Thursday, August 4, 2011

What will the new PPSD-PTU teachers contract mean for teaching and learning?

Mayor Taveras' August 2 announcement mentioned in the previous post focuses mainly the tentative agreement between the Providence Teacher Union and the City on the teachers contract, on which PPSD teachers are voting today (click here for a PDF version of a letter from Providence Teachers Union president Steve Smith that contains the announcement of the vote).

Each side seems to have given big to get big in certain areas. The union agreed to criterion based hiring to replace hiring/classroom assignment controlled by seniority. The city agreed to nearly all fired teachers keeping their jobs. The city nets $53 million in savings as a result of the agreement, which in our current dire financial situation is, of course, the big win. As former school board president Kathy Crain argues in GoLocalProv, the contract doesn’t seem to contain significant improvement in the conditions it establishes for teaching and learning, so no big wins for students.

Since this is a follow up post to thoughts about the length of the school day, it’s worth noting that the contract itself doesn’t expand instructional time in any meaningful way, other than adding 5 minutes a year to the day over the course of three years. Not nothing, but not really something either.

Additional stipulations of the new tentative agreement that have been released are provided by the Mayor’s announcement and reported by the ProJo, Providence Business News, and other outlets.The contract itself has not yet been made available to the public.

Last but definitely not least, take a few minutes to review the list of reactions and questions about the new contract that Better Providence is compiling on Facebook. Very thoughtful. I want to know the answers and thank Better Providence for asking for more clarity.

1 comment:

  1. I'll copy the comment I just made over on Facebook:

    Here's another question: How sure are you that the city and state would win *all* the lawsuits stacked up against it by the union? If the union only won a few, then you really could have seen a return to bumping and losing the other things you've won in the past few years. What this contract does is take the issues back out of the courts and show the union formally accepts them.