SAVE THESE DATES!
APRIL 26, 4:30 PM:
Regional Meetings--Special training for new and existing building reps and SCAC team members on the local school elections process
Deal -- Devin Nixon
Moore -- Rejil Solis
Simon -- Charles Moore
Whittier -- Candi Peterson
APRIL 28, 5 PM:
The WTU Trainer Search and Recruitment event at the WTU
Headquarters, 1239 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.
MAY 13, 3:30 - 7:30 PM:
WTU Membership Appreciation Fish-Fry and Labor Night@DC United
Event starts at 4 pm, game starts at 7:30 pm; $6 for food and game ticket. Parking not included. Tickets on sale NOW! Click HERE to purchase tickets.
MAY 14, 9 AM - 2 PM:
WTU Teacher Leaders' Research Symposium, Howard University School of Ed/Miner Building. Free Food & PLUs, 14 action research topics and special guest: Jose Vilson, author of "This Is Not A Test." First 50 participants receive free autographed copy.
School Year 2015-2016 Calendar: Snow-Day Changes
This year, DCPS had 2.5 snow days on January 22, 25, and 26. As a result, DCPS is following the "two-day" plan that was shared in a letter sent to families on January 13, 2016. This means the calendar will have the following changes:
* June 16, 2016
will become a full instructional day. The Professional Development day previously scheduled for this day will be cancelled.
* June 17, 2016
will become a half-day for students with dismissal at 12:15 PM. This will be the last day of the school year.
Every other day will remain as originally scheduled. Check your e-mail for the schedule sent out by DCPS on April 15.
DCPS schedules Hiring Fairs
DCPS has released the schedule for its 2016 Hiring Fairs, which started on April 20. The fairs give current and potential DCPS educators an opportunity to learn what employment options exist within DCPS. There will be a total of six fairs.
The next fair is on May 5.
is the full hiring fairs schedule!
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has SCHOLARSHIPS!
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is offering scholarships to address the financial needs of students attending publicly-supported HBCUs that are TMCF member-schools.
The scholarships are awarded to outstanding and qualified students who plan to earn a baccalaureate, graduate or law degree from an accredited college or university.
The scholarships are sponsored by the NBA, Ford Motor Company, Annenberg Foundation, AFSCME, Wells Fargo, Lowe's, the U.S. Department of Defense and other unions, corporations and government agencies.
Go HERE to view the complete list
of TMCF Current Scholarships
WTU is N
OW on Instagram!
Interested in a teaching a new subject or grade assignment?
Per the WTU Contract, Article 23.14 (page 79-80), teachers interested in receiving a new teaching assignment must provide a written letter of request to their supervisor and/or principal. If you qualify and are interested in teaching a new subject or grade next year, we recommend that you send a written request as soon as possible and before this school year ends. Don't forget, if you do not receive your requested assignment, the contract requires that you are notified in writing with the reason stated.
Looking for a New School and Career Opportunity?
Start now, visit the WTU website to view the DCPS Vacancy Lists for 2015-2016
Our website features important and informative WTU and DCPS forms/ documents.
Check them out!
ooking for a Career Opportunity?
to View the DCPS Vacancy List for 2016-17
Your union and its leaders are
working hard on your behalf. Stay abreast of the latest WTU events, activities an news at the new and improved WTU Facebook page.
@WTUTeacher is growing!
DCPS is not bargaining in good faith.
It's time for you to take action!
Elizabeth A. Davis
Dear WTU members,
I am sending this special notice to update you on contract negotiations between the WTU and DCPS.
On April 6, 2016, after WTU rejected the last offer for pay raises that Chancellor Henderson had put on the table, Geo Johnson, the Mediator, excused himself from the bargaining table with the promise that he would return upon request. I made several attempts to reach out to the Chancellor to schedule an in-person meeting to set a date for our teams to return to the bargaining table to complete negotiations on two articles; (1) compensation and (2) the grievance and arbitration process. In a brief conversation with the Chancellor on April 18
, she agreed to call. To date, I still have not heard from her.
