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Union Leader Threatens Lawsuit Over Teacher Re-Hiring Evaluations

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Detroit Federation of Teachers president Keith Johnson (C). (WWJ: Florence Walton)

Detroit Federation of Teachers president Keith Johnson (C). (WWJ: Florence Walton)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson is threatening to file a lawsuit against the school district if any teacher loses their job based on end of the school year teacher evaluations.

WWJ’s Florence Walton says Johnson has put District Emergency Manager Roy Roberts on notice:

“Any teacher (that) is not retained as a result of this five-minute, ten minute, fifteen, twenty-minute drive-by observation – we’re suing,” Johnson said. ” If any teacher is not retained because a consultant who doesn’t even know that teacher, doesn’t even know that school, doesn’t know the children – says that this person is ineffective and you don’t retain them, we’re suing you.”

“Administrators in buildings and even some retired principals who have been brought back as consultants have gone into teachers classrooms and done what we consider to be drive-by observations,” said Johnson. “Staying in a classroom for as little as four minutes and determining a teacher’s effectiveness.”

Johnson accuses district leadership of failing to comply with changes in state law that requires districts to work with unions to develop a comprehensive teacher evaluation process since seniority can no longer be the sole reason that teachers are retained.

He has filed a grievance with the school district for failing to work with the union to come up with a proper teacher evaluation process.

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