D.C. Schools Chancellor, Teachers Union Reach Tentative Deal

BY Jason M. Breslow  April 7, 2010 at 6:18 PM EST

Washington, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has reached a tentative deal with the city’s teachers’ union for a new five-year contract.

Michelle Rhee;AFP/GettyRhee came to Washington in 2007 with an ambitious plan to reform the city’s troubled schools, but has had a rocky relationship with the union over her desire to weaken tenure protections and implement a pay-for-performance salary structure for teachers.

Special correspondent for education John Merrow has been chronicling Rhee’s efforts, and he spoke to correspondent Kwame Holman about the tentative agreement.

Merrow said it could be a “win-win” for both Rhee and the teachers.

“At first reading it seems as if Rhee may have gotten a little bit more than the union,” he said, including more ability to take into account teacher performance rather than seniority when deciding which teachers to let go. “However, the union got a big pay raise — 21 percent over 5 years.”

Hear their full conversation: