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700+ Teachers Fired in DC

The Giant Noodle

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The teachers that are crap got canned. Of course the Teacher Union is complaining :roll:

I think what they did is AWESOME! And should be comended! If you arent doing your job or arent doing it at least to par.... Buh Bye.

VIDEO: msnbc.com Video Player
 
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The teachers that are crap got canned. Of course the Teacher Union is complaining :roll:

I think what they did is AWESOME! And should be comended! If you arent doing your job or arent doing it at least to par.... Buh Bye.

VIDEO: msnbc.com Video Player

Maybe the policy is different in Maryland, but here, teachers are fired based on experience not quality, so if I were you, I wouldn't say the teachers who were fired were bad teachers unless you know from personal experience.
 

The Giant Noodle

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Maybe the policy is different in Maryland, but here, teachers are fired based on experience not quality, so if I were you, I wouldn't say the teachers who were fired were bad teachers unless you know from personal experience.

You didnt watch the video... DID you???
 

hallam

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This is a good move forward. It doesn't seem like the entire evaluation is based on test score and it does look like they are trying to help those poor teachers. However, I don't think every school system can do this as there probably is not the human resources for all local education boards to fire this many teachers a year and have the appropriate number of teachers to replace them all. I would also like to see the result of this over time. If this is the first year, they will need to revisit this in four years or so to see if test scores are raising. That is if the union doesn't kill it first in collective bargaining.
 

justabubba

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my guess is she has sized up the union leadership and has found that they don't measure up
the union president insists the terminations fall under the old contract despite them having been initiated after the new contract became binding
he probably did not see it coming. shame on the teachers for electing him president (or maybe, like the shrub, he was the better of two weak options)

my only concern about this is the test data being used. if the student is lower IQ, with a poor, unsupportive family situation, then the expectation of high scores would be nothing more than a fantasy
however, if what is being evaluated is the degree by which the teachers are increasing the education level of a student above that which last year's test scores indicate they were, then that would seem a legitimate, effective, objective basis - all other things being equal, and there is the rub ... the teacher may get screwed if all other things beyond their control are inequal
if the teacher is charged with teaching computer applications, but the teaching lab computers do not work for all of the students, how effective can the teacher be using pencil and paper to teach a computer applications topic
in reading the Time magazine article about chancellor rhee, this was found:
Teachers got tenure rights in the early 20th century to protect them against meddling politicians and school-board members who treated their jobs as patronage pawns. But the rationale is plainly antiquated. Today dozens of federal and state laws protect teachers (and other people) from arbitrary firing. But most teachers still receive tenure almost automatically. In fact, even before they get tenure, they are rarely let go. Schools spend millions of dollars evaluating teachers, but principals have little incentive to shake up their staffs, and so most teachers end up scoring near the top. "What I'm finding is that our principals are ridiculously--like ridiculously--conflict-averse," Rhee says. "They know someone is not so good, and they want to give him a 'Meets expectations' anyway because they don't want to deal with the person coming into the office and yelling and getting the parents riled up."
Rhee Tackles Classroom Challenge - TIME

that passage expresses the reality. in teaching - and in other areas of government service where there are unions - the poor performers are not terminated because management is not doing its job to follow the processes needed to get rid of the poor performers
 

hallam

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I think they would have built in measures for technology and other resource troubles. I however disagree that the system should take the home life, economic status, or IQ into account. This just builds in ready made excuses. They should catch anyone who has a mental disorder and place them in special classes. But the rest of the students have to tested against national standards regardless of their economic standing or family.

This is the problem with the educational system that we have now. We coddle kids from an early age. We make excuse for them. Oh tommy is poor so he obviously cant. Teacher pass him along and then he gets out of school and cant compete in this US job market. These excuses have allowed substandard teachers to be employed because it is always the kids fault. No, IMHO we need to say to both kids and to teachers that X is the standard and you need to live up to it. If you fail you fail. Teachers who fail should find new employment. And kids who fail need to realize just what that failure means to their quality of life and future.
 

justabubba

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I think they would have built in measures for technology and other resource troubles. I however disagree that the system should take the home life, economic status, or IQ into account. This just builds in ready made excuses. They should catch anyone who has a mental disorder and place them in special classes. But the rest of the students have to tested against national standards regardless of their economic standing or family.

