Nov 20, 2008

More DC Principals Will Get The Ax

In a DC Wire article yesterday written by Bill Turque, it is reported that under Rhee's helm (17 months and counting ) , one third of the DC principal corps have either been fired, resigned or retired. Three principals have been replaced already this school year by Rhee. The Wire reports that Rhee's draft "action plan, which will be presented before the city council today, "says that while there has been improvement, "DCPS still lacks a critical mass of leaders with instructional expertise and/or a proven track record of success in turning around low-performing schools."

"The plan calls for intensifying what had already been touted by Rhee as a vigorous national recruiting effort. The goal is to provide seven "high-quality principal candidates" for every future vacancy and three qualified prospects "pre-approved by the Chancellor before they even meet with the school community panels that screen potential principals. Rhee also wants to open a "School Leadership Academy" that will nurture new principals and develop administrators with the potential to become school leaders."

It seems that many who have posted comments on the DC Wire question Rhee's management acumen (or lack thereof) . Here's what they are saying:

"Rhee is quite delusional if she thinks she's going to attract "top-shelf" principal candidates to the current low-morale school system. A coach is only as good as his/her team. She has to build from the bottom up (i.e., support for teachers, training, etc.). It doesn't help that she espouses a leadership style where "collaboration and cooperation" are overrated."

"If only such rigorous rules were in place before Mayor Fenty basically appointed Rhee as Chancellor. Has any team or organization ever done markedly better after a midstream firing? So far, that is about all Rhee seems to be able to do. Can someone tell me what she and Fenty do between the end of June and early September? Do they actually vet their administrative hires? So far the strategy it seems to be "Fire, ready...set...aim!" And one more point. Fenty is trying to get Obama to take a look at DC Public Schools. Did you know that Fenty sends his kids to a private school? I did not vote for Obama to Chair the DC School Board. Fenty should have to fix this mess himself."

"Finally - someone is taking action to bring the District teaching corp into the 21st century! People defending the current system should be ashamed of themselves; every day they spend arguing that we need to protect the rights of the people who aren't qualified to educate our children is another day that those children are falling behind the rest of the country and the world. If people want to protect the good teachers (which they should), they need to come up with a radical idea to get rid of the bad"

"If there were any doubts before, there should be great clarity that DCPS is "stuck on stupid" Principals whose school were making AYP were not re-appointed. Now the new army of believers that were hired are getting fired by the month. The best in terms of experience were let go and the new inexperienced NLNS are getting fired. Who is left? Who wants to re-locate to DC? Seven candidates for every one vacancy? Who are we kidding? This is coming from a person who is clueless when it comes to knowing what administrators do on a daily basis. She taught for three years, has never been a school administrator and was a poor manager when she was at ST. Hope. Read the articles on the turn-over. Principals and teachers left due to the bullying tactics of Rhee and Kevin Johnson. She just doesn't have the skills needed to run a school system."

"I hope the new principals get a big fat signing bonus like Rhee got before they commit to working in a DC school. A housing allowance might be nice too. Unless they come from Manhattan, San Francisco or Boston, they might be discouraged by the high housing prices, knowing they could get fired at the drop of a hat - especially if one of their disgruntled teachers goes to the press with a problem principals are afraid to report because it might make them look as if they can't control an uncontrollable school. I hope the prospective principals do a little googling and read some recent Washington Post articles to get a real feel for the problems here. If they just listen to Rhee and the national press, they'll erroneously think they're walking into a grand educational opportunity - A chance to shine and make their reputation. I hope they talk to some current principals who are candid enough to acknowledge their regret for falling that false promise."

"To be perfectly blunt Rhee must really be possessed by the desire to fire people because that's all she seems to do. It is a shame!!"

"No one really knows how hard it is for DCPS but the people who work in the schools. Rhee has done nothing but destroy our schools with her poor management skills. DC council members were right when they questioned her a few weeks ago and told her how non effective she is at running our school system. Well what do we expect since she got her "power" from our mayor. (who by the way has too much power). The city council better step up and oversee what is going on. What we do today is effecting our youth tomorrow. Rhee and Fenty's goals are to rid our city of public schools and increase charter schools. Wake up DC residents. Rhee did an awful job in NY and now she's doing the same here in DC. These new teachers don't plan to stay and have no vested interest in our children and their future. HUMMM, I wonder if Rhee has a vested interest?"

