School & District Management

Tales of Woe Surface From D.C. Teacher Firings

October 23, 2009 1 min read

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
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Safe Return to Schools is Possible with Testing
We are edging closer to a nationwide return to in-person learning in the fall. However, vaccinations alone will not get us through this. Young children not being able to vaccinate, the spread of new and
Content provided by BD
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
Teaching Webinar
Meeting the Moment: Accelerating Equitable Recovery and Transformative Change
Educators are deciding how best to re-establish routines such as everyday attendance, rebuild the relationships for resilient school communities, and center teaching and learning to consciously prioritize protecting the health and overall well-being of students
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
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
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Addressing Learning Loss: What Schools Need to Accelerate Reading Instruction in K-3
When K-3 students return to classrooms this fall, there will be huge gaps in foundational reading skills. Does your school or district need a plan to address learning loss and accelerate student growth? In this
Content provided by PDX Reading

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 Opinion COVID-19 Ripped Through Our Emotional Safety Net. Here’s How My District Responded
Three years after overhauling its approach to student mental health, one California district found itself facing a new crisis.
Jonathan Cooper
2 min read
A young man stands under a street light on a lonely road.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images
School & District Management Opinion Students Need Better Connections. To Wi-Fi, Yes, But Also to Teachers
We have to fix our digital divide, but let’s not lose sight of the relationship divide, writes one superintendent.
Susan Enfield
2 min read
A teacher checks in on a remote student.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images
School & District Management Opinion Superintendents Have Weathered a Lot of Vitriol This Year. What Have We Learned?
The pandemic turned district leaders into pioneers, writes one superintendent. We had to band together to make it through.
Matthew Montgomery
2 min read
A person walks from a vast empty space towards a team of people.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images
School & District Management Opinion Critics Complain My District Doesn’t Really Need Relief Aid. If They Only Knew…
District expenditures have ballooned in the pandemic, but many critics expect the opposite. How can leaders set the record straight?
Theresa Rouse
2 min read
A business person convinces colleagues by presenting a plan.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images