A Different Philadelphia Story

Larry Sand, President of the California Teacher Empowerment Network, and relentless teacher union critic, tells the story of the great Philadelphia experiment, where the teacher union monopoly bargaining contract is circumvented and principals are given back their power to run their own schools.   The Philadelphia situation reflects clearly the destruction monopoly bargaining has brought about in education.  Teachers have been forced to pay union dues against their will for years.  Those same teachers have been strangled by an onerous contract that has produced nothing but failure and wasted money, along with teacher servitude to teacher union bosses.  Read the rest of the story in Union Watch.

. . . [I]t’s the teachers unions that are chucking venom at the Philadelphia School Reform Commission. First, a little background. The PSRC – an appointed body – was established in 2001 as a response to overall school district ineptitude. It didn’t help much. In fact, just a year ago, I wrote about the school system’s ongoing incompetence and corruption, using a snippet from a Wall Street Journal editorial that spelled out a few of the gory details.

After 21 months of negotiating and failing to produce a compromise, the PSRC abruptly cancelled the existing teachers union contract. PSRC chairman Bill Green said the move will save the district $54 million this year, $30 million of which would be quickly pumped into schools beset by large class sizes and reductions in arts and Advanced Placement classes. He added that the money “will be invested directly in classrooms, with principals empowered to use the cash as they see fit – to hire a full-time counselor and nurse, perhaps, or to pay for more supplies or after-school programs.”