Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Looking for lesson plans and materials to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month?
Well, you'll find them at Share My Lesson
, the online site "for teachers, by teachers." Share My Lesson is a resource made available to WTU members and other teachers by the American Federation of Teachers.
Go HERE to find materials that you can use to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15).
WTU Teacher Center
Fall 2015 Professional Development Program
Research-based. Peer-to-Peer PD. Solutions-driven.
The union's fall PD courses kicked-off on September 14 and there is still time to register for classes which begin in October.
Our fall selection of adult learning opportunities features a steep discount for full-dues members, new courses and instructional support for Common Core English Language Arts/Literacy, Common Core Mathematics, Differentiated Instruction, Formative Assessments and Integration of Computer Technology. Participants earn 45 Professional Learning Units (PLUs) per course.
All new DCPS educators with a new full-dues WTU membership receive a learning scholarship to take one free course
this semester! Limited learning scholarships are also available for teachers and full-dues members receiving Developing and below on the IMPACT Assessment. To qualify, please attach your final 2014-15 IMPACT evaluation report to your Fall 2015 course registration form.
to register and view the Fall 2015 course catalog.
Pursuant to the DCPS/WTU Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) Article 23.18.1-3, lesson plans may be requested and copied by admin/mgmt. Teachers are NOT required to submit long-range LPs.
In 2006, under former WTU President George Parker, WTU and DCPS created and implemented a system-wide Lesson Plan template. This template is the only officially approved framework for lesson planning.
is the Lesson Plan Template jointly created by WTU and DCPS pursuant to Article 23.18.4.
DCPS Seeks to Clarify Student Discipline Language
WHAT YOU THINK!
The DCPS Office of Youth Engagement wants to hear your questions on the just released Chapter 25 clarifying guidance on student discipline in schools.
The document seeks to clarify certain language in the disciplinary policy and provides specific student behavior examples designed to help school leaders apply disciplinary rules fairly and equitably, including how to apply disciplinary responses to negative behaviors and how to acknowledge positive behavior.
See the policy HERE.
Go HERE to share your opinion about the new policy.
High School Diploma?
Should DC change the definition of a credit hour? If you pass the GED, should you receive a high school diploma?
COME DISCUSS AND
LEARN MORE ON
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015
McKinley Technology High School
6pm - 8pm
Meeting is sponsored by the Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators (S.H.A.P.P.E.)
Be sure to visit the WTU website where you'll find a wealth of information and valuable resource
Read the new
DCPS Teacher Grading
Policy and TAS Guidelines
on the WTU website.
Our website also has documents outlining
as a D.C. Public School educator, as well as an ever-growing list of
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.
@WTUTeacher is growing!
Teachers discuss critical issues at first
membership meeting of the school year
President's "State of the Union" is a meeting highlight
The WTU held its first General Membership Meeting on Sept. 22 at McKinley Technology High School where close to 100 members gathered to get the latest on contract negotiations, find out more about the benefits offered by the union through its partners, hear a report on the WTU's budget, raise concerns about IMPACT's CSC rubric, and discuss other timely and important topics.
On contract negotiations
"Contract negotiations continue to be our top priority. I've reached out to Chancellor Henderson and we've agreed to move negotiations forward with the help of a mediator."
"The union is planning to establish contract action teams at every school so that members can weigh-in on contract proposals."
"We continue to receive hundreds of complaints about the IMPACT teacher evaluation system and its failure to accurately and fairly measure the work that our members do in the classroom. In early September, the union filed a class action grievance on behalf of more than 200 teachers who received less than Effective ratings under IMPACT."
"We're currently working with the DCPS General Counsel to schedule Step II Hearings starting in November."
On professional development
"One of the widely recognized strengths of the WTU is its professional development program. Teachers, as well as DCPS officials, have roundly praised the WTU's Teacher Center professional development offerings. Our program is desig
ned to equip members with the skills they need to better serve and educate students."
"Since I took office, over 400 members have enrolled in our year-round professional development program and courses. "
On membership growth and engagement
"A concerted effort to sign up full dues paying members has paid off. The union picked up over 2,500 new members between January 2014 and August 2015."
"We are now at 84% full membership and the we've been recognized by the AFT as the top local union in the nation in terms of growth."
"Some 750 new DCPS teachers were on hand for New Teacher Orientation in August and more than 700 of them signed on as full dues paying members of the WTU."
On leadership development
"Leadership training is one of the WTU's core missions and this past year the union ramped up its training of building reps and local school leadership teams with a quarterly Union Leadership Institute (ULI)."
