Apr 6, 2010

City Paper Unveils DC Teachers Contract Proposal

Parker Dumps On DC Teachers
Mike Debonis (Also known as Loose Lips) of the Washington City Paper's City Desk unveiled the Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) internal questions and answers about the tentative agreement which is scheduled to be released this week. Today at 12 noon, WTU Representative Assembly members were sent emails on short notice of a meeting scheduled for April 7, 2010 from 4:30- 6:00 p.m. at McKinley Senior High School. Later in the afternoon around 3:30 p.m. today, WTU Executive Board members were notified via email that a WTU Executive Board meeting will be held at the union office at 7 p.m. at 1825 K street NW office immediately following the WTU Rep. Assembly meeting.
Read this article in its entirety as well as the question and answer document obtained by Debonis. Some say this proposal sounds similar to the red and green tier proposal in many ways. I encourage all to read this document very, very carefully and be prepared to ask questions at tomorrow's meeting. Here is Mike Debonis' article courtesy of the Washington City Paper:
DCPS Teacher Contract to Be Unveiled; Big Raises Funded By $65M in Private Money Posted by Mike DeBonis on Apr. 6, 2010 at 05:44 pm
The D.C. Public Schools and the Washington Teachers' Union are set to unveil their long-awaited contract proposal, bringing to a close negotiations that have dragged on for the duration of Chancellor Michelle Rhee's tenure.

An announcement could come as soon as tomorrow, debuting an agreement that would offer city teachers significant raises plus the option to participate in novel "performance pay" plans, all funded in part with $64.5 million in private funds.

Preliminary details on the proposal come from draft internal documents obtained by LL; sources indicate that the outlines of the proposal are in place, though some details remain in flux.

The five-year contract, which would be retroactive to October 2007 and continue through September 2012, would mean an overall 21.6 percent rise in teachers' base salary rates. But the most discussed parts of the proposal stand to be performance pay and the process for "excessed" teachers (i.e., those laid off from an overstaffed school), as well as the novel funding stream.

Not all teachers would be eligible for performance pay. Those seeking to participate would have to "qualify in" using an teaching evaluation process that is yet to be finalized. Unlike the ill-fated "green tier" proposal, teachers who participate in performance pay would not lose tenure protections; however, they would lose some rights should they be excessed by DCPS.

As for those teachers not in the performance pay program, those rated "effective" or better under the IMPACT evaluation system would have three options if excessed and unable to immediately find a new DCPS position: take a $25,000 cash buyout; retire with full benefits if a teacher has 20 years experience; or take an additional year to find a placement with DCPS assistance, after which they would be fired.

Due process rights would be "streamlined" under the proposal but not ditched entirely. According to the documents, "teachers are entitled to due process that is fair, transparent, and expedient." The documents refer to a "system of checks and balances on the authority of school administrators."

Teachers who have moved past probationary status (i.e., in their third year at DCPS) will be protected from firing without "just cause." Those still on probationary status can be terminated for reasons "not arbitrary and capricious." The documents emphasize that those terms have "strong meaning in labor arbitration."

The base salary raises and performance pay initiative are funded via nearly $65 million in private donations gathered by the D.C. Public Education Fund---$10 million from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation; $10 million from the Broad Foundation; $19.5 million from the Robertson Foundation, and $25 million from the Walton Family Foundation. The money, according to documents, is devoted to the "recruitment, retention and rewarding of quality teachers."

Notably absent from that list is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has taken a keen interest in urban school reform and has developed ties with Rhee. One of the documents obtained by LL addresses its absence thusly: "The Gates Foundation has been incredibly generous, and, like all other funders, is donating substantial resources to a singular effort. The Gates Foundation is currently supporting innovations in teacher professional development such as the online platform, which is currently being planned, that will allow for personalized training for individual teachers."

As yet unaddressed: what happens in 2012, when the contract expires. Do the foundations have any ongoing commitment to funding DCPS, or would the city have to make up the difference, or would teachers face the possibility of a pay cut?

The contract proposal does address two extremely sticky areas of labor-management relations of late. One is the IMPACT teacher evaluation system, which is the foundation for much of what the contract proposes; the teachers union can have no direct say on evaluations under city law, but DCPS has agreed, according to the documents, to form a working group with WTU reps to "review teachers' concerns and suggestions regarding implementation of IMPACT....and to make recommendations to resolve issues and make improvements." IMPACT, additionally, will be subject to an outside review.

And then there's reductions-in-force, or RIFs---which occur when teachers are laid off to close a budget shortfall. Last fall, a DCPS RIF set off a political firestorm, with teachers, union officials, and politicians complaining about an opaque and arbitrary process that led to the firings of 266 teachers.

Under the contract proposal, new "checks and balances" would be instituted "to help members and the WTU deal with difficult personnel decisions and quickly challenge any arbitrary actions either at the building or district level." Specifically, there would be "consultation with WTU to discuss other possible options" prior to a RIF; "stronger language on the role of [local school restructuring teams]," which were supposed to play a crucial role in the fall RIF but in many cases did not; and "multiple hiring opportunities" for RIF'd teachers.

The contract proposal will be presented to teachers for a ratification vote; the contract would then go to the D.C. Council for final approval. A meeting of the WTU Representative Assembly has been called for tomorrow evening at McKinley Technology High School to discuss the proposal; expected to attend is Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, WTU's parent union, who has taken an key role in the negotiations.

