Jun 23, 2010
Johnson Middle School Principal Gets The Ax From Rhee & Company
What's the Count of DC Principals Fired under Rhee's administration? 20, 30, 50 ?
I received an email dated June 21 stating that David Markus, a new principal of Johnson Middle School located at 1400 Bruce Pl. SE in Washington, DC received the official ax from Chancellor Michelle Rhee and company on Friday, June 18, 2010. Inside sources reveal in a email (below) that Markus' principal contract was not renewed and that he was served notice last week.
After printing this story, I received a personal email from a person claiming to be David Markus. I requested that Mr. Markus write me from his DCPS email account so that I could verify that he was actually David Markus. Later, Markus wrote me as a private citizen from his DCPS email account in which he disputed information which I received from inside sources about him being handcuffed and led off Johnson school premises. Markus stated “I was not taken off in handcuffs. I worked all day on Friday and Monday and Tuesday I was on a field trip with my students. I am home sick today, but will be working until my contract ends. " While Markus requested that I remove this story from my blog, I am committed to being transparent and printing the truth about what is actually happening on our DCPS landscape.
According to Linkedin which is a business oriented social networking site, Markus is the principal at J. Hayden Johnson Middle School starting August 2009 and prior to that had been the assistant principal at Cardozo Senior High School from August 2008- 2009. Markus who was part of the new leaders for new schools program noted in his public profile that he was "working to improve teaching and learning at an under performing school that has great potential for success."
I have at Markus' request removed statements which he reports are not true from the email I posted below. However, based on my reading of Markus' emails to me, it appears that his principal contract as initially reported by anonymous sources will not be renewed and Johnson Middle School will be searching for a new principal very shortly.
I feel compelled to add that under Chancellor Rhee's model of reform, many have been hired and fired (thousands). In my opinion, employee performance has little to do with the actual reason why principals and other DCPS employees are terminated under this administration. Often times principals report they aren't even told why their DCPS contract doesn't get renewed by Rhee. Until we say no to this type of 'meat ax' reform under Fenty and Rhee, we can expect the wholesale firings of DC Public Schools personnel to continue. It is the only tool in Rhee's arsenal. It is most unfortunate that our educational leaders as well as teachers and school personnel are not given the opportunity nor the tools to really reform our urban schools. Certainly not even superman could turn around a troubled school in less than a year's time. DC residents must stand up to this kind of leadership and employee downsizing by voting NO for Adrian Fenty as the next mayor of Washington, DC in the fall. Another vote for Fenty is an assurance that 'at will' terminations without regard to performance will continue under the Rhee administration.
Here is the email as promised:
"I know the Principal at my school, Johnson Middle School was let go after only one year. I understand that he was given a letter not to return on last Friday. We are interviewing this Thursday. Also I spoke to a number of people that other central office staff in DCPS just received pink slips. Is Markus the only new principal fired in the last week ?"
Name not reveled to protect confidentiality