Aug 5, 2010

Finally, There's Going To Be A WTU Election !

Your Vote Is Your Voice !
Vote Saunders/Peterson slate-WTU 2010
Although long overdue, members of the Washington Teachers' Union will finally have an election of officers. According to the WTU Constitution, union elections were supposed to be conducted in May with officers being installed in office on July 1, 2010. This has been a long protracted battle which began with AFT becoming involved in taking over the elections of the 15 member WTU Elections Committee in June 2010 because members had not been properly elected . Once elected, the elections committee members requested George Parker, WTU President (whose term ended June 30, 2010) to provide the necessary paperwork so that they could commence elections, Parker refused. Despite repeated appeals by elections chairperson, Claudette Carson to Parker requesting that he cooperate with elections committee members to move forward with a timely election, Parker dug his heels in the sand. What followed next was Parker convening a June 9 and June 15 Executive Board meeting and appointing four new board members illegally (Carynne Conover, Jacqueline Hines, Monica Jones-Martinez and Bill Rope). I was banned from these WTU meetings by George Parker as a WTU Board of Trustee member even though I have been an active participant in executive board meetings for three years. Parker with his newly appointed board in tow took the following measures of setting a new election schedule for the fall of 2010 stating that it was the executive's board's role to determine the elections schedule. Initially, Parker's crony, John Tatum who is appointed as a paid parliamentarian by the union president told the Washington Examiner newspaper that elections would be held in November with officers not being installed until January 2011. Later Parker and Tatum changed the date to a September election- perhaps after all the pressure.

What followed after Parker's election meddling were his retaliatory actions to reduce Nathan Saunders, WTU General VP's salary to a big fat zero while Parker continued to earn a hefty sum of our union dues in the amount of $150,000 and perks. Next, Parker also refused to sign Saunders DCPS leave of absence. Parker's actions left Saunders working for free and would have forced him back into the classroom at the beginning of school even though he was elected to office by the membership. Subsequently, Nathan Saunders, WTU General VP filed a law suit as did Claudette Carson, WTU Elections Chairperson to right these wrongs. Here's to Nathan and Claudette!

Suddenly but not surprising, the AFT became interested in 'talking resolutions' after the lawyers became involved. Heretofore, Randi Weingarten had basically said that this was a local matter and that she only wanted to "get in and get out" after the WTU Elections committee was elected. Certainly the lawsuits but also at the urging of The Washington Teacher blogger (yours truly) and other union members wrote letters to AFT President Randi Weingarten demanding a union election as well as the restoration of Saunders salary and approval of his leave of absence from DCPS. Even AFT members wrote to President Weingarten declaring how absurd it was for Local 6 not to conduct a timely union election and to reduce an officers salary.

Well union members, the power of the pen and a lawsuit here and there is mightier than the sword. Randi Weingarten of AFT heard your voices and decided to hold an investigation this summer into these local concerns at the AFT headquarters. I was in attendance at the AFT hearing and it appeared to me to be a 'kangaroo court' in which members of Randi's AFT Executive Council heard only some of the evidence. Might I add that all of my testimony as a witness was stricken from the record which is totally unacceptable. No real court in this land would allow such nonsense simply because they didn't like the content of one's testimony. I must say however, I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome of AFT's decision. This shows it is always best to reserve judgment until the end. Here are the results of the WTU Investigation and Order, dated August 4, 2010- as written by the AFT Executive Council:

1. AFT will take charge of the 2010 internal election for the WTU. This will include the officers, Executive board members, Trustees, Delegates to Metro Labor Council and Delegates to the DC and Maryland AFL-CIO.

2. a. the elections process will begin with a notice of nominations to the WTU membership informing the members of open positions for office, the term of office, the method to submit a completed nominations form, a copy of nominations form and the time and location for submitting such nominations.

b. the deadline for submitting nominations petitions will be that set forth

3. Those nominating petitions that have already been submitted will be accepted and they will be reviewed for their sufficiency and for any new petitions.

4. The eligibility cut-off date for WTU members to participate in the election will be the last payroll period in June 2010.

5. Fifteen days after the close of nominations, ballots will be sent by U.S. Mail to the WTU membership. The voting period will be fifteen (15) calendar days. The American Arbitration Association will be retained to conduct the balloting and certify the elections results consistent with the WTU Constitution and Bylaws.

6. The WTU will restore to Saunders his lost pay forthwith. The WTU shall also notify DCPS that Saunders' release time from the classroom should be extended at least through the conclusion of the election.

