What A New Contract for Washington's Teachers Could Signal for Professional Development


Although recent controversial news about DC Public Schools’ (DCPS) newfound budget surplus has overshadowed the release of Washington Teacher’s Union (WTU) and DCPS’ much awaited collective bargaining agreement on April 7th, there is still much to be celebrated. There has been an on-going negotiation between WTU and DCPS’ administration for the last two years, as teacher’s professional needs and student’s academic needs were seemingly coming into conflict. On the new agreement, the joint press release from both parties stated:

“We worked through our differences to come up with a plan for education that best serves the needs of D.C.’s schoolchildren. We never veered from the principle that we must raise academic and teaching standards while also treating teachers fairly and giving them the tools and conditions they need to be effective in the classroom.

“Our combined efforts at the bargaining table have produced an agreement that reflects the importance and value of great teachers in raising the academic achievement of students....the agreement offers a system of checks and balances that will ensure greater accountability from teachers and administrators.”

Specifically, DC VOICE is excited about new terms concerning Professional Development, as it coincides with the platform for our Equity Campaign. Included in Article 2 of the new contract are: 1) targeted Professional Development opportunities to help teachers improve their instructional practices based on DCPS’ Teaching and Learning Framework; 2) funding for three new “high functioning” teacher training centers, intended to organize school personnel into learning communities with clear goals and standards; 3) a city-wide support unit to be guided by a new "Teachers Center Policy Board;" and 4) agreement by WTU and DCPS to form a joint committee to develop and implement a comprehensive mentoring and induction program, intended to provide a continuum of Professional Development for all teachers and specific supports for new teachers during their first three years. To begin, both parties agreed to form the Full and Equal Partnership Committee (FEP). It will consist of the Chancellor and the President of the WTU and as many designees (an equal number from DCPS and the WTU) as they deem appropriate. The intention is that this board will be responsible for implementing the terms of the agreement and that they meet standards established by Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

As one of DC VOICE’s main priorities has been for every Local Education Agency to develop, fund, and publish a comprehensive professional development plan, this contract agreement proves that the voice of all stakeholders are being considered in decisions to bring better educational opportunities to DC Public Schools.

For more information and to read the entire agreement, click here.

1 Comentário:

Anonymous said...

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