Jul 23, 2010

Rhee's Firing Squad Terminates Sizable Number Of DC Teachers

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?

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

10-20 percent, but it is only a best guess.
Isn't it a little late to be formally protesting the technical measurement process of Impact?
To do it way down the road in the face of terminations seems to suggest that it was "accepted" until the use of Impact became troublesome.
And doesn't Michelle Rhee have the lawful right, given her by Vincent Gray and the rest of the Council, to make these terminations?
Finally, does anyone have a good feel for how parents will react to this news?

Anonymous said...

What is not being addressed in ANY article and I think is worth pointing out to the masses (the general voting public/DC Residents/Media) is who are they being replaced with. I don't agree with the IMPACT eval/firing process, but could buy their argument if the teachers were being replaced with effective experienced teachers, but that is not the case, they will be replaced by new teachers fresh from teaching TFA/DC Teaching Fellows 5-week bootcamp. If this is true then the public is being duped, these teachers haven't even had 5 IMPACT evaluations over a year and so their effectiveness is not even being addressed. This is experimentation and deceit. The public that applauds this practice again and again, say "well we want our children taught by effective and experienced teachers so firing bad teachers is good". Sure, if they really were ineffective in the first place and are replaced by teacher's who are better!!!! I'm feeling so disgusted with this process and the reality that our children and teachers are being used as political pawns.

Anonymous said...

It has to be more than 10 to 20percent if the elem scores went down, the way rhee is calculating is the score is very unfair as well.
I know a fellow teacher whom received a letter from dcps stating no one would lose their job this school year due to impact scores, in black and white on letter head. DID ANYONE ELSE RECEIVE THIS LETTER?

classic said...

@Anon 1:27
No, the right to fire teachers was not given to her by Vincent Gray or the city council, in the last teacher contract it states that the Superintendent can choose the evaluation tool, you can thank George Parker for these teachers getting fired he negotiated that contract as well. That is why the union did not fight Impact. Also, NO ONE accepted Impact. Teachers have been complaining about the unfairness and inconsistency of Impact from the beginning just that no one paid attention.

Anonymous said...

Most of the last 900 fired probably majored in some other field of study instead of education. As we all know the exterminator states she can train anyone to teach in her summer program for new teachers. I must agree that Adderly is the most negative person I have ever met along with principals who try and micro-manage everything in their buildings. Test scores are low because in some schools teachers could not teach test taking skills for at least 20 miniutes a day. One principal told them no you can teach test taking skills at anytime. I wonder when the children would receive the needed help. Many definitely would not receive it at home. IMPACT was suppose to be a pilot. LIES LIES LIES and George Parker let them do this to us and only 485 people voted against the contract and 1400 for it. What happened to the rest of the teachers. Are we so satisfied with what they throw at us that we don't vote. It is our fault if this mess continues. We need to stand up for ourselves. We need to get rid of Parker, Fenty and Rhee. I could go on and on. Many techers who received ineffective are not ineffective. We have principals who refuse to help teachers with discipline problems becuase they have been sent to schools to get rid of seasoned teachers. I hate to pull the race card or the seniority card. But you principals who give out ineffective to teachers who are Black or seasoned teachers, what do you think they are going to do with you after you get rid of all of us? If there really are teachers who are ineffective let them go, but don't get rid of people who had 35 kids in a room and no consequences for their bad behavior was enforced by crazy principals.

Anonymous said...

Breaking news

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/local-breaking-news/dc/rhee-fires-241-dc-teachers.html?wprss=local-breaking-news

Rhee fires 241 D.C. teachers

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee fired 241 teachers Friday for poor classroom performance. The dismissals are the first under a rigorous new evaluation system launched this year.

Stay with Postlocal.com for more details.

Anonymous said...

241 fired by RHEE according to BT

Anonymous said...

Bill Turque just posted it. 241 teachers fired.

Anonymous said...

Screw the grievance process. The union is part of the problem. A class action lawsuit is the appropriate response here.

Anonymous said...

Candi,
All those people who are part of RHEE&COMPANY have sold their souls to the devil. In a previous blog I quoted a saying which essentailly stated that the kinds of seeds that you sow would be the kinds of seeds that you reap. These people will reap what they have sown. As Dr. King has stated " there is nothing in this world more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. When I read the comments yesterday, I said to myself how could Kayla Henderson do the dirty work of Rhee, but I see that she could and she did. There was a reason why Rhee put Henderson on the front line. Her comments were value and evasive. Rhee threw her under the bus as they say. She better watch out. She should realize that Rhee has no loyality to anyone. She'll be like that guy (already forgot his name) who was trying to explain the "MADE-UP RIFF" during the hearing in the fall. Haven't heard anymore about him. KAYLA, KAYLA you have sold your soul!!!! When you reap what you have sown, ask yourself was it worth the cost that you'll have to pay. This Is is to any others that don't see anything wrong with this sad state of affairs.

Anonymous said...

Washington Post's Breaking News said that she fired 241 teachers. See it at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/local-breaking-news/dc/rhee-fires-241-dc-teachers.html?wprss=local-breaking-news

scinerd said...

