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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 07/23/2010

Rhee fires 241 D.C. teachers

By Washington Post editors

* Read the full story here. *

rhee
Rhee's move is sure to draw fire. (AP)

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee fired 241 teachers Friday for poor classroom performance. The dismissals are the first under a rigorous new evaluation system launched this year.

Earlier: 'Sizable' number of teachers face IMPACT ax

Stay with Postlocal.com for more details.

By Washington Post editors  | July 23, 2010; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  DC  
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Comments

She needs to fire herself....

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | July 23, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

For perspective, this is the bottom 5% of DC's teachers. I have no doubt the majority of these teachers deserved their dismissal, given the poor quality of DC schools. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Robyrt | July 23, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"For perspective, this is the bottom 5% of DC's teachers. I have no doubt the majority of these teachers deserved their dismissal, given the poor quality of DC schools. Keep up the good work!"
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Robyrt,
It is amazing that you would be so sure considering you don't even know who the teachers are.

Posted by: nate20011 | July 23, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Wooohooo!

Way to go Rhee, Having lived here three decades and having NEVER seen a teacher fired from DCPS, even for the most egregious reasons, it warms my heart to FINALLY see some level of accountability come into the DC public school system.

Between the RIF's last year and these firings, I hope the remaining thousands of teachers get the clue that:

1. You do not have a guaranteed job for life where you can "phone it in" for decades just awaiting retirement.

2. You are finally accountable.

So much dead weight in the system, half the teachers could be let go and the students probably wouldn't even notice.

Posted by: Nosh1 | July 23, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

We can't always blame the teachers. Raise the standards of the schools, kick the bad seeds out for their lack of academic performance, i.e. the students.

Posted by: lulu202 | July 23, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see how this all falls out. I do know of some teachers who well deserve to lose their jobs (and look forward to them leaving DCPS!) but, having seen some details about this IMPACT evaluation system, I am concerned that some good teachers will also be let go. I hope that the WaPo will assign a credible reporter to follow up on the firings and give us a sense of whether IMPACT did what it was supposed to do.

Posted by: oldmh | July 23, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Rhee: focus on your wedding, quit your job, and go teach more than the paltry two years you taught years ago.

Before that, go fire the parents who have produced these under performing children. Put a moratorium on people having kids in SW, SE, NE DC for a few years and then the test scores will go up.

There will always be an endless supply of under performing kids in DC until you change the cultural mentality of these parents. The teachers do not have these children, stupid.

Posted by: ariesgirl4 | July 23, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Great teachers of DC are moving to Montgomery, PG, Fairfax, Howard, etc. DC is the testing ground for experience. After 3 years, great teachers moved.

Posted by: Columbia2045 | July 23, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

This news brings the first big smile to my face today. This is change I can believe in.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | July 23, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I'd be interested to know what criteria was used to determine that the teachers were subpar. Also, it's too bad that there is no way to fire bad parents. If children aren't being educated, underachieving parents are just as guilty, if not more so, than underachieving teachers.

Posted by: deborahdessaso749 | July 23, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Go Michelle! There are some weirdos in DCPS. Time to bring in new, fresh talent.

Posted by: FiatBooks | July 23, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

rhee is a fool.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 23, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Wow I have been here more than three decades and yes I have seen my share of teachers fired from DCPS -- Sometimes this information is not public. However, before we praise or bash this action - we need more information! Such as, what type of performance (classwork and test scores or one over the other), for how long. What assistance did the system provide the students/teachers to improve. Teachers get 100% blame for another person's performance...what part of fair is this?

Not one person wins in this situation! Do we feel good about this....I surely hope NOT!

When we are not in the top 25% of ranked schools in America do we fire the Chancellor or Superintendent? Do we need a qualified Superintendent or someone with less credentials?

Get a grip folks we need a process that makes All accountable students, parents, teachers principals, central administration and the Board of Education!

But who am I kidding this will never happen. Education = Politics!

As long as you go with the administration in office at that time your job is SAFE!

Posted by: patrice_a_richardson | July 23, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Can we transfer Rhee over to Metro? Seems she actually knows how to fire people. It would do Metro good to do a little house cleaning!

Posted by: redgrifn | July 23, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I wish the Orleans Parish School Board in New Orleans would follow her lead.

Posted by: 1346 | July 23, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

RHEE IS JUST TRYING TO PUT HER PEOPLES IN THE SCHOOLS...I'M PRAYING FOR THOSE 241 TEACHERS I'M SURE ITS SOME GOOD ONES IN THE BUNCH.JUST REMEBER WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES ANOTHER ONE WILL OPEN..

Posted by: JesusLove | July 23, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Lulu202, have you forgotten that the point of schools is to educate students, and that the point of measuring school performance is to know whether the students are learning? Expelling students for poor academic performance hardly seems like an effective method for teaching them. Our time and resources, limited as they are, would be better spent figuring out how to educate them effectively, whether that means firing poor quality teachers, addressing students' behavioral problems, addressing problems in students' home lives that interfere with their learning, providing teachers with better resources, lengthening the school day/year, etc.

Posted by: jules02981 | July 23, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I am new to Washington from the UK...I asked a straight A student what was the name of the Virginia State Capital?... to which they replied, Vienna!
Following that, what does D.C. stand for?...Dunno! The trick question was the State Capital of Louisiana, but now I know most people don't know that!. Seems to me kids are not in tune with their world, do not read, do not watch the news or even have a basic understanding of where they live! ( The UK is no exception)
I wholeheartedly support the firing of under achieving teachers, but as anyone who works knows, if there is no sign of motivation, how can you be truly encouraged to perform in your job?
If parents engage children at home, the job will be easier for the teacher. The biggest problem for teachers is they are working under duress and under too much threat from parents. They are fighting a war with one arm tied behind their backs! Let them teach and if needed, be allowed to administer stronger discipline. I went to a "trouble" school as a youth, within 2 weeks of having a new principal there was not a sign of trouble - corporal punishment worked wonders! If we want teachers to teach, give them all the tools to produce the products we need - then judge them!

Posted by: brickman1 | July 23, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Add 241 more Vince Gray supporters to the count.

