WTU Newsletter


Walk for Safe, Smart Passage
Wed., April 16, 3:00pm
Minnesota Avenue Metro

First Books
April 26, 2014
Come get great books for
your students....Free

April 11, 2014 



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Follow WTU  on Twitter: @wtuteacher 

Message from President

Elizabeth Davis


Leading the Way

We are entering a new era in DC Public Schools. The results of the April 1 Democratic primary assures that there will be a new Mayor elected to lead the city in November. The campaign for the hearts and minds of DC citizens cannot be waged without a hearty debate about the state of education.

The age of high stake testing and unfair and uneven teacher evaluations have to come to an end. Classrooms that stifle creativity by the students and teachers in order to reach goals set by academics who are not in the classroom is more unacceptable now than ever before. Our children continue to fail despite all evidence to the contrary. School reform was designed to help our most disadvantaged children yet we continue to fail at the task year after year. Although school reform was designed to help our most disadvantaged children, we continue to fail at the task year after year.

Let's just look at one demographic. In the results of the 2013 NAEP scores African American students in 4th and 8th grades are only 12% proficient in reading. The results of the 2013 NAEP scores show that African American students in 4th and 8th grades are only 12% proficient in reading. This is only up 9% from previous years. According to a national study, at this rate it will take 132 years for African American students to catch up with white students who now 78% proficient. There is something horribly wrong with an Administration that can look at these statistics and claim victory.

We are losing children who can be saved. We are also losing teachers who are dedicated to their craft and alienating a community that should be our allies.

WTU is reaching out to the leading candidates for the mayor's seat. We are leading the way to make changes in DCPS. We are partnering with scholars, teachers from around the country and community leaders to bring the best of education design to our city.

To be a WTU member is to be on the cutting edge of change. Let's make sure our politicians and other civic leaders know this.

In Unity,

Elizabeth Davis
President, WTU


Also follow WTU on Twitter for more information at wtuteacher

WTU Calendar


Wed., April 16
Walk for Safe, Smart Passage
Minnesota Avenue Metro

(see full story to the right)


Sun., April 26
First Books Giveaway

AFL-CIO Headquarters
(see full story to the right)


Thurs., May 1
Recruitment Fair
School Without Walls
(see full story to the right)


Tues., May 14
Rep. Assembly
Location: TBA 


Mon., May 20
DCPS Hiring Event
(see full story to the right)



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Quick Links
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Representative Assembly Report Back

Luke C. Moore High School

Tuesday, April 8, 4:30pm


The Representative Assembly on Tuesday, April 8 was filled with a vibrant energy that signals a new enthusiasm from WTU Members. More than 125 Building Reps and other members attended the meeting in the cafeteria at Luke C. Moore High School in Northeast.

Feasting on delicious cookout food, which signaled the dawn of spring, the attendees listened to a report from President Elizabeth Davis on important union business which included the announcement of April 18th as the date WTU moves into its new building (which garnered cheers). The conversation moved to our contract negotiations. Rob Weil from AFT explained the negotiation process to the crowd which was then divided into smaller groups to discuss different parts of the pending contract. In the report backs from each group, teachers, librarians and other WTU members expressed their concerns about IMPACT, standardized testing, the over reach of Administrators and other matters. The Rep Assembly was filled with fervent applause in agreement with each speaker. One WTU member is quoted as saying as she left the meeting, "The Union is back!"

The next WTU Rep Assembly is scheduled for May 14. We will continue to dig deep into the contract negotiations and we need to hear from you. This meeting is not limited to Building Representatives. All WTU members are invited.   We will send out reminders. See you May 14.  

Walk for Safe, Smart Passage 

Thursday, April 16, 3:00 pm  

The Walk will start at Minnesota Ave Station 
(Minnesota Ave & Grant St NE)


On Thursday, April 16 our city will celebrate Emancipation Day marking the date in 1862 that President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves living in the District of Columbia.   At 3:00pm on that same day, WTU will lead a delegation of parents, teachers and community leaders in a walk to assure that our most vulnerable students get the training needed to live emancipated lives. Following Emancipation Day parade, WTU, parents and teachers from Mamie D. Lee & Sharpe Health Schools, the River Terrace Civic Association & Empower DC will join forces to demonstrate how important it is for disabled children to have safe passage to and from life skills instruction if their schools are moved to the now shuttered River Terrace Elementary School. In addition, we want to return River Terrace Elementary School to Ward 7 as a community school that serves all.

For more information contact Joia Jefferson Nuri, 202-293-6800/dialogue@wtulocal6.net

First Books

Books on Wheels
Saturday, April 26
AFLI-CIO Headquarters
815 Sixteenth Street, N.W.

Register with First Book to receive FREE books for your school or classroom!

Do you work with students from low-income families or in a Title I school? If so, then you are eligible to be part of "Books on Wheels," when 40,000 brand-new, free books will be given away at the AFL-CIO headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C., on Saturday, April 26. The deadline to register with First Book for the D.C. book distribution is Friday, April 18. Register at

In partnership with the First Book D.C. Advisory Board, the Washington, D.C., labor community-including the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO-is hosting the book distribution to help ensure that all students in our nation's capital have access to high-quality books to inspire them to become avid readers and lifelong learners.

Once you register with First Book, you will receive an email with additional information and directions for receiving your free books at the April 26 distribution. Register with First Book at

Signing up for First Book is free and open to any Title I-eligible staff, and to volunteers or staff in programs that serve populations with at least 70 percent students from low-income families. As a First Book registrant, you will have continuous access to all of First Book's resources, including free books through the First Book National Book Bank, and low-cost books through the First Book Marketplace.


