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DPS teachers slam delay in classroom assignment letters

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Detroit Public School Community District teachers were still waiting Wednesday to receive their placement letters for the upcoming school year, three working days before they are supposed to be in their classrooms Monday.

Classroom assignment letters were mailed to teachers July 24 last year.

Teachers are fuming and asking, what is taking so long?

The district says they won’t have to wait much longer.

“We have hired a new deputy superintendent of human resources who started work Monday. The letters were mailed yesterday,” DPS spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson said Wednesday. “I’m awaiting further response from HR.”

The lateness of the letters is unacceptable, said Ivy Bailey, interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

“… thousands of DPSCD employees have not received assignment letters,” she said in an email Monday. “The district says that letters will be mailed out today. That really is not acceptable. In the age of modern technology a simple email could be sent out today to inform members of their assignments.”

Bailey said teachers should be informed at the end of the school year about their assignments for the upcoming school year.

“I understand that there are times when members have to be moved from one assignment to another, but there is no reason for our members to still be wondering where they are being assigned and what their assignment is,” she said. “Our teachers deserve better. I’d like to say I’m surprised, but sadly I’m not.”

Teacher Steve Conn, who was ousted last year as DFT president, has been anxiously awaiting his assignment letter.

“Any district really trying to retain teachers and stabilize its schools tells the teachers as soon as possible what their fall assignments are,” he said in an email Wednesday.