Posted by: Joe_H | July 23, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Wonderful, Does that mean no more rubber rooms for teachers....

Posted by: akeegan2 | July 23, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I have an idea. Why not just give them mandatory extra training? I think Rhee's style of leadership needs some tweaking. This is not going to make the teachers left behind teach any better. They'll be more anxious than ever. They'll teach to the tests and even cheat. They might even become less personable with the students. I'm just glad my child doesn't attend a DC public school.

Posted by: forgetthis | July 23, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

As a 30 year veteran in another county I have witnessed first hand that the DC evaluation process (impact scores)is flawed and easily misused by principals. At the same time the evaluation seems biased against new teachers who often spend long hours with preparation and grading. I am sure that there were some warranted firings, however 250 firings now after the 300 in the fall seems like an extrordinary amount. Where are they going to find qualified replacements at this late time of year?

Posted by: Mathteacheringhana | July 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Responsible reform is still possible.

Posted by: blasmaic | July 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

No more Rubber rooms for Teaches

Posted by: akeegan2 | July 23, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

No more Rubber rooms for Teachers

Posted by: akeegan2 | July 23, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Wow...that's a lot of people carrying boxes out the door. Are there any teachers left?

Posted by: UnknownHenson | July 23, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

But she hasn't solved ANYTHING! The replacement teachers may be just as bad or worse. There is probably a reason why the replacements don't have a job in late July. DUH!

Posted by: linroy62 | July 23, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Way to go Rhee!!!!

Posted by: wuffydc | July 23, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

People were fired from their jobs for POOR PERFORMANCE. I don't know how you can disagree with that action.

Posted by: carbon916 | July 23, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

GOING OUT WITH A BANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: pink1 | July 23, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@ariesgirl4: I noticed that you left out children from NW ... I guess you and yours live in a gated neighborhood there ... Who knew?

Posted by: alligator10 | July 23, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

FOR ALL OF THE POSTERS THAT ARE CRITICAL AND ARE SO PLEASED WITH THIS DECISION WITHOUT KNOWING THE FACTS. I SUGGEST YOU SPEND AN ENTIRE DAY WALKING AND WORKING IN THE PLACE OF THESE FIRED TEACHERS......TRY IT, AND REPORT BACK.

Posted by: winston61 | July 23, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

241 is a good start!

We should demand teachers who can not only teach, but communicate in proper American English grammar.

I wish the federal government would fire morons.

Posted by: cibor | July 23, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

My question is this: How do you ascertain poor teaching performance? If grades and test scores are the barometer to measure this, then I suspect that the problem really isn't incompetent teaching. More so, it's lack of study on the part of the students. Go after parents instead of teachers!

Posted by: lwilliamson1 | July 23, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I wish the article would have listed the criteria for the rigorous new evaluation system, so we could have seen how they were judged. Also, maybe there should be a "rigorous new evaluation system" for the parents of the kids. I'm sorry but teachers can not be parents, friends, therapist and other things to these students. It starts at home. I agree that there are a lot of things that teachers need to approve upon, but really it starts at home.

Posted by: joncurcio | July 23, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The criteria used is this new Impact evaluation system ... I hope that it is not a screwed up software package.

Posted by: alligator10 | July 23, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Now if they can just apply similar standards to the entire DC government.

Posted by: SSTK34 | July 23, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

It's too bad that there is no way to fire bad parents. Now let Rhee head on over to the metro system.

Posted by: ggirl1 | July 23, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

You gotta give Rhee credit for having the cujones to do this, especially in a system that has coddled bad teachers for decades.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | July 23, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Declining student population, highest paid teachers in the USA (who just received a 21% bump in the new contract), and an 11:1 student-teacher ratio.

Something's gotta give. With the union always demanding more and more and more for less and less and less, there is NO other option.

I'm sympathetic to teachers, despite being over-compensated and under-evaluated (until now), they are often set adrift without the tools to be effective, or saddled with students determined not only to sabotage their own future, but everyone else's, and who come from families with a lifetime commitment to ignorance. No teacher can be expected to teach around through that.

But I also passed 9th grade algebra. It was inevitable given the union's demands and the DCPS' concessions, that many teachers would have to go. In fact, this may be only the beginning.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 23, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I love Rhee!

Posted by: johng1 | July 23, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

alligator10: if the NW parents could mentor the other districts to be better parents, then maybe this article may not even have been written. It's just the truth.

Posted by: ariesgirl4 | July 23, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"People were fired from their jobs for POOR PERFORMANCE. I don't know how you can disagree with that action."

Posted by: carbon916

This statement is false. IMPACT measures adherence to Rhee's TFA cult dogma, almost all of which has been proven false by research and experience, yet TFA and Rhee continue to foist it upon unsuspecting poor kids because it's their gravy train. Their "reform" does not improve schools, it damages kids. No wealthy school district would put up with imposing TFA interns on its children, or Rhee’s constant lies and her obvious hatred for public school parents ,students and teachers, but it's fine for poor children.

Posted by: mcstowy | July 23, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

This is great news. Someone with a brain is holding people who are getting over on society accountable. Too bad it wasn't more teachers and too bad she can't extend her scope to other DC institutions.

And thank you God, again, that I don't have to live in DC. You are forgiven for making me go there once or twice a week to work with the Federal government.

Posted by: jackson641 | July 23, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Parent be concerned with the over crowed classrooms now. I hope they hire CERTIFIED teachers because hiring her friends is not going to do the trick...remember SHE herself has no credentials.

Posted by: cherita_whiting@yahoo.com | July 23, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

This is the kind of shake up ALL of DC Gov't (and Metro) needs.

Anyone remember the quote from Office Space..."What is it exactly...that you do here?"

Posted by: 123cartoon | July 23, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Is this just going to be tied up in litigation for years? Or are they gone, gone gone?

Posted by: sugarstreet | July 23, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

winston61, there is no need. Many of us take the Metro and simply listen to the language of these children.

I agree many of the teachers in DC have an unfair burden when compared to teachers in affluent districts. Not only are IQ's of the students in poor neighborhoods significantly lower, but the degree to which parents take an active role in encouraging education and learning also impacts on the ability and motivation of the student to learn.

