This morning, Valerie Strauss posted Peter Gwynn's explanation (Gwynn is better known to the blogging community as Mr Teachbad) of why he believes he was fired from DCPS on The Answer Sheet.
Gwynn and I worked together briefly at Columbia Heights Educational Campus, and I can vouch for the strategic vindictiveness he describes among the administration. (I wrote a lot about it here and here.)
I remember one day in the fall of 2009 when our social studies department met during one of our many relatively useless morning meetings. On this particular day, Mr Gwynn had been asked by our department head to share a lesson plan that he used in his American Government class. I remember being inspired by the creativity and quality of his lesson. He'd used Randy Newman's song Short People to introduce a lesson on Federalist 10 and Madison's take on factions in a republic. Our assistant principal used the next thirty minutes to break down Mr Gwynn's lesson, finding flaw with virtually every aspect of it. The teachers looked at each other awkwardly. We had all been impressed.
Every student I ever talked to who had Mr Gwynn (both when I was at the school and since I've left through emails with my former students), related to me their high regard for Mr Gwynn's teaching style and his concern for their achievement.
I am in no way surprised that Mr Gwynn was fired. He would not have been, however, if our country made keeping quality teachers a priority.