Controversy has followed Michelle Rhee every step of the way since she took control of Washington, DC’s schools. But now, two years into her bid to turn the district around, accusations of mismanagement and conspiracy may threaten to derail Rhee’s larger reform effort.
At the center of the storm: over 200 teachers who lost jobs in October. That may not sound like much — but the layoffs follow a national campaign to recruit teachers to DC. Why did Rhee hire 934 new teachers between spring and fall only to make layoffs six weeks into the school year?
One thing is for certain — the temperature is rising in Washington, DC. Contract negotiations with the teachers’ union have ground to a halt. And in the words of one DC councilmember, “We are sitting in a chamber where tensions couldn’t be higher.”
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