But at the end of the day, these teachers SELECTED the DC school system. They knew the difference between DC, Montgomery County, and Loudon County school systems, the students, and the parents. I do not expect those fired will suddenly be picked up by other school districts in this metropolitan area.

The good news for the 241 is that teachers are needed in Haiti!

Posted by: cibor | July 23, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee drops educators after compiling results of tough new evaluation system"

should that not be

"Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee drops educators after compiling results of a tough new evaluation system"

Don't get infected with that Korean style US English.

Posted by: rmstock | July 23, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I have observed absolutely wonderful teachers in DCPS, and I have also seen one of the worst, most burned-out, teachers in my career. I know that some of my peers have pointed out the flaws of IMPACT, but really, I have a feeling that this was needed. This isn't like the behaviors of charter schools, who aren't above firing 50%+ of their staff every year, and I have a feeling that at least half of these teachers will have their jobs protected by the union.

Posted by: jennthehen | July 23, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

With all the posters here today perhaps some should apply for the positions recently vacated.

Look folks, you all grow weary spending a summer with your kids and you lash out at people who spend the rest of the year with a classroom full of them.

"they'll let any but-reaming ar$hole be a father."
Keanu Reeves

Posted by: waxtraxs | July 23, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps it's time to hold the "Chancellor" responsible for her poor performance and fire her. How does someone as incompetent as her keep a job?

Posted by: mcstowy | July 23, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Good Job! I love accountability. Now in DC, if you are a good teacher, you will be paid handsomely for your services. If not, there's the door!

Posted by: seriesoftubescleaner | July 23, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I think Rhee understands the big picture and is taking steps to address all aspects of the educational problem. Firing incompetent teachers is part of the solution, but not all of it. Lots of people keep raising the issue that we can't just blame the teachers and that is correct, but we do need to expect them to do their part competently. I applaud Michelle Rhee.

Posted by: allknowingguy | July 23, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

i'm all in favor of firing incompetent public school teachers.

unfortunately, the partnership of school and home is also an essential ingredient in helping shape the minds and hearts of our children.

they can fire all the teachers they want to fire, but they can't fire the negligent parents, who far outnumber the incompetent teachers.

Posted by: potomacfever00 | July 23, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again...
At least it's not during the school year like the first time around.
What's the game plan for the fall?

Posted by: eabgarnet | July 23, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

A) For those wondering about the criteria for IMPACT, DCPS provided detailed criteria for each type of teacher before the school year started (http://dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/In+the+Classroom/Ensuring+Teacher+Success/IMPACT+%28Performance+Assessment%29)

B) Each teacher is observed 5 times -- not just by the principal, by central office Master Educator staff members. Teachers can see their score after each observation and attend professional development corresponding to any weaknesses.

C) They aren't replacing these teachers with last minute hires -- the IMPACT system allowed them to have a gauge of which teachers would lose their jobs prior to the end of the school year (after their 5th evaluation)

Rhee knows what she's doing! I'm proud to be a DCPS teacher.

Posted by: GoTerps331 | July 23, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness. I respect Rhee for having the guts to move forward with necessary measures even if the uneducated masses disagree with her and criticize her. i was born and raised in DC, and thankfully my parents were able to send me to Catholic school because DC public school were and still largely are a disgrace. i hope that Rhee continues her work and maybe by the time i have kids who are school age, they can take advantage of the public schools they are entitled to, and i can save up that private school tuition for college.

Posted by: SmeeAndMe | July 23, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness. I respect Rhee for having the guts to move forward with necessary measures even if the uneducated masses disagree with her and criticize her. i was born and raised in DC, and thankfully my parents were able to send me to Catholic school because DC public school were and still largely are a disgrace. i hope that Rhee continues her work and maybe by the time i have kids who are school age, they can take advantage of the public schools they are entitled to, and i can save up that private school tuition for college.

Posted by: SmeeAndMe | July 23, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness. I respect Rhee for having the guts to move forward with necessary measures even if the uneducated masses disagree with her and criticize her. i was born and raised in DC, and thankfully my parents were able to send me to Catholic school because DC public school were and still largely are a disgrace. i hope that Rhee continues her work and maybe by the time i have kids who are school age, they can take advantage of the public schools they are entitled to, and i can save up that private school tuition for college.

Posted by: SmeeAndMe | July 23, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, I wonder if the ones fired are not wanting to teach sex education in first grade, or teach the Obama song.

Posted by: dataway | July 23, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

typical blame teachers first attitude. what does this woman know about classrooms? teach for america is a nice support program, but it does NOT make you an expert. rhee's programs are just one more step in the marginalization of teachers in this culture. teachers are front-line warriors in the most vital struggle in american society, and all we do is kick them around for not being able to solve the problems of poverty, drugs, institutional indifference and terrible parenting that we foist upon them. sorry. not convinced.

Posted by: magnolia7281 | July 23, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

We can't always blame the teachers. Raise the standards of the schools, kick the bad seeds out for their lack of academic performance, i.e. the students.

Posted by: lulu202 | July 23, 2010 11:01 AM
__________________________________
As a point of fact, we have not been "always blaming the teachers:" everyone but! We've blamed the students, the parents, the mayor, the city, and the nation. Also, according to management studies, one of the worst things you can do for morale in an organization is to keep underperforming employees. And lastly, how many of these 261 teachers do you think had no idea their dismissal was in the offing? I'd wager they had every opportunity to change their fate, but either could not or would not.

Well done, Chancellor Rhee.

Posted by: schmegegge | July 23, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Voluntary incompetence has consequences. Good work.

Posted by: MichaelEHuang | July 23, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

As a teacher in VA I can't speak on how difficult it is to teach in DC. I honestly can't think of a more difficult task. The success of students is impacted by parents as much as teachers. Facilities, access to technology, administration, etc are also important factors. Everyone always wants to blame the teachers when things go bad but when things are great everyone else seems to garner the accolades. Rhee is not the person for this job and her initiatives will fail. Until she earns the respect of the PARENTS there will be no marked improvement. A few posters are absolutely correct in the fact that the best teachers have left (or will soon leave) DC for Montgomery, Fairfax, Loudoun.

