|Click to listen to commentary on Detroit's budget balancing from the Education Gadfly Show podcast
The Detroit Federation of Teachers has once
again proven: It would rather sink the DPS ship than head alee into unfriendly
waters. Most recently in Motown, the state superintendent approved a plan from
emergency financial manager Robert Bobb to close roughly half of the district’s
schools and increase high school class sizes to an unwieldy sixty students.
Bobb may have originally proposed the plan, which he himself calls ill-advised,
as a strong-arm tactic to force the otherwise recalcitrant union into opening
the black boxes of teachers’ benefits and pension packages. Yet the union
stranglehold on the district remains intact. By refusing to rethink salaries
and pensions, DFT may be defending its members, but its shortsightedness is
surely pushing the Motor City toward bankruptcy. Sadly, this predicament is
unsurprising—Detroit finished dead last in our 2010
report on the best and worst cities for school reform.
Schools’ Cuts Plan Approved,” by Matthew Dolan, Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2011.