Instead of engaging in serious, good-faith contract talks with the WTU at the bargaining table, the Chancellor,
on April 21, 2016,
during the DCPS budget hearing held by the City Council Education Committee, stated the following:
"We have suspended our negotiations. ... there is a teachers' union election that's happening over the coming weeks and so it is probably best to revisit the negotiations conversation after that election happens."
to view the video). This is the first time we had heard this. The WTU never agreed to suspend negotiations, nor were we notified of the suspension of negotiations by the Chancellor or any member of her team.
DCPS should not be concerned with the WTU elections and should take no actions at the bargaining table based on the WTU elections! It is simply wrong, and probably unlawful, for DCPS management to interfere in any way with union elections. The Chancellor's refusal to bargain in good faith shows that she would rather use her position and influence to manipulate our internal elections than bargain a contract that is good for students and fair to teachers.
Your bargaining team has done everything it can possibly do to expedite negotiations, including putting reasonable, well-researched proposals on the table and urging DCPS to meet every day, if necessary, until we reach a settlement. But our team has also made it clear that we will not agree to any contract that doesn't recognize and reward the outstanding contributions that you make in our schools every day.
It is unfortunate that DCPS has insulted us with an offer of a 1% salary increase, with no retroactive increases. In a New York Times letter to the editor, Chancellor Henderson spoke of how much she respects her teachers. To suggest that teachers don't deserve a raise for six years shows just how little respect DCPS has for the people who plan lessons, and inspire, invigorate and educate students everyday.
We are ready to go back to the table and collectively bargain in good faith for reasonable, but fair, compensation for our members. Will DCPS do the same?
You have been extremely patient throughout this process, but we are now asking you to take action. We urge all teachers to call Chancellor Henderson at (202) 215-2524, email her at Kaya.Henderson@dc.gov and tweet her (@HendersonKaya) to tell her to come back to the bargaining table, offer a fair compensation package for teachers, and to stay out of WTU internal elections!
lizabeth Davis, President
On April 14, the D.C. City Council Education Committee held a hearing on the proposed DCPS budget for FY 2017. At least 13 teachers--and WTU President Elizabeth Davis--testified that day. Here are excerpts from the testimony of Pres. Davis and six teachers.
Teachers make a strong case for full funding
"After receiving the proposed school budgets, many of our members expressed grave concern over the proposed budget cuts for their school," WTU President Elizabeth Davis told the education committee. "These cuts will leave some schools with insufficient staff to sustain quality education programs, cripple efforts to close the achievement gap and compromise efforts to serve the neediest and most at-risk students in our school system."
The budget passed by this council needs to fully fund the staffing needs of every DCPS school, and not force individual schools to cut essential staff or have to choose, for example, between a reading resource teacher and a music program, Davis said.
Brightwood Education Campus teacher Shakera Oliver urged that funds be provided to ensure that at-risk students, including those with large numbers of ELL and special needs students, have access to wraparound services. "School leadership teams should have specified funds that address these basic needs for their specific school populations. Our students rely on us--teachers, counselors, and school support staff. Critical indicators to address are attendance, behavior, and academic achievement."
, a teacher at Oyster-Adams Elementary School, focused some of his remarks on the "uncontrolled churn of employees in the school system. Students lose out when teachers in there school change year in and year out," said Dixon, who blamed the system's "rank and yank" teacher evaluation system that negatively affects students and creates a "negative work climate."
"I am extremely concerned about the decision to impose an extended year on my school," testified Christine Rey, a teacher at Garfield Elementary School. "DCPS did not speak to any of the stakeholders (teachers, students and families) before they made this announcement. That's disrespectful. These are our lives and we deserve a voice."
teaches at Whittier Education Campus and says the unfunded LEAP will have a negative impact on her school because there's no money to pay for the positions that LEAP will require. "LEAP is a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul."
