The Price of Education Labor Peace in Rhode Island

Addressing the prospect (now a reality) of the firing of all Central Falls teachers, former Senator Linc Chafee said Monday,

It would be a step back to have labor unrest in our schools

It is quite possible that former Senator Chafee – along with many other people – is truly unaware of the price that has been paid to avoid “labor unrest”.

Property Taxes: 7th Highest

engendered by

Teacher Salaries: Top 20%

and contrast with

Academic achievement: Bottom 20%

Senator Chafee proposed mediation between the union and the city. The drawback to this course is the prospect of yet more money being placed on the table. But look at where we are now: compensation on one end of the scale and academic achievement on the opposite end. Clearly, money has not been the answer.
Further, the senator presumably does not believe that Rhode Island has been paying this high price solely to achieve peace. Of course, the goal has been to secure a good education and a better future for our children. The answer, then, is not to exacerbate the polarity between price and education achievement by endlessly increasing the price. It is to begin bringing results in line with the price that we have been paying and, as a first step, to be clear that the goal is more than labor peace.

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11 years ago

Good points.
Chafee sounds like he has realized that the way to get elected in RI today is to pander to the public employee unions.
Chafee also sounds like Treasurer recent Caprio’s bizarre, NEA-appeasing claim on on of the local Sunday talk shows that RI students’ public schools compare favorably with those of other students around the country.
One of the especially scary things about Chafee’s offer to mediate is his background: coming from a family with great (married) wealth, he’ll feel a naiive and erroneous duty to spread (others’) money around and not appear selfish. Like John McCain, I doubt Chafee knows how many homes he and his wife own. Don’t put such people in charge of resolving tough problems involving taxpayers money and public employee unions. Already Chafee looks like he would be a disaster as a governor.

11 years ago

Absolutely pandering/grandstanding to the unions here.
The real key here is that this action is beyond the reach of the GA so our states most costly labor union can’t count on the hacks to bail them out. This is not a contract issue its a greed issue.
If they strike, we decertify the union and fire all the teachers hiring none back.

don roach
don roach
11 years ago

If short term labor unrest leads to long term education success (that kinda rhymes) then I’m all for it.
At some point teachers must be held accountable for our children’s edgumacation.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Chafee is pulling a grandstanding act for the sole purpose of drumming up votes.His display of dopiness on 10 Newsconference awhile back was very scary.I can’t imagine this Forrest Gump replica trying to run the state.He wasn’t so great in Warwick.He lives in another world.
The contest between him and the Fop for US Senator was like sailing between Scylla and Charybdis for RI voters.
If he’s elected,RI deserves whatever comes.Can we really be that stupid?
One example:He thought the Governor’s Executive Order. was “unfair” to illegal aliens-it “picked on them”-duh-they’re breaking the f**kin’ law numbnuts!!
That’s the kind of crap spewed out on Kmareka and RIF.
Speaking of Kmareka-it’s gotten a little bizarre-Nancy Green rails nonstop at what she perceives to be angry men,Christians,people who get their hands on guns,blah,blah,blah.
However,she kinda overlooked the Obamabot woman who gunned down a roomful of colleagues.
Strangely,all the people she shot whose photos I saw were “people of color”in leftistspeak.She sorta neglected to notice the whole incident.Hmmm?
If the woman had been a Tea Partier,can you imagine the venom Green would have thrown?As it is,I don’t think the shooter was a racist-just a maniac who didn’t take adversity very well.The point being that sometimes(most times,actually)murder is just that.The motives are almost always financial or personal.

11 years ago

edgumacation. ?

11 years ago

I’m surprised — I would have thought you too young to know references from “Popeye the Sailor Man”!

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