Veteran eduscribe Richard Whitmire argues in a Wash Post op-ed that DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has “no choice but to play hardball” with teachers, unions and politicians.
Running a hurry-up education offense is the only way Rhee can maintain a viable-sized school district that has dwindled to a mere 44,000 students, while the city’s charter school population is expected to grow to 28,000 this year….In the District, charters continue to attract more new students than Rhee’s schools. If Rhee can’t stanch or reverse that trend, her district slumps into irrelevancy, a fact of life that her union opponents seem incapable of grasping. If Rhee falters, the layoffs will continue.
I get the math, but not the logic. If DC schools face an “existential threat” from charters (which Rhee supports), doesn’t it make more sense to make allies, not enemies of teachers unions? The pitch is simple: work with me or we’re both out of jobs.