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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 03/ 6/2011

Rheeform: How she fired teachers (with artistic license)

By Valerie Strauss

Here's an artist's rendering, so to speak, of how Michelle Rhee worked when she was chancellor of D.C. schools.

It's one of those videos that may make you laugh and cry as it reminds you of how Rhee dealt with teachers when she ran the D.C. public school system for 3 1/2 years. (She resigned last October after her patron, Mayor Adrian Fenty, lost a Democratic primary.)

The video highlights a number of Rheeisms, including her penchant for saying that data is king and that collaboration among teachers is overrated. It also refers to the 2007 Time magazine cover in which she is shown holding a broom, a symbol of her take-no-prisoners style.


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By Valerie Strauss  | March 6, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Laugh and cry, Michelle Rhee  | Tags:  educational data, effective teachers, firing teachers, michelle rhee, teachers  
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Comments

Of course, even though the criticisms of Rhee in the video are spot on, it will not make any difference to those who cheerlead on her behalf.

That she was given the responsibility of DC schools in the first place was bad enough.

Knowing what we know now about her tenure, that anyone continues to pay any attention to what she has to say is beyond belief, and symptomatic of what is wrong in our approach to fixing what is truly wrong with our schools, much of it the product of an approach first broached in A Nation At Risk in 1983, doubled down on in Goals 2000, doubled down on again with No Child Left Behind, and - as is the case with any compulsive gambler on a losing streak - being doubled down on by Race to the Top and the Blue Print.

The beatings will continue. Morale will not improve.

And people like Rhee will continue to destroy meaningful and effective public education.

Posted by: teacherken | March 6, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

This is hysterical, but also concerning. As an educator in DCPS it is true that many factors are contributing to poor student achievement such as a lack of curriculum, no content specialists for support and ill-prepared administrators to lead the schools. But unfortunately, there are many teachers in our classrooms who are not qualified to teach, who come late to school every day and who are not teaching. Many of these teachers came in during the Barry years when there were little standards for becoming an educator in DCPS. This was done in exchange for political votes and this is why the schools are in such horrible shape.

The teacher featured in this video sounds articulate, smart and intriguing. The many fired in DCPS do not sound like her. I've watched the council hearings when they testify--many can barely complete an articulate thought or sentence--it's embarrassing!

Valerie- I respect your points about education. And many of us agree that test scores, at least at this point, can only be a small part of the solution. Curriculum, leadership development, support, and organizational consistency are needed for long-term success. So, too, needed is an improvement in the commitment of our parents, students and government to provide support for the economic and social deficiencies that our families face.

But, let's not pretend that DCPS is just another district that is being upended by an overzealous leader looking to pad her thin resume. Indeed, Rhee is a narcissist. But, then most superintendents are. DCPS has experienced 3 decades of corruption in the system. Under Barry, DCPS became a holding ground for anyone and everyone who needed a job but wasn't qualified to be a clock watcher. Many of these people are now the 20-30 year veterans who shout and scream at the hearings and on television. They are hurting the unions and talented veterans across the country who do bring value to our schools because they sound so unintelligent.

Rhee had no interest in firing veterans simply because they were veterans. And I defy anyone on the Post staff to find a quote or other statement ever by Rhee that states she supports the removal of veteran teachers. Rhee believes that a great teacher is the equalizer in the lives of students who are economically deprived. That's it, nothing more.

If this cartoon had been more accurate of the types of teachers Rhee fired then it may have sounded something like this:

Teacher: Why you firing me? I come to work 3 times a week, never attend faculty meetings or collaboration and I have been working here 27 years. I am a professional!

Rhee: Are you listening to yourself? You just said you only come to work 3 days a week?

Teacher: I am a member of the union and the contract says that I'm entitled to sick days and sick bank days if I need them. My students get me for 3 days a week and I always leave the substitute great work from the workbook for the kids.

Rhee: I think you are making my point.

Teacher: Huh?

