Thanks to G.F. Brandenburg for pointing me to this important post about teacher attrition rates in D.C. by Valerie Jablow.

D.C., lest we forget, is one of the epicenters of corporate reform. In 2007, D.C. established mayoral control of the schools. Mayor Adrian Fenty hired Michelle Rhee and gave her full authority to remake the schools. Rhee stayed until Fenty was defeated at the next election in 2011 (largely because of Rhee), and Rhee’s deputy Kaya Henderson was put in charge. Henderson stepped down and was replaced by another reform cadre, Antwan Wilson. So, D.C. has been in the hands of the privatizers for a full decade.

The Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation, the Walton Foundation all invested millions in Rhee.

Wendy Kopp, in her last ghostwritten book, pointed to D.C., New York City, and New Orleans as examples of TFA success. D.C. today is the shining star of the reformers.

But teachers don’t last long. They sign up and they leave in startling numbers. Why don’t they stay if the system has had the benefit of reform for ten years?

Read Jablow’s post here.

She writes about D.C.’S dirty little secret. It turns out that reformers don’t know how to create good schools, whether public or charter:

“Quick: Did you hear about the DC public school that lost more than half its teachers after the start of school year 2015-16?

“No, I am not talking about DCPS’s Ballou high school–which, as the Post recently reported, lost 28% of its teachers this just-completed school year.

“Rather, I am talking about a whole host of DC charter schools with high teacher attrition rates in the previous school year, like Achievement Preparatory Academy (57.8% teacher attrition rate) and Friendship’s Tech Prep (Tech Prep Middle, 63%; Tech Prep HS, 52%) and KIPP’s AIM (63%), Lead (58%), and WILL schools (62%)–not to mention Perry Street Prep (62.5%), SEED (52.6%), and Washington Global (60%). Then there are a few charter schools whose reported attrition rates I find difficult to believe and that I hope were mis-reported teacher retention rates: Inspired (70.3%) and Richard Wright (87%). The annual reports indicated that the teacher attrition was determined after the start of the school year.

“Hmm: Didn’t hear about those?”