Jul 7, 2009

Where Have All The Teachers Gone ?

Answer: Rhee has fired everyone

I received the email below from a concerned insider about Sousa Middle School's high turnover rate of teachers and staff under the helm of Principal Dwan Jordan. Sousa is located at 3650 Ely Place, SE Washington, DC. Little has been reported by the mainstream media about the impact DC teacher/principal firings and high staff attrition rates will have on returning students come August. The Washington Post has limited coverage on teacher terminations and no reports to date on the recent principal terminations and staff attrition rates. Little wonder why given that The Washington Post has a proclivity for covering up the news rather than reporting the news.

Soon I imagine that we will be singing the song - Where have all the teachers gone ? (to the music of Pete Seeger's -Where have all the flowers gone ?)

Where have all the teachers gone ?
Long time passing
Where have all the teachers gone ?
long time ago
Rhee has fired everyone.
When will she ever learn ?
When will she ever learn ?

Dear Candi

"Sousa Middle School has experienced the highest teacher and staff turnover rate in its' history, under one year of leadership with Principal Dwan Jordon. Dwan Jordon terminated 8 teachers that he placed on the 90-Day Plan; however, more than 30 additional staff members have either transferred, resigned, or left in the past 10 months Principal Jordon has been on the job. To have more than 30 people (including janitors) voluntarily leave a brand-new, 20 million dollar plus, state-of-the-art- middle school should be very telling about Mr. Jordon's treatment of teachers and staff.

Students, parents and community leaders are outraged at this high turn-over rate as it will effect the human ecology of their neighborhood. As such, they have signed petitions, and have called for Principal Dwan Jordon's termination to Chancellor Rhee. On Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 3:00 p.m., students, parents, and community members met at headquarters with CHANCELLOR RHEE and presented compelling evidence as to why Principal Dwan Jordon is not a good fit for Sousa. They presented CHANCELLOR RHEE with all the names of the teachers and staff members who were no longer at Sousa. Also, they provided personal testimony regarding their experiences at Sousa.

"Well, I will investigate the various allegations that you have brought against Mr. Jordon. However, I feel that Mr. Jordon is an awesome, awesome, principal who sets very high standards for his teachers and staff. Therefore, I do not agree with terminating Mr. Jordon. At the very least, Mr. Jordon deserves another school year as Sousa Middle School's principal."

Can all the teachers and staff-members be wrong? Can all the teachers and staff-members who accuse Principal Jordon of being mean-spirited, uncaring and a tyrant be incorrect? What is going to happen to all the students who are returning to Sousa in August when they realize that only 5 teachers out of the original 24 will be back? Also, how will the students respond to 19 new teachers who don't know anything about the neighborhood or its' student body ?

Posted by The Washington Teacher


Pam said...

"How will students respond?" Like they always do: they'll get used to it. Give them credit for being flexible and adaptable. I doubt kids care as much as you say they do about who their teachers are or where they come from. (Sad but true.)

Anonymous said...

Students may not care but their parents do. There are parents leaving the schools because of all the chaos and confusion that the present administration created like the changing of schools to K-8, having class sizes that are way too big, having a shortage of teachers and subs teaching classes most of the year and school violence.

Kings said...

It will be interesting to see where the replacement teachers come from. Seriously -- has rhee done a bang-up recruiting job? Are the teachers going to be hot young grads from elite colleges who will turn around Sousa?

I educ8 said...

Two points are missed here:

1) Jordon was probably hand-picked by Rhee to exert a reign of terror not unlike the one she has executed over the past two years. They are obviously of the same ilk. Therefore, her response is not unexpected.

2) Sousa is located in Southeast. Rhee doesn't give a flying fig about the parents East of the River. On the other hand, West of the Park parents hold more sway over personnel decisions. Rhee panders to those who she believes are more educated, wealthy, well-connected, and better able to cause trouble for her (i.e. "wield more power") if they see fit. There obviously is a significant discrepancy in the level of respect she has for the two sets of parents.

incredulous said...

This would be much more valuable if links to background and qualifications of the principal were provided.

But, so far: This sure makes the case for the insufficiency of new facilities to quality schooling. Same as in Kansas City.

incredulous said...

Principal Dwan Jordan describes his past as having come from the highest-performing school in the Prince Georges County public school system.

