In an unsigned editorial, the Washington Post prevaricates,
Ms. Rhee has been accused of trying to break the union when, in truth, she rejected a plan to bring in a firm adept at union-busting in favor of working one-on-one with local labor officials whom she believed shared her philosophy that children come first.A more realistic interpretation is that she was told by the union busting firm, "It's not going to work here."
It tells you something about Rhee that, before opening negotiations, she even considered hiring a "firm adept at union-busting" to attack the teacher's union. It tells you something else about Rhee (and the Washington Post) that the dream plan she has for teachers - the plan the Post gushes over every week or two - is a highly classified secret, and isn't available anywhere for people, be they curious outsiders like me or teachers who are told how wonderful it is, to read. Rhee's not interested in union busting? Perhaps Fred Hiatt and his editorial writers should, you know, read their own paper.
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee are discussing a dramatic expansion of their effort to remove ineffective teachers by restoring the District's power to create nonunionized charter schools and seeking federal legislation declaring the school system in a "state of emergency," a move that would eliminate the need to bargain with the Washington Teachers' Union.Nope... not even a slight interest in union busting there....
I'm prepared to believe that Rhee's proposal is the best thing since sliced bread. But if it truly is such a wonderful plan, and is sustainable, why isn't she focusing her energies on publicizing the plan rather than keeping it under wraps?