Washington Teachers' Union Elects New Leader

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    Nathan Saunders is taking over as president of the Washington Teachers' Union, which represents approximately 4,000 teachers in D.C. public schools.

    Saunders recieved 556 votes, beating incumbent George Parker, who recieved 480. And depending on whom you ask, this is in spite of or because Parker negotiated a contract where teachers made more money in exchange for less job security.

    Saunders said he will move "aggressively and progressively" to push for teacher's rights and says teachers were sending the community a message.

    "It says they are no longer going to be passive in a relationship with D.C. public schools," he said.

    Saunders and his new vice president, Candi Peterson, have been vocal opponents of former Chancellor Michelle Rhee's education reform in the District. Some of his most ardent supporters were teachers who were laid off by Rhee last year, including Crystal Proctor.

    "It's exhilarating. We got rid of all three of them. Rhee, Fenty and George. Gone. I worked on campaigns to get rid of all three of them," Proctor said.

    The WTU election was supposed to have been conducted in the spring but the process was marred with so much in-fighting that the parent union the American Federation of Teachers had to take over the election.

    Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

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