Rhode Island · School Talk

Providence Teachers Union Makes Recommendations and Commitments

The Providence Teachers Union has released a document that details their thoughts about how their partnership with the state could look moving forward. I have published the the entire text of their statement. You can also download the document here.

As many readers know, I am often quite critical of teachers’ unions but that certainly doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be heard—especially during a time of crisis like the one in Providence.

And I do have one point of very strong agreement with Maribeth Calabro, president of the Providence Teachers’ Union, on a recent issue. She attempted to visit two Providence schools yesterday —a TV camera crew accompanied her—and she was not allowed to enter either of the buildings. Members had been sending her photos of concerning conditions in their buildings and Calabro wanted to see the status of the buildings for herself. I find the fact that the president of the union—who is also a Providence teacher—was blocked from entering the city’s public school buildings to be appalling. The school year starts in Providence in 35 days and Mayor Elorza’s office should be much more honest and transparent about what is happening in buildings—their unwillingness to do so further reinforces the belief that nothing is getting done or that they are deliberately hiding something. (Many of us have been trying to get specific and relevant information from the mayor’s office about what work has been done since the release of the Johns Hopkins report —for weeks —and it has literally been like trying to get blood from a stone.)

What do you think?

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