June 23, 2009

A Press Release to Emulate

Justin Katz

East Providence School Committee Chairman Anthony Carcieri has issued a press release on which other elected representatives throughout the state should take notes:

On being informed that NEA has voted "no confidence" in the East Providence School Committee, its Chair, Anthony Carcieri, said this.

"So what’s new? No union is going to give a big vote of confidence when they're told they have to contribute to their health insurance. It's unfortunate, but it's the way of the world. That all happened six months ago. We've moved past it. We're bringing technology to our students for the first time in the Fall. Our Vocational School is launching innovative new programs that will catapult our students forward. We're pushing forward a revolutionary initiative to raise the quality of special education in East Providence to World Class standards. These are just some of the things we’ve accomplished in the last six months, as we are bringing the school system back from the brink of bankruptcy.

What has NEA done in the last six months?

They put on red shirts and disrupt School Committee meetings. They say they want to bargain, but they never schedule a meeting. They try to stop innovation. They demand that we raise taxes and go deeper in debt.

The East Providence Schools will be a magnet for students from other communities within the next few years. We will be a magnet for creative energetic teachers who put kids first. We don't need teachers who want to spend their time parading around like the Red Army. We need teachers who will help us to prepare our kids to deal with an increasingly competitive world.

We're told that NEA has threatened to tell their members to leave our school system. Any teacher who doesn't want to be a part of what's going on here should do what NEA says. We're building to be the best. We're putting the students first. Any teacher who doesn't want to be a part of that should follow NEA's direction.

Remember, we pay our teachers better than 90% of the school teachers in America. The teachers' union just can’t get over the fact that we had to retrench a little bit in January so we could pay their salaries in June. This is the time to focus on delivering the best education for our students without breaking the backs of our taxpayers. It's time to get over it. We have a lot of work left to do to raise the performance of our schools. We have to do a better job for the kids. That's our focus, and it’s the focus of most of our teachers."

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Rhode Island's teachers unions holding temper tantrums.

Time for the General Assembly to give them some "quiet time" - repeal the statutory permission for their presence in Rhode Island and let the NEARI union bosses go back to HQ in Washington, D.C. and sulk there.

Posted by: Tom W at June 23, 2009 12:29 PM

I kind of like the wiseass approach.
Worse things have happened than the South Parkification of government and politics. I may not agree with Mr. Carcieri, but enjoy his witty repartee.

Posted by: rhody at June 23, 2009 1:07 PM

Yes! Let's have the first non-union school district in the US. It will be a shining example to the country.

It's time to free Rhode Island from the union monopoly.

Posted by: BobN at June 23, 2009 1:08 PM

I'd love to see all the teachers walk. That way we could hire anew with our own version of a contract. Take it or leave it. Go ahead teachers make my day!

Posted by: bobc at June 23, 2009 9:42 PM

These teachers are nothing but a bunch of lobbyists who only care about making more money while doing less and less work. They could care less about the students. That's why they work to rule. Shameless pigs.

Posted by: Robespierre at June 23, 2009 11:26 PM

Personally, I would have preferred that every teacher in the district get layoff notices, just to put a little scare into them, and then we could pick and choose the best, by only hiring back the "good" ones (there actually are a few). Then, we could go on a job search far and wide for the most qualified teachers, plus as a bonus, we would start those new teachers back at the bottom of the payroll steps (until steps are eliminated) to boot. Just because someone has seniority, doesn't make them a better teacher; it just makes them more expensive ones.

Until the issue of public sector unionization is directly addressed, there really isn't going to be substantial change for the better regarding public education in RI. Bascially, we're expecting a 19th century hiring concept to somehow be applicable to a 21st century education. It's just not going to happen. My dream would be that we could be a "right to work" state, like much of the south. Parochial and charter schools do a great job, mainly because they are free of those union influences.

PS In regard to the EP union's supposedly unanimous "no confidence" vote, my source says that it was not a secret ballot, and therefore quite ripe for intimidation tactics. Given their support of card check, this isn't surprising.

PPS Noticed a story online that West Warwick is out of cash for paychecks. Which town will be next? It won't be East Providence (of course, our fiscal year doesn't end until Oct. 31st).

Posted by: Will at June 24, 2009 3:58 AM

Wow,not a secret ballot and one member had the intestinal fortitude to vote against it. I want to shake that person's hand!

Posted by: bobc at June 24, 2009 9:45 AM

Everyone complaining about secret ballots or the lack of them must therfore be against the recent cuts made in Tiverton and anywhere else with the town meeting format.

Posted by: odogjones at June 24, 2009 4:02 PM

I was there. It was a secret ballot. Keep up the hate if you wish, but stop the lies.

Posted by: Bob Walsh at June 26, 2009 8:45 AM
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