Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Baltimore charter school contract: A deal with students in mind

Here's Randi's letter to the editor in the Washington Post on the KIPP Ujima (Baltimore) contract:

Baltimore charter school contract: A deal with students in mind

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

One of the biggest problems plaguing charter schools is the turnover rate and teacher burnout, an issue that the recently concluded contract at a Baltimore charter school addresses. The March 29 editorial "Repeat: Put children first" missed a key detail about the agreement reached by teachers and administrators at Baltimore's KIPP Ujima Village Academy.

For the coming school year, teachers and KIPP have agreed that KIPP Baltimore will operate its educational program with a 9 1/2 -hour teacher workday, 11 voluntary Saturday sessions and 18 summer workdays -- or 40 percent more work time than the regular school day and school year. For this, teachers will receive 21.5 percent more than the base pay for the current year, but less overall than they are receiving under the current agreement.

The point is that the give-and-take process known as collective bargaining works. When teachers have a voice and a seat at the table, they can work collaboratively with school management to focus on giving students and teachers what they need to succeed.

Randi Weingarten, Washington

The writer is president of the American Federation of Teachers.

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