The budget shows that DCPS's priority is not schools and classrooms, Chris Bergfalk, a teacher at Thomson Elementary School, said. "It's a budget that focuses on administrative positions and salaries at the expense of classrooms and students. He noted that teachers are finding it harder and harder to live in DC with no raises, not even a cost-of-living increase." Bergfalk also pointed out that the academic achievement gap in DCPS has continued to grow...while funding for at-risk students under Chancellor Henderson has led to "most at-risk dollars going to the schools with the least needs."
, an art teacher at River Terrace Education Campus, works with students with severe to profound multiple disabilities. She says the school's principal has decided "to cut the music and arts position in half despite the fact that DCPS had designated full-time positions for both music and art in their initial budget." The decision to cut the programs was made without the input of the school's LSAT team or teacher, parents, students and the community, Diaz said.
"The arts are considered one of the most powerful tools to use when educating students with any kind of disability, especially students with severe and profound disabilities," Diaz testified. "It is through music and art that our students are able to communicate and interact with the world. This has been proven over and over again in countless studies and scientific research."
WTU Scholarship designed to help
outstanding DCPS scholars of today become the
outstanding D.C. school teachers of tomorrow
The WTU Scholarship Fund is dedicated to encouraging DC's best and brightest students to pursue careers in education and return to the District of Columbia as teachers. Since 1974, the fund has awarded scholarships totaling more than $1,000,000 to over 100 students.
Up to four DCPS graduates will receive a $20,000 scholarship awarded at $5,000 per year and renewable for up to four years based on academic performance.
All applications must be submitted by mail and postmarked by May 16, 2016. Winners will be announced on May 31, 2016.
Go HERE for more information and to apply for a scholarship.
Rep Assembly meeting covers a range of topics
Agenda includes WTU elections, city council endorsement process, IMPACT and federal Every Student Succeeds Act
WTU members and activists turned out in large numbers for the union's Representative Assembly meeting at McKinley Tech HS on April 12.
Chaired by WTU President Elizabeth Davis, the meeting opened with a report by WTU Elections Committee chair Cheryl Gillette, who outlined the nomination process and indicated that petitions for candidates for office are available on the WTU website and are due at the WTU office by 5pm April 29.
The co-chairs of the Committee for Political Education (COPE), Laura Fuchs and Jacqueline Hines, provided background on the process that is being used to decide which, if any, candidates for D.C. City Council the WTU should endorse. The work of the COPE committee involves much more than sending out questionnaires and interviewing candidates, Hines told the meeting. "It's about building political clout."
President Davis urged WTU members to attend the D.C. City Council's budget hearings scheduled for later that week, and use the opportunity to raise their concerns about LEAP, how at-risk funding is being distributed and the impact of proposed funding cuts on school staffing. "We need to send a powerful message to the council," she said.
Soumya Bhat from the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute shared information about at-risk funding that her organization has collected. She expressed concern about the misuse of the funding and the lack of transparency on the part of DCPS. "You need to look at how the money is being used in your school," Bhat told WTU members.
Duanna Petrus (Noyes) and John Dixon (Oyster-Adams) went over some of the changes that DCPS is making to the IMPACT evaluation system, including a rubric change in response to Common Core and the school district's plan to end the Master Educator Program.
A presentation on the new federal Every Student Success Act (ESSA) was led by WTU Teacher Leaders Jacqueline Pogue Lyons, Maria Angala Simone Harris Woodard, John Dixon and WTU board member Denise Daniels. It covered such topics as to how the new law impacted the District's 40/40 schools, special education and testing. Woodard, a school librarian at Eliot-Hine MS, said this about the new federal law: "I'm excited about ESSA because for the first time there is language in the law supporting what I do."
