Dec 29, 2008

A Houston Teacher Speaks Out !

Over the holidays I received the attached email from a teacher in Houston . I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I have some followers from as far away as Texas. I decided to post this email here on my blog since there has been a great deal of discussion and debate about our ongoing contract negotiations. It's always interesting to hear other teachers perspectives from jurisdictions outside of our own. I have taken the liberty to delete the sender's names for obvious reasons.



Dear Candi,

"I have been reading your blog regarding the situation involving contract negotiations. Unfortunately, I believe that the unbridled actions of Rhee under the guise of "reform" is the foundation of unfortunate disagreement within the ranks. It is so important that we stand united in D.C. and across the country on this issue. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I fail to understand how anyone would not want 110% transparency and full membership involvement with the types of decisions that must be made under these dire conditions.

I find your blog to be very comprehensive. I have begun to dabble with one here in Houston, but I am still in the learning process. I am currently working on research involving TFA, performance pay and the like that might be useful. I will let you know once I complete my report.

Best of luck with the contract negotiations. I believe that we must stand up and take some very unpopular positions within our membership for the overall good of public education and our profession as a whole, but there are limits. Teacher bashing and the total loss of tenure rights certainly crosses the line." (Posted by The Washington Teacher).

In solidarity,

Signed ... A Houston Teacher

Dec 24, 2008

Some DC Teachers Evaluations May Be Rigged !

Update on More Unprincipled Principals

To protect their jobs, DC principals are under increasing pressure - to fudge teachers evaluations some sources say in order to satisfy Chancellor Rhee's plan B. Shortly after teacher contract talks stalled, Rhee threatened to aggressively implement her plan B to teachers or with teachers in the form of a 'newly revised' evaluation plan which seeks to rid DCPS of ineffective teachers. While no one supports ineffective teaching, little did we know that DC principals would be encouraged to seek a quota of teachers, bribe students and if all else fails lie.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity , sources have recently revealed that several more DC administrators were required by the Rhee administration to 'alter' structured observations of teachers who had performed well in order to make it appear that they were less than effective. These teachers deserve better. An alternate remedy might be for teachers to video tape their next structured observation which must be scheduled in advance by the administrator. Of course take the necessary steps to ensure that you have the required parental permission releases to video tape your students. In addition, request another teacher or your building representative to sit in on your evaluation and observe and take notes.

If you believe that your structured observation may have been rigged or know of a teacher in this situation, please send your story c/o The Washington Teacher. Just click on the link and email the details. (Posted by The Washington teacher).

Dec 23, 2008

It's Time To Change The Dialogue !

My WTU executive board colleague, Erich Martel (teacher @ Wilson SHS) sent me a copy of AFT President Randi Weingarten's editorial in the WaPo yesterday. Randi makes some key points on improving DC Schools. Key amongst her recommendations are the need for collaboration- (sound familiar), teacher mentoring, solid professional development, support and respect in the workplace, strong discipline and a rich curriculum, etc. Those of us involved in our local unions are often accused of not proposing solutions for reform which just isn't true. Certainly public schools and teachers unions can work collaboratively in the best interests of students and teachers. Montgomery County public schools works collaboratively with their teachers' union which by the way initiated teacher peer assistance and review. Here's what Randi had to say in the December 22nd Post, page A20 "Improving DC's Public And Charter Schools":

"The District's public school system must refocus if it hopes to make real and sustainable educational changes ("A Union of Interests," editorial, and "Charter Schools Make Gains on Tests," front page, Dec. 15).

To improve teaching and learning, school leaders and teachers must work together in a supportive, respectful environment. It's worked in Montgomery County, where superintendent-union collaboration has led to sustained student achievement. In the District, several charter schools are seeing progress because of basic but essential programs that the American Federation of Teachers has promoted for years, including a strong discipline policy, a rich curriculum, after-school and Saturday classes, and modernized buildings.

Real education reform in Washington should be measured by what is being done to improve teaching and learning. Is there a substantive plan for a rigorous and rich education? Do teachers receive mentoring and solid professional development? Are the adult stakeholders working collaboratively to achieve sustainable reforms? Unfortunately, the discussion has devolved into one issue: teacher tenure. Let's have that discussion, but it's not the only topic worth discussing." (posted by The Washington Teacher).

