Rhee V. Weingarten

It would be great to see the Good Guys win this one. There is no intellectually sound case for K-12 Teacher Tenure. Precipitate a strike. Fire them all.

D.C. Schools Chief Targets Tenure

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says it wants to remake public education around the principle that the best teachers should be promoted and rewarded, regardless of seniority.

And a brawl over just that idea is now playing out in the shadow of the White House.

[Note from Bruno - Obama will end up on the side of the Unions. Just watch.]

Ms. Rhee is trying to reduce what she believes to be a bloated school management and wrest more control over the district’s affairs from the powerful local teachers’ union. She has replaced principals, laid off teachers and closed underperforming schools.

She has also challenged what she feels is one of the biggest impediments to improvement: tenure, or strong job protections for teachers. The idea is to promise teachers much richer salaries, as well as performance bonuses, if they give up tenure. Good performers would be rewarded, poor performers gotten rid of.

In September, the 39-year-old Ms. Rhee, citing a looming budget gap, laid off nearly 400 school employees, including 266 teachers. The dismissals came weeks after Ms. Rhee finished hiring 934 new teachers over the summer. Ms. Rhee said she was initiating the layoffs based on “quality, not by seniority.”

The Washington Teachers’ Union filed a grievance and a lawsuit against the district over the layoffs, calling them “a blatant violation” of the union contract and a pretext for dismissing veterans without proper cause, which the district denies.

The feud has turned into a grudge match between Ms. Rhee and Randi Weingarten, head of the 1.4 million-member American Federation of Teachers, which has intervened directly in the local contract dispute. Ms. Rhee “has so poisoned the environment that I am not sure that we can ever get back to a good situation here,” said Ms. Weingarten.

I’d pass on offering “richer salaries” and just force the tenure issue, but Rhee deserves credit regardless. As for the ‘poisoned environment,’ that’s a howler coming from the unions that have poisoned every possible education reform with their lies and greed.

Again. Precipitate the strikes. Fire them all. At 10%+ unemployment, there are plenty who will fill the ranks. It’s time to crush these people.