We are a diverse group of anti-racist educators from all 8 wards. We are united by the belief that the Washington Teachers Union is in a unique position to create a public school system that better serves our educators, students, and families. Together, we can effectively achieve fully funded public education by building a strong, member-driven union that organizes and empowers educators to fight for changes in and outside of the classroom.
Statement of Principles
1. Guarantee that all safety protocols are followed, including modernized buildings and learning conditions. The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated existing inequities in our school facilities. Our union must be bold in organizing with members, students, and families so that we are truly kept safe.
2. End mayoral control of DCPS, which shuts out teacher, student, and parent voices from the key decisions that impact our classrooms. Nothing about us, without us, is for us.
3. Counteract Washington DC’s history of disenfranchising people of color by intentionally promoting and supporting the voices and leadership of Black and Brown teachers within our group. The success of public education depends on building a society that embraces justice, equity and anti-racism.
4. Replace IMPACT with a better performance evaluation system that provides opportunities for professional development. One which promotes excellence in teaching and greater stability. IMPACT is harmful, short-sighted, overly burdensome, and harms teacher retention.
5. Develop a transparent and fully funded public school budget that prioritizes students' needs by increasing allocations for individual schools and personnel who work directly with students and by reducing allocations for top-heavy Central Office expenditures and initiatives.
6. Protect our students from over-testing (PARCC and other mandated standardized tests) which severely disrupts instructional time at the expense of a well-rounded, robust education. Students are more than a score!
7. We deserve a fair union contract. Negotiating a new contract should not be a closed-door, years-long process that produces an agreement which limits educator control and fails to protect the rights of members.
8. Ensure all students are receiving services essential to their success through full compliance with Federal and local Special Education mandates and obligations as specified by law.
Why Are DC Teachers Organizing a Caucus?
We’re building a democratic, member driven union. For too long, corporate-fueled privatization in DCPS has destabilized our schools, sucked the joy of teaching and learning, and failed our city’s most marginalized students, families, and educators. Our school communities deserve accountability, transparency and democracy—and so does our union.
Unions are democracies and we are the union. Our caucus is made and controlled by union members who believe in our collective power. We work with like-minded educators, use 1-1 conversations, communication networks, and educating and training members to harness our power to create union policies and take collective action.
Caucuses are normal parts of healthy democratic unions that have an engaged membership. In Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Saint Paul and other cities, caucuses just like ours transformed the culture of their unions, built unity with community partners and then went on to win smaller class sizes, higher wages, increased support staff, and so much more. We are ready to join the movement of educators that has swept the nation.