The Executive Council will retain jurisdiction over this matter to ensure compliance with its directives.

Your Vote Is Your Voice !

Vote Saunders/Peterson slate for WTU '2010


Anonymous said...

REJOICE REJOICE!!! Now we must VOte George out and get ussome new leadership!!! Nathan/ Peterson slate ALL THE WAY!!!

Anonymous said...

So maybe my reading comprehension skills are weak, but when will the election be? Also, it appears that teachers who are eligible to vote will be those from last SY, not the new hires. Am I correct? Looking forward to finally voting!! Glad the AFT came in for us. They are our parent organization despite the shortcomings and problems.

Moses said...


So amazing that DCPS and the WTU are going through so much turmoil. I am excited about the possibility of Saunders and Peterson being our representatives. I am confident that you two will be able to bring about CHANGE that is Fair to teachers and Good for students.

Anonymous said...

Plus Rhee will have no chance of running over you two. That is, if she's still around after the primaries...

Vinicius said...

Kudos from Chicago! Hoping the Saunders Peterson ticket takes it to them!!! We need to take it to the courts when necessary. Karen Lewis and CTU filed suit a couple of days ago in Chicago against CPS.

Chicago Teachers Union Files Suit Against Chicago Public Schools
August 3, 2010

On Monday, August 2nd, the Chicago Teachers Union filed suit in federal court in Chicago to stop the arbitrary dismissals of hundreds of teachers and support staff by Chicago Public Schools. The suit alleges that the Board is dismissing some of the city’s most qualified teachers in a manner that violates the rights of CTU members to procedural due process under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as their rights under the labor contract. The suit seeks reinstatement of all teachers and support staff who have been dismissed to date. It also seeks to hold off all further dismissals until the CTU’s contractual claims can be arbitrated.

According to Karen Lewis, CTU President, “The Board has fired, is firing and threatens to continue firing teachers capriciously, callously and without legal grounds. Chicagoans have a right to a quality public education but Board’s actions, coupled with the City’s and State’s continued financial neglect of our public schools, works against quality schools. We are fighting for our members and student rights on moral, contractual and constitutional grounds.”

Chicago Teachers Union Files Suit Against Chicago Public Schools
August 3, 2010

On Monday, August 2nd, the Chicago Teachers Union filed suit in federal court in Chicago to stop the arbitrary dismissals of hundreds of teachers and support staff by Chicago Public Schools. The suit alleges that the Board is dismissing some of the city’s most qualified teachers in a manner that violates the rights of CTU members to procedural due process under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as their rights under the labor contract. The suit seeks reinstatement of all teachers and support staff who have been dismissed to date. It also seeks to hold off all further dismissals until the CTU’s contractual claims can be arbitrated.

According to Karen Lewis, CTU President, “The Board has fired, is firing and threatens to continue firing teachers capriciously, callously and without legal grounds. Chicagoans have a right to a quality public education but Board’s actions, coupled with the City’s and State’s continued financial neglect of our public schools, works against quality schools. We are fighting for our members and student rights on moral, contractual and constitutional grounds.”

It's about time said...

Way to go Nathan and Candi! I am looking forward to this dynamic duo. I know you both will be proactive and the possibilities for teachers will be endless with your leadership.

Cynthia said...

Hey ...thanks for posting this update.

We have waited for this for far too long. I think we all know that the Saunders/Peterson Slate must still get out there and campaign but really, folks.....can you imagine three more years of George Parker and company?????? NO WAY!

Let's get into our schools and talk up this campaign to make sure that everyone who can vote does vote!

If you need buttons or other literature or to volunteer, contact the campaign website at or call the campaign office at 202.563.2144

Oh Happy Day!

Randy said...

To Anonymous @ 9:38pm

Based on all the information that I have read, it seems that that ballots will go out on September 15 by mail and will be counted on October 4, 2010.

Seems like Randi is saying that since the election should have happened before the summer was over, only people who were supposed to vote in that election will and they will be the people on the payroll June 30, 2010-even if they are now retired or terminated.

Seems like no new hires will be eligible to vote.

Love the "new" CTU said...


Congratulations to the "new" Chicago Teachers Union. we have to stand up for what is right for public education and the teachers of chicago are finally doing just that.

