Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Independent analysis of the Seattle teachers' contract

What does policy matter? We at the Alliance know that it matters a lot. The teachers' contract for a district dictates both the tone and priorities of what happens in the classroom. This is why in 2010 the Alliance founded the Our Schools Coalition to push forward contract reform in the Seattle Public School District. As part of the Coalition, the Alliance, in partnership with the League of Education Voters, the Technology Alliance, and 32 other citywide organizations and civic leaders, successfully advocated for significant changes to the Seattle teachers’ collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in support of student achievement. Please see the one-page overview and case study for more detail.

Following the passing of the new CBA, the Alliance commissioned the University of Washington’s Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) to do an independent analysis of Seattle’s new CBA. The report is now hot off the presses. In a nutshell, here are the findings:
  • On paper, Seattle’s CBA is best of breed relative to other leading-edge districts across the U.S.
  • Implementation is almost guaranteed to expose weaknesses (if it hasn’t already) in other parts of the system (particularly HR and professional development) that need to be re-thought to align and support the spirit and letter of the contract. In sum, the CBA provides an opportunity to develop a set of next-generation solutions system-wide.