The proposal, and teachers' reaction to it, stands to have a dramatic impact on the Washington Teachers' Union election later this spring, where PresidentGeorge Parker is facing a feisty challenge from longtime nemesis Nathan Saunders. The contract is also certain to have an impact on this year's mayoral race, with combatants Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray already dueling over their approaches to education.


Here is a draft text from a Q&A prepared by DCPS and the WTU:

WTU Tentative Agreement - Questions and Answers


1. How much is my raise?

The Tentative Agreement is for five years (Oct 1, 2007 - Sept.. 30, 2012), with base salary raises of 3 percent, 3 percent, 5 percent, 4 percent and 5 percent. Upon ratification, you will receive an immediate raise of 11 percent (retroactive pay of 3 percent for 2007-2008, 3 percent for 2008-2009 and 5 percent for 2009-2010). The total increase adds up to a realized increase of 21.6 percent. In addition to these significant base salary increases, there are substantial increases in benefit payments, administrative premiums and start-up allocations.

Special Note: Teachers who were separated or retired as a result of the November 2009 reduction-in-force (RIF) also will receive retroactive pay.

2. When the contract is ratified, when do I get my raise? When do I get my retroactive pay?

The WTU will work with DCPS to ensure retroactive payments are quick and accurate. (George Parker would have add here.

3. Is performance pay included in this Agreement?

A voluntary individual performance pay provision is included in this Agreement. Teachers must "qualify in" to participate in the individual performance pay system.

4. How do I "qualify" for individual performance pay? What are the consequences of participation? Will it be based solely on test scores?

WTU and DCPS will collaborate on the development and implementation of an individual performance pay program for the fall of 2010. The exact details regarding qualifications and standards for rewards have not been developed. The individual performance-based pay system, however, shall be on a voluntary, "qualify-in" basis that includes multiple measures of teaching practice and student growth for tested and non-tested grades and subjects. Most importantly, participation does not require teachers to relinquish their tenure.

In the event of excessing, permanent status teachers who elect to participate have 60 days to secure another placement in DCPS. If they do not find a placement, participating teachers are not eligible for the three options under performance-based placement (see Question #18) and may be subject to separation from DCPS.

5. How will the school-wide TEAM awards change? How much will they be worth?

The school-wide TEAM awards will now be based on the relative growth of student performance instead of a fixed amount of student growth. This will give many more schools and staff members a realistic chance of receiving an award. The amount of the awards will depend on the availability of funds and awards. All staff members will know the approximate amount of the TEAM award before the start of each year.

6. Where does all the money for the various monetary increases in the Agreement come from? What happens if the DCPS runs out of money?

Along with the traditional funding sources, DCPS has secured letters of support from a number of private funders to pay for base salary and performance components of this Tentative Agreement. Before the WTU a asked members to vote on the proposal, DCPS and the WTU received a written certification from DC's Chief Financial Officer that assures the financial viability of the proposal.

Failure to provide the funds to meet the obligations of the Agreement -pertaining to base salary, benefits and mutual consent is a material breach of contract by DCPS. The consequences of that breach will be settled by a court or an arbitrator, unless otherwise negotiated by the Parties.

7. How much do I get for "start-up" funds? How and when will it be distributed?

Start-up funds for the 2010-2011 school year will be $175, an increase of 75 percent. It increases to $200 for the 2011-2012 school year. The WTU will work with DCPS to create an effective distribution process that allows teachers to access the funds so they have the tools they need prior to the start of school.

8. What is the "Administrative Premium?"

(I have a good idea, but George should answer this on)

9. When do the increases in benefits kick-in?

The increases in benefits will be effective immediately upon ratification of the Tentative Agreement by members and approval by the DC City Council. (Check with George)


10. Does the contract force teachers to give up tenure?

No. This Agreement preserves permanent status and due process. Though tenure often is misconstrued and vilified, no one believes tenure guarantees teachers "a job for life." Everyone agrees, however, that teachers are entitled to due process that is fair, transparent and expedient. This Agreement provides that. It also strengthens language on due process and creates a system of checks and balances on the authority of school administrators—particularly as it relates to reductions-in-force. Moreover, teachers who volunteer to participate in any of the performance pay programs do not relinquish their due process rights.

11. Does the new contract include Red and Green?

No. Unlike the red and green proposal, all teachers' base pay is calculated using the same salary structure. New teachers and veteran teachers all are paid using the same base pay system. All of the base pay salary schedules can be found on the last pages of the proposed agreement.

12. What is the difference between "just cause" and "not arbitrary and capricious?" Why was this changed?

Permanent status teachers will continue to have the protection of "just cause." Just cause is a common standard in labor arbitration, and is included in the tentative agreement as a strong form of job security. Probationary teachers will not be "at-will" as is the case in most other states, in DC probationary teachers will have the protection of "not arbitrary and capricious." -It means a clear error of judgment or an action not based upon consideration of relevant factors. Both of these terms have strong meaning in labor arbitration and afford WTU members the protect they need and deserve.

13. How has the grievance process change? How is it better than before?

It is more streamlined. By removing one step and clarifying actions within each step, the process will work better for teachers and provide quick resolutions for all grievances.


