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Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 05/30/2008

Principals Union Protests Firings

Officials at the D.C. principals union are protesting Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's recent decision to let go about two dozen principals.

The union is planning to ask the D.C. Council to investigate whether the firings were fair, said Aona Jefferson, executive vice president of the Council of School Officers.

"We want [the D.C. Council] to know that her decision appears to be arbitrary, personal, political and potentially discriminatory," Jefferson told D.C. Wire.

Jefferson said she sent Rhee a letter yesterday demanding a complete list of the principals whose contracts were not renewed and reasons that they were not reinstated. The principals work on a year-to-year contract.

According to this article by Bill Turque in The Post, Rhee has dismissed principals at five of the 10 high schools subject to restructuring under No Child Left Behind: Lynne Gober of Anacostia; Harriet Kargbo of Dunbar; Monica Taylor of Eastern; Gwendolyn Jones of Woodson; and Jacqueline Williams of Wilson. Five of the 11 middle and junior high schools facing overhaul will also have new principals -- Hart, Lincoln, MacFarland, Garnet-Patterson and Sousa -- as will three of the five elementary schools to be retooled: Moten, Stanton and Truesdell.

Rhee and other school officials have refused to discuss specific reasons for the dismissals, citing privacy and personnel regulations. In broad terms, she has said that all the decisions are "absolutely" fair. She has been conducting an aggressive national advertising campaign to attract high-performing principals to the District. Ten other principals either retired or resigned.

"This has affected the lives of people who've given valuable service to the school system ... and affected the lives of children," Jefferson said.

Dion Haynes

By Dion Haynes  |  05:00 PM ET, 05/30/2008

Categories:  Education

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