Posted by: Samurai38 | July 23, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

It's frustrating to read these reactions when the public knows so little about the IMPACT evaluation process or the actual teachers who lost their jobs through this process. IMPACT is not perfect and leaves plenty of room for ambiguity, including for principals who simply want to get rid of a staff member for reasons other then the quality of his or her teaching practice.

Through IMPACT, the job security of many teachers is directly linked to raising test scores. Test scores went down across the city this year, after steady increases. Does anyone find it odd that test scores would suddenly plummet when teachers are forced to make their practice fit a 20-something page rubric under the pressure of random and unannounced observations?

Working in DCPS, I have had the pleasure of working with an amazing team or dedicated, talented teachers whose students truly demonstrate their learning. Yet, some of these teachers, new and veteran, received low scores when observers did not follow protocol, when teachers did not state the learning objective 5 times in 25 minutes, when students would (as children may do) act out. Add to that the fact that 50% of the final IMPACT score is dependent on standardized test scores for many students, a standardized test that only tests a limited number of subject areas.

It is not solely the fault of DCPS, the teachers, the students, or even the parents that our children are not getting the education we deserve. There are problems in each corner, and they can not be dealt with in isolation. The issues and the solutions are being oversimplified. Also, change and true reform take time. One can not expect teacher quality to improve dramatically when teachers are not given the time or training to improve their practice.

Posted by: bluegemini | July 23, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Chancellor Rhee is definitely refudiating the past, for better or worse.

Posted by: trurhman | July 23, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

As a DCPS parent and ex-Rhee fan, I have zero confidence that they fired worst 241 teachers, but I am sure they fired the 241 "least popular with the school principal". There is no transparency; no way to know "why" they took certain actions other than Rhee & Fenty's bluster.

Posted by: hoos3014 | July 23, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I worked for a school system in Florida and always received excellent evaluations for over 30 years but during that time I saw idiot principals give wonderful teachers a really hard time and bad evaluations because they had a personality conflict. And I saw these principals give bad teachers who were their buddies extra money though bogus 'supplements.' One principal gave his friend a supplement for tennis when it was a special education school that did NOT have a tennis team. I just hope that each and every teacher dismissed has been let go for the right reason.

Posted by: bfcr | July 23, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Godfather_of_Goals: I LOVE YOU!!

Posted by: cej7401 | July 23, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

She needs to be a little more wholistic in her approach and fire some parents, too. When it comes to student performance, parents are just as, if not more responsible than the teacher. Most teachers are good ones-- unlike our political leaders. Of course, there are bad ones and a good administrator will recognize it quickly and rid themselves of the pest. My own son complained his teacher didn't teach chemistry well. My response was for him to read the book! Imagine if all kids were responsible for their learning. Stop making excuses for students. Anyway, evaluations are hoops to jump through and the suck ups tend to do well!

Posted by: getbacktobasics | July 23, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

It's typical of Ms. Rhee's detractors to criticize her without possibly knowing the circumstances of each teacher's dismissal. Ms. Rhee finally is trying to bring accountability into the system. The system too long has put the convenience and cushy interests of administrators, bureaucrats, and, yes, even teachers, ahead of students. With 2 children in DCPS, I so far have been very impressed with Ms. Rhee. Today's news about the firings is certainly sad news -- for those teachers, and for the effect it will have on morale -- but if it moves toward putting the students' interests first, then I will accept it.

Posted by: ConcernedDCparent | July 23, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Jules02981 says, : “Our time and resources, limited as they are, would be better spent figuring out how to educate them effectively, whether that means firing poor quality teachers, addressing students' behavioral problems, addressing problems in students' home lives that interfere with their learning, providing teachers with better resources, lengthening the school day/year, etc.”

But please be aware – of all the factors you mention, only teacher performance is taken into account here in DC. Rhee specifically believes that all it takes is a good teacher to raise student performance; she has said

“As a teacher in this system, you have to be willing to take personal responsibility for ensuring your children are successful despite obstacles .... You can’t say, ‘My students didn’t get any breakfast today,’ or ‘No one put them to bed last night,’ or ‘Their electricity got cut off in the house, so they couldn’t do their homework.”
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/michelle-rhee

Godfather of goals says: “highest paid teachers in the USA”

DC teachers are far from the highest paid – even teacher neighboring counties get more than in DC. More money is spent per student in DC than any other jurisdiction – that’s what you’re thinking of – but the teachers don’t see that money – it’s people at the top who get it, like Rhee.

Smeeandme says: “even if the uneducated masses disagree with her and criticize her.”

I am not uneducated and I disagree with Rhee and criticize her. How absurd of you to dismiss evertyone who disagrees with Rhee as uneducated. I know you didn’t learn that kind of thinking in Catholic school

Posted by: efavorite | July 23, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

She needs to be a little more wholistic in her approach and fire some parents, too. When it comes to student performance, parents are just as, if not more responsible than the teacher. Most teachers are good ones-- unlike our political leaders. Of course, there are bad ones and a good administrator will recognize it quickly and rid themselves of the pest. My own son complained his teacher didn't teach chemistry well. My response was for him to read the book! Imagine if all kids were responsible for their learning. Stop making excuses for students. Anyway, evaluations are hoops to jump through and the suck ups tend to do well!

Posted by: getbacktobasics | July 23, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I worked for a school system in Florida and always received excellent evaluations for over 30 years but during that time I saw idiot principals give wonderful teachers a really hard time and bad evaluations because they had a personality conflict. And I saw these principals give bad teachers who were their buddies extra money though bogus 'supplements.' One principal gave his friend a supplement for tennis when it was a special education school that did NOT have a tennis team. I just hope that each and every teacher dismissed has been let go for the right reason.

Posted by: bfcr | July 23, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

How can someone who has just stated that she is not going to stay in the district if the current Mayor is not re-elected, stand on her high horse and condemn all these teachers? How can someone who is having a long distant relationship have her full mind here in DC? (PS This one I can relate to as I am in a long distant relationship)

I am just wondering why the evaluation form was not released to the public? Who created it? Is it open to discussion? Does it give the person doing the evaluation an advantage of getting “rid” of someone they dislike? Please Rhee answer these questions, please don’t hide in your white tower awaiting your knight in shining armor to come and marry you……. These children come first. The teachers that you have fired, well maybe the evaluation form was not good, maybe they just needed some help.

