What happened in DC this week is significant both for the city and nationally, but three aspects of the DC teacher firings that don’t seem to be getting a lot of attention are:
(a) Look behind the numbers. About a third of the 241 teachers let go were dismissed for credentialing/license problems, not performance;
(b) If it bleeds it leads. More teachers performed in the highest tier under the new evaluation system than were dismissed so while the firings obviously get the ink let’s not overlook the great teachers in the D.C. system; and
(c) The bill is due. Weren’t we all told by national union leaders- in public venues – that everyone is for accountability and when this came to pass the union wouldn’t fight it? Let’s hope the pushback is just theater.
Update: Sensible WaPo editorial makes important points on this and a NYT story with the fault lines. Also, as the chatter starts that teachers are being fired based on test scores alone, check out how ‘IMPACT,’ the evaluation system in DC actually works. And, from the theater, this AFT statement does seem like more smoke than fire, even the number of firings is inflated.