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Monday, March 24, 2008

The first 100 hours of David Quolke’s new war

Posted By on Mon, Mar 24, 2008 at 5:18 AM

Schools CEO Colonel Sanders better tread lightly. There’s a new union chief in town.
David Quolke is preparing for battle. The newly elected Cleveland Teacher’s Union president plans to hit the district with a blunt forearm of diplomacy. After his April 25 swearing in, he’s promising the first one-hundred hours will be productive. We assume he’s talking Rooseveltian rather than Pelosian. “I’ve got a whole series of papers and legislative issues that piece together the first 100 hours,” says Quolke. “We’re going to be visible and really pull our weight.” … His first item of business will be school violence. It seems his members are getting pummeled on a regular basis, but schools CEO Eugene Sanders hasn’t been exactly imaginative in response, going with the standard increase in metal detectors and security presence. Quolke feels there’s a simpler way to attack the problem. “We need more social workers back inside the building,” he says. “Many of our students need a human component.” He argues that it would free up guidance counselors, allowing them to spend less time doing parole officer work. Quolke also plans to take on the K-8 schools. For reasons unknown, the district has decided to house many of its kindergartners with unruly 8th graders, presumably so they can be taught how to punch a home ec teacher at an early age. “Some of them work,” says Quolke. “And some of them worked better as separate middle and grade schools. We have to bring it to the table with Doc Sanders.” – Bradley Campbell


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