Jennifer McIntosh, WTU Member at Eastern SH, WTU President Elizabeth Davis, Netosh Jones, WTU Member at King ES, and WTU General Vice President Candi Peterson pose for a picture at the June General Membership meeting and Good Steward Awards ceremony at Capital Hill Montessori at Logan school. 
caption text here.
 
The Washington Teacher
Summer 2014 Edition
Message from President Davis
Contract Update, Response to Washington Post Editorial
Dear colleague,

I hope you are enjoying your well-deserved summer vacation. We have resumed contract talks this month with a focus on the chancellor's
proposal to extend the school day and year. Recently the Washington Post Editorial Board printed an article  expressing very unsettling views on the extended day debate. The WTU has acknowledged that some DC public schools have been operating with extended day programs. The 4,300 members of the Washington Teachers' Union who work with District of Columbia children every day want real reforms that are supported by research and proven through experience to actually turn around low-performing schools and raise student achievement.

We know that better student performance does not flow magically from extending the instructional day. In some ways, adding time to the
school day is like deciding to bake a bigger cake when the first one
doesn't taste so good. You get more cake, but it still tastes bad. If
we really want a better cake, we must have better ingredients. The
same applies to improving our schools. To improve our school system we need to take a careful look at all of the ingredients that go into high-quality education--and identify the real drivers of better outcomes. Read more of my response and Op-ed submission to the Post

It is regrettable that some commentators, including The Washington Post, have misrepresented the views of teachers and the WTU on this issue, suggesting that the WTU opposes discussion of the extended school day proposal. That is simply not true. Our concern is that DCPS sought or actually conducted school votes on what is indisputably a contract issue without consulting with the WTU, the recognized collective bargaining agent for DCPS educators. Where those votes have taken place, few if any,  teachers have supported the proposal without real consultation.

Members of the Washington Teachers' Union want real education reform. Superficial, knee-jerk, solutions do not produce lasting, meaningful improvement. We know that band-aid measures such as a longer school day of instruction on a curriculum that is driven by high-stakes testing do not work. Learn why over 48,000 educators and supporters are preparing to surround the Department of Education on July 28 to demand change. 
 
We want the leaders of our school district to focus their efforts on the real drivers of creative, high-quality instruction. That kind of reform will produce positive results for years to come. We look forward to collaborating with DCPS on ways to give all DCPS students a better school day, not a longer one.
  
A luta continua (The struggle continues),
Elizabeth "Liz Davis
WTU President

Keep in Touch, WTU has New Phone & Fax Numbers
Update your contacts, members. The Washington Teachers' Union has a new phone number and fax number. To reach us by phone, please dial: 202-517-1477. To send us a fax, dial: 202-517-0673. Also, if you haven't visited the new WTU headquarters, please stop by to visit your new union office now located at: 1239 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE; Washington, DC  20003. Like us on Facebook: WTUTeacher or send us a tweet: @wtuteacher! 
WANTED: WTU MEMBERS WHO WANT TO FIGHT BACK
UNION ORGANIZERS NEEDED, DEADLINE EXTENDED!
Joan Meyer and Ivan Wohner, WTU members at Jefferson Academy discuss critical educational issues after school.  
This upcoming school year we need to stand up, fight back and set the agenda for public education in the District.  The WTU is looking to employ dynamic members to organize, educate and mobilize other members of the WTU.   Candidates must have a valid driver's license, car insurance, a working vehicle and must be able to commit to work at least 8 hours a week (after school, during nights and on weekends). WTU will provide a $200 monthly stipend and a monthly mileage of $50.  If you want to step up to the fight, submit a cover letter and resume by July 28 to: degbufor@wtulocal6.netClick WTU Organizers to learn more about this exciting opportunity!
WTU Careers: Join the WTU Field Services Team
WTU members look on at the General Membership meeting. 
Given the recent resignations of the former Field team, Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) is conducting a national search for highly skillful Field Service Specialists (Field  Representatives) who can: think strategically, organize members into action, interpret and administer complex contract and legal language and cultivate respectful and collaborative relationships with critical educational stakeholders and people from diverse backgrounds. Excellent benefits include health, dental, vision insurance, 401(k) Retirement account, disability insurance and paid time off.  Salary commensurate with experience.  Full dues WTU members and local school union leaders are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates seeking a WTU Field Representative position must apply by July 30, 2014.  Click here to find the field representative currently assigned to your school.  For more information, email Dorothy Egbufor, WTU Chief of Staff: degbufor@wtulocal6.net.  
IMPACT Appeals Due by August 26
By June 30, DCPS provided final IMPACT reports to non-IVA teachers and began distributing summative reports between July 15-20 to IVA teachers. The dates for submitting an appeal to the Chancellor is from Friday, June 27 - Tuesday, August 26. DCPS announced all appeals should be submitted via an online application on the IMPACT dashboard
 
