Aug 11, 2010

What Will Become Of DC's Excessed Teachers?

Inquiring minds want to know WTU's official position ?

Excess: "is an elimination of a teacher's position due to a decline in student enrollment, reduction in the local school budget, a closing or consolidation, a restructuring or a change in the local school program when such an elimination is not a reduction in force or abolishment."

I have received a number of emails of concern this summer from excessed teachers who have not yet been re-hired by the Rhee administration. Recently, a colleague copied me in on an email asking Washington Teachers' Union President George Parker (whose term ended June 30) what is the official status of excessed teachers as well as DCPS hiring practice on this matter (email featured below).

In an August 5 Wash. Post article written by Bill Turque, Rhee stated that "although "two or three" of the excessed teachers had been picked up by other schools, there had been "no movement" in the last six weeks to hire the others." There seems to be a dispute between George Parker and Chancellor Rhee as to which contract we are currently operating under. In the same August 5 article, Rhee is clear that we are operating under the 2007-12 contract which was ratified on June 2. According to the new WTU contract negotiated by George Parker and AFT President Randi Weingarten, see pages 30-31: "permanent excessed teachers who do not find a placement have the option of a buyout, if funds are available, an early retirement with a minimum of 20 years creditable service, if funds are available or another year to secure a new placement while they serve in one of the following capacities as a one on one tutor, provide class coverage, small group instruction or central office support. The buyout, early retirement and extra year extension shall only be available to permanent status teachers whose most recent evaluation is effective or higher. (pages 30- 33 of the WTU contract) *An excessed permanent status teacher who is unable to secure a new placement within the 60 calendar days following the effective date of the excess shall have 5 calendar days immediately following expiration of the 60 calendar day period to select one of the following options (listed above). Any teacher who does not make a selection shall be subject to separation from DCPS on the 66th calendar day following the effective date of excess." Of course probationary teachers, who are excessed regardless of their job performance would be terminated within 60 days from the date of excessing. Here's a copy of the teacher's email below and feel free to weigh in with your thoughts on this subject. If I receive any official written correspondence from the Washington Teachers' Union on this issue, I will post it in a timely manner.

Dear Mr. Parker:

"What is the official status of DCPS teachers deemed "minimally effective" as far as the administration hiring this fall? I could not get definitive answers from field representatives. So now, I must put this question to you as well. What also is the official status of the class action grievance that you mentioned last weekend? I am asking because I haven't received any call backs from any of the DC Public Schools that I contacted, including the schools that I interviewed with during the career fair in June."


Anonymous Excessed Teacher ( in DC)


Anonymous said...

I'm glad that I can count on you for information. The deafening silence is very troubling. I can't say that you among others warned people of this day. Sadly-its coming true. Hopefully something positive will happen.

Anonymous said...

Friday the 13th will mark the day these excessed teachers will be fired.I think Rhee indicated it would be a significant amount.

J.A.R. Paul said...

All the union members could see was the $$ (dollar) signs, when they agreed to RHEE's contract, now they see the fallout
of the master trickster. It will be great to see her get on that broom she was sweeping with and ride out of town after the
election. However DCPS will be broken and it will take years to repair the games she played on the union and taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

I am an excessed teacher and my experience is the same as the teacher whoose email is copied below your email. I interviewed for five schools and no response yet. Added to that, the union reps. advised me to write an appeal to Rhee. I refused. I told them that it's their job to advocate, protect and defend us. They are paid well and we need service for our dues.

I_educ8 said...

It seems to me that any teacher excessed before school ended in June should be treated as per the 2004-2007 contract, since the current contract was not ratified until June 30.

We warned teachers about focusing only on the "prospect" of a bigger paycheck, but most of you didn't listen or heed the warning (if we are to believe the numbers provided by the AAA on the number of votes submitted). No one is safe under the current contract, and it really was a no-win situation for teachers with all the "given available funding" contingencies.

Those of you who thought you were safe because you were "in good" with your principal/supervisor only to find yourselves coming up short, well, I'm sorry. Perhaps this is a teachable moment. Maybe next time teachers won't be so snookered by "Big Print" promises and flash and dazzle. The devil is always in the details (i.e., fine print).

Caveat emptor.

