Michelle Rhee Kicking Ass Taking Names

Looks like our school Chancellor,  Michelle Rhee supported by Mayor Fenty are gone in a firing rampage. They are about to fire 241 teachers who did not meet standards set forth by a new district-wide evaluation system.

The new system, known as IMPACT, for the first time ties D.C. teachers’ job performance to their students’ performance on standardized tests.

According to a statement on the D.C. Public Schools website, IMPACT “seeks to create a culture in which all school-based personnel have a clear understanding of what defines excellence in their work, are provided with constructive and data-based feedback about their performance, and receive support to increase their effectiveness.”

The firings, which put D.C. at the center of a national debate over teacher performance and accountability, come on the heels of a long-awaited contract agreement reached between the Washington Teachers’ Union and Chancellor Rhee last month. The contract increases new teacher salaries by 21 percent but gets rid of teachers’ seniority designations. Instead, teachers will be evaluated based on students’ classroom performance and are eligible for $20,000 to $30,000 in “performance pay” if their students exceed expectations on standardized tests and if they meet other benchmarks.

A total of 302 employees are subject to termination effective July 31 and August 13; 226 based on performance, 76 for licensure. Of this total 241 are teachers. An additional 729 employees have been put on notice that they will be subject to termination after the upcoming school year, if their performance does not improve substantially.

The Washington Teachers’ Union plans to contest the firings. The union recently released the findings of a teacher survey on its website, revealing that 52 percent of the approximately 1,000 teachers surveyed do not understand what is required of them under the IMPACT evaluation system.

Mayor Adrian Fenty, who hired Rhee three years ago to transform the city’s notoriously underperforming schools, said in a statement:

“My commitment from the start has been to ensure that every child in the District gets an excellent education. As mayor, I will not sit still, and I will not be satisfied until a highly effective teacher is in every classroom. Today’s action puts us one step closer to that goal.”

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

7 Responses to Michelle Rhee Kicking Ass Taking Names

  1. Phil Quimby says:

    Holding people accountable for their performance and suffering consequences if they don’t perform. What a concept!

  2. Greg Collier says:

    Next stop, Califonia!

  3. Really. Forcing teachers to “teach to the test” just so standardized test scores can be raised doesn’t help students to “think outside of the box.”

  4. Good first step by Michelle. Too bad it took so long, but I bet there were mountains of red tape to climb. I’m hopeful that this move turns the tide away from the other (personal) issues the media and some public have been focused on and places the focus squarely on improiving the education of our kids.

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