Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

D.C.’s New Chancellor: Drop the Hammer on Bad Teachers (If We Can)

Michelle Rhee, the education reformer recently confirmed as D.C.’s schools chief, announced yesterday that the district will not continue to stand for bad teaching. This morning’s Examiner reported Rhee’s vow:

The bottom line is that I’m not going to have tolerance for ineffective teachers. The data is very clear that if you have three ineffective teachers in a row, it actually changes a child’s chances at life outcomes. This is not a situation that can wait.

That’s some sorely needed tough talk in a city famous for its failing schools. But the school district’s unionized teacher policies make it almost impossible to toss a bad teacher, so much so that Washington City Paper created a board game documenting the process.

Rhee seems to understand as much:

But when asked whether she was prepared to fire the city’s worst teachers, Rhee dodged the question. She said that before reaching that point, she would make every effort to “maximize” the talent that exists in the teaching pool.

Let’s hope the Washington Teachers Union doesn’t stand in the way.