14. Does the Agreement include the support and protection from arbitrary dismissals and RIFs?

The WTU was very concerned about the lack of transparency exhibited by DCPS over the past few years regarding dismissals and RIFs. The proposal has new "checks and balances" for evaluations, excessing and reductions-in-force. These new provisions will help members and the WTU deal with difficult personnel decisions and quickly challenge any arbitrary actions either at the building or district level.

15. How does the new Agreement address the uniqueness of B.C. law as it relates to RIF? Are there provisions in the new agreement to ensure a greater degree of fairness?

Under D.C. law, the Chancellor has unfettered authority to institute a RIF. This Agreement places some checks and balances on that authority and creates a process that promotes a greater degree of transparency and fairness. Additionally, it offers teachers affected by RIF and excessing options that were not previously available. (See Question 8.)

16. How will the contract stop DCPS from using a RIF to get rid of teachers?

The proposed Agreement cannot stop DCPS from implementing a RIF. RIF and Furloughs are part of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR). The proposed Agreement, however, has several new provisions to avoid many of the issues that led to the recent RIF. These include a clear policy regarding excessing and placement, consultation with WTU to discuss other possible options, stronger language on the role of LSRTs, and multiple hiring opportunities for teachers who have been RIFed.

17. How will excessing decisions be made?

Excessing decisions will be made using the rubric found on page 28 of the proposed Agreement. The following steps will be followed when DCPS determines an excess is necessary:

• The Local School Restructuring Team (LSRT) shall make a recommendation for the area(s) of certification to be affected.
• The Building Personnel Committee shall make a recommendation to the Supervisor as to the teacher(s) to be affected.
• The Teachers in the affected area may provide evidence to the Personnel Committee for their consideration.

If the Supervisor's final decision departs from the recommendations of the LSRT or the Building Personnel Committee, the Supervisor must prepare a written justification. Upon the request of the WTU President, the justification shall require the approval of the Chancellor prior to implementation of the excess at that school.

18. What happens if I am excessed? What happens if I can't find a placement? What happens if I can't find a placement after one year? Will I get help finding a placement?

When a teacher is excessed, DCPS will provide multiple hiring opportunities. If a teacher with an effective rating or higher is unable to secure a new position in 60 days they have 5 days to select from the following three options:

1. Receive a $25,000 cash buyout resulting in separation from DCPS;
2. Teachers with twenty (20) or more years of creditable service shall have the option of retiring with full benefits; or
3. An Extra Year to Secure a New Position.

Teachers who are unable to secure a placement will be provided additional hiring opportunities, professional development and temporary assignments. At the end of the year, any teacher who still has not secured a position may be separated from DCPS.

19. How do the three options work? What are the requirements?

Any teacher who receives an effective rating or higher will be eligible for the three options. Only excessed teachers with 20 or more years in DCPS have the option to select retiring with full benefits.


20. When will all this professional development and new support for teachers be available?

Immediately upon ratification, the WTU and DCPS will take steps to provide teachers with the high-quality professional develop opportunities outlined in the tentative agreement. WTU will focus on the immediate professional development needs identified by our members to ensure those needs are met as soon as possible.

21. How will the new teacher centers work? Who will staff them? What will they do?

Work will begin to launch the new WTU Professional Development Centers as soon as ratification is complete. WTU will work with the teachers of the UFT Teacher Centers in New York City to help shape our centers locally. Their experiences will prove invaluable to the teachers of DC as we embark on a new area of teacher-led professional development in our city.

22. What are the school improvement models? Who decides what model should be used?

The Tentative Agreement includes three new models for school improvement. In all of them, teachers continue to be full WTU members with all of the rights afforded by the WTU contract. The actual details of the three models can be found on pages 20 -24 of the Tentative Agreement. Teachers, administrators and community members working with each school's Local School Restructuring Team (LSRT) will decide which model is best for their students.


23. Will the new contract help improve discipline in my school? If so, how? Will I be supported?

Yes. The proposed Agreement requires that every school align its school discipline policy with Chapter 25 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR). In addition, each school will form a Student Behavior Management Committee (SBMCJ that must design a school-wide discipline and behavior management plan based on the local school's disciplinary needs, and it must be consistent with Chapter 25. To ensure every school has a comprehensive and fully operating plan, the WTU shall develop a system-wide template that will include the required components of school discipline/behavior management plans, along with models of best practices.

24. When will the WTU template for discipline be shared with my school?

The WTU already has contacted the AFT to help develop the discipline template for our schools. Working with the best discipline experts from around the country, the new template will be a step forward in ensuring our students have the safe'and orderly learning environments they deserve.


25. How will my concerns about the new teacher evaluation system be addressed?

D.C. law prohibits the union from negotiating on teacher evaluations. WTU and DCPS, however, have agreed in writing to form a working group of members and administrators to review teachers' concerns and suggestions regarding implementation of the IMPACT evaluation system and to make recommendations to resolve issues and make improvements. Additionally, the new Agreement calls for an independent evaluation and an internal review of IMPACT.

26. What additional things were agreed to or clarified in negotiations?

There four side letters attached to this tentative agreement. They cover a variety of concerns not directly addressed in the agreement:

1. A "working group" of teachers and administrators to review teachers' concerns and suggestions regarding implementation of the IMPACT evaluation system and make recommendations to the Chancellor as she/he works to resolve issues and make improvements.
2. Mutually agreed upon experts to review the IMPACT system and make recommendations to enhance and improve the system.
3. Clarification that WTU has always believed that past practice regarding progressive discipline does not apply to situations involving sexual harassment or sexual/physical abuse by a teacher.
4. Teachers who were RIF'd in November 2009, will be provided opportunities to interview for any position for which they are qualified before external candidates are considered. (Must check on the exact language on this one!!!)

