Sunday, March 28, 2010

Detroit continues to look to DC for school help

Detroit's public school system may be one of the few systems that is in worse shape than the Districts, which may explain why it continues to look at the District for guidance. First, DC alum Robert Bobb has become the de-facto head of Detroits beleaguered public schools. Now, the Detroit News editorial staff is urging the Motor City to emulate DCPS in how it deals with teachers and focuses on student achievement.
She has fired low-performing teachers in chronically failing high schools. And she has implemented a new teacher evaluation tool, 50 percent of which is based on teachers' impact on student learning.

The result: Not long ago Washington, D.C., public schools were considered the worst of the worst of America's troubled schools, much as Detroit Public Schools are today.

Now, for the first time in more than a decade, the city's student test scores on the rigorous National Assessment of Educational Progress are improving significantly. The jump is attributed to Rhee, who has a laser-like focus on improving teacher quality.

"Other districts from around the country are coming to us now to look at this teacher evaluation tool," Rhee said in a phone interview with the Detroit News Editorial Board. "It is huge."

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