Thursday, September 10, 2015

'Fighting for Incredible List of Educational Reforms,' Seattle Teachers Go on Historic Strike | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

'Fighting for Incredible List of Educational Reforms,' Seattle Teachers Go on Historic Strike | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community:

'Fighting for Incredible List of Educational Reforms,' Seattle Teachers Go on Historic Strike





For the first time in 30 years, Seattle teachers are hitting the picket lines on Wednesday after the teachers union and the school board failed to negotiate a tentative agreement.
The Tuesday decision to strike—made with what the union describes as "an unprecedented, thunderous unanimous vote," closes schools on what would have been the first day of school for roughly 50,000 students.
The problems the public school teachers say are driving the strike include those teachers across the nation have also cited, including an over-reliance on standardized testing and  flawed methods for evaluating educators. The Seattle Education Association (SEA) outlinesthe issues summer-long negotiations have failed to resolve:
Professional pay: We need to attract and keep caring, qualified educators in Seattle, which is one of the most expensive cities in the United States. We've gone six years with no state COLA and five years with no state increase in funding for educator health care.
Fair teacher and staff evaluations: Educators should be evaluated fairly and consistently, and the focus should be on providing the support all educators need to be successful.
Reasonable testing: Too much standardized testing is stealing time away from classroom learning.
Educator workload relief: Current workloads mean many students aren't getting the help they need.
Student equity around discipline and the opportunity gap: We need to focus on equity issues in every school, not just some.
The administration's proposal to make teachers work more for free: It is unrealistic to expect teachers to work more hours without additional pay, and the district administration has been unable to explain how their proposal would help students.
Seventh-grade language arts teacher Theo Moriarty told the Associated Press, "We didn’t want to strike, and it seems to be the only way to have a dialogue with our senior administration."
"We all know it’s an inconvenience but ultimately it’s far better for the future of students and families to get what we’re asking for," he said.
As Seattle Public School teacher Jesse Hagopian told the Real News Network following the vote to go on strike,"The issues that we're taking up are much more than pay."
"Teachers and educational support staff deserve a living wage in a city where the costs are skyrocketing, where teachers can no longer afford to live in the city where they teach," he 'Fighting for Incredible List of Educational Reforms,' Seattle Teachers Go on Historic Strike | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community:

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