Aug 25, 2008

Rhee Lacks an Educational Plan Which Undermines Student Achievement

What this essay brings to mind is the oft quoted: "Fools rush in where wise men dare to tread."Essay from Opposed in The Mail, August 24, 2008 by yours truly.

As long as DC Public Schools continues to place excessed teachers in positions that are not in their area of professional certification, DC students will continue to be shortchanged. Eliminating school counselor positions on the elementary level, closing twenty-three schools and restructuring twenty-seven schools simultaneously in one year while cutting many required teaching positions contributes to a shortage of available teaching positions citywide. Another factor that contributes to the citywide teacher shortage problem is Rhee’s decision to recruit and hire new teachers and counselors before locating positions for existing excessed staff. In addition, many teaching positions, such as math coaches and science teachers, etc., have been eliminated altogether while other teaching positions have been reduced to half time.

The frequency with which DC teachers are placed outside of their certification areas casts doubt on Rhee’s commitment to comply with No Child Left Behind law “which requires that states create a plan in which poor and minority children are not more likely to be taught by inexperienced teachers, unqualified teachers, or those teaching outside their field of certification.” Teachers, counselors, and art therapists are being compelled by DCPS central office and principals to accept alternate positions for which they are not qualified and certified to teach. For example, art therapists are being assigned to function as art teachers, while counselors are being assigned to function as classroom teachers while regular educators are being assigned to work as special educators, and the list goes on.

If Chancellor Rhee had developed a systematic educational plan as required, then many of these issues would have been worked out earlier on. Without the creation of an educational plan as well as immediate policy changes under Rhee’s Renew, Revitalize and Reorganize school model — student learning and achievement will continue to be undermined while DC teachers and providers will continue to be devalued. Posted by Candi Peterson

3 comments:

lodesterre said...

A little punctuation goes a long way. Your title, without punctuation, makes the case that Rhee needs an education plan that will undermine student achievement. Whatever you might happen to believe about her I do not believe that Michelle Rhee wants an education plan that will undermine student achievement.

Anonymous said...

NCLB -"which requires that states create a plan in which poor and minority children are not more likely to be taught by inexperienced teachers, unqualified teachers, or those teaching outside their field of certification.”

Wow! The current group running the schools must have over looked this provision. They talk about education as an equity/equality and 21st century civil rights issue but look at whose rights aside from teachers are most violated by them. Too bad they are hell bent on running anyone with experience and institutional memory out. Of course they believe that anyone who graduated from college with any brains and effort should be able to teach. Just tell that to all the newbies in class at AU this year.

Anonymous said...

Will someone please send this article to CNN ! They reported on Rhee tonight and left out the details of this reform.