It would be nice to say that the tentative agreement reached by D.C. Public Schools and its American Federation of Teachers affiliate is any sort of radical revamp that will advance teacher quality reform. The plan for which Chancellor Michelle Rhee battled for long was that step. What she came out with isn’t.
At best, based on the internal documents leaked to Washington City Paper, it is more (slightly) evolutionary, if that. Even though teachers performance pay will be part of the plan, teachers can opt into it; essentially, like the Denver school district’s performance pay plan, most teachers can escape from it. Tenure seems essentially unchanged. And given that D.C. teachers will see a 21 percent salary increase, it continues the longstanding rule that school districts will give much in pay and little in return. At least the IMPACT performance evaluation system remains in place.
Hopefully the final agreement being unveiled today offers something different. But we know this: The contract seems more status quo. For Adrian Fenty, a fire is put out on his path to re-election. The AFT local’s boss is far too happy. Enough said.
Again, all about the adults, not about the kids and families stuck with one of the nation’s worst (albeit improving) school systems. Yes, absolutely disappointing all in all.