Thursday, April 16, 2009

Weingarten Agreement to Schmoke as Mediator Means DC Teachers About to be Screwed

Rhee, Parker and Weingarten Agree to a Mediator

D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, and Washington Teachers' Union President George Parker just announced that a mediator will help settle differences over the shape of their contract.

Kurt Schmoke, Dean of Howard University School of Law and former Baltimore mayor, will work to resolve "outstanding issues" on the table, according to an AFT statement.- Stephen Sawchuck at Ed Week.

Agreeing to Schmoke, part of the anti-union ed deformer crowd ( I received an email with his background yesterday but can't lay my hands on it,) would be like having Joel Klein mediate the UFT contract. But we told the DC teachers to expect nothing less from Weingarten. Watch them be handed a contract and given 10 minutes to read and approve it before the contracts are collected. Count your teeth before leaving the room.


  1. Reading your blog has been very informative. The best motto during labor negotiations is not to trust anyone including your own union at times. While I hate to say it- this rings true for us here in DC.

  2. Teach For America activists say poor schools and bad teachers cause the achievement gap not bad habits or inequality.

    Discounting the notion of individual responsibility, they want us to give TFA alumni top jobs in our urban schools, and to transfer kids from neighborhood schools to the charters they operate, so they can eliminate job security for teachers and eradicate any influence we have over school-district policies.

    The idea that teachers are opponents rather than advocates of education is a new one in our country. It derives from the time when Ms. Wendy Kopp first started TFA and decided, from her Princeton perch and without a day in the classroom, that inexperienced teachers were inherently better than experienced ones.

    Ms. Kopp's circle in Washington D.C., Houston, New York and elsewhere are launching an anti-American Ivy League class war on the very same teachers who serve our nation's toughest schools.

  3. We got less than 1 hour to read a complicated document billed as the WTU contract proposal which is now the basis of a $750,0000 grant/loan from the AFT Executive Council which the WTU Executive board did not ask for in the first place. The WTU Executive Board questioned the checks only to be informed AFT is giving us the money so we should not worry about it. At a rescheduled meeting which I was not in attendance, the WTU Executive Board past a motion after the fact but that was to a large extent- a rubber stamp. I am concerned that issues associated with our local are from our members and not from AFT central headquarters. I have cautioned our executive board about willy nilly agreeing to matters they don't fully understand. Some are so eager to please they say "yes I will do it" before they understand what rights and responsibilities they are forfeiting.
    This document is the foundation for the "good for children fair for teachers" campaign. This story needs to be throughly investigated. Are you telling me that Randi did the same thing in NY and the members did not actually know what was in the contract until much later? Is that how you got involved in the mutual consent, ATR, rubber room fiasco? I am so disappointed.

    Nathan A. Saunders
    General Vice President
    Washington Teachers' Union


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