Quote from a CHEC teacher: " If so many probationary teachers are being terminated ... what does that say about those hiring them and the supposed amazing pool of people available for hire? So many questions, so little answers, but plenty of finger pointing towards the teachers... including unfortunately, many good ones."
These updates are being provided to you in real-time. Because so many teachers have been fired, I am having to stay near to my computer and phone as I report what's happening on our educational landscape. Stay tuned for updates ! As I receive additional updates, I will post information.
Columbia Heights Education Campus (updates)
21 DC Teachers Terminated
Principal Takeva gives the boot to her middle school teachers @ CHEC
I just received this update. There have been 21 DC teachers fired from the Columbia Heights Education Campus where Maria Tukeva is the principal. This has just been confirmed. Most of the terminated teachers are probationary teachers. As emails are coming in, I will continue to provide you updates .Terminations of this many teachers at one school are unprecedented.
Ludlow Taylor Elementary School
7 DC Teachers Terminated
Rhee fires 7 DC teachers at Ludlow Taylor elementary school @ 659 G St. NE where Carolyn Cobbs is the principal. Our own fellow education blogger Dee Does DC was terminated too. The special education department at Ludlow Taylor was wiped out by Principal Cobbs.
Garfield Elementary School
1 DC Teacher Terminated
Rhee fires 1 DC teacher at Garfield elementary school @ 2435 Alabama Ave SE where Tammy Thomas is the principal and one of the DC departing (resigning) principals. ( The Washington Teacher).
A blog designed to facilitate communication about education, teaching, schools, labor issues, social justice, politics and ordinary life. Statements or expressions of opinions herein 'do not' represent the views or official positions of DCPS, American Federation of Teachers, Washington Teachers' Union or its members. Views are my own. Anyone who claims otherwise is violating the spirit and purpose of this blog.
Jun 18, 2009
Chancellor Rhee is a Terminating Machine !
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Not surprising at all.
What's really interesting is that Tukeva (Principal) has been able to get away with her bullying/intimidating tactics for so long and no one has really taken a close look at the program and wondered why all students (i.e., special education, ELL and so on) are REQUIRED to take AP courses. All students are required to take AP English because it soars a school and a program to the top of national list.
Oh! discipline -- how does Tukeva deal with unruly/disruptive children because she inherited a school full with the merger of Lincoln/Bell. Why did Tukeva move her offices from the Lincoln side back over to Bell after she found that she couldn't escape the discipline issues and had no real solutions? Why don't they take a look at the daycare? Filled to capacity, can't take anymore children. Too many babies at Lincoln/Bell having babies (way 2 many). Oh! and the girls more than likely are getting pregnant right in the same building where they should be learning. Some people (administrators and teachers) think the gangs are cute but they are real amongst the children and there's nothing done to discourage activity. Let's not even talk about how many children show up high to school, spending their days eating candy and running the halls. How does she meet AYP, the eraser becomes her friend. She really shouldn't be an administrator. She's corrupt and she's Rhee's tennis partner.
How does she get money for running both Rosario's Charter school and the Lincoln/Bell school? When the neighborhood is a true mix and the school should represent that --- how is she able to move out the black children to other wards when it's their neighborhood school? Take a look at the suspension rate for the black children vs. the hispanic children. She creates a very divisive environment for the students and teachers and you've got to decide early whether or not you're gonna play her game. If you don't decide to play, your out. Even if your the best teacher. She doesn't care about good teachers and she really doesn't care about educating black children.
OMG, above, you said it all. It's about time someone blows the whistle on this principal. As my students say, I been knew this (I've known this for a long time) about Tukeva, but this is REALLY.OUT.OF.CONTROL, OVER.THE.TOP.
National Association for the Prevention of Teacher Abuse - NAPTA
It's a real website found at www.endteacherabuse.info
It may provide some help or advocacy ideas for someone.
I don't know the specifics at CHEC, but my understanding is that Maria Tukeva is the one behind all the craziness there -- not Rhee. From what I understand, she's been off the deep end for some time.
Also, the numbers are interesting -- and in some cases shocking. But, with the exception of the teachers at CHEC, I haven't heard much about the quality of the teachers fired. Were they good, mediocre, or bad? Because if they were bad, then what's the problem? We all know there are bad teachers in DCPS, and we should want them to be fired if that's what is necessary.