Funny how someone with so LITTLE classroom time is heading the firings and evaluation form that is being used.

Just some thoughts….. Maybe we need to ask for your resignation? Maybe this would give you the motive to move to the west coast and not hold us hostage here in DC.

Posted by: Naturesgirl | July 23, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

As a product of DCPS, native Washingtonian (east of the Anacostia), and current resident of Deanwood (Ward 7), I applaud Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee for making the "necessary" adjustments within our broken educational system. Kudos!!!!!!
Fenty deserves my vote for making her appointment. I suspect/expect similar results of newly appointed, Robert Hildum, Director DYRS.
CLEAN HOUSE!!!! EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN!!!!
By all means necessary.

Posted by: cdorch03 | July 23, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

We've all seen the arguments for and against performance based decisions in our schools. One thing is certain; seniority alone is not a good measure of a teacher's ability to perform in the classroom. So we have to applaud a system that strives to find a better way to educate our children. This probably wasn't perfect, but it must be part of the process to get the best teachers in the classroom, and the worst out of the way of our kids.

Posted by: pgcorky | July 23, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the Federal government can't emulate her hiring and firing practices!!

Posted by: rpcv84 | July 23, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

This info was posted at 11:43 am and within minutes Rhee's drones followed her directive and flooded the comment boards with canned remarks crafted by Rhee’s Media Consultant.

BTW, if the firing of 200+ teachers was based on poor performance, didn’t test score recently drop under Rhee’s leadership? Why is Rhee still employed?

DC Teachers, you guys need to ACT NOW and organize a get-out-vote drive and push FENTY OUT OF OFFICE !

Posted by: GoldCoast | July 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

We have the worst school system in the country in DC - bar none last I checked. We also spend a much higher amount per pupil compared to other similar cities. Money isn't the issue. I'm sure teachers aren't all the problem, but when you can't be fired there is no down side to being a poor teacher. If the teachers here are like the employees at any of the other city departments I've interacted with, there is a lot of deadweight.

Posted by: VinceDC | July 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

This info was posted at 11:43 am and within minutes Rhee's drones followed her directive and flooded the comment boards with canned remarks crafted by Rhee’s Media Consultant.

BTW, if the firing of 200+ teachers was based on performance, didn’t test score recently drop under Rhee’s leadership? Why is Rhee still employed?

DC Teachers, you guys need ACT NOW and organize a get-out-vote drive and help push FENTY OUT OF OFFICE !

Posted by: GoldCoast | July 23, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

For all of you who are applauding Michelle Rhee for firing teachers for poor performance I encourage you to take a step back and get the facts. She based this on ONE YEAR of evaluations with a tool that was not piloted or tested for VALIDITY. I am all for accountability but you also must be responsible. This will not only impact the 241 teachers but the students who may not have permanent teachers in classrooms this fall. Michelle Rhee is an insensitive tyrant with no clue as to how to run a school system. I can say this because my children are in DC Public Schools and have GREAT teachers, are testing well and performing above grade level. Ms. Rhee only has TWO YEARS of teaching experience. She wouldn't know a good teacher if they hit her upside her head - and many of them should. Ms. Rhee and Mayor Fenty MUST GO!

Posted by: ronnealmathews | July 23, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

This info was posted at 10:43 am and within minutes Rhee's drones followed her directive and flooded the comment boards with canned remarks crafted by Rhee’s Media Consultant.

BTW, if the firing of 200+ teachers was based on performance, didn’t test score recently drop under Rhee’s leadership? Why is Rhee still employed?

DC Teachers, you guys need ACT NOW and organize a get-out-vote drive and help push FENTY OUT OF OFFICE !

Posted by: GoldCoast | July 23, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

GOD gives us a 2nd chance everyday, so why not?, talk to the teachers and send them back to school,this is not a perfect world,they have bills and family to support,lets find a way to help those who are really in need.thank u and GOD bless u.

Posted by: blessed2 | July 23, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm not familiar with the requirements of IMPACT but surely the teachers who are being evaluated know what's required. The released teachers either could not or would not meet those requirements. If there's a fairness issue with the requirements, it should have been addressed on the front end, not the back end of the process. It's time now to move on.

Posted by: Chuckitoff | July 23, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

GoldCoast: Get out the vote for what? So teachers can't be fired if their performance is sub par and can't be rewarded if their performance is excellent? Do you care more about the teachers right to work or the students right to a decent education?

If it turns out the evaluation system is unfair and we're indiscriminately firing people, then by all means call for Rhee's head. The Post should do an investigation to help hold the system accountable.

Do you want to go back to the good 'ole days pre Rhee where we're still the worst system in the country and have more schools open than we need to support the students, and the schools are crumbling?

Posted by: VinceDC | July 23, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Enter the teach america cult.

Posted by: largo | July 23, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow! An opportunity for Obummer / Bite-Me to create another 241 jobs!!!

Enjoy your Obummer 122-week vacation, union teachers!!!

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | July 23, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

In reading the comment from "JesusLove",I wonder where "JesusLove" learned to spell? DC? PEOPLES?? REMEBER?? At least use SpellCheck!..

Posted by: SCH03 | July 23, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I used to work at Eastern so I know the quality of some of the teachers first hand. 5% is just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe it was only Eastern, but a figure closer to 30% would do the system well. DC Schools are a disaster and Rhee is the first responsible, effective manager we have had in years.