WTU collective bargaining unit members (ET-15 and EG-9) informed that they received an Ineffective, Minimally Effective, or Developing IMPACT rating and would like to file a grievance, will need to complete the WTU IMPACT Information Form and contact the WTU office immediately for an appointment with a WTU Field Representative at: 202-517-1477. Learn more about your appeal rights and the most common procedural violations.  
 
Opinions Wanted: Take the VAM Survey Today 
The Washington Teachers' Union is urgently seeking your opinion on the Value Added Measures (VAM) component of IMPACT. We want to ensure  we are representing your  views when we consider our next steps for addressing teacher evaluation and other relevant educational issues to contract negotiations and collective bargaining.  Complete the VAM survey now
AFT 2014 Convention Report, STOP Staples!
Dianne Terrell, WTU Delegate and Treasurer, Dorothy Egbufor, WTU Chief of Staff, Netosh Jones, WTU Delegate and COPE Member and Ranking Delegate and WTU President Elizabeth Davis joined hundreds of AFT delegates near the Staples Center in LA after Saturday's business meeting to stand with and support the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) . 
Last week, July 10-14 WTU delegates to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) joined more than 3, 500 members and delegates  from across the country to gather at the convention center in downtown Los Angeles for AFT's 83rd convention. 
 
AFT Convention delegates took action on numerous resolutions, such as ensuring accountability for equity and excellence in public education, delinking the Common Core State Standards from the consequences of high-stakes assessments, creating a healthcare system that puts patient care above profits, garnering support for funding quality public services, and ending the reliance on a contingent academic labor system in higher education.  
 
After delegates overwhelmingly adopted a resolution calling for a boycott of Staples, WTU delegates stood in solidarity against a deal recently cut between Staples and the U.S. Postal Services to put knockoff post offices in Staples stores - a move that jeopardizes full-service U.S. post offices around the country and puts thousands of good jobs at risk. In support of our APWU sisters and brothers,  WTU  strongly encourages all members NOT to buy any products from Staples.   
Join the campaign 'STOP Staples!' Campaign.
  
DCPS Summer Institute, August 11-15@Walker Jones
DCPS Office of Specialized Instruction is hosting Summer Institute 2014, August 11-August 15, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm at Walker Jones Education Campus.  Free full and half day sessions designed for teachers of children with special needs will be offered and participants receive Professional Learning Units (PLUs) for each session and day completed.  
 
Space is limited and registration is required. WTU partnered with the Office of Specialized Instruction to ensure that both general education and Special education teachers are allowed to participate to gain instructional support and resources for working in Inclusion classroom settings. Learn more about the course offerings and course descriptions here.   WTU Teacher Center and Professional Development course offerings will begin after Labor Day. More details on the WTU fall semester program are forthcoming. 
 
DCPS School Year Teacher Retirements Update
The District of Columbia Retirement Board (DCRB) Benefits division has received a list of approximately 65 DCPS employees who have been approved for retirement under the Teachers' Retirement Plan.  DCRB Benefits in conjunction with DCPS HR, DCPS Payroll, and the OCFO/OPRS, are working together to annuitants on the STAR payroll by August 1, but no later than September 1.  
 
