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The saga between the Washington Teachers' Union and District of Columbia public schools took another interesting turn last week.

WTU filed a lawsuit against the school system over the dismissal of more than 70 probationary (nontenured) teachers. The union seeks to restore these teachers to employment.

George Parker, the president of the union, said the district dismissed these teachers even though they were meeting the expectations of their probationary period, thus the dismissals violated due process guaranteed educators as part of the current contract.

The lawsuit is illuminating, given the state of current contract negotiations, which hinge on a two-tiered plan for compensating teachers. Under the "green" tier, teachers would agree to give up tenure for the opportunity to earn performance bonuses. They would have to win their principals' approval to regain tenure.

Mr. Parker is a proponent for instituting a grievance process for green-tier teachers to prevent against arbitrary dismissals under this system.

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