WTU News and Information 
January 15, 2015

DEADLINE TO SAVE 50% ON WTU PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES
IS TOMORROW!

REGISTER NOW FOR
Spring 2015
PD courses and take advantage of a new price cut and learning scholarships
just for full-dues members! 
    
 

 

TALKING TRANSITION:  

A TOWN HALL MEETING 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

9:30-3:30

Washington Convention Center

 



COME OUT AND DISCUSS WHAT THE NEWLY ELECTED MAYOR OF DC AND HER ADMINISTRATION NEED TO DO TO MAKE THE CITY A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK FOR ALL OF US 

 

 

Celebrating the

legacy of MLK

 

SHARE MY LESSON has materials and resources designed to deepen students' appreciation of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and their understanding of the Civil Rights Movement. The site has lesson plans
and other materials that are sure to engage learners of all grades
and ages.

  

Go here for these resources.


Selma essay contest for high school students

 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma march and President Johnson's signing into law of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965, which changed the course of our nation's history. The movie Selma tells the story of how Martin Luther King, Jr. and others peacefully protested to advance voting rights.

 

The Selma Speech & Essay Contest seeks to engage high school students in thinking, writing and speaking about relevant, current issues of individual freedom and self-determination in our country today.

 

Go here for contest rules 

and deadlines  


MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD:

Dept. of Education wants to punish teacher prep programs

 

There are new proposed regulations out from the federal Department of Education that focus on teacher preparation-and they're not good. The department wants to use unreliable, out-of-context data like K-12 standardized test scores and employment numbers to punish teacher preparation programs. Tell the Department of Education that testing and other invalid measures will not work to determine the success of teacher preparation programs. 
 

 Go here to submit a comment.  

You have until Feb. 2 to comment.


Looking for important WTU, DCPS and OSSE documents? VISIT THE
NEW WTU WEBSITE

 
 

Our website has a

fresh, bold new look!  

On it you'll find a wealth of valuable resources, and documents outlining your rights as a D.C. Public School educator. You'll also have access to an ever-growing list of WTU member benefits.

 

Check it out!


Quick Links
Delegate Assembly Meeting:
Input from members help shape contract proposals as union prepares for negotiations taking place this week

 

Educators from schools across DC gathered at McKinley Tech on Jan. 13 for the WTU's Delegate Assembly meeting. Attendees heard reports on IMPACT grievances, efforts to address members' complaints about the misuse of the CSC rubric, and the WTU's plans to recognize the MLK holiday weekend and the civil rights movement. In addition, WTU members provided input on contract proposals.

 

A key component of the meeting were small group sessions where WTU  members had an opportunity to weigh in on two critical contract issues-special education and planning periods. Meeting participants eagerly used the contract forums to raise a number of concerns related to special education and planning time. Issues included time needed for IEPs, job descriptions and certifications for special ed teachers, and the use (or misuse) of the morning planning period. 

 

WTU President Elizabeth Davis opened the meeting by sharing some of the WTU's recent--as well as ongoing--initiatives and activities. They included the well-attended holiday party, the work of the COPE (Committee on Political Education) committee, and plans for the Shared Vision Conference in February, which will bring together teachers, parents, elected leaders, community members and other education stakeholders around the topic of reclaiming our schools.

 

Davis also discussed the letters that the WTU is sending to those school principals whose amendments to the CSC (Commitment to School and Community) component of the IMPACT evaluation process violate the union's contract. "Members report that these policies have a  depressing effect on morale and create artificial obstacles to teaching and to raising student achievement," Davis wrote in one of the letters. DCPS needs to develop a clear set of standards and guidelines for the CSC rubric that all principals should have to abide by, Davis told the meeting. 

 

During the meeting, the union's general vice president, Candi Peterson, went over several issues related to the IMPACT evaluation process, including the status of various grievances and the role and importance of school-based instructional coaches.

 

Peterson also urged attendees to review their school's handbook for possible violations of the WTU contract and to report any problems to their school council advisory committee. The WTU and its field staff are available to help review the local school handbooks, she said. 

 

See the agenda from the meeting 

WTU attorneys represent members in several key legal cases

 

President Davis and the WTU attorneys are in the midst of resolving a number of important legal cases, including class action grievances related to violations of the IMPACT evaluation process and extended day.

Grievances have also been filed on behalf of probationary and developing teachers, and librarians.

 

Here is an update on those legal actions.

 

WTU to celebrate King Holiday Weekend with "Read Alouds" at several DC Schools

In recognition of the King Holiday Weekend, on Friday, January 16 the Washington Teachers' Union will hold Read Alouds at several D.C. schools. WTU leaders and members will read the book "Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." to students at those schools. In addition, the union, in conjunction with First Book (www.firstbook.org), will be giving away to students more than 500 copies of the book.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the union and its members to play a role in deepening students' understanding of the contributions of Dr. King and other civil rights leaders-and what these men and women did to advance the freedoms and rights we enjoy today," WTU President Elizabeth Davis said.


WTU Teacher Leaders participate in

web meeting with AFT President Weingarten

 

Members of the Teacher Leaders cadre recently joined other Teacher Leaders from across the country in a webconference with AFT President Randi Weingarten. Issues raised during the webcast included teacher retention and how to ensure that all educators have the working conditions and supports they need to be successful.

 
The Teacher Leaders Program is training a select group of D.C. teachers in how to take active leadership roles in their school, union and community. Both the Teacher Leaders group and the webconference are examples of how educators can collaborate nationally--as well as globally.  

SAVE THE DATE!
Free Conference Registration
Begins January 16 @ 5pm

On Feb. 21, the WTU will host a one-day community conference at the Kellogg Conference Center on the campus of Gallaudet University. The conference will bring together teachers, parents, community leaders and other stakeholders to talk about our shared vision for reclaiming the promise of public education in Washington. D.C.
 

New D.C. Education Committee chair outlines his priorities

   

Councilmember David Grosso, who was recently appointed chair of the D.C.City Council's Committee on Education, has announced his priorities for the Committee. They include family and community engagement; attendance and truancy; mental and behavioral health; early childhood education; school discipline practices; post-secondary and workforce readiness; out of school childcare; and teacher retention.


Grosso noted in a statement that student success "depends on the support and resources that the government provides to students both inside and outside the classroom. This means identifying the underlying issues that impact student behavior, attendance, performance, mental health, and their overall general state of mind."
 

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