Without rehashing all of the painful details of the PPSD/PTU collective bargaining agreement approved this past week by the City Council, let us summarize:
The collective bargaining agreement:
Eliminates site-based management
Effectively makes a sham of criterion-based hiring
Inserted a clause which prevents firing of teachers for cases of financial exigency
This essentially has the effect of making it nearly impossible to fire teachers
We are facing the identification of up to 14 Persistently Low Achieving Schools, which may, through various turn-around models, lead to the need to release teachers (who can’t be released).
Ultimately, the City may be facing new lawsuits to deal with a pool of teachers who can’t teach, but also can’t be fired.
Parents are already grumbling about sub-par teachers… some of these are individuals who slipped in through a variety of cracks, including a match system that makes you rank even the teachers you don’t want, and the forced placement of displaced teachers. We’d be very interested to get feedback from parents throughout the city.
Our School Board was recently stripped of its ability to participate in or vote on collective bargaining agreements by Senator Jabbour and the General Assembly. We are pleased to see then that they stood up to the Superintendent, the Mayor, and the City Council, and passed a resolution stating that the contract is in no way binding upon the School Board.
This is ultimately important, because as we all know, the School Board WILL be left holding the bag when things start to go south.
And just so everyone is clear, this is an appointed school board that is standing up to the Mayor’s office, and voting its conscience.