New York Mag takes a long and must-read look at Waiting for Superman and the larger issues surrounding it.

2 Replies to “Superman?”

  1. This sentence of the review is totally wrong:
    “How did the D.C. teachers union react? As ‘Superman’ shows in devastating detail, it refused even to allow a vote on the plan.”

    Not even close.
    * First of all, had it come to a vote, the proposed Red-Green version of the contract AS OUTLINED IN PUBLIC BY RHEE AND PARKER (with almost all important details missing, because they hadn’t been agreed to) a couple of years ago, before I retired, would have been voted down overwhelmingly. A number of surveys of current DCPS teachers bore out my opinion.
    * Secondly, for a contract to be voted on, all of the language of the contract (financial and technical) first has to be agreed upon and signed by both negotiating teams, and the Mayor, and the City Council. (I was on one such negotiating team one year.) That didn’t happen until this spring. Thus there was nothing for teachers to vote up or down.
    So, the way I see it, Parker (alone) and Rhee (with her thralls) worked on the outlines of a new contract. Parker, being out of touch with teachers, suspected it just might be a hard sell to the rank and file. So they agreed to try to put forth the infamous Red and Green plan to teachers, to see if they could bribe them into assenting, without knowing anything else whatsoever might be in the proposed labor agreement. The response from teachers was overwhelmingly negative in general and on many details.
    Then Rhee and Parker went back into their negotiating room, for nearly two years, and came up with a new contract that has, as far as I can tell, fairly few actual technical details in common with the Red/Green Plan.
    So, that sentence about ‘the union never bringing it to a vote’ as if DC public school teachers were dying to jump onto
    Rhee’s side is a bald-faced lie. But it gets repeated a lot.

    from Guy Brandenburg, who is humble enough to admit mistakes.

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