While the headline and the first few paragraphs in today's Post article by Bill Turque empahsized removing a "significant share" of DCPS' current teacher workforce, a line which is not new for Michelle Rhee, the plan to focus on nurturing skillful teaching was very new and a turnaround of sorts. Its almost as if the Rhee administration and the WTU have both adopted the central message of Teachers and Parents for Real Education Reform as their new mantra for 2009. According to the article, everyone seems to agree now that the district needs to move away from the regimen of courses and workshops that have defined continuing education for teachers, and that there has not been, to date, a coherent or unifying definition of good instruction. Michelle Rhee is now saying that she plans to bring in Jonathon Saphier from Research for Better Teaching, a proposal she rejected a year and a half ago. The new model seems to be the tried and true approach used in Montgomery and Prince Georges' Counties and featured in our November 5th Forum. The WTU's George Parker seems to agree with the newfound interest in support for high quality teaching. The difference seems to boil down to whether to begin with the teachers now teaching our kids, or whether to first harrass a large percentage of the workforce out. Ironically, Michelle Rhee's people seem to be advocating the "go slow" approach while George Parker is insisting that his members need help now. Go figure.
The Post Article is linked in to the right.