"Detroit was in a period of real struggle," Weingarten, AFT's president, said in an interview. "We wanted to invest in Detroit. We wanted to be in a place that was the state that's the cradle of labor, where the auto industry was trying to make a comeback." The union had just negotiated a "tough contract" for its teachers, and eyes across the nation were on the impoverished, perpetually low-ranked Detroit Public Schools: if they could get better, so could anyone.
But since then, Detroit -- and particularly its schools -- has become a hotbed of labor-management tiffs. Over the