October 10, 2007

Unleashed a Beast, Eh?

Justin Katz

Among the qualities from which I recoiled during last night's school committee meeting in Tiverton was the teachers' apparent enthusiasm for playing the unionist role. I'm simultaneously amused and discouraged to learn that they have actually gotten so much into it that the union itself is having to do some reining in:

Last week, Rearick said there was so much confusion about "contract compliance" that the union leadership had to hold meetings in each school building "to clarify for teachers what they can and cannot do."

Before the building-level meetings, students were telling administrators and their parents that teachers had refused to serve as class advisers, Rearick said.

"The parents are very upset that kids are being used as pawns, especially at the high school," Rearick said last week.

"Another issue is that the teachers talk about the dispute at the high school and the middle school" in class, Rearick said.

"The union had to send an internal memo to the teachers telling them to knock it off," he said.

And of course, Mr. Crowley does his best to wear down whatever meager patina of credibility he has when it comes to concern for the students, the schools, or the community:

Crowley replied, "It's baffling that he would rely on what the students are telling him to make determinations in a situation like this."

"That's really immature," Crowley said.

Ain't he clever? It almost makes you want to laugh.


By the way, the woman who brought up the recommendations of Denise deMedeiros's daughter and (I believe) hissed "twerp" with reference to another school committee member is apparently guidance director Elizabeth Farley.

Yes, the case for private school gets stronger by the day. (As does the case for making school choice a personal crusade.)

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Why do you listen to these guys anymore, Jus? You hate teachers and Unions so much that you ware willing to believe anything that supports your case, no matter how untrue it is?

Posted by: Pat Crowley at October 10, 2007 8:42 PM

First of all, I don't hate teachers... just unions. Second of all, I haven't seen any evidence that this is a lie. I see Mr. Rearick's statement (and I trust he understands how much hay you'll make out of an outright falsehood), and I see your dumb "immature" comment. Are you saying that there was no memo telling teachers not to talk about the dispute in class?

Posted by: Justin Katz at October 10, 2007 9:02 PM

Crowley has finally convinced me that only replacing our Soviet style schools with a voucher system will solve this problem. Annaul COLA's-not a penny more. No more 15% annual increases for teacher health/pension benefits.

Posted by: Mike at October 11, 2007 1:28 PM

Excerpt from today's ProJo on-line:


Carcieri made the announcement during a speech today before a group of business leaders attending the annual economic outlook breakfast, sponsored by Sullivan & Company at The Hope Club.

Carcieri underscored something that Rhode Island Education Commissioner Peter McWalters has been saying for many years: there are two Rhode Islands, the haves and the have-nots.

Students from suburban and rural schools are performing as well as their middle-class peers around the country, with an average of 75 percent of elementary and middle school children reading at proficiency.

But those figures drop dramatically in urban school districts, where only 40 percent of students are reading at grade level.

“The big issue is the disparity between the urban schools and the non-urbans,” Carcieri said. “If we can’t get all of our youngsters (to graduate) with the skills they need, we’re all in big trouble.”

While there are pockets of excellence in urban school districts, the high-performing schools aren’t sharing what they know with their colleagues.


Gee, now that the Governor is saying what we have been saying, your response will be interesting.

Posted by: Bob Walsh at October 11, 2007 7:52 PM

So what are you suggesting, Bob? That we unionize the urban schools?

Posted by: Justin Katz at October 11, 2007 11:01 PM

It’s interesting how one state away the underperforming urban students in charter schools around Boston recently raised their MCAS scores 20 to 30 percent higher than those of the students in the unionized urban public schools. Why can’t we benchmark the Massachusetts Charters? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they are doing something that works much better than what RI is currently doing.

I don’t hear Massachusetts officials crying about “the two commonwealths”.

Posted by: Frank at October 12, 2007 9:31 AM

Following your train of reasoning, Mr. Walsh, and given that you are closer to what's happening in the classroom than the Governor because you represent teachers, give us a bottom line. How much would it take to bring urban school performance in line with the rest of the state?

Posted by: Monique at October 12, 2007 11:13 AM


Posted by: Pat Crowley at October 13, 2007 8:44 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.