Posted by: teacher6402 | March 6, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Teacher6402 wrote: Curriculum, leadership development, support, and organizational consistency are needed for long-term success. So, too, needed is an improvement in the commitment of our parents, students and government to provide support for the economic and social deficiencies that our families face.
_________________________
You hit the nail on the head!

I do have to comment on your remark about superintendents being narcissists--I would agree that most are, but many still treat their teaching staff with respect and appreciation. If if they are insincere, the expression of thanks given to teaching staff by the superintendent goes a long way. I know in MCPS we get emails from the superintendent acknowledging that times are tough but he's proud of how the staff continues to set high standards and how the students are lucky . . . etc.
For the life of me I cannot imagine Rhee ever sending an email of appreciation to the entire teaching staff of DCPS. Just like a positive approach motivates students, it can motivate teachers as well.

Posted by: musiclady | March 6, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@musiclady: You're right, Rhee wouldn't send that email and that's why she isn't here anymore. Change agents must convince people that they are the change needed...she simply didn't believe that or care...it's a shame, because DCPS needed the jolt she provided.

Posted by: teacher6402 | March 6, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I see it as a very good sign that there is an emerging group of journalists like Valerie as well as hysterical videos like this one.

Rhee had a unique opportunity to improve the faculty of D.C. schools by supporting good teachers, dismissing the weak ones through the legal ninety-day plan, and hiring highly qualified and experienced teachers from the nation at large. Because of the recession, she had a once-in-lifetime chance to hire the best and the brightest. Instead she fired in a reckless way, insulted excellent teachers, employed trickery to fire large numbers, and hired inexperienced people from her own organization. These weren't the actions of someone concerned with "the children" but rather an individual who was after fame and money. In this regard, she has been spectacularly successful. I only hope there is oversight over the money she's collecting for "StudentsFirst" (yeah, right).

I am in contact with one of the fired teachers. This person sounds very articulate to me. Also, another person who is directly involved says that many of the fired teachers were competent. Some were outspoken though, or in disagreement with their principals.

But all that is beside the point. As a mother and grandmother, I do not support weak teachers in the classroom. Does anyone? What I support is due process for these teachers. Were they treated fairly? Did they lose their jobs to make room for Rhee's friends and associates? Hopefully the legal system in D.C. is taking a hard look at these questions.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | March 6, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@linda/retired teacher: You make some legitimate points. But, as someone who is in the system I can tell you that the 90 day plan was a bureaucratic nightmare full of arbitrary deadlines that ineffective teachers could avoid by simply calling out sick when the deadline approached thereby starting the process all over. And while I am sure there are some teachers who were fired that were not incompetent or inarticulate there were many who simply were not smart people.

To the point of principals moving teachers out who disagreed with them- this argument is extremely flawed. No principal, whose total evaluation is based on student achievement improving, is going to fire people who are moving achievement simply because they disagree with them. That's like a CEO of a sales company firing his best salesman because he dislikes the guy's political views. It simply doesn't happen. In fact, quite the converse is true- if you're an effective or high performer you generally get away with far more because of your performance then the other people.

Rhee is in the perfect job for now. It's confrontational, contentious and only requires the people who love her to support her. Students first will succeed to overhaul teachers' unions and accountability in education unless the traditionalists change their tune and stop defending the indefensible- In DCPS they are fighting a losing battle that has already resulted in the busting of the union. They need to start sounding more like Weingarten and moving to the center of the reform argument or they will cause the destruction of unions, a good thing, all over the country in the name of reform.

Posted by: teacher6402 | March 6, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

teacher6402,

You are making a sweeping generalization about all of the teachers who were fired. Do you know EVERY teacher (over 1,000) that Rhee fired? If not, how can you say with certainty that every single one of them was ineffective? Besides, nobody is saying that Rhee DIDN'T fire at least SOME ineffective teachers; we are simply pointing out that she ALSO fired many teachers who were either highly effective or who did not have the support training that they needed to become highly effective. I know many of the teachers who were fired and I've seen them teach. Therefore, I know for a fact that some of these teachers were indeed effective and deserved a lot better than what Rhee did to them.

