Sunday, November 21, 2010

Let's Talk Tenure

Tenure and teacher evaluation are the talk of the town.

Take a look at AFT President Randi Weingarten's appearance on CBS's "Sunday Morning". She addressed the complex topics of tenure and teacher evaluation head-on and provided real solutions.
In unity,

 P.S. For more information on teacher development and evaluation, and on our other real solutions to help all children get the education they deserve, go to

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WTU holds a special meeting for Teach for America teachers and DC Teaching Fellows in an effort to hear their issues and address resolutions

Last November 15, the Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) held a special meeting for all Teach for America and DCPS Teaching Fellows to hear and address their issues first-hand . The discussion led by WTU President George Parker and WTU Director of Professional Development and Educational Issues Dorothy Egbufor provided teachers with a forum to voice concerns that affect their day to day work.

During the meeting, teachers expressed concerns about a variety of topics, including: compensation, outstanding summer stipend payments and reimbursements, credentialing, IMPACT, abrupt terminations for ineffective ratings prior to the school ending, professional development and failed promises on the delivery of a Master's degree and coursework through an accredited program. From the discussions, the WTU identified priorities for teaching fellows in our district and next steps for collaborating with the district and the leadership of the fellowship programs.

"This meeting was absolutely remarkable," stated Dorothy Egbufor. "The group was able to drill down to the real issues, which are immense in length, and identify key issues for discussion and resolution."

Meeting participants also completed a Needs-Assessment Survey on the effectiveness of their teacher preparation and potential support needed to be successful in their work. Some of the survey questions consisted of: In what ways is your in-service fellowship program meeting or not meeting your effectiveness? Are you experiencing any difficulty with the program? and What is your perception of the DCPS Teaching and Learning Framework and IMPACT?

The survey showed that the majority of the teaching fellows in attendance felt similarly about the DCPS Teaching and Learning Framework and the IMPACT Teacher Assessment System and believe that IMPACT is unfair and too subjective. When asked about IMPACT, one teacher stated, "Not enough has been done to make it into a positive system of support to help me become a better teacher." Another teacher said that the IMPACT system does not take into account that there are many variables in the classroom.
"We had a very comprehensive and productive discussion with the Teach for America teachers, DCPS teaching fellows, WTU Executive Board members and staff and look forward to additional candid discussions that are sorely needed," stated WTU President George Parker. "The WTU will be evaluating the surveys and reviewing additional feedback from the meeting to determine next steps in an effort to advocate for effective resolutions for our members." The WTU has scheduled a meeting with DCPS for early December to address the key concerns of the group.

Fellows who were unable to attend Monday's session are strongly encouraged to send any questions, additional concerns and comments to Dorothy Egbufor at .

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WTU Members:

The ballots from the Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) election of officers were tallied today. There was a total of 893 ballots which was the lowest voter turnout in WTU history. Below are the preliminary results from the American Arbitration Association.

Election Results (in alphabetical order by last name)
Berfalk, Christopher - 38 votes
Davis, Elizabeth - 196 votes
Parker, George - 313 votes
Saunders, Nathan - 334 votes

The WTU Constitution requires that the winner receives more than 50% percent majority of the total votes cast. If none of the candidates receive more than 50% of the total votes cast, then there must be a run-off election between the two candidates who received the highest number of votes. In this case, WTU General Vice-President Saunders received 334 votes and WTU President Parker received 313 votes; therefore, there will be a run-off election between their two slates.

Election administrator, Al Squire, will be providing additional information including the final vote tally for all candidates and a timeline for the run-off election.

Thank you.

Monique LeNoirDirector of Communications
The Washington Teachers' Union
1825 K Street, NWSuite # 1050
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 293-8600

Sunday, October 24, 2010

RIF Blog Reports

President George Parker clarified with DCPS today (Sunday) what was circulating on Facebook and blogs about "RIF" :

Dear Ms. Henderson,

This email serves to confirm your response to WTU inquiries regarding:
1. Reports that DCPS laid off up to 127 employees on last friday, October 22, 2010
2. That some of the laid off employees were WTU bargaining unit members (ET-15,etc.)
3. Speculation DCPS is planning to RIF et-15s

You confirmed for the WTU that:
1. 24 special education central office employees were terminated last friday.
2. None of the terminated employees were ET-15 or members of the WTU bargaining unit.
3. DCPS has no current plans to RIF teachers or members of the WTU bargaining unit.

Thank you for clarifying these issues so that the WTU can provide our members correct and up-to-date information.

George Parker
WTU President

Please email the president directly ( if you need more clarification on this matter.

