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Friday, January 29, 2021

I can't imagine DCPS being more despicable.

 DCPS has been encouraging, cajoling, and in some cases threatening staff not to social distance. 

I put the following question on 5 Facebook pages that have the potential to reach almost 9000 people, many of whom are educators or very interested in education. 

DCPS teacher friends, have any of you been pressured or even asked to do small group instruction? Or do anything else that runs counterintuitive to social distancing? You can private message me if you want. Thank You

I received dozens of public responses to the post and most private messages that I have ever received when asking a question, and the responses were both damning and heartbreaking. 

I have decided not to present any of the responses here, though, with details like where they work and what they teach scrubbed, I will be sending them to the media, the union, and the school board. Forcing people to risk their lives by ignoring CDC guidelines is unacceptable. The reason I have chosen not to share the responses here is the fear of retribution is also real and disturbing.  

The most despicable thing I heard, and I heard it over and over, is teacher’s administration has told them that having small groups is a quality indicator. If they don’t do it, then their evaluations will suffer. In a district that routinely, in my opinion, does despicable things, this may be the worst that I have heard about. They are in effect saying, risk your lives or you know, maybe you will lose your jobs.   

Teacher after the teacher told me how they are required to write small group lesson plans and have them ready to show. That small group rather than the whole group was what their administrators wanted to see, even though it violates the social distancing guidelines from the CDC. One teacher told me, their administrator said, we were all going to get it anyway, so you might as well. Others say their schools barely act like the pandemic is a thing. 

Some teachers told me they had been required to have small groups all year, while others say the push has only exploded in recent weeks, you know, about the same time DCPS started averaging over 50 cases a day. A few teachers even told me; they were told to push kids' desks together to form small groups, while others said they had no choice but to do so because their classes were so big.  

Many teachers don’t believe this push for small groups comes from their administrations; they think it is coming from the district. You know the bosses in the ivory tower that don’t actually do the work. If correct, it tells me that Greene wants that A grade so bad, she is willing to risk walking over dead bodies to get it. 

We all know social distancing in our schools is a lie, but it is an entirely different thing to force teachers not to social distance, ignoring CDC guidelines and threatening that their evaluations will suffer, or there will be other consequences if they don’t. That is beyond the pale, but that is what many teachers say  DCPS is doing.

How many people must get sick or worse for this kind of behavior to end?  

This is not acceptable.  

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