RANDI WEINGARTEN
President
American Federation of Teachers
Washington

Dec 20, 2008

Eyes Wide Shut On 90-Day Termination Plan For DC Teachers

Whether our eyes are wide open or shut, there can be no escape from Rhee's 90-day termination plan for DC teachers. I feel compelled to write about this after some blog posts that I read which speculate whether DC teachers should be placed on 90-day termination plans or not. First of all I must admonish anyone who would do such a thing- that is not our role nor our place to make these determinations. Certainly we are not in an administrative capacity, we lack all of the facts and are not in a position to judge anyone else's performance. There before the grace of God go I, go you and all of us. I guess the reason that I am concerned about what is happening is because I know that DCPS has always been a retaliatory system lacking in checks and balances. Early on in my public school career, I was riffed unfairly by a vindictive administrator despite having above average ratings. That experience gave me pause and made me suspect of a public school system that allowed many administrators and principals to go unchecked and regularly wreck havoc on programs and people all the while refusing to follow rules just because they were in charge. Don't get me wrong - I am not saying that some teachers aren't ineffective. However, as former superintendent John Deasey of PG county public schools stated in a recent meeting - it is the role of an administrator and superintendent to give their employees all of the tools they need to be successful before considering termination. I ask you honestly do you have all the tools you need to be successful in what you do?

Let me tell you about my story of a former vindictive DCPS administrator named Dr. Margaret Labat. Old (not wise) and cantankerous she was for lack of more appropriate adjectives to describe her demeanor. A real spirit killer. Please believe me when I say I have always had a fond respect for my elders - I guess due to growing up in an environment with 'very old' grandparents whom I dearly loved and adored (to this day). I do not call Margaret Labat old because I have disdain for my elders or older people- I call her old to paint a picture of what she reminded me of - like the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz type of old. I hope you get my drift. My colleagues and I had good reasons to detest her disrespectful attitude, and unethical and vindictive practices which ultimately impacted our students.

In the mid nineties, Council woman Kathy Patterson introduced legislation in which DC employees could be riffed (reduction in force) with seniority only being considered one of many factors in a reduction in force. Of course I did not have a lot of experience at that time. However, what I did have going for me was never taken into consideration by Dr. Labat as was required by law. One's performance appraisals, involvement on committee's, awards, veteran status, years of school experience, degrees and other factors were ranked on a competitive level ranking form. Employees could earn up to a maximum of 25 points and competed in a class of employees. Obviously employees who had the lowest rankings were riffed.

As you may suspect, I have always been an advocate for fairness, justice and due process. It is part of the fabric of who I am. After having worked 3 years for Dr. Labat she refused to convert all of our teachers and counseling staff from probationary status to permanent status despite our positive performance appraisals. Her rationale was that nobody told her what to do. Prior to being riffed I had appealed to the Washington Teachers' Union to represent me in getting my permanent status. I was the only employee on Dr. Labat's staff to win my permanent status after a long protracted battle. Of course I was the only employee in my program that she riffed.

Long story short- when the RIF was announced- Dr. Labat called me into her office stating that nobody goes to the union on me.... for this you will pay. And that I did. Labat gave me a big fat zero on my competitive ranking form. The DC Office of Human Resources stated that this was impossible to earn zero points after all you get points for years of experience which I had, points for having a Bachelors degree which I had and even more points for a Master's degree which I had, points for performance appraisals which I had and even more points for above average ratings which I had, and points for being on school wide committees which I had. Needless to say Dr. Labat refused to change my zero rating despite the multiple requests of DCPS. I was riffed the beginning of the summer.

My experience is not unique but more importantly it is germaine to what is happening today to teachers being placed on a 90-day termination plans. My former administrator intentionally failed to follow the law and DC municipal regulations. DC teachers are not at-will employees and can only be fired for 'just cause' by law. The newly PPEP evaluation process created by Rhee's administration has aborted many of our due process rights. Based on 1 structured observation by an administrator without regard to other factors such as performance, awards, test scores, professional development, parental involvement and local school targets, and involvement on committees, etc. a teacher can be placed on a 90-day termination plan. With only the recommendation of a principal and an instructional superintendent- DCPS can decide to terminate you in 90 days or wait till the end of the year. Let's not lose sight of the fact that rightly or wrongly- should any of us ever have to face a termination or RIF - we all should be yelling to the top of our lungs that DCPS adhere to following due process as outlined in our contract, DCMR and the Merit Comprehensive Pay Act.

