Michelle Rhee, the new chancellor of Washington, D.C.’s public schools, made a name for herself last year by announcing plans to fire 100 central office administrators and close 23 schools. Before her appointment, Rhee had never run a school, herself. But at age 37, she was picked by Mayor Adrian Fenty to reform a low-performing school district legendary for its bureaucracy.
The Washington Post reports today that Rhee has announced that she will bypass union negotiations and impose her own program to fire ineffective teachers if they don’t improve in 90 days.
Teacher evaluations will now be based mainly on test scores and other achievement data, according to the Post story:
“The goal and responsibility and moral imperative of this administration is to make sure that each child gets an excellent education,” said Rhee, who had hinted broadly in recent weeks that she was ready to invoke what she has dubbed “Plan B.”
Rhee also had proposed an aggressive performance-pay plan, under which high-performing teachers could earn more than $100,000 a year in salary and bonuses in five years if they suspend their tenure protections for one year.
Union leaders denounced Rhee’s evaluation and dismissal plan and promised to take legal steps to stop it.
What do you think of Rhee’s ideas? Do you think they benefit kids by holding teachers accountable — and rewarding good teachers — or that they threaten to destabilize the teaching profession?
image from The Washington Times