Mar 6, 2010

Chancellor Rhee's Firing Squad Strikes Again?

UPDATE: A second inside source confirms the central office terminations. Please read below. Given that my sources are usually pretty reliable, it wouldn't be surprising if Chancellor Michelle Rhee fired even more DC public schools staff last week. An anonymous source emailed me that over 20 employees were laid off last Friday from the central office and that even more terminations are scheduled to come. I am little confused about this informant's choice of words especially since lay-offs are typically carried out when there is a budget deficit. My bad, I see how it is easy to get confused around here especially given that the Rhee administration uses lay-offs as an excuse to get rid of certain targeted employees. Any sleuths out there interested in researching this story further ? If you have any more details, please feel free to email Until then, here's what anonymous sources are saying about the recent central office terminations:
"OK, I was browsing the web trying to see if the news of the DCPS central office "lay-offs" that occurred yesterday was on any one's radar. To my surprise it wasn't. I came across your blog and I decided to send you a email. I currently work for DCPS so I must remain anonymous. On Friday, March 5th over 20 DCPS central office employee's were "separated" from their positions. The head honchos tried to convince the staff this was part of the "budget reduction plan". I have to disagree, this was a blatant office wide termination of folks that didn't get along with their direct supervisors. The stage for this was set a long time ago. Every one that was "let go" was African-American and very out spoken.They were revealing a lot of under handed activity that was going on in the central office and the 'big wigs' didn't like this. It makes me sick to my stomach to see what's going on in our central office. All of the staff (including me) are walking on egg shells waiting until our name is put on the "lay-off" list. A lot of the things going on at DCPS need to be exposed. That mess that was pulled yesterday needs to be investigated...something just wasn't right about the situation. They also made it known that this is not the end of the "lay-offs. signed,
DCPS is under handed
*Second email from another source
Dear Wash Teacher,
"I too have been searching the internet for news on March 5th's central office lay-offs and have been disappointed. I can't give a lot of detail because they'd know who I was if I did as they read these blogs and discuss them derisively. I can confirm that there were over 20 "separations from employment" on Friday. I agree with your first source that there are more to come. I was given information from two director level persons. Neither person could give a reason for this action other than vague "recession" mumblings. Both stated that "no one is safe" during these times so I believe that they already have a list of persons that are being laid off next but didn't want to do them all at once. I know that not all of the persons laid off on Friday are African-American, but I believe that most were outspoken in their concern for DCPS practices." Signed, anonymous

The Washington Teacher, Featuring Candi Peterson- blogger in residence and whistleblower


Anonymous said...

The thing I don't understand about DC government in general right now is why people are being held hostage by Adrian Fenty and his crooked government. Fenty couldn't whip anyone's butt on the street. Why are people living in fear of him? Rumor has it he used to get his butt whipped all of the time when he was a kid. Now he's a classic bully.

I was let go from DCPS over some bull@^*% and I cannot understand how people allow this man to continue to operate as he does. He STOLE MONEY FROM OLD PEOPLE as an attorney. That is an indicator of his character as well as those who allowed him to get away with it.

How many more people have to suffer in silence before something is done. People, wake up. You're going to be fired anyway. Stand up for yourselves and blow the whistle. What I really don't get is how some people think they're inevitable and then dare to act surprised when Rhee's cobra-like strike hits. What I think is totally ridiculous is when people cower after they've been fired. WHAT ELSE CAN THEY DO TO YOU AT THAT POINT? Everyone they fire is blackballed. The way I see it is if everyone puts them on blast, they won't have any alternative other than to be in the corner like the rats they are.

Chanel said...

Can you provide some "job titles" that were let go, or their departments? Someone who claims to "know what's going on" should be able to offer "information" that's more specific than "over 20 DCPS central office employee's" [sic]. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry all the mainstream reporters read Candi's blog. I am sure they will be looking into this story, I am sure the Examiner will be willing to cover if even if the Post doesn't.

Anonymous said...

My guess is either this happened and there will be more useful info forthcoming from the source and people who were laid-off, or it did not happen and is a set-up to rile people about race relations.

Like the others posting here so far, I suggest we sit tight and wait for more verified info before speculating further.

