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Rhee: PD is on for Friday

Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, trying to salvage something from a lost week, has asked teachers to report to school Friday for a scheduled day of professional development. Rhee increased funding and time devoted to helping educators lift their game. So, ice and drifting snow not withstanding, PD is on. Here is her just-released letter to teachers:

Dear DCPS Teachers,

We have decided to proceed with Friday's professional development day as planned. One of the key messages I hear from teachers at the listening sessions I do at schools across the city is that we need to do more to support you in our work. The district-wide professional development days are a key opportunity to do exactly that. Because we have such a limited number of these days, and because the worst of the weather has passed, I have decided to move forward with the scheduled activities tomorrow.

Though the roads may be challenging tomorrow morning, we have been advised that Metro will be fully operational. If you simply cannot make the trip in, please inform your principal right away.Thank you so much for your dedication.

Michelle Rhee

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By Bill Turque  |  February 11, 2010; 6:22 PM ET
 | Tags: Michelle Rhee, professional development, snow, teachers  
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She was "advised" that Metro would be fully operational? Would WMATA care to share that with the rest of us?

Posted by: cbr1 | February 11, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

If Rhee really wanted to support teachers, she’d email everyone the power point of the PD, as someone suggested earlier, and tell them to study it at home.

I predict Rhee is holding PD mainly for the purpose of collecting detailed data on the percentage of teachers who show up and their length of service. I also predict those who show up will be mainly young teachers who live in rental units in the city near metro. That is a data point she will omit in national speeches about DC teachers’ sad lack of commitment to professional development. She will complain about how she gave teachers what they said they wanted on her many listening tours, but then only a dedicated few actually showed up.

She will also not mention that her data refers to only one of the PD days and that it was the session held right after the Great Washington Blizzard of 2010.

Posted by: efavorite | February 11, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind going as I am both sick of being in my house and have reasonably smooth sailing.

Of course, the "expert" that was going to do our PD presentation is not going to be able to make it in himself so I'm not sure if our administration is going to be forced to do the PD on short notice or if we are just going to have a "work" day.

Either way, I don't mind. I'll either get some PD or I'll get some work done.

Posted by: Wyrm1 | February 11, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised at all. However, if it was a regular school day and students were to come, there would be no way they would be open tomorrow after the uprising from parents Sunday night. Every other school district in the region is closed and all private schools in DC are closed tomorrow. More evidence that Rhee has no regard for her teaching or administrative staff. There's not one ounce of humanity or compassion in this woman.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | February 11, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

My reading of the wmata website is that 9 metro stations will be closed tomorrow. The western side of the red line (in MD) and the southern end of the orange line (in VA). Teachers who commute from those areas will be forced to drive. I'd be surprised if parking is available at most schools.

Posted by: parentof2redheads | February 11, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

What is with all of the complaining? You have a job to do and are being paid (relatively) well to do it. Go to work, put a smile on your face and attempt to make your workplace better.

Posted by: strider222 | February 11, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Children lives are precious...But Teacher lives are not!!! We are parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, HUMANS too!!!! It is just plain ridiculous for her to continue to not use common-sense. She does not advocate for the protection of her teachers at all. She does not advocate for her personnel at all. She really needs to go. Countless times she does not consider the teacher. Roads in DC are still iced.

Posted by: abc1236 | February 11, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

...and it is not about me not working, but cars are still sliding off roads...dumb ass..

Posted by: abc1236 | February 11, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

...and it is not about me not working, but cars are still sliding off roads...dumb ass..

Posted by: abc1236 | February 11, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rhee’s only concern is numbers with a total disregard for the education of DC’s youth. It is very sad to see kids graduate from high school with high test scores but without the proper skills to obtain a job or even think about going to college.

Well done Ms. Rhee!!! An A+ on your image, and an F on education. Numbers do not prepare kids for real life. Please do not waste money on IMPACT, hire more teachers, reduce class size, and start educating the children!!!

