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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

D.C. chancellor fires 241 teachers for 'poor performance'



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Chancellor Michelle Rhee demonstrated today that her school system's new teacher evaluation system really does have teeth: she fired 241 teachers for "poor performance," according to the Washington Post.

The total number of teachers dismissed under the Washington, D.C.'s new IMPACT system is even higher -- 302 out of 4,000 teachers, according to Education Week, which reports that most earned an 'ineffective' or 'minimally effective rating.' Of that total, 76 were terminated for licensure problems.

"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," Rhee told EdWeek's Stephen Sawchuck. "This system is much more rigorous."

It may be the first wave in a series of get-tough accountability measures for teachers, as districts nationally adopt evidence-based evaluation systems and tenure reforms in pursuit of Race to the Top federal stimulus dollars.

Hillsborough County is currently rolling out its own, rubric-based system as part of its $202 million partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The district has vowed to do a better job of distinguishing between truly effective teachers and those whose students don't show consistent performance gains.

Still, Hillsborough officials say don't expect to fire large numbers of teachers, thanks to the efforts of 120 new peer evaluators and mentors who will help administer the system and help teachers improve.

-- Tom Marshall, Times Staff Writer


[Last modified: Friday, July 23, 2010 12:46pm]


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