Re: Another Reason to Private School in Rhode Island

Under Justin’s post, commenter Rhody remarks:

The teachers are back to school (under a court order), they don’t have a new contract, and still people are kicking them.
If any of us were sent back to work under a court order, our attitude might not be that great, either. Remember, kids coming out of college who want to be teachers see this, and will be more inclined to find professions where they can make more money without being trashed on talk radio, letters to the editor, blogs, etc.

Back to work under a court order and without a contract may mean work-to-rule but it does not mean work for free. Further, even if they are working under the terms of the expired contract, presumed to be less advantageous than the one to be signed, as Rhode Island teachers, they are still the ninth highest paid in the country. [This is as of 2005. Links to newer comparisons are welcome.] My criticism for the conditions in Tiverton and for the larger issue of the state of our education system is not directed at teachers but is reserved solely for elected officials at the local level. They have executed, with other people’s money, contracts of increasing generosity that have no bearing on whether the education of students has been advantaged (it has not) or on whether the contracts are fiscally viable (they are not).
It is interesting, by the way, how much is missing from the specific terms of these contracts. If the elected officials who negotiate and approve the funding for teacher contracts had included these and other requirements in the prior contract, seniors in Tiverton and other work-to-rule districts would not be experiencing such problems.

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16 years ago

My, I’m popular tonight, eh? Sounds like I’ve become a bigger threat to the commonweal than Crowley.
You have a valid point, though: If the School Committee complains about teachers who work to rule, maybe they need to negotiate a new set of rules.

16 years ago

rhody, is it necessary to have one set of rules to govern all teachers? The elimination of the collective bargaining agreement would solve much of the problems that exist in public education today. Principals are each signed to individual contracts. If they don’t perform to the level expected by the district, their contracts are not renewed. How many teachers would do the absolute minimum if they knew their jobs were on the line?
Teaching is not just a job. Our kids deserve the best we can provide. Are you really willing to support the negotiation of a “new set of rules”?

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