Posted by: lowrider32 | February 11, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is going to work tomorrow. Suck it up and go to work. If anyone needs remedial help, it is the teachers of DCPS who have been failing their students for decades now. You should all be fired.

Posted by: yh132 | February 12, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Not all D.C. teachers should be fired.
There are many good ones. The rest can
be fired. Unions need to go away. They
ruined Detroit, then Greece, and D.C.
is next. The only local/state/fed gov't
doing the right thing in the entire country
is New Jersey! They are having MASSIVE spending cuts, because THEY HAVE TO.
Lets hope everybody else wakes up before
its too late. Oops! Too late.

Posted by: shred11 | February 12, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Wonder how much actual professional development will go on in DCPS schools today. As wyrm1 above reported, the person in his/her school to do the pd won't be available. I assume that's the instructional coach. We just got the message in our school that the same thing is going to happen, no PD as the coach won't be coming in. Teachers are to go to work (no students so we'll plan and correct papers) but no PD either. Not exactly what Rhee had in mind.

Posted by: chelita | February 12, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Teachers make a starting pay of $40,000 the average in DC is close to $80,000. That latter number is the average they use for budgeting FTE. Yes the roads suck, but most of us are going to work no matter where we live. In fact many of the people making it to work even in this hideous storm make far less than teachers. It is the cleaning and grocery store people I worry about. Why is is it teachers that make these post so often can only think of themselves as victims? As a DC Parent I am fleeing to charter schools. And honestly things like the postings I see on these stories are part of what tells me the system can be changed or improved because there are too many who need a reason to complain.

Posted by: Brooklander | February 12, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse


The teacher/union haters love this. Rhee is really feeding red meat to these folks. They can point to this stupidity and loudly claim that teachers are lazy.

This town has really gone to the dogs.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | February 12, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

"This town has really gone to the dogs."

That was 40 years ago.
Haven't lived here long have you?

Posted by: therev1 | February 12, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Turque, did you not know that the federal government and DC government employees went back to work today?

Seems relevant to this piece. Then again, it's Turque, so maybe not.

Posted by: trace1 | February 12, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Dear Brooklander - Think twice about putting your kids in charter schools -- I checked several DC charter schools with good reputations and they are all closed today. KIPP, Chavez and Latin.

Also keep in mind that student achievement at charters schools is on average no different than at regular public schools.

Posted by: efavorite | February 12, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse


When my kid started at his "bad" elementary school several teachers I spoke to did not own computers. Rhee could not, really, email those teachers anything for this professional development day.

If, let's say, all the teachers I met owned and used computers, were literate in forms of media, etc, I probably would not have the attitude I do today.

The PTA got together and sent out links to grade-level educational resources to our parents' mailing list. We also have the Chancellor's snow day webpage. My kid's teacher, who normally has been great, was incommunicado over this break. The parents took over sharing resources to keep our kids up to speed.

Everyone is back at work today, DCPS should be open.

Posted by: bbcrock | February 12, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

This is really an embarrassment for teachers who complain- what a wonderful opportunity to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive one. She is trying to salvage one day of this blizzard and make it productive for teaching and learning. Yes, the roads may be difficult, and if they cannot manage to get in, she has asked them to call their principals and notify them. This is yet another example of why so many DC parents are disgusted with DCPS. Entitlement is a serious problem here, and until these unprofessional "teachers" are fired, the kids will continue to suffer.

Posted by: franciscomillet | February 12, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The federal government has a two hour delay.

Many if not most DC side streets have not been plowed. We have had two blizzards in less than a week. Sidewalks are not shoveled.

Please don't act like it is an absurd opinion that at the very least there should be a 2 hour delay if not a complete closure.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | February 12, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I work for DCPS and was raised in the midwest. I was here for the storm of '96 and I have thankfully survived the blizzard of 2010. This area is better for snow removal, but it still has a long way to go. Quite frankly I am concerned for children, teachers, federal employees, administrators and local gov staff, because the conditions are a mess. I couldn't even get to my school if I wanted to today, because there is no bus service from the metro! So my point is that I cannot be productive in any system if I don't have the basic tools or ability to do my job! As far as I am concerned this is a serious breakdown of every public official in the DC Metro area!

