How D.C. and its teachers, with shifting plans and demands, failed to reopen schools

At least twice, the Washington Teachers’ Union reached tentative agreements with the city to reopen, only to back out a few days later. The union staked out demands that went far beyond what was in place elsewhere and beyond guidelines set by its national union.

The result: Teachers were applying maximum pressure to stay closed, but there was virtually no public pressure to reopen…

In the aftermath, Bowser and Ferebee explicitly blamed the union for the failure to reopen schools.

“The primary barrier now for in-person learning is having the supply of teachers to teach in those classrooms,” Ferebee told families at a town hall meeting.

Again in November, the union signaled a deal had been reached for teachers to return to classrooms on a purely voluntary basis, at least at first. But looking like Lucy, who repeatedly pulled the football away from Charlie Brown at the last moment, the union changed its mind a few days later and another agreement unraveled.

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