I don’t mean to disrespect our teachers. They are dedicated people who deserve a fair and equitable contract, and we all want a speedy end to the strike. But it has been repeatedly proven that while parent involvement, administrative and community support are key factors, the single biggest indicator of student success is quality teaching in the classroom. Even teaching professionals recognize and admit this fact.
As the district and union continue to bargain over how to reassign/transfer teachers, both sides must recognize that change to the seniority-based system is coming. Now is Tacoma’s chance to embrace the opportunity and continue to lead out in ways that improve education for our kids.
Of course teachers should have a say in how the new system looks. Of course a committee with equal number of district and union representatives should be created to study options and hammer out specifics. But when the committee finds a solution that is acceptable to the majority of the committee members, it should not then need to pass ratification by the entire membership of the TEA.
If the members of the union can trust its leadership and representatives to bargain in good faith, recommend a strike, support the defiance of a court order and other justified actions when appropriate, surely they can trust them to create a transfer system that will meet their needs.
Form the committee, accept their work, and bring change to Tacoma. Now.