Posted by: trying2bbetter | February 12, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Umm yes the federal govt is open, but lets remember their streets are wider it was easier to remove because the lack of cars in the way!!! Also metro stations entrances are littered around federal buildings!

In contrary many schools are in NEIGHBORHOODS were the streets are narrower and cars are in the way!!! And walking to and from metro is not as simple for EVERY neighborhood, especially since buses are not running!!!

Posted by: CedricCS | February 12, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

A few years ago, a lot of people did not have home computers. That has changed as people use computers for personal as well as professional communication and almost all employees have email accounts issued by their employers.

After a week of being snowbound, many people are eager to get back to their work routine, no matter what it is. Some people can't because they're still snowed in and some people have been without power.

Charter schools, private schools and all suburban public schools are closed today. No one is calling the leaders of those schools and their teachers lazy.

Posted by: efavorite | February 12, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The DC govt. is open -- that means library staff, rec centers, DMV, administrative staff, etc. need to report to work. As it happens, today was a teachers-only day in DCPS -- should teachers be carved out of all other DC personnel for another day off?

Teachers are DC employees, correct? It seems like Rhee would have had to make a special exception for one group of DC employees, while all of the others went to work.

Posted by: trace1 | February 12, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Every time Rhee opens her mouth, or puts pen to paper, I gasp in disbelief.

First, by her own admission, she had to hear from teachers to know that they need professional development? O.K., let's say she FINALLY got that message. What is wrong with moving the professional development as a tacked-on day to Spring Break (which literally is around the corner)? It's not as if there is a teacher left in the system who would dare challenge her on the issue, for fear he/she would be rewarded with a pink slip.

Second, having worked with DCPS, I am almost certain that the parking lots would not be clear for teachers at this point, and with huge snow banks on EVERY street in the city, street parking is certain to be non-existent, even if the teacher "sucks it up" and trudges his/her way through the ice to get there.

At my new school system, today was scheduled for PD also. It has been canceled. PD also was scheduled during the last week for the introduction of certain new curricula I teach. They were canceled. The key thing is that PD is an integral part of the system's year-round planning, and courses are routinely and regularly featured in an electronic registrar system so that the teacher can simply register whenever it is most convenient for him/her, for whatever reason. We're adult professionals, and appreciate the need for PD far more that Rhee does, seeing as how, after two years on the job, she had to wait for teachers to tell her it was needed.

In the era of No Child Left Behind, a special education teacher, who might teach/co-teach English and Social Studies, really needs three different types of PD--in each subject area. Rhee needs to move away from this authoritarian-style, homogeneous approach to managing, and realize that she needs to put far more thought and effort into her job. She is a disaster, and it's becoming embarrassing watching her stumble through her assignment, miserably failing while she learns on the job, at the expense of my tax dollars.

Please, D.C., let's put an end to this nonsense.

Posted by: vscribe | February 12, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

An embarrassment of teachers who complain? Teachers who fail students? Apparently these are comments posted by people living in ivory towers who have never worked in a public school. It's easy to talk lowly when you've never done it before. And if the "PD" that was planned was anything like the PD I have experienced in 14 years of education, it was not something that would change the world - more than likely a giant waste of time and not worth risking life and limb to see a bad powerpoint presentation from someone who hasn't been in a actual classroom in ten years. And all of you complaining about how awful DC teachers are? Put your money where your mouth is ... quit your high-paying private sector or government job, get your certification, and go into the schools and make them a better place. If you're not gonna help fix the system, then don't complain about it.

Posted by: fizics95 | February 12, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Former Assistant Superintendant Francisco Millett,

I'm a current DCPS parent and I'm not disgusted with the teachers at my child's school. I'm disgusted with the Chancellor.

The last PD day was devoted to getting a good score on IMPACT. That's useful training? How does it benefit my child? Please explain.

I know what the roads and sidewalks are like out there and for those of us that don't have a driver, it is much safer to be at home.

