Teachers union ratifies labor contract with Seattle Schools

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson, and leadership with the Seattle teachers union announced a tentative agreement on a three-year labor contract for certificated staff. The contract covers school years 2010-2011 through 2012-2013.
The Seattle Education Association (SEA) ratified the agreement on Thursday and the final stamp of approval goes back to Seattle Public Schools.
"I am so pleased that our collaboration with teachers has us so close to reaching agreement on a new contract," said Goodloe-Johnson in a written statement. "This agreement strengthens the excellent collaborative work of teachers and administrators to create a teacher support system that will benefit all of our children."
About 1,280 members of SEA met on Thursday to listen to details of the agreement. Though the majority of members voted in favor of the deal, some had reservations about the use of test scores as any part of teacher evaluation.
The contract includes a paird career ladder of opportunities for exemplary and proficient teachers, a four-tier evaluation system. The agreement also doubles the number of STAR (Staff Training, Assistance and Review) mentors and provide stipends for teachers who take on extra work to share their expertise with peers as well as for those who serve in low-performing schools, according to Seattle Public Schools (SPS). Shortening the length of the school day had been discussed but was not changed.
"Including student growth measures as part of the new evaluation ensures that principals and teachers have the tools and information to focus on how well students are learning and what we need to do to boost academic achievement in every classroom," Goodloe-Johnson said.
SEA President Olga Addae said to members after the vote, "while we have much yet to do, we are on the right road."[[In-content Ad]]