Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to fire a teacher- Washington state style

Here is a wonderful post from in the great state of Washington about the tedious and often problematic process of removing ineffective teachers from schools.  To be honest, this is not too far from what it's like to get rid of an ineffective teacher in Montgomery County, Maryland. Perhaps the only difference is that we add a whole year of peer evaluation and support, which makes principals even more leery of engaging the process.  From Tom in Washington:

I was standing in the faculty room one morning, waiting for the coffee to brew. Two colleagues were talking about principals they’d worked with, and one of them said to me, “Tom, you would be a great principal. I would love to work in your school.”

She should have waited until I had some of that coffee. I would have been a lot less blunt. “Really? because the first thing I’d do would be to fire you.”

Choosing to believe that I was speaking facetiously, she laughed nervously and hurried off.

(Fun fact: the word facetiously has every vowel, in order, including Y!)

Actually, I wasn’t kidding. If I really was a principal and she really was on my faculty, I really would fire her. She was a bad teacher. Ineffective. Weak.

But it would have been difficult.

Read the whole bit and you'll see why it is we're going the value-added testing route.   And unless alternatives arise, it's why we'll continue down that mountain.

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