And another thing: you talk about teachers calling off work, but you fail to point out that Rhee took a lot of days off herself. What about the days that Michelle Rhee didn't come into work because she was busy jet-setting across the country to speak at universities and other public venues about how terrible DCPS was? This happened on NUMEROUS OCCASIONS! One of these occasions (at PACE University) can even be seen here: http://vimeo.com/3181819. In my opinion, this proves that Michelle Rhee is a hypocrite who does not practice the same ethics she preaches to her employees.

Posted by: thebandit | March 6, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

teacher6402 wrote: "No principal, whose total evaluation is based on student achievement improving, is going to fire people who are moving achievement simply because they disagree with them."

I take it you don't know a lot of principals in DCPS then? Let me enlighten you: I know an English teacher who received a letter of reprimand from her principal because she did not agree with this principal's method about what high-quality instruction should look like. Please note that, the same year this teacher was reprimanded, over 75% of her students scored either proficient or advanced on the DC-CAS. So yes, at least SOME principals in DCPS DO discipline effective teachers simply because they disagree with them. Once again, you are making a sweeping generalization without knowing all of the facts.

Posted by: thebandit | March 6, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"That's like a CEO of a sales company firing his best salesman because he dislikes the guy's political views"

You appear to think this doesn't happen.

Look, I'm not a big fan of Rhee, but I also hear you about the fact that, in all likelihood, most of the fired teachers were terrible. I agree that firing really horrible teachers is hard to do, and I sympathize with that point.

That said, you are delusional if you think principals don't put political and educational ideology ahead of performance routinely (or that corporate bosses don't do the same).

Posted by: Cal_Lanier | March 6, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@thebandit- Just because 75% of students are scoring proficient/advanced does not mean that an effective teacher is in the classroom. I was a student at a very high profile high school where the students attended some of the finest college universities in America and our high school teachers were not effective. We learned in spite of the teaching because we had support at home, money for additional tutoring and we cared deeply about our learning.

If the principal of a school reprimands a teacher for not adhering to his/her version of instructional strategies then the principal clearly thinks the teacher is not effective. The principal benefits from students learning...there is no benefit from reprimanding an effective teacher.

This being said- of course, there are leaders in all organizations who personalize evaluations. But, believe me, most of the teachers fired in DC weren't under this umbrella- DCPS was the worst performing school in the country...it didn't happen because all of these teachers are great...let's be honest...

Posted by: teacher6402 | March 6, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

teacher 6402 wrote: "This being said- of course, there are leaders in all organizations who personalize evaluations. But, believe me, most of the teachers fired in DC weren't under this umbrella- DCPS was the worst performing school in the country...it didn't happen because all of these teachers are great...let's be honest..."

Wow... there you go again with the generalizations. What qualifies you to say that "most of the fired in DC" were ineffective? Have you met every teacher who was fired? Have you done any studies to prove this? If the majority of DCPS teachers are so terrible, how do you explain the fact that the majority of cities with high poverty rates are having the SAME PROBLEMS that DCPS is having? Philadelphia, Detroit, Los Angeles, Baltimore, even Pittsburgh.... they are all having problems with standardized test scores. Do you mean to tell me that ALL teachers who teach in inner-city neighborhoods in America are terrible? Why is it so hard for "Rhee-formers" to admit that poverty MIGHT be a contributing factor to this problem?

Posted by: thebandit | March 6, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

As for your other point...

teacher 6402 wrote: "Just because 75% of students are scoring proficient/advanced does not mean that an effective teacher is in the classroom. I was a student at a very high profile high school where the students attended some of the finest college universities in America and our high school teachers were not effective. We learned in spite of the teaching because we had support at home, money for additional tutoring and we cared deeply about our learning."