For all the teachers at my child's school, I'm so sorry you are treated like this each day. I see hard working people who work in a difficult urban setting each day, treated as if they are nothing.

The Chancellor has brought fear and a hyper-frenzy to teaching to the test that is ruining my child's school. I know how far many of our teachers and staff travel each day and I worry for their safety.

I am disgusted with Michelle Rhee, not the teachers.

Posted by: Title1SoccerMom | February 12, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Libraries operate with smaller professional staffs than schools do. Some DC rec centers are closed, including the program set up to take care of the kids while teachers are in PD today: "DPR Play Day hosted by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation has been cancelled due to inclement weather."

So the poor kids won’t get fed today – an excuse Rhee has used in the past for keeping schools open.

Also, the website states that: “All off-site professional development sessions have been cancelled. All teachers and participating staff should report to their school site for the professional development day.” This suggests that out-of-town trainers couldn’t make it in, and/or commercial training facilities are closed and that rather than giving employees slated for that kind of training the day off, she’s warehousing them at schools. This is not about teacher laziness; it’s about Rhee’s vindictiveness and poor management.

Posted by: efavorite | February 12, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Asst. Millet,
YooHooo!!!! Are you kiddin'...Turn and talk with a partner, pulling our equity sticks, thumbs up!!! My life and thumbs up!! I LOVE my job, moreover my career, butcommon sense should prevail. We are not complaining. We "DCPS teachers, personnel" are the source of commuting in a historical snow fall. I am not a resident of DC. I TEACH in DC. I DO NOT LIVE in DC. Thus, majority of her veteran teachers, I am in the 10-15 range who do not live in DC. It is not advisable for me to drive so says COMMON SENSE FOR AN EQUITY STICK ON TEACH 5. Can WAPO, Bill please chase DCPS's PD any school any school and see what the real deal is about. With passion!!!!

Posted by: abc1236 | February 12, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Also, Rhee is in charge of DCPS - not any of the other DC agencies, and does not have to make any special exceptions. She can do whatever she wants at DCPS, which has been perfectly obvious given her stupid decisions during this snow emergency.

I wonder how many private school parents are calling their kids' teachers lazy because the principals opted to not have school today.

Posted by: efavorite | February 12, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I live in MD but don't have access to metrorail or bus services.

The roads are clear. Sidewalks are passable. Federal bldgs. areas are accessible and the roads in DC roads are available.

I worked yesterday and today because my employer expected me to be here.

Posted by: TwoSons | February 12, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Are PG County schools, Montgomery County Schools, Arlington COunty Schools, Alexandria City SChools OPEN???? NOooooo, because they deem the roads are not safe. Precious lives include students, teachers, and personnel alike. Thank you.

Posted by: abc1236 | February 12, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Surrounding school districts much much larger then DCPS. There is no comparison in the volume of staff within surrounding Public Schools in comparing that of DCPS. We are talking about personnel that provide instruction to over 300,000+ students in MD alone.

Surrounding jurisdiction Winter Storm crews were focused on residential neighborhoods, main highways and entrances to hospitals and fire departments.

But again, the roads are clear and assessible, especially today and available to the public at large.

Posted by: TwoSons | February 12, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd wager that most all people who got to work today had their streets plowed and/or had four wheel drive.

Surely some people, teachers or otherwise, could not make it into work today because they simply could not get there.

As I took a 3 mile walk around the neighborhood I saw just about everything in terms of mobility - from side streets completely plowed down to the pavement to side streets never plowed in either storm. Some had cars dug out that aren't going anywhere, no matter what an employer says, until a plow comes through or enough melts.

Posted by: efavorite | February 12, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

C'mon efavorite, I and couple of neighborhood members carpooled in. we've driven around DC (in a little ole toyota) and made it through just fine.

The sidewalks are clear and metro is accessable, especially for those who live in the District.

Heck, I wished I lived this close to where I work!!

I don't think anyone is asking personnel to risk their safety by coming in, but those who can should.