Anonymous said...


Why do you need to know the names or departments to believe the firings took place? Everyone knows Rhee fires those who aren't submissive! Or are you trying to figure out who the mole is?

Anonymous said...

hey... I thought I mentioned this back in Dec that by April 1 central office which includes special education folks u know those on central office budget but work in the schools were going to be let goooo.

Anonymous said...

This is getting to be utterly RIDICULOUS!! It really is.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait until Rhee gets her pink slip. Believe me it's coming sooner than you think.

Classic said...

I was told that there were going to be cuts on Friday as well. I was in an IEP meeting and the SPED person in the meeting said that he was afraid to go back to his office because he didn't know if he still had a job because they were doing cuts.
For those that dont believe time will tell....believe me people were fired and more are coming!!

Anonymous said...

Candi, I hope you are sending this mess to Chairman Vincent Gray and make sure some of those people sign up to testify on the 15th of March at the annual oversight perfomance hearing.

Anonymous said...

Condi: Respectfully, am not sure the percentage of AA staff among those laid off is significant, as the vast majority of staff are AAs, right? Would be a good idea not to leap to racial conclusions, or if one does, to put it in the right context.

The Wash. Teacher responds said...

Anonymous @ 6:51pm

I cannot say that the vast majority of our DCPS central office is African American any longer. I was down there last Wednesday and it didn't look that way to me. There have been a lot of staff changes so it is hard to say what the racial makeup is of our DCPS central offices.

I am not leaping to any racial conclusions but featuring two emails that were sent to me by insiders. Let's not get touchy when I post an email in which someone reports that the majority of staff who were fired from central office were African-Americans. The truth can be a hard pill to swallow. If we only had real investigative reporters in this city then we could read about this story with full details in the mainstream press if you get my drift.

Anonymous said...

Hey Candi ,

A little off the subject but does WTU still exist? Or WTU Executive Board?

Sheila H. Gill said...

I totally agree wth Anonymous @ 5:30 PM.

All Stakeholders, especially wrongfully terminated DCPS Central office employees let your voice be heard.

WHEN: Monday, March 15, 2010

TIME: 10:00 AM

WHY: DCPS Hearing is open for the
public testimony.

WHERE: John A. Wilson Building

HOW: Contact Aretha Latta at 202
-724-8196 or email her to be
placed on the list.

Our students deserve a competent, certified, experienced and qualified Superientendent who is capable of managing a school system and balancing a fiscal budget consistently.

No More EXCUSES, Just Solutions!
Enough is Enough, Rhee must GO!
When? NOW!

Classic said...

@ anonymous 8:35
I think that is a great question... it is a little off the topic but George has successfuly shut down the Union. He doesn't hold executive board meetings, he has canceled general membership meetings, he doesn't return phone calls, or emails. I think that the WTU is effectively shut down!!!

Anonymous said...

It's either I'm not paying attention or what but I DID NOT NOT HEAR ANY FIRINGS last Friday. If this actually happened, we, at the central office last Friday should have heard and talked about this.

The way the 'anonymous' gave vague info, i highly doubt the truthfulness of this info.


Kings said...

I wonder how many of them had sex with children.

Anonymous said...

off the topic again

Have you all heard the commerical that our union dues have paid for????

There is a commerical that is playing in the radio talking about how DCPS is a wonderful place to work, and all the wonderful things that Michelle Rhee has done. You think that it is a commerical from DCPS noooo its from the WTU. Your dues moeny is paying for it ... hmmm whose side is George on?

Anonymous said...

hey candi,

i left a comment here last night and it seems you have overlooked it to post or intentionally left it out.

please don't give me the impression that you only post here what you want to hear and that the content of this blog is onerous.

The Wash. Teacher said...

I am requesting that any central office staff with additional facts regarding the over 20 staff terminations at the central office contact me with more details @

Confidentiality assured.

Anonymous said...

I applaud you Candi. We have to know if this is true, before we exhaust ourselves commenting and stressing out. DCPS is so full of rumors these days, it's hard to know what is really going on.

Anonymous said...

Yeah.... and what happened to the "in two weeks we will have a contract for you!" Didn't Michelle Rhee go on the radio with that BS? Here we are again.. looking like sitting ducks! When will this madness end?

