Monday, July 19, 2010

No One Safe From the “Race”

July 19, 2010 (GBN News): A snag has developed in the efforts of education reformers to dismiss ineffective principals and teachers. Apparently, there are not enough of them to go around, so the reformers are now going after successful ones as well.

A shortage of poor educators is seen as the only possible explanation for the recent firing of a popular Vermont principal, Joyce Irvine. Ms. Irvine was universally admired for her effectiveness and vision in running the Wheeler Elementary School in Burlington. But she was dismissed in order to comply with Race to the Top rules stating that “failing schools” can only be “turned around” by firing the principals, regardless of their abilities and accomplishments. So with no ineffective principal available to fire, Ms. Irvine was let go instead.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan had high praise for the district’s actions. “Anyone can fire an incompetent principal,” the Secretary told GBN News in an interview. “But it takes a great deal of courage to fire someone who’s really good.”

While many educational administrators are now concerned that their jobs could be on the line, reformers such as Mr. Duncan and Chancellor Joel Klein of New York should have no such worries about their own positions. The only people now in jeopardy will be those who are competent.


Leonie Haimson said...

Hey, how about making Race to the Top a new reality show?

Film a few schools each week, and let them compete on whether just the principal should be fired, or the principal and half the staff; or the entire staff should be fired and turn the building over to a charter school!

This could make good ratings and the Gates Foundation and/or Microsoft could co-sponsor!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant piece! I LOL'd.