WTU News and Information 
OCTOBER 22, 2015
Union Leadership Institute (ULI)


This Saturday, October 24

Earn 5 PLUs 

Click here to  Pre-register NOW!


Tuesday, Oct. 27
4:30 - 6:30 pm
Building Reps Apply to Get Back 50% of Your Dues 
Deal MS (Devin Nixon) 
Dunbar HS (Rejil Solis) 
Simon ES (Charles Moore) 
Whittier EC (Candi Peterson)

  • CSC Guidelines and Rubrics
  • Contract Talks
  • Corporal Punishment
  • Investigations
TEACH 7 Support
Oct. 31
& Nov. 7, 2015
WTU Teacher Center ,
 1239 Pennsylvania Ave., SE

WTU IMPACT T-7 is designed to raise awareness of research that supports questioning techniques and to teach the basic components of Bloom's Taxonomy. Whether or not you have been told that your questions are 'low level or lack rigor' and tried to use Bloom's Taxonomy to dispute the charge.

The goal of this session is to help teachers ask purposeful, better crafted questions and to use research to inform their questioning practices. Leave this session being able to defend your questioning practices. Members earn three Professional Learning Units.

FREE WTU PD for Special and General Education Teachers Begins October 29!

The Psychology and Education
of Exceptional Children
Tuesdays and Thursdays
October 29 - December 17, 2015
4pm - 7pm
WTU Teacher Center,
1239 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Earn 45 PLUs!
This course is designed to provide opportunities that specifically meet the needs of special educators and other school personnel. 

Participants will acquire knowledge regarding the psychological development and characteristics of children and youth.  Participants explore the principles of special education, paying particular attention to the appropriate role of the special educator in a variety of settings.
Limited seats and 
learning scholarships

Register NOW!

On November 14, the WTU and First Book  will work with members, parents and our community partners to give free books to students. The book giveaway will be held at the Southeast Tennis Center.

We want to giveaway even more free books

But we need your help

The WTU, First Book and our partners will distribute 200,000 free new books to you and
your students. We just need 500 more registrants to
meet our goal.
Parents can also register
so be sure to share this
link with them.
Unable to make it to 
WTU meetings? 
Go HERE to find the agenda and meeting materials 
Our website also has documents outlining
your rights as a D.C. Public School educator, as well as an ever-growing list of
Check it out!


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.


to "Like Us" on Facebook

@WTUTeacher is growing!
Quick Links
President's Message
We're committed to negotiating a contract that's in the best interest of schools, children 
Elizabeth A. Davis
We are entering an important new phase of contract negotiations. As many of you know, WTU and DCPS recently agreed to seek the help of a mediator. I have met with the mediator, and your union and DCPS will soon be sitting down with the mediator to move negotiations forward as quickly as possible.
The WTU is committed to engaging in full-time contract negotiations in order to reach a settlement by December. DCPS has indicated that it shares this goal, and we are hopeful that its actions will represent a real commitment to this aim.
Bargaining can be a long and complicated process. The previous WTU administration had offered contract proposals that would have lowered professionalism and undercut the voice of teachers. So we rejected those proposals and drafted new ones that will strengthen and support our profession and our schools.
We have tried to involve as many of you as possible in the negotiations process, holding "contract action" forums at membership meetings where we've discussed various contract proposals. Our bargaining team has also met with groups of members, such as counselors, social workers, special education teachers and early childhood educators, to seek their input on contract language related to the work they do.
As we move forward, transparency will continue to be our guiding principle. We will be holding monthly contract proposal meetings, and WTU field service specialists, building representatives and leaders, like myself, will be in the schools updating you on developments and engaging you directly about your issues and concerns.
But we also need your help. The union is at its strongest when it has an engaged and mobilized membership-and you're involvement and support during this critical period will give us leverage at the bargaining table, as well as with the mayor and the city council.
Talk to your colleagues about the importance of solidarity-and the role that ALL of us can play in helping to negotiate the best contract possible. And be sure to engage parents and community partners so that they too know that the union is fighting for what's best for our children and their schools.
Misleading information about your union 
In recent weeks, you may have received some misleading correspondence regarding WTU and its financial standing. It has been suggested that the union is facing financial difficulties. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, under my leadership we've cleared up close to $3 million in debt left behind by the previous WTU administration, and turned around a troublesome fiscal situation. 
Your union is financially strong. Those who claim otherwise are misinformed and their deliberate spreading of misinformation threatens to weaken the WTU and our ability to represent you.

