I’m wondering why Education Post couldn’t talk to or get quotes from actual teachers in DC.

But I’ll give them this: DC is no longer the worst of the worst. That’s plain enough. Nonetheless, a little nuance would go a long way to dispel the hagiography here. And the article does certainly read like some high school paper’s adulation of the new soda machine in the cafeteria.

During that time she inherited bold reforms that may have cost her predecessor, Michelle Rhee, her job but are increasingly accepted and even popular among teachers. Some people even suggest that the current mayor might have picked up a few votes in the recent election based on her promise to keep Henderson as Chancellor.

What reforms, and be careful when you say “popular.” Many that I know are clearly NOT popular, namely IMPACT, which I’ll get to in a minute. The author, or the Post, might do well to look into issues regarding “Extended Day” and “morning collaborations.” Don’t get me started.

DCPS is now in the middle of the pack of 21 urban districts, which is impressive, given that the school district struggled for over 40 years.

All of this for middle of the pack status? Jesus Christ, what’s next?

Seventy-five percent of the District’s teachers start with at least one year of experience.

I have no idea what this means and why it’s important. I mean, 100% of its teachers start with a heart beat, so what?

Now skilled teachers who work with the neediest children are rewarded handsomely. After four years, Kamras says, they can earn $100,000 per year.

The devil is in the details.

Another reason for the District’s improvement is IMPACT, the teacher and staff evaluation system implemented in 2009. A 2013 study revealed that IMPACT was effective in retaining talented teachers (who are rewarded with bonuses and accelerated salary schedules) while prompting ineffective ones to improve or leave.

Ask a DC teacher about IMPACT. Please, ask them. Especially ask a DC teacher in SE. The study linked above makes no mention of the Master Educator component of IMPACT, only the principal evaluations.The ME component is significant and should not be ignored. In fact, it’s what makes IMPACT unique, the reliance on outside evaluators, and really has to be explained to be believed.

It should be quite simple for Education Post to reach out to DCPS teachers to get their perspective. For any purported journalistic organization, this should be common sense.

What makes a really good friend?  The listening? The understanding?  Always being there for you?  Well, if you are a teacher, Michelle Rhee wants to be your friend.  To prove it, she’s personally inviting you to her upcoming Teacher Town Halls, where you and Michelle (and two of her other friends) can have “an open […]

Global reforms are just that.  Global.  The same damage is being inflicted worldwide to schools in large and small communities, causing distress and doing nothing to improve education.  Often quite the opposite.

This is Cedar, a small community in Canada.  I only heard about Cedar because my gorgeous friend James lives there.  James isn’t a political soul.  Or he wasn’t … until the GERM arrived in Cedar and started on his local schools:

cedar schools

James writes:

Our school district wants to close down four schools in our community.

They’ve already voted to do so based on untruths and lack of information regarding the closures on the community as a whole. We’re a rural community.

They used to bus the grades 8-12 out of here to schools in town because there was no high school in Cedar. So they built one. Now they want to close all the elementary schools, merge them into one of 500 students, house them in the high school and bus the high school kids into town again!

It would be a stab in the heart for the community as a whole.

There are a lot of people not happy about this.

Closing schools?  Merging schools?  Leaving students to travel long distances?  And all against the community’s wishes?  Cedar, you really do need to speak to the good people of Christchurch, and in particular follow the Phillipstown School court case.

Kay says of the journey to the proposed new school:

some years ago I witnessed a 10 yr old girl get crushed under the wheels of a giant truck as she cycled from school— this intersection could not be safely used with out direct supervision and who will the volunteers be — unpaid — because the dept wants to super school and destroy a community

Help Phillipstown School

A Campaign Fund for Phillipstown School legal challenge has been setup It is called WE ARE PHILLIPSTOWN.  The bank account for donations is ANZ 06-0807-0114631-75

Help Cedar Schools

You can stay follow and help Cedar schools’ campaign here:

Good luck to all concerned and to everyone out there worldwide fighting reforms that put children and learning behind money and politics.

The GERM is multiplying fast, but with enough loud, active parents and educators, it can be sterilised.