School & District Management

Tales of Woe Surface From D.C. Teacher Firings

October 23, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The outcry over teacher layoffs in the District of Columbia has quieted a bit this week, but stories about the individuals who lost their jobs keep coming out, thanks to Bill Turque, The Washington Post‘s beat writer. Some of the details are jaw-dropping, really, and seem to suggest that much of the dysfunctional bureaucracy that Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee had pledged to dismantle is still in place.

The most striking tale, to DD, is that of the teacher who considered herself to be part of “Rhee’s movement,” as Turque puts it. She was let go by a principal whom she said retaliated against her for complaining to the chancellor about her ignored requests for building repairs.

Here’s what Turque wrote about her experience:She said that after observing a history class she taught on events leading up to the American Revolution, for which she prepared a PowerPoint and excerpts from the HBO “John Adams” miniseries, [the principal] told her that the lesson was “perhaps a little too middle class.” He suggested having the students develop a rap as part of their study of the period.

Perhaps the chancellor ought to take as hard a look at the quality of her school leaders as she has at the quality of her teaching corps. She has fired and hired dozens of new principals since taking over the system two years ago, but school leadership, at least publicly, hasn’t gotten the level of attention from her that the issue of teacher quality has.

Even when you recruit and hire hundreds of talented teachers, they certainly aren’t going to stick around if they have to work for bad principals.

In other Rhee news, we told you earlier this week about The Baltimore Sun‘s editorial board saying Rhee’s counterpart in the Charm City, Andrés A. Alonso, was more likely to achieve his goals because of his more genial demeanor. In a letter to The Sun today, Alonso said he hopes they both come out on top.
”..while I am an extremely competitive person, I would be proud if the person I finished second to is Michelle Rhee. Hopefully, we finish in a tie,” he wrote.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Quiz What Do You Know About the Most Influential People in School Districts? Take Our Quiz
Answer 7 questions about the superintendent profession.
1 min read
Image of icons for gender, pay, demographics.
Canva
School & District Management Opinion I Invited My Students to Be the Principal for a Day. Here’s What I Learned
When I felt myself slipping into a springtime slump, this simple activity reminded me of my “why” as an educator.
S. Kambar Khoshaba
4 min read
052024 OPINION Khoshaba PRINCIPAL end the year with positivity
E+/Getty + Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management The Complicated Fight Over Four-Day School Weeks
Missouri lawmakers want to encourage large districts to maintain five-day weeks—even as four-day weeks grow more popular.
7 min read
Calendar 4 day week
iStock/Getty
School & District Management From Our Research Center Principal Salaries: The Gap Between Expectation and Reality
Exclusive survey data indicate a gap between the expectations and the realities of principal pay.
4 min read
A Black woman is standing on a ladder and looking into the distance with binoculars, in the background is an ascending arrow.
iStock/Getty