Posted by: Noodles3 | July 23, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Will the Post have the courage to investigate and report the demographics of those who were fired - age, ethnicity, etc.? How about filing a FOIA request to get information on the performance profile for the fired employees versus those not fired? Were administrators fired? Central office staff? How about reporting on the correlation of the number of teachers fired at a school and the test scores for that score -- test scores over time, not just a single year, which is a meaningless number? In other words, Rhee is a public employee firing other public employees, and taxpayers deserve to know all the details of how such decisions were made. It is not enough to merely publish Rhee's press releases but to really hold her accountable for full disclosure. Let's also see the annual spending on consultants, testing services, and the like. Let's see the plans to replace these teachers - who will be hired? Unexperienced TFA kids who will quit after their two year stint and never do another thing for DCPS? Let's see what was done to offer the fired teachers a fair process to improve. Everyone reading this would expect the same from their employer - be honest. We can't expect the Unions to do a good job of determining whether the firings were based in fact or based in prejudice. Given Rhee's years' long statements deriding teachers, and education as a profession, we have to assume the firings were based in prejudice. So, will the Post actually get their hands dirty and actually tell us what Rhee is doing with our money?

Posted by: korm | July 23, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse


With a lack of administrative support, I don't know why any teacher would want to work in DCPS. In addition, in most schools you have to deal with "students" who have not been taught respect and civility at home. These "students" have no character nor any hope of every having any.


Posted by: mortified469 | July 23, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Good Political move, Ms. Rhees. Just you have the wrong target and / or reason. Before 1960 the raw scores in the 3R's was far higher than it is today. What changed? The top educators started buying the idea that grammar was unimportant, drilling in math tables into the heads of students was a useless exercise, and dictionaries were unimportant, as everyone can read by "context". And the "leaders " in the field of education have pushed these permissive education curriculums off on the teachers. And when the teachers fail, the "leaders" say it has nothing to do with them.
And these curriculums do not truly come from inside the current top management of the school board, but are dictated to them from the federal govt., and the "top" universities. If heads are going to roll at the bottom, then heads should also roll at the "very" top and even outside the DC school system.

Posted by: peterarcu | July 23, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@ trurhman: "Refudiating"? what does that mean? Where did you go to school?

I wonder if Rhee's "wicked witch" style of administration will actually garner better results? That means more than test scores, which can be faked and manipulated. I would be surprised if the best teachers have any desire to teach in DC public schools--a no-win situation. Rhee has not demonstrated any improvements in the system during her tenure.

Posted by: loco71 | July 23, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

This is a problem that has multiple elements. You need decent, competent teachers, a solid curriculum, COMMITTED AND INVOLVED PARENTS, and motivated kids.

Having mentored DC school kids in the past - I saw some great teachers, but the the parents were the biggest problems / barrier to the kids getting a good education.

I hope some of these teachers were not tossed out because they drew an unlucky card of having a class full of kids with horrible parents.

Posted by: asdf9876 | July 23, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

i have no problem holding teachers accountable, but did you readers look at the IMPACT score sheet/evaluation sheet attached to the story? It's too loosey goosey for me and will buy the school a huge law suit. Also, according to the links, school custodians are evaluated on IMPACT also, with 5% of the evaluation based on the school's test scores - huh? The custodian? Like they should be teaching what to the students that they get tested on?

I think she should keep on firing incompetent teachers. I am just not comfortable that this is the metric for competence.

Posted by: nottahater | July 23, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@ trurhman: "Refudiating"? what does that mean? Where did you go to school?

I wonder if Rhee's "wicked witch" style of administration will actually garner better results? That means more than test scores, which can be faked and manipulated. I would be surprised if the best teachers have any desire to teach in DC public schools--a no-win situation. Rhee has not demonstrated any improvements in the system during her tenure.

Posted by: loco71 | July 23, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Higher pay = fewer workers. Union lovers generally fail to understand this. Of course, they are also opposed to a longer school day, so it's obvious they don't care about the kids.

What ever the reasoning behind it, it has to be better than the Union method of deciding whom to keep: seniority. However the IMPACT assessment might work, it is very likely to be a better criteria than seniority. (If it's not longitudinal and just looks at raw numbers, it might not be very useful. You have to look at the baseline of each student to compare the inputs and the outputs.)

Posted by: staticvars | July 23, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The problem is definitely multi-faceted. Having a good home environment and good parents makes a world of difference. Given the endemic poverty and crime in DC, the teachers here are at a severe disadvantage in their task. I appreciate that, but that doesn't mean we don't have a lot of sub par teachers here who can't be fired. The "can't be fired" part has bothered me. If I do a poor job I can't expect to have one, and if I do a poor job I'm not hindering anyone from getting a good education. Even given the difficult situation for any teacher here we have to do better.

Posted by: VinceDC | July 23, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

NO SANE TEACHER IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WILL EVER WANT TO BE HIRED TO TEACH IN D.C. BASED ON THIS PERFORMANCE SYSTEM. PARENTS AND GUARDIANS WILL FIND OUT THE HARD WAY THAT THEMSELVES ARE CULPABLE FOR POOR/FAILING STUDENT PERFORMANCE - UNFORTUNATELY, RHEE (an incompetent administrator) WILL NOT BE ABLE TO FIRE THE POOR PERFORMING PARENTS/GUARDIANS. TIME WILL PROVE THIS FLAWED APPROACH IS DISASTROUS FOR DC STUDENTS.

Posted by: CommonSenseApproach | July 23, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The university I attended has supplied countless teachers to the DC school system over the years. Education majors were always the dumbest of the dumb, and elementary education majors were even worse. You needed no courses in the subject matter of the subject you were to teach, only a course in "The History of the Teaching of (fill in the subject)." If someone was flunking out of their major, they were channeled into elementary ed. These former schoolmates of mine have been blighting the DC schools for 40 years and I am sure figure highly in the list of those fired. High time. The DC schools used to be the pride of the nation. Minor Teachers College graduated only the best and supplied them to the DC Schools with pride. Those indivduals who attended university with me were/are a disgrace. The teachers union (peopled by some of those same former students) has protected them far too long. Good for Ms. Rhee.

Posted by: srangel | July 23, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Imagine working on an assembly line and the quality of parts you get is shabby and not up to standards. You complain but do the best you can do and at the end of three years they say to you that the products you turned out were below standard? That is what happens sometimes in teaching. If anyone thinks that teaching students and keeping them engaged in this era of instant cyber gratification is easy they need to try the job for a month. I bet that they would have a different opinion. I love teaching and I work long, long hours, but it is the toughest job I have ever had. I worked in a Hospital as a health care manager for 20 years before I started teaching and coaching. That job wasn't even close to teaching when it comes to the stress and demands. I have known some poor teachers in my years and in Virginia they make it so tough on you that you will leave. There is no such a thing as tenure in most southern schools.

