IP-11-2000 (December 2000)
Author: Ed Lederman
“We will argue that it (the public school system) has a bureaucracy problem and a politics problem, and that the two are closely related. Its bureaucracy problem is not that the system is bureaucratic at all, but that it is too heavily bureaucratic — too hierarchical, too rule-bound, too formalistic — to allow for the kind of autonomy and professionalism schools need if they are to perform well. Its political problem is not that it is subject to any sort of democratic politics, but that the specific political institutions by which the schools are governed actively promote and protect this overbureaucratization.” [ii]
ii From Politics, Markets and America’s Schools, by John E. Chubb and Terry M. Moe.
This paper will compare the Denver teachers’ contract critiqued in this writer’s issue paper published in February of 1990 (How Union Contracts Block School Reform: A Denver Case Study) with the current contract which incorporates the system of collaborative decision making (CDM) committees which began in 1991. The paper will then place the contract and its evolution in the context of both recent developments and the theories advanced in John E. Chubb and Terry M. Moe’s Politics, Markets and America’s Schools.