Teacher Firings up to 12 at CHEC, Mostly Probationary Teachers
Did you know that some DC Teachers have started receiving notices of terminations today ? These notices have been sent out to some teachers via email. Some teachers were given a copy of their termination letter in hand mid-day signed personally by Michelle Rhee .
Here's what two DC teachers from Columbia Heights Education Campus (CHEC) had to say about today's terminations:
"I am one of the probationary teachers who was terminated at CHEC today. My frustration at the situation does not, as many of you suggest, have to do with Michelle Rhee or her mission. Instead, my frustration is focused entirely on the administration at CHEC, for the way that they are handling the firing process, and for the amount of truly amazing professionals they are terminating. One of you suggested in an earlier post that the probationary teachers who are being fired at CHEC (both DCTF and otherwise) are under performers, but this is not the case. The amount of extra work required of teachers at CHEC is unbelievable, and all of the people that I know who have been fired embrace that extra work because it will ultimately benefits students. There have been several terminations that I know of where teachers were not even placed on any sort of improvement plan. (I was not on any sort of a plan...no 90-day, no anything...). I just find the entire situation sickening, because the people at CHEC work extremely hard and receive this sort of treatment. All throughout the year, I felt under appreciated, unsupported, and unfairly treated. This termination just comes as the final straw. I do not want any of you to get the idea that the teachers who are being terminated at CHEC somehow deserve what they are getting because I can assure you, they do not. The work environment at that school is poisonous, and this is just the latest thing. May this just be a lesson to everyone that as educators, we need to stick together, support each other, and remember that we are ultimately all here for the kids. They are what kept me going all year, and they will continue to keep me going in the future. " Signed Terminated Teacher
Second quote from a teacher who still remains at CHEC :"This year at CHEC, there was an obvious shift in the way the administration "graded" the PPEP rubric and evaluated teachers. Teachers who "exceeded expectations" in the past were given "meets expectations" or "needs improvement" and the overall morale in the school was gravely effected by this seemingly arbitrary and change in rating teachers. To me, this sounds like pressure coming from powers higher above? This shift definitely created an US vs. THEM mentality in the school and I can't see how that will diffuse much after the way things have been handled. Many of us don't feel like we are being treated as PROFESSIONALS and we have a very diverse, talented, and caring staff. We have made great strides in the quality of the education being implemented due to the hard work of the great teachers (past and present) that have developed curriculum and challenged our students.
That being said, many teachers have been harassed, disrespected, unsupported, and pushed away due to unprofessional pressures from some of the administration. I find it very disheartening to see SO many of my fellow talented and hard working teachers leave my school each year (voluntarily and involuntarily). I am also VERY frustrated that each year the dramatic turnover results in retraining and reinvesting in new staff which also GREATLY effects the school's potential to grow and improve. When and how are the administrators evaluated? Is teacher retention considered in the way a school and administration is evaluated? If so many probationary teachers are being terminated at my school... 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." Signed DC CHEC teacherChancellor Rhee is following through on her promise to get rid of a significant share of her teacher workforce as outlined in her 5 year educational plan. Rhee also makes good on her threat (plan B) of firing teachers when she couldn't gain approval for our DC teacher contract. (known as the red and green tiers)
It seems like it's not only veteran teachers that Rhee is giving the axe to but also newly hired probationary teachers. Sound eerily familiar to what happened to DC's 78 probationary teachers who were fired last year without regard to their performance ? What perplexes me is that I thought that it was the 'newbie teachers' that Rhee was aggressively trying to recruit ? Hmmm-Some how no one is safe regardless of their job performance or years of experience. Would you agree ?
Keep your emails coming about terminations of DC teachers and principals c/o firstname.lastname@example.org
12 DC Teachers fired @
Columbia Heights Education Campus (CHEC)
Also known as Lincoln MS and Bell Multi-Cultural HS
3101 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20010
Principal: Maria Tukeva
Of the 12 teachers to be fired, 10 are probationary teachers and 1 teacher was on a 90 day plan. It is suspected that there is a 2nd teacher on a 90 day plan but this must be confirmed.(Posted by The Washington Teacher).