Here is the text of a separate Q&A, one that addresses the sources of the contract funding:

Framing Message and Q and A for Private Dollars

Framing Message:

In order to appropriately compensate teachers for the incredible job they do each and every day, we called upon a broad range of foundations with vast experience in the field of education philanthropy to help support a contract that will compensate DCPS teachers in a way that no other school system can match. The dollars from each foundation - $64.5 million total - will be dedicated to separate and specific areas of the contract. These foundations believe in education reform that recognizes and empowers teachers. We are extremely grateful that they stepped up when asked and are helping to launch a new kind of contract.


Q: Are any private funds being used to facilitate the costs of this contract?

A: Yes. A significant percentage of this contract is being funded with private dollars from a wide and diverse array of foundations. This funding will allow DCPS to compensate teachers as the skilled professionals they are, with accountability measures that reward strong classroom performance.

Q: Which foundations are involved?

A: The Laura and John Arnold Foundation
The Broad Foundation
The Robertson Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation

Q: How much have they contributed?

A: Each organization stepped up to the plate with extremely generous commitments.
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation: $10 million
The Broad Foundation: $10 million
The Robertson Foundation: $19.5 million
The Walton Family Foundation: $25 million

Q: Are these private dollars going to anything specific or a general fund?

A: These dollars will go toward the recruitment, retention and rewarding of quality teachers.

Q: Why are these foundations contributing to the cost of a teacher's union contract?

A: All of these foundations have two things in common: they believe.in our vision for reform, and they all committed their support when asked by the DC Public Education Fund.

Q: What is the role of the DC Public Education Fund?

A: DC Public Education Fund's mission is to serve as a strategic partner to businesses, foundations, individuals, and community leaders in collaborating on and investing in high impact programs with DC Public Schools. This work includes attracting critical funding resources, managing key public-private partnerships, and acting as fiscal sponsor for all grants made on behalf of DC Public Schools.

For questions about each individual funder, refer media to the specific foundations.

Q: Is it appropriate to use private funds for public education?

A: Yes, we want to bring every available resource to bear for improving our public schools.

Q: Are there any strings attached to these dollars?

A: It is important to be clear that the District will control this money, rather than the funders. The conditions are that DCPS stay true to its mission of reform, and that these dollars be used to support excellence in teaching. There are no conditions that are atypical for a standard grant agreement.

Q: But what happens when these foundations decide to put their resources elsewhere other than the DCPS system?

A: Our partners are committed to the terms and for the duration of this contract. Beyond that, it is our goal to sustain this with public dollars.

Q: Why is the Gates Foundation not involved?

A: The Gates Foundation has been incredibly generous, and, like all other funders, is donating substantial resources to a singular effort. The Gates Foundation is currently supporting innovations in teacher professional development such as the online platform, which is currently being planned, that will allow for personalized training for individual teachers.

Q: Why are there no local foundations involved?

A: Many local foundations generously fund school-based programs throughout DC Public Schools. Large national foundations are the appropriate source for funding...

Posted by The Washington Teacher/ picture courtesy of the Washington Post


Wyrm1 said...

I'll reserve judgement until we see the actual proposed contract, but it doesn't sound too bad right now (of course, what we are seeing is all spin).

I'm thrilled that we might get some raises, but VERY worried about what the "private" funding is demanding in exchange for their participation and how DC will pay our salaries after the private groups leave.

Anonymous said...

If this is the contract your George Parker and Michell Rhee are presenting to DC teachers, I have to say its BULL SH-- and should be DEAD ON ARRIVAL.

Anonymous said...

With this teachers will get screwed over. The 20% sounds good and is good, however, all those funds come from private donors and by next year the WTU is back. If Rhee is gone, so goes the money and the mayor is left with freezing or reducing teacher salaries. This is simply a short term stint to get Race To the Top money!! If Fenty wins again, he then claims he has to cut teacher salaries. IF Gray wins, Rhee is cut loose/leaves and so goes the money... teachers now have to take a pay cut. I hate that IMPACT is not being addressed. There are too many inequities built into this. Remember Ghandi has to sign off on whether these raises are sustainable beyond 2012 or if the donors leave early because DC would have to pay. Word is there is trouble with Rhee/Ghandi after the budget fiasco this year. Ghandi has survived several mayors so I don't see him staking his job on bad financial forecasting if mayoral seats is up for grabs..and given his managerial issues.

As a teacher, I still haven't figured out how to get the students who show up every two weeks to school and phones are not working. Point is contract look good but the details as presented gives me the willies.

If this is the final form.. will vote against.

Wyrm1 said...


Serious question, and I'm not being snarky. What would you want to see in a contract? I am afraid of the money coming from private sources as well. However, if there is no private money then there are no raises.

I suppose that Ghandi might be dumb enough to sign off on this without promises from the donors that they would pay through 2012, but I doubt it.

There is no way we are going to ever get a contract that where DCPS has no ability to get rid of "poor" teachers, it's just not going to happen, and I'd rather make some money in exchange for weakening job protections then not get money for it.

Classic said...