Questions have also been raised regarding the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) and the union's ability to make the VEBA payments for October.
DCPS is to blame for the inability of the VEBA to make the October payments. The school district contractually agreed to make an annual contribution to the VEBA so that the VEBA could pay benefits to eligible members. DCPS has refused to make its last two contributions to the VEBA.
The VEBA has done its best to utilize its assets to pay benefits, but in the absence of those two legally required contributions from DCPS, the VEBA simply does not have sufficient money to pay benefits that are due to be paid in October.  As a result, the VEBA has had no choice but to temporarily suspend the payment of benefits. 
The WTU is vigorously pursuing the contributions and has filed a claim that DCPS violated its contractual obligations by refusing to make its last two annual VEBA contributions. 
As soon as this issue is resolved by a neutral arbitrator or through agreement between the parties, the VEBA will resume the payment of benefits and everyone who is owed a benefit will be paid what they are owed.
In Solidarity,
Elizabeth Davis
Key issues come to the forefront during
WTU's October membership meeting   
The WTU's October Membership Meeting
featured a full agenda covering a wide range of topics impacting D.C. educators and the children we teach.
President Elizabeth Davis's report brought members up to speed on contract negotiations, an issue involving instructional coaches, WTU professional development opportunities and other pertinent topics.
On contract negotiations, Davis told the group that WTU and DCPS had agreed upon a mediator to facilitate negotiations and that the two sides had exchanged contract priorities. The union's priorities include improving members' salaries and benefits, she said. The union and the school district have set a tentative deadline of December for completing negotiations.
President Davis also reported on a meeting with instructional coaches, who are concerned about a proposed change in their job descriptions, as well as discussions she has had with some members regarding Teacher-Assessed Student Achievement Data (TAS) and its effectiveness. Davis said that the union was setting up a task force to address issues surrounding TAS that would help ensure the direct involvement of teachers in shaping the program.
The WTU president told the meeting that she and the leaders of the unions  representing other DCPS employees, including principals, planned to meet regularly to strategize around those issues affecting their members.
Also on the agenda were presentations by Hector Sanchez, executive director of the Labor Council for Latin American A dvancement, and Suzanne Greenfield, director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights.

Sanchez reported on the status of Latino workers and the concrete benefits they rece
ive from being union members. He said that his organization works closely with other AFL-CIO constituency groups, such as the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Coalition of  Labor Union Women, to defend public education and middle class values, and to advance the interests and concerns of minority and women workers.
Greenfield provided information on the bullying prevention res ources available through her office. October is "Bullying Prevention Month" but pre v enting and exposing bullying "can't be just one month," she asserted. Greenfield urged meeting participants to report to her office any workplace discrimination or harassment directed at colleagues or themselves.
A highlight of the meeting was a lively discussion o f the new DCPS grading and reporting system   ASPEN. Andrew Patricio, deputy chief of data systems for DCPS, received a host of questions about ASPEN. He said that because of concerns raised by educators about the new grading system it was being rolled out in stages with    a pilot group being the first to test it out.
The meeting ended with small group session focused around IMPACT's CSC rubric, which has become a major problem for some teachers and schools. The use of the CSC rubric va ries widely from school-to-school. The small group participants shared how CSC was playing out in their
schools, many of them saying that more data was needed on the rubrics' effectiveness.
Click HERE for the meeting materials and slides. 
Union Leadership Institute (ULI)
Saturday, October 24, 2015
9:00am - 3:00pm
Savoy ES, 2400 Shannon Place, SE
Training topics include:
School Budgeting Process & Opportunities for Advocacy, 
Presentation by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Bullying Prevention: The Law and the Approach in DC
Edcamp and the Technology Unconference, Part One
IMPACT TEACH 3: Making Learning Accessible
Common Core Toolkit: Unpacking the ELA Standards
Introduction to Managing Antisocial Behavior
Click here to view the ULI agenda
Earn 4 PLUs!
Breakfast and Lunch Provided!
Click here to Pre-register NOW!
New WTU task force looks at key IMPACT components
The WTU has established a new task force that will be looking at the TAS, CSC and CP components of the IMPACT evaluation system.
John Dixon, a teacher at Oyster-Adams School, who chairs the task force expects there to be four phases of the task force's work: planning, gathering, analyzing and publishing information.
The task force's first meeting is expected to be held in November. It is scheduled to be completed by April in order to inform the EOY IMPACT discussion for SY 15-16. The task force will periodically report its progress and findings to WTU members.
WTU members interested in serving on the task force being set up to look at the TAS, CSC and CP components of IMPACT should send an email to  dialogue@wtulocal6.net .
Teacher Leaders hold first meeting of SY 2015-16

The WTU Teacher Leaders cohort for the 2015-16 school year held its first meeting on Oct. 17. The Teacher Leaders program is designed to prepare classroom teachers to take on leadership roles in reforming educating, including facilitating discussions on issues that affect the teaching profession both here in Washington, DC and nationally.

