« Sec. Duncan Seeks Teachers' Questions, Comments | Main | Test-Prep for Four-Year-Olds »

Reactions to Rhee

Valerie Strauss, in the Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog, argues that D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's decision to fire 165 teachers for poor performance last week was driven by a dubious teacher-evaluation system. Called IMPACT, the system is designed to gauge teacher effectiveness based on a combination of test score data and classroom observations. But in practice, according to Strauss, neither measure can be considered terribly reliable:

The overall impact of IMPACT is not only unfair but not likely to do the job it is supposed to do: Root out bad teachers. Some great teachers are likely to be tossed out, and others, who know how to play along when the observers come in but don't do much when they aren't, could get a pass.

On the other hand, a Newsweek political blog--after suggesting that Rhee's bold action is validation for the magazine's infamous cover story on the need to fire bad teachers--states confidently that IMPACT "was designed by Rhee's staff with input from 500 district teachers, and could become a national model." (Emphasis added.)

A local columnist, meanwhile, wonders what all the fuss is about: "Raise your hand if you want your child or grandchild taught by a poorly performing or under-performing teacher. Just as I suspected: no hands." In other words, good riddance. ...

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed On Teacher



Recent Comments