Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Eastern's PTA want major changes

With Eastern High School missing their NCLB targets for 5 years in a row Chancellor Rhee now has the option to take drastic measures to improve the school's performance. If the Eastern High PTA had their way, those measures would start with a wholesale change of the teaching staff.
The PTA at Eastern High School has urged D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee to replace many, if not all, of the teachers and other staff at the Capitol Hill school in Northeast Washington.

Eastern is one of 27 schools that must be reorganized because students have failed to make adequate yearly progress on standardized tests required by the federal No Child Left Behind law. Students at the 10 high schools and 17 elementary and middle schools have remained below target for five consecutive years. The law gives Rhee five options for fixing the schools: hiring nonprofit education groups to run them, converting them to charter schools, turning them over to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, replacing staff or trying something else.

"The school's climate and culture have suffered greatly. We think it best for the leader of Eastern to be allowed to select the staffing at Eastern," said John Gibson, outgoing president of the PTA, who wants Rhee to make the acting principal, Monica Taylor, permanent.

"I just don't want the students to suffer," said Gibson, a 1992 Eastern graduate. PTA members don't want teachers with the attitude, " 'I've been here 20 years, and we've never done it that way.' It defeats the purpose of change," he said.

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