First Book and the American Federation of Teachers have partnered with local AFT affiliates across the country to distribute more than 1 million free books to students, families, classrooms, libraries, hospitals and social service programs to reclaim the promise of public education and ensure that all children and families have access to the resources they need to succeed. Together, let's give the gift of reading-register today with First Book.

WTU President Elizabeth Davis has ben invited to bring greetings and distribute books during this event. For more information,  contact Dorothy Egbufor,  AFT Project Staff, 202-293-8600,  degbufor@wtulocal6.net."


See you on April 26!


Ask Angie

Membership Services


Question: What is the difference between Agency fee and Full WTU Membership? How do I know if I am a full member?


Great Question especially during our spring membership drive campaign!


All employed DCPS educators who are


coded for staffing purposes as an ET-15 or EG-9 are covered under the collective bargaining agreement between the Washington Teacher's Union and the District of Columbia Public Schools.

DCPS works exclusively with the Washington Teacher's Union on all contract negotiable items such as for salary, work conditions and tour of duty for all teachers and service providers. Based on these facts, All DCPS employed ET-15 or EG-9 pay two different types of fees to the union as the official bargaining agent, Agency and Full Membership.


ET-15 or EG-9 teachers and service providers who are Full WTU members pay an additional $5.41 in dues ($36.08) per pay period and have full voting privileges and other benefit services with WTU and AFT.


ET-15 or EG-9 teachers and service providers who are Agency fee pay $30.67 per pay period but are NOT full WTU members. WTU does provide basic dental and vision coverage via the contract to all Agency fee staff.


To become a full member of the WTU Agency fee staff can download the membership form on our website or see their WTU building representative. I can also send out the membership applications via email at askinner@wtulocal6.net. We welcome all agency fee staff to join our union.

For an additional $5.41 per pay period the cost to assess all benefits is a good choice!

President Elizabeth Davis on WPFW
Every Thursday, 7:20am-7:35am WTU President Elizabeth Davis hosts, Making The Grade on 89.3FM

On Thursday, April 10, Making the Grade continued its three-part series on the failure of high stakes standardized testing and uneven teacher evaluation systems to address the real education problems in DC Public Schools. This week we explored the failure of the NAEP scores to measure a student's progress and learned about education systems around the country that are working for the children that school reform is allegedly designed to help.

Join the discussion by calling 202-588-0893 or send an emal to dialogue@wtulocal6.net
Professional Development


Recruitment Fair For All Teachers
May 1, 5:00pm-8:00pm
School Without Walls
2130 G Street, N.W.

Come be a part of the teacher recruitment fair on May 1st being held at the School Without Walls. Our hope through this event is to identify and recruit high performing teachers and school service providers to our cadre of trainers to deliver courses specific to areas of concentrations that are often underrepresented in our course offerings.

This year the Professional Development Department at WTU is happy to report that we've offered two original WTU courses, such as, Blueprinting for Effective Daily Teaching and Learning and a Survey of Francophone Africa, along with courses on Urban Pedagogy and Strategies for School. A course in Community Engagement is currently in development.

At the May 1st event the focus is on the 40 lowest performing schools specifically. We've invited members of the American Federation Teachers to discuss the various course offering and the process for becoming AFT certified to teach content-based courses. The event is from 5-8:30pm and will offer 3 PLUs for single teachers. As a bonus, a teacher who bring a guest will receive 5 PLUs.

For more information contact Amina Brown at abrown@wtulocal6.net



DCPS Hiring Events

Starting May 20, 2014 DCPS will host hiring events for all DCPS vacancies. See the WTU website calendar for dates each month through July. For more information contact: dcpscareers@dc.gov 



Did you know that after July 15th you will need the consent of your current Principal to execute a voluntary transfer? The last DCPS job fair is scheduled to occur after this date. Therefore, if you are seeking a voluntary transfer, please attend the earlier job fairs.



Did you know that if a vacancy for which an excessed member is qualified occurs within the school prior to the effective date of the excess, the excessed status of the teacher shall be rescinded? Please encourage members who are resigning or retiring from DCPS to notify DCPS Human Resources prior to the last day of school. If DCPS Human resources does not have knowledge of a pending resignation or retirement, it will not appear on the vacancy list and will make it difficult for an excessed member at that school to invoke their right to the vacant position.

Report Back on Community Schools Conversation,
April 3, Luke C. Moore High School


Earlier this week DC Mayor Vincent Gray cut community schools from the city's school budget. WTU is preparing to wage a fight to restore the funds.

WTU President Elizabeth Davis is leading a delegation to Cincinnati to a community schools conference to hear about the best practices in the community school development.

On April 3, 2014, the Union hosted a conversation for community school teachers to discuss the initiative launched earlier this year by OSSE. Amidon/Bowen, Bancroft, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Stanton are the DCPS community schools. They each work in partnership with community-based organizations and are scheduled to receive $166,667 during 2013-14 school year. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education awarded the grants through the District of Columbia Community Schools Incentive Act of 2012. That law required the city to establish at least five "community schools" that would serve as neighborhood hubs to provide a network of services to support children and their families.

The April 3rd meeting focused on deepening the understanding about community schools, how they are progressing in DC and what challenges still exist. The dialogue included the role that teachers play in the progression of community schools and how our community partners engage with them.

We will keep you posted about the union's efforts to restore community school funding to the DCPS budget.