The number is 241. Here is the link the WaPo has going... http://voices.washingtonpost.com/local-breaking-news/dc/rhee-fires-241-dc-teachers.html

And please do not forget that Congress stripped teachers from having any say whatsoever in our evaluation process years ago. We can not like IMPACT all we want, and should, but it could have been and was unilaterally imposed according to the laws on the books.

Anonymous said...

348pm commenter -- the word is probably "authority" [instead of "right"] to fire teachers that the Council (yes, Vince and the guys and gals) gave to Rhee, by DC law. Am too lazy to find you the citation, but that was absolutely clear, and still is.

As to Impact being "accepted" or not -- DCPS, and any public agency, is not supposed to be managed by democratic votes, majority rule, or some such. Management is expected to make decisions, not take a poll of who likes something and who does not. Enforced provisions of a union agreement may make a difference, and in the case of WTU, there ain't much to talk about regarding its say in the adoption of Impact. Time to get real.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if they made IMPACT findings, along with the tool a public document.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is a race issue as much as an economic one. Younger is cheaper. Rhee uses a business approach to education and this is like shipping the jobs to China where labor cost is cheaper. This is partly why she said teachers should not teach for more than 5 years.
As for the contract, teachers voted overwhelming for the money AND the open-ended conditions!!!. Teachers allowed themselves to be "bought" so I don't think the general public will give much sympathy to them. The union did not fight etc. I think a strike would have been more effective as it would have bought the type of attention nationwide that could have forced concessions on Rhee's part and resulted in careful examination of her and DCPS central office. Unions don't strike anymore. Bottom-line teachers are stuck and we largely contributed to this mess also. Yes, I am a teacher.

Anonymous said...

I too wonder how many of the 1400+ who voted for the contract will be terminated before the end of next week.

Anonymous said...

A little off topic (though still germane to Rhee's tenure in DCPS):

I think Togo West's appointment to the Election Board is very concerning. Although Mr. West has had a very distinguished career, Mike DeBonis (in his column today) cited two facts that could have an impact on the election: 1.) West worked at the same law firm as Peter Nickles and testified on his behalf at his 2008 confirmation hearings and 2.) West reportedly has a close relationship with William Lightfoot, chair of Fenty's re-election campaign.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/debonis/2010/07/demorning_debonis_july_23_2010.html

With all due respect to Mr. West, I believe some other oversight of this election is needed.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for the feelings that my following comment will solicit.

While I am generally not a fan of Rhee and her policies as an adminstrator who had to implement IMPACT and rate staff I truly believe that if idividuals who were teaching were rated ineffective they needed to be let go.

Its rather difficult to be rated ineffective as a teacher. This in essence means that over a course of a school year someone observed five different times (3 admin, 2 ME) and saw something that was not good for kids. I know that IMPACT has its flaws and there are many. But at the end of the day do we want to continue to let folks who aren't really teaching or willing to improve to remain in front of children? In my building, no!

I can say that I tried very hard to implement IMPACT with transparency and fairness. I believe that my staff would say the same. I'd also venture to say based on the conversations with colleagues that this was how many of us manuevered.

My poorest teachers in the building did not even garner a straight ineffective so for the folks that did and were dismissed it would be very safe to say that regardless of the flaws in IMPACT, this time the dismissals were probably warrented because what was happening in those classrooms was not good for kids.

Sorry for any typos, I am on my blackberry.

Anonymous said...

where is the transparency???? where are the scores???? who are the 241??? RHEE is being sneaky again and the UNION is useless.

Only an evil person would make this announcement on a Friday and leave everyone stressed all weekend without word if they have been fired. HOW ARE THE 241 BEING NOTIFIED????

Anonymous said...

Well, Well, Well...all of you teachers with dollar signs in your eyes who voted for this bogus contract...WHAT DO YOU THINK NOW! Hundreds of teachers have been fired, there has been no raise on our paychecks and no retroactive checks in our hands.

Rhee played you (who voted yes) like a fiddle! No raise but more firings.

Maybe you will learn next time to not be bought...if any of us are around!

The Washington Teacher said...

My understanding is that the termination letters were sent via certified mail. I heard from a teacher today that received a letter of termination.

Anonymous said...

Candi, there needs to be a large protest outside George Parker's office demanding he leave. The man is serving past his term, refuses to hold an election, and for the past three years he has stood idly by while hundreds of his constituents were, in many cases, unfairly terminated. He has not even lifted a finger to help most of them. Teachers who are paying union dues need to hold a protest outside his office and demand he leave! NOW!

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, PARKER MUST GO!!!!

Anonymous said...

Was it just the teachers who received a score of 175 or less or includes those in the minimally effective range of 250 or less?

Rhee also did it on a Friday afternoon so that it will not be a top news story throughout the entire week..just maybe the week.

dcparent2 said...

WOW. What a "butchering " of teachers! CNN interviewed GP and he did not represent us well. Alot of good teachers were axed 2day due to a faulty evaluation system. I am done with DCPS.

Anonymous said...