Its about time someone wakes up to know who is TUKEVA. The point is that TUKEVA does not want blacks or black students to be educated in that area. You are absolutely right that she does not care if you are the best teacher, if you do not dance to her game she will definately try and fire you. We know because you are hearing from someone who worked at BELL for years. Tukeva made sure that the school was/is not a multicultural school because she caters only to hispanic students. She does not care if they cannot read or write, or if they are in gangs, she still considers them and treats them better than black students.
I propose several questions Mr. Potter. What if a group of teachers aren't bad to use your words and they get recommended to be fired ? What do you propose should be done in these instances ? Should there be consequences for principals or administrators who unfairly terminate teachers ?
Also what do you think needs to happen with principals like Tukeva who seem to abuse their power ? You state Tukeva has been off the deep end for some time.
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on these questions. Thanks.
If you check out my June 16th entry, you will note that teachers are writing about some of the details about the CHEC teachers. More to come.
Tukeva is crazy. seriously crazy. what is it going to take to get someone to see that? when is someone going to realize that although CHEC looks good on paper, it is a horrible place? what about THE KIDS?!
I taught there one summer for summer school. There was a student from another class who kept hanging around my room, trying to talk to one of my girls. I sent him away and asked him to stop bothering my class, as we were working. I thought nothing more of it. A few weeks later, I read about a stabbing in the area. This kid who had been at my door was the assailant. At the time, I thought the school discipline bad. There was a prevailing tolerance of gang-like behaviors and too many girls getting pregnant. No one in charge was putting their foot down and being the adult. I was glad when summer school was over and could leave that school. And when I would read how good a school Bell, now merged with Lincoln and called CHEC is, I figured the principal had a staff of PR people working for her. Also, noe of the teachers I knew from there are still working at CHEC.
I'm not really sure what should be done with Tukeva. I don't work at CHEC, but I know many who do and they all say she's bonkers. They also say, however, that the school runs smoothly, they have adequate supplies and resources, and test scores are better there than at most other schools in DC. So if I were Michelle Rhee, I don't know whether I would step in or leave it alone. As a teacher, I say get her out of there. But as a parent or an administrator, I don't know that I would want that. At the very least, she probably needs counseling.
Obviously I don't support arbitrary terminations. If a significant number of the terminations are found to be baseless, then there should be (and probably will be, in the form of lawsuits) consequences. I was just asking about teacher quality because I hadn't heard anything about it (besides the teachers at CHEC). We all know that there are teachers in DC who don't do their jobs, and should be fired. You have these headlines on your blog like all terminations are terrible. Firing someone is only a problem if they were actually doing their job well. So I just wanted to ask.
At my school, 4 people were fired. 3 of them are, in my opinion, bad teachers. They let their kids run around the school, they showed non-educational movies every week, they sat in the back of the room and read the paper. 1 teacher was a first-year who was working really, really hard. She got a raw deal -- she was only observed once by our principal, and yet was told that she didn't make enough progress (tough to measure with only one point of reference). For her, I'm glad the union is there to represent and protect her. For the others, though, I don't feel too bad.
So my question, to you and to your readers: were the teachers who were fired "good" teachers who were really doing their jobs well, or were they the paper-readers? Somewhere in between? Are we outraged because they're our friends, or because they legitimately were doing a good job? The answers probably vary from school to school, but it's something worth thinking about.
Of the 250 teachers fired, 60 were probationary, 110 not certified and 80 on the 90 day plan. That's 80 out of 157 on the 90 day plan, or half. If Rhee's plan was to have principals aggressively use the 90 day plan to transition out ineffective teachers, it wasn't very successful. All this is a great big commercial for why teachers need tenure and union protection.
Ms. Tukeva might be a little crazy, but she is not half as crazy as her army of clones: Aguilar, Strickland, Docal and Hill. These are the people who day in and day out PURPOSELY seek out new teachers to humiliate them and make them feel inadequate and stupid. Strickland in particular has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse of power. Unfortunately, Tukeva is completely oblivious to all of this. The whole attitude in that place is that all new teachers are dumb and need to be talked down to. I am so glad I left that place after my two years. I would recommend to all new incoming DCTF and TFA (I will not say which one I came under, but it was one of those) to put their foot down and REFUSE to go to CHEC.