Anonymous said...

i can give you specific details but you have to published my first two comments so it's a guarantee that this page is a lame avenue for smear campaign.

candi, adhere to what you say in your banner. otherwise, you're just another monger to the old-traditional "i-am-better-than-thou-because-i-found-dirt-on-thou".

Anonymous said...

Finding AA in DCPS headquarters on the 8th to 9th floors (825) was like finding a fly in a bowl of milk.

The closer you get to Rhee's office, the fewer AA you will see.

Now, payroll is full of AA but the power people is almost anything but AA.

Anonymous said...

Back to the race issue again... just another thing to separate us... come on people! Can we please stop the madness among ourselves? We already have Rhee separating us through IMPACT!

The Wash. Teacher responds said...

Response to comments about the WTU :

Yes I have heard the commercial by the WTU. A teacher called me and said it sounded like a Rhee ad until she heard George Parker's name at the end. I don't get the purpose of it and maybe someone will enlighten me. It is unfortunate that Parker did not advance this request to get approval of the ad as well as request for approval to pay for the ad to the WTU Executive Board. He continues to spend our money and operate as though he is a solo act without any checks and balances.

As far as I know the WTU still exists even though we haven't had an executive board meeting in ages. No WTU Executive board meetings were even called in the month of February. At least 7 to 8 board meetings weren't held this year. Lately WTU Prez George Parker doesn't even give the board notice of meetings anymore.

Kings said...

anon at 11:51 - I'm confused by your post and just hope we get some clarity on the supposed firings soon.

Maybe Rhee will make a statement. That would help.

Anonymous said...

How long can we wait while they steal our profits and get away with it ? Rhee is a blatant liar and racist. How long is too long? How long can she continue with her administration to fire people just because they have different opinions. Its sad and hurting that Rhee is allowed to get away with everything and all the crime she commits in the District of Columbia. She discriminates based on age, sex, and race and nothing is done about it. If someone keeps on doing crazy things, then you have to start wondering if that person is crazy. Remember, PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.

put up or shut up said...

11:51 anonymous

So what exactly are the specific details that you claim to have about these firings? Let's hear them now.

Anonymous said...

My first time posting on this topic.

I spoke with a DCPS employee in the Office of Special Education. They told me that they arrived to a regular staff meeting that ended minutes after it started. The meeting only lasted a few minutes "due to the termination of some of our long time colleagues in Special Education and out of respect for them, the meeting agenda will be tabled".

Now, I heard several names, but the one that I remembered the most was a woman who was the former assistant to then SPED director Michael Snipes. I do know her name and I confirmed for my self that she was terminated on Friday!

So, it definately happened. Don't know the exact some numbers but I do know it is just shy of 40 people and whether your readers like it or not.......the DCPS employee said " primarily african american women".

Anonymous said...

Let's look at the situation this way:

1. People are continuously losing their jobs for no apparent reason under the guise of at-will employment.
2. Whether people are black, white, blue, purple or green, people's damn rights are being violated continuously, period.
3. If it was not for this blog, many of the things Rhee does would go unnoticed.
4. Don't hate the messenger, hate the message.
5. How long can people continue to let an unqualified media junkie continue to put DCPS further down the garbage disposal?
6. Why do the children, workforce, parents and communities deserve to be dictated by someone who was so underqualified they had to water down the job title?

When the Secretary of Education knows more about basketball than he does about education, and Chicago's test scores are enough data for me to say that, you're in trouble. THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS IN TROUBLE. Yet another example of an undereducated and underexperienced person leading a school system.

Get a damn grip and if you know something, post it. If you don't, keep an open mind as you read the posts. Candi can only post quality information when she receives it. She is a whistleblower, not a decision maker!!

Anonymous said...

