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WTU Disputes Fired Teacher Numbers, DCPS Says That's Just One List

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By Kavitha Cardoza

Leaders of D.C.'s public schools and the Washington Teachers Union managed to put their differences aside long enough to get a contract passed. But there seems to have been a complete breakdown in communication since then.

George Parker, president of the WTU, says the reputation of D.C. teachers has been "battered nationwide." He says he's asked repeatedly for a list of teachers fired. He's even disputing the number of teachers fired for poor performance, saying it's less than half the 165 Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee quoted.

But a DCPS spokesperson says the difference is because the union asked for a list of teachers who have already received termination letters, not total numbers.

Randi Weingarten, the President of the American Federation of Teachers says the Schools Chancellor has not been forthcoming with information.

"The moment the contract was signed and ratified, Michelle Rhee has gone back to her days of basically being very hidden about what she's doing and not being open and honest with either the public or the teachers," says Weingarten.

The WTU says it will file a Freedom of Information request for details including the teacher's schools, job titles and evaluation scores.

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