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					                                                                                  September 2006
Raising The Bar For School Contract Negotiations
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Current negotiations should accelerate reform to improve student performance
The final outcome of the current contract          1. Allow Boston’s Superintendent to annually
negotiations between the Boston School             designate no less than 10 low-performing
Committee and the Boston Teachers Union            schools as “Turnaround Schools.” In these
(BTU) and the Boston Association of School         schools, the Superintendent would have broad
Administrators and Supervisors (BASAS) will        flexibility to determine staffing, scheduling,
play a critical role in the Boston Public School   school structure and budgeting free from
System’s (BPS) ability to improve student          collective bargaining restrictions. Currently,
performance. Given the current achievement         the Superintendent can only appoint 50% of
gap and the fact that the federal government       the vacancies in five low-performing schools.
and the Commonwealth classify about two-
thirds of the BPS’s 140 schools as “In Need        2.    Provide differential pay for eligible
of Improvement,” the new contracts should          teachers who work in underperforming
ratchet up the pace of educational reform in a     schools or teach high-demand subjects such
significant way. This time the bar should be       as math and science. The Springfield teachers
raised to expect more than small incremental       recently approved a contract that “teacher
changes.                                           leaders” would receive a boost in salaries if
                                                   they taught in low-achieving schools.
Seven leading Massachusetts public policy
organizations have a mutual commitment to          3. Eliminate the requirement that Pilot
reform failing urban schools and have joined       Schools be approved by the BPS and BTU
in recommending student-centered reforms           Steering Committee. A two-thirds vote of the
for the Boston schools.          The seven         school faculty for a reasonable proposal and
organizations are: Associated Industries of        approval by the School Committee provide
Massachusetts      (AIM),    The      Boston       sufficient safeguards for schools seeking Pilot
Foundation, Boston Municipal Research              status and benefits.
Bureau, Greater Boston Chamber of
Commerce, Massachusetts High Technology            BASAS Contract - One critical reform
Council, Mass Insight Education and the            recommended for the BASAS contract is that
Pioneer Institute.                                 Assistant    Headmasters      and     Assistant
                                                   Principals not be tied to collective bargaining
BTU Contract - The BTU contract                    but instead negotiate contracts with the
negotiations are expected to bring change in       Superintendent or a designee.            These
areas of extra time for professional               positions are an integral part of the
development and new approaches for teacher         educational management team and should not
evaluations and teacher retention. Beyond          be members of a union to ensure full
that, the seven organizations support              accountability for results.
following three reforms to the BTU contract:

                     Boston Municipal Research Bureau  www.bmrb.org

				
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posted:10/6/2011
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