Sep 19, 2009

Rhee Orders Imminent Layoffs of DC Teachers Starting Next Week !

According to an inside source, DCPS instructional superintendents met this Saturday at a breakfast meeting and got their marching orders from Chancellor Rhee. They were advised to meet with DC principals on Monday to inform them that the DCPS reduction in force will start next week for DC teachers. It has been reported that other DC staffers have already received their lay off notices. Principals will be advised to lay off teaching staff as early as next week. Most of the lay offs will impact DC teachers and other school based staff including instructional coaches, custodians and even some principals and vice principals, etc.

It is reported that Rhee will pay DCPS employees their salary for 1 month in lieu of the 30 day notice required when implementing a reduction in force. RIF'd staff will all be exited prior to September 30 and before the new fiscal year begins. So it seems Rhee is anxious to get teachers and other DC staffers out as quickly as possible.
*Some DC teachers have reported that they were advised as early as last week that they would be laid off. Stay tuned for more on this story.

Posted by The Washington Teacher


whodo said...

Are these the excessed teachers who have yet to be placed or are these teachers who are currently working in schools?

The Washington Teacher said...

The reduction in force will impact teachers in city-wide schools. Not just excessed teachers will be impacted as I understand it.

Anonymous said...

Do you know how teachers will find out? Is this based on the recent observations by master teachers, or the ones that we were told (in IMPACT training) are supposed to happen next week?

Kings said...

So there will have to be some major shuffling around of classes if teachers with classes in progress are fired.

Then I suppose the remaining teachers will be expected to raise those students scores.

Anonymous said...

There should be such an outcry that the entire city hears. Parents should mobilize forces to let Ms Rhee and Fenty know, that they are not going to put up with the ineptness that has been exhibited by their total disregard for the children of DC. It will be the disenfranchised and the disadvantaged that will bear the brunt of this mayhem that is soon to take place. There has to be someone whocan put a stop to this debacle.

Anonymous said...

Its all about money, and union busting. Where are the teachers who are willing to fight? What has happened to Nathan who was also like Ms. Peterson in that he was for the teachers. Why can't we as teachers get together, bring parents, and protest in front of 825 until we are noticed and heard, even if it takes all week. We just can't sit idly by and watch this terrible thing happen. Obviously nobody is thinking about the children. The decision to RIF teachers come as a result of the last contract proposal being shot down. In most cases we will be talking about age, and race discrimination. Lawsuits need to start being filed. Children will be the undeserving receipents of this mess.

Veteran Teacher said...

So this is why riffed teachers will be paid up til next month: they'll get their letter this week or next and it will be effective immediately. This is so incredibly ugly. Are they actually going to rif grade level, classroom teachers? What will happen to those kids?

The Washington Teacher said...

Reply to Anonymous @ 10:36 p.m.

Teachers will have to be provided a written letter of their reduction in force. The LSRT is suppose to make recommendations to the principal about positions that will be cut. Of course the LSRT is only advisory to the principal which means the principal can disregard those recommendations.

Some inside sources state decisions will be made independent of the LSRT. I have heard that teachers in co-teaching positions, 1 instructional coach per school, and teachers who are teaching outside of their area of certification will be let go.

In a WTU Exec. board mtg. last week, WTU President Parker indicated that art, music and p.e. teachers will be exempt from the RIF as Rhee promised to have these positions in every school.

This RIF should have nothing to do with the IMPACT evaluations as they should have not started observing teachers to date as we just received the training on this past Friday. Of course this administration supports operating outside of the law, policy and regulations so anything is possible.

The Washington Teacher said...

Reply to Anonymous @ 12:19 am.

Some teachers are willing to fight. I have received emails, calls and texts from a number of people. However, more need to get involved and the time is now. First we have to organize in order to get as many people out as possible. If you are interested in fighting or know teachers who are, send me an email c/o with a cell number and email address so that I can reach you. I will also post information on this blog once details are finalized.

Unfortunately, our WTU union president is not supporting a protest or any other acts of civil disobedience. Stay tuned for more information this subject.

Veteran Teacher said...

I have also heard that so-called co teachers will be let go. I believe they were teachers excessed from schools who were not picked up by the end of the summer and assigned to schools with no vacancies or open positions. They were then told to co-teach with a teacher in a position, so there are 2 teachers in one position.
My school has 2 instructional coaches, both of whom are excellent. We have several new teachers as well as teachers who would greatly benefit from the coaches' expertise as we prepare to teach under this new teaching and learning framework. The thought of losing one of the instructional coaches, one a long time veteran and one new, is too much to bear. Candi, I trust you on this info, as you have good inside sources and are so often right.

concrete ideas needed said...

"Where are the teachers who are willing to fight?"

I think the teacher side of the fight is not as strong as it could be because there is no uniformity of thought. Everyone wants to improve the system - and Rhee came in with specific ideas on how she believed that could be done. However, teachers speak in vague terms (I am a teacher by the way).

I have not heard teachers suggest many concrete ideas other than more money for more support and resources (without specificying exactly what resources are needed). I got a flier at one WTU meeting that said "We can do better (than the WTU contract proprosal last fall), but the flier did not suggest ideas for doing better.

