From the flurry of words earlier this week when teachers filed for the help of a state mediator in their negotiations, it would seem that the talks have broken down.

Far from it. And although the appointment of a mediator will eventually close the talks to the public, the assigned mediator isn't expected to be available for more than a week. Talks will be open until the mediator's arrival.

The two sides have held some 19 joint sessions to discuss their respective proposals. There's even been some tangible progress. They agreed that Cityview school could open this year as the first of the district's proposed "partnership schools," although unrelated events later forestalled that. They also agreed to submit an application to the state to join its Q-comp alternative pay program, subject to a favorable vote by teachers, for which results are expected shortly.

The larger issues of the district's proposal have been presented, and the district followed that up with detailed contract language.