Teacher Leaders meet regularly to discuss and seek solutions to the ever-increasing challenges facing the profession. In addition to enhancing their leadership skills, WTU members in the Teacher Leaders program become influential spokesperson for the professions. Last school year, Teacher Leaders presented at national conferences, and met with elected leaders, journalists and leading education policy experts.
Limited "Learning Scholarships" available
to attend national conferences coming to DC
WTU Learning Scholarships for one day passes to the following national conferences are available to the first 25 full-dues members!
- 43rd Annual National Association of Black School Educators Conference, November 18-22, 2015 at the Marriott Wardman Hotel. For more information and to view the conference program, visit www.nabse.org
- Learning Forward National Annual Conference, December 5-9, 2015, Gaylord Conference and Convention Center, National Harbor.  For more information and to view the conference program, visit: www.learningforward.org.
To request a learning scholarship, please complete and submit the conference registration form for your conference and date of choice and also submit an approved administrative leave form to: dialogue@wtulocal6.net by October 30, 2015.

Tell Congress "No" to school vouchers for DC

WTU members have been asked to contact their members of Congress express opposition to D.C. voucher legislation. Congress is expected to take up the voucher issue
On Oct. 19, WTU President Davis sent a letter to D.C. teachers urging them to contact their Congressional representatives. "We oppose the D.C. voucher program for the reasons we oppose all voucher programs: because vouchers don't work, and in a period where every dollar matters, public funds must be directed to public schools," Davis wrote.
The D.C. program, she added, "has proven ineffective and lacks accountability to the citizens of the District of Columbia and federal taxpayers."
If you live in D.C., you should also contact your city council member and the mayor to let them know you support their effort to ensure that they, not Congress, decide what's best for D.C. and its schools.

Go HERE to send a letter to Congress
"Dancing with the Scholars" celebration on Nov. 14th

The WTU will join with others   in the D.C. community in saluting William O. Lockridge on the occasion of "Dancing with the Scholars V."
A former D.C. School Boardmember, Lockridge advocated passionately on behalf of our schools, and its students and staff. He left behind an admirable legacy of serving the community and our city.
Each year, the William O. Lockridge Community Foundation gives scholarships to worthy DCPS students during its "Dancing with the Scholars" celebration. This year's celebration will take place on Nov. 14th at THEARC in southeast DC (See flyer above).
For ticket information, contact Wanda Lockridge at 202.706.7932.
Educator Townhall: Curbing the
School to Prison Pipeline in DC
Townhall will take place on Nov. 7 

On Saturday, November 7 at 10am, At-Large Councilmember David Grosso, chairperson of the Committee on Education will host an Educator Townhall focused on the curbing the school-to-prison pipeline.

As we all know, the adverse effects of out-of-school suspension and expulsion on a student can be profound. While there is no research out that indicates that suspensions improve a child's behavior or make schools safer, many studies have shown that students who are suspended or expelled are more prone to low academic achievement and landing in the juvenile justice system.

Earlier this year, the D.C. City Council took a significant stance to end the suspension and expulsion of our youngest students. Turning to older students, the council's education committee feels it's important to hear from teachers and school leaders about what's working in their classrooms and schools, and how policymakers can better support their efforts to end the school to prison pipeline in the District of Columbia.

This will not be a traditional hearing, but rather an opportunity to share ideas and discuss potential next steps.

Union is a major sponsor of event for young girls

The WTU was a proud supporter of the 2nd annual DC LOVE Awards on Oct. 17. Hosted by IN THE LOOP Program of Success
, the awards were created to recognize deserving young women for their accomplishments, and to acknowledge the need to create positive female leaders for tomorrow.

Two DCPS students were featured at this year's awards program. Sierra Roundtree, known as DJ Beauty and the Beatz, received the award for Performing Arts, and Taesia Edmonds, a freshman at Duke Ellington, provided entertainment.

Love, GIRLS Magazine, a new publication for teen girls by teen girls, was the major sponsor of the DC LOVE Awards. The magazine, which is free to the public and distributed to schools, non-profit organizations, and other institutions, showcases the achievements, community service and stories of young women.  

The WTU's contribution helped to cover the cost for DC students who otherwise would have been unable to attend the event.