In previous years those retiring on June 30 had to wait until October or November for their first annuity payment.  This delay was due to the DCPS practice of allowing these employees to receive their SPC (Summer Payment Credit) payments over the summer, which prohibited OPRS from closing out their IRR (Individual Retirement Record) service and contribution histories; they will now receive a lump sum SPC payment in July.  DCRB Data Reclamation Team should be recognized for their participation in assisting the DCPS HR in preparing the retirement packages by reclaiming the service history for this group! 
750+ WTU Members Vote NO on 
DCPS Easter Monday Work Day Proposal

During the first week of July, DCPS contacted the WTU with a proposal to reinstate Monday following Easter as a full work day for students, educators and school staff. When learning of the Chancellor's decision, WTU immediately polled its members with a one question survey. Survey respondents spoke loud and clear with over 750 members answering No to working on Easter Monday, while only 30 members answered Yes. 

WTU continues to oppose the Chancellor's proposal due to the lack of historical and spiritual sensitivity associated with opening school on Easter Monday.  The WTU survey results and position have been shared in writing with Chancellor Henderson and her team by WTU President Elizabeth Davis. WTU is also questioning the proposed dates for spring break which if implemented would occur the week after Easter and at a time when neighboring school districts, such as Montgomery County Public Schools, Prince Georges County Public Schools and  Fairfax County Public Schools would have completed spring break as these districts have chosen to tie in the Easter season with spring break. 
 
WTU will continue to keep its members updated on the final decisions pertaining to the 2014-15 school year calendar once available. Thanks to all WTU members who completed our short survey. If you wish to participate and share your view on this issue, take the Easter Monday survey now
RSVP NOW: WTU Union Leadership Training, Aug. 7-9
August 7 - 8 at Trinity Washington University, the Washington Teachers' Union is hosting a Union Leadership Institute (ULI) and essential skills training for new and existing Building Representatives, SCAC (School Chapter Advisory Committee), LSAT (Local School Advisory Team) and Personnel Committee members. Attendance is required for WTU Building Representatives  and all local school union leaders are strongly encouraged to attend.  Participants earn 10 Professional Learning Units (PLUs). DCPS officials have been invited to present critical updates on IMPACT, professional development supports, Peoplesoft, LIFT and the PARCC assessment. 

ULI will conclude on Saturday, August 9 with the WTU Community Book Festival and community service project  in partnership with the Dorothy Height/Benning Library. Thanks to our parent organization, the AFT and First Book, WTU will distribute over 2,000 free new books on the primary elementary level to young and emerging readers in the community and to members assigned to Title I schools.  RSVP your school team today by emailing: interns@wtulocal6.net  
 
David Tansey, WTU COPE Member at Dunbar SH previews the COPE questionnaire for DC Mayoral and City Council candidates.  COPE leaders will interview candidates on August 16.
 WTU COPE Leaders Gear Up for       
DC Advocacy Day, July 30
 
On July 30, the WTU COPE (Committee 
on Political Education) leadership will 
conduct its first WTU-COPE Advocacy Day at the Wilson building in downtown DC and the offices of the District of Columbia legislature. The primary objective of this new yearly political initiative and visit with district lawmakers is to forge relationships with elected officials and their staff, to advocate for the issues WTU members care about and  to promote critical educational issues WTU on behalf of its members would like to see go before the Council as top priorities during the next legislative session.  
 
COPE leaders met last week to develop the agenda items and discussion points for Advocacy Day to include issues and concerns pertaining to the DCPS IMPACT evaluation system and high-stakes testing being utilized for high-stakes decision- making support and teacher churn, support and movement on the 2008 and 2009 legal proceedings on the probationary teachers,  budget equity and workplace bullying.  With Mayoral and City Council races forthcoming in the DMV (DC, MD & VA), it's important for all WTU members to get active with the fastest growing WTU committee and political arm of your union. Join COPE today for as little as a buck per pay period. For more information, email cope@wtulocal6.net
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