"The WTU now has union representation at 80% of D.C. schools, up from 30% when I took office in August 2013. In addition, we've instituted a new incentive program for building representatives where they can earn back 50% of their dues for the year by exhibiting exemplary local union leadership skills and outcomes."On the legal front
"Upon entering office, I inherited a large number of unfinished and unprocessed cases from previous the WTU administration. We're currently litigating several arbitration cases, class action cases, and lawsuits from previous years. We're reclaiming all pending cases from previous WTU presidents; moving forward for positive results."
On the union's financial situation
"The union's financial situation has improved dramatically under my stewardship. In a comparative overview of the audits performed in the fiscal years ending in 2013 and 2014, we've experienced an increase in cash flow, revenue and assets--and an impressive decrease in expenses."
The meeting also included remarks by AFT national representative Erica McDuffie (pictured at left), who talked about the member engagement program launched by the national union. The program calls on the WTU and other local unions to dramatically increase their number of member activists and members who engage in union activities.
'"The AFT is working with state federations and locals to strengthen their structures and membership outreach. This includes providing training," McDuffie said.
Also on the agenda were D.C. State Board of Education member Ruth Wattenberg, who shared some of the issues currently before the board, and AFT staffer Christine Curry, who reported on the AFT's and WTU's effort to have WTU members register with First Book so that free books can be given to thousands of needy DC students.
President Davis noted that DCPS's efforts to unilaterally impose an extended day program remains a problem. She said that the union would continue to challenge these efforts, which are in direct violation of the WTU contract. At least two principals, Davis pointed out, recently shut down their extended day programs at their schools because they recognized it was not yielding the promised results.
The meeting heard from two Amidon-Bowen Elementary School about a grievance filed after their principal ignored a vote by teachers to end that school's extended day program.
"We tried extended day and it did not work," said one of the Amidon-
Bowen teachers, who noted that the school's teachers voted overwhelmingly against continuing the program.
READ a summary of the "State of the Union"
HERE'S the slide presentation from the membership meeting
The FY 2016 WTU budget is HERE
Photos by Edward C. Jones
Davis joins AFT President Weingarten
on visit to Deal Middle School
Washington Teachers' Union President Elizabeth Davis joined American Federation Teachers President Randi Weingarten at a back-to-school visit to Alice Deal Middle School on Sept. 17. The WTU hosted a breakfast where about 60 of the school's teachers heard from the two union presidents.
In her remarks to the gathering, Davis assured the teachers that their contract was the union's top priority, and reported that she and D.C.P.S. Chancellor Kaya Henderson had agreed to move contract negotiations forward with the help of a mediator.
The WTU president said the union would be advancing proposals aimed at, among other things, turning around low-performing schools and ensuring that teachers across the city have the support and resources they need to be successful.
Pointing to the high teacher turnover rate in D.C., Davis said: "We need to have an honest discussion about working conditions for D.C. teachers and what will make them want to stay. Recruiting teachers is not the issue, but retaining them is."
The union plans to have contract action teams at Deal and other DC schools so that members can weigh-in on contract proposals, Davis said.
Weingarten said she was excited to finally be able to visit the northwest DC. "This school has done amazing work and I hear that all the time, including from a bunch of parents I know whose kids you teach," the AFT president said.
The AFT president shared with the more than 60 teachers in attendance the latest on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. She said it was important that ESEA focus on student growth-and not high stakes testing-and that it give teachers "the resources and support you need to do your job."
The Deal teachers applauded when Weingarten noted that none of the current ESEA bills under consideration have any federal involvement in teacher evaluation.
Photos by Edward C. Jones
Davis on panel on teacher diversity
New report shows teachers of color are exiting D.C. schools
A new report released recently by the AFT's Albert Shanker Institute confirms what the WTU and others in the District of Columbia have long known-D.C. Public Schools is seriously hemorrhaging teachers of color.
The report, "The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education," shows that the percentage of black teachers in DCPS went from 77% in 2003 to 49% in 2011.
The Shanker Institute's report was the subject of a panel discussion at the National Press Club on Sept. 16. WTU President Elizabeth Davis was one of the panelists. "DCPS is rapidly moving toward a less diverse teacher workforce even as our classrooms continue to have an overwhelming majority of minority students," Davis said.
She said that the school system has two questions that need to be addressed: Why is our turnover rate so high in DC? And why are many of those leaving teachers of color?
Davis and others on the panel said it was critical that students of color see teachers that look like them.
"Minority teachers are just as important to white students as they are to black students," AFT President Randi Weingarten said.
"The report shows that nationally, progress toward greater diversity is being made, but it is quite modest compared to the need for more minority teachers," a statement from the Shanker Institute says. "In the nine cities studied--Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.--the picture is much more bleak, and there are only a few pockets of progress, surrounded by serious setbacks.
