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241 D.C.P.S. Teachers Fired, Mostly For Poor Performance

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By Kavitha Cardoza

D.C. School's Chancellor Michelle Rhee says she's firing 241 teachers, mostly because of poor performance under the new evaluation system called IMPACT.

Teachers received ratings of "ineffective", based on criteria including multiple classroom observations and standardized test scores. The District has also notified more than 700 additional employees they may be fired next year if their performances do not improve.

Rhee says this evaluation system is more objective than the previous one in measuring how teachers actually perform in the classroom.

"When you are a school district with such low achievement records for kids, then somehow that needs to be reflected in how we're evaluating ourselves," she says.

This is the first time student test scores are being linked to educator evaluations.

George Parker, president of the Washington Teachers Union, says they will appeal every case because he says the evaluation system is "inherently flawed" and "punitive."

According to a union survey, 90 percent of teachers say they didn't receive enough training before the system was implemented. Parker says there should have been a pilot program to iron out problems first.

"Not just because of teachers. You have principals who were new in implementing the evaluation process who have to become familiar with it, you have master educators who have to become familiar with it and you have teachers who have to become familiar with it," he says.

Parker says there needs to be more training and better supports in place.

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