Labor-Management Relations in DC Schools

July 28, 2007

It’s early, but it appears that new DC Chancellor Michelle Rhee and union chief George Parker are off to a good start. The City Paper story is quite thorough and should be required reading for anybody interested in the question of labor-management relations in schools. Kevin Carey and Ezra Klein have pointed out how some on the left seek to show their independence by thoughtlessly blaming the unions for school failure. (Which is not to say that unions, just like management, don’t sometimes take positions that are bad for kids.) But if one were to list the problems in DC schools, union opposition to reform has to rank very low. Even better, I think there is a decent chance that Rhee and Parker will do some things that are genuinely reform-oriented in this next round of contract negotiations.

Update: Parker is not alone. Leo Casey highlights a good Ed Sector report showing the diversity of views among local union leaders.

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