DC Teachers Union President, DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, and DC Mayor Adrian Fenty
WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- DC School Chancellor Michelle Rhee says her reform movement is still in high gear following a press conference in which she, Mayor Adrian Fenty and Washington Teacher's Union officials discussed their tentative new contract agreement.
Teachers will get an across the board raise, some of it retroactive, of about 20 percent, with outstanding teachers qualifying for bonuses that will come from privately donated funds.
The new deal allows Rhee to fire, reassign and promote teachers based on her assessment of their job performances.
Rhee says teachers will no longer be granted jobs for life or be able to fall back on seniority. It's their ability to enhance student performance, measured in test scores, that count.
The Washington Teachers Union claims victory as well, saying they will get more teacher development and training. They will also have equal resources across all of the schools, and they will have the chance to apply for vacancies in other schools if a teacher is let go from his or her current assignment.
Current union President, George Parker, says that while they are in agreement over the tentative contract, there will be disagreements in the future.
Current VP for the union, Nathan Saunders, wants Parker's job, and he says the tentative deal gives Rhee too much authority with no due process for teachers who are dismissed.
The full union membership and the DC Council must approve the tentative contract.
The deal was done after two years of negotiations and just before Mayor Adrian Fenty launches his re-election bid on Saturday.
DC Council Chairman Vincent Gray has already announced his campaign to run against Fenty.
Written by Bruce Johnson
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com