Friday, November 28, 2008

Innovative contract encourages teachers

Just think of how great it would be if we can have an innovative contract like the one they have in Wisconsin.

Award-winning contract

As the Manitowoc Education Association bargaining team negotiated its 1999-2001 contract, its goal was to create a salary schedule that would attract and retain high-quality teachers, said Jim Carlson, executive director of the Kettle Moraine UniServ Council. "The premise was that highly qualified and skilled teachers have a positive impact on the students they teach."

To achieve that goal, the contract focuses on professional development and rewards teachers who acquire new skills and knowledge, he said.

The contract, which earned the MEA bargaining team WEAC's Paul Bierbrauer Award for Excellence in Bargaining, offers teachers additional compensation for participating in professional development. To qualify for the salary increases, teachers can earn National Board certification or doctorate degrees, complete 12 graduate-level credits, or partially complete the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay's Professional Development Certificate. More

I have shared to our Union President even before the start of the WTU-DCPS Contract Negotiations, and have expressed to our Chancellor here the need to encourage the teachers to take the National Board and to support them as they go through the process. I have not heard any updates on this straight from the contract negotiations team. I am just reading from the newspapers speculations on how the contract negotiations is proceeding.

It would be great to review the tentative agreement and see something that focuses on professional development and rewards teachers who acquire new skills and knowledge to increase student achievement, which is all at the heart of the National Board Certification.
UPDATE, 12/5/2008: The WTU Executive Board had a special meeting with AFT President Randi Weingarten last night. It was calm, everyone was reflective, it was productive! It was a great meeting that we wanted to happen. I trust that those who are on the negotiating table will be able to come up with a contract very soon, one that is fair for all teachers and focuses on professional development, effective instruction, and student achievement. Let's wait and see...

1 comment:

lodesterre said...

I have enjoyed your blog very much. You have a very positive, encouraging approach to any issue that is sorely needed especially in when the subject is contracts. I think the key differences in the Wisconsin contract and the contract we are currently being offered are in the words "retention" and "professional development". Retention of teachers, good or bad, is just not part of Ms. Rhee's equation. She truly seems to believe that teaching can and should be a profession one does for a short period of time before moving on to something else. The fact that the green tier is scaled in such a way that almost guarantees being let go when a teacher gets too costly for a school and the plan to move schools to a KIPP model, a model that has a high teacher burn-out rate, both speak to this idea of the non-career teacher being the focus of Ms. Rhee's model for our school system. Wisconsin, on the other hand, understands good management in terms of the need to have experienced, qualified teachers who are constantly working at improving their skills and having those people feel satisfied and valued.
I am afraid of the tone that comes from Ms. Rhee and the lack of leadership. I always tell my students that being a leader isn't about telling people what to do, it is about being an example for others to follow. When I read the TIME article I was embarrassed at how Ms. Rhee came across. I would not approve of this behavior in my students. I didn't mean to diverge into that but I do think it has a lot to do with why we don't have a contract being offered that is similar to Wisconsins.

Promethean Planet


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