Teachers be very careful. Read between the lines. I have a problem with the fact that my raise comes from a private fund, This is just Green/Red under a different name.
Look at the language for RIF's, excess teachers and teacher evaluations. The Union gave up everything. Due Process is "streamlined" that means no rights. New teachers do not have the protection of the Union if they get fired there is NO due process for them.
For RIF's it just says that the Union has to be consulted, well guess what? That is the same language as in the last contract and you see where that got us. George was consulted, he suggested that we do a furlough Kaya Henderson rejected that idea and they moved forward with the RIF. If you don't believe me check the court testimony of George Parker he stated that under oath.
Michelle Rhee has given herself a great storeroom full of weapons to get rid of teachers and we have little or no recourse. What is a 20 percent raise if I am going to be fired in July under IMPACT???
Please read carefuly and dont let the money fool you.

classic said...

Also,it's funny to me how Randi can show up now where has she been for the last five months while the RIF'd teachers have been fighting. I have not seen her at any City Council Meetings, she hasn't been at any of the meetings with the RIF'd teachers, or any of the Executive meetings, or Rep meetings...hmmmmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

I think that many of us are making the assumption that if there is a change in mayor's office then MR is gone. We can't make this assumption. Vincent Gray if he wins has been somewhat evasive about whether he would keep MR,
there is still plenty of time for others to enter the race and we don't know how they will feel about keeping MR. There are some good things in this proposed contract, but there are a LOT of gray areas that still needs to be explained and discussed. There is such an air of distrust among the teachers which has been created by the union and MR that we are afraid to believe or trust any document being presented to us. I'm not ready to make a judgement about the propsed contract yet until I can ask MY OWN questions and not ones that have been generated by MR or the union. It seems strange that we have had no feedback from the union or MR about the results of the surveys about the IMPACT. So much of this contract will be based on IMPACT scores. Oh yes, we really do need to look further into this proposed contract and look pass the superficial questions that were generated by others.

Anonymous said...

If Ghandi was a responsible CFO DC would not be in this financial mess. He has no control;the Fenty administration has no respect for him; heck DCPS didn't; Noah Wepman didn't (someone needs to let the council know that he is the reason special education is a mess; nor did Ms. Waters (who stole millions under his watch and is now serving time). DC is Mafia!!!All the top people are crooks thanks to them being afraid to do what is legal; no thanks to the king of shady pete nickel and dime the law.

Anonymous said...

Forget about the raises. You should focus on the future. How will the contract affect your ability to get a job somewhere else? Your career is dead!

Take the few dollars and get screwed!

Anonymous at 8:11 p.m. who are you? Not a teacher for sure.

Anonymous said...

The AFT should stay out of our local collective bargaining!

Anonymous said...

Wyrm1 said..What would you want to see in a contract?.

As a new teacher, I need a new teacher induction program and a mentoring program. I got very little or no support for the first five months on the job ( only recently assigned a mentor). IMPACT is still a mess because not even my admins or ME were able to show any kind of consistency or clarify their grading. There is no recourse to challenge these evaluations. My principal does not go over the entire evaluation with teachers- and randomly take out points from the CP to alter the scores as he likes and for who he likes.

I think IMPACT needs to be revised and evaluated and problems addressed. For the non-valued added, the resource distribution in my school is abysmal. I get no resources compared to ELA and Math, so my performance is handicapped before I even get started.

If a teacher receives a bad rating, I think there should be a battery of help available for at least three-six months to help. If not, we are moving toward fast food style teaching with teachers replaced at will every two year. Everyone is willing to call out these bad teachers but no one is willing to provide the help and PD, it takes to make them better teachers. In the long run, helping teachers with burnout etc is good for DCPS and WTU. More importantly, it reduces the amount of money DCPS spends recruiting new teachers and paying the TNP.

There is NO DUE PROCESS again....

What percentage of a teacher's pay is tied to this evaluation and test scores? Since we are data-driven, the calculations for each child should be based on formula that takes into account the number of times the student attends class and school. No child absent for 40 days should receive the same weight as those present for 90 days etc. The DCAS should be given at the end of the school year and results returned before mid-July, so teachers are given sufficient time to find other jobs.

I want the level of sophistication of the evaluation to reflect the dynamics of the student population etc. Scores should include parental involvement too.

I don't think this proposal is financially feasible in the long run. For the veteran teachers, it is a carrot. For new teachers like myself, it sets up a revolving door. I am a teaching fellow and this plan will enables the district to replace a significant portion of the teaching staff each year without penalty. Hire more fellows and TFA's who stay for two years and leave because of the conditions. I will remain in teaching but I don't think in the district. I think the teaching support and foundation is being eroded. This contract is representative of a full steam ahead erosion.

Anonymous said...

Wyrm1 is new to this blog, Does Wyrm1 part of the Rhee pr team? Reading Wyrm1"s comments are trying to control the comments/discussion of on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Wyrm1 is a plant from the pr firm representing Rhee.
I read his/her comments made on the WaPo blog.

Watcg out bloggers, you have a snake amongst you.

The contract should be dead on arrival.

Lindsey said...

From the picture, GP looks like he is taking a dump.

