With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Friday, July 2, 2010

'Making decisions together' -- What a concept!

Yes that's right, making decisions together in Central Falls where State Ed Commissioner Deborah Gist had, only months earlier, with Arne Duncan applauding wildly in the background, forced the firing of every single teacher and staff member in the school. It was their way of sending a message that teachers no longer had collective bargaining rights and that states would have to toll the No Child Left Behind Race-To-The-Top bell or go bankrupt.

Of course that didn't wash and won't. A national labor push-back plus student and community protests forced Gist to concede and the teachers were all rehired. Duncan and Obama were left with pie on their faces for having overstepped their bounds in the first place. They were hit with another pie yesterday when a Democratic House tagged RTTT for $800 million to be used to bring thousands of teachers back into their classrooms rather then firing them.

Now, Gist is singing a different tune and trying to save a little face herself.
"I can’t imagine that anyone looking at it would say we have backed off on our reform agenda."
Indeed, you can imagine it Deborah. Many of your conservative think-tank friends are saying just that. But I agree with you.Your agenda had little or no reform from which you could back away.

Yes, "making decisions together." What a concept! It's so crazy, it just might work.


One question I have is, why do we need a state commissioner of education? What does she do for $200k/year? Especially in the smallest state in the Union. Can somebody tell me?

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