Not Anonymous said...

By Golly!!! It was a set up all along. Candi referenced that Rhee is following the new contract: only guaranteeing permanent status teachers with their most recent evaluation effective a position to baby sit oops I mean tutor; run errands oops work in the central office; or become a substitute teacher oops cover classes. Amazing, pretty sure that 98% of the excesses teachers are ineffective or minimally effective. People see the writing on the wall; the Master educators, Kaya Henderson and yours truly rhee made sure only those teachers were excessed. Only 2 were effective or highly effective are as she stated they were placed.

Anonymous said...

I know of quite a few teachers from my school and Bailou all relatively new but with ratings above minimally effective. Of those still trying to find jobs in DCPS, none have received call backs. At my school, the principal hired new teachers for the same subjects that he excessed other teachers prior to the end of the semester in June

Anonymous said...

I was surprised when the contract was approved by the membership. It was clear there were some members who did not read the contract fully. NOw we see how this terrible contract. How could any sensible person agree to what was in th is contract. As mention in this blog, many veteran teachers will lose there positions with DCPS. Not because ey wer ineffective, but rather an agreement that provide options if money is available. Well the money will not be there because they hired someone else to take your place. Mant educatorsn were fooled by the money they will never receive. George Parker and Randi were all oveaer the news speaking about the good of this contract. Now they rare no where to be seen. I recommend all teachers take Monday off in protest of the treatment of our members by Rhee, Parker, Fenty, and randi.

meaningful change said...

I am not an excessed teacher and I did not vote on this contract.

I do know at my school the projected enrollment, given to the principal back in the spring when it was time to do budgets, was significantly lower than it should have been. Therefore, positions had to be cut.

At the time I was wondering what the reason could be. Now I know. This seems to be a gross abuse of the definition of excessing. Have other schools had similar experiences?

FYI- Our enrollment for this coming school year is already at the level of last year.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:43,

The field reps seem to have become too comfortable and lazy. I agree, they should be doing the job for which they are handsomely paid. I think it's about time for an infusion of new blood.

Anonymous said...

The math does not add up!!

400 NEW teachers... excluding the "bad performer". Roughly 170 were fired last week and I suspect the June excessed teachers are probably about 200. Let not forget the RIF from last year..brings the total to about 500

Somehow I don't understand why 400 new teachers were needed!! I guess there will be another RIF after the election if Fenty wins.

What's the problem?? said...

I am about to lose my mind. I do not understand why the writer of the letter to Parker is having trouble determining what will happen next. What official statement is he/she waiting for?

The bottom line is that people voted for a contract, because of the $$$, which had all of these things in it. READ! READ! READ!
George Parker sold you this contract, you fell for the okey-doke--now unfortunately, you must live with the consequences of your action.......

Only sad thing about this is the fact that you won't even be around to make the 20% increase you voted for.

Maybe next time, you'll read the fine print!

Marvin said...

To J.A.R. Paul --

I don't see how you can refer to "RHEE's contract." It was negotiated over many months (years) by Local 6 and fully endorsed by its elected leadership. Then, the majority of teachers approved it. Its terms and conditions were obviously accepted by, first, the teachers'reps and then the teachers themselves.

It is impossible and way too late to say teachers were tricked.

Teachers look even worse in the parents' and other publics' eyes to try to disown something that they obviously approved.

Let us know if this analysis makes no sense to you.

Anonymous said...

This is the most worthless union I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

A colleague received a letter from HR the other day. They can expect to be separated/terminated on August 22, 2010 if they do not find a job by Friday, August 21, 2010. School starts on Monday, August 23, 2010. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Candy, which principal was fired in the last 2 days?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there are any excessed TFA's or teaching fellows that did not find a job.
It's funny, cause I am sure most of them will end up with a job. The ones I know got a position right after the transfer/excess fair.

Anonymous said...

An Excessed Teacher received herletter yesterday. She called HR and they told her they didn't know what part of the contract they were using to lay her off. She called a few other numbers and was told that they don't have any open positions. Strange since they've been hiring throughout the whole summer. That includes a SE hiring fair on July 27, 2010 at Columbia Heights Ed. Campus if memory serves me correctly.
Can't wait until the Sept/Oct equalization and the end of the year's "mutual consent" over the summer. What was the price we paid for ratifying this contract? Humm

Classic said...