On another note:

Can anyone educate me on just how this red/green tier differs from the red/green tier of Summer 2008? And, please don't use the lame reason that we aren't giving up tenure and job protections because as I read from the document being handed around by the union (or Michelle Rhee, or Randi Weingarten....sorry, not really sure who is in charge of our union at this point), I get that if you "qualify-in" and choose to participate in the individual performance-pay system (aka green tier) and get excessed, you will not have the same three options available to you as those who did not "qualify-in" (aka red tier) have available to them....but you will be "offered multiple placement opportunities - Article 4.5.6)

I also read this to mean that if I should select the green tier, get excessed and don't get hired through my multiple placement opportunities (aka mutual consent), I can be separated from the system in 60 days.

And how, exactly, is this better for me?

Let's do the math:

Uncertain foundation money from those union loving folks at Walmart..

plus (+)

TA hurriedly presented at both a rep assembly metg. and an executive board mtg. all in the same night....and with less than 24 hours notice, no less (constitution says notice for special rep assembly meetings must be given five (5) school days in advance)

plus (+)

Still haven't seen a complete (not summary) TA in my mailbox...

plus (+)

Upcoming WTU elections for President and executive board

= (equals)

We're getting dumped on...again!

Wyrm1 said...

Any teacher who thinks that we need to take a serious look at this contract is a PR plant? Yes, I'm trying to control the direction of the discussion by actually having one rather then saying the contract is bull without any supporting evidence.

I'm a math teacher in DCPS (I prefer not to say where as my principal does read these blogs) who thinks y'all need to take a hard look at what is being offered vs. what we can get.

Thank you to the one person who did answer my question about what you want in a contract. I agree that new teacher development is important and while I don't love IMPACT, we are not allowed by law to negotiate teacher evaluations, so there isn't much we can do about that.

Assuming that the information we have been given is accurate (perhaps a big assumption) I just don't think we are going to get a better contract. We certainly aren't going to get more money, and there is ZERO political will to go back to the days where we were not evaluated at all.

I don't like tying evalautions to test scores for lots of reasons, but again, we don't have any control contractually over that so there isn't anything we can do about it. I don't like having $$ from private sources, but there aren't any raises otherwise.

We aren't going to get a better deal then this. If you want to vote against it to insure that Parker has no chance of reelection, that's your business, but barring there being something really nasty that hasn't been disclosed, I think we probably should be happy with what we can get.

Sheila H. Gill said...

Who is in charge of the WTU? Michelle Rhee and private donors are moving the WTU train fast, fast, fast.

The private donors do not support unions!!! Don't forget the purpose of the Chancellor's education reform model is "UNION BUSTING!"

Has George been sold out to DC Public Education Reform?

Please network with all DCPS teachers and say, "NO" to Privatization ( WTU Tentative Agreement).

Don't fall for the term "Bad Teachers" will be fired. All teachers will be fired. It is just a matter of time!!!

Rhee's famous quote, "I got rid of teaches who had hit children, who had had sex with children, who had missed 78 days of school. Why wouldn't we take those things into consideraton?"

Hint: Rhee manufactured a Reduction-in-Force on October 2, 2009. (No Due Process)


Anonymous said...

I see nothing wrong with Wrym1's comments, here or on WaPo.

Anyone can post their commments here. If there is a concern - it's Candi's to deal with.

Mark Benson said...

Is District of Columbia Public Schools turning to District of Columbia Private Schools? The ultimate plan for Rhee and companies is to turn Public Education to Private Education because they are working on attracting more whites to the District of Columbia. They used words like "bad teachers" to get rid of African-American Educators in the City. I tried to avoid talking about race but the whole issues have something to do with race. We can fix the Public Education without picking on African-Americans in the system. Michell Rhee continue to Get rid of African-American Educators for no reasons other than her lies, cheating on the test, and privatizing DCPS by using ineffective administrators like herself and School principals to terminate teachers and staff, and continue to tell lies on hard working wrongfully terminated teachers and staff. All in the name of changing the Chocolate City to White City? The city belongs to All and All should be treated equally. We need someone like Mr. Gray to Unite the people in the District of Columbia to prevent another RIOT in this lovely city.

food for thought said...

Look carefully what happens to teachers with under 20 years when they get excessed. It is a term called mutual consent. If a principal doesn't hire you and even if you have a meets or above, you will be gone in 2 months. If you can live with this fine. I hope all in this category will accept the fact that they may compromise any rights they have later to go to court. Hundreds of teachers get excessed each year. There will be more excessing this year due to both budget cuts at the local school level and reorganization.

food for thought said...

I wanted to correct my previous message that more excessing will occur due to budget cuts and restructuring of schools.

Anonymous said...

R Teacher wonders if there are now 3 parties negoiating our contract.
3. Private Foundations
What is wrong with this picture?

Anonymous said...

Listen at 1:19 in the vid. to what gray says about rhee!!!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

I hate to sound like a teacher, but why does Mr. Benson at 9:55am say the city belongs to "All" but is concerned regarding "changing the Chocolate City to White City"? Am afraid he is worried about the wrong thing, and that can't be proved. We need to keep our eyes on the ball. Am also concerned about DC with its hand out, begging...rather than doing the right things to get our house in order. The instant experts on this blog give me gas pains.

Shaking My Head..... said...

