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Excerpts from the 1997-2000 Trust Agreement Between Seattle School District No. 1 and the Seattle Education Association

There are 103 different schools in the Seattle Public School system. Many of them exceed the requirements of the relationships described here. Many of them are still struggling to meet the requirements.

Elain Wetterauer explains.

"We have what we call a trust agreement. The idea is that there is some sense of cooperation, collaboration between the union and between the school district. Everyone seems to be working towards the same goal which is great. We decide what we're going to spend our budget on. That makes a difference, because we have a voice and we have a vote."
-- Elaine Wetterauer, Teacher at Nathan Hale High School

The Trust Agreement commits both the teachers union and the school district to a collaborative partnership that includes: a student focused educational plan, accountability, an authentic staff role in decision-making, professional teaming, an environment of mutual trust and respect, high standards, and a safe environment for education. The Trust Agreement envisions a high level of staff participation and consensus-building.

Seattle's system of Site-Based Decision Making is also detailed in the contract. This section puts the Trust Agreement into action by setting up a way to organize schools around collaborative decision-making and teamwork. Each school develops a committee structure that works for its own staff. According to union president Roger Erskine, Seattle is moving from a "school system" to a "system of schools."

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