Here's a question for you. I think you make a good point about the dilemma Rhee probably faces with regards to what to do with CHEC. It has good test scores, but people are miserable there. There were 21 terminations and 20 more teachers left or were transferred to other schools in DC. Here's my question though (or really like 2 questions)...
How much MORE amazing would test scores there be if kids had a little consistency? Every time the kids get attached to a teacher or get used to a teaching style, their teachers disappear on them. If they had some consistency, don't you think the test scores would improve even more? (assuming the teachers are the non-paper-readers). My students had FOUR different English teachers this year because people left mid-year to escape the work conditions. How is that acceptable?
Second question: Doesn't the happiness of the staff somehow impact the happiness of the students? I know that my kids felt the tension at CHEC this year because of the dominating administrative presnence and the visibly stressed teachers. Everyone was afraid for their jobs (apparently with good reason) and I think the kids felt that. So is this aspect of the situation something Michelle Rhee could consider?
Strickland should have been fired months ago after the 34 page document was presented to Tukeva...but wait..she can do whatever she wants so....
Tukeva can't fire Strickland ... that's her lover!
What was in the 34 page document?
I knew she had married the uncle or guardian of a student who was middle eastern or Iranian. I don't believe the marriage lasted. To do this to your own school, ultimately your kids, is just evil.
gosh i am so glad someone was brave enough to write about strickland and tukeva....i wasn't going to go there, but i am so glad someone did.
the 34 page document was a compilation of letters from current and former staff about strickland's unprofessionalisms. about 20 people contributed letters to the packet, but since tukeva was put in charge of conducting the investigation, of course nothing has happened.
Talk Talk and wait....More talk!! When are we going to act on this injustice. Someone needs to stop Strickland and his lover (Mrs Tukeva from bullying and creating a horible work and learning environment for the kids and teachers at CHEC. No one has mentioned how Strickland has been in at least 3 fights with students, been accused of sexual harrasment on more than one ocassion, curses out teachers daily, and pretty much does what he wants all day (he is the only Asst Principal I know that is allowed to coach basketball and supposedly perform principal duties at the same time this has been going on for 4 years and he's won a total of 1 game in that time). The kids all hate this guy (yes hate) I challenge any of you to ask any student that attends Bell if they like Mr. Stickland and I'm willing to bet my house you'll get a no. I've been saying for weeks that its funny how most of the teachers that wrote letters to Mrs T about how Strickland abuses his power are now terminated or on 90 day plans. If this is not a Washington Post story then I dont know what is...Call the Post (I did)!!
Yes, it's about time someone blows the lid on this school and this principal. The test scores are another big fat question. The school is overwhelmingly ELL and immigrant. By definition, many of the students are not highly fluent in English enough to score proficient or advanced on DC CAS. I think I read where they have high test scores. How's that?
Also, if there are high AP scores, it's because the more educated immigrant Hispanic kids are in AP Spanish, basically tested in their native language. I'm glad they do well, but this should be examined.
All y'all anonymous posters should choose a name so we don't get you confused. But if Strickland is the principal's lover and he's the Strickland I know, she's about 20 years his senior. Old enough to be his momma. And all this at work? How could she fairly investigate charges of misconduct against him?
I am a retired teacher who taught for many years at Bell. In 1998 Tukeva persuaded a teacher from Rockville to come join our staff. She was always getting praises from Tukeva and got a very good end of the year evaluation. But weeks before ths school was over, when she found out about a relationship between and a Spanish teacher and a male student, Tukeva made my colleague a scapegoat and treated her viciously even though she had just given birth to her first child and was a single mother. DCPS certification office did not honor her certificate from the State of MD, because they said, the rule of reciprocity does not apply to Bell Multicultural HS. Students and fellow teachers appreciated her dedication, parents loved her Tukeva treated her horribly even stopping her transfer to another school. She went to see several lawyers but when they heard the name "Tukeva" they told her she was untouchable in DCPS. She went back to teach in Montgomery County.
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