Calmes: All tricks, no treats for midterm election workers as they are urged to skip the event
The American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association (AFT NEA) union affiliates have agreed to skip a planned March 31 meeting of union officials and school board members to cast votes for a second possible slate to take control of Metro Schools in the wake of Metro’s recent announcement that the district is implementing a new student assignment plan.
For the past two months, teachers and union officials have been invited to an event in downtown D.C. that was meant to facilitate discussion of the district’s reform strategy, but have not held any meetings to discuss how they plan to vote.
The event was organized by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which has sent out emails urging its affiliated unions to attend the meeting, which was scheduled for at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill on Thursday, March 31.
However, teachers and other union officials say they are opposed to the event’s agenda as it does not have enough transparency, raises the possibility of a union takeover of Metro schools and does not put the onus for union reform on the school board.
“The purpose of the event is to engage in discussion with stakeholders and to gather information. There is nothing secret about those meetings. It’s the same format as a council meeting,” AFT NEA spokesperson Jon Kuehner said in an email to the Washington Post.
“There is not enough transparency to put that off-limits. There is sufficient transparency in past public meetings to know that a union is not going to be speaking. What we are not getting is information that the union wants to know.”
A member of the National Education Association’s (NEA) Region 8, which represents metro high-school classrooms, told Metro that they were “upset” that the AFT would not hold a “publicly