Here's an excerpt from Tom Moran's column this morning in the Star Ledger on Joseph Del Grosso, the head of Newark's teachers union. The profile is in the context of the "ground-breaking contract that could unleash a tidal wave of reform," i.e., Newark's proposed contract that would award merit pay to great teachers and withhold increases to ineffective ones.
Joe Del Grosso is 65 years old now, slowed by Crohn’s disease, with a ring of thick silver hair circling a bald top.
He remembers his militant days as young man, when he began the climb that landed him at the top of the teachers union in Newark
“I was in jail for three months,” he says.
His crime was joining a strike in 1970. But he was never caught for shooting out the car windows of the school board president, something he did over and over to vent his rage.
“I saw him later at a bar,” Del Grosso says. “And I said, ‘You’re the son of a bitch who sent me to jail.’ And he said, ‘You’re the son of a bitch who blew my windows out.’ So we decided to have a drink, us two sons of bitches. And we became friends.”
Also see NJ Spotlight's analysis of the history of this progressive agreement.