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Rhee Says She's No Drive-By Chancellor

D.C.'s public schools have burned through--and out--leaders with dreary regularity. Six came and went in the 10 years preceding Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's arrival last June.

Some DCPS-watchers expect Rhee to follow the same course, perhaps trading up for something in the next presidential administration or the private sector. But Rhee, who last week marked her first year on the job, says she sees herself staying for seven more.

"I'm a serial monogamist, not a job-hopper," she told the D.C. Wire over breakfast the other day, citing her 10 years at the New Teacher Project, which she founded and ran before coming to Washington.

Should she stick around for that long, Rhee would re-write longevity records for D.C. school chiefs. Such a lengthy run would also leave her near the top nationally in staying power for the head of an urban school system, where two-to-three years is the norm.

Rhee said she wants to see through the reforms she has attempted to put into play, and spoke with admiration for Atlanta schools superintendent Beverly L. Hall--entering her ninth year and presiding over a system on the upswing with rising test scores, renovated buildings and improved business operations--as a standard to reach for.

Bill Turque

By Bill Turque  |  June 16, 2008; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Education  
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While I'm not in lock step with Ms. Rhee regarding the direction of DCPS I must say that I hope she really is here for a long haul. It will take at least 5 to 10 years to rid the system of the cronyism, lethargy and down right malaise that has infected the schools for soooo many years. And if she can bring a new ethos to the culture of the DCPS, the teachers and administrators she will have moved mountains!

Posted by: Youngj1 | June 19, 2008 5:14 AM | Report abuse

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