Monday, 14 February 2011

How Things Work in DC

Back about two years ago....the top executive of the DC school department....fired 74 teachers.  You have to understand this....DC has the most screwed up school system in America.  So anything they did....would be a step forward.  The only problem with this mass firing...was that the top executive never gave the 74 fired teachers a chance to explain themselves.  Each had a reason to defend themselves, but never were given a chance to give that simple explanation.

This past week....the appeal process worked.  The 74 fired teachers were reinstated, and were supposed to be paid roughly two years of back pay.  The newspapers have gotten around to the case against each individual teacher.  Some examples:

1.  She had the habit of skipping meetings.  Then she violated professional protocols with the school administrator.  Then when the administrator sent an email to her detailing her poor habits....she responded back by mass e-mail to the entire school staff....to let them know how incompetent she was.

2.  This teacher had pretty poor classroom management skills.  The teacher started going totally absent around 5 May 2008....and never showed back up when these firing recommendations went forward on 13 June (five weeks later).  No explanation where they were....but it apparently wasn't a big deal to the teacher.

3.  This teacher simply could not manage in the classroom.  They couldn't develop a lesson plan.  And they really didn't like suggestions given to improve themselves.

4.  This teacher had such a 'rude and aggressive demanor' that the administrator had to bring in two assistants to help manage students in the class.

5.  This teacher simply didn't have any lesson plans.  When they suggested that student failure rates were high....the teacher couldn't grasp the significance of that.

6.  This teacher had 24 late-showings and twenty complete days out of the class......after a long sick leave period.  Curiously....these were mostly call-ins....on Fridays or Mondays.

7.  This teacher got around to playing religious gospel songs in class.  When students complained....the teacher told the students to go to hell.  The students were upset about that suggestion and reported the teacher.

It's a curious group.  If the DC school chief had only allowed each one to post a commentary over the accusations....they'd all been permanently fired.  As it is....all of them are coming back.  Even the gospel music player.

In most states....the school would have put out a major report on each teacher and then they never would have been hired anywhere else.  In this case....all of them are coming back shortly in the DC district.  If this was me....I'd find one school for all 74 teachers, and put them all together.  It'd be interesting to watch this develop.

Just how things work in my neighborhood.