Press Release

AFT, WTU Applauds Decision on IMPACT

For Release: 

Monday, April 4, 2016


Janet Bass

WASHINGTON—In an Arbitrator’s decision issued today, the Washington Teachers Union won its first grievance filed over the District of Columbia Public Schools’ failure to adhere to the IMPACT teacher evaluation process. The arbitrator overturned a teacher’s termination that had been decided without adhering to the process set out by DCPS in the controversial IMPACT system.

Washington Teachers Union President Elizabeth Davis said:

“This decision upholds our long-held grave concerns about the IMPACT teacher evaluation system. A teacher’s life was turned upside down because, without adhering to the process, IMPACT inappropriately determined the teacher should be terminated. Hopefully, this decision should become the catalyst for DCPS to work with WTU and develop a fair evaluation system that helps inform instruction and isn’t a vehicle to punish and remove teachers wrongly. Otherwise, problems—including recruitment and retention of great teachers—will continue to fester.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said:

“Evaluations should support growth for educators and build a strong, professional teaching force for our children, not be used as a mechanism to intimidate and punish dedicated educators. Under the IMPACT system, the union can’t negotiate and has no voice in how evaluations are applied, and management has unilateral rights. That’s a far cry from the collaborative approach that helps improve instruction in high-performing districts and countries. And when management doesn’t even follow its own rules, it proves that the system is arbitrary. So it’s no wonder D.C. educators feel the deck was stacked against them from the get-go. We hope with this ruling we can turn the page on this misguided system and instead create evaluations that are collaborative, effective and fair, so management and educators can focus on what’s really important: creating schools that work for each and every D.C. child.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.