Friday, October 22, 2010

WTU quick messages on your mobile device

Important WTU Election Information

WTU Members:

Please read the below important message from Al Squire, administrator of the Washington Teachers' Union. Thank you.
It has come to my attention that WTU members are being encouraged to request duplicate ballots for reasons other than those specifically outlined in the published election procedures.
As a reminder, eligible members may request a duplicate ballot only if:

- you have not received a ballot;

- the ballot package you received is not complete; or

- your ballot has been lost, damaged or spoiled.
If you need a ballot for those stated reasons, please call Maria Landi at the American Arbitration Association at 800/273-0726. If you call after hours, you may leave a message with your address, and a ballot will be sent to you.
Remember, your ballot must be received by AAA by 4 p.m., on October 27. As always, please direct questions about the election to me, Al Squire, at 202/393-5673.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Maryland/DC AFL-CIO Labor Breakfast Rally & Walk Invitation

WTU Members:

The Maryland/DC AFL-CIO will be holding a "Labor Breakfast Rally" this Saturday, October 23rd at IBEW Local 26. We encourage you to attend the breakfast and, if possible, walk with other local and international union members, elected officials and endorsed candidates to go door-to-door as part of a massive labor Get Out The Vote effort.

Please review the attached flyer that contains more details, and if you have additional questions please contact Rick Powell with the Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO by telephone at (202) 974-8154 or by email at
Thank you.

Friday, October 8, 2010



If you are an highly effective teacher eligible for the 2009-2010 performance pay bonus, please read the below important information to protects your rights.

October 8, 2010

Dear Highly Effective Teacher,

Below are four statements one of which the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) is requesting that highly effective teachers email to to assist the WTU in protecting your right to receive the performance bonus for SY 2009-2010 without relinquishing the three options. Please read the included Q and A before deciding the best option for you.

Today, October 8, 2010, the WTU filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) against DC Public Schools for requiring our 2009-2010 performance bonus recipients to relinquish their rights to the three options. In addition, the WTU strongly disagrees with DCPS’ assertion that contract language intended for 2010-2011 implementation allows DCPS to deny our 2009-2010 recipients the three options. We will keep you updated and take all necessary steps to preserve your rights to the three options as a 2009-2010 performance bonus recipient.

In solidarity,

George Parker, President


Statement #1: I accepted the Bonus award, but I do not relinquish my rights to the three options identified in the collective bargaining agreement for excessed teachers with an “effective or higher” rating.

Statement #2: I declined the bonus award online because I do not wish to relinquish my rights to the three options identified in the collective bargaining agreement for excessed teachers with an “effective or higher” rating. However, I wish to accept the award without giving up my rights to these three options.

Statement #3: I accept the Bonus award, but I do not relinquish my rights to the three options identified in the collective bargaining agreement for excessed teachers with an “effective or higher” rating.

Statement #4: I hereby decline the bonus award based on the fact I do not wish to relinquish my rights to the three options identified in the collective bargaining agreement for excessed teachers with an “effective or higher” rating. However, I wish to accept the award without giving up my rights to these three options.

Q & A

Question: What if I have already accepted the bonus online, do I still need to send the email?

Answer: Yes, you still need to send this email to inform DCPS that you do not agree to relinquish your right to the three options.

Question: What if I have already declined the performance on line; do I still need to send the email?

Answer: Yes, you still need to send the email to inform DCPS that you are declining the bonus based on the requirement to relinquish the three options but that you wish to accept the bonus without this requirement.

Question: I received a statement from DCPS indicating that if I don’t respond online by 9am tomorrow morning accepting the bonus, they will assume I am declining the bonus. If I don’t respond online by 9am, does this mean I am no longer eligible for the bonus?

Answer: No, this does not mean you are no longer eligible for the bonus. This deadline has been imposed by DCPS in an effort to have checks ready by November 1, 2010. DCPS has not yet established a legal and official deadline for bonus recipients to accept the bonus or lose your right to the Bonus award.

Question: What if I don’t care about the three options and I’m willing to accept my bonus for SY2009-2010 and give up the three options, if necessary? Do I still need to send the email?

Answer: No, you do not need to send the email.

Question: How do I know which statement to email to Jason Kamras?


If you have already accepted the bonus online, you should use statement #1.

If you already declined the bonus online, you should use statement #2.

If you have not yet responded online, you may use either statement #3 or statement # 4. It is a matter of your individual preference.

Statement #3 provides the conditions upon which you are willing to accept the Bonus award.

Statement # 4 simply allows you to decline the bonus award with the reason stated and then provide the conditions upon which you are willing to accept the awa

Question: If I have not yet responded online, should I respond online and send the email to Jason Kamras or simply send the email to Jason Kamras only?

Answer: Sending the email to Jason Kamras only is legally sufficient. However, if you feel more comfortable responding online and sending the email to Jason Kamras, be sure you select statement#1 or statement#2 to send to Jason Kamras via email, pending your online response.

Question: I didn’t receive or review this information until after the 9am Saturday online deadline. Have I given up my right to the performance bonus?

Answer: No. However, WTU recommends that you send the appropriate email to Jason Kamras immediately or at least within the next 2 to 3 days.

