Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Same Budget that Was in Crisis Causing Firings Now Finds $34 M Surplus to Fund Teacher Raises

Teaching asks a lot of teachers. An effective school system is one that inspires teachers to give their all for a life of inspired teaching. A sick school system is one with a culture of mistrust, cynicism, and disrespect. It is one run at the whim of autocrats based on fear. The culture becomes us vs. them. As Diane Ravitch argued on her blog a few weeks back, there are two kinds of superintendents and two kinds of school system cultures, one is professional, the other industrial.

I was hopeful that this new contract, which seems like a good one given the circumstances, could mean a new day. I was hopeful that the Chancellor perhaps has learned that you have to work with and inspire trust from teachers to imporve the quality of teaching, and that the WTU perhaps has learned that a labor intensive focus on the quality of teaching has to be central for the union as well. I still think its a pretty good contract, but...

The cynics and mistrusters are going to come out of the woodwork on this one. In testimony before the City Council, according to the article by Bill Turque in today's online Washington Post, and even harsher pieces in the City Paper and the Examiner, Michelle Rhee tried to explain that the same budget that had caused her to have to fire 266 teachers in the fall now has a $34 Million surplus that can be used to fund the newly negotiated rasies. The explanation? A mistake in math by DCPS. Trust that!!

Whether this will "blow up" the contract ratification, as the City Paper Article implies is open to question, but bad faith it clearly seems to be.

No comments: