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UPDATED: New Haven's New Contract Shrouded in Secrecy

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New Haven, Conn., is said to be close to finalizing a collective bargaining pact ... but you'll have to take teachers' union and city officials' word that it's innovative, because the details won't be released until teachers vote to approve the new contract.

According to the news story linked above, the agreement will align to officials' goals to close achievement gaps in six years. Part of those goals included some discussion of increased teacher accountability based on student outcomes, and hiring flexibility, but there is no word yet as to whether any language in the contract supports those ideas.

It's interesting to consider how few people typically know about teacher-contract negotiations until they are all but a done deal. In Washington D.C., contract negotiations have been subjected to what's basically a black market in information-gathering. FOIA requests, leaks, blog discussions all point to a cry for more information from parents and students alike.

In D.C., this apparently involves teachers, some of whom wanted the "red-green" plan to go to a vote and others who claimed that the union and Chancellor Michelle Rhee were acting in concert and leaving out crucial details about the contract in presentations to rank-and-file teachers. (Fortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case in New Haven.)

Will the increasing pressure to make educational decisonmaking transparent ultimately spill over to encompass labor-contract negotiations?

1 Comment

Of course it's shrouded in secrecy! Those who don't pay dues (ie everyone who isn't a member of the union) will see it in good time. The folks that pay dues, they're the ones who have paid for the new contract. Isn't it commonsense they get to see it first?

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