98 Teachers Fired in D.C.


On Wednesday August 1, 2012 D.C. Public Schools fired 98 of its teachers for poor performance, making it a large-scale dismissal, but unfortunately not rare in the District.  This year’s figure is only about half of the number fired last year. 53 school employees such as custodians and clerical staff were also fired for poor performance.

DC school officials said they are purging the system of poor performing teachers and the terminations have become an annual summer ritual. Almost 400 teachers have been fired due to poor performance since 2009. Those let go received low scores in the IMPACT performance assessment system, implemented by then-Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

Under IMPACT, teachers are observed five times each year. They’re graded on their ability to meet nine standards, including managing time, explaining information clearly and correcting students’ misunderstandings.

Washington Teachers’ Union President Nathan Saunders, one of the fiercest critics, said the evaluation system is flawed but has been improved through recent revisions.

During the 2010 election then council chairman, now Mayor Vincent C. Gray campaigned on an improved school reform system, but under his administration the firings have continued with Rhee’s successor Chancellor Kaya Henderson.

The numbers released Wednesday include only teachers in traditional public schools. Public charter schools have latitude to use their own evaluations.

Under the former Mayor Adrian Fenty (D), his chancellor Michelle Rhee also fired teachers in large numbers and closed down a number of low-performing schools. Some considered this one of the many reasons why Fenty lost his re-election in 2010.

Parts of the information in this article were taken from washingtonpost.com



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