It is not difficult to be rated ineffective!!!! Almost every teacher i know had the range INEFFECTIVE to Highly effective based on test scores. AND>>>>>>>This creative calculating of scores is totally ridiculious...MAKE sure you are not INEFFECTIVE next year!!!!

Anonymous said...

Annonymous July 23, 2010 8:42 PM. Agree no one wants ineffective teachers in the classroom but again I ask who are you replacing them with, assessed TFA/Teaching Fellows. These teacher's don't even have a license yet, how do I know, cos I was one last year. Do the parents know this, how do you know these new teachers aren't really ineffective cos they haven't been rated or tested yet in a real classroom. Then by next year, half of them will be gone, and the process will keep going again and again. It's politics and economics, it is not about doing what is best for our children. Otherwise, Rhee would only hire experience qualified (expensive) teachers as replacements.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Rhee has been able to do what she is doing because black people fight against each other. Everyone knows it. So now whites will teach black children. Well great! Good for them! Maybe the black parents will finally get involved when they see an all white staff.

Anonymous said...

Candi, can you please look into why 241 teachers were terminated, but ONLY 165 OF THESE 241 RECEVIED POOR EVALUATIONS?? This was reported by Bill Turque. That leaves 76 teachers unaccounted for. Why were these 76 terminated, if not for poor evaluations?

Anonymous said...

People should have a good idea of where htye stand as the final IMPACT evals have just been posted

Anonymous said...

God Bless America and Teachers Too!

Anonymous said...

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/38384851#38384851

CANDY TRY THIS LINK.

Anonymous said...

Teachers whom dodged a bullet beware. My students were very well prepared for the test and I still got a 2.5 out of 4 points...Imagine a year with a rough class or inexperienced principal trying every new program under the sun, what will your scores look like then...this could easily be any teacher any given year. I am done>>>this will be my last year in dcps, i will look for another position in december...THEY CAN KEEP THAT MONEY i will take a CUT.

this is BS.

i only hope fenty and rhee fly out of town on her broom...or melt in her pot of lies.

Anonymous said...

Candi .. Any word when the check will be issued for the raises? I saw the union email last week stating that an update would be issued at the end of last week but still no word.

Second. For teachers rated minimally effective will they still receive the adjustment? Will they remain at the current step with the pay increase under the new contract or remain at the same scale under the old? Eg. For a first year teacher: step 1 but adjusted to the 53,000 or kept at 49,000 under last year's scale when they were hired?

Anonymous said...

Yes, where is the retroactive pay??? I thought we were supposed to get it as soon as the dc council ratified the contract? I emailed the union about this but never got a response.

use reason said...

Thank you to the anonymous who wrote about using IMPACT to evaluate teachers. You said it is really hard for a teacher to get a rating of ineffective.

Regardless of how difficult it may have been to get this rating, the evaluation system was highly experimental and flawed (I got two memos during the year stating that changes were being made to the criteria - MIDYEAR! That's like aiming for a moving target). How would you like to be evaluated by such a tool? How would you like to play a game in which the criteria for winning change mid-game without a warning?

IN ALL FAIRNESS, IMPACT is not trustworthy and should be used for informational purposes only this first year.

Anonymous said...

The final impact scores are available by logging into your DCPS email. Email sent this afternoon from Kamras.

Help needed: New teacher unable to find a new job. I made it to a second year based on my score. However, I simply do not feel good about returning to DCPS. I am completely demoralized and unmotivated. I don't feel like I was judged fairly by IMPACT but more importantly I don't feel that the appropriate supports, mentorship or administrative competence will be in place before school starts. I haven't been successful finding another job. Common response is "budget". I cannot afford not to be employed as things are so poor economy wise. On the other hand, I don't want to start and quit on my students either for another job or discontentment with DCPS. I am trying hard to stay focused and keep centered on my students but this tug of war is continuously draining and just don't know how or can imagine a return to DCPS becoming a positive and enriching experience. How do I work my way through this and deal with the realities?

Anonymous said...

I think you need to work with competent people in the union to get data on the students of these teachers. One of my concerns with the chancellor's pay for performance model is it will become an incentive for teachers to avoid working with kids with challenges. Any teacher with sense will stay out of schools with high challenge kids.

Anonymous said...

I am Anonymous@ 8:42. I agree that IMPACT has it flaws and my staff knew wholeheartly how I felt about it. However, there is a point where you have to use what you have to the best of your ability. I am one who has sought out to hire experienced teachers to replace folks who have elected to leave or have been encouraged to seek other opportunities. Not everyone is looking to replaced veteran teachers with TFA or DCTF.

But I have to say in interviewing excessed teachers I have encountered very interesting invididuals...for example I recieved an email from a potential candidate who addressed it to to one Principal in the header, referenced the incorrect school in the letter, and the added a third Principals name in the letter as well. Is this the type of individual who you want to teach your students. I understand that folks make errors. But if you are seeking a new start or a new home wouldn't you take great care to put your best foot forward. Or what about the teachers who are so jaded by what is going on with DCPS that they are entering into interviews by starting with bad mouthing thier previous adminstrator or speaking ill of the process before the acknowledge what they have to offer students and a new school community. Why would I want to consider that negativity for my staff?

I understand that many people are up in arms about what is going on within the confines of the DCPS system. But we are allowing our frustrations to continously undermine the fabric of whats left for our students.

I emplore those who are left to make the best of a flawed system. I have seen first hand what BAD TEACHING has done to students. If we don't proactively do something to remove ineffective teachers by any measure we will be doomed to a future plagued by ignorance.

I'm sorry for the soapbox. But I maintain that if these individuals were doing what they were supposed to be doing in terms of instruction OR classroom management they would have been able to get by with minimally effective.

To be deemed ineffective overall if you are not a testing grade teacher means that truly you shouldn't have been in front of students.

Again sorry for the typos...blackberry.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 4:45,

I was in the same situation you were in. I taught for 2.5 years in DC (2007-2009), and then could no longer take it during the middle of my third year and quit. I used the money I had been saving during my teaching days to go back to school and get an advanced degree, which I'm working on now. It is costly, but worth it, in my opinion. If you have the means, I would reccomend going back to school and getting a Master's or PhD if you don't have it. That way, you have the option of switching to a higher-paying, less stressful career.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 6:45 wrote: "I don't think this is a race issue as much as an economic one. Younger is cheaper. Rhee uses a business approach to education and this is like shipping the jobs to China where labor cost is cheaper."

First of all, children are not a commodity to be bought, sold, and exploited on the open market! How could you liken teaching children and developing their minds to assembly line production of objects? Outrageous!

Secondly, what good is cheap labor if it does not garner the necessary results? Someone needs to compile data on how students fare under the highly coveted-by- Rheeformers, quickly-trained, newly-hired TFA/Teaching Fellow types placed in classrooms with several children exhibiting behavioral and emotional problems. I suspect it's not a pretty picture.

I'd also be interested in learning whether signficant differences between principal and ME ratings factored into the decision to terminate a teacher. (I had such a discussion with a principal a few months ago, and she intimated her rating was not regarded as highly as the discrepant ones proffered by the ME.) I guess I'm wondering if the decision to terminate teachers was based solely on their final IMPACT score average, regardless of their years of service.

Since Rhee will undoubtedly NOT voluntarily release this information, it likely will require an FOIA request.

Anonymous said...

Please read page 66 in Impact "Together we will make Impact a national standard, and in doing so, help advance the achievement of children across this country!!!!" Our system is just a stepping stone. We are again being used as an experiment. fenty didn't just pull her out of his hip pocket, somebody sent her here. I want rhee to give me her top five strategies for classroom success, you know the ones she used to raise scores to 90% in two years, just five!

The Washington Teacher said...

I was surprised that the numbers were released yesterday of those terminated. I expect we will see another round of terminations of excessed teachers who don't find a mutual consent placement. For instance, probationary teachers who don't find a placement will be fired within 60 days under this new contract. Of course other excessed teachers with effective or higher ratings who don't find a placement will only get a 1 year extension until they meet their demise.

Anonymous said...

6:14 am commenter -- bless you for your hard work and candor in telling it like it is. A strong dose of realism in communications from teachers and administrators in forums like this can do wonders for the confidence that they want the public to have in them. Frankly, what parents and other District citizens often hear and read are nothing but teacher complaints, a multiplicity of conspiracy theories, and empty, emotional charges. Teachers have good reason to be upset and the sources of chaos are many more than Madame Rhee. But their response to what the DCPS is doing in the name of the children will determine not only if they continue to have jobs, but also whether they can achieve professional fulfillment and renewed respect, which every committed, effective educator deserves.

Pogue said...

As an observer from New York this is very sad to see. Thank you, Randi Weingarten, your assistance in the destruction of public education and the firing of teachers is really coming along nicely.

Rhee, Parker, Fenty, Duncan, Gates, Broad, Walton, Bloomberg, Klein, and even George W. Bush send you their best wishes.

Anonymous said...

to the first anonymous at 4:45:

i totally feel the same way as you stated here...

However, I simply do not feel good about returning to DCPS. I am completely demoralized and unmotivated. I don't feel like I was judged fairly by IMPACT but more importantly I don't feel that the appropriate supports, mentorship or administrative competence will be in place before school starts.

I have never been so disrespected by a principal and other admin than I have this year. I tried to transfer to another school,went to the transfer fair, sent out resumes, and had two interviews. My interviews were pretty amazing, having managed to teach a lesson to kids on their last day of school and produce amazing results! However, my interview must have had a veil of negativity hanging over it after being treated so terribly by my admin in front of my kids and peers all year!!

I cannot imagine going back to work in hell again this year. Teaching is challenging, and I look forward to the challenge that every day brings, but how can we as educators produce positive results when we are constantly knocked down by admin, and not provided with the resources( books to read, manipulatives etc...), a clean school, and even the bare minimum...toilet paper!!

Anonymous said...

"Candi, can you please look into why 241 teachers were terminated, but ONLY 165 OF THESE 241 RECEVIED POOR EVALUATIONS?? This was reported by Bill Turque. That leaves 76 teachers unaccounted for. Why were these 76 terminated, if not for poor evaluations?"

The 76 teachers were fired for not having teacher licenses. Does anyone disagree with this?

The other 165 account for 4% of the teaching force. Does anyone dispute that 4% of teachers in ANY school system are ineffective? What is the problem?

Anonymous said...

Anon@824 The same thought also crossed my mind. I too was hoping that Ms Rhee would model and demonstrate the strategies she used in Baltimore to raise student achievement. I would also like Jason Kamras to model his teaching strategies that allowed his students to meet AYP at Sousa or at the least show us the DATA since there seems to be a question based on DCPS DATA about his alleged success. A few other blogs Guy Brandenburg and Urban Educator have brought up this point.

As Candi said folks- it still ain't over. Many excessed teachers have yet to be placed. DC has supposedly hired several hundred brand new teachers (check LinkedIn for new hire profiles)and we of course can anticipate the annual "fall adjustment" when enrollment numbers are not what they should be. How many 'Minimally Effective' teachers will be cut then. In all my years I have never seen a more ghastly and patently unfair system of treating teachers. This who remain should really fear the future and question what is really important. Educating children and standing up for their rights and yours or raise the test scores and to heck with a true education. I could go on but today is truly depressing. I'm ready to sue!

Anonymous said...

Candi- Why is WTU only protesting the firings of 81 teachers? What about the others and what about those who were lead to believe by administrators or GP that this was a pilot year and did not receive there final evals until today. I know many teachers who left the school on June 22 who were effective, only to find out today that they were ineffective or minimally ineffective today based on test scores that have yet to be publicly released. To whom shall we complain and by what date?

Anonymous said...

I believe the point Ann. 6:14 makes, saying we need to do the best we can with a flawed system for the kids, conflates two completely separate but important elements of teaching. One is our love of children and their well being. As far as I can see there is no part of IMPACT which truly measures this, and how could it! The other element is happiness on the job. Teachers are human, we give but we also want to feel like we like our place of work, feel valued and respected. That pushes us to work harder. I am fortunate to have an outstanding principal in DCPS who does these things, so I like my job, I work hard to improve our school because of her respect. But if someone like Rhee, who clearly has a deep hatred of teachers, is running the show and pushing teachers into a box of only one teaching style, how can a thoughtful creative teacher be happy? I scored well in IMPACT but I hate what it has done to my teaching. This is a job issue. Why would I not fight for a better work environment, why would I not follow the advice I give students all the time, which is you do not have to settle for less than you deserve. I never say, your life is crap, try to make the best of it. I ask them, why is it crap? What can you do to improve it? That is teaching. That is being a fully developed human. Teachers need to fight for the right to teach children, the right to be happy, the right to be human.

Anonymous said...

The Group I teachers in my school have been scrambling for Group 2 assignments. The 4th and 5th grade teachers want 3rd grade or below. Even the 3rd grade teachers who are not Group 1 want to teach 2nd grade because of the burden of DIBELS/BURST/DC-BAS/DC-CAS. It truly sucks the joy out of teaching and learning.

Anonymous said...

IMPACT evaluator, you may have personally sought out experienced teachers but let's be honest here most are not. The 2010-2011 school year is going to be the biggest hiring year to date for TFA/Fellows. My fellow colleagues spent their summer somewhere in American helping train new recruits to enter public schools all across the country. Of course a lot of them are going to end up at DCPS. Have you not seen the ads, they've been posted for months? Most of the replacement will be Fellows and TFA's; they're already hired, if they are not going to put them in the classroom what are they going to do with them? So you are the rare exception. I'm all for having the best teachers in the classroom, but let's be reasonable in no profession are all workers the "best of the best". You have some shining stars and a lot of good workhorses, that are reliable and get the job done. If you want effective teachers in the classroom, then hire the best and make sure you provide the rest of us with the promised resources like mentors (didn't have one), and coaches (nor one of these either), and excellent professional development opportunities (had some of these. Also, DCPS Human Resources is still ineffective and does not provide any support to new teachers.

Anonymous said...

another thought...why are these TFA's and fellows allowed to take these jobs for two or three years and leave?
that is not really helping the system at all. raising scores is part of the process, but in order to truly teach well, it takes experience.
the kind of teacher it seems DCPS wants is someone who is a robot, young, and who looks at it as a few years as a local service project.

DCPS has done nothing to help teachers they just recruited last year. They were given no mentors, no coach assistance, no meaningful PD opportunities, just power points on IMPACT. Go figure!!

If you want the teachers to take 50 % of the blame for the DCCAS, why don't we try to wake up some of these families that do not value education...education begins in the home!!

OneLOVE said...

I am not going to let my blood pressure raise over this BS. Whatever 2 be will be. I am just going to get my house in order, go back to school and finish my PhD, and give the folks in central office what they want. I spent the entire afternoon when I was supposed to be relaxing on the beach watching CNN, and MSNBC. My stomach was in knots, and I felt an anxiety-attack coming. I had to do breathing exercises to calm my nerves. Then I had a "HA-HA" moment; STOP WORRYING about things you have NO control over! TFA/ DC fellows, IMPACT, MR, FENTY, GP, VG,, etc...don't give a damn if I croak from this drama! So do what u need to do.. and if the end of the day it wasn't good enough...LEAVE.