The teacher that I am talking about teaches in a Ward 8 school. Without saying the name of the school, believe me when I say that it has a reputation for being one of the toughest schools to work at. The majority of these students don't have the luxury of "coming from money" or having supportive parents like you did. You don't get your students to 75% proficient at a school like this without being a highly effective teacher.

Why is it so hard for you to believe that there are retaliatory principals in DCPS? As someone who is probably even more familiar with DC schools than you are, I can tell you that there are more than a few ineffective and/or vindictive principals in DCPS who run their schools with a "my way or the highway approach". They want things done in a specific manner, and any teacher who even respectfully disagrees with their leadership approach is disrespected and disciplined. The sad thing is, many of these principals have not taught for more than a couple of years and could benefit from input from their experienced teaching staff, yet they still use an autocratic approach to manage their schools. Your refusal to believe that these kinds of principals exist in DCPS makes me wonder if you have taught here for more than two years, or if you have ever even been to any of the schools located east of the river.

Posted by: thebandit | March 6, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@thebandit: I work in a DCPS school. I am very well aware of the problems that plague the schools. I have be present with teachers during collaboration, watched my colleagues teach, witnessed their lack of pedagogical knowledge in the classrooms and seen the issues that principals are faced with when they try to hold teachers accountable.

Let me be very clear: I am sure there are principals in DCPS, as well as other districts in the country, who use their power unfairly. This is why I believe in unions. But, I also believe that the problem of ineffective teaching is far deeper than biased principals.

The reason that scores and achievement are so low in urban districts is due to many factors: transient leadership, unqualified administrators, lack of curricula, poverty and transient students, lack of parental and community support, politicians posturing at the expense of poor and urban communities, and yes- ineffective teachers who often get in to urban school districts because they lack the skill set and content knowledge to get in to other districts.

Urban districts are plagued with unqualified leadership and bureaucrats from the top to bottom. And though I am a very big fan of Rhee- let's be honest, no school district in America would hire a CEO who had no administrative experience whatsoever- at least not a credible one. Rhee was not qualified to be an assistant principal.

But, the continued argument by many that urban school teachers are effective when the results show very different data is the reason that Rhee, Henderson and others are being hired. The country is turning against urban school teachers and unions because they continue to defend the status quo and failure.

This is a real shame because we need unions to defend violations of labor (i.e. Wisconsin and Ohio). But, we can't continue to defend failure and blame it all on poverty. The unions must stop defending mediocrity, failure and blaming alternative teaching programs for all their problems. This is making unions fall more and more out of sync with the voters and mainstream views.

Weingarten is doing a nice job of working to shift teachers. She recognizes the movement that is taking hold. If unions don't concede some accountability they will eventually find themselves extinct.

Posted by: teacher6402 | March 6, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

teacher6402: "The reason that scores and achievement are so low in urban districts is due to many factors: transient leadership, unqualified administrators, lack of curricula, poverty and transient students, lack of parental and community support, politicians posturing at the expense of poor and urban communities, and yes- ineffective teachers who often get in to urban school districts because they lack the skill set and content knowledge to get in to other districts."

Here you go again with the sweeping generalizations. What evidence do you have that suggests there are any more ineffective teachers in urban schools than there are in suburban schools? I have lived/worked in both an urban area and a suburban area, and I can tell you with certainty that there are just as many ineffective teachers in the suburbs as there are in inner-city schools. Therefore, it is unfair for you to make statements such as "ineffective teachers... often get in to urban school districts because they lack the skill set and content knowledge to get in to other districts." Who are you to make such a statement and what proof do you have to back this up? I think what frustrates me most about your comments is that you yourself have admitted that you are not even from Washington, DC and have only lived/taught here for a short while. Yet here you are posting on this message board as if you are some expert on DC schools and have lived here your entire life. Teach here for longer than a couple years and then we will talk again to see if you still hold the same opinions. But the bottom line is that you have not been here long enough to make a fair and objective analysis of the issues that plague Washington, DC.