This is the problem with the educational system that we have now. We coddle kids from an early age. We make excuse for them. Oh tommy is poor so he obviously cant. Teacher pass him along and then he gets out of school and cant compete in this US job market. These excuses have allowed substandard teachers to be employed because it is always the kids fault. No, IMHO we need to say to both kids and to teachers that X is the standard and you need to live up to it. If you fail you fail. Teachers who fail should find new employment. And kids who fail need to realize just what that failure means to their quality of life and future.

i don't disagree with your post. but from what you indicate i was less that clear in my own comments. let me try again

if a school practices ability grouping of its students, then those teachers of the gifted class - based on raw performance scores alone, would be able to coast. for the most part, bright kids with homes where educational attainment is stressed, will teach themselves
in contrast, that teacher of the slow class, may have an array of low aptitude, under-disciplined, under-motivated students, who may not do well ... no matter how exceptional their teacher may be
which is why i would advocate using a measure of the progress each student makes during the year the teacher has had them, using last year's scores as the starting point
if those gifted students - as a group - did not show significant progress, then i might have basis to conclude the teacher was not very effective
on the other hand, if that low class - as a group - improved a full grade level above last year's scores, then that would indicate a basis to believe these challenged learners had a good teacher
but if raw scores alone were to be used, the teacher of the gifted kids would probably look better than the teacher of the slow class

and while i agree with you that those students whose issues tend to hold the entire class back should be alternatively taught, that is not the cureent circumstance. at least not in my community. here, the parent can object to alternative placement and insist their child - no matter how incapable - be mainstreamed with others of their chronological age. it amazes me how many parents of these kids are in denial and abandon special attention for their child who needs it, to instead "mainstream" them - subjecting the student to immense frustration
 

Bodhisattva

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I however disagree that the system should take the home life, economic status, or IQ into account. This just builds in ready made excuses. They should catch anyone who has a mental disorder and place them in special classes.

Many places don't stream students though. Most classes are mixed and a teacher can get all kinds of students with varying abilities that can be extremely low. Further, judging a teacher poorly when they might (and often truly do) have students that are completely unmotivated, have low IQ's or have horrible home lives and/or unsupportive families is absolutely unfair. Education is MANDATED and thrust upon the teacher. The teacher has no say in who they get to teach or not.
 

StandUpChuck

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Many places don't stream students though. Most classes are mixed and a teacher can get all kinds of students with varying abilities that can be extremely low. Further, judging a teacher poorly when they might (and often truly do) have students that are completely unmotivated, have low IQ's or have horrible home lives and/or unsupportive families is absolutely unfair. Education is MANDATED and thrust upon the teacher. The teacher has no say in who they get to teach or not.


Well, wouldn't it be kinda easy to teach kids that are on the other end of that spectrum? :thinking Wouldn't you expect a teacher to have to try harder with the difficult cases?
 

Gipper

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Bodhisattva said:
Many places don't stream students though. Most classes are mixed and a teacher can get all kinds of students with varying abilities that can be extremely low. Further, judging a teacher poorly when they might (and often truly do) have students that are completely unmotivated, have low IQ's or have horrible home lives and/or unsupportive families is absolutely unfair. Education is MANDATED and thrust upon the teacher. The teacher has no say in who they get to teach or not.

I always wondered why this is. I guess it's just too PC to separate kids because their precious little esteems can't handle that when mommy and daddy said you can grow up and be president, they were lying through their teeth.

I encountered this problem in high school. I was one of those guys who just "knew it". I would have loved nothing more than to be sequestered from the others who were not up to my capabilities with a teacher qualified and eager to do the necessary job. But no. Myself and others of similar intellect were just strewn into classes with absolute dullards. Therein lies the real problem - teachers catering to the least common denominator. Instead of watering and maintaining the brightest flowers in the pot, teachers had to dump tons of fertilizer and time on the dim bulbs in an effort to just get them to sprout. This kind of conformist crap is the reason why our system fails, and probably one of the loudest arguments for vouchers I can think of.

Some people are born to be minimum-wage pack mules. Don't invest time and energy on them. It's wasted. Give the effort to the next crop of doctors, lawyers, and *cough* accountants.
 

hallam

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Many places don't stream students though. Most classes are mixed and a teacher can get all kinds of students with varying abilities that can be extremely low. Further, judging a teacher poorly when they might (and often truly do) have students that are completely unmotivated, have low IQ's or have horrible home lives and/or unsupportive families is absolutely unfair. Education is MANDATED and thrust upon the teacher. The teacher has no say in who they get to teach or not.

Most moderately sized and large school systems, even most small one, have mentally challenged separate classes because of ADA. All other students should be considered equal. So, teaching is a career. Nothing is thrust upon them. They are free to pick the career or not. If they don't like the evaluation, then leave. Students shouldn't be excused for those things you listed and neither should teachers. Further, I don't think want the video describes is judging a teach poorly. Grades, evaluations, observations, and experience all seem to be factors when they judged the teachers.

For the students, if they are unmotivated and fail, then so be it. Low IQ and horrible home lives are just excuses. Any person who is above the mentally challenged line can succeed independent of home life.
 
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Bodhisattva

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Most moderately sized and large school systems, even most small one, have mentally challenged separate classes because of ADA. All other students should be considered equal. So, teaching is a career. Nothing is thrust upon them. They are free to pick the career or not. If they don't like the evaluation, then leave. Students shouldn't be excused for those things you listed and neither should teachers. Further, I don't think want the video describes is judging a teach poorly. Grades, evaluations, observations, and experience all seem to be factors when they judged the teachers.

For the students, if they are unmotivated and fail, then so be it. Low IQ and horrible home lives are just excuses. Any person who is above the mentally challenged line can succeed independent of home life.

Of course they have mentally challenged blocks… when did I ever say otherwise?

All other students should be considered equal? Have you ever visited an AP Class and compared it to a remedial one? People are obviously NOT equal. You have no argument there.

Of course teaching is a career that teachers can leave if they do not like it, this is obvious. Many teachers leave teaching in the first five years due to the conditions and the pay. Fine. This issue is not being evaluated; it is how being evaluated is described in this thread. Stick to the point.

Bad teachers should be fired, but many people think that a majority of the teachers are bad and that the education system is substandard since these people lack perspective. Are you one of these people?

Low IQ’s and horrible home lives are facts, not excuses. That being said, they will fail and that is fine. The world needs ditch diggers and trash collectors, and I am certainly not going to do either.

There is succeeding and then there is being judged as successful… big difference.
 

UtahBill

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Teachers are expected to correct the first 5 or 6 years of bad parenting some children are exposed to....it is a hard task, and usually futile. I think it was Freud who said that something about our personalities are developed by the time we are 6 years old, and change is difficult to accomplish.
So, for the most part, a child's personality and attitudes are developed early, long before the teacher even sees them.
Until we have a culture shift that encourages good parenting, the education system will be blamed for the failures.

I don't disagree with the need for weeding out of bad teachers, but I doubt that 700 new hires in D. C. will change anything.
 

hallam

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Of course they have mentally challenged blocks… when did I ever say otherwise?

All other students should be considered equal? Have you ever visited an AP Class and compared it to a remedial one? People are obviously NOT equal. You have no argument there.

Of course teaching is a career that teachers can leave if they do not like it, this is obvious. Many teachers leave teaching in the first five years due to the conditions and the pay. Fine. This issue is not being evaluated; it is how being evaluated is described in this thread. Stick to the point.

Bad teachers should be fired, but many people think that a majority of the teachers are bad and that the education system is substandard since these people lack perspective. Are you one of these people?

Low IQ’s and horrible home lives are facts, not excuses. That being said, they will fail and that is fine. The world needs ditch diggers and trash collectors, and I am certainly not going to do either.

There is succeeding and then there is being judged as successful… big difference.

I am not saying that all people are equal. I am saying that all children not mentally handicapped should be judged as equal based on test. If a student is behind it is that students responsibility to get help, not the school (although the school may also offer help). How these teachers are being evaluated is appropriate in this case and if those teachers don't like it they can leave. Frankly, with a abysmal record of most inner city school system, I would say that yes most teachers in these systems are bad or at least are not preparing themselves adequately to do the job.

And again, low IQ and horrible home lives may be facts but they are also excuses used so that people can feel better about themselves. In the end, they are not a deficiencies which hinder education. Will and time trump both and students need to find these two things in order to succeed.
 

UtahBill

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I am not saying that all people are equal. I am saying that all children not mentally handicapped should be judged as equal based on test. If a student is behind it is that students responsibility to get help, not the school (although the school may also offer help). How these teachers are being evaluated is appropriate in this case and if those teachers don't like it they can leave. Frankly, with a abysmal record of most inner city school system, I would say that yes most teachers in these systems are bad or at least are not preparing themselves adequately to do the job.

And again, low IQ and horrible home lives may be facts but they are also excuses used so that people can feel better about themselves. In the end, they are not a deficiencies which hinder education. Will and time trump both and students need to find these two things in order to succeed.

Too many aren't even looking....they don't have to, there is a substantial "safety net" keeping them afloat. If we keep going down this road, we will be like the British, way too many people on the "dole" and living in council houses. There is a good reason that people from Great Britian emigrate to the USA, it is called opportunity. The more education you have, the more opportunities you have. Somehow that idea isn't getting to our youth...
 

Johnny

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You can't blame the kid if the parents are not making them do what they're supposed to do. Home life plays a huge part in a kid's success. Some kids may have more fortitude to push on without that guidance but you can't blame a kid with crappy parents for not performing.

On the other hand you can't blame the teachers right off the bat. There are bad teachers out there but more good ones than bad.

I doubt 700 teachers are bad. This looks to me as if the teachers are being used as a scapegoat.
 
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Caine

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Well, wouldn't it be kinda easy to teach kids that are on the other end of that spectrum? :thinking Wouldn't you expect a teacher to have to try harder with the difficult cases?

The problem is that you are dealing with...... people .....
This isn't a robot that does what you want it to when you want it to.
Some children are raised with absolutely no values being taught to them, no respect for adults or authority figures, no motivation to learn, etc.

You can't blame a person for not being able to change another person, when that person has 30 other people to 'change'.


I, for one, am NOT in the "Blame the Teachers" crowd.

Im a "Blame the Parents" kinda guy.
 

Bodhisattva

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I am not saying that all people are equal. I am saying that all children not mentally handicapped should be judged as equal based on test. If a student is behind it is that students responsibility to get help, not the school (although the school may also offer help). How these teachers are being evaluated is appropriate in this case and if those teachers don't like it they can leave. Frankly, with a abysmal record of most inner city school system, I would say that yes most teachers in these systems are bad or at least are not preparing themselves adequately to do the job.

And again, low IQ and horrible home lives may be facts but they are also excuses used so that people can feel better about themselves. In the end, they are not a deficiencies which hinder education. Will and time trump both and students need to find these two things in order to succeed.

Inner citiy schools have external factors that are far beyond any teacher or school to solve in the few hours a week that they have a student in a class. That being said, it seems that we agree that students need to take responsiblity and that, in turn, it is not the fault of the teacher or school if they are presented with unmotivated students or families not respecting education and the process of education.
 

justabubba

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Inner citiy schools have external factors that are far beyond any teacher or school to solve in the few hours a week that they have a student in a class. That being said, it seems that we agree that students need to take responsiblity and that, in turn, it is not the fault of the teacher or school if they are presented with unmotivated students or families not respecting education and the process of education.

were those 700 teachers terminated in DC let go because they were ineffective teachers or where they discharged because they were charged with teaching the weakest students?
 

Caine

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were those 700 teachers terminated in DC let go because they were ineffective teachers or where they discharged because they were charged with teaching the weakest students?

.................... that is the question...
 

hallam

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You can't blame the kid if the parents are not making them do what they're supposed to do. Home life plays a huge part in a kid's success. Some kids may have more fortitude to push on without that guidance but you can't blame a kid with crappy parents for not performing.

On the other hand you can't blame the teachers right off the bat. There are bad teachers out there but more good ones than bad.

I doubt 700 teachers are bad. This looks to me as if the teachers are being used as a scapegoat.

I think you can blame the kids because it is not the job of the parent to preform in school. That job is the kids. In a system with about 4000 teachers and about 59% graduation rate, I think it is acceptable to at least let the school system decide if these teachers are bad or not.
 

UtahBill

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were those 700 teachers terminated in DC let go because they were ineffective teachers or where they discharged because they were charged with teaching the weakest students?

Well, somebody must be punished, right? and you can't fire the kids or their parents....
I suppose we could punish the parents by sending the difficult kids home to stay until they can come to school ready willing to learn...
 

justabubba

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I think you can blame the kids because it is not the job of the parent to preform in school.
there will be situations where crappy students are sent from supportive homes and where good students emerge from crappy homes. but by and large, the primary indicator of a child's success in school can be measured by the quality of the home which prepares the kid for school, and encourages a good education
so, in many instances, the parent IS to blame for the lack of success of the student
if the kid is not being fed properly, is not getting enough sleep, does not have the learning tools required, and is not being coached/encouraged, then it IS largely the parent's lack of involvement which has caused the student to be unsuccessful
That job is the kids.
only if kids are born with a gene which innately prepares them to be educated; otherwise, it is the parent's job to see that the student is ready and prepared to learn
In a system with about 4000 teachers and about 59% graduation rate, I think it is acceptable to at least let the school system decide if these teachers are bad or not.
if the system has a sound methodology to determine which of the teachers are poor, then we have agreement. my concern is that the teachers are being fired because they happened to be assigned low classes of slow performers. why would the teachers then be responsible for the poor achievement of under prepared and undermotivated kids?
 

hallam

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there will be situations where crappy students are sent from supportive homes and where good students emerge from crappy homes. but by and large, the primary indicator of a child's success in school can be measured by the quality of the home which prepares the kid for school, and encourages a good education
so, in many instances, the parent IS to blame for the lack of success of the student
if the kid is not being fed properly, is not getting enough sleep, does not have the learning tools required, and is not being coached/encouraged, then it IS largely the parent's lack of involvement which has caused the student to be unsuccessful

And I disagree. I think the drive of the kid is what makes a successful student or not. Now home life may be a factor in that drive but it is only one factor and not a super-majority factor either. So I disagree; if a student fails its on partially them especially when that student gets more and more toward graduation. Now during evaluations, the system can see if they are getting the right knowledge or not but, if they are getting the right knowledge to be successful, so be it.



if the system has a sound methodology to determine which of the teachers are poor, then we have agreement. my concern is that the teachers are being fired because they happened to be assigned low classes of slow performers. why would the teachers then be responsible for the poor achievement of under prepared and undermotivated kids?

And this is nothing but an excuse. So every student a teacher gets assigned to is a "slow perform." or has a low IQ. So everyone in the DC school system has a low IQ. That is not how this works. The curve is clear there should be and is a range of IQ. If you are within set standard deviations from the mean, you are able to handle the material. This is nothing but a ready made excuse for a teacher who can not motivate or teach to blame their failure on the student. Teachers are responsible for poor achievement because that is the measure everyone has selected. So again, there is no reason to doubt that these were not bad teachers.
 
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