Rhee should stay or go, not be a lame duck
Oh, no. Two D.C. Council members are essentially daring Vincent Gray, the man expected to be the District’s next mayor, to turn D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee into a lame duck.
Let’s hope Gray resists the call. Lame ducks shouldn’t be running a school system in need of reform; by the very nature of lame duckdom, nothing much can get done that can’t be undone when the lame duck leaves, and nobody knows that better than the folks who work in the D.C. public school system, who have had so many superintendents in the past 15 years that I can’t keep track. They know how to dig in and wait out reformers.
My colleague Bill Turque reports in this story that Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), allies of Gray, are urging him to negotiate with Rhee for an "extended transition" that could keep her in the job until the end of the 2011-12 school year.
What Gray, who beat Mayor Adrian Fenty in yesterday's Democratic primary, and Rhee should do right now is sit down and figure out whether, for the sake of the kids -- remember, it’s all about kids, right? -- they can reach some compromise that will keep her here plain and simple.
And if they can’t, because there is so much enmity between them, Gray should move swiftly to find a replacement and get on with reform.
Unfortunately, Rhee is supposedly going on vacation tomorrow. Not a great time to be away, though it seems pretty obvious that she planned it this way so she wouldn't have to be in the city if her patron, Fenty, actually lost. I can’t imagine what a principal would say to a teacher who asked for vacation time in the first month of school, but never mind.
Gray has to get on with it. If that’s with Rhee, fine. If it’s not, that’s fine, too.
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| September 15, 2010; 8:48 PM ET
Categories: D.C. Schools | Tags: d.c. election, d.c. schools, d.c. vote, gray and rhee, gray wins, is rhee leaving, is rhee staying, michelle rhee, vincent gray
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