East Providence

Taking the Deliberative Out of Democracy

By Carroll Andrew Morse | January 14, 2009 |

Let’s recap the events that helped bring last night’s East Providence school committee meeting to an abrupt end. The third speaker of the public comment period was East Providence teacher Mary Texeria. As Justin alluded to in the previous post, Ms. Texeria made a tough but fair statement saying that she would be willing to…

The Sound of the Beginning of the End

By Justin Katz | January 14, 2009 |

The following are some audio clips from the East Providence School Committee meeting. Keep in mind, while listening, that the sound isn’t entirely representative. For one thing, I was sitting near the taxpayer group, so they might be overrepresented in the general sound level (although still greatly outnumbered). School Committee Chairman Anthony Carcieri makes his…

Images from Tuesday’s School Committee Meeting

By Monique Chartier | January 14, 2009 |

[Prior to the commencement of the meeting] At the entrance to the High School Auditorium As media cameras roll, cheers, yelling and chants of “teachers, teachers”. And down in front, two or three merry bars of Solidarity Forever.

What We’re Up Against

By Justin Katz | January 13, 2009 |

So parking has already spilled over to the supermarket parking lot across the street, and it was clear from conversation that the women standing at the crosswalk with me were teachers from another district. As we crossed, the policeman directing traffic told them to “be loud — my wife is a teacher.” (There’s a six-figure…

Thousands of Sharon Wests

By Justin Katz | January 12, 2009 |

Many Rhode Islanders surely share the sentiments that Sharon West expresses from East Providence: Recently, a consultant hired by the committee reported that the average teacher makes $69,000 a year and receives benefits costing $26,000 annually. Yes, $95,000, and many make even more. The consultant stated that this amounts to an hourly wage of $93.…

Tasting the New Environment

By Justin Katz | January 7, 2009 |

I just heard on WPRO that the judge won’t decide whether to stop the East Providence School Committee’s unilateral employment change until the 23rd. It looks like union members will start to feel the pinch of not giving concessions. That’s a huge change for the better from an environment in which they expect to get…

Wherego the Impressions Goes Public Opinion

By Justin Katz | January 3, 2009 |

Union members and supporters in Rhode Island should contemplate hard where their self-imposed imperatives are placing them in the battle of messages. On their side is a dogged assertion that official processes don’t weaken their hand even during financial emergencies: [Union lawyer John] Leidecker also said state law says districts should adhere to the old…

East Providence Charges into the New School Year

By Justin Katz | January 2, 2009 |

So states East Providence School Committee Chair Anthony Carcieri in a press release just out (and available in full in the extended entry): “This school system has cut everything to the bone except the teachers’ contract. Everything,” Carcieri said. “They stopped capital improvements years ago. Basic maintenance of the school buildings has all but stopped.…

Union Reverse Tautology and Arbetrayal

By Justin Katz | December 24, 2008 |

The rhetorical dance of the East Providence teachers’ union is so flowing, it’s easy to miss the essential argument: “The School Committee’s solution to their self-inflicted fiscal problem is to blame it on the teachers’ contract and to shift the entire burden of paying off that deficit to the teachers,” union representative Jeannette Woolley countered…