Maryellen Butke: Binding arbitration would be disaster for students, localitiesJun 28, 2011 | Permalink
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Readers write to The Providence Journal
This new policy would take decisions out of the hands of elected officials and professional educators and weaken the voice of students and local taxpayers along the way.
Perhaps most troubling, binding arbitration incentivizes arbitrators to avoid making challenging choices in the best interest of the public.
Why? Arbitrators' continued employment relies on both negotiating parties to pick them as their arbitrator of choice. This leads to decisions being made on narrow, lowest-common-denominator thinking.
Rhode Island has made great leaps forward in the past few years in the effort to transform our schools. Binding arbitration would be a costly step backwards that would reverse much of the progress we have made. Our message to the General Assembly is simple: Do what's best for kids and reject binding arbitration.
The writer is executive director of the Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement.