Teaching Profession News in Brief

New D.C. Evaluation Process Targets Hundreds for Firing

By Stephen Sawchuk — August 10, 2010 1 min read

The District of Columbia teachers’ union plans to challenge schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee’s move to fire 302 educators this summer, including 241 teachers, most of whom she says are being dismissed for failing to meet performance standards.

Of the teachers, 165 earned low scores on the school district’s teacher-evaluation system, IMPACT, which debuted last year. Some were fired on July 30 because they had earned an “ineffective” rating. Others were removed from their buildings because of program closures and will be dismissed by the end of this week if they can’t find a principal willing to hire them. Seventy-six others were let go because of license problems.

The school district has about 4,000 teachers.

Although many states and districts are now overhauling their teacher-evaluations systems, IMPACT is among the first in operation to take student achievement into account. Under the system, teachers are observed five times over the course of the year by administrators or “master educators” and rated on a complex set of measures.

In addition, 5 percent of each teacher’s rating is derived from the school’s overall academic progress. Growth in student scores makes up half the evaluation for teachers of subjects covered by standardized assessments, some 15 percent of the teacher force. Only 26 of the dismissed teachers fell into that category.

The local teachers’ union has criticized IMPACT for its complexity, its use of student scores for judging teachers, and its implementation without a pilot program. But Ms. Rhee defended the system as a more accurate measure of teacher performance.

“It’s so much more objective than what we had before, where it was one person’s opinion [of the teacher], which is totally subjective,” she said. “This system is much more rigorous.”

Under the terms of the district’s recently ratified teacher contract, teachers can “grieve,” or formally protest, procedural aspects of their evaluations, but not their scores.

The system also identified 737 educators as “minimally” effective. They must raise their performance during the upcoming school year or risk dismissal.

George Parker, the president of the Washington Teachers Union, said he would contest the firings.

A version of this article appeared in the August 11, 2010 edition of Education Week as New D.C. Evaluation Process Targets Hundreds for Firing

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
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online
School & District Management Webinar What's Ahead for Hybrid Learning: Putting Best Practices in Motion
It’s safe to say hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction that evolved quickly during the pandemic—is probably here to stay in K-12 education to some extent. That is the case even though increasing

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

Teaching Profession Nearly 9 in 10 Teachers Willing to Work in Schools Once Vaccinated, Survey Finds
Nearly half of educators who belong to the National Education Association have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
4 min read
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site setup for teachers and school staff at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa., on March 15, 2021.
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site set up for teachers and school staff in Reading, Pa., on March 15.
Matt Rourke/AP
Teaching Profession Q&A Nation's Top Teachers Discuss the Post-Pandemic Future of the Profession
Despite the difficulties this school year brought, the four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award say they're hopeful.
11 min read
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
Courtesy of CCSSO
Teaching Profession Teachers Are Stressed Out, and It's Causing Some to Quit
Stress, more so than low pay, is the main reason public school teachers quit. And COVID-19 has increased the pressure.
7 min read
Image of exit doors.
pavel_balanenko/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion Should Teachers Be Prioritized for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Not all states are moving teachers to the front of the vaccination line. Researchers discuss the implications for in-person learning.
6 min read
Teacher Lizbeth Osuna from Cooper Elementary receives the Moderna vaccine at a CPS vaccination site at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.
Chicago public school teacher Lizbeth Osuna receives the COVID-19 vaccine at a school vaccination site last week.
Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP