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Hundreds Of D.C. Teachers Fired For Poor Evaluations

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Nearly 400 teachers have been fired in Washington, D.C. since 2009 because a rigorous evaluation system found they weren't up to the job.

The latest round of firings occurred in August, when 98 D.C. teachers lost their jobs. There was little local outcry. Instead, the president of the teachers union praised the school system for softening some of the evaluation criteria.

Comprehensive evaluations are an important part of the national school reform movement. They also were a major point of contention in the seven-day long Chicago teachers' strike, which ended Tuesday.

In Washington, evaluations based in part on standardized tests have been used since 2009 to rate teacher performance, putting the city at the forefront of major school systems that are working to reform their personnel practices.

NPR

'Star Wars' Editors Defy Hollywood Conventions

In a film industry often dominated by men, there's at least one exception: Many editors are women. Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey speak about their work on the new Star Wars.
NPR

Florida Says Its Fruits, Vegetables Are Safe From Invasive Fruit Fly

Since September, Florida has been fighting an infestation of the Oriental fruit fly, an invasive pest that threatened more than 400 crops. The state declared the insect eradicated as of Saturday.
NPR

The Senate Battle That Looms For Scalia's Replacement

NPR's Domenico Montanaro discusses the upcoming battle on Capitol Hill on replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
NPR

Colonialism Comment Puts Facebook Under Scrutiny

A Facebook board member lambasted a decision by regulators in India, the social network's second-largest market. He thereby sparked new scrutiny of Facebook's intentions in that country.

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