MD, DC Receive 'F' for Removing Bad Teachers

"We're not saying there should be mass firings...": Arthur Rothkopf

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    A report card called "Leaders and Laggards," which grades states based on education innovation, has given Virginia top marks for removing ineffective teachers from the classroom. 

    Maryland and DC, meanwhile, got a failing grade.

    Arthur Rothkopf, senior VP with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, helped write the report, which focuses on what states are doing to  prepare for challenges that lie ahead, saying there cannot be achievement in the long run without innovation.

    "We're not saying there should be mass firings, but if you can't deal with teachers who are not improving performance of students then it's clear innovation will not take place," he said.

    Rothkopf says DC's Chancellor Michelle Rhee -- who came under fire last month for laying off hundreds of DC teachers due to budget cuts, not necessarily poor performance -- has not been here long enough for her practices to be reflected in the data.

    In the report, approximately 75 percent of principals polled said teachers' unions are a barrier to getting rid of bad teachers.

    But there was some good news. Maryland, Virginia and DC all received a B grade for how they hire and evaluate teachers.

    Kavitha Cardoza reports...

    Listen to the complete story at WAMU.org

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