New Year, New Teachers at DCPS

D.C. brings in new teachers

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    Hartford schools could lose more than 100 teachers, guidance counselors and others under the proposed budget for the next school year.

    It’s out with the old, in with the new at D.C. Public Schools. But who are the new teachers your children will be seeing this fall?

    Officials aren’t talking. Instead, the schools "have been short on details about their new hires -- their average age, where they're coming from, how many years they've spent in the classroom -- except to say that the district has had no shortage of applicants," reports the Washington Examiner.

    There were thousands of applicants for vacated positions, in addition to about 800 applicants for 31 "master educator" jobs. Schools officials said many of the applicants are big fans of controversial chief Michelle Rhee, the Examiner reports. The new hires are excited about being footsoldiers in her revolution, they say -- which could make things interesting if Vincent Gray is elected mayor and Rhee decamps to Sacramento or elsewhere.

    Administrators at six schools have been given extra authority to remove low-performing teachers. At the Hamilton Center Special Education School in Northeast and Garfield Elementary in Southeast, the Examiner reports, more than 70 percent of teachers received poor evaluations, compared to 19 percent of teachers citywide. Only one in five Garfield students received a score of "proficient" on this year’s reading exam, and just 16 percent passed the math test.

    That means those schools could see a majority of new instructors this year.

    Still, the Washington Teachers' Union says many teachers should not be fired, arguing that they could improve with time and support. The union plans a class-action suit on behalf of the approximately 240 D.C. teachers who were recently fired.

    But how much time and support can a bad teacher expect? About 650 more teachers who got bad evaluations have been given another year to improve -- which could mean another year of poor education for many D.C. kids.

    The Office of the State Superintendent of Education has made this year’s DC-CAS individual school scores available online.


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