Detroit Teacher - December 2014

News in this issue of The Detroit Teacher:

  • Runoff Election for DFT Officers
  • Keith Johnson Reflects
  • Paying the Best Teachers a Little More
  • 2014 List of COPE Contributors

and much more....[Download here].

Enhancing Detroit's Education Landscape [12.11.14]

Today there was a public announcement by the newly constituted Coailtion for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren. The Coalition is made up of a diverse
cross-section of leaders representing Detroit’s education, civic, philanthropic,
labor, business and community sectors. The Coalition, formed independently of any government body, is embarking on an urgent course to make recommendations for enhancing Detroit’s education landscape.

The Coalition includes a 31-member steering committee, as well as a larger group of community stakeholders. I serve on the steering committee joining a
politically diverse group of faith, community, parent, business, labor elected
officials, educators and think tanks.

This group includes the Rev. Wendell Anthony, AFT Michigan President David Hecker, UAW Vice-President Jimmy Settles, State Representative Elect Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, Senator Bert Johnson, School Board Member Lamar Lemmons, and a number of educators. It also includes others, including business leaders, with whom I will be working with for the first time.

I accepted serving on the steering committee to make sure our voice is heard. After all, if you are not at the table, you are on the menu.

Throughout this three month process David Hecker and I will establish opportunities to hear from you, get your ideas and thoughts.

-Edna Reaves, DFT Executive Vice President


Student Retention and Personal Phone Calls [12.9.14]

As we know, retaining students in Detroit Public Schools is a goal that has educational, social and economic consequences. With everyone's help, there's been a change in the long history of double-digit enrollment drops these past two years. This year the district recorded a stable enrollment overall and even saw increases in some regions and schools.

This results from your hard work every day, and all you do beyond the call of duty. Last year at this time, all teachers were asked to place a personal phone call to the parents and guardians of all students in their classrooms with a simple message of acknowledging their own hard work as parents and appreciation for giving us the opportunity to educate their children in the Detroit Public Schools.

Many of us received very positive feedback from that effort. I am asking all members to consider doing the same between now and the holiday break.

-Keith Johnson, DFT President

Run Off Election for DFT Officers [12.7.14]

Unofficial results of yesterday's election are: the UTR slate won all of the DFT executive board and trustee seats in yesterday's election. There will be a runoff election, however, for the office of DFT president, three vice presidents, secretary, and treasurer.

For the position of president, Edna Reaves garnered 390 votes, Steve Conn got 300 votes, and Mershira Oliver got 168 votes. According to the DFT constitution and bylaws, the president must win at least 50 percent of the votes plus one.

When we get official results and a schedule for a runoff election from the election committee we will post them promptly.

Ballots for DFT Officers Election [11.22.14]

Some members have not received their ballots for the DFT officers election on Dec. 6. This may be due to a wrong home address in the district's system. If you have moved and did not change your address with the district, the DFT will not have your current address. If you have not received a ballot, please call the DFT at 313-875-3500 to receive a duplicate ballot.

Listen to DFT Officer Candidates Debate [11.11.14]

The Nov. 9 telephone debate between Steve Conn, Mershira Oliver and Edna Reaves, candidates for DFT president, can be listened to by going to this link:

Another live debate is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 13, at the DFT Membership Meeting, 4:30 p.m. at the IBEW Hall, 1358 Abbott, east of Trumbull, entrance on Porter Street.