Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Sticking Point in DC

In our nation's capitol, Michelle Rhee is in charge of education, and why not? She was a teacher for two whole years, and says she did a wonderful job. She hasn't got any actual documentation or anything, but since she isn't a teacher, the whole accountability thing is totally irrelevant.

That's official policy, apparently. Ms. Rhee's mentor, DC Mayor Fenty, actually eliminated funding for an independent evaluation of her "reform" program. So in the Rhee tradition, we will have only her word as to what kind of job she's done. Nonetheless, I'm confident she will say she's doing a great job and refrain from taking any disciplinary action against herself.

I've received an email that Rhee is insisting on "mutual consent" as a condition of the next contract. This is a misleading term. What it actually indicates is that principals get a veto on any incoming transfers. This is precisely the innovation that caused the explosion of ATRs in New York City. So it could be that teachers in DC could suffer the same fate.

However, part-time AFT President Randi Weingarten is on the job. Doubtless she's learned from her experiences as UFT President. On the other hand, she said publicly that everything was on the table except vouchers, and my source says Ms. Weingarten is trying to sell DC teachers down the river.

Will Ms. Weingarten make the same mistakes in DC she made in New York?
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