Michelle Rhee has talked a lot about how she's cleaned house at 825 and gotten rid of a lot of people who were just wasting time and not really doing their jobs. I had no doubts that there were plenty of people downtown who were incompetent -- my first year of teaching I had to submit four change of address forms before I finally started receiving my paychecks -- and assumed that firing some of that dead weight would improve things. My most recent experiences, however, leave me wondering.
Last summer I went to a training that my principal said would be paid for by DCPS. I filled out the necessary paperwork two months ahead of time, and attended the training in Philadelphia. I returned to school in the fall only to find out that no one at my school had ever done anything with the paperwork. After months of wrangling, and finally emailing the chancellor, I got the forms signed and submitted to 825 in May. Since that time I've waited, emailed, called, offered (threatened?) to come down and sit outside people's offices, and I still don't have the reimbursement check. Everyone I've talked to has been very nice and helpful, but apparently getting DCPS to pay for things requires like 47 signatures, the blood of a virgin, and a jade monkey statue.
All this to say that while I generally agree with Rhee that firing some under-performing people in DCPS will improve education, I don't have much evidence to suggest that firing people at 825 has made things run any more smoothly there.
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