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D.C. to Reward, Dismiss Teachers Based on Evaluations

The District of Columbia plans to give raises and bonuses to more than 600 teachers and dismiss some 206 others based on data generated by its teacher-evaluation system, officials announced today.

The nationally watched IMPACT evaluation system was created under former Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee. Officials fleshed out the dismissal and bonus components of the system through a collective bargaining pact signed last year with the Washington Teachers Union.

According to this year's results, 663 D.C. teachers were rated the highest level, "highly effective," and are eligible to receive performance bonuses of up to $25,000. Of those teachers, 290 will get base-salary increases as well.

The district will terminate 65 teachers who received "ineffective" ratings, along with 141 others whose performance didn't improve enough over last year.

Another 94 teachers will be dismissed for not maintaining a valid license, and a handful of teachers who lost their placements and could not find new ones will also be let go.

Other teachers' performance improved enough to avoid being terminated. 58 percent of the 566 teachers who last year received the rating of "minimally effective," the second lowest under the system, were rated "effective" or "highly effective" this year.

The IMPACT teacher-evaluation system was rolled out in the 2009-10 school year and underwent revisions for the 2010-11 school year. It is one of the first operational teacher-evaluation systems in the nation to grade teachers using a combination of classroom observations by principals and a measure of growth in students' test scores.

The WTU has criticized the system in the past, particularly for the schoolwide student-achievement component, which bases a small portion of each teacher's score on the performance of the school as a whole.

Check back shortly for updates and reaction.

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