All is not rosy on the new teachers' contract front. Sure, the teachers' union, the Seattle Education Association, approved it, but SEA President Olga Addae lashed out at the school board after a press conference (.pdf) yesterday for ignoring the union's vote of no confidence on district superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. (The union had voted no confidence just minutes after approving the new contract on Sept 2).
"At today's press conference, while you lauded collaboration," you ignored the no confidence vote, Addae told the school board at their regular meeting after the conference (the board voted to approve (.pdf) the teachers' contract at the meeting). Not one of you have reached out to the Seattle Education Association to voice your thoughts on this."
The union's lack of trust in Goodloe Johnson has been getting more pronounced lately, and Addae insists that the board recognize it in some way. "If 1,500 of the superintendent's employees have serious concern about her financial priorities, then that deserves some acknowledgement," she told the Stranger. "We have seen a consistent erosion and attack on the integrity of education of our children. She [Goodloe-Johnson] does not trust us to educate students. She'd rather trust the Gates Foundation and the Alliance for Education.The district doesn't listen to us, they dismiss us completely."
More after the jump.
Addae also opposed a recommendation from district administration to cut funding from a city levy that would get rid of family support service workers at Seattle public schools. The district's family support service program has helped members of low income families get basic support for almost 20 years. "If you so believe in collaboration," then how can you think of possibly eliminating these people?" Addae asked. A small group of people showed up at the meeting to express support for the service workers, urging the board to save the program.
Nobody from the school board addressed the no-confidence issue at the meeting, although they lauded the contract as a "historic one." The district initially wanted to use student test scores for final teacher evaluations, but the union's counter proposal of using student growth as a trigger for evaluations finally won. Still, the district refused to call the agreement middle ground, arguing that no compromises had been made. "It certainly represents common ground," Goodloe-Johnson said. It reflects "a real cultural change at Seattle Public Schools ... There will be ample opportunity for us to restore faith in our teachers."