I have posted on The Washington Teacher a story in which a veteran teacher who had an exceeds rating for the last 5 years was targeted by a new principal who wasn't even aware of her stellar performance. There is another story of a veteran teacher of 18 years who has the highest test scores in his building. He was only targeted for a 90-day termination plan after speaking to Chancellor Rhee about the lack of internet accessibility in his NE school. It has been reported that the Ron Brown principal threatened to place all of his teachers on a 90-day termination plan. The Malcolm X principal placed 6 veteran teachers on a 90-day termination plan after the December deadline.

It isn't just coincidence that many of the teachers who are being targeted for 90 day termination plans are veteran teachers of a minority group and over 40. Let's not lose sight of Rhee's Plan B which she promised to impose with us or to us after teacher contract talks stalled. Of course there are younger teachers being targeted as well. Let's not keep our eyes wide shut. If you know of a story involving a DC teacher who has been targeted unfairly or due process has been violated please send it to me c/o my email @ saveourcounselors@gmail.com (Posted by The Washington Teacher).

Dec 19, 2008

Teaching Interrupted At Anacostia SHS

"The moving finger writes, and having writ, not a single sole can erase a single word of it." Shakespeare

Here is another moving account from a DC teacher at Anacostia senior high school. It tells what special education teachers face day to day in our public school system that is long on promises and short on providing the needed resources and supports. Many would argue that these are 'adult' issues. To which I would counter: "that just doesn't make any sense." Working in a school system that fails to provide adequate and appropriate resources for teachers ultimately impacts student achievement and service delivery. In this case it impacts our most vulnerable population; students with disabilities. Here's what one special education teacher says is happening at Anacostia senior high. (Posted by The Washington Teacher).

"Dear Candi: A meeting was held in response to a special education coordinator's reprimand memo to sped. teachers titled "Overdue Triennials and Annual IEP's." Teachers formed a team to try to address these concerns with recommendations to no avail. Juggling case management responsibility, implementing inclusion without a model while trying to teach are major concerns for sped. teachers at Anacostia SHS. We have far too many students on our case loads to handle our responsibilities effectively. At the beginning of the year Anacostia teachers were given overwhelming caseloads of which 80-85% of student IEP's and triennial evaluations were overdue and out of compliance. Anacostia has more than 300 special education students with approximately 15 teachers. Special education teachers are simply spread too thin. What's wrong with this picture ?

Chancellor Rhee's special education 'central office crew' are mandating that these already overdue annual IEP's and triennials be completed immediately or else. We know what this means "90-day termination plans and the firing squad." The "firing squad" reports periodically on sight to take notes and to observe us . Teachers are expected to simultaneously perform magic, teach, update overdue IEP's, assess students, update DC STARS attendance, meet with service providers and parents all within an assigned instructional period. Special education teachers are also required to attend impromptu meetings and school wide meetings. Student lunch schedules are changed daily as a result of our most recent history of student violence which impacts our schedules as well.

Teachers are raising many questions because these large number of meetings, paper work and case management responsibilities are robbing teachers of required instructional time for disabled students, planning time as well as our lunch periods. The concerns of playing catch up will impact teachers performance appraisals and student test scores. Approximately 99% of the paper work and 100% of scheduling IEP meetings are delegated to sped. teachers instead of being handled by the sped. coordinator. All of our teachers have been told to seek the special education coordinator's advice on IEP issues and concerns. Unfortunately our coordinator offers very little help to us because she is a novice TFA teacher with no experience to qualify for this position. As an alternate solution to this problem, teachers' requested that administrators allow teachers to work outside their regular work day. This request was denied due to a shortage of administrative premium.

Since this is the year of full INCLUSION in our schools, sped. teachers at Anacostia believe that "co-teaching" may be an unrealistic option. One model WILL NOT fit every student or classroom. Anacostia sped. teachers are scrambling for answers and problem solving strategies as we try to address the mandates of NCLB, IDEIA and Chancellor Rhee.The good news though Candi, is that the research shows that special education students placed in a rigorous class room environment with the appropriate resources (educational aides, highly qualified teachers, behavior specialists, regular and assistive technology and accommodations do better academically and socially and are able to transition from high school to work/career and post secondary training. DC public schools has a long way to go to provide this level of academic rigor due to the lack of a citywide inclusion model, necessary teacher positions, appropriate staff development and needed resources. Please help. "
Anonymous Teacher.

