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.