Rhee Wants Higher Standard For Teacher Conduct In Classroom | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Rhee Wants Higher Standard For Teacher Conduct In Classroom

Play associated audio
D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee says she wants a reform of teacher discipline policies.
Kavitha Cardoza
D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee says she wants a reform of teacher discipline policies.

By Kavitha Cardoza

D.C. School's Chancellor Michelle Rhee recently sparked outrage when she told a national magazine that as part of lay offs in October, she let go teachers who abused students and were often absent without explanation. While she was talking only about a few teachers, Rhee says she thinks discipline procedures for educators should be reformed.

Rhee says most teachers in D.C. Public Schools do great work but the progressive discipline policies for teachers who don't, need to be changed.

"You can have one offense and maybe you get suspended for three days and another offense and you get suspended for five days and another offense and you get suspended for ten days. For things, laying your hands on kids and that sort of thing, which most parents and people would think 'oh my gosh, if you do that, you shouldn't be in the classroom anymore,'" says Rhee.

Rhee says the bar for getting rid of bad teachers is too high.

"There's got to be a higher standard for the adults that we allow to be in the classroom with children and that cannot be just a criminal standard," she says.

Nathan Saunders who's running for president of the Washington teachers union says he's looking forward to a conversation about discipline procedures because he says teachers get a raw deal under the current system. He says rules on assault and battery are clear but those on corporal punishment are what he calls "very nebulous."

"A teacher can be charged with corporal punishment for doing anything from making a child lay his head on a desk, to breaking up a fight in a school. And certainly it's a problem for teachers and in education environment," says Saunders.

Parts of the discipline code can be changed through a union agreement or legislation.

NPR

Wexford Carols Brings Irish Holiday Relics To Life

A new Christmas music collection resurrects Irish carols from the 17th century. NPR's Scott Simon talks to singer Caitriona O'Leary and producer Joe Henry about songs both sacred and political.
NPR

Antarctic Holiday: A Christmas Feast In The Loneliest Spot On Earth

For Dr. Gavin Francis, Christmas Eve marked the start of a year-long stay in an icy research base 8,700 miles from home. In this "empire of ice and isolation," he says, food is essential to morale.
NPR

'Rum, Rumba, And Romance': A Book On Cuba's Enduring Mystique

This week, President Obama announced that he will begin to normalize relations with Cuba. Cuban-American writer Richard Blanco recommends a book about Cuba's imprint on the American imagination.
NPR

Obama: Sony Should Have Talked To Him Before Pulling 'The Interview'

The FBI has concluded North Korea was responsible for the cyber attack on Sony Pictures. NPR's Scott Simon talks with White House correspondent Scott Horsley about what happens now.

Leave a Comment

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