Please explain the arithmetic in the report. Thirty voluntary departures were reported in addition to 8 recent terminations of teachers. But, the school will only hire 19 teachers to complete a teacher complement of 24. What were the positions of the other 19 people? Or was there a series of people filling the same positions?

I understand you are not responsible for the content of a letter you post. But, the arithmetic doesn't concern you?

The Washington Teacher said...

The email states that 30 additional staff persons left. They indicated that this number included janitors so it infers that all the positions were not teaching positions. I do not have any additional data about what the other positions were. I hope this clarifies things for you.

andrew said...

Washington D.C. Public School's Chancellor Ms. Rhee does not speak to Washington Post education writer Bill Turque. Something he wrote set off a fit of self-pity in the broom-toting school boss. So she gave her favorite, the ghost writer of her fairy tale background, Jay Mathews the following statement in a recent WaPo profile written by Turque.

"If I go down at the end of the day because I didn't play the political game right, that's okay with me," she said. "At least when you're making decisions that you believe are in the best interests of kids, you may not win in the end, but at least you can operate with a good conscience."

The similarity of Rhee's attitude is striking in its substance and tone to another lightweight in the arena these days.

Palin: Politically speaking, 'If I die, I die.'

By DAN JOLING, Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Sarah Palin says she's not a quitter, she's a fighter, but adds that, politically speaking, "if I die, I die. So be it."

The Alaska governor spoke in taped interviews on ABC, NBC, Fox News Channel and CNN broadcast Tuesday morning.

She told CNN that "all options are on the table" for her future, and told Fox she doesn't know what the future holds.

But told ABC's "Good Morning America" that she recognizes she might not have political staying power after her surprise resignation Friday, which came just as she had been expected to elevate her national profile ahead of a possible 2012 GOP presidential run.

"I said before ... 'You know, politically speaking, if I die, I die. So be it,'" she said.

Rhee and Palin, birds of a feather.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to watch Rhee write her own obituary (when here I thought she'd use a wedding announcement to extricate herself from this mess!). And there's a telling logic behind all of this. Her assumption seems to be that educational reform is a zero-sum game. Anything that hurts teachers must help kids. What she's missing is that in failing to pursue a win-win scenario (in which teachers are given the resources necessary to help them do a better job as educators), she's creating a lose-lose scenario.

But, hey, as long as that leaves her feeling good about herself ("I alone had high standards and fought for the kids...") she's apparently all right with that. I used to think she was just a ruthless self-promoter with a Seinfeldian conception of honesty (It's not a lie if you believe it's true). Now I'm headed toward textbook narcissist.

Anonymous said...

It should be clear to everyone that terminator Rhee does not care that her actions are wrecking havoc on the DCPS and the community it serves. What is more surprising is our GHOST MAYOR FENTY HAS NOT PUT A STOP TO THIS slaughter of our school system. Oh, just like Rhee, he cannot admit he made a very serious error in judgement when he pick this light weight to run our schools.

Seems like Fenty and McCain have a little in common too. At least voting Americans but a stop to McCain's madness. Now the voting DC residents must do the same to Fenty. And, if necessary take the members on the council who support this madness by their lack of action and willingness to rubber stamp the actions of Fenty and Rhee down too.

If Rhee blessed Principal J as being great, look out. He must be dangerous. Remember the wonderful principal of Ron Brown and her endorsement of this terrorist.

Mr. Jordan why would you leave one of the best schools in PG to come to DC. Oh, it must be the money or did your former bosses refuse to promote you.

Anonymous said...

Andrew - totally agree with your point about Rhee and Palin.

Unfortunately, Rhee has much better facility with the English language, so she fools people for much longer.

At the end of the day, however,they are the same person

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin and Michelle Rhee are both creations of media. Both have shallow, easily dismissed resumes and continue to demonize hardworking Americans as they cleaverly play the media to build personal business interests. The difference between them is Sarah Palin actually had to talk to the Media Rhee hasn't talked to the Wash Post only education reporter for months. She has for two years fired thousands of hard working educators with no evalaution of her effort by anyone. The citzens of the District of Columbia who allowed this ethnic cleasing will reap what they sow. Soon they will discover Rhee's teachers and Principal's are whoolly unprepared to handle inner-city children.

Anonymous said...

Ethnic cleansing sounds about right. 825 went from being 90% black to 90% white in just three years. Unbelievable.