A few weeks ago I noticed Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein, in boasting about the new DC labor contract, claimed that the contract did not allow teachers to greive an evaluation. Teachers, they said, would only be allowed to complain about the process. For example, a teacher could get somewhere with the appeal process if they didn't get observed when they were supposed to, but they could do nothing if they were unfairly scored (perhaps by administrators with little to no classroom experience in their content area).
The problem with Klein and Rhee saying this, however, is that when you actually read the contract, it says that the DC Municipal Regulations require that all employees have the right to appeal unsatisfactory ratings. Rhee, Weingarten, and Parker couldn't get around this; it's DC code.
I was confused. Were Rhee and Klein lying? Were they being deceptive? Or was I just wrong? I emailed Valerie Strauss and Rick Hess about this. Both responded and said they would look into it for me. So yesterday, Rick Hess posted the findings his AEI team came up with here. Hess says that Rhee and Klein are essentially telling the truth, and I trust his research for the most part. But I still don't get why Rhee, Klein, Hess, and other ed pundits make this contract provision sound like such a victory.
Is it really so great that we deprive teachers of their opportunity to appeal an unsatisfactory rating, especially in the District? Never was I ever really concerned that I would be unfairly evaluated until I worked in DC. Do people not see that the whole goal of IMPACT is not to provide support for improvement but to make it easier to fire anyone who's not a 'team player?'