I am not going to let anyone mess with my vibe.

One love.

Anonymous said...

From a Philly teacher to DC teacher colleagues: Just want to say how sorry I am that you have become the vanguard of the "fire all the teachers" movement. We are not far behind you, thanks to NCLB, excessive testing, a new and lengthy evaluation process, and an unsupportive administration. I and many of my colleagues here are as dismayed, demoralized, and disillusioned as you are. I hope someday that, as a nation, we will stop the teacher bashing and honestly start trying to educate our children. (We all know that, in our inner cities, it will mean much smaller classes, better facilities, and adequate supplies.)

Anonymous said...

One Love - just for clarity - did you decide to leave on your own, or were you one of those forced out by impact?

Anonymous said...

I am in agreement with OneLOVE.

We CANNOT allow ourselves to become disillusioned, disheartened, discouraged and fearful over this mess! What Michelle Rhee is doing to teachers in DC will follow suit in other states. As you know there is a movement going on called education reform. MR is the maverick for other urban educational systems in the country and Mr. Obama is silently applauding her! So there's no where to run and no where to hide. No other school system is safe for long. Public education is under attack!

All we can do is do the BEST we can, work with integrity and remain positive. The Devil...I mean Michelle Rhee comes to Steal, Kill and Destroy! Your anxiety and displeasure are pleasing to her! Your anguish is another notch on her power belt!

Reject that! Rebuke that! Start this year with as much gusto and excitement as if MR was gone! Do not let her steal your joy! Trust and believe that God has the last laugh. God does not like anyone abusing his children. MR, Fenty, Parker and all those other scumbags will not be around for long.

Soon it will be obvious that a quick Teach For America fix for urban schools is not working. Soon people will realize that most of these Charter schools are fly by night.

Things will come around. Believe it!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 6:31 (Jul 25) and OneLOVE: Very well written! *Applause*

You both are so very right. Resist evil and it will flee. We actually embrace this nonsense when we become depressed and filled with anxiety and despair. Why not embrace, instead, all that is good? Know that nothing happens that is not divinely ordained. We shall get beyond this madness, whether we lose this job or not.

As one who has experienced this type of situation more times than I care to acknowledge, I can affirm that it always has been better on the other side. I encourage you to stay "on purpose" and watch what happens. Your mind will be blown and you shall have the last laugh!

Anonymous said...

@July 25 6:31PM Right On!
This is just the beginning of the fight. This city can not afford to pay for all of the veteran teachers to leave at one time. The compensation per teacher over 20 plus years is huge! First, you have to compensate them through unemployment, then if the teacher is really smart they can draw the unemployment until they can't get any more money. Next, the teacher applies for his/her retirement. The DC Government has to pay you for life. If you live within your means,you Can Make It. Forget getting a PhD. or Masters' degree if you do not already have either of these degrees. There are plenty of PhDs and Masters' degree people who are unemployed, there is a Worldwide Depression going on. God is watching, and He has the final say!
Stay strong,work smart, practice patience, stay positive (our students need to see strength under fire), try to tame your tongue, record any inappropriate behavior toward you, record any hostile acts toward you, and Pray Daily!

usereason said...

To Anonymous at 5:18:

I don't know if you are trying to embarass OneLove, but a lot of teachers who had passing IMPACT scores feel the same way. I am not being IMPACTed out - my scores were high enough to remain. However, I have been applying to other school systems since June. I am choosing to leave. I don't believe I will grow as a professional if I remain in DCPS.

Besides teaching children tons and tons of fun information, my professional goals include writing for professional journals, doing a little research, and maybe teaching some college courses. I don't believe I can adequately work on these goals in DCPS, with its restructuring schools, constant visits from Adderley and OSSE, constant stream of new programs and strategies to use with children, and constant teacher-bashing.

I, too, have taken some deep breaths and reminded myself that sometimes when you've made the best difference you can make, the only thing left to do is leave.

Vinicius said...

These deformers in Chicago, Detroit, NY, Washington DC and LA, are ruthless and have no soul. The systems they use to evaluate teachers is a way for them to find a way to give the impression they are doing something to improve education. It is all smoke and mirrors. These folks have their surrogates. In Chicago, we have the University of Chicago's Consortium on Chicago School Research, who take millions in tax payers money yet do NOT challenge Mayor Daley and the CEO's of CPS! Be wary, since they are networking across the states to bring down education. We are beginning negotiations for the next contract. The labor lawyer for the Chicago Public Schools is an executive member of the Chicago Civic Committee that co-created the Ren 2010 Deform model that Arne Duncan started and brought with him to Washington. Again, these folks are dirty and ruthless. No teacher can sit on the sidelines. They want us replaced with cheap help. That is the bottom line. The lower middle class should be worried, who is to say it won't happen to your suburb in the near future!

edlharris said...

