Everyone is gaga over the new Baltimore teachers contract in this Washington Post Robert McCartney column but I can’t imagine they had time to read it since it’s pretty hard to find. Jay Mathews’ link, for instance, is to a flyer on ratification (maybe that’s a sly subversive joke?). And because I’m sure everyone would be more measured in their takes given what’s in (and not in) the actual document. Jay does to his credit, however, note the ambiguous nature of this.
But if you dig around enough it is there (pdf). You can judge for yourself if it’s as bold as the D.C. contract. I think it’s fine, a step forward for Baltimore, and has some potential but not as far reaching as the D.C. contract based on, you know, what’s actually in the two agreements rather than how it’s being described and subsequently characterized based on talking points etc…It’s basically a promissory note but without the all the promise parts. It could get really bold as it’s actually developed, the record on that is mixed and New Haven was a pleasant surprise. But, it’s being overplayed right now and the political reasons for that are obvious.
Timing I: By the way, wasn’t the time for the Baltimore superintendent (and for that matter lots of urban superintendents), who I like and admire for among other things his thoughtfulness, to jam the union when they would have agreed to just about anything under the sun in order to make Michelle Rhee look bad? Now that the D.C. election is over and she’s seemingly on her way out what’s the point besides allowing a few people to make uninformed cheap shots?
Timing II: It’s a little inconvinient for all the Baltimore schools superintendent ‘Andres Alonso is so different than Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein’ types that there he is in the Washington Post today with a new op-ed saying, well, the exact same things as Rhee, Klein and host of other urban superintendents.