Posted by: jandpmac | July 23, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

What exactly do people mean by "fire parents". DCPS has no clear parent involvement guidelines and many parents have gone through the same poor education system. "Firing" parents would not solve anything.

It's always amazing to me how people can be so quick to make these type of foolish remarks when they most likely are not parents themselves.

Parents do have a responsibility to make sure their child is succeeding in school but also need the support and know how for doing it. Does anyone know how DC spends Federal funds for parental involvement, is it spent equitably through out the District?

Hole in the damn approaches never work, lets look at the systemic issues that are causing under achieving schools and work from there.

Posted by: LEniadc | July 23, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Ree! 241 is a good start. Ree is doing a good job, clearing out dead wood for poor preformance is just what the public indoctrination system needs to keep it viable.

Posted by: mutantbuzzard | July 23, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

STUDENT ATTITUDE SHAPED BY THEIR HOME ENVIRONMENT IS THE LARGEST FACTOR IN STUDENT SUCCESS, BAR NONE. BLAMING AND FIRING D.C. TEACHERS REINFORCES STUDENTS' BELIEFS THAT SOMEONE ELSE IS ALWAYS TO BLAME - THEY INHERITED THIS FROM THEIR PARENTS/GUARDIANS. That is, except for the good performing students who were educated to understand that they are responsible for their personal performance and attitude. I feel sorry for the students with the stupid ignorant parents who believe Rhee's approach will solve the problem. Ha!

Posted by: CommonSenseApproach | July 23, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

It would be interesting to see how Ms Rhee would fare if she were to actually work in a DC classroom for a year...

Posted by: ceebee2 | July 23, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Chuckitoff says: “If there's a fairness issue with the requirements, it should have been addressed on the front end, not the back end of the process.”

The fairness issue was addressed at the front end, but as with everything else, Rhee didn’t listen to any concerns. It’s her way or the highway – didn’t you know that?

VinceDC – It’s never been true that teachers couldn’t be fired. IMPACT just makes it a lot easier.

Strangel says, “former schoolmates of mine have been blighting the DC schools for 40 years and I am sure figure highly in the list of those fired. High time.

Please contact these former classmates turned teacher and verify what you say before coming on here with vile rumors about then.. If you find out you’re wrong, please come back and apologize. Thanks

ELniadc says: "lets look at the systemic issues that are causing under achieving schools and work from there."

That's not Rhee's style - her whole focus is on hiring and firing teachers. that's it. She has made it very clear.

Posted by: efavorite | July 23, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

There is no way that I would teach in DC public schools.

I would feel so anxious all that time that I couldn't perform at best as I could because I would be always thinking if I was the next one to be fired whether I performed or not to Ms. Rhee's specification.

Posted by: samvped205 | July 23, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

This just another Very Dumb Stupid Act by those given too much spotlight in important sensitive areas of Power. How can you Fire a teacher for their supposed performance, but based Solely on many others lack of performance? These Teachers could be doing everything possible to accomplish the intended goal, but if the other parties who are suppose top perform are not willing, and/or able to fully cooperate, you Don’t Blame Teacher, but the Administrators who failed to put together solid programs/plans for the Teachers to accomplish the sought after results.
I remember my poor performance in school and the True Reasons why, it had Absolutely Nothing to do with any of my Teachers. I was poor, took a greasy bag lunch while most kids ate a hot meal. 2 pair pants and 2 shirts and the cheapest shoes money could buy. My dad cut my hair the way he wanted, which made me a joke while other kids went to a barber shop. A lot of days I was so hungry I would cough to hide my stomach constant hunger pain growling. I couldn’t concentrate on anything but my very painful problems, and how to hide them from the other kids as much as possible. I went home to a house w/o running water or electricity. But we were the only family I knew of w/o such simple luxuries. How can I blame any of my teachers for being too occupied with mental anguish to learn! And I wasn’t alone; there were many of us too occupied with mental anguish to learn anything that our teachers had no fault in whatsoever.
I wanted to learn and make good grades, I just didn’t have time or room to learn. The only way I could have had success is if I could have had simple essentials to make me feel I was equal too, or as any other kid.
Teaching is Not a Job of Arrogance but a Deep Passion to give a Whole Lot of themselves to others with a Strong Serious Intention to make a difference. They have a serious passion to initiate a world of wonderful accomplishments in as many other lives as possible. I know All Teachers hurt when some of their pupils slip through the cracks in failure. Seeing they didn’t accomplish that goal, its not because they couldn’t. Because Teachers will tell you; if only there were the necessary tools and programs in place for me to effectively work with you, I know you would have been my Best student!

Posted by: frederobinsonjr | July 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

There is no way that I would teach in DC public schools.

I would feel so anxious all that time that I couldn't perform at best as I could because I would be always thinking if I was the next one to be fired whether I performed or not to Ms. Rhee's specification.

Posted by: samvped205 | July 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

frederobinsonjr's comment(7/23 1:14 pm)just hit it out of the ballpark! That's where Rhee should focus her attention and problem solving. Getting rid of a few poor performaing teachers will ever have the impact that focusing on the REAL problems such as preparedness to learn (both physically and mentally)would have. Maybe Rhee needs to organize an "Adopt a D.C. student" campagn for students who, need support that they cannot receive at home, both financial and brain support including mentoring and tutoring.

Posted by: CommonSenseApproach | July 23, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I am a parent of a DC Public School Student, and I take offense to all who had comments about the parents. Whose to say that NW parents should teach the others parents. Well in my defense and my defense only, DC Public schools is not raising my child, I take care of mine and I encourage and make sure mine is doing what she should. However I kind of have mixed emotions about the # of fired teachers and the performance of those teachers. I have experienced the poor performance of teachers since my daughter has been in H.S. So I kind of understand, but with firing 241 teachers in addition to the 300 last year where are they getting the staff to cover 500 teachers at this stage in the game. I really hope this decision doesn't bite back hard. My concern is will my child be getting teachers who can actually teach her with the proper credentials and know how.