The WTU ESSA team is available to provide information to schools. For more information, email
Tom O'Rourke, the WTU member who recently won a landmark IMPACT grievance, addressed the meeting and received a well-deserved round of applause for his persistence in fighting his unfair dismissal-and winning. An arbitrator ruled that DCPS's failure to adhere
to its own IMPACT process led to O'Rourke being wrongfully terminated. O'Rourke thanked President Davis and the WTU for being with him every step of the five-year battle.
SAVE THE DATE!
Join the WTU Professional Development (PD) Team!
The Washington Teachers' Union Teachers' Center will host its annual WTU Trainer Search and Recruitment event on
Thursday, April 28, 2016, 5 pm at the WTU headquarters, 1239 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.
To qualify as a WTU Trainer, you must be a full-dues paying member in good standing, have 3+ years of teaching experience in DCPS and a master's degree.
We are recruiting PD instructors for the following Educational Research and Dissemination (ER&D) courses authored by our parent affiliate, the AFT: English Language Learners 101, Foundations of Effective Teaching, Managing Behavior for School Communities, Reading Comprehension Instruction, and Thinking Mathematics 6-8.
Plan to be there on April 28?
Walker-Jones teacher David Gesualdi
is a finalist for top award
Named after a former DCPS teacher, the Fisherman Prize honors incredible teachers who find new and creative ways to reach their students. Walker Jones Education Campus teacher, David Gesualdi is one of the top ten finalists. He is the first Health and PE teacher to even make the top 100 list and the first DC teacher to be a finalist. The four winners will receive $25,000 and a summer residency where they will have the opportunity to meet with national leaders to discuss major education policy issues. They will also publish an essay on their teaching methods and experience.
"They're looking for new idea
s and cutting edge solutions and I think that is what's critical in education to
day," explained Gesualdi. He uses his experience from teaching abroad to make his classroom more unique. By integrating ideas from
other cultures, encouraging students to think critically and tailoring the lessons to each group of students, Gesualdi is able to unlock his students' curiosity and embraces their individuality.
The WTU Teachers' Center Professional
Development Program for Educators
WTU Summer Institute and Accelerated
Professional Development Program 2016
Online registration ends May 28th!
Just One Week at One Location!
Monday - Friday, June 20 - 24, 8 am - 5 pm
University of the District of Columbia
4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Course offerings will build content knowledge and pedagogical strategies in: Beginning Reading Instruction, Elementary and Secondary Mathematics, the Common Core State Standards, English Language Acquisition, Behavior Management, Computer Technology and so much more!!
WTU courses are also directly aligned to the District of Columbia Public Schools IMPACT Teaching and Learning Framework (TLF).
Register HERE for the Summer Institute
For an additional $375, participants interested in earning graduate credit may register to receive three graduate credit hours through our university partnership and special tuition rate with Trinity University. In order to receive graduate credit, participants must submit the WTU registration form and tuition AND the Trinity University registration form and tuition.
Elizabeth A. Davis, President
Jacqueline Pogue-Lyons, Summer Institute Coordinator
REGISTRATION ENDS MAY 28.
SPACE IS LIMITED!
Register now for member discounts
and team deals!
Hold a local union election and have a voice in your school
Local school elections due by May 31; goal is 100% completed elections
The union committees and local school union leadership roles established in the WTU contract give you a voice in your school. Elections for the Building Representative, the School Chapter Advisory Committee, Personnel Committee and Representative/Delegate Assembly should be held in May.
Teachers at schools that don't hold elections are unable to fully participate in resolving local school issues, and don't have input when critical decisions are made about their local school budget, excessing, hiring, etc.
WTU is offering training for members interested in taking on a leadership roles. Contact the union at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's a packet with additional information about local school elections and the necessary forms
Reps completing elections by May 31 receive a $25 gift card and recognition at the third annual Good Steward Awards program on June 14.
WTU president to discuss
teacher evaluations at national conference
WTU President Elizabeth Davis will serve on panel on "teacher evaluations in the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) era" during the Education Writers Association (EWA) when the association holds it 69th National Seminar at Boston University May 1-3, 2016. This year's theme centers around "success and equity in education." More than 500 people, most of them journalists who cover education, are expected to attend.
