Del Grosso is portrayed in the article as someone who's moved from a young firebrand to someone with a completely different position-- heroic by the writer's highly uninformed point of view, but questionable at best by mine. More disturbing, perhaps, is this quote:
“The teachers who come in early and stay late, and take the job seriously, are offended by the teachers who don’t,” he says. “They are the silent majority, and I think they will overwhelmingly vote for a contract that involves them in their own destiny.”
Can you imagine the things these offended teachers must be saying?
That damn Ms. Smith, always going home to look after her baby!
I hate Mr. White. Who the hell does he think he is, running to his second job at the carwash at 2:30 every day?
I'm a teacher who comes in early and stays late, but I certainly don't go around telling anyone else to do that. For me, it's a matter of convenience, avoiding traffic, and doing things that are more efficiently done on school grounds. Were I an administrator, I would not presume to judge a teacher by hours in building, quantity, but rather by what's accomplished in the classroom, quality.
It's quite disturbing to see a union head suggest that teachers ought to work for free, and that whether or not they choose to do so is indicative of the quality of their work. It's further disturbing to see Nixon invoked in his use of the term "silent majority." This was a rationale used by a criminal to support clearly failed policies.
Also disturbing is the possibility that teacher pay will be linked to whether or not they are "effective," and that their degree of effectiveness will be determined by something as inane as value-added, which has proven disastrous in other venues, most recently Florida. The article writer, apparently unaware of the difference between reporting and editorializing, offers this tidbit:
Workers in the private sector take it for granted that their performance will affect their pay, and that if they screw up badly, they will be fired. Teachers, like many other public employees, have been protected against that harsh, real-world stuff.
This, of course, assumes that teachers are never fired, an utter fallacy. It also fails to consider that value-added has no validity whatsoever. There is a lot of talk about teachers having "a seat at the table," but I heard that talk before the UFT got involved with Bill Gates' MET project, notions of which have been imposed on most of the country well before there was sufficient evidence to do so.
This contract has the "blessing of Gov. Chris Christie." If anyone reading this thinks Christie has the interests of teachers, students, or parents at heart, I can give you a very good price on a bridge in Brooklyn.