Thursday, May 15, 2008

Baltimore Union Elections: Referendum on Andres Alonso?

It's really hard to generalize with so few teachers voting. With even worse turnout than we had in NYC last year (22% of working teachers voted) only 16% of Baltimore teachers voted to re-elect incumbent Marietta English to a 5th term. English captured 609 votes, while Sharon Blake had 342 votes. A total of 1,042 votes were cast, representing just 16 percent of the 6,400-member union.

But the two candidates seemed to take different stands on school leader Andres Alonso who left the NYCDOE last year to run the system in Baltimore. We predicted at the time that as a follower of Joel Klein he would alienate the teachers.

From the Baltimore Sun, May 12:
The election is, in some ways, a referendum on the leadership of city schools chief Andres Alonso, who is finishing his first year on the job. English called for Alonso's ouster last fall when the union and the school system were in a dispute over teacher planning time. Asked what the biggest difference is between her and Blake, English replied that her opponent is "pro-management."

"I think there needs to be an effort [by] the union leadership to work collaboratively with the system," Blake said.

For what it's worth, the teachers who were interested enough to vote chose to vote against management.

Articles posted at Norm's Notes.

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