The teachers in this district apparently have a new contract to ratify. The scuttlebutt is that negotiations ended in the wee hours of last weekend. The Union's Little Dictator even showed up at the administrators' meeting this week---though not everyone believed she had reason to be present. Everyone is feeling rather smug, as some districts in the state are having trouble getting to this point.
I haven't seen or heard any specifics of the newly negotiated working conditions for us, but teachers in Bethel aren't cottoning to the idea of using WASL scores as a component of teacher evaluation. They have agreed to enter into mediation with the district in order to resolve sticky issues in time for the start of school. (Jim has more on the story over at WA Teachers.)
Other districts, including Arlington, Edmonds, and Mukilteo, have also been engaging in negotiations throughout the summer. They seem to have been able to reach an agreeable conclusion, although the rank and file has yet to put their seal of approval on things.
I had heard that The Union here was unwilling to move through negotiations too quickly as they wanted to see what other districts were offering within their contracts. It would not surprise me to learn that they were specifically looking for protections for ineffective teachers. Someone recently mentioned to me that one of our elementary teachers recently made a point of taking on roles within The Union because she realized that she wasn't a good teacher. Having Union visibility would be the only way to keep her job.
Is anyone looking out for kids in all of this?