And to your other point...

teacher6402 wrote: "But, the continued argument by many that urban school teachers are effective when the results show very different data is the reason that Rhee, Henderson and others are being hired. The country is turning against urban school teachers and unions because they continue to defend the status quo and failure."

No one is "defending the status quo", as you put it. What we are saying is that, if one wants to REALLY change inner city schools, than a VARIETY of changes have to be made. You seem to think that constantly firing and hiring teachers is the ultimate solution to the problem. However, what we are saying is that, in addition to looking at the teaching staff, other changes have to be made in order for school reform to really work. It is unfair for us to expect kids to come to school ready to learn when they are not getting healthy meals at home, if any meals at all. It is also unfair for us to expect kids to come to school ready to learn when they are unable to get a good night's sleep because they keep getting awakened at night by gun shots in their neighborhood. Bottom line: in order for inner-city schools to REALLY change, the neighborhoods need to change, too. Teachers are only a small part of this large problem.

Posted by: thebandit | March 6, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

@thebandit: We agree on more than you think. You're right that there needs to be more changes in the community as well. However, I am qualified to make the statements that I have made. I have worked in both urban and suburban school districts for many years.

The level of competent talent is significantly different. Many suburban school districts recruit teachers months before urban school districts do--for this reason, they get the top of the talent pool. In addition, suburban school districts often grow their leadership instead of leasing it from alternative programs like New Leaders and Teach for America. It is for this reason that the leadership takes hold and stays in place where many of the leaders in urban districts are gone before any of their efforts take hold.

In our teacher collaborations in the suburban schools teachers come on time, they understand pedagogy, can evaluate student data effectively. The experiences in urban districts, and I've worked in 2 different ones, are very different. Many teachers with whom I've observed and come into contact lack the knowledge of their content, cannot evaluate student data, do not understand how to teach literacy or develop lessons that are aligned to common assessments and standards. This is because many teachers recruited for urban school systems come from alternative teaching programs and many of the veterans are in the system due to political connections. This isn't to say that there aren't many good teachers in urban school districts. But, many of the reforms that Rhee is working to implement have been embraced by suburban school districts more than 2 decades ago.

I was shocked in both urban districts I've worked how far behind they were in the professional development of suburban counties. This isn't my assertion- it's reality. This is why Maryland public schools are number 1 in the country and just next door in DC they are last.

I've witnessed so many urban school teachers leaving faculty meetings before they are completed, not show up for collaborations and data evaluations. Many do not even have lesson plans. This kind of stuff would not be tolerated in suburban school districts. This is not a generalization. This is what I witnessed.

Nonetheless, I can say that without a doubt I am enjoying our debate. Thanks for pushing me to think deeper and longer. I don't know if you're a teacher in the district or educator in DCPS but if you're not I can tell you that few people really know the inside stories of DCPS. Most people would be shocked.

Posted by: teacher6402 | March 6, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Mayor Vincent C. Gray intends to name interim schools leader Kaya Henderson as permanent schools chancellor this week to replace Michelle A. Rhee, according to a source close to the situation.

Wow...really great news for DCPS students & parents!

Posted by: frankb1 | March 6, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee's reforms to continue in DCPS:

"Since her appointment as Interim Chancellor, Ms. Henderson has demonstrated that she has no intention of altering the path of her predecessor," Saunders wrote. "Through her actions, the relationship between DCPS and WTU has become incredibly strained."

You know if the WTU's Sanders is unhappy, it must be really good for DCPS kids.

Posted by: frankb1 | March 6, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Kaya Henderson would continue (and perhaps accelerate) the impressive reforms Rhee put in place at DCPS.

From Henderson's Teach for America speech February 12, 2011:

"We are making history right here in the nation's capital...Some of you think it's over, it isn't over ..we're just getting started....this is the revolution that we all dreamed about...we went through a bloody battle to build a firm foundation so that we can provide these students with the education they deserve."

