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ERIC Number: EJ872389
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan-20
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
AFT Chief Promises Due-Process Reform
Sawchuk, Stephen
Education Week, v29 n18 p1, 11-12 Jan 2010
The president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Randi Weingarten, is putting the sensitive issue of due process on the education reform table, with a pledge to work with districts to streamline the often-cumbersome procedures for dismissing teachers who fail to improve their performance after receiving help and support. She has also commissioned an independent expert to help revise due process for those teachers accused of misconduct. The pledge--a formal acknowledgment by the AFT that due process, a hard-won labor right, could benefit from some revisions--comes with a caveat: Districts must agree to work with unions to devise fair, meaningful systems to evaluate teacher performance and to help ineffective teachers improve, as part of any plan to reform due-process procedures. The give-and-take flavor of the proposal underscored Ms. Weingarten's broader theme of the necessity of labor-management collaboration and its place in education reform, a theme that is also coming to define her leadership of the 1.4 million-member union. Since assuming the AFT presidency in 2008, Ms. Weingarten has asserted that the collective bargaining process can serve as a vehicle for school improvement by giving educators a place to experiment with new ideas. Last year, the AFT championed several examples of the principle, including contracts in New Haven, Connecticut, and Detroit that create joint labor-management panels for determining policy around evaluations and "turnaround" schools, and agreements with charter schools in New York City and Boston that take new approaches to pay and working hours. Critics note that not all of her attempts at collaboration have proved successful. Contract negotiations in Washington have languished for nearly two years and are now in mediation, despite attempts by the AFT to reach a compromise with Michelle Rhee, the District of Columbia schools chancellor.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail: customercare@epe.org; Web site: http://www.edweek.org/info/about/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia