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WTU President: Don't Blame Teachers for Bad Schools

District teachers say several recent events have made them feel uneasy about the future.

As D.C. Wire has reported, the Washington Teachers' Union president and general vice president are embroiled in a philosophical battle about the direction of the organization and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is offering a buyout to up to 700 teachers at 50 schools facing closure or academic overhaul.

Now as The Post reported, members of the PTA at Eastern High School in Northeast Washington have urged Rhee to replace many, if not all, teachers and staff at the school. The action is one of five options Rhee could take under the No Child Left Behind law to improve academics at the school, whose students have failed to make adequate yearly progress on standardized tests for five consecutive years.

WTU President George Parker told D.C. Wire he opposes efforts at Eastern and elsewhere around the city to blame teachers for the school system's problems.

"The failure of Eastern is not due to teacher failure," he said, "it's a lot deeper than that." Noting that Eastern has had about 10 principals in as many years, he added, "The school has been lacking support and leadership.... It is due to a system failure."

What do you think? How much blame should teachers get at failing schools?

Dion Haynes

By Dion Haynes  |  April 23, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Education  
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