Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dogs and Cats, Lying Down Together

Politics makes strange bedfellows, so to speak:
The former president of the Washington Teachers' Union is joining Michelle Rhee's education advocacy group as a senior fellow...

If you'll recall, the teachers' union and Rhee got along like a tornado crawling with bedbugs and virtually anything else. Parker was ousted from his presidency by his vice president, Nathan Saunders, who charged Parker with being too soft at the negotiating table with Rhee and her deputy, now Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson.

In the release, Rhee acknowledged that she and Parker are strange bedfellows.

"George and I clearly don't see eye-to-eye on everything," she said. "But ... he and I came up with a teachers' contract that dramatically changed how D.C. public schools operate. I hope, working together again, we can come up with effective ideas for improving how schools serve children nationally."

For his part, Parker doesn't toss unions out the window. Sort of. "I also look forward to advancing the role of unions in education reform," he said. "Teachers unions represent a very unique component of the American workforce. If our country's schools are to improve, the unions must be an integral part of the solution."

If he thinks unions are "integral" to school improvement, I don't see how he and Rhee can work together. This can't last.

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