October 7 2009
Carrie L. Lukas
Several hundred educational workers in the District of Columbia have been given pink slips.
Out of the 400 educational workers, 229 were teachers. Carrie Lukas with the Independent Women's Forum (IWF) says School Chancellor Michelle Rhee fired the teachers because they were not up to par.
"DC students have the lowest performance on national test[s] -- it's kind of the benchmark for most education measures," says Lukas. "And there is an incredibly high dropout rate -- only about 6 in 10 DC high school students go on to graduate.
"There needs to be change," the IWF spokeswoman continues, "and I think a good place to begin is starting to say...we need to get rid of some bad teachers and get some new good ones in; we're going to inspire kids and get better results."
The move has angered the Washington Teachers Union, but Lukas believes Chancellor Rhee will stand her ground and defend her decision. Lukas hopes this latest move will inspire other school districts to stand up to unions and put educational needs over union demands.
The Washington Teachers Union plans to protest the firings Thursday in a "rally for respect."