Many minority teachers end up in schools with the worse working conditions, Shanker Institute Executive Director Leo Casey pointed out, and the difficulty that school districts have retaining them "is undermining efforts to diversify the teaching workforce."
Weingarten noted that several of the state and local districts tried to limit our access to this data. The worse case being DC, she said.
Many teachers, especially black teachers, are leaving D.C. public schools because they feel unfairly targeted by the IMPACT teacher evaluation system, Davis said.
READ a Washington Post article on the Teacher Diversity report.
IMPACT's CSC rubrics vary widely from school-to-school
Send the union your school's rubric
The Commitment to the School Community (CSC) rubric is supposed to
measure the extent to which teachers support and collaborate with
their school community. The rubric makes up 10% of an educator's IMPACT score.
However, many WTU members are charging that the CSC rubric's implementation is uneven and often unrealistic with expectations sometimes varying widely from school to school. Receiving a score of 4 at some schools is much easier than it is at other school. One school, for example, mandates 40 home visits per semester, up from just 10 visits last school year.
Some of these policies and expectations are in direct conflict with the WTU's contract. The union is asking that you send your school's CSC rubric to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Town Hall is a "Call to Action" to support at-risk students
WTU members who attend Sept. 26 event will receive 6 PLUs
The WTU is urging members to participate in a Town Hall Meeting
aimed at increasing the community's understanding and involvement in ensuring that at-risk students in the Washington metro area achieve academic success and graduate from high school.
Spearheaded by the Federal City Public Service Foundation and the American Public Health Association, along with the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and its project, the Delta Teacher Efficacy Campaign (DTEC), the town hall will be held on September 26 at Charles Hart Middle School in southeast DC.
WTU members who attend the Town Hall will receive 6 Professional Learning Units (PLUs).
"The DTEC goal is to bring together inspired teachers and community based 'education change agents' to help students achieve academic success," says Carolyn Lewis, president of the Delta Research and Educational Foundation.
Parents, community members, elected leaders and other town hall participants will discuss and strategize how to support teachers as they motivate students, not only to reach academic success, but also to earn college degrees.
Panelists include: Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, President and CEO of the National Partnership for Community Leadership; Dwanna Nicole, Senior Policy Advocate for Advancement Project's Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track; and Leslie Parks, Deputy Director for the Center for School, Health, and Education at the American Public Health Association.
Washington D.C. is one of 40 target cities to host a DTEC Town Hall Meeting.
WTU members are special guests at Congressional Black Caucus workshops for educators, other conference events
More than 20 WTU members were the special guests of the AFT at this year's Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference on Sept. 16. The members were on hand for the conference's Professional Development Series for Educators where the topics included parent, family and community engagement; culturally relevant teaching; and making learning accessible for students with disabilities. WTU members and other educators had the opportunity to engage with lawmakers, community activists, education policy experts and other stakeholders.
Small action groups designed to engage participants in a meaningful discussion of the most pressing concerns impacting the learning of African American students were an important part of the full day of education workshops and panel discussions. The action groups were asked to come up with specific policy recommendations that could be advanced by state and local elected leaders, local school leaders, parents, concerned citizens and others.
As part of the CBC legislative conference, WTU President Elizabeth Davis participated in an assembly at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School recognizing the winners of this year's Congressional Black Caucus Essay Contest for high school sophomores and juniors across the country. Davis delivered welcome remarks to the winning students and their parents.
The annual essay contest is coordinated by the spouses of members of the Black Caucus. This year's contest question was: "As a young person and a future leader, what do you believe is the most pressing issue of your generation where young people need to step up and start or intensity a movement of change? How would the movement you envision be designed to ensure long lasting change for generations to come?"
Saluting Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
President Davis and some WTU members were on hand for a D.C. labor salute to Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, an advocate for educators and unions.
Apply NOW to Become
a Teacher Leader!
New deadline is October 2
Have you ever seen a news report or talk show discuss issues around teaching and learning and thought to yourself or said to your colleagues, "Why don't they just ask a real teacher?"
WTU Teacher Leaders is a union program designed to help prepare YOU to be that classroom teacher, facilitating discussion of the issues that affect our profession both here in the Washington, DC and nationally.
The union is seeking teachers interested in joining our 2015-2016 Teacher Leaders cohort to collaborate with colleagues across the city and nation.
Learn more about the Teacher Leaders
The Teacher Leaders
application is HERE
or mail or hand-deliver the application to the WTU offices at 1239 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.
a presentation by 2014-15 WTU Teacher Leader
and cohort member Imani Abdullah from Whittier Education Campus.