Teachers are the foundation of a quality education, and they are vital to the success of our students and our schools. The goals of excellence and equity in education in the District of Columbia cannot be achieved without a thriving, highly effective teacher workforce. The Washington Teachers’ Union fights for fair teacher evaluation systems which are designed to help teachers meet their students’ full educational needs.
Research has shown that the current DCPS system of evaluation, IMPACT, does not effectively measure progress being made by students from diverse backgrounds. It gives undue weight to test scores as the main measurement of success. The WTU is campaigning for teacher performance measurements that are developed, adopted and implemented collaboratively by teachers and administrators to replace IMPACT.
Survey after survey shows that the District's IMPACT teacher evaluation system is the leading cause of the District’s tragically high rate of teacher turnover. Every year, we lose some of DC’s best educators to other school districts. This has created an unstable learning environment for thousands of DC students who are prevented from developing the long term relationships with educators that lead to improved learning and performance.
IMPACT was designed and implemented without input from the educators whose performance it is meant to judge. In fact, DC Municipal Regulation § 1-617.18 prohibits DCPS evaluation systems from being a subject of collective bargaining, making labor-management collaboration impossible on this crucial element of any effort to improve our public schools.
That’s why the Washington Teachers’ Union enthusiastically supports a bill introduced by Councilmember Trayon White that, if passed, would mandate that teacher evaluation systems be a subject for negotiations between DCPS employees and DCPS administrators.
The bill, entitled the “Equitable Evaluations for D.C. Public Schools Employees Act,” is co-sponsored by Councilmembers Brianne K. Nadeau, Brandon T. Todd, Robert C. White, and Charles Allen, Vince Gray, Mary Cheh and Jack Evans.
Now that the bill has been introduced,
we must work to get it passed.
The WTU urges all who care about public education in DC to send the following message to their councilmember:
Please support the “Equitable Evaluations for D.C. Public Schools Employees Act,” to amend DCMR § 1-617.18 so the Washington Teachers’ Union will be allowed to negotiate teacher evaluation systems with DCPS.
Teachers are the foundation of a quality education, and they are vital to the success of our students and our schools. Teachers deserve an evaluation system that is fair and which they support.