I really hate to be right especially when you are talking about jobs, however I saw this coming. I tried to tell everyone I knew that this was coming and people didn't want to listen, people thought that I was just being paranoid or bitter. I pray for all of those effected. Please let us be proactive and vote against the people that put these things into motion. Let's get rid of Fenty and George. VOTE VOTE VOTE It is not the answer but it is a great start. Put the people in place that can help fix this mess, and then hold them accountable. If we keep Fenty and George we know we are going to get more of the same people losing jobs and no help from the union.

Anonymous said...

I am an excessed special ed teacher, I went to the excess fair, and didn't find a position right away. That didn't stop me though from reaching out to fellow teachers at other schools, and I was able to find a position within two weeks of the school year ending.

The positions are out there, it is just a matter of being lucky enough to talk to the right people. I am also a TFA teacher, and personally sick of the way that frustrated veteran teachers take out their anger on us. We work just as hard for our students during the school year, and we are held just as accountable for our work as everybody else. I know several TFA teachers that were let go as a result of their IMPACT scores last month.

We are all in this boat together, and although I dont agree with the way IMPACT has been implemented, I do think that it is important that we are help accountable for what we do in the classroom.

Paul A. Moore said...

The Washington Post is an American icon. It's the newspaper that brought down a President of the United States in defense of the rule-of-law nearly forty years ago.

Since then though, the nation has seen the Reagan Revolution and the rise of the "neoliberals" whose mantra is privatize everything and "starve the beast" or render the government helpless in the face of corporate power.

In that post-Watergate era, The Washington Post made a deal with the devil, the parasitic Kaplan, a scion of the movement to privatize public education. That deal brought Bill Gates and Warren Buffet into influential positions with the newspaper. That deal led to mayoral control of the DCPS. That deal made the same Post that had vanquished Richard Nixon a lapdog of the little Chancellor Michelle Rhee. That deal prohibits any and all editorial criticism of Rhee.

That deal now threatens to destroy The Post. If you read this dispatch from Bloomberg

of today, you will discover the following...

...despite the fact that Washington Post stock has already declined 21% this year more market traders are "shorting", betting against The Washington Post today than at any time in two decades. The big money thinks The Post is down for the count.

Corporate management of The Washington Post never cared about the newspaper beyond the profits it might generate. But those who work for this once-great paper are another matter and should realize that as they participate in the dismantling of the DCPS, they are helping to dig their own graves.

The Washington Teacher said...

Sorry for just posting many of your comments, I have been without power for several days. A real bummer. I am back and will catch up on reading your posts.

Anonymous said...

I know of a fellow who was excessed and not able to find a job in another school, last time I heard about him. I hope he was able to find another position, as I heard he was a good teacher despite the fact that his evaluation put him within the minimally effective range. I know that at my school 4 and 5 people were interviewed for each vacancy. Additionally, the principal was asking for IMPACT scores from any applicant who was a DC teacher and called several principals to get a recommendation from the applicants. And BTW, I don't think there will be a fall equalization, that cuts could be made soon if schools don't have their enrollment numbers up to meet what they were budgeted for. Our principal was having us call families to get them to come in immediately and register their kids if they hadn't done so.

The Washington Teacher said...

I am not sure what principal was fired in the last 2 days. If you have information, please post.

Anonymous said...

Change cost money. If you want political change at the top donate to A ten dollar donation goes a long way. I voted against the contract. People talk, but don't vote!!!! We have to counteract that. Even if you live in Maryland you can still help out with the mayoral election by volunteering or donating. Today I have a job, but I know that could change tomorrow. I have never been late with a report, missed an IEP meeting or not seen a student without documenting why. Report cards were on time, yet I barely got an effective rating. Impact is a set up designed to keep us on our heels and afraid. We need new LEADERSHIP all around at the union level and at the mayor level.

We have to stick together.


Classic said...

Dang Candi no power again.. you need to start a blog about PEPCO!!

@ Marvin I agree with you totally!! Teachers voted for the contract even though they were warned against it. They were looking at the money and not reading the entire contract.

