The Marc Steiner Show

10/18/07 Baltimore Teachers’ Contract Dispute

Main Entry: im·passe Listen to the pronunciation of impasse

\ˈim-ˌpas, im-ˈ\
French, from in- + passer to pass

1 a: a predicament affording no obvious escape b: deadlock2: an impassable road or way : cul-de-sac

Thanks to Webster’s for the above definition.  Impasse is the word of choice for the contract dispute between the Baltimore Teachers Union and the Baltimore City Public School System.  If you are not a teacher or school administrator, you might be wondering what is such a big deal about some planning time that it is stalling the entire contract negotiation process, leaving teachers working without contracts.

I’m sure that our two guests today, BCPSS CEO Andres Alonso, and BTU President Marietta English can shed some light on the issue for you.  We’d love to hear thoughts from parents, students, teachers, and school administrators about how they view this dispute, and how the impasse is effecting them.  Call 410-662-8780 during the show at noon today, or leave your thoughts here on the blog!

Poll: Who should have their way in this situation?


Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday thru Friday from 10AM to Noon on WEAA 88.9 FM. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Call us at 410.319.8888 or email us to participate live in the show, or share your comments on our site! Aren’t in Baltimore but want to listen? Stream the show live.


  1. I have listened to several discussions between you and both parties in the debate. I cannot help but feel that the union has decided to dig in and oppose for the sake of opposition. I find myself wondering if this is about maintaining the status quo at the cost of the education of the students the union purports to support. From my perspective, Alonso is advising the union of the board’s requirement for collaborative planning and his willingness to discuss how this can be implemented. The union representative sounds as though there is no particular desire to come to an agreement or even meet to discuss possible solutions. I feel as though the union is feeling pressure from Dr. Alonso to make major changes to the system and the union is concerned that they will lose control of their members; thus, no discussion, no agreement. Too bad. This school system is self-destructing and Dr. Alonso sounds as though he would like to change that system in a positive way.

    Thank you for your show and the forum it provides for all sides. Keep up the good work, Marc!

  2. Today was the Quest conference. When the flyers with the registration were originially sent out, it advertised Dr. Alonso asthe keynote speaker. At the conference, he provided “greetings” which was listed on the program as such. When I asked about it, I was told that it was a mistake on the original flyer, which had not been caught before it was distributed at the schools.

    I am very disappointed that he did not speak. It was the one occasion where Dr. Alonso could have spoken to the teachers/professionals and paraprofessionalsand been more clear about his ideas, proposal and more specifics on how things would look with his ideas in place.

    I have also been wondering why they have not: spoken together on your show (when they have been there at the same time), met privately? Or best of all would be to have a public meeting and give BTU members a forum to address everyones concerns and ideas?

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