Dec 18, 2008

DC's Unprincipled Principals

"The greatest threat to America is not communist aggression, nuclear warfare nor oil embargo. The greatest threat is a public education system that has abandoned the principles on which America was founded." ~ Paul Harvey

A 'hit list' is a list of people or programs to be acted against or disposed of as defined by dictionary.com. This was the subject of the WTU Delegate Assembly's Tuesday meeting. Some union members pointed out that the 90-day termination plan is an 'important topic' that needs to be discussed at another time so that union business could be conducted. Of course this did not happen and teachers' union President Parker facilitated the discussion about the 90-day termination plan which took center stage for hours until the meeting ended. Unfortunately, the Delegate Assembly did not get to any other items on the agenda.

What is interesting to note is that WTU President George Parker revealed that Chancellor Rhee's office has refused to provide the names and work sites of any DC Teachers on the 90- day termination plan to the Washington Teachers' Union as required. As a result, the WTU is only aware of 50 teachers who have been placed on 90-day termination plans but suspects that many more have been targeted.

On Tuesday evening, union members told horror stories of principals regularly interviewing DC students about their respective teachers in exchange for bribes of candy. While others told a story of a DC principal rating all teachers as either 'traditional teachers' or 'non-traditional teachers' on structured observations with traditional teachers being given lower performance ratings then their non-traditional teacher colleagues without explanation. Yet another discussed a situation in which a DC principal lied about who actually performed his structured observation. Another teacher reported that a principal lied on a teacher who presented their lesson plans stating they were non-existent. Stories abound of DC teachers not receiving promised interventions and supports.

How many city-wide teachers have been placed on the 90-day termination plans ? You tell me. If you know of an 'unprincipled DC principal' who is falsifying PPEP documents, discriminating against veteran teachers or younger teachers, minority teachers or committing fraudulent acts- send your unprincipled principal story to me: c/o saveourcounselors@gmail.com and I will post it here on The Washington Teacher. Anonymity of sender guaranteed. Feel free to include the name of the school and the name of the principal.

Whether you believe DC teachers should be terminated or not, all teachers are entitled to 'due process' and representation under the law. If you know of a DC Teacher on a 90-day plan, and/or a needs improvement plan - you should encourage him/her to contact the WTU as soon as possible @ 202-293-8600. When contacting the WTU, request to speak with your assigned field representative. (Posted by The Washington Teacher).

Dec 15, 2008

Collaborative Planning For Student Success

This piece written by yours trully appeared in 'Filing Complaints in The Mail' on December 14, 2008‏.

" With support from Mayor Fenty, Chancellor Michelle Rhee is moving onto Plan B, seeking federal emergency legislation to empower the city to bypass collective bargaining and expand nonunion charter schools. The alternative plan consists of a newly-devised teacher evaluation, abolition of teachers’ jobs, and the resurrection of a poorly enforced provision in the current contract allowing administrators to give teachers ninety school days to improve or face dismissal — all objectives of her stalled contract proposal. Parts of the proposed Plan B have already gone into effect. Teachers and administrators report that the city is requiring DC principals to place a quota of teachers on ninety-day plans. Teachers are monitored by their school administrator; if funds are available, a helping teacher is assigned during the evaluation period after which an administrator can recommend termination. This is the first time in years that principals are being told to observe teachers en masse and make decisions on teacher termination by December 5. Principals report being instructed to lie in their “teacher observations” about what is taking place during a structured lesson. One principal at Patterson elementary school resigned in opposition to these unethical practices.

What has been most disappointing for the quota of teachers placed on ninety-day plans is that the school system is still failing miserably to provide many of the promised outside interventions to assist in executing teacher improvement. There is still a lack of helping teachers from the central office and appropriate professional development; local school resources are wholly inadequate and come too little, too late, or never at all. “The Chancellor’s one-dimensional approach to school improvement, simply firing employees, is not working and has created an environment of advantage taking,” said Nathan A. Saunders, WTU General Vice President.


The Chancellor’s top-down management style is creating a situation where many teachers — young and old — will be fired. Many of us do not believe that this approach will lead to better teaching. It seems encouraging to many DC teachers that American Federation of Teachers’ President Randi Weingarten, who recently spoke before a group of union leaders and education policy makers, stated that no educational reform issues should be off the table as long as they are both good for students and fair to teachers. Among the recommendations made by Weingarten include the use of experienced teachers sharing their skills and mentoring teachers experiencing problems and peer review, utilizing some aspects of merit pay in which teachers could earn extra pay when their schools excel, and systemic support for teacher’s professional development and enhanced working conditions.