@anon 11:42
I am sorry if you feel that the veteran teachers blame the TFA but let’s look at facts.

1. Most TFA are not certified teachers and they are replacing certified teachers.

2. As veteran teachers are being pushed out of the system they are being replaced with TFA teachers.

3. The training that you receive in the summer is geared around IMPACT giving you an advantage. The TFA teachers at my school last year told us that they had learned all about the framework over the summer.

We had 15 new teachers at my school last year and 12 of them were from TFA. I was on the personnel committee at my school and for all of the positions that we interviewed for 99% of the people that were sent to us by central office were TFA candidates. I refuse to believe that no one else is applying for jobs in DC.

I make no judgments of the people in the program or the program itself but understand were the feelings are coming from. You may not see it from your viewpoint but make no mistake TFA teachers get more privileges and access than the veteran teachers. That does not mean that some of them do not fall victim to Michelle Rhee but the numbers pal in comparison to the attack on the vets.

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with "Classic". I am a licensed and 'highly qualified' teacher in DC. I've been working in the Metro area as a teacher for the past four years. I applied for a position with DCPS back in May and was told that while I was considered a very qualified applicant, they had received an overwhelming number of applications and that they would not be continuing the application process with me. I didn't even get an interview.

I was shocked by this considering the fact that I had been previously offered positions in both Montgomery and Fairfax counties. It was also eye-opening to see them continue to post ads for teachers, after they had supposedly been inundated with applications. Luckily, I was able to secure a position at a charter school.

I am over 30, I am an African American woman, I live in a suburb of DC, I have a Masters degree, I am certified in DC, I am considered 'highly qualified', and I have been working in DC at a charter school for the past 2 years. What part of my description was DCPS not attracted to? Would I have been too expensive for them or is it possible to be too 'highly qualified'?

Anonymous said...

(Anon 11:42)
There do happen to be a high number of TFA teachers that come in every year, but actually this year the number dropped significantly due to the current excess situation in DC. While it is true that we received training similar to the TLF, that is essentially all the training we received, everything else, classroom management, ect was learned on the job. I agree that there are some good teachers getting screwed over by IMPACT, which is terrible, but there are also poor teachers being held accountable, finally, for their actions in the classroom.

I have the same frustrations as you, but a lot of TFA teachers were excessed because they were the last ones into the school. This happened to me, despite my high IMPACT scores and my sped coordinator going to bat for me. There were other teachers that absolutely should have been fired for not teaching students, but were allowed to keep their positions because of seniority. That is the intended goal of IMPACT, even if it is not there yet.

Tom Thumb said...

TFAs, while individually good people, are part of a large trend to bust teacher unions. Labor was brought to its knees in the 70s by cheap overseas labor markets. The Teacher's Union is brough to its knees today by cheap labor coming from Ivy League schools (TFA). It is fairly obvious this is what is going on. End teaching as a life long career, just bring in temp workers (TFAs) who will work 12 hours a day for 3 years and quit. It is a cheap and great business model. No pension to pay for, no rising salary.

Anonymous said...

There were also some very poor teachers who kept their positions due to inflated IMPACT scores.

This happened at my school.

Marvin the Observer said...

From Aug 14 455pm post from a teacher:

" a lot of TFA teachers were excessed because they were the last ones into the school.... There were other teachers that absolutely should have been fired for not teaching students, but were allowed to keep their positions because of seniority."

Candid words from one teacher, who underscores the strong shield of seniority protecting some teachers who are not doing their work at all. Isn't this a penetrating contradiction to what some other teachers have been asserting? Is all this complaining about the TFAs and the cruelties of Impact clouding another issue?

Anonymous said...

The reason why TFA & DCTF teachers are trained on IMPACT before they enter the classroom is that those organizations are working towards the specifications of DCPS. What DCPS considers good teaching, and they barely stated to us before IMPACT, are the elements contained on the TLF rubric, the Ts. The reason many veteran teachers have not been trained according to IMPACT, save some PD and sessions conducted by Jason's people, is that most of us haven't had a methods course since our initial college courses. I know I haven't. But I am not going to let IMPACT beat me. I have internalized a lot of IMPACT's requirements and am teaching that way. I've even found my teaching improve. I've been in the classroom for over 20 years and am totally willing to change or update my techniques and know many veterans who think the same way.
Plus I just found out that at my school there will be around 5 TFA and DCTF teachers. I will make it my point to continue to be the professional educator I am and welcome them as I do to all new teachers and give them the support I know they will need.

