1/14/10

Will Unions Scuttle RI's Race to the Top Effort?

It's going to be interesting to see if the RI Dept. of Education and the teacher unions here in RI can reach agreement on the Race to the Top $100 million funding application. As of today, the two sides are still apart. Teacher unions don't like what Race to the Top is all about: greater emphasis on charter schools, alternative teacher training programs, and pay for performance for teachers - all of which would reduce the unions' influence and chokehold on public education.

There seems to be a bit of a disconnect in the fact that the Obama Administration, which relies on union support, would be emhasizing reforms that teacher unions, in general, oppose. Credit the Obama Dept. of Education for doing the right thing, despite the heartburn teacher unions will experience for it.

Should the negotiations fail and RI lose out, RI teacher unions will demonstrate big time that they care less about improving public education than in protecting their perks. This one could go either way.

Your thoughts...