Thinking of Rhee's and Kamras' false claims of classroom success, I wonder if Miss Rhee will move the Highly effective educators into the positions that were just made available?
Replace the ineffective teachers.
Only seems fair and logical according to their "it's for the kids" mantra.

After all, if a teacher isn't to be guaranteed a job for life, why should they be allowed to remain at the same school.
If Miss Rhee thinks they should be moved to a poor performing school, why not?

(Has anyone noticed that one of the poorest performing schools, Stanton Elementary, will be turned over to a private company?
So next year, their low scores won';t drag down the DCPS elementary average.
Number games.
Roderick Paige was a master of them.)

n said...

Anon 8:42
Interesting that you criticize an applicant for mistakes on resume, but you spell implore incorrectly. It is always good to not cast stones.

I am also curious as to what your support is for repeated behavior problems? Often there is nothing a teacher can do.....what happens then?

n said...

Pogue....don't forget Obama and Kennedy (he co-wrote NCLB). Obama and Duncan are making things worse, if you ask me.

Where is the media on the dumping of experienced teachers and the hiring of TFA? What, Rhee want turn over every two years? She herself said her first year was a wash....

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to July 30, 2010 Vote to reinstate the 266 teachers riffed, correct Ms. Gill. The below link is a great article to read for the rif teachers! Victory is coming soon. Talking about retrochecks imagine getting our salaries for 2009-10 school year and the 5% increase on the retro check for SY 09-10!!!!!
http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2009/11/rhee-defied-law-in-order-to-slash-more.html

Anonymous said...

Has there been any info about the demographics of the schools that teachers have been fired from? More elementary, or more secondary? More Title I? etc.

Sheila H. Gill said...

George's Love and Hate relationship with Rhee is troubling to me!!

George Parker will file a suit over the fired 241 teachers reported by Leah Fabel - Washington Examiner 7/27/10.

It would appear to me that George should have demanded that DCPS educators would not be terminated under the first school year of the IMPACT Evaluation process during the WTU Contract negotiations with Rhee in 2010.

Also, George should have negotiated that the retired educators SY 07-09 would receive a retroactive check if the WTU contract was ratified.

In addition, the new WTU contract has numerours clauses that need to be resolved instead of listed as to be determined.

Why is George P. "A Day late and A Dollar Short?"

It's time to have a strong WTU President who is proactive instead of reacting to Rhee's attack!!!

Rhee will attack again very soon because DCPS students are used as testing guinea pigs under the Rhee Administration.

DC Voters vote for a NEW MAYOR in 2010!!

Enough is Enough!!!

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the retroactive checks will be issues around the same time as the Mayor's election. I guess we can expect Fenty and Rhee to trumpet this pay to residents as part of the election message. Just confirms that politicized nature of DC Educational Politics and misuse of the Chancellor Office.

Anonymous said...

Check out today's post on calculation of IMPACT scores, it makes me feel better cos when I got my document in the mail I couldn't make any sense of it even though it said I was effective. At least the explanation in the paper is more descriptive than the one we got from administrator's just before breaking up for the end of the year. Hopefully, more information will come out about this.

Dorsey said...

Candi -

Does the union have or plan on collecting demographic data - age, gender, race, years of experience, school, etc. - of the teachers fired last week?

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this?

Fatal error in calculating individual value added scores

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/dc-s...dc-teacher-dismissal.html#more

Anonymous said...

http://www.nhcs.k12.nc.us/ayp/index.htm
WHATS THE SECRET OTHER SCHOOL DISTRICTS RELASE AYP RESULTS

Anonymous said...

NYC today announced that the wrong formulas were used to calculate student progress on the reading test.. as a result only 60% of students were proficient this year as opposed to the 80% last year. Best part: Teachers and Parents should not be angry.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/education/29scores.html?ref=education

Anonymous said...

Candi,
Now that the final impact scores are available for teachers to review, what does it mean when it is such a complicated document. You've got to be a mathematician and a statistician to even begin to understand this very complex process by which they arrived at your final IMPACT score. WOW!!!!!!
Candi I'm simply speechless. I made an attempt to explain the process to family and friends and they looked at me as though to say, why would there be such a document which is so complicated and complex being utilized to rate people when you don't understand it, especially when your very job and your yearly moneies depend so heavily on it. All I can say is I don't know. Just an added note for all to remember MR comes from a culture that is a "DOG EAT DOG WORLD" and you get to your goal by any means necessary. We as educators must keep the faith and know that I self worth can not be measured by piecies od paper and know that "YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW".

Anonymous said...

Impact is nothing short of voodoo math. (See Washington Post blog posted today for more details.)The teachers in Group One at my school were told that our DC-CAS scores would be 50 percent of our final score. But no one told us they would compare our DC-CAS scores with other comparable students across the city, then come up with a calculation that would make us appear to be lacking even if we had a 20-point increase on the DC-CAS. If indeed they actually did the comparison, why not let us see what students they used, atleast give us student numbers and what schools they attend. There's too much mystery surrounding Impact and all of its bogus calculations. George Parker needs to denounce this mathematic voodoo for what it is: A sloppy attempt to force teachers out and crush the union. The sad result: Education reform will be hurt as teachers scramble to 'put on a show' in order to nab a good score from the master teachers. Students don't need teachers preoccupied with creating a dog-and-pony show; they need real authentic education that doesn't involve saying the daily student objective 5 times. This is all so, so sad.

