Thursday, July 3


One good thing about this plan is it sure will get rid of the dumb teachers - those who fall for it and then are fired one or two years later. . . One interesting question is whether it is proper to use foundation funds for union busting.

V. Dion Haynes Washington Post D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is proposing a contract that would give mid-level teachers who are paid $62,000 yearly the opportunity to earn more than $100,000 -- but they would have to give up seniority and tenure rights, two union members familiar with the negotiations said yesterday. Under the proposal, the school system would establish two pay tiers, red and green, said the union members, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential. Teachers in the red tier would receive traditional raises and would maintain tenure. Those who voluntarily go into the green tier would receive thousands of dollars in bonuses and raises, funded with foundation grants, for relinquishing tenure.

Teachers in the green tier would be reviewed yearly and would be allowed to continue in their jobs only if they passed an evaluation and boosted students' test scores, the union members said. . . [Union officials] said teachers are opposed to giving up seniority and tenure, no matter the size of their raise, and probably would reject such a proposal. "You may be trading off your future, your tenure, your job security," a union member said. "When you trade that, it seems to me you're not getting much.". . .

Two union members said Rhee wants to use donations from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the Broad Foundation, in part, to pay for the raises and bonuses. Officials from the Gates and Broad foundations would not comment on proposed future funding. Megan Matthews, a Michael & Susan Dell Foundation spokeswoman, said the foundation has had general discussions with D.C. school officials but has not committed funds to the teacher contract.


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