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Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 03/12/2009

Rhee: Union Proposal 'Did Not Propel Us Forward'

When we last checked in with Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee on the state of contract negotiations about a month ago, she offered her first hopeful words in some time about the prospects for an agreement with the Washington Teachers Union (WTU).
"I think where we are is in a good place," she said on Feb. 9 at Randle Highlands Elementary School. "We finally have some momentum after being stagnant for so long." The stated reason for her optimism was a newly-delivered proposed contract, jointly drafted by the WTU and its parent American Federation of Teachers. It included, by the union's account, measures to meet Rhee's requirements for new rules making easier to recognize and reward good teachers and fire bad ones. She said the union package had ideas "that warrant some hard thought."
At Wednesday's D.C. Council oversight hearing, Rhee was more pessimistic.
"There are some fundamental issues we can't come to agreement on," she told the council, adding that "both sides are drawing a line in the sand."
Of the union proposals, Rhee said the contract "quite frankly bore no resemblance to any of the conversations we'd had," and that the document "definitely did not propel us forward."
Bill Turque

By Kathryn Tolbert  |  09:00 AM ET, 03/12/2009

Categories:  Education

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