14 October 2010

Baltimore teachers begin voting on progressive contract; Rhees resigns in DC

Update: The Washington Post comes out in favor of Rhee's reforms, and questions whether Vincent Gray will continue them.

From the Baltimore Sun:
Baltimore teachers began voting Wednesday on what is being hailed as one of the most progressive union contracts to emerge in the nation, which, if ratified, would give teachers unprecedented pay and autonomy and tie raises to proven effectiveness in the classroom.

Hundreds of the union's approximately 6,500 teachers participated in early voting at the Baltimore Teachers Union headquarters Wednesday evening, shaping up for what union officials anticipate will be a near-record turnout for the ratification vote.
See more here.

Photo courtesy of Michael DeAngelis via dcps.dc.gov
Meanwhile, the news in the District of Columbia is not so good as D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhees resigned in the wake of outgoing Mayor Adrian Gray's loss in the recent mayoral primary:
D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee will announce Wednesday that she is resigning at the end of this month, bringing an abrupt end to a tenure that drew national acclaim but that also became a central issue in an election that sent her patron, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, to defeat.

Rhee survived three contentious years that made her a superstar of the education reform movement and one of the longest-serving school leaders in the city in two decades. Student test scores rose, and the teachers union accepted a contract that gave the chancellor sweeping powers to fire the lowest-performing among them.
Presumptive mayor-elect Vincent Gray says the reforms started under Rhee will continue, but that seems unlikely. Gray was supported by teacher unions that largely oppose the radical changes Rhee wanted; if he truly wanted to continue the reforms, he'd keep her on.
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