Sep 21, 2008

DC Teacher Shortage Impacts Clasroom Size !

Say it ain't so. Channel 7 news reported on September 19th- that there is a DCPS Teacher shortage. Many of us who advocated last year to Chancellor Rhee to slow your roll knew that closing 23 schools simultaneously while restructuring 27 other schools was a Herculean task. Add to this the Teacher Transition Award which was offered to teachers in closing and restructured schools to leave their teaching positions in exhange for monetary awards. Of course firing 78 probationary teachers without regard to their work performance as well as firing 269 teachers - (some of whom were certified and some who had agreed upon action plans) have led to a system wide teacher shortage. Many school's just aren't reporting their teacher shortages problem. Here's the story as posted on Channel 7 website. Read it and weep !

"A lack of teachers at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Northeast Washington is forcing school administrators to make drastic moves. D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee fired 270 uncertified and probationary teachers last summer. Parents at one school in NE Washington believe their children are now suffering the affects of a teacher shortage. "I think we're just being neglected. Our children are not being educated," said parent Janie Felder. Among the reasons the parents are upset, the eighth grade class at Thurgood has had one teacher for 46 students. "She's getting ready to go to high school next year. How do you learn? She doesn't like it. She said the students are disruptive. The teacher can't control the class, said parent Oliver Leslis. Parents say Marshall does not have a certified teacher for either third or fourth grade so they combined the grades and hired a sub. "It's terrible. How can you have a third and four grade combined and don't have a teacher for five weeks and you have substitute teachers," asked parent Saymende Lloyd. A school spokeswoman said Chancellor Rhee was not in the office to comment, but Rhee and the mayor have promised better schools. At Thurgood Marshall, the PTA president, who declined to go on camera, said the school is worse because of the teacher shortage "Our children are suffering up here. Our children are suffering. They're not getting what they need," said an unidentified parent. When Sharnette Gordon Bryan found out about the combination third-fourth grade class, she said, "I just withdrew her. I didn't want her in a combination class." Parents say many people have gone to charters or other schools because of the teacher problems. The schools spokeswoman said they're going to have a new eighth grade teacher at Thurgood Marshall on Monday. As for the third and fourth grade combination, no progress has been made. The union president said Thurgood Marshall's problem is not an isolated incident; there are shortages in other schools around the city." Posted by Candi.

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