Aturo said...

The WTU under George Parker as President is absolutely worthless. I cannot pay my bills. Fired from a job I can do and the union is as corrupt as ever. Parker is on Michelle Rhee's side despite their fake dispute and are trying to kill anybody who has spoken up like buidling representatives and Nathan Saunders. It is going to take time to change this stuff around. But we must stop trusting Parker and listening to anything he has got to say. He has lied time and time again to us. I am qualified and certified with experience. My experience means nothing to DCPS. We have been tricked despite what some say here. In the past, we were able to trust the union to be working in our best interest. Parker is not with us all his lying robo calls. I am disgusted. I hope little green bugs crawl up in both their tails and eat them for the rest of their natural lives and they experience three times as much pain as my family is going thru. My son has juvenile diabetes and the cost of the medication is half my unemployment check. I am on the edge. Pray for me.

The Washington Teacher said...

The issue about IMPACT isn't whether it helps to improve your teaching or not. The concern is that it was never piloted and that teachers and administrators did not get adequate training before its implementation. There is a reason that the DC Municipal Regs. requires all government employees to be supervised by an administrator (i.e principal, etc.) minimally 90 days before evaluating your work, so that it can be ensured that they are familiar with your work not just a 30 minute snapshot. How do you make an assessment in the blind by looking at a teacher for a 30 minute segment.

What our union has to look to is this tool unfair to our members. Of course it is and evn as late as March, Jason Kamras had componments of our evaluations thrown out for special ed. teachers and related service providers due to glitches in the system. I know people who were fired but were rated in only 1 area due to no fault of their own. My argument is that the scores in these cases were drastically altered because they didn't count major parts of what we do like IEP quality, productivity and timeliness. My productivity rate was 120% and it got discounted. By throwing out areas that could be workers potential strengths, had an adverse impact on our scores. This is one example of what is wrong with IMPACT. There are many others.

Let's take this discourse away from TFA for now. The goal is to pit younger workers against older workers. We should not allow ourselves to fall into this pit. It is not about a micro perspective - it is about a macro perspective. What I mean is looking at the big picture and how this will affect most of us. Rhee's goal as well as those hooked to the Broad Foundation, Gates etc. is to privatize which puts more money in their pocket. If they rid the system of permanent, tenured employees-- they bring in more money to componanies like New Teacher New Project or TFA, etc. Look at the big picture and stop being fooled.

This year there will be more teachers with low ratings. Rhee told us this in her educational plan that her goal is to fire a significant share of the teaching workforce. We are just a number and it doesn't matter whether you are effective and it doesn't matter about the children. Wake up and smell the coffee. We are all of this sinking ship together, old, young, tenured or not, inexperienced, experienced, administrators, office staff and school personnel. Everyone is expendable! R u feeling me????

use reason said...

Candi, I feel you.

I know that my final IMPACT score could have been higher had the IEP rubric been included. There was also a memo sent out in December stating that parts of IMPACT would be rated differently than they had originally been explained to us. Changing the rubrics during the year is like requiring us to hit moving targets.

I just completed graduate school, and the information included in IMPACT was, to me, best practices. That's what teachers are being taught nowadays. However, the way IMPACT was introduced and editted along the way was not best business practices, neither was it fair to employees.

Five To Go said...

Teachers please remain professional. Look at Impact again, I surely will be. I am going to make it my priority, to ask other teachers for help, and will assist anyone I can, if needed. I will remind myself,that I am here to educate children, and their parents. I will pray daily, as I always do. I am praying that God will give us all grace to run this race. I know that this ( Impact) will come to an end. Teachers please remember, our students need us to fight for their education. We more than any group of veteran teachers know that our students have been robbed of a quality education, under Rhee/Fenty/Parker/Kaplan/WaPo. The students are being used to further Rhee's rein of ineffectiveness. Our children need time to learn. Testing is not the total sum of child's education, we all know this.

The Wash. teacher moderates said...