DC teachers will be working closely with the American Federation of Teachers to design workable solutions to support student instruction and successful teaching, and to provide economic security for its members. We are looking to engage interested parents and community members in a collaborative effort to improve our public schools. If interested, please E-mail your contact information to
saveourcounselors@gmail.com. " (Posted by The Washington Teacher)

Dec 14, 2008

Ron Brown Principal Threatens Teachers with 90 Day Plan

Guess what a little birdie told me today... the principal at Ron Brown middle school located at 420 34th Street N.E. is threatening to place his teachers on a 90 day plan. The Washington Teacher gives this principal... Two Thumbs Down. Do you think this is an effective style of educational leadership ? (Posted by The Washington Teacher ).

Dec 13, 2008

Favorite Quote Of The Day

This quote was inspired by an activist friend in the labor movement....

"Who is the judge? The judge is God. Why is he God? Because he decides who wins or loses. Not my opponent. Who is your opponent? He does not exist. Why does he not exist? Because he is a mere dissenting voice of the truth I speak! " Courtesy of The Great Debaters. (Posted by The Washington Teacher).

Dec 12, 2008

Don't Miss This Meeting

The Washington Teachers Union Executive Board meeting will hold its 2nd Saturday board meeting (tomorrow) @ 9 a.m. WTU members are encouraged to attend. The meeting is located at the Washington Teachers' Union at 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW, # 7200. Telephone 202-293-8600. Take 7th Street South to Independence Avenue, turn right and take L'Enfant Plaza and turn left. The union office is midway up on your left next to the L'Enfant Plaza hotel. Street parking is available at no cost on Saturdays. (Posted by The Washington Teacher).

Dec 9, 2008

For DC Teachers: It is A Time To Build Up, A Time To Gather Stones, A Time To Speak... A Time Of War

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. I always loved this passage from Ecclesiastes in the bible. I used it in raising my son, JBL and supporting some of the unpopular decisions that I as a parent had to make as well as teaching life's hardest lessons. Often when I had to impose an unpopular parental decision I started with "for everything there's a season. There's a time to fall in love, there's a time to learn how to drive, there's a time to stay out late. It's not your season yet, my son." As hard as it was for me when the time did come for my son to embrace the dreaded developmental milestones of dating, hanging out later with friends and growing up-I would remark for everything there 's a season. It's your season, go for it with all of my blessings of course. Here's the verse in its entirety.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 From The Holy Bible Attributed to King Solomon
"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war; and a time of peace."


What I have learned from this passage is that it is no longer the season to remain silent and sit back. In war, it's a time to gather stones, a time to speak out and a time to fight- to go against the grain if you will. Nationally, teachers and teachers unions are speaking out in defense of DC teachers. Just recently the Detroit Teachers Union passed a resolution in support of Washington, DC teachers and have encouraged all of teacher unions across the United States to follow suit. I attribute this to the media blame game campaign that Rhee has waged in her all out war against DC teachers. Negative anecdotes of teacher horror stories are regularly proffered almost daily it seems by Rhee and supported by the mainstream press of reporters in Washington, DC and mostly offer one sided viewpoints like the article featured by WaPo reporter Jay Mathews last week titled , "New DC Principal Hand Picked Team Makes Early Gains."

Much to my surprise another editorial appeared this week from a suburban teacher colleague in challenging Mathew's article. Here's what she said in "The Wisdom of Older Teachers" which appeared on Monday, December 8th on page A18:

"While it was heartening to learn from Jay Mathews's column that students at Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson are improving their performance on tests (Metro, Dec. 1), I was dismayed at principal Brian Betts's blatant ageism in the hiring of teachers. It is unfair to equate youth with enthusiasm and ambition and to dismiss out of hand the richness of experience and wisdom gained by teaching over many years. Certainly there are older teachers who are just putting in their time until they reach retirement age, but that is a small minority, at least in my experience as a teacher. I've known and learned from many "seasoned" teachers who are dynamic, embrace new technology and challenge themselves to create more interesting lesson plans; I've also met a few younger teachers who chose not to put much effort into their instructional methods.