Posted by: Monnie68 | July 23, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

There are not 241 "bad teachers" in DC, just one mediocre administrator with a lack of vision and leadership. Rhee's just playing the blame game.

Politicians, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top--all blame the teachers. Teachers make easy scape- goats because teaching is an art and a science.

Education is not broken--our country is changing. The classroom is more diverse than ever, and sadly our "one size" measures all progress mentality disregards this. Really, we've allowed the multi-million dollar testing industry to determine progress and promote its agenda by demanding that children lose a week of instruction every year to take a multiple choice test. But how does the lost classroom time and money spent on testing help children learn the skills they need in life? Standardized testing used to be just one measure of progress that happened maybe in the 4th , 7th, and 10th grades. Now this time wasting and expensive ritual is performed yearly and as early as the 2nd grade!

Despite the claims of those who want to privatize, corporatize, standardize, de-unionize, and disassemble public schools, public education in the United States is strong and adapting to an array of changes not seen in previous decades.

The demands of teaching today are very different. Families and children have different needs than they did 20-30 years ago. Add to that the problems children from struggling families or lower social-economic backgrounds bring to the table, and teachers need to be more than educators. They are also social workers, psychologists, nurses, doctors, law enforcement, surrogate parents, etc. Some teachers spend the morning making sure that their students have had something to eat and are safe.

While there are a few bad apples in every profession, the majority of teachers are dedicated, spend too much of their salaries on supplies, and work under conditions that would terrify most politicians and corporate employees.

Posted by: Jill2345 | July 23, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Hold everyone accountable in this effort. The education of your children is not solely the responsibility of the teachers. It has to be a cooperative effort of teachers, parents, administrators, and everyone in the system. Stop allowing insubordination because a person needs a job. Along the way, when there were breaks in the system, and people were not fired. This is how and why it landed here. For example, if school books are not ready for students on the first day of school, the person(s) responsible should be fired. There is a methodology to getting things done.

Posted by: cej7401 | July 23, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

My children went to Prince George's county schools until high school. Every year when they were in elementary/middle school, I asked their teachers: "What do you want me to do? What are your expectations of me?" If a parent does not know what they can do, they need to ASK. Every teacher knew who I was because I was part of their support system. Every parent should be.

Posted by: cej7401 | July 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

D.C. schools suffer from the same causes that account for all of the districts problems: poverty, single parent families, drugs, ignorance and crime. teachers can't fix that, parents can.

Posted by: eldergent | July 23, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

....it might look cute now, but the cows will be coming home Sept 14th. Even if it were warranted, what numskull would do this 2 months before an election ???

Hi-stor-Rhee !

Posted by: Priapus10@hotmail.com | July 23, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"People were fired from their jobs for POOR PERFORMANCE. I don't know how you can disagree with that action."

The problem is that the Impact system itself may be biased, and therefore good teachers got fired.

If people know that good teachers will be fired under a faulty evaluation system, people will not go into teaching anymore.

Posted by: aby1 | July 23, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that all these people are so excited that teachers got fired (even good ones) because of test scores went down?

WHY DON'T THEY WANT TO FIRE RHEE? WHY IS IT THAT TEACHERS ARE HELD RESPONSIBLE TO UNREALISTIC STANDARDS BUT THE CHANCELLOR ISN'T? WHY THE DOUBLE STANDARD? ANY OF YOU RHEE SUPPORTERS WANT TO ANSWER?

Posted by: aby1 | July 23, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"For example, if school books are not ready for students on the first day of school, the person(s) responsible should be fired. There is a methodology to getting things done. "

What if it was caused by the textbook manufacturer rather than the school employee? Would you still fire the school employee?


Posted by: aby1 | July 23, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I've worked in business and in schools. Many more teachers work than business people do. This claiming that teachers don't work is fradulent.

Posted by: aby1 | July 23, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Let me tell you something about standardized tests, the ones Rhee is using to fire teachers.

Say you have two children. Child A’s parents are from India. The parents speak Hindi or Urdu at home and amoung relatives. So Child A hears Hindi amoung the family. But when she goes out to the neighborhood and play, she speaks English. She also speaks English at the park district, in the stores and in the library.

Now you have Child B. His parents are from Mexico. The parents speak Spanish at home and amoung relatives. So Child A hears Spanish amoung the family. However, when he goes out to the neighborhood and plays, he speaks Spanish. He also speaks Spanish at the park district, in the stores and in the library. The only time he hears English is from his teacher or on TV, even on the playground he hears Spanish.

Which child is more fluent in English, Child A or Child B? Of course, Child A is. The problem with standardized tests for Child B is that he doesn’t have the English fluency to pass it at grade level, because he can’t speak English at grade level. I know because I have taught many Child B’s.

Another problem with standardized tests is that they are written in white English grammar. For many African American children they only hear white English grammar from their teachers and the TV. The rest of their life they hear Black English grammar. So when they write essays for the tests they write in Black English grammar. Although they are quite fluent in black English, they are marked down for using it. I know this because I’ve given plenty of standardized tests to African American students and I have seen it happen time after time.

This is so evident in education when you teach minorities I don’t understand why Michelle Rhee doesn’t take it into account.

Posted by: aby1 | July 23, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I just want to share my own experience with everyone. Sometimes I find parents who love their children dearly, but both parnets work long hours for low pay and don't have the energy to get involved in their children's education. It's not that they don't love their children, but life is wearing them out and they can't give all they want to their children.

Then there parents who are actively involved in addicted behavior, and unless they get treatment they will never be able to be the kind of parents their children need them to be in order to help them with school.

On top of that you have parents who lose their jobs and get depressed. So depressed they cannot help their children in school.

And then they are parents who just haven't learned good parenting skills. They love their children, they just don't know how to handle them.

We have to realize that a variety of things in a child's homelife can keep a child from learning at school. If a child isn't getting support from their parents for school, it doesn't necessarily mean they are bad parents. It could just mean they are stressed.

Posted by: aby1 | July 23, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Newsweek is supporting the firing:

http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/the-gaggle/2010/07/23/d-c-plans-to-lay-off-300-underperforming-teachers.html

Posted by: aby1 | July 24, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

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