Tom Toch of Georgetown University, Professor Nathan Jones of Boston University, and Associate Commissioner Heather Peske of the Massachusetts Department of Education will also appear on the panel.
OSSE creates new
teacher licensure pathway
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has created a new licensure pathway for employees with demonstrated success in teaching. While the new legislation is in the process of being finalized, DCPS has decided to grant unlicensed teachers in their 3
year or longer of teaching that received an Effective or Highly Effective rating in SY 2014-15 an extension of time to obtain their licenses.
They will now have until March 31, 2017 to obtain a license through OSSE using either the current or new pathway. Those employees that fail to obtain a license from OSSE by March 31, 2017 will receive separation notices shortly after this deadline.
Help send McKinley Tech to the Penn Relays
McKinley Tech High School is raising money to send their talented student-athletes to Philadelphia to compete in the Penn Relays.
You can support their efforts by going to this gofundme site and encouraging your friends, families and co-workers to do the same.
You Are Invited!
Agents for Learning: ESSA 101 for Educators
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Stephanie Hirsh, Learning Forward
Alice Johnson Cain and Steve Robinson, Teach Plus
Join Learning Forward, the National Commission on Teaching & America's Future (NCTAF), the Center for American Progress, and Teach Plus for a webinar to support the Agents for Learning competition.
With the recent passage of the
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
, the opportunity and need for teacher engagement in the implementation process has never been more important. As states and districts work to develop comprehensive plans to implement ESSA, we urge educators to get involved.
Earlier this month, Learning Forward and NCTAF announced the Agents for Learning Competition
. The theory of action behind the competition specifies that if states and districts engage teachers who understand their learning needs, the needs of their students, and effective professional learning, then they can co-create learning systems that substantially improve teaching and learning.
Learn more about the competition
This webinar is open and encouraged for ALL educators. Join us to learn about this important law.What is ESSA and what are the key provisions of the law? What is the timeline for implementation? How can teachers get involved? This is professional learning that will help all teachers understand the changes that will be coming soon to states, districts and schools.
Important information about the Agents for Learning competition will also be shared. Questions from viewers are welcomed and encouraged. If you have questions in advance, please email Ryan Brookshire with A4L in the subject line at email@example.com.
RSVP HERE for the webinar
Big win for teachers' unions: Tenure in California OK
In a major victory for teachers' unions, a California appeals court panel on April 14 acted to keep in place state laws providing tenure to educators. The appeals court decision overturned a Los Angeles judge's ruling that struck down California's laws granting tenure to educators.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of 2nd District Court of Appeal struck down a decision made in June 2014 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu, who found students and teachers alike were "disadvantaged" by the statutes.
The judge noted that teachers have a right to due process when they are being targeted for dismissal, but the current system is "so complex, time consuming and expensive as to make an effective, efficient yet fair dismissal of a grossly ineffective teacher illusory."
The lawsuit, known as Vergara v. California, was filed in May 2012, alleging the laws governing teacher tenure and dismissal violate students' constitutional rights to an equal education.
The suit named the state and two teacher unions that later intervened as defendants, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers. The unions argued that the laws governing tenure ensure that quality teachers are in classrooms.
An attorney for the state argued there is no evidence that students at some poor and minority schools are being harmed by the teacher tenure statutes.
"These laws help reduce teacher attrition," he said. "There are benefits."
Become a full member and gain voting rights
and access to WTU benefits and discounts
Members should check their membership status NOW to make sure they're full members and thus eligible to vote on the forthcoming contract, the upcoming WTU officers elections and local school elections. If you're an agency fee payer, you can become a full member for just over $5 more per pay period.
As a full member, you'll also have access to numerous WTU and AFT+ benefits and discount programs!
to join become a full member TODAY!