When do we get to see the secret agreement the Seattle School District has reached with its teachers?
House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, today said: “The fact is, the current budget situation clearly demonstrates that state government must be rescaled to fit the new fiscal reality.”
The same is true for the Seattle School District.
On September 1st, the District reached a closed-door agreement with its teachers union. The teachers ratified the agreement September 2, but it has not yet been made public.
I wanted to see the exact language of the agreement, to see which portions of the new evaluation and reward system for teachers depend on a tax increase. So I called the district to get a copy of the agreement. I was told the agreement would not be revealed until the week of September 13th, because specific “language was still being hashed out.”
This should worry taxpayers and parents. Platoons of district and union lawyers are working behind the scenes on this agreement. They are fighting over the language, and whatever they are fighting over is not trivial. They are fighting over substance.
I am worried. I don’t like the fact that district and union officials are operating in this clandestine fashion.
A week passed. Today I called the district again. Yet again, I was told that the agreement was not available. And that the public can’t see it for at least another week.
This is uncommonly strange. What is being added and deleted after the fact?
I am afraid teacher evaluation provisions are being watered down. Will the final agreement be what the public was promised? Will we have to pay higher taxes for teachers to be evaluated on their ability to raise student achievement? Does it include a ban on hiring Teach for America teachers?