Toughin up! :)

Posted by: TwoSons | February 12, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Just a report from one school about what ACTUALLY happened today.

At my wife's school, fewer than half of the staff were able to make it, and PD needed to be canceled. She's thrilled to be in her classroom all day to get work done, but it's unfortunate for all those teachers who, physically, could not make it in, and must now take a day of leave.

Posted by: dyedwab1 | February 12, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I am acquainted with some people who had no trouble getting out today by car and others who can't go anywhere because their streets are unplowed and metro is not an option.

Actually everyday, regardless of weather, there are some people who can't get into work because their transportation options break down. Today it happened to a lot of people because of the snow. Also there are probably some others who could make it if they devoted hours to the cause, who decided it was not worth the effort because (in the case of DC teachers) they doubted, based on their past experience, that the training they were to receive today would be very valuable and they know already that their boss doesn't appreciate them.

Posted by: efavorite | February 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, for all my colleagues who made it in for the thumbs up PD opportunity I applaud them. As for me, I am snug as a bug, as I know Children are first, I have listened to my better judgement and I will see them next week, I would hope. BUT, if PG county, Montogmery County, Arlington, and ALexandria do not deem it safe to transport children futhermore act in judgement with their teachers and personnel. I will be snug as a bug again. Personally, I look to surrounding jurdisdictions now for leadership. DC lacks it!!!!! Teacher Commuter from VA!!!

Posted by: abc1236 | February 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

abc1236, as a parent I want you fired.

I will do what I can to make that happen and I've done this before.

You are no teacher. You are lying to yourself.

Posted by: bbcrock | February 12, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

You want me fired because I DO NOT AGREE WITH MICHELLE RHEE making me go to work!!!!I am SNOWED IN!!! I probably am one of the best teachers your son or daughter had!! Get a grip.

Posted by: abc1236 | February 12, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh the whining and the attitude! No wonder parents are so disgusted. Many many people went to work in the midst of last week's snowy onslaught, opened their businesses, served the public and did so with a smile. Today the feds and DC are open for business, many hundreds of thousands more people went back to work...what is the big freaking deal? Teaching is a job, not an entitlement.

Posted by: DCTee | February 12, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

And wow, the grammar and language from some of the people here self-identifying as's really appalling. No work ethic, no ability to write an intelligible and logical sentence...time for you to go! Yeah, abc1236, I'm talking to you.

Posted by: DCTee | February 12, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I am smiling now, as I am sitting at home!! Enjoy!!!

Posted by: abc1236 | February 12, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse


"Snug as a bug"? And so smug you repeated the expression?

Hoping that this person and comment is a plant, placed here to discredit peers. Clever and swarmy to further declare yourself to be "the best." Just what the teacher corps doesn't need, a new emblem for the Reagan-era "welfare Cadillac."

However difficult individual situations may be,and however difficult it may be to reach some schools, professionals can and should show up and make the best of the PD day. "Make the best of" is not an expression for "tolerate."

Posted by: incredulous | February 12, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

If DCPS wants to be supportive of parents, than they should call for school on Monday, Presidents Day. Most of the other counties have already done this.

Posted by: UpperNW | February 12, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The best.. I love DCPS!!! I do not like the leadership!!! Again, I will be in tune with the surrounding jurisdictions as far as school leadership goes. Snug as a bug...Safe inside. Thumbs up!!! Understand.

Posted by: abc1236 | February 12, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

If the other counties have done so I agree with Upper NW!!

Posted by: abc1236 | February 12, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Well efavorite, hopefully those who couldn't make it in are being proactive and demanding services are provided to their areas and taking initiative to shovel themselves out and not just sit home and "wait" for service.

As I tell my own kids, the excuses that you provide yourself in not getting work done, and on time, are the same excuses that future employers will NOT accept.

Posted by: TwoSons | February 12, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"Librarians operate with smaller staffs than schools." And that would be relevant . . . how?

The point is, if Rhee had called off today's PD, DCPS teachers would have been the only DC employees with the day off.

