DC Teachers' Union Calls for "Dialogue" on School Closings

Thursday, November 15, 2012

DC Teachers' Union Calls for (Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)Responding to Tuesday’s proposal by the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) to close 20 public schools throughout the city, the Washington Teachers’ Union yesterday released its own plan. “WTU’s plan not only addresses the more immediate challenges presented by proposed school closings,” said WTU President Nathan A. Saunders, “but also calls for a serious and thoughtful dialogue about the effects of market-driven education reform and renewing our commitment to support traditional public schools as the primary source for educating the city’s children.” Saunders said the union is also concerned that District students could wind up with “less access to high-quality teachers and resources.” While acknowledging DCPS’ responsibility to manage public school facilities and resources, WTU asserted its own “responsibility to support families including students and good teachers who will ultimately be displaced.” WTU’s plan calls for providing D.C. public school students with a well-rounded curriculum and staff support, accommodating displaced personnel by adjusting hiring and end-of-year attrition while strictly adhering to class size limits, developing budget transparency and accountability and renewing the pledge by all stakeholders —including the Mayor, City Council and the Chancellor—to support public education. Noting that many charter schools are paying teachers lower wages amid reduced working conditions, the union also called for extending the right to join the union to charter school teachers. In related news, Hope Harrod (above at right) was named 2012 DCPS teacher of the year recently; she teaches 5th grade at John Burroughs Education Campus in Brookland. David Pinder, member of School Officers Local 4 and head of McKinley Technology High in Northeast, is 2012’s principal of the year. Click here for a complete report from The Washington Post.
- photo: Harrod (right) reacts to Mayor Gray's surprise visit to announce she has won "Teacher of the Year"; photo courtesy WTU


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