Interview with Rhody McCoy

OK. When was the first attack against the experiment from the union? When did the union first, that you felt, sort of verbally or publicly attacked the experiment?


My answer's going to be very jaundiced because the proposal itself, that the union sanctioned was very deliberate to sabotage any effort by a group of community people to do anything about their school, just the proposal itself. And it was very clear in that proposal that they anticipated that the, the present junior high school principal or the principal who was there, the junior high school principal who was there was going to be the director of the program. So, I'm saying already that the union had sharpened its teeth, the strike was incidental. So the strike was just the next step in the process. When we didn't go along with 'em, bingo, they said, "No." Now after the strike was settled and they came back, they wanted, ah, all their teachers back. Ah, teachers[SIC] said, "Sure we'll take 'em back. They'll go through the interview process." Well they weren't going to do that because then you would destroy the union. So that became a, a fight, the issue of protecting the union and what the union had. So they never intended for this pilot program, for whatever it was, to have any meaning. And the way we had designed it and implemented it, it became obvious to them that they had to fight it from beginning to end. But--they say all along, "Hey no, no, no, we, we want to fight it. We'll put our teachers back in the room." Well if you're already admitting that you got a governing board with the parent, New York City school system and the superintendent acknowledge that you have a governing board, and, and the history was that they had said it was an illegal election, and finally they said it was a legal election, to now let the union come in and just place its teachers back in, obviously they were still fighting the process.