Half of all Current DCPS Teachers and Administrators Were Hired by Rhee and Henderson


By my count, over half of all current DCPS teachers, counsellors, librarians, and administrators were hired after Michelle Rhee became Chancellor. In other words, more than half of all DC staff (not counting aides and custodians) were hired in 2007 through today, 2-20-2012.

This fact has led to NO wonderful breakthroughs in educating our youth during that time.

Only a tiny handful, roughly 1.5% of the entire staff, remains from the days when I was hired (late 1970s).

I don’t really think this is a good thing. Most school districts have a large core of veteran teachers with 10 to 20 years of seniority and experience. Among other things, they help to train new teachers (and administrators, too) in the accepted norms and procedures. Today, in DC, is not at all unusual for department and grade-level chairs to have only one or two years of experience, and the rest of the teachers to be absolute neophytes.

What we have here is the inexperienced “leading” the clueless newbies — and both end up quitting in droves. It’s also called “churn and burn”, and shows the utter ineptitude of the current leadership of DCPS. If I had to give young folks out of college advice, I would probably NOT advise them to apply to teach in DC (public or charter) because the leadership has not a clue as to what it is doing and has instituted extremely arbitrary and punitive ways of evaluating teachers while giving them next to no support. No wonder so many of the new teachers quit after only a year or two.

My count is based on the most recently-published list of all DC public employees as of 9-7-2011. (Warning: it’s a HUGE file!) Unfortunately, the PDF document does not list what schools these teachers and administrators are located at. You also have to wade a long ways into the document before you reach the group of DCPS employees. If the list omits folks, or lists folks who retired, quit, got fired, or died, that’s not my fault. Ditto with wrong hire dates or wrong classifications.

If anything, my estimate  probably UNDERSTATES the actual percentage of brand-new teachers and administrators, because I have no data on any teachers or administrators hired after that date – so about five months’ worth of new hires (needed as other teachers quit or are fired) aren’t counted. Please don’t think I’m making that up! If you look at the dates that teachers and administrators are hired, a very large percentage are hired at other times than during the summer months.

My count is based on a sample of all the data, since I really didn’t feel like counting every single teacher and administrator (there are many thousands!). Instead, I arbitrarily decided to count all of the teachers and administrators whose last names started with A, J, S or Y. I did not count custodians, clerks, receptionists, substitute teachers, summer school staff, or aides. I did count classroom teachers, administrators, psychologists, counselors, librarians, “program coordinators”, principals and the like. I ended up counting over eleven hundred people, which is a fair-sized sample. If I chose a different way of selecting the sample, I doubt my results would have been very different.

Here is a table that shows the absolute numbers I counted, and the percentages, for each year going back to 1967, the hire date of the most veteran person I found. I would like to read your comments.

Year of Hire,  staff members with names starting with A, J,  S, and Y. Number of staff members I counted Percen-tage of the whole cumulative percentages
2011 141 12.67% 12.67%
2010 147 13.21% 25.88%
2009 168 15.09% 40.97%
2008 79 7.10% 48.07%
2007 48 4.31% 52.38%
2006 20 1.80% 54.18%
2005 39 3.50% 57.68%
2004 26 2.34% 60.02%
2003 30 2.70% 62.71%
2002 22 1.98% 64.69%
2001 38 3.41% 68.10%
2000 32 2.88% 70.98%
1999 45 4.04% 75.02%
1998 27 2.43% 77.45%
1997 13 1.17% 78.62%
1996 13 1.17% 79.78%
1995 13 1.17% 80.95%
1994 8 0.72% 81.67%
1993 13 1.17% 82.84%
1992 9 0.81% 83.65%
1991 17 1.53% 85.18%
1990 10 0.90% 86.07%
1989 12 1.08% 87.15%
1988 17 1.53% 88.68%
1987 63 5.66% 94.34%
1986 16 1.44% 95.78%
1985 13 1.17% 96.95%
1984 4 0.36% 97.30%
1983 2 0.18% 97.48%
1982 2 0.18% 97.66%
1981 1 0.09% 97.75%
1980 2 0.18% 97.93%
1979 4 0.36% 98.29%
1978 2 0.18% 98.47%
1977 0 0.00% 98.47%
1976 2 0.18% 98.65%
1975 1 0.09% 98.74%
1974 3 0.27% 99.01%
1973 3 0.27% 99.28%
1972 1 0.09% 99.37%
1971 1 0.09% 99.46%
1970 1 0.09% 99.55%
1969 0 0.00% 99.55%
1968 1 0.09% 99.64%
1967 3 0.27% 99.91%
1966 0 0.00% 99.91%
1965 0 0.00% 99.91%
1964 0 0.00% 99.91%
1963 0 0.00% 99.91%
1962 1 0.09% 100.00%
total 1113 100.00%
Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Can you account for the jump in percentages in 1987?


    • I have two hypotheses. Which of them do you agree with? Or do you have a different one?

      One, my wife was hired that year, and she was great, so she magically imbued all of her fellow-hires with her greatness. (I guess Michelle Rhee would say the same sort of thing – about Michelle Rhee.) So this hiring-year cohort consisted of teachers who were both great (meaning, they did not get fired) and durable (they never got so sick or injured or emotionally burned out that they quit or retired).
      Two, there were a bunch of layoffs, one right after the other shortly before 1987; and as a result there were very few teachers hired and retained during that period: A lot of DC teachers had 10 to 20 years of seniority already, and when layoffs came, the newest hires were laid off first, all other things being equal, which they seldom are. {I don’t remember any more where the emphases were placed on all of the cases where there were exceptions. However, I know it was very common for principals to “cook the books” by moving numbers around on a spreadsheet, oh so innocently, in such a manner as to get rid of a teacher who offended the principal in one way or another.} In any case, when the budget cuts stopped at or near CY 1987, there was a need for teachers, and a lot got hired. So that bump for 1987 is sort of like squishing all the little tiny bumps for 1982-1987 together to make one large bump at 1987.

      I kinda think #2 is more realistic. Or do you have any other guesses?


  2. FYI – not reaaly about this post, but thought you’d like to know: Chicago parents are now Occupying schools to prevent NCLB required “turnaround,” i.e. mass firings and turning schools over to private interests to run: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/20/1066596/-Complete-Story-of-Occupation-of-Chicago-School?via=spotlight


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