Washington (CNN) — The District of Columbia public school system announced Friday that it is letting 226 employees go for poor performance under the education assessment system IMPACT.
Another 76 employees will be terminated because of licensing issues, schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee said in a news release. Of the 302 employees who are losing their jobs, 241 are teachers, she said.
“Every child in a District of Columbia public school has a right to a highly effective teacher — in every classroom of every school, of every neighborhood or every ward, in this city,” Rhee said….
“But in the meantime, children have been done a disservice every single day. We have graduated a generation of Washingtonians who don’t have the skills and knowledge that they need to be productive members of society because our schools have failed them.”….
Under the IMPACT program, teachers were judged on five classroom observation visits by principals and outside education experts. The system also rates teachers based on their students’ achievement.
In response to the firings, the Washington Teachers Union released the results of a membership study showing that “a large majority of teachers believe that IMPACT is not a fair evaluation system.”
Washington Teachers Union President George Parker said, “It is evident from this survey that our members agree that IMPACT is a flawed instrument with many loopholes.”…
The 2009-10 school year was the first full year of implementation of the IMPACT program for the D.C. Public Schools.
Also Friday, the district announced that it has notified 737 employees that if their performance doesn’t improve, they will be terminated after the upcoming school year.