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Baltimore Teachers Approve Contract

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Baltimore Teachers Union President Marietta English briefs reporters on the contract election results.
Cathy Duchamp
Baltimore Teachers Union President Marietta English briefs reporters on the contract election results.

Public school teachers in Baltimore have a new contract. Union members ratified the plan Wednesday by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, after rejecting a similar contract last month. Pay raises will be tied more closely to student performance.

Baltimore Teachers Union president Marietta English calls the vote historic.

"Teachers in Baltimore now have the opportunity to determine their own destiny and choose their own career path," she says.

The career path that gave automatic pay raises based on tenure and advanced degrees is gone. Under the new system, teachers will make more money by doing things that make them better teachers, English says.

"No where in the state of Maryland do teachers have these career pathways where you can actually choose to stay in the classroom and increase your salary," she says.

Teachers will also be evaluated on their students' performance. But this is the part where English punts to the state of Maryland.

A state legislative panel earlier this month rejected a proposed regulation that would require 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation to be based on student achievement.

Teachers in Baltimore teachers will have to wait until policymakers in Annapolis develop guidelines to know how their performance will truly be assessed.

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