The Boston United for Students Coalition today joined with members of the Boston City Council in demanding that the Boston Public Schools and Boston Teachers Union reach agreement soon on a new teachers’ contract that results in “systemic reforms that are focused on increasing student success and improving teacher effectiveness.” Today marks the start of mediated negotiations between BPS and BTU.
“The start of the mediation process marks a chance to build on agreements that the parties have already reached and to reconcile their views on still unresolved issues,” said Alejandra St. Guillen, Executive Director of ¿Oìste? and a member of the Boston United for Students Coalition. “We expect BPS and BTU to approve a financially sustainable reform contract within a reasonable timeframe that will improve student achievement and make Boston public schools more competitive. There is too much at stake for the two sides to continue to play politics with the education and future of our children,” St. Guillen said.
Eleven Boston City Councilors delivered a letter to BPS Superintendent Carol Johnson and BTU President Richard Stutman expressing growing impatience with the lack of progress in contract talks, which have dragged on for more than 22 months. The letter called on “both parties to make a concerted effort to build on agreements already reached and to work with the mediator to come to final resolution of a reform contact in a reasonable time.”
The City Council letter supported reforms for which the Boston United for Students Coalition has been advocating, including:
- Timely and effective teacher evaluation that provides teachers meaningful feedback and the support and tools they need to improve, and removes ineffective teachers when necessary.
- Greater flexibility in teacher hiring and reassignment so that we can hire and keep the best teachers in the classroom.
- Increased and strengthened parent and student voice in school-based decision making, which will fosters a collaborative partnership between principals, teachers, parents, and students.
- Extended school day which offers students opportunities for enrichment activities and additional academic support.