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"Filthy" teacher gives up on DCPS

Several D.C. public school teachers are also bloggers, and their dispatches from the ground are often smart, refreshingly subversive and a critical reality check for a conversation dominated by parents, politicians, pundits and administrators.

Among the most readable is Filthy Teaching ("filthy" as slang for awesome or cool), written by an educator at Columbia Heights Education Campus. As is usually the case, this teacher doesn't identify by name, but as "The Reflective Educator."

Reflective Educator, who has apparently taught elsewhere, wanted to come to DCPS "to learn what teaching in a broken system was all about." Sadly, the writer says he is quitting next week, deeply frustrated not with the students but with those running the school.

A Jan. 10 posting offers a scathing assessment of the environment at CHEC, where administrators are single-mindedly focused on raising test scores, and teachers are routinely belittled and infantilized.

"So I've decided to leave DCPS a mere semester after coming to it, and it has NOTHING to do with the kids," Reflective Teacher writes.

"Perhaps I've been spoiled in that I've worked in schools where teachers were treated like adults and were trusted to be professionals. If so, I'm okay with that. That's the environment I want to return to. If you're a struggling first-year teacher in the district, keep in mind that this is NOT what all schools are like. There are places that will value and support you. Don't leave the profession because of a single experience here."

I emailed the principal of CHEC a couple of hours ago seeking comment, but haven't heard anything back. If (and when) I do, I'll put up a new post on the reply.

Read Reflective Educator's entire post here.

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By Bill Turque  |  January 14, 2010; 8:21 AM ET
 
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