If teachers united and developed a statement of beliefs and specific ideas I think the movement would be stronger and teachers would have more community support.

Some ideas that I support that Rhee implemented: closing schools with too much unused space, evaluating teachers based on student factors and not teacher factors, promoting the closing of the achievement gap (I never heard DCPS teachers talk about this before Rhee came), and ensuring specials teachers at every school.

Anonymous said...

Will these impact those teachers who are hired and paid by the school itself rather than being on DCPS payroll?

There are some extremely incompetent teachers who happen to be close friends with of principal or PTA chair, teaching our children in the classrooms. Last year my child was constantly being harrassed by a science teacher. As the principal did not want to hear about it, I went to Central Office fo find out about his qualifications. Imagine my surprise when I was told that DCPS did not even know about him and that most likely he was hired by the principal or PTA and being paid by alternate funds. And I was told there is not much they could do as such employees were not held accountable like those who are hired by DCPS.

Will these so called teachers survive while veteran teachers are laid off ??

The Washington Teacher said...

Reply to Anonymous @ 3:31:

I am not sure what you mean by your first question but I will try to answer what I think you mean. The RIF will impact DCPS employees within city-wide schools and mainly teachers. A reduction in force focuses on reducing positions within a school and not people. Of course employees who are connected may escape getting RIF'd if they are in good favor with the principal.

It is likely that many teachers won't survive ultimately under this administration. Check out the 5 year plan which is to get rid of a significant share of the teaching workforce through terminations, RIF's and I guess by any means necessary.

Anonymous said...

I also heard another spin on this, that some teachers, fearing they would be riffed, were told off the record by their principal that they had nothing to fear. Also, ELL and SPED teachers, due to federal mandates governing staffing, will not be touched in this RIF, as their enrollment justifies the positions systemwide.

Kings said...

Concrete Ideas -- I disagree that teachers have to come up with a plan to reform the schools. What teachers need to do right now is raise their voices for fair treatment and for not upsetting student learning in the middle of a school year.

Of course, it sure would be nice if someone asked teachers their opinions of what they thought would improve student achievement, but that doesn't happen.

concrete ideas needed said...

But, Kings, why wouldn't teachers be at the forefront of school reform? Why wouldn't teachers be the forerunners of ideas? Why would we want to wait until we are asked for our opinions?

Lindsey said...

concrete ideas,

What do you mean, you haven't heard teachers talk about their ideas for Reform?

Individually, many of us are talking about what it will take, on the part of workers, students, parents/families and the community to turn this system around. No one wants to hear it because it requires more than just blaming the teacher and teacher accountability. It requires that we tackle this issue on several layers.

What you are referring to takes collective work and a collective voice and that is what our Union should be doing now. Our union represents what we believe (or at least it should)

Can you imagine trying to speak with 5,000 teachers to come up with a common agenda about reform?
Our Union (which is us) is our common and collective voice. Normally, our union would provide the vehicle to solicit input, gather data and generate an action plan reflective of our collective voice.

I believe the one thing we all agree on is that pulic education (across this country--not just in DC) needs reform, but is RHEE-form the most efficient approach, I don't think so!

And, I think you are out of touch. Teachers are not talking about more money...not for themselves, supplies or materials. Teachers are talking out human resources to help them with issues in their classroom like behavior (and I don't mean classroom management either)

BTW,instead of the rhetoric, why don't you put your own bright ideas on this blog and/or give it to the union--i think we would be interested in what you have to say. It always seems like someone else, other than ourselves, should be doing something--for once, let's look at the man in the mirror and see what he/she has to say.

Kings said...

Good points, Lindsay.

And to Concrete Ideas - of course teachers should have an active voice. Teachers' primary job is to teach. That's the most important job in the system, I think - actually educating the kids. Administrators and academics, etc. are all there to supposedly support the educational process, which should be in large part to support teachers.

Do you expect family doctors to develop medicines and build hospitals? No - that would detract from their main purpose - providing direct health care to people.

Do you expect cops on the beat to conduct criminology studies and determine how to use city resources to best protect citizens? No - not their job.

Are cops' and primary docs' and teachers' opinions valuable and should they be sought in any effort to improve their services? Of course.

Do you have idea? Great - let's hear them - and be sure to pass them on to the Chancellor.

concrete ideas said...

I'm not new to the blogs. I've been posting ideas for a year now (just under other names or anonymously) and I won't get into listing any more ideas here.

I would tell the union, but emails to Parker were not answered and I don't know of any other process to share ideas with the Union - well I shared with my Union rep last year, but she and I were on the same page. So I believe she carried my/our concerns to the Representative meetings.

I do agree that the Union should be the common voice, although it's currently not.

5000 teachers can develop an agenda that the majority can generally agree with if a handful take the lead (that's how our government works - a handful of leaders leading millions). Everyone doesn't have to agree on every single point - just the major strategies.

Kings said...

Concrete ideas" says - "I'm not new to the blogs. I've been posting ideas for a year now (just under other names or anonymously) and I won't get into listing any more ideas here."

Cop out.

Fine, I won't get into responding to any more of your posts.

Sharon B. said...

Go Lindsay, I like the way you think..

Anonymous said...

An insightfull post. Will definitely help.

Karim - Creating Power

Chelsea said...