"At Shepherd, we had a panel of principal candidates presented last spring. One parent rep on the panel described the candidate pool as "shallow." A major problem with the process at Shepherd occurred because we had been repeatedly told by several DCPS officials that every panel received its first or second choice candidate, and the schools were always very happy. In this case, because the candidate pool was so shallow, the same candidates were sent to multiple schools. Two of the current DCPS employees were ranked first and second by our panel. These same individuals were each ranked high by at least one other school. Rhee then gave the panelists the choice of which school assignment they preferred (a logical way to resolve the assignment). She told Shepherd this in October, after she had appointed a lower ranked candidate. No one knew why when the appointment was made in June. So, if last year's candidates are any measure of who Rhee is able to attract, she attracts about 1.25 candidates for each open position (4 of the 5 panelists received appointments), all candidates live locally, most are internal to DCPS, and few if any have prior experience at the job they are applying for.

By the way, in October, the next principal that Rhee appointed to Shepherd after firing the one that she had just appointed in July, also does not have prior experience as an elementary school principal. And this newest principal announced at last night's PTA meeting that she'll be out for 3 to 4 weeks in March/April on maternity leave. So for Shepherd, the final count is 4 principals and interims in the 2007-08 school year, and at least 2 principals and 1 interim in 2008-09 (it's still early in the year for us). I think the mainstream press that believes Rhee when she says folks are coming from all over the country to work for her needs to do a little more fact checking." Posted by The Washington Teacher.


Anonymous said...

Rhee is out of her league in DC and it is time for her to get to packing. She's working on firing the new principals she just hired.

Anonymous said...

Rhee's executive world of Public educational reform metamorphosis of DC schools ? The orchestrated movements and team work of strategic planning by Rhee? Doesn't sound like a postive environment to be working.The support for training and an academy is good.

Anonymous said...

I guess this explains why my new principal, a decent young man from New Leaders, suffers from migraines. Who would want to be a principal under Rhee?

Anonymous said...

"We have a system that does wrong by poor kids of color" and agree on that point with Rhee. Creative solutions in ambiguous circumstances.Equalize balance of fair interests and funding viewing the penalities under NCLB designed mandates and end it.Inner city teaching with kids all failing and showing results of progress and instructional accountability was easy. The disorganized building operations made it difficult and that causes all kinds of problems with the school environment.Hire,train,support and resouces driven from bottom up.Get the budget straight based on needs of school buildings and get ready for Universial Pre-K and Merry Christmas !

Anonymous said...

Is ESEA and ECS policy anaylst Mary Fulton aware of Rhee reform results and data ? 303-299-3679=Fulton.

Anonymous said...

Candi, I don't know the correct blog term, but you got one strange guy commenting on most of your posts. What can be done about it? There are real readers of this blog who want to dialogue and this nutcase posts the weirdest non-secuitor (sp) comments. It's really annoying. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

City may owe feds millions for bad medicaid claims. Fenty held a joint news conference with David Cantania,chairmen of the counsil committee on health-in an effort to show the city is taking a proactive effort to manage sevices for children with SPECIAL NEEDS!Unreal and put all associations that recieve federal dollars dealing with a Public School system on e-bay, for we the people to monitor accountability data and fiance expenditures.Happy to hear Rhee finally thinks it may be time to re-think alternaive educational directions. We are so sorry to hear about the violence at Anacostia.

The Washington Teacher said...

Dear Anonymous: I am deleting comments from the person who is leaving the long winded posts, most of which do not make a lot of sense and are rambling on an on.

Hopefully this will be a deterrant for him or her to stop making these no sensical posts. If not I will just keeping hitting the delete button. :)

NYC Educator said...

Funny to see Rhee demanding "instructional expertise and/or a proven track record of success in turning around low-performing schools."

By that standard she herself should retire immediately.