DC Teachers Welcomed Back With Guidelines

DC teachers get new performance framework

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chris Hondros/Newsmakers

    With classes set to begin Monday in D.C. schools, teachers in the District already have a big homework assignment.

    Teachers were given a 200-page volume last week called the "DCPS Teaching and Learning Framework." It outlines Chancellor Michelle Rhee's expectations for teacher performance.

    Teachers will receive revamped evaluations based in part on the new framework. A group of "master teachers" will contribute to those evaluations, joining principals in assessing their peers. The changes are intended to make performance reviews more objective.

    Among the guidelines: Teachers shouldn't waste more than three minutes of class time because of poor organization or planning. Teachers shouldn't have more than five minutes of bad student behavior per half-hour. And instructor should respond to students' correct answers by "probing for higher-level understanding" of the idea being discussed at least three times per half-hour.

    Meanwhile, teachers may have fewer students to instruct this year than last, according to a report.

    Enrollment is about 37,000 at the start of classes on Monday, which is 17 percent below the total at the end of last year, according to the Washington Post.

    The Post said Rhee would not say whether the school system would eventually reach 44,681 -- the audited enrollment figure from last year and the basis for its $760 million budget in 2010.  There has always been a surge of enrollments after school starts, but because of better preparation throughout the system, some officials do not believe there will be a large number of late enrollees.