Posted by: trace1 | February 12, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse


You're making it really for hard working and dedicated teachers that are part of the DCPS Educational Team.

Instead of thinking just about yourself, please realize how negatively your words as impacting your DCPS colleagues.

Posted by: TwoSons | February 12, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Again, this is my last time entertaining your opinions. My opinion is....Terrible decision, Terrible leadership!!! I will pull an equity stick for your response. Enjoy.

Posted by: abc1236 | February 12, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse


I hope you're located, fired and never permitted in front of a classroom of children ever again.

Your an embarrassment toward the educational profession.

You wouldn't last a day in Maryland Schools. Your work ethic is way too low, you would bring the moral down of your colleagues, and refuse to take personal responsibility for your own negative actions.

We all should honor Educators with the highest respect.

But you are a demonstration of the Poisen that needs weeded out of the educational system forever.

Posted by: TwoSons | February 12, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

As a DCPS parent I am not offended that abc1236 is sharing his/her opinion that it was a wise choice to stay home today.

We do not know where this teacher lives. And what about all the teachers who have children? Are they lazy and incompetent as well for staying home and caring for them?

Another point should be made here. According to the DCPS website, offsite trainings were canceled so all staff had to go to their schools. I would be very interested to hear how effective these trainings were today. I have a feeling that they were not well put together.

Anyone who attended the trainings want to share?

Posted by: letsbereal2 | February 12, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"bring the moral down"


"needs weeded"

No problem -- we all make mistakes, especially when writing fast and informally.

Even a person who makes spelling, grammar and word choice errors and who also wants someone to be fired based on a couple of anonymous blog posts deserves a break.

Posted by: efavorite | February 12, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Well efavorite, while critiquing, you missed an error:

"Your" should have "You're" :)

Posted by: TwoSons | February 12, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Poor teachers. They were expected to go to work today. I'd feel sorry for them, except I had to work this whole week and no one was blogging about how unfair it was for me. I'm tired of the teachers in this city complaining because FINALLY someone is trying to lift up this broken school system.

Posted by: dcpsparent | February 12, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

To add another perspective as a principal, I want to thank my faculty for their contributions today - all classroom teachers and 99% of paraprofessionals attended our PD sessions. It was not easy shoveling, waiting for metro, and climbing snow banks, and some were late, but they made it. This dedication and tenacity made what could have been a worthless day a worthwhile one. Our students are lucky to have such reflective and thoughtful practitioners. I have learners leading my learners, modeling the most important best practice of all.

Posted by: ward6 | February 12, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

how many school buses are in wash dc to provide transportation for students?

Posted by: pofinpa | February 12, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't begrudge a snow day to someone who has genuine difficulties in getting into work, and in fact that is an option that Rhee left in her memo to the teachers. What really burned me about abc1236's posts was the smug, combative and snotty remarks that belie a chronic bad attitude about work and a sickening sense of entitlement. On top of that, I could barely understand half the posts, which makes me worry for this so-called teacher's students. What the heck is an "equity stick" and is it more important than the children that attend DCPS schools?

Posted by: DCTee | February 12, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

If Michelle Rhee was such a fantastic leader in pubic education, she would adopt what the rest of the country is doing: no full day PD's. Students should be in school as much as possible. And why are PD's always the Friday before a long weekend? I thought a part of Rhee's agenda was to have students spend more time IN school. Teachers and the union should get over it, and have PD after school.

Posted by: vnm202 | February 12, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, ward6, for adding your perspective and letting us know there are dedicated teachers out there, striving to do better for their students -- and that bad apples like abc1236 do not represent the attitude of DCPS teachers as a whole.

Posted by: DCTee | February 12, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

ward6 principal - please tell us the name of your school - If what you say is true, it's something to be proud of and your staff should receive credit.

Bill Turque - perhaps you could do an article on this fine example of a DC school.

Posted by: efavorite | February 12, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

An equity stick is a method for making sure that you are calling on all students equally. What you do is write every students name on a popcicle stick and then when you want to call on someone you draw at random.