Chicago teachers should inspire DC teachers to get off our duff, stop being doormats and speak the truth about this abysmal situation masked under the pretense of reform!

istheresocialjustice said...

so do members of the union from last year get to vote or what? i voted "NO" to the contract ratification even though our members overwhelmingly voted yes to get out and get paid. i couldn't vote "YES" in good conscious to give up some basic rights based on the BS vindictive and subjective IMPACT evaluation system.

now, i feel that i can at least do justice in voting GP out of the union even though i won't be in DCPS next year. i want the best of union representation for future DCPS teachers and GP is a farce!

he is full of false truths. he told us that only newly hired teachers would be held accountable (to firing) using the new IMPACT system and that everyone not recently hired would be held to their previous year's PPEP scores. this was in a UNION Q&A session held at our school. what a BOLD faced lie!

did he say this in any other Q&A sessions at other schools?

vote GP out of the union and hopefully Fenty and Rhee will follow the red carpet leaving DC!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Claudette. Your sacrifice will be rewarded.

Sheila H. Gill said...

Let's Get It On:

Timing is everything! The time is right for the WTU Election to move forward.

Congratulations to the Saunders/Peterson Slate.

The WTU membership is fed up with the Rhee/Fenty corruption.

Vote for a NEW MAYOR and a NEW WTU PRESIDENT 2010 who will "STAND UP" for Justice for all DCPS EDUCATORS!!!

Enough is Enough!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Nathan, Candi and the rest of the members fighting for their rights within the union and for public education.

Trinational Coalition to Defend Public
and AFT 1021

Pogue said...

Wow, this is great news. Congratulations for all your hard work and fight. I hope the Saunders/Peterson ticket overwhelms the election. Then, send Fenty and Rhee packing. We are envious in New York.

The Washington Teacher said...

Response to istheresocialjustice:
Anyone who was on the payroll during the last pay period of June 2010 gets to vote. This will include those who retired at the end of this school year, those who voluntarily resigned, those who were terminated and of course those who are still in the system.

Five To Go said...

Candi, this is indeed Historic! The WTU will not fall under Fenty/Rhee/Parker or Randi W.
Wake up everybody a new day has dawned. God Always Has the Final Word!

andrew said...

Throughout her horrific tenure as the Chancellor of DCPS, Michelle Rhee has been propped up by the Washington Post for the sake of its major stockholder Kaplan and their for-profit colleges scheme.

The beginning of the end is now in sight for Rhee and Kaplan. This from Bloomberg:

"[Shares of] Washington Post Co. fell the most in more than a year after saying proposed U.S. Department of Education rules could “have a material adverse effect” on its Kaplan unit, which makes up more than 60 percent of earnings.

The Washington-based company plunged $28, or 6.9 percent, to $380.61 at 10:59 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, after earlier touching $375 for the largest intraday decline since May 1, 2009.

The company said it could lose out on revenue if the Department of Education tightens restrictions on federal education grant and loan programs. President Barack Obama’s administration is considering increased regulation because of concern that recruiters working for for-profit colleges are signing up unqualified students and leaving them with loans they may be unable to repay.

The rules could cause Post Co. to lose some Kaplan admissions and financial aid advisers and may limit financial aid for some students, the company said in a statement today as it reported second-quarter financial results.

Post Co. reported an 11 percent increase in revenue to $1.2 billion as net income rose to $92.1 million from $12.5 million a year earlier, in part because of the Kaplan education business."

Onelove said...

Fivetogo...Amen, Amen, and Amen.

Melinda said...

George Parker is a big fat zero in my book. I am siok of all of his lies about IMPACT. He sat by and never fought it. I guess all these fired teachers will have to take a number to file a grievance after thousands of other teachers.I agree with Sheila H. Gill that Parker's gotta go. I hope he's packing his bags as we speak. I am voting for you and Nathan.

Anonymous said...

As usual you were right.I got the letter in the mail today from the AFT.Thank you for the heads up.A great article as always.Were you a journalist in your former life? You do a better job of reporting than our local media.

The Washington Teacher said...

I applaud the new Chicago Teachers Union leadership.Thank you for the update on this story. While in Seattle, Wash. at the AFT convention- I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Lewis and other leaders of CTU. I am impressed with their advocacy and CORE grass roots movement. I wish Chicago teachers the best in getting their jobs back.

Anonymous said...

Candi, I hate to change the subject, but test scores were made public today. Do you know how many schools made AYP? I'm just asking because, out of the schools I looked at, I don't think I saw a single one that made AYP in both reading and math. I saw maybe one or two that made AYP in one subject, but that was it. The scores were pretty bad.

I_educ8 said...

