Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rhee and The Teachers Union, Round 63....

Oh how I love this woman.  Michelle Rhee has fired 241 of the lowest-performing teachers in the District of Columbia (just under 4%) and the union is going to the mattresses.  The Rhee/Fenty team has decided that the District's schools can no longer be the nation's laughingstock--and they've done something about it. 

If Rhee were the CEO of a company, the measures she's taken to produce performance would be lauded universally.  But since public education is treated as a sinecure for the ineffective and inefficient, her actions invariably raise a ruckus.  I can't wait for the WaPost series on the honorable, hard-working teachers let go.

Note:  some 76 of the fired teachers were let go due to a lack of proper licensing required under No Child Left Behind.  This statistic is the most troubling one of the lot--I know this because I know a DC teacher who was let go as a result of a license issue in the early days of the Rhee administration.  Here's the deal--NCLB did in fact, create standards for teacher licensing; however, the District's IMPLEMENTATION of those rules defies common sense.  My friend was given an ultimatum in which she had to go and complete some three additional classes in order to be certified to teach in the District--when she could have taken the Metro to Virginia and qualified from day one.  You see, her MA in Teaching English as a Second Language was PAID FOR by NCLB, and the curriculum was developed specifically to address the provisions of NCLB for teacher certification.   Yet for some reason, DC added to the requirements, and the rest is history. 


Ken Adams said...

Heh, couldn't see this line coming from a mile away:
"WTU President George Parker said the program is designed to weed out teachers rather than help them improve."
Well, duh! You improve the mean performance of a population by removing those who cannot or will not perform, Mr. Parker! The time for "improving" individual teachers who can't cut it has passed. I'll bet that there are dozens of highly qualified applicants for each of the positions that have just opened up to the marketplace.

Mudge said...

Heard another great one yesterday on NPR. Sob story about the unethical advertisers who use the "President Obama wants single mom's to go to college" ads. (I first saw one of these ads as a Google pop up right here on TCW). Apparently, this campaign is working better than the sponsor had hoped. The intent is to get single mom's, ideally of minority racial status, to contact them so they can gather up contact data and forward it to universities who can then help them get government student loans while at the same time boosting their quot...I mean, diversity. I love that the mere mention of "Obama" and "college" leads some in our society to have such a firm expectation that it will be "free" that they go through with the whole scheme. The NPR story in question featured a "let go" teacher, yes TEACHER, who saw the ad and felt mislead and cheated when she learned there was no free money. Of course the NPR cuddly blanket weavers wrapped her up for protection from the mean streets of advertisers and suggested that maybe some more laws and regulations were in order.

Interesting thought there NPR, but I have a better idea: how about we insist that our teachers aren't world-class morons in the first place? And you wonder why so many home school?

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