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Rhee: Wedding to Johnson doesn't change plans

Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee says she’s in D.C. for the long haul, despite her impending marriage to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.

“Yes, I’m fully ready for the commuter marriage!” she e-mailed Friday, after The Reliable Source broke the word that she and Johnson will wed on Sept. 4, location TBD.

Rhee has often said that she intended to remain in her post through a second Fenty term--assuming there is one.

“I’m a serial monogamist, not a job hopper,” she said in a 2008 interview. Rhee cited her ten years at New Teacher Project, the non-profit she founded. She has also spoken admiringly of Atlanta School Superintendent Beverly L. Hall, who is in her eleventh year at the head of that system.

Such a pledge would take her to early 2015. That’s a lot of plane rides to and from Sacramento. But there may be other considