Saturday, September 08, 2007

Washington Post Editors Must Be Reading My Blog 

Today the Editors of the Washington Post argue for giving School Chancellor Michelle Rhee new powers to fire unionized workers. The reason for the change they say is because:
Tinkering around the edges won't turn around the dysfunctional system. Dramatic change is needed.
Of course, this is exactly what I said in my recent Op/Ed appearing in the same newspaper, although we come to different conclusions as to the specific path to take.

The Editors also point to the case of textbook editor Donald Winstead as a classic example of what is wrong with the current employment situation. Did they learn of him through me?

I think the last couple of lines of this piece are particularly important:

The system's failures don't justify excusing poor performance or handing out generous buyouts to people who have already gamed the city. But it does mean careful reviews before terminations and fair severance packages.
One problem I have with the current approach to fixing DCPS by both Miss Rhee and the Mayor is that they have talked about terminating people without first performing a thorough evaluation of what positions best support their goals. Of course, all decisions should be based upon improving student achievement. If people are going to fired just to cut staff then all of their actions become just so much political theater.

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