Sep 29, 2008

Some Teachers Want Better Bargaining !

In the WaPo Sunday's September 28th edition , teacher colleagues Liz Davis and Kerry Sylvia along with Mark Simon of the Mooney Institute wrote an opinion piece titled 'Bargaining For Better Teaching.' What I personally liked about the piece is that the trio suggests that the method in which Rhee and Parker have been negotiating the teachers contract is broken and needs to be fixed. The group outlines a sense of urgency about their concerns that Rhee/Parker's one-to-one contract negotiation style which by the way violates labor negotiation regulations. They put the ball back in Chancellor Rhee and WTU President Parker's court by acknowledging that teacher contract negotiations should address more than higher pay and due process.

Here's an excerpt: "The contract talks have focused on the chancellor's proposal regarding pay, teacher transfers and due process rights. While increasing salaries is important, there seems to be no administration plan for improving and supporting teacher quality. To fill this void, the WTU should have brought forward a plan for improving professional working conditions, teacher evaluations and instructional support. While some of these issues were raised by the WTU negotiating team, nothing ended up being proposed to the WTU membership, and nothing was brought to negotiations with the chancellor."

The trio suggest that contract negotiations should also focus on a collaborative effort between management and labor which defines quality teaching from a system wide perspective. They pose some critical and well thought out questions for both Chancellor Rhee and WTU President Parker to consider. Here are their critical questions :

1. What is the plan to build understanding about what defines good teaching, so it becomes the norm in every classroom?

2. What is the plan to provide new teacher induction or, better yet, a "teacher residency" program so that the next generation of teachers has the knowledge and skills to engage in quality teaching ?

3. What is the plan to create professional teaching conditions and support for good teaching at every school so that talented teachers stay?

4. What is the plan to create an expedited and a high-quality teacher evaluation process that teachers respect? Is the WTU interested in the "peer review" approach taking hold elsewhere? How will the teacher evaluation process be infused with a deep understanding of how to observe and analyze teaching in a way that respects the complexity of the craft?

5. The consensus about the need to raise teacher pay is admirable, but how will the dollars be sustained over the long haul, and what in the bargain will deliver higher-quality teaching as a quid pro quo? Will teachers be any better prepared and supported under the proposed contract than before?

I'd like to hear your comments. Two thumbs up or two thumbs down for 'Bargaining For Better Teaching? agree or disagree with your colleagues ? Why ? posted by Candi.

Link to WaPo story:


mommilan&jr said...

I guess these "experts" have been head of the Union and DCPS before? This is a lot of "opinionated" comments that are good to think about, but unrealistic. Also, they must make teachers who have spent a significant amount of years doing nothing, accountable...why should DC pay them any longer when they have wasted money and children's time? Think outside of the box, I keep saying. A lot of us don't wish to be "spoken for," but some keep on insisting-as if we are not adults and can't make decisions for ourselves, no thanks!

Dorsey said...

mommilan&jr, to continue to focus on the union for the reason there are ineffective teachers in the district is to ignore the failure of the school administration to provide appropriate evaluation and assessment of ineffective teachers. DCSP and the union agreed through the union contract on how to terminate ineffective teachers. The union's job is to ensure that teachers due process is not violated. It is the administration to ensure that teachers are held accountable in providing quality education through evaluations and classroom observations.

When was the last time these ineffective teachers were evaluated?

The system is broken because DCsP has not done its job in putting the students first.

The union can not be held accountable for ineffective teachers in DCPS, especially since they do not hire, evaluate, or even terminate teachers. And especially if the administration is not using the agreed upon protocol for terminating these teachers.

Now there is definitely room for improvement within the union. An agreement can develop on streamlining the process of getting rid of ineffective teacher. But we must be fair in our analysis of the situation.

Just my thoughts on the situation.

Woody Wood Pecker said...

When Andrew Jackson ran for president in 1828,his opponents tried to label him him "a jack ass" for his populist views and his slogan, "let the teacher's rule." A Modern Baalim and his Ass !Relax and were calling Saturday Night Live and putting a skit together about this lord Rhee the Queen of DC. Either that or the Association of American Editorial Cartoonist. Maybe Mr. Parker forgot and those guys need to call him for a reminder.Let's see what Parker's strategy in all this is and he may still bring it to the table.Right now it's kinda all in the disunited state of the British colonies.Still have that Ready Schools Initative moving and where is that report ?

Peace said...

Clint Eastwood just walked in and said,"go ahead,make my day." GS 115C-325. Check out what Wake County's audit by the Phi Delta Kappa said about evaluations.Not very helpful or informative instructionally. Those reports need revision for effectiveness !They published their audit.

Anonymous said...

Go check out this impact bargaining or sometimes called crisis bargaining.US Office of Personal Management !Federal Labor Relations Authority. For unfair 1&1 unfair labor practices cases see 50 FLRA no. 40. It goes to an arbitrator that'a an impartial third party who determines what the provisions the parties are to have in their collective bargaining agreement. Are all operational needs for teacher's and principles meet in school buildings to determine ?Have resources been provided ? Just researching and thought you may want to look into all this !Constitutional Basis Article 1 Section 6 (New York.)That sounds fair and no doubt, cause Clinton is the Senator! So much for academic unionson in DC and good luck ! You folks are headed for impact bargaining with this radical reform under PL 107-110,a law unfunded ! Unreal !

Anonymous said...

Mommilan ! Not sure working and raising children if you'd had time to evaluate the 1996 case recieved in your mailbox. Did that come from the principle ? Think it references Reilly & Brown 1996. From the Department of Education Administration,University of Nebraska, Lincoln and it's a case study interesting about educational leadership. Go Big Red ! Corn Husker's ! My dad grew up and played football there !That was interesting ! They need to send that to the Rhee's leadership, teacher, contractual crisis bargaining, reform agreement department for fair balance of interests and tenure department ! Signed ,sealed and delivered,be advised !Hee !