AISR Speaks Out: Commentary on Urban Education
Providence Teachers Terminated: Dollars & Sense or Teachers & Students?
At last week’s conference on Labor-Management Collaboration Education Secretary Duncan cited the partnership between Providence school superintendent Tom Brady and Steve Smith, president of the Providence Teacher’s Union as an exemplar of leaders putting students first as they collaborate to turn-around low performing schools.
The Providence School Board’s decision to notify all teachers that their positions might not be renewed gives the system the flexibility it needs to address a $40 million budget deficit, but damages the trust needed to shift labor management relations from a traditional focus on wages and work conditions to one centered on teaching and learning. Mayor Taveras, the Providence School Board, Steve Smith and Tom Brady must work to engage the community in finding a constructive solution to the budget crisis — one that puts students and effective teaching at the center of the conversation rather than dollars and nonsense.