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Politics: Reform Politicians Act Tough, Cut Generous Deals

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Rahm Emanuel's complaints about the generous teachers contract he inherited from Daley and Duncan has been picked up by Politico (Rahm vs. Arne) and reminds me that this is at least the second instance where a supposedly hard-charging reform mayor (Daley) with mayoral control over the schools (since 1995) settled for a ho-hum teachers contract in order to win labor peace.  The other example in New York City, where Mayor Bloomberg cut a relatively generous deal with the UFT in order to win a third term.  (You could argue that a third example would be Barack Obama, who's administration has pushed a lot of reformy initiatives even as they've been pushing billions out the door to keep teachers at work via the stimulus and "edujobs."  Even the DCSP deal cut by Michelle Rhee included generous raises.) I feel like a lot of folks, reformers and otherwise, don't really understand this dynamic.  Many reform supporters seem to think that their leaders are really giving it to the teachers, when they're not.  Many reform critics seem to think that reformers are shafting teachers, when they're not.  


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Business as usual, no? Most politicians say what needs to be said for election and then succumb to the status quo. And the system doesn't accept change kindly. It's usually won, not given. Change doesn't take place overnight - it comes very very slowly.

So "giving it to teachers" is apparently what this author is after... sad. And we wonder what is going on in a society that can't even support and respect its teachers which, as everyone who works with children in the public schools knows, is probably the hardest working group of professionals out there, and often the first line of defense (yes, I said first, and yes, I am including dysfunctional "parents") against a lifetime of ignorance and failure. I said WORKS WITH, not "has an opinion about" lol. But anyway.

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