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Chancellor Pottymouth?

A group of aspiring young education reformers got some straight talk last night from D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee about the challenges of trying to overhaul a troubled urban school district.

"Sometimes, being a leader sucks," Rhee told the Education Pioneers Fellows, 28 graduate students who are finishing up internships in DCPS and other regional school districts and nonprofits. She was recounting what she had told a gathering of principals earlier in the day about the constant criticism and second-guessing they will contend with in trying to give the District's schoolchildren the education they deserve.

Rhee, joined on stage at George Washington University's Marvin Center by Prince George's County Superintendent John E. Deasy, was also asked by moderator Jim Shelton of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about the "distractions" that kept her from focusing on teaching and learning.

"I certainly think the media is a pain in the butt," she said.

Asked later if she thought if such a choice of words was good modeling for a schools chancellor, she said in an e-mail response that the question "lacks any relevance." She added: "I believe it's good modeling to be real. Direct, open, honest communication that people understand is important."

Bill Turque

By Marcia Davis  |  August 13, 2008; 11:54 AM ET
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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I like her more and more everyday.

Posted by: Alex M. | August 13, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I like her more and more everyday.

Posted by: Alex M. | August 13, 2008 12:54 PM


I'd like her more if she was qualified to do her job.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen proof that she isn't qualified - and no one before has done half as well. With so many folks unhappy, real change must be happening. I say, bring it on!

Posted by: sophiagrrl | August 13, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Being a leader sucks"?

How would she know?

"Direct, open, honest communication that people understand is important."

I'm waiting....

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, let me say Kaya Henderson Deputy Chancellor of DCPS) was speaking at the New Teacher Orientation and unless she and Rhee practiced each other's speeches...Henderson said the EXACT same thing! I mean verbatim...oh my takes two brains to say...sometimes being a leader sucks!!!! oh yeah, Henderson recounted that same memory of being with a group of principal's earlier in the day...So who is copying whom?

Posted by: dcps watcher | August 13, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Rhee's true colors are showing more and more every day. She has a very haughty and dismissive attitude toward people who deign to challenge or disagree with her. She's in over her head and it shows. Trying to cloak such unbecoming language under the veil of "being real" doesn't cut it. It'll be a great day in the city when she's shown the door.

Posted by: Shameful | August 14, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

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