Efforts to improve student learning have been on the American agenda in recent years. Funding and curriculum are constant staples in the ongoing debate but teacher grading is beginning to take the forefront. Impact, a program inspired by President Obama’s grant program Race to the Top, has implemented a new evaluation system for teachers, which has resulted in the firing of hundreds of teachers in dozens of school districts.
The program relies on a combination of student test scores and in class observations. Teachers are evaluated by their own school principal and also by hired “master educators”. In Washington D.C. about 165 teachers have already been fired under the new system and 200 to 600 will be cut in upcoming months. Costly nearly $7 million per year to run, Washington’s dedication to weeding out ineffective teachers doesn’t come cheap.