DETROIT - Detroit teachers must not only be willing to reform education, but should be contributors to the process, union leaders told them at a training session Tuesday, according to The Detroit News.

Detroit's conventional public schools were closed for the day due to the workshop, where teachers heard about reform methods and teacher pay models used in districts across the country, such as site-based management and differentiated pay, The News reported.

Contract negotiations open this month between the Detroit Federation of Teachers and Robert Bobb, the district's emergency fiscal manager. Improving student achievement and a different pay system for teachers are expected to be part of the talks, The News reported.

DFT President Keith Johnson told teachers at the gathering that, "Reform does not necessarily mean that you have to give up something, or that you have to lose something," The News reported.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said that teachers should contribute their best ideas for reform or risk being left out of the process, according to The News. She also raised the issue of merit pay, The News reported, saying that schools in New York that participated in school-based bonus systems are reporting increased student achievement and higher teacher pay.

SOURCE:
The Detroit News, "Leaders call for reform at Detroit teachers meeting," May 26, 2009

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A Teacher Quality Primer," June 30, 2008

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