Statement on Closure of Washington Met

A school closure is not accountability; it is failure. At a time when our city is investing millions of dollars to expand capacity and programming at our highest performing schools, it must also invest in our most at-risk students. If DCPS touts equity as one of its priorities, closing a school rather than providing resources that will improve student outcomes is the wrong decision for the city to make.

Washington Met is an alternative school that provides unique services to middle and high school students who have not found success in the traditional school environments. It is the only alternative program for middle school students; 100% of the students that attend the school are classified as economically disadvantaged; over 30% of students receive special education services. Closing this school and further destabilizing the students in this community is not in the students’ best interest.

The Washington Teachers’ Union is disappointed to learn of Chancellor Ferebee’s decision to close Washington Metropolitan Opportunity Academy effective at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Over the past few weeks, since the announcement of the potential closure, the feedback from stakeholders and the DC community has been clear – Washington Metropolitan should not close.

We, again, call on Chancellor Ferebee, Mayor Bowser, and the City Council to stop the closure of Washington Metropolitan Opportunity Academy.

 

Elizabeth Davis, President

Washington Teachers’ Union

Add your reaction

Teacher Turnover

DC City Council

Committee of the Whole & the Committee on Education

 

Teacher Turnover in the District of Columbia Public and Public Charter Schools

December 4, 2019

 

I am Elizabeth Davis, president of the Washington Teachers’ Union. The Washington Teacher’s Union represents over 5,000 active and retired teachers. We are dedicated to social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students. Many of our WTU members live and pay taxes in the District and have kids or family members that attend DC schools. I am a DC teacher and DC resident.

In spite of the dedication and best efforts of our teacher members, far too many students in the District of Columbia are stymied in reaching their full potential because of the barriers they face in our schools and in our communities. The barriers our students face are real and the resulting achievement gaps that are present in the District of Columbia are striking. It is time that we acknowledge the truths about our educational systems in our city and directly confront the challenges our students face.

 

See our presentation here.

Read our full statement here.

Add your reaction

Academic Achievement, Graduation Rates, & Test Scores

DC City Council

Committee of the Whole & the Committee on Education

 

Academic Achievement, Graduation Rates, & Test Scores

in the District of Columbia Public and Public Charter Schools

November 22, 2019

 

Testimony of

Elizabeth A. Davis, President

Washington Teachers’ Union, AFT Local 6

 

 

The Washington Teacher’s Union represents 5,000 active and retired teachers. We are dedicated to social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students. Many of our WTU members live and pay taxes in the District and have kids or family members that attend DC schools. I am a DC teacher and DC resident.

 

In spite of the dedication and best efforts of our teacher members, far too many students in the District of Columbia are stymied in reaching their full potential because of the barriers they face in our schools and in our communities. Despite the rhetoric you have undoubtedly heard over the past few weeks and months surrounding the District’s performance on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), the release of the District’s 2019 graduation rates, and our student’s performance on PARCC, we have not made “real progress” across the District nor should we continue to embrace the “bold” reform policies that our city has embraced for over the past decade.

 

The barriers our students face are real and the resulting achievement gaps that are present in the District of Columbia are striking. It is time that we acknowledge the truth about achievement gaps and graduation rates in our city and directly confront the challenges our students face.

 

Read more
Add your reaction

Committee on Housing & Neighborhood Revitalization Public Hearing on Bill 23-433, the “Rental Housing Act Extension Amendment Act of 2019”

DC City Council

Committee on Housing & Neighborhood Revitalization Public Hearing on

Bill 23-433, the “Rental Housing Act Extension Amendment Act of 2019”

 

November 13, 2019

 

Testimony of

 

Elizabeth A. Davis, President

Washington Teachers’ Union, AFT Local 6

 

 

Good morning. I am Elizabeth Davis, president of the Washington Teachers’ Union. I am here to talk about Bill 23-433, the “Rental Housing Act Extension Amendment Act of 2019.”

The Washington Teacher’s Union represents more than 5,000 active and retired teachers. We are dedicated to social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students. Many of our WTU members live and pay taxes in the District and have kids or family members that attend DC schools. I am a DC teacher and DC resident.

In spite of the dedication and best efforts of our teacher members, far too many students in the District of Columbia are stymied in reaching their full potential. It’s not because of the instruction that our students receive. It’s because of the barriers they face in our schools and in our communities. Barriers like the inability to have a safe and affordable place to live.

Read more
Add your reaction

Health Public Oversight Hearing “The Not-For-Profit Hospital Corporation”

DC City Council

Health Public Oversight Hearing

“The Not-For-Profit Hospital Corporation”

Friday, October 25th at 11:00am

 

Testimony of

Elizabeth A. Davis, President

Washington Teachers’ Union, AFT Local 6

 

Good morning. I am Elizabeth Davis, president of the Washington Teachers’ Union. The Washington Teacher’s Union represents more than 5,000 active and retired teachers. We are dedicated to social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students. Many of our WTU members live and pay taxes in the District and have kids or family members that attend DC schools.

The core mission of the Washington Teachers Union is to raise the standards of the teaching profession by promoting conditions vital to effective services for all students. In spite of the dedication and best efforts of our teacher members, far too many students in the District of Columbia are stymied in reaching their full potential.

For too long we’ve measured the success of our school system and of our teachers on the achievement of our students, as measured by a single test. It’s time we stop and begin to look at – and confront – the challenges that our students and families face holistically. Children across our city, but primarily in low-income communities of color, contend with the consequences of under- or unemployment, crime and violence, homelessness, and a lifetime of economic privation and hardship. These conditions impact their academic achievement and are, in part, at the center of the immense achievement gaps that plague our city.

Read more
Add your reaction

With union backing, D.C. Council introduces proposed overhaul of controversial teacher evaluation system

Post_Logo.png
By Perry Stein

June 29

 

Post_Article__Impact_1.JPGThe District’s controversial teacher evaluation system could face significant changes under proposed legislation that would give the teachers union substantial input in the system’s design during collective bargaining.

The evaluation system — which was one of the first in the nation to tie teachers’ job security and paychecks to class performance — has been central to the District’s high-profile education efforts over the past decade and is one of the more controversial legacies of former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee.

Read more
Add your reaction

Teachers and students protest the D.C. education budget, calling it inequitable

Post_Logo.png

By Perry Stein

Reporter covering D.C. education

April 25 at 7:42 PM

 

The demands of the protesters were clear: D.C. leaders need to give the city’s neighborhood schools more money.

More than 100 teachers, students and activists rallied near City Hall late Thursday afternoon, calling on Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) to invest more money in the public schools that draw students from the city’s poorest communities.

Read more
Add your reaction

WTU SPONSORED TURNER ELEMENTARY FLAGWAY TEAM COMPETES IN NATIONAL RUN-OFFS

Flagway Game

Raphael Bonhomme, a Turner Elementary School teacher, could not be more proud of the six students on the first-ever Flagway team to represent the District of Columbia. Neither could WTU President Elizabeth Davis.

Flagway™ was developed as part of the Algebra Project by Civil Rights icon Dr. Robert Parris Moses (Bob Moses), who won a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award for his work. Flagway is an exciting, action-packed game through which students can learn basic mathematical concepts. Moses developed it especially for elementary and middle school students who, through being neglected by many school systems, have been relegated to the lowest quartile.

Over the past two years, partnering with Young People’s Project (YPP), the WTU has offered DCPS teachers several FlagwayTM training courses.

To learn more FlagwayTM and the WTU's role in supporting this unique learning program, click here.

 

 

 

Read more
Add your reaction

Sign Up For Email Updates