DC’s Rhee is working hard to split the union. Will it work?

Michelle Rhee. Trying out some evil stuff.
Michelle Rhee. Trying out some evil stuff.

If you want to see what the folks behind the Education Equality Project have in mind for urban schools, one only has to see the sad state of affairs in Washington.

DC schools open in two weeks and there is no contract as Rhee pushes her plan to have teachers give up tenure and other union protections in exchange for a salary boost.

Jerome Brocks, a special education teacher with 34 years of experience in D.C. schools, seethes when he talks about Rhee’s salary proposal.

“It’s degrading and insulting,” said Brocks, to ask that teachers give up tenure and go on probation for a year if they choose the more lucrative of the two salary tiers under the plan, which is at the center of contract negotiations between the city and the Washington Teachers’ Union.

He said that Rhee wants only to purge older teachers and that for instructors to sell out hard-won protections against arbitrary or unfair dismissal is unthinkable.

“For Michelle Rhee or anyone to ask that is like Judas and 30 pieces of silver,” Brocks, 59, said.


The thing to keep in mind is that the situation in Washington is important both locally and nationally. Of course, DC teachers will have to work under this miserable contract if it is accepted. But Michelle Rhee is a leader in the EEP faction. For them, Washington is a hot house for trying out their union busting tactics in preparation for future use elsewhere.

So it is no surprise that Kevin Carey at Ed Sector calls the Rhee plan “audacious” and “the birth of cool.” Jeez. All that crazy hipster talk. Carey hasn’t seen a union busting plan he hasn’t loved.

And just in case you thought the wing-nuts at the far-Right Fordham Foundation aren’t drooling at the developments in DC, they call it the “wave of the future.”

One thought on “DC’s Rhee is working hard to split the union. Will it work?

  1. While they know that they are working on models for the rest of the country, I am concerned that many of us think that this is just about DC.


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