Private money funding salaries for staff in the Public Education System? None of the kids in the families of the foundations mentioned as being the primary donors attend public school. So why should these people control public education? Who ever controls the purse strings makes the decisions, plain and simple.
What happened to all the savings that were supposed to occur from the central office layoffs? Didn't Fenty and Rhee make the statement on day one that money wasn't the issue in DCPS;it was a case of bad management? I actually agree with that because it's true - there is more than enough money to provide quality education to the students in the District. If you get all those folks making 6 figures plus outta here, we would probably be alot better off. If DCPS needed a good manager to turn things around, Rhee was the dumbest choice you could have made because that just isn't her skill set. And spending $100k on PR? I mean, I know this is an "inner city" and all but come on. This is blatant EXPLOITATION. I guess there still is and always will be a gold mine in the ghetto.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:28

Thanks for the video clip! It sounds to me that Vincent Gray is either playing politics so he won't sound anti-rhee and discourage the white vote...or he actually WOULD consider keeping rhee as chancellor.

I pray that it's not the latter!

Anonymous said...

I'm a gray supporter too and I hope the talk of chocolate city vs white city stops soon.

I'm a white resident of ward 3 and none of my neighbors support Fenty. I suspect, though, they'd be as bothered as I am by remarks that seem to pit whites against blacks.

Anonymous said...

I agree with @April 7,9:55Am and April 7, 12:56 pm There is gold in the ghetto. I would not trust anything that MR nor George Parker say. These two people have destroyed this school system. I was not hired to teach in DC with Private dollars. If the taxes in DC can not pay for my salary or any future raises then I can live with that. However, when you involve outside people and their money, then we now have an additional masters to serve. The last time I checked my pay stub it said DC Government, and not Wal-Mart. Mayor Fenty is as fake as they come, he thinks that no one know it an Election Year. This contract was put on the back burner for three long years, and all of a sudden DCPS and WTU have come to an agreement, smells sort of fishy to me.

Anonymous said...

Concerning Wyrm1 being a pr plant was made so that the focus is not lost and that you think for yourself.

Anonymous said...

I used to be a teacher, but I am now an administrator. As a teacher I would not take this deal. It is retroactive from 2007 and expires in 2012 two years from now ( just enough of a before and after cushion to vote Fenty back in and keep the good will for a little while after - a nice little money bubble. The money is committed as long as the district keeps following through with their reform efforts; what types of reform efforts, what specific aspects, are Fenty/Rhee "the reform". So if they return then the feel good keeps feeling good long enough to try to get people to remember the drama. If they go then the private money could have an easy out if there is no specific identification of exactly what is meant by the continued reform implementation. There are some good things going on in DCPS that I think that Rhee is actually responsible for putting in place. However, even if I was an avid supporter, I wouldn't take this deal. It sounds like a bribe. Identify the specific reform that needs to continue, WRITE IT DOWN and have it signed, sealed and blessed; indicate whether or not it is dependent upon who maintains control of the school system, who is "eligible" to lead the reform efforts in the event that the current mayor or chancellor are re-elected or even in the event that either decides to resign for their own personal reasons. I want teachers to get a raise. Working for that long with no contract is just wrong, however with all that has gone on in DCPS I think that it is important for the contract to be extremely specific and binding so that there aren't any rabbit holes hiding in the underbrush. Just my two cents. My teachers work their tails off and I wish that I had the money to give them raises out of my own pocket.

Anonymous said...


You need help! You are not going to get the money and you will lose your job DUMMY! You will sell your soul to the devil for a dollar!

I_educ8 said...

This is a farce. No way I'm voting for this contract. After 3 years, you'd think they would've come up with something better than the proposed agreement. But when you think who the major players have been--Rhee and GP--maybe it should not be much of a surprise, after all.

I don't trust the donors, and should Rhee leave, I think the dollars will, too. Where's the iron-clad guarantee they won't?

Another issue I have is that the playing field is not level for all teachers. Schools west of the park have more resources and a lot of the students come from more affluent homes, thus more exposure, variety of experiences, greater probabilty for significant academic growth and a greater chance for these teachers to earn bonus money that MAY be available.

Schools in areas where the students come from less affluent families, limited resources, and dysfunctional homes often bring problematic behaviors to school, which frequently undermines the academic progress of the entire classroom. What about these teachers? What about teachers and other staff who don't have grades that are tested?

Too many unanswered, nebulous propositions. I will not be bamboozled!

Wyrm1 said...


Not so much. While there are some things that I am stupid about, I don't think this is one of them.

I have confidence in my abilities. The truth of the matter is that if DCPS (or my principal) decides that I need to be fired, that would stink, but then I'll go get a job somewhere else.

I don't particularly want to do that, but I also don't want to teach at a school where my principal hates me, and if he or she hates me enough so that they are willing to get rid of one of their better math teachers, then I'll go somewhere else. It would stink for my kids, but there isn't a whole lot I can do about that.

Truthfully, you can have the exact same situation under the current contract. Principal hates teacher, bad things happen. It happens now, it will happen under any new contract. The only difference is we get some money under a new contract.

Do you really think the Rhee is incapable of creating another RIF right now? The union has been completely ineffectual in protecting teachers who do not deserve to be fired, and that isn't going to change, it has failed at that consistantly since I started teaching.

Since I don't have any security except for my abilities, I would prefer to be compensated for those abilities.

Anonymous said...

saw this last night on NBC news.

Watch the video...bottom left on page

Rhee says "teaching is not a job for life, regardless of performance"


seriously makes me ill!!

Kings said...

Wyrm1 - please keep expressing your views.