Sharon B. said...

I need someone to put me in touch with a microphone,a television camera, and some newscasters. I am so sick and tired of this mess. It is time for a revolution. YES!!!! a REVOLUTION!!!!! We sit here and blog day after day, after day, after issue, after issue. Somebody needs to take the bull by the horns and reate a raucous. TELL ME HOW TO GET it all out. Bring the crews to my house. I AIN'T SCARED!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:53

I disagree with your comments. While I dislike IMPACT immensely I think formula and percentage distribution is the only thing that it got right because it is easily to follow.

What I don't like is that administrators are unable to explain the basic statistical model, specifically the ranges provided in the IMPACT book used to perform certain calculate SVA.. These ranges differed between Group 1 and 2 etc.

Anonymous said...

i love the "students like yours..."
the thing is, there are no students like mine, they are different from classroom to classroom and school to school, so how can that be 55 percent of my final evaluation?

why can't dcps train the principals first on IMPACT before implementing such a program?
anytime any teachers in my building asked an IMPACT related question, the principal and vp had no clue!

here's another thought...why not get rid of more principals...aren't they actually supposed to LEAD? not demoralize and disrespect teachers and offer no assistance?

Vinicius said...

Chicago Tribune Editorial Board loves your Rhee.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-rhee-20100728,0,62163.story

How dumb is the tribune editorial Board!

Maybe someone from Washington DC can leave them a response.

Anonymous said...

They can't explain IMPACT to principals because they don't understand it themselves!

The Washington Teacher said...

Thanks for all of the comments. Having lost power for 3 days, I wasn't able to access the internet. Oh the things we take for granted. Thank you all for weighing in with your comments especially about IMPACT. It is so important that we must enlighten the public on whats happening in DCPS. Let's continue the dialogue.

For those on the outside who want to continue to believe that we don't want accountability- I won't waste my breathe trying to convince you otherwise. Like all working people, I want fairness for all of us. We must, we must fight this evaluation even if our union under the helm of George Parker won't.

Anonymous said...

I am a dedicated five year veteran Special Education DCPS teacher. In the fall of 2009, I was hired into the DCPS system and I must say my first year was very interesting to say the least. For years I have motivated students with special needs to reach their highest potential, and some of my students have made significant progress under my care and I refuse to allow myself to take any credit for their achievement, after all they earned it! When I receive the DC-CAS scores recently, I was elated to discover that most of my students scored proficient in Reading and made modest growth in mathematics. This year, I was able to build a great rapport with my special need students. I also built a wonderful and working relationship with my parents as well. It was not until May of this year when I finally felt confident that my job was safe and secure. I scored pretty well on IMPACT (Effective), so I had no reason to worry, even though there were always rumors about certain teachers losing their jobs. Well on June 11, 2011 as I was exiting the building for the weekend, my principal handed me a letter, and I knew it wasn’t good. I didn’t open it until I got into my car, that’s when I found out when I was excessed, thus ending my tenure in the building I had worked in for only a few months. My heart was torn into pieces and I cried, grieving at the fact that the following week would be my very last with my students that I grew to love and enjoyed. For the past month, I interviewed for many positions but to no prevail. No principal has returned any e-mails or have asked me to come in for an additinal interviews. So I don’t know what the future holds for me! I don’t even know what is going to happen once the 60 days past on August 11. Due to the fact that I am considered probationary status, I don’t know if am going to be eligible for a buyout or remain in the system for a year. Can some provide any pointers?

Anonymous said...

Today's POST says that the number of teachers fired is a lie, that Rhee wanted to make it look like she being tough on teachers so inflated the numbers. All this is according to Parker, in the DeBonis section, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/debonis/2010/07/wtu_says_dcps_fired_far_fewer.html?hpid=newswell
If this is true, then things are truly screwed up in DC, and someone needs to investigate. Why is this article not on the education page?

Anonymous said...

What about the service providers she fired in mid July? Are they included in the numbers? Educational reform- what a joke. I wish I could retire.

Anonymous said...

Candi,
All the sudden Quickbase is unavailable. It is 7/30/10 @ 6:15 WONDER WHY!!!!!!! More bogus info.?????,realize that the impact
scores incorrectly calculated especially the reading??? Check out schoolmatters. A site recommended by another one of your bloggers. Several informative aticles. Very interesting reading.

Anonymous said...

to anon on 7/30 at 12:46...

This year was my first year in DCPS after teaching successfully in other districts for many years! The situations I encountered this year were almost too unbelivable to imagine that they were happening right here in our Nation's Capital!!

After attending the transfer job fair in June and sending out numerous resume's, I had ONE interview and most admin did not even have the courtesy to email or call and respond to me!

After this school year, I am planning on leaving DCPS. No educator deserves to be treated the way so many in this district and in my building have been treated.

Disrespect runs rampant!