I received my information packet from the AFT today. I believe it was supposed to go to all dues-paying members who were employed as of the last pay period of June 2010. If you did not receive your packet (with petition form and other info), please make sure you follow through and obtain a packet from the union.

Saunders-Peterson, I smell a victory!

Anonymous said...

Spingarn also had decreases, which is also a restructured school.

Five To Go said...

@Andrew, I read the same article and I saw it on CNN this week. Thanks for posting it on this blog spot. Talk about conflict of interest. Rhee needs to be investigated by the Feds.There is more to this story.

Melva said...

Finally....something to look forward to - a WTU Election and prayerfully a new WTU President.

Someone mentioned earlier that GP lied about the impact of IMPACT on certain teachers. The truth of the matter is that GP lied about that and a whole lot more. But, if you had taken the time to read the contract for yourself (the words printed on paper-and not words whispered in our ears) you would have known that there is so much wrong in that contract, we are headed for serious trouble. Especially if we re-elect GP.

Saunders tried to warn us all. We wanted to focus on the rift between he and Parker--now we know, this focus was Parker's smokescreen.

Hope you can make it to retirement without being IMPACTED Out!

Go Nathan and Candi....I'm on board!

Anonymous said...

Just took a look at the AYP score posted on OSSE website. Something went VERY wrong with DCPS this year. I know that the NCLB targets increased this year but looking at the individual school data. However, the individual school data is dismal considering the number of schools who saw the scores Decreased; it appears they would not have made AYP even by last year's target.

Columbia Heights
Lafayette had a 15% drop in reading scores for black kids!!!

Overall for most schools the gains were not that remarkable given the emphasis on the so-called TLF/IMPACT.
I guess that morale and other issues definitely impacted DC CAS perfomance and that constant testing crap just simply isn't working.
Still think we will get RTT funs

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 11:07,

Anonymous at 11:07

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed. The test scores are abysmal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Schools like Tyler ES had a 42% drop in reading! Are you kidding me???? There is a reason that the WaPO and Michelle Rhee are only talking about the teachers who were fired: they are trying to take attention away from the scores! In her press conference a couple weeks ago, she said the scores in elementary had dropped but she downplayed HOW MUCH THEY dropped. It's funny how her and Fenty want to take credit when the scores are high, but when they are low they want to blame the teachers! If they take credit when the scores are high, then they also need to take credit when the scores are low.

Not Anonymous said...

I think that scores went down partially because there was less cheating on tests this year. These scores are probably more accurate measures of how kids can perform on the tests solo.

I am not trying to down teachers - I know the pressures teachers get from the administration to "help" students on their standardized tests. Last year's scores probably would have looked the same as this year's scores if schools had not cheated last year. (Remember the investigation that was done because several schools had too many erasures). That investigation was ultimately "inconclusive."

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:31am .. Actually I think your logic is incorrect. As a teacher, we have access to release tests from years past and quite a few float around the net. The number of questions on the DC-BAS that repeat on the DC-CAS is extremely high. With the reading tests, the questions remain relatively the same however the passages change. What these scores expose is the fact that most DC students are unable to read and think critically. For my classes, the textbooks are useless because most of my students do not read at their grade level. Some schools have instituted remedial programs like Read 180.. however the programs required students to spend a certain length of time on the computer per class period which exceeded the length of time for the class itself. In addition, teachers were still required to teach the content material appropriate for the grade level.

In am interested the statistical breakdown of the teachers that were fired and judged minimally effective.
Did these teachers teach at these schools and the subjects where the large declines occurred? Were the teachers newbies or veterans? For the teachers who were not fired from the same school showing the score decline, what were their IMPACT scores? Why is the racial disparity in the scores growing in students west the rivers. Did teachers decide to work with the white students more because they got the requisite help from parents? Are teachers making a greater efforts to keep their IMPACT scores high ( testing component) by working with the higher performing kids? Is this an unintended consequence of IMPACT?

I suspect that there is little correlation between high impact scores on the TLF for Group 1 teachers and their test data. Quite simply because the logic behind IMPACT is inherently flawed. Teacher performance ( i.e. dog and pony show) does not take into account the different intangibles that contribute to the creation of lifelong learners.

Marvin the Retired Teacher said...

I think the school scores were pretty good, considering all the quality issues on the table.

Food for thought: With a new set of educators leading the union, how good will the next set of scores be? In other words, what difference will it make,in terms of these scores?

Anonymous said...

