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School Reform Contract Agreed To In New Haven

In a deal that some National Education Leaders are heralding as a model for school reform throughout the nation, the New Haven Public Schools and the New Haven Federation of Teachers have struck a deal that paves the way for dramatic reform in the New Haven Public Schools and narrowing the achievement gap. In addition to providing compensation for improved student achievement, the agreement allows the school district to incorporate student performance into the teachers’ evaluation process and in exchange establishes a form of peer review and support. The School District will also have substantial latitude in “turnaround,” or poor performing schools to restructure work rules to improve student achievement.

It also contemplates additional compensation for teachers working in those schools.  Principals will also be able to decide what teachers come into their schools. In the school district’s other schools the work rules, including length and makeup of the work day can be restructured with the approval of the teachers and administrators in the building. In a sense, the plan borrows from the charter school model, but does so with both public funds and a unionized workforce. Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. Partner Floyd J. Dugas was chief negotiator for the school district in the negotiations culminating in the deal.