It is interesting that Mr. Betts requires "daily teacher training." Could this be because there are so few experienced teachers on his staff? Teachers with a few years under their belts offer knowledge to their students gained from hands-on experiences in the classroom. As in other professions, teachers with experience should be valued. I wonder if, in five years when Mr. Betts is 46, he will find that his experience and accomplishments as an administrator are discounted when he interviews with a younger version of himself, who assumes that older folks are "jaded."
Virginia R. Pass, Silver Spring, The writer teaches French at Robert Frost Middle School in Rockville.

For DC Teachers...It's a time to build up, a time to gather stones, a time to speak... a time of war. Last night we gathered together our troops alongside AFT preparing our battle plan of action. Stay tuned for more. (Posted by The Washington Teacher). (This story inspired by JB ).

Dec 7, 2008

DC Principal Tries To Fire Outstanding Teacher

Here is another email that I received from a teacher regarding a DC principal who unfairly tried to place an outstanding teacher on a 90 day plan without regard to her work performance. As I have noted in my other blog entries- some DC principals have been advised by Rhee's administration to place a quota of teachers on a 90 day plan even if they have to 'lie'. I can't help but ask what's wrong with this picture ? If you know of cases in which DC teachers have been unfairly placed on a 90 day termination plan, email me with specifics c/o saveourcounselors@gmail.com Read the email below and weep ! (Posted by The Washington Teacher).

"Hi Candi.. On "Rhee's 90 Day Plan"- As I reflect on one of my colleagues most recent school situations, I can only think how her situation could have been another teacher potential "Horror Story". Her new principal told her she was putting her on a 90-day plan. As she was busily preparing for a formal observation, she decided to read our WTU contract guidelines. After reading our contract, she approached her principal to ask why she was targeted for a 90 day plan since she is a tenured teacher and all her evaluations have been rated as "exceeds expectations." She has also been selected for several teacher leadership assignments because of her extensive experience and insight to problem solving school, student, and parent concerns. In addition, she also served as a special education coordinator at one of our most reputable high schools.

After her discussion with the principal, the principal rescinded the decision to place her on a 90 day plan. My colleague was shocked at how vulnerable all teachers/ET15 employees are today with working in a school system with inexperienced new administrators from other school districts and under the chaotic leadership and mandates of Michelle Rhee. It appears that newly hired administrators from NLNS (New Leaders for New Schools) and other affiliated agencies (not within the DCPS school approved administrator's pool) are coming to DCPS from outside our pool with their own agendas, directives, and mindsets and with the attitude or mandates that DCPS teachers should be FIRED.

It appears also that Teach for America teachers, et al are given all the resources, professional development, access to new technology, administrative support, better class rooms, etc. Most of these teachers are coming to us without classroom experience, appropriate certifications, and degrees . One thing I learned from my colleague's situation is that teachers MUST READ their WTU contracts consistently. Unfortunately, this is a lonely scary environment to work in when teachers can not trust their principals "WORD" or Chancellor Rhee's 90-day plan implementation process. Have principals already submitted a "Hit List" of employees targeted to be "FIRED"? " Anonymous

Dec 6, 2008

We're Off To See The Wizard..Wonderful Wizard Of Oz


I couldn't resist this but here's what an anonymous poster says DC teachers need to do: "You guys need to go buy ruby red shoes and wear them to school. Come on Toto and let's get on down the yellow brick road. We'll get that broom to the Wizard of Oz !"

Merchandise Wanted: Chancellor Michelle Rhee's broom. Willing to pay hefty sum . No questions asked. Broom appears tattered and worn due to excessive use and may show signs of rat infestation. Contact The Washington Teacher. (Posted by The Washington Teacher).

Dec 4, 2008

WTU/AFT- A Pleasant Surprise !

On Thursday evening, the Washington Teachers' Union Executive Board meeting held a special meeting with board members, AFT President Randi Weingarten and AFT staff to discuss our next steps. I must say I was pleasantly surprised because for the first time in a really long time we were all really together.

Stay tuned for our soon to be released press release. The suspense will be well worth the wait. (Posted by The Washington Teacher).

Guess What A Little Birdie Told Me Today ?

..... that Principal Linda Williams of Patterson Elementary School will be resigning her administrative post due to her concerns that Chancellor Rhee is mandating principals to place a quota of DC teachers on a 90 day improvement plan. Seems like this climate of fear may be more than some are willing to tolerate. Believe it or not ? Stay tuned for more on this story. (Posted by the Washington Teacher).