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Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 4, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Seattle school teachers approve contract

Teachers want to teach

It was a long day debating the teachers contract, and now it's a school day. A teacher rests on his head as he waits in the school bus after members of the Seattle Education Association voted to pass the new teachers contract for the next two years with Seattle Public Schools, at Benaroya Hall, on Tuesday, Sept. 3. [Marcus Yam/The Seattle Times.]

It was a long day debating the teachers contract, and now it’s the beginning of a new school year. A teacher rests on his head as he waits in the school bus after members of the Seattle Education Association voted to pass the new teachers contract for the next two years with Seattle Public Schools, at Benaroya Hall, on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. [Marcus Yam/The Seattle Times.]

The Seattle Times has long portrayed a dim view of teachers’ unions, but it is time for the public to have a clear understanding of what school employees hold dear to their hearts. [“Seattle schools start today as teachers OK contract,” NW Wednesday, Sept. 4.]

Despite the disrespect shown to many school professionals, teachers continue to teach. But we will no longer accept being held accountable for student progress while more students are placed in our classes and more and more is expected of us in our classrooms, without legislated salary increases.

Teachers are ready to teach. Despite strike talk, we have been working feverishly in our classrooms and we were ready to work on Tuesday, voted on a new contract Tuesday evening and greeted students with the same joy we show, year in and year out.

In the area of accountability, new state testing is to happen within two years. One bargaining issue that divided the union and the district is whether or not to put time, energy and money into the old system of evaluation.

The Seattle School District seems to have wanted to spend time, energy and money to prove their success on an old system which may no longer be in place in two years.

After more that 40 years of teaching, serving years as a bargaining-team member, and heavy involvement in my union, I hope someone can find the voice of reason in my arguments.

Devin Gruver, Pathfinder Middle School autism program, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Education, Seattle | Topics: accountability, education, evaluation

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