Contract Negotiations Underway for Minneapolis Teachers

Teachers in Minneapolis' public schools are heading into negotiation for a new contract. Emma Hickson chief negotiator representing Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59 says the school district hopes to bring the new contract more in line with its strategic goals of closing the student achievement gap. At the moment, Minneapolis teachers are allowed to transfer into new positions based upon their seniority. Hickson said the school district would like to change that model by changing the way teachers obtain school assignments and even how they're laid off. Minneapolis Federation of Teachers president Robert Panning-Miller says the city needs to consider reducing class sizes to close the gap.

Meanwhile, Superintendent of Minneapolis Schools Bill Green is calling for what he calls a cultural change in the way the city's schools operate, reports The Bridge Newspaper. Green is asking the school board to face, in his words, tough truths about the performance of students in Minneapolis, where fewer than half of public school students are meeting Minnesota state standards in reading and math. Green wants to raise academic rigor and set clear expectations for all staff.

More information about the Minneapolis Public Schools strategic plan that will guide the school district in its decision making can be found at www.mpls.k12.mn.us.

Story submitted by Dan Gordon