Educational Editorial: Teacher accountability

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The president of the Washington Teachers Union is fired up about Chancellor Michelle Rhee's firing of 241 teachers for poor performance. He says that he is going to sue her.

He also says that the evaluation instrument is flawed and that most of his members don't like it.

Well, perhaps the real question is, "What kind of evaluation would they like?"

Michelle Rhee continues to get praise from across the country because she has introduced a new concept to the DC schools….accountability.

While any hard charger will stump her toes from time to time, she has been relentless in creating an environment that advocates competition as well as consequences for failure.

While the teachers union can not sue over dismissal, only the process through which the decision was made, they have painted themselves as the protectors of incompetence.

Chancellor Rhee has also "boxed them in" by having a national teacher of the year lead the development of the evaluation tool called Impact.

Perhaps the Washington Teachers Union should read more research, before they assume that 241 teachers out of 4300 is an excessive picture of weak performers. Perhaps the enemy of competence is tenure, but its weapons are complacency and fear.

Let the union spend their members' money in lawsuits and frivolous appeals. Win or lose, the picture that they paint is that teaching is a right, not a privilege. What a disservice to those who do it well.

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