Monday, October 4, 2010

President George parker's Voice Message 10.4.10


The Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) is sponsoring a Teacher Development and Evaluation Conference on Saturday, October 16th from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm at Miner Elementary school located at 601 15th Street, SE. The conference will highlight critical discussion on DCPS’ IMPACT evaluation system, DCPS value added model, revised DCPS Teaching and Learning Framework and more. Conference participants will receive 6 Professional Learning Units (seat hours). The registration deadline is this Friday, October 8th! A more detailed announcement has been forwarded to your WTU EMAIL ACCOUNT.


Council Chair and Democratic mayoral candidate, Vincent Gray, will conduct his first of 8 community meetings tomorrow, October 5th, at Community Academy Public Charter School located at 1400 First Street, NW. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm. We encourage all WTU members to attend one of the 8 sessions. A schedule of the 8 community meetings was forwarded to your WTU EMAIL ACCOUNT

You can view a copy of this voice message at your WTU email account.

Thank you for supporting the Washington Teachers’ Union

Sunday, October 3, 2010

President Parker's Voice Message 10.3.10


The Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) has reached agreement with DCPS that teachers will not be required to sign the DC Public Schools (DCPS) Property Accountability statement when receiving DCPS Property. Teachers who have already signed the form, your signature will be null and void and the WTU will provide DCPS with an official statement in writing verifying this agreement. Teachers who have not signed the form will not have to do so.


The WTU has received several calls and complaints indicating that some teachers are being told that they must use the online substitute system when taking leave. The WTU has discussed this issue with DCPS, and DCPS agrees with the WTU that teachers are not required to use the online substitute system when taking leave. The online system is strictly voluntary. If you are being required to use the online system when using your leave, please contact the WTU office immediately at (202) 293-8600.

The WTU is recommending that teachers who qualify for the 2009-2010 performance pay bonus wait until you receive further instructions from the WTU before accepting or declining your bonus. The WTU does not agree with DCPS’ decision that recipients must give up the three options if they accept the performance pay bonus for SY 2009-2010. The new contract does NOT require DCPS to deny SY 2009-2010 recipients the three options as claimed in the DCPS notification letter. The contract language DCPS referenced in its notification letter applies only to performance pay recipients who qualify based on their SY 2010-2011 and SY 2011-2012 evaluations. The WTU will consult with legal counsel and provide an update and recommendations for affected members by this Wednesday, October 6, 2010.

You can view a copy of this voice message at your WTU email account.

Thank you for supporting the Washington Teachers’ Union.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

At the rally!

Proudest day! Great to see 500,000+ people across the nation fighting the good fight with us. We are the people, we are the solution not the problem, we shall overcome as one nation, one day at a time...

                        WTU Executive Board Members: Joyce, Jackie, Maria

Friday, October 1, 2010

See you tomorrow!

Hey colleagues,

We are putting America back to work and pulling America back together.

The Washington Teachers Union (WTU) supports One Nation Working Together. Be a part of our march tomorrow, October 2, 2010 in Washington, D.C. -- one of the biggest progressive demonstrations in decades.

We will meet at 11:00 am at the Sylvan Theater (15th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20001) and will march off to the Lincoln Memorial at 12:15 PM. All Unions will meet here and march together. We are asking all WTU members and friends to wear something RED.

Whether you’ll be with us or not, add your voice to the movement for unity. See you tomorrow! Let's keep the fire burning...

For WTU Members

The Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) is here to serve our members, and we encourage you to visit this blog often.

Join US!

As a new teacher in DCPS, you are automatically a member of the WTU bargaining unit as an agency fee member; however, we would like to invite you to become a full WTU member. The WTU bargaining unit consists of two categories of members: agency fee members and full union members. As an agency fee member your biweekly deduction is $28.22 and the biweekly deduction for full union membership is $33.20; a difference of only $4.98 per pay period.

As a full dues paying member of the WTU, you are entitled to representation from our highly qualified field representatives, Professional Development and Educational Research & Dissemination courses, and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Plus benefits such as $1,000,000 liability policy and $15,000 accidental death insurance. Full dues paying members also obtain voting rights to participate in local school elections, the approval of the WTU contract, and the upcoming general election of union officers. As teachers who will have the responsibility for supervising children throughout the day, we strongly encourage all teachers to become full union members to take advantage of the $1,000,000 liability insurance coverage to protect your financial assets against possible lawsuits.

To obtain an application for Full Membership, click here.

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This WTU E-Portal was created and is maintained to facilitate a free exchange of ideas. The WTU E-Portal contains input from a large variety of individuals and sources which may or may not be connected with the WTU. The WTU does not necessarily agree or adopt the content or opinion of any posting on this site as its position on any subject. Further, the WTU does not necessarily agree or adopt the content or opinion of other Web sites linked from, or identified in, the WTU E-Portal. All claims otherwise would violate the spirit and purpose of the WTU E-Portal. For further information, please review the Terms of Use for the WTU E-Portal.

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