Rhee's rhetorical excess
By Peter D. Rosenstein
The Post editorial “Unfit teachers?” missed the point. The issue isn’t that Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee would fire teachers who hit or sexually abused children or who were absent too often. The issue is that she can take strong action against such teachers without resorting to the excuse of a mass layoff.
Of 266 laid-off teachers, we now know that none of these teachers was convicted of sexually abusing a child (one has been accused of doing so) and that six have served suspensions for corporal punishment. Ms. Rhee’s comments were purely sensationalistic, and there should be no room for sensationalism in this area. Ms. Rhee has a responsibility to nearly 50,000 children and their parents. She needs the thousands of D.C. teachers and administrators to work with her to be successful. She should be working with them, not trying to scapegoat them.
Ms. Rhee needs to curb her enthusiasm for hyperbole and get down to the task at hand, which is educating our children.
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