Moderated reply to Anonymous @ 7:34
I had to reply to the anonymous commenter below who is misinformed. First of all teachers and school personnel have been speaking up about IMPACT since its inception and there was a WTU committee who discused these issues and came up with recommendations. All of the union meetings I attended - it was discussed and union members were asking that we challenge IMPACT even last year. Unfortunately it fell on deaf ears and our union president chose to only do a survey and I imagine the IMPACT committee's recommendations went to file 13 (the trash).

Union members did not agree to IMPACT. Our evaluations are not part of the contract. DCPS has the right to come up with an evaluation tool. Unfortunately we don't have a say on the evaluation tool but we do have the right to challenge it if it is deemed to be unfair to our members. I refer you back to my earlier post on IMPACT and pls. read for comprehension.

On this very blog, people have been elevating these issues here, in union meetings with George Parker, in committee meetings and directly with Jason Kamras'office and the Office of the Chancellor.

I can't say its too late to challenge IMPACT as I don't have a crystal ball. Certainly not doing anything is likely to guarentee you nothing.
Anonymous states: Candi, Your latest post is your bleakest expert commentary within memory. Hard to understand how in the many months of contract negotiation all of these Impact issues were never talked and fought through. Union reps and members had enough visibility into and info on the issues to speak up, didn't they? Or was it George alone, just holding back all info from any other Local 6 member? As a result, it is hard to see how educators can now claim they were fooled or disadvantaged by a DCPS process they had every opportunity to weigh in on. Indeed, all union members agreed to Impact and how it was to be used when their elected union rep signed off on the negotiated contract. What I am saying is, administrative and legal actions to block Impact now could be sorta a waste of time. Just one person's view. Am inspired by Aug 15th 513pm commenter, rolling with the punches and apparently keeping her professionalism and self respect, while claiming to be an even better teacher. Good luck to all!

The Wash. Teacher moderates said...

Moderated reply to Anonymous 8:07
Perhaps you aren't comprehending the spoken word. Chancellor Rhee even stated as I pointed out in my blog entry that DC teachers are not being hired.If they don't get a job, they will be fired eventually. Even teachers with good ratings who by the way will be forced to serve as subs or as office help for this school year, if they don't get picked up by June- they will be fired.

While I applaud that you were hired, some others did the same thing you did and did not get a job. Can you comprehend this? As I stated this is not about a micro perspective but rather what is happening to the masses. We need to look at the big picture and stop focusing on what is happening to individuals for a change. Rhee has always been clear about her goal which is fire, offer cheap buy-outs and early retirement to a significant share of our teacher workforce. The problem is now we don't have the money for early retirement or buyouts due to a 528 million dollar deficit. Perhpas if you consider what Rhee meant by firing a significant share of the teaching workforce - you will better understand the big picture. At least I hope so.

Anonymous @ 8:07 writes:
I was excessed this year too. I went to the transfer fair and talked to schools there, but didn't have much luck. Then I sent out my resume to every school in DCPS on the vacancy list that had openings in my subject areas. I got two interviews and showed up to them with recommendations from my principal, AP, and department head. I had job offers from both. I think if you make the effort and treat it like a job search, you can find a new position. I know other excessed teachers who found new positions as well.

Sheila H. GILL said...

Educators for Gray:

We know you're eager to help Vince win, and this weekend we've got something important planned and we need your help.

Gray's volunteers will be canvassing in neighborhoods across the District on Saturday and Sunday, working in shifts to cover as much ground as possible. We need people to knock on doors in every ward, so we need YOU to join us.

If you're willing to be a part of our District-wide Neighborhood Canvass, simply call Volunteer Coordinator Juanita Britton at 202-291-2692.

Volunteer Daily at 4300 GA Ave., NW. All are Welcome and donations are accepted!!

Let's Unite together and ask the question "What Will Become of DCPS Chancellor after September 14, 2010?"

Vote for GRAY a New Mayor in DC 2010!

Anonymous said...

Letters were sent today. Some people qualify for a buyout. Others not permanent or rated Ineffective- you're gone as of August 26, 2010. WOW! Can't believe this will help with recruiting new teachers and retaining the old. This is the worst I've ever seen DCPS in my 20+ years here.