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Rhee's Transition

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is a key figure in the transition--but not the one taking place here.

Rhee appeared at a news conference in Sacramento Monday as part of the transition team of Mayor-elect Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who will take office Nov. 25, replacing two-term incumbent Heather Fargo. According to The Sacramento Bee, she was presented by Johnson as one of the leaders of a transition team that could eventually total as many as 100 people.

Rhee is a long-time friend of Johnson's and served as a member of the board of directors of St. Hope Public Schools, the system of charter schools Johnson founded in Sacramento.

It is not clear what kind of time commitment it represents for Rhee, who has a rather hefty day job in the District.

"Everyone recognizes Michelle's first priority is in Washington," said transition spokesman Adam Mendelsohn.

Rhee referred an e-mailed query to spokeswoman Dena Iverson, who said that the chancellor was "on vacation today and was part of the transition announcement on her way to Seattle."

Bill Turque

By Kathryn Tolbert  |  November 11, 2008; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Education  
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Out of curiosity, I wonder how many "leave slips" we'd find for vacation hours during the entire mayorial campaign. Could that be where she was when she was due in court but didn't make it back because of a cancelled flight? Perhaps rhee was always going to Sacramento and allowed everyone to just think her destination was LA for camoflauge. If she works for DCPS, isn't it double-dipping to be on someone else's team? Or is she looking for another job because she's performing so poorly here? Or, is she transitioning out of DC to be near Kevin Johnson. The article did say long-time friend. The article link below talks about how rhee has taken time off of her job to help Johnson find staff.

His transition team includes Spanish-language media mogul Amador Bustos, charged with reaching out to the Latino community. Another member is Washington, D.C., Chancellor of Education Michelle Rhee, a longtime friend who formerly served on the board of Johnson's St. HOPE organization.

Rhee has taken time off from her job and is helping interview candidates to be Johnson's chief of staff, said campaign spokesman Steve Maviglio.

Here's the link:

Now, with the state of DCPS, she really has time to TAKE OFF HER JOB to help hire people? Wow .. and Fenty will let her get away with this?

Here's a picture of rhee and her good friend Kevin Johnson:

Interesting ...

Posted by: southyrndiva | November 11, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

This is truly unacceptable. Where is her committment to DCPS? There is no way that she will be able to fully complete her responsibilities to DCPS and CA.

Posted by: | November 11, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Here is what is so very sickening about the Post's coverage of Ms. Rhee: There is absolutely no critical look, - a truly deeply, intensively critical look at what she has done and her claims of success. This article did not make it in the newspaper but should have been situated right next to the article about the firing of Hart Middle School's principal. Better yet this notice should have been posted next to Fred Hiatt's glowing Op-Ed piece (another, yet another, practice in singing praise on Rhee without substantive proof that she is succeeding).

Hart's problems, while always there, were made worse by Rhee's decisions to close P.R. Harris and fire Hart's principal at the same time. This showed no planning or foresight on her part about what could and did happen there. The Post has not pressed the Rhee administration for an accounting as to why they felt the Hart principal should go and his replacement would be better for that school. The former principal at least knew the community he was in and may have been able to help in the transition of taking in students from a school like P.R. Harris (anyone who knows Harris knows what a terrible school it was)and offsetting some of the turf wars and other problems caused by such an influx of students.

Rhee has now fired two of her own hires and demoted a third. Word in the hallways is that there are more on the chopping block. These are her hires, not the "bad" principals she fired last year. I don't disagree with her decision to fire principals - God knows there were many poorly performing administrators. But the firing of so many principals at the same time that so many schools were being closed and so very many students were being moved into other schools (where disturbances in terms of the school atmosphere are going to occur simply as a given of such a large influx of "new" students)without real supports and safeguards in place demonstrates, clearly it seems to me, a lack of adequate planning.

Ms. Rhee's success in transforming our school system is something to be desired but that will not happen if she is allowed to operate without some genuine critical analysis, critical articles looking deeply at her claims of success and demanding questions made by this newspaper. This is too great a matter for the students, the parents and all of us who work for them in the DCPS schools for the Post to act as a cheerleader instead of as an investigative newspaper.

Your current coverage, in all of its inadequacies, reminds me of nothing so much as it does of your coverage of Bush and the run-up to the Iraq War. Did you learn nothing from that experience?

Posted by: adcteacher1 | November 11, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

This is truly outrageous!

As a DC resident and DCPS teacher, I am in shock that the chancellor thinks that she has enough time in her schedule to serve on the transition team of a mayor on the other side of the country.

Her job as chancellor is too big and too important to be moonlighting. It shows a lack of commitment and respect to DCPS.

People have said since the beginning that her job with DCPS was just a stepping stone and a resume builder. Now I am beginning to believe it for myself.

If the mayor won't call her out on this, I sure hope the City Council does.

Posted by: StudentAdvocate | November 11, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Which mayor paid her the week she was gone? The one who thinks he's above the law here or the one who thinks he's above the law in Sacramento? The one in Sacramento has been accused of misconduct with minor females twice, while running a charter school(not proven)but busted for misappropriation of federal funds while running the charter school that Ms. Rhee was involved with.( He was suspended from using future funds for a year.) It's documented in Sacramento news papers.

Posted by: candycane1 | November 15, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

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