more pro-labor politicians until they lower the teacher/ student ration from where it is to 1:1 and then there will be more teachers, and then you know, they'll elect one of those teachers as the the President of the United States or something and then American education will never change. Damn those teacher unions!"

Ahh, yes. How many years to retirement?


Anonymous said...

"Teacher unions block irresponsible reforms"

Now that's a headline we won't be seeing.

And I don't get the Rhee = admirable line. She has far too little experience to be running a school, let alone a huge district. It would be irresponsible of me to try to fly a 747, not admirable. Which brings me back to that headline. Too bad we won't see it. We should.

IMC Guy said...

Your comment "You have to meet halfway folks-- you can't just say "Hey you, come over here". That just isn't good-faith bargaining." is a great one. There are many members of our union don't feel that way, they feel we have to get the district to do what we want, and it just doesn't work that way.


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