Full speech at: http://vimeo.com/19899601

Posted by: frankb1 | March 6, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

teacher6402,

When you put it that way, I can understand where you are coming from a little bit better. Since you asked, I will give you a little background about myself: I DID teach in DCPS for two years, but was one of the probationary teachers Rhee terminated in 2009. I was never given a reason for my termination. I have a few theories as to why I was terminated, and none of those theories have anything to do with my performance. I don't feel like I was the best teacher, but I feel that I did the best I could in the situation I was placed in, and I received very little support during my tenure. Anyways, I have since moved on and learned from my experience in DCPS. But that is why I am so defensive when people make statements like "every teacher who was terminated is incompetent and inarticulate". Hopefully you can see by my comments that I am neither incompetent nor inarticulate, and that I have a basic understanding of the English language (despite what many people think about terminated DCPS teachers). Anyways, I am happy I was able to make you think, and I am glad that you are open to other people's opinions, even if they contrast with yours.

Posted by: thebandit | March 6, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Kaya Henderson:

"So students and poverty, I think, have incredible challenges. But what we know for sure is that the best way to get out of poverty is through a good education. And so for the eight hours a day that we have them, we can't make excuses for the fact that they come from poverty. In fact, we have to set incredibly high expectations. And what I know about children is they rise to the expectations that you set for them. For far too long, people have been making excuses, have used poverty as an excuse, and we think it's a consideration that you have to address. And so we feed our kids, and we, you know, provide social and emotional services at our school to the -- at our schools. To the level that we like? Of course not."

Full interview at:

http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2010-12-20/dc-schools-interim-chancellor-kaya-henderson/transcript

Posted by: frankb1 | March 6, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown Alumni and Teach For America: A Transformational Team:

"Teach For America has been pursuing its mission for nearly two decades, and one of its earliest participants was Kaya Henderson (F’92), now a deputy chancellor for Washington, D.C., public schools. She says all these years later, she still draws on what she learned from that experience. “I learned three major lessons: When you hold students to high expectations, they will rise to the occasion, period,” she says. “Even the ones that people say can’t or won’t.” She also learned that having a sense of possibility is more important than who or what you know, and, she concludes, “Good teachers can radically change the life outcomes of the students they serve.”

Henderson says the strength of the Teach For America alumni network is such that she interacts with many of its alumni regularly, including her boss, Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Henderson notes, “My entire career has been shaped by my affiliation with Teach For America, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way."

http://alumni.georgetown.edu/default.aspx?page=NewsTeachForAmerica

Posted by: frankb1 | March 6, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

More from Kaya Henderson:

"I think what’s fascinating to me is that people are like, “Well, Michelle did this, what are you going to do?” We’ve been a team. Many of the reforms are the reforms of this entire team, committed to and have been implemented. Many of the biggest reforms that we are noted for have come out of my shop, so, it’s not a different reform agenda. It’s a continued reform at the same pace and sense of urgency.

When I think about my three priorities, moving forward, my immediate priorities are continuing the human capital work we have done. I am still convinced that having a great teacher in every single classroom, having an awesome principal at the helm of every school and having great central office people to support those front line folks is the greatest lever that we could pull to insure reform in the District.

Another priority is ensuring that the Special Ed reform continues and that we can actually realize the savings and capacity building that we can expect to have happen by bringing who are in non-public [schools] back.

Thirdly, implementing the Washington Teachers contract with fidelity. I think that we have a groundbreaking contract, and the world is watching what could happen. We have good will with the union, I sat at the table as our lead negotiator, and so we all, both sides, put in a lot to make this happen, and I think we can show the world what happens when you come to a good and groundbreaking contract. I am particularly interested in ensuring that is implemented well. The devil is in the details. Those are the three things that are front of mind for me as I take this roll on."

