Council Members Say They Still Want Answers To Teacher Allegations | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Council Members Say They Still Want Answers To Teacher Allegations

Play associated audio
D.C. Council Members Marion Barry, Michael Brown and Harry Thomas are not satisfied with Chancellor Michelle Rhee's explanation of her comments about teachers.
Kavitha Cardoza
D.C. Council Members Marion Barry, Michael Brown and Harry Thomas are not satisfied with Chancellor Michelle Rhee's explanation of her comments about teachers.

By Kavitha Cardoza

D.C. School's Chancellor Michelle Rhee has answered demands to explain her controversial statements that last year's layoffs were connected with teacher misconduct but some council members are not satisfied with her explanation.

The controversy began when Rhee told a national business magazine that she, in her words, "got rid of teachers who had hit children, who had had sex with children, who had missed 78 days of school," when she laid off 266 teachers and staff last October.

Some City Council members demanded an explanation, and Rhee responded today in a letter. She says one teacher faced serious allegations of sexual misconduct, and the case was referred to the police. That person was on administrative leave before the layoffs. She says six of the laid off D.C. Public School employees had been suspended for hitting students, while two others had been absent without an explanation on multiple occasions. Rhee says she was trying to explain why teacher performance, and not just seniority, is important while deciding which teachers to lay off.

But some Council Members weren't buying her explanation. Marion Barry called this a "pattern of disrespect."

"This is the latest incident where she has spoken disrespectfully and lying about the nature of the firings," says Barry.

D.C. Council Member Harry Thomas says her letter has only infuriated him further.

"How could you act so irresponsible and put out allegations against so many and have evidence against so few," he says.

A hearing is still expected about whether proper procedures were followed, what evidence there was and why Rhee did not tell the council or the union about these teachers.

WAMU 88.5

Arlington Artisphere Likely To Close Next Summer

With Arlington's county government tightening its belt, the county manager is recommending that the Artisphere arts center in Rosslyn close up shop next year.

NPR

A History Lesson On The Philippines, Stuffed In A Christmas Chicken

Rellenong manok is a deboned chicken filled with a jumble of ingredients. If it seems hard to pin down how this dish got all its fillings, it's because of the complexity of the Philippines' culture.
NPR

Ready To Hit The Cuban Beach? Americans Still Have To Wait

Travel to Cuba for business or education will be much easier as the U.S. eases restrictions, but until the embargo is completely lifted, going to Cuba simply for tourism still won't be allowed.
NPR

Obama Calls North Korean Hack 'Cybervandalism'

On CNN's State of the Union, the president expanded on earlier remarks he made criticizing a decision by Sony Pictures to pull distribution of The Interview.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.