Freedom's scent wafts through the thin air of the Mile High City. Montclair Elementary School is the third public school in Denver to petition the district for autonomy on budgeting, hiring, and scheduling decisions. Teachers at Montclair voted overwhelmingly in favor of the plan in April and the Denver Public Schools approved it in May. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association, however, has dallied and not yet officially bestowed upon Montclair's autonomy decision its beneficent blessings. Therefore, on the last day of classes, a 25-person gang of Montclair teachers and parents arrived at union headquarters and demanded some answers. "We don't want to go through the summer without any agreement from them," said third-grade teacher Kyle Kimmal. But the group received no answers from its encounter with a stonewalling union staffer, who said the proposal would not be considered until the latest round of contract talks are concluded. Gadfly doesn't condone teachers playing hooky (even on the final day of school), particularly to hash out squabbles with their own union. But he can't help but smile when educators are willing to stand up to their union bosses in the name of student interests. Too bad the union bosses prefer stone walls.
"Teachers take autonomy case to union's doorstep," by Nancy Mitchell, Rocky Mountain News, Saturday 31, 2008