Only 10 DC public schools made AYP, and only 5 charters made AYP. I would hardly call these kinds of results "successful reform". Even KIPP had drops

Anonymous said...

The achievement gap between black and whites continues to increase under Rhee.

DC teacher said...

You are the premier blogger here in DC now that Dee does the District and DC teacher chic shut down.I have marked you as my favorite.btw you got my vote

Anonymous said...

Yes, Candi has always been the premier blogger and now she's the only DC teacher (service provider) blogger. Besides dee does dc, the reflective educator and dc teacher chic, Harry Potter and the urban school nightmare seems to have also gone off line. Bet Harry was told also to knock off the blogging by his principal. None of you do it during school time and don't reveal your schools. Isn't threatening teachers not to blog a violation of their free speech rights?

BTW, GP better brush up on IMPACT 2.0 cause he'll be back teaching math. I hear there's no more dynamic presence requirement for getting a 4 in T1, btw.

lodesterre said...

Actually Harry is still blogging and just posted the other day. The Reflective Educator is alive and well, he only changed the name of his blog - it is now called An Urban Teacher's Education. And there is me (he says modestly)over at Conducting the Inner Light. I am an active DCPS educator. Of the bloggers only Dee and DC Chic have quit the blogging realm.

Anonymous said...

Is this going to matter when Vince Gray is elected and then held to the fire by all of the charter individuals that now have him in their pocket?

Anonymous said...

I would hope that the new president would fight OSSE to reform the way Washington, DC handles the CAS. Teachers are confused as to what will be on it. It would be that way no matter who the chancellor/superintendent is.

nisha said...

Good work, i like your blog theme, and content of course.

The Washington Teacher said...

I think that readers of any blogs look for consistency in writing no matter the blogger. If you only write once every five or six months or so, you lose your readership to a great extent.One thing I have tried to do is consistently write at a minimum of one time per week so that my readers can predictably depend on that. It is defintely a challenge with all of the other responsbilities one has to do during a course of a week.

The Washington Teacher said...

Anonymous @ 5:08

I think having Vince Gray as mayor will be a better deal for all involved. I don't know about charters having him in their pocket. As a mayor he will be responsible to all his constitutents. From what I have seen, he at least has been open to hearing input from all stakeholders.

I think if you have concerns you should direct them to his campaign before election time.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Candi on nearly everything, but the one thing I can say about her is that she does an excellent job of keeping her blog updated with quality posts. VERY, very few teacher bloggers do that. We used to be able to count on Harry Potter and the original teacher chic, but right now Candi is the main source of information on the education blogs.

Anonymous said...

Also don't forget Brandenburg Blog, the website that does a fantastic job of breaking down the stats alluded to or put out by DCPS, he is always discovering interesting information not ever reported, check it out now re. the DC-CAS results.

There are actually a couple of other ones, you can usually find them on the sidebar of the main DC blogs already mentioned. I say the more the merrier, it pays to educate yourself about what everyone is saying about education whether you agree with them or not.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that both Harry and Lodesterre are still blogging despite the latter having a 6 month lapse. But Candi, I read you daily. I check your blog every morning and evening, as no one else keeps us posted on DCPS teacher news. The service you provide us is absolutely invaluable and I can't thank you enough.

The Washington Teacher said...

Thank you for reading Anonymous @ 7:10, and Anonymous @ 7:45 and the vote of confidence. It is not my expectation that readers agree with everything that I write. My goal is to offer another viewpoint as well as an insider's perspective and to elevate issues that might not otherwise be reported or disclosed by the mainstream media and powers to be.

I also read Guy Brandenburg's blog and think his analysis of DC stats is quite enlightening.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Candi,
Wasn't alluding to you when I wrote about reading other blogs whether you agree with their views or not. Just saying, it pays to read other views that we might not agree with just to find out what others are thinking/doing out there in teacher blog land. I read your site faithfully as well as others and definitely appreciate your ability to present the facts and your many education "scoops".

ed notes online said...

Good luck in the election Candi and Nathan. Just be careful out there. Randi and the AFT don't want another Chicago on their hands so figuring out a way to steal the election is part of their game. You have to win overwhelmingly to win. Anything close and any funny business they can drum up will give them an excuse.

See the video I put up of Nathan and Candi in Seattle:


Anonymous said...

Just got another email from Randi re: the election holdup. What are they thinking over there. Can't put themselves up for a vote. Told me and a few others to file our own IMPACT appeal. No word on the "class-action suit that is to be filed". Help me get my hands around this. Thanks