During the Rhee administration, her education plan which was released 18 months into her administration promised to terminate a significant share of the DCPS teacher workforce. Well the Rhee firing squad strikes once again. On July 23, Leah Fabel of the Washington Examiner newspaper reported that D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee will fire a sizable number of teachers and school staff by next week. Rhee did not appear in a Thursday briefing and left the dirty work to her deputy, Kaya Henderson to announce the bad news. Fabel reported the numbers of the terminations was not revealed in the briefing. The firings are based on a new evaluation instrument (IMPACT) which was introduced in school year 2009-10. Many have argued that IMPACT had inadequate training which was offered after the evaluation cycle began and takes into consideration fifty percent of DC-CAS student test scores for those in testing grades. WTU's President, George Parker whose term ended June 30, 2010 reported in the Examiner article that grievances would "definitely" be filed for each fired teacher, based on what many teachers perceived as a botched process. Parker stated "The Impact evaluation is flawed, and we requested that DCPS not terminate teachers or inflict adverse actions in its first year. The document should've been piloted first." Terminated teachers would join a very long waiting list of DCPS employees who have already been fired by Rhee's administration over the past three years. Many WTU members believe that Parker's response to IMPACT evaluation has been reactionary and a little to late. In union meetings during last school year, members insisted that Parker fight IMPACT as an evaluation tool that is unfair. These requests made by union members of Parker have fallen on deaf ears.
Bill Turque, Washington Post writer for the DC Schools Insider blog also covered this story. Click the School Insider link for Turque's story. Stay tuned for more on updates on teacher and school staff terminations in the upcoming week. While Kaya Henderson would not give reporters a ball park figure of the number of terminations, what's your best guess of the number of DCPS teachers and school staff to be terminated?