We don't all have to be in lockstep here. If we were, we'd be no better than the totalitarianism that some feel has been thrust on DCPS by the Fenty-Rhee regime.

The Washington Teacher said...

I am ending the discussion on Wrym1. This blog is to discuss issues relevant to the topic at hand which is City Paper Unveils DC Teachers Contract Proposal.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that there are warnings from different people. After all, since when has Rhee decided to like any she has fired or do anything fair by all of the teachers especially the poor students that were abused.
Remember she called you child molesters and abusive people.

It's fair to say research the warnings as they may be actually true.

Oh well, people sell out thier own kids and own people for a buck in DC, so why am I even concerned if you are not!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:40 p.m. You are a plant too!

Candi can decide who blogs here or not, but that was not the issue.

Candi, watch your back.

Ditch the contract. Remember what happened the last time. Teachers got caught up with the 6% raise and not the content of the contract.

That was a mess.

Anonymous said...

Anon. at 7:18 a.m. today said:

"Anonymous 8:40 p.m. You are a plant too!...
Ditch the contract."

I am confused. There is no 8:40 p.m. comment, and the signs are indicating that 7:18 is a troll or imposter who is impersonating the real Anonymous.

DCparent2 said...

This is crazy. Contract is the the same one from 2008 just packaged with different terms. The $$$ looks good and many teachers would love it. But what are the strings attached? This another tactic of divide and conquer. However its not going to work this time because many of the so-called "good teachers" are catching hell from the IMPACT!!

Private $$$$ from Walmart who treat their employees like crap? Now this is cause for alarm!!!

GP sold the union members down the river the day MR took over DCPS.


Anonymous said...

This contract can be very enticing to the teachers but what happens if the funding is not available when the public funds dry out. Although the Chancellor states that the District should be able to continue the funding; with the economy what it is???? Also, teachers beware, you might get the increase now and if the performance or enrollment drop then????

Good on the onsight, but look at the long run.

Anonymous said...

Clarification: 8:40 p.m. on 4/7 stated Candi makes decisions about who blogs here. I stated that the blogger who made that comment is a plant also.
The funding of this contract is only a small aspect but has the potential to be huge if:
1) the contract is ratified (which it should not be)
2) the donors decide not to continue to support this
3) if the city can not support the contract once the
donors withdraw

Stay focus, the funding is not the issue. What are you giving away for the money? Focus on the content of the contract. What is your interpretation and how does it match the Rhee regime?

Lindsey said...

From yesterday's (4/8) NY Times article on WTU Tentative Agreement:

Emily Cohen, a director at the National Council on Teacher Quality who has studied scores of teachers contracts nationwide, said, “It’s a great leap forward.”

“This agreement would base teacher hiring, assignment and whether a teacher is going to be fired on actual classroom performance — the way it is in most professions,” Ms. Cohen said. And the agreement “chips away” at tenure, she said, because it will no longer operate, as in many school systems, as a job for life.

“The chancellor will be able to evaluate poor teachers out of the system,” she said.

----------enough said-----

Tracy said...

I'm voting yes for this contract. The changes we don't like, such as the evaluation system, are inevitable. That train has already left the station. It just left DC first, but it's leaving the station in other cities next.

As for private funding, if we were to rely on public funds, we'd have no increase. Remember, other districts are cutting teacher pay.

Anonymous said...

This TA seems very similiar to the July 2008 proposal, which was dumped. To view that one go to:



Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentleman:
Michell Rhee, George Parker, and Adrian Fenty are not to be trusted because they are not trustworthy. They tell lies and makes reckless decision without any regard to democracy. We know Parker and Fenty are due for re-election and that is the reason they are talking about teacher's contract. The devil is busy but God will prevail. This contract is a setup plan for the re-election of Adrian Fenty and George Parker; and continuation of Michell Rhee as a chancellor. I know Michell Rhee is not a smart chancellor, Parker is not a true Union leader, and Adrian Fenty is too corrupt and lack honesty.

Teena said...

I for one will not be bamboozled. No to this contract.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon, April 9 @11:15 AM. God will prevail, he already has we are just waiting for the results. God's time is different from man's time. Teachers remain positive, do your jobs, care about the students, and believe that You Are Worth More Than Your Impact Score!

Wyrm1 said...

I know this is going to disappoint you who think I'm Rhee's PR person, but having read the whole contract, I'd probably lean towards no. If you haven't read the whole thing, I recommend taking a look at section 40. Parker better have a REAL good explanation of why we should trust DCPS when he is answering questions this week.

“40.2 Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as a promise that Congress, the DC Council, or any other organization shall appropriate sufficient funds to meet the obligations set forth in this Agreement.
“40.3 DCPS agrees to provide financial certification that DCPS can meet the obligations of this contract before moving toward final approval. The parties agree that the failure to provide the funds to meet the obligations of the Agreement pertaining to base salary, benefits (defined as the provisions governing optical, dental and legal benefits), and mutual consent, is a material breach of contract by DCPS. The consequences of that breach will be settled by a court or an arbitrator, unless otherwise negotiated by the Parties.”

DCPS may not even have the money that they claim, and if they do, all it will take is some creative math to claim they do not. At that point, they cancel the raises and other stuff, and tell us to sue. Given the WTU's pathetic performance in court recently, that isn't reassuring.

PLEASE READ THE CONTRACT, go to the Q&A's and make your own decision.