If you want to get motivated to improve, no matter what your point of view about the direction of DCPS and its legacy corps of teachers, read the NY Times Magazine cover story yesterday. It is all about modern teaching methods--that work. The piece touches on various philosophies of reform, including what works and what doesn't from a HR point of view, but the focus is on classroom tcchniques. All leading schools of education appear to agree that traditional methods, and the grad school ways for teaching them, are mostly ineffective and that most teachers anywhere will need to learn the techniques that are effective. Stop and check your thinking: are DC teachers spending time improving their methods and otherwise developing themselves, or are they devoting their energies, apart from teaching, to grappling with being measured, job insecurity, union concerns, and the latest controversies? What's best for the teachers who want to be fulfilled professionals? Is this one and the same as the best outcome for our children?

Anonymous said...

anon 4:29 - you sound like a misplaced infomercial. Of course teachers want to be good at what they do, but it sounds like you're saying, don't be bothered that your leadership is unsupportive to the point of making your job difficult, just do it. I don't know of any research-based or common sense management technique that promotes this point of view.

Anonymous said...

NY Times article
Good Reading

edlharris said...

Confirmed by Bill:

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I work in CO but did not know about the terminations until I read about them in Turque's blog.

In the comment section of Turque's blog there were some postings calling for an audit -but I doubt the City Council will follow those leads (that would be too easy; they might find some actions that are hard to justify and have to act).

I don't know if race plays an issue in many of the firings, but dissent is not tolerated and age is not appreciated. (The younger the staff the better: they are driven to "succeed" at any cost, love the power they've been given, and truly believe they are among the Chosen. Anyone who's had to deal with these [self professed] whiz kids knows what I'm talking about).

By the way, walking around CO I don't think it's predominantly Black and the ethnic group most under-represented are Latinos.

Anonymous said...

There were actually 22 people told "your services are no longer needed" No explanation was provided to any of the folks termiminated. however, please note that only one white female was terminated. There is so much craziness going on with DCPS. Chancelor Rhee terminated 250 teachers, while the teacher were in the process of a RIF. DCPS hired a Program Coordinator with a salary of 85,000 per year. Please explain this behavior. I was told that the coordinator was a "gay" friend of the main "big wig" So, please launch and investigation regarding this ridiculous behavior. I'm inclined to believe that those terminated were targeted. There are several people in Central Office, with responsibilities unknown. Most of the employess--have no idea what they do?? There are program managers still in the union. How does this occur??? There are people that are clueless and have no idea what is going on. I guess if you're the right "gay" male or white female (clueless) or not its okay. DCPS will be exposed----BE WARE!!!!!! They are liars and will do anything to protect themselves. FEDS please investigate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Rhee's job is to destroy the black child's education especially the poor and in order to do that she had to remove as many blacks as possible and a few whites who see blacks as equal so that the black child is left defenseless. Rhee will use some blacks to lead her evil endeavors as well.

Don't think for a moment that Rhee is not posting on your blog or do you already know that.

Anonymous said...

I was part of the firing and those were the exact words that I and the entire unit got, "your services are no longer needed." No explanation was provided. Nothing!!

Irene "Butterbean" Jenkins said...

Out of mere curiosity, why hasn't all of this nonsense with the DCPS and that green tea drinker have been shown on all the major tv network news outlets? I am only asking a question because with all of this backed-up sewage going on, I have yet to see some of the latest happenings on the news.

Anonymous said...

To the last poster: because the majority of DC resident think M. Rhee is doing a good job, they believe the hype. If you read the Washington Post today you'll see even more of it.

Anonymous said...

25 area schools labeled persistently failing
By: Leah Fabel
Examiner Staff Writer
March 12, 2010

The schools' new federally mandated classifications are hardly worthy of a banner above the main entrance: "Persistently lowest-achieving schools."

That label reflects multiple years of minimal progress and academic performance in the lowest 5 percent of all schools in the state. In the District, high schools with graduation rates below 60 percent also received the designation.

But while the schools share the same label, the results are hardly comparable among states. T.C. Williams landed at the bottom of Virginia's barrel with 84 percent of students scoring proficient in reading and 77 percent in math. In D.C., Spingarn brought up the rear with only 17 percent proficient in reading and 15 percent in math.

Each school is eligible for a share of $3 billion in federal stimulus dollars deemed "school improvement funds." The money must go to one of four school turnaround options approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Options include massive staff replacement, turning over the school to an outside operator, such as a charter school, or closing the school altogether.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Read more at the Washington Examiner: