DC Schools to Fire Hundreds of Teachers
Poor performance, No Child Left Behind lead to 241 dismissals
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2010 12:54 PM CDT
In this July 17, 2008 file photo, Washington Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Education and Labor Committee.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – The Washington, DC, schools are giving hundreds of teachers the ax because of their low scores in the district’s tough new evaluation system. Chancellor Michelle Rhee says 241 teachers are being fired for poor performance, the Washington Post reports. Another 737 were rated “minimally effective,” meaning they have a year to shape up or they’re gone, too.The dismissals are part of a national movement, fostered by the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” grants, to more rigorously assess teacher effectiveness.

Several dozen more teachers are being fired for failing to meet No Child Left Behind's "highly qualified" standard, according to Education Week. “This is a school district that has had a lot of problems with student achievement,” Rhee said, praising the new evaluation system. “It's so much more objective than what we had before, where it was one person's opinion” of how good a teacher was. But the Washington Teachers Union says it will contest the firings, calling the system “punishment-heavy and support-light.”
 

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