It's actually a good method for making sure that you are calling on all students.

HOWEVER, almost all DC teachers cringe at the sound of the words "equity stick" because it seems to be a requirement that every professional development has at least four or five instances where the person presenting says "OK, let me pick out someone using EQUITY STICKS!" in their most enthusastic tones. It gets old fast :-).

Posted by: Wyrm1 | February 12, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Wyrm1 -- thank you for the explanation! I thought "equity stick" had some seniority or tenure connotation, and it made me think abc1236 was trying to signal that there wasn't anything anyone could do about his/her bad attitude. One less thing to be irked over. :)

Posted by: DCTee | February 12, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Grown-ups complaining about having to go to work - you have a choice - if your job is so terrible, quit. If you truly believe that Michelle Rhee is putting your life at risk by asking you to report to your paid job, then please quit.

Posted by: Anne_Darcy79 | February 12, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Hi Anne Darcy Bennet - I don't believe teachers would complain if they thought there was actual work to be done at school today, but it seems that for many, that was not the case. Check out to hear about teachers' experiences.

Also, as you may know, much of teachers' planning time is done after school hours. They don't need to be in school to do it.

Posted by: efavorite | February 12, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

efavorite -

The problem is all some folks do is COMPLAIN about DCPS. They offer no solutions, no new thoughts, nothing - just COMPLAINING. I will add - complaining about EVERYTHING. If these good people would spend a fraction of their complaining energy on actually helping the children of DC get a good education, we would be moving forward a lot faster.

And guess what, teachers don't get to decide if going in to work today was a good use of their time or not. Their boss, Michelle Rhee gets to decide that. And we have all seen on this page, a teacher deciding that he/she did not need to go in to work. I believe the teacher commented on being "snug as a bug." Again, I offer that teacher the option to quit and find a job where he/she reports to work 185 days a year (with full benefits) and then after four snow days decide to stay home another day. Good luck with that.

Posted by: Anne_Darcy79 | February 12, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

efavorite - also that ward6 comment from a principal. 100% true. There are many amazing and dedicated DCPS teachers and staff whose voices and good work get drowned out by the few complainers and folks who should not be in education (like the snug as a bug teacher).

Posted by: Anne_Darcy79 | February 12, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

PD was a bust at my school. Only 5 teachers present. We did not have it just spent the day in the class doing work etc.

Posted by: NewDCPSTeacher | February 12, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Anne Darcy - do you know who the Ward 6 Principal is? If so please name him or her. I'm sincere when I say I'd like the Principal and staff of that school to get credit.

As for complaining - Rhee is the complainer-in-chief at DCPS. She's gone around the country complaining, complaining and complaining some more --accusing teachers of all sorts of awful things, working unsuccessfully on a union contract for over 2 years now, insulting city council, ignoring parents, refusing to apologize, denying that parents had anything to do with reversing her decision hold school during a snow storm when the federal government was shut down, contradicting herself regularly and lying about student achievement scores.

I wish she had stopped complaining and actually had done something worthwhile long long ago.

Posted by: efavorite | February 12, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Most of the teachers at my school showed up on time today. It was not an easy commute for many of us. Guess who was late? The administrators reported late, offered no apologies, and chastized people who participated in the PD. It's amazing that so many people believe that teachers in DCPS are slovenly when we are dedicated, hardworking, and competent. It pains me to read comments that do not reflect what students experience every day in their schools: engaging lessons in welcoming classrooms of talented, committed professional teachers who truly care about their students. If we look closely, we will see that one of the most damaging mistakes that Chancellor Rhee has made is hiring inexperienced, disrespectful, slovenly, corrupt, noncaring administrators who are abusing their powers and intimidating their staffs to the degree that they are, as a whole, demoralized on a daily basis.

Posted by: wordwise1 | February 13, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

I've just recently heard about "equity sticks." I've been using "calling cards" to choose students fairly in class for years, and I created an iPhone app for that: Hopefully some other teachers will find it useful.

Posted by: awzone | February 15, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

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