Full interview at:

http://www.welovedc.com/2010/10/15/she-loves-dc-kaya-henderson-interim-chancellor-dcps/

Posted by: frankb1 | March 6, 2011 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Q: Are there any plans to rehire any teachers who were let go?

Kaya Henderson: If the teachers were let go for performance reasons, no. Absolutely not. We continue to believe that if you can’t perform in the classroom, you cannot work here. So there is no backing off of that. IMPACT, the [teacher] evaluation system that we rolled out, came out of my shop, so for me to then turn around would be crazy. That being said, for people who were let go for budgetary reasons, they are welcome to reapply, and have been, even under the Rhee administration.

Q: Teacher quality is one of the benchmarks of your education reforms. It's been said that DCPS is one of the primary employers of middle-class blacks. How do you reconcile the economic role that a teaching job plays with the school system's commitment to excellence?

Kaya Henderson: For me personally, the point of an education system is to educate students, and I am going to ensure that that happens. Period. The end. An education system is not a jobs program. I think that the presumptive mayor-elect has an agenda around economic development, and that's great, but the moment we start prioritizing jobs for people on the backs of our children, we are making a significant mistake.

Read full interview at:

http://www.theroot.com/views/root-interview-new-interim-dc-schools-chancellor-kaya-henderson

Posted by: frankb1 | March 6, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Funny video.

I enjoyed reading the commentary but I have to disagree with teacher 6402 about principals firing high performers. I think sometimes they feel threatened or something and if someone appears to be challenging them they look for a way to remove them. I think it happens most with new principals. It is understandable, who would want someone difficult when they could have someone who will just do what they want?

Posted by: georgia198305 | March 7, 2011 3:15 AM | Report abuse

@teacher6402
You have got to be the most reasonable voice I have heard/read on this whole Rhee thing.

I am not so sure that leaving/staying at meetings should be considered criteria for good teaching. Understanding pedagogy and how to teach literacy, yes. The meeting thing depends on how many meetings and how useful are they. I have read some cases of meetings that are everyday. As you know, a lot of teaching requires hard work. Sitting around talking about work is not the same as doing the work.

Posted by: georgia198305 | March 7, 2011 3:24 AM | Report abuse

Refinancing means taking out a new mortgage with a lower interest rate to pay off your existing mortgage, search online for 123 Mortgage Refinance I got 2.831% rate on refinance!

Posted by: richardfox345 | March 7, 2011 4:23 AM | Report abuse

teacher6402 wrote: "No principal, whose total evaluation is based on student achievement improving, is going to fire people who are moving achievement simply because they disagree with them."


Dwan Jordon over at Sousa Middle School did after his first year.

Posted by: phillipmarlowe | March 7, 2011 5:43 AM | Report abuse

teacher6402 wrote: "No principal, whose total evaluation is based on student achievement improving, is going to fire people who are moving achievement simply because they disagree with them."


Dwan Jordon over at Sousa Middle School did after his first year.

Posted by: phillipmarlowe | March 7, 2011 5:43 AM | Report abuse

This is a great video!

Posted by: jlp19 | March 7, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Valerie, would you please just retitle your column "I Hate Michelle Rhee" and move on with your life? We get it: You are obsessed with and despise Michelle Rhee. But you don't have the intellect, energy, or honesty to propose how you would run DCPS if you were in charge. You just cut and paste the views of "guest columnists" and video artists who have negative things to say about Michelle. I know it's a great gig, but you really need to go back to school so you can get a real job.

Posted by: valeriehatesmichelle | March 8, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

How this incompetent dolet got a job at all in education after how she dealt with young children is mind numbing. And then some idiot puts her in charge. And the media loves her.

No good teacher would allow this woman near children EVER. Anyone who takes anything this woman says about education seriously is pathetically misinformed.

Posted by: Jjcsplace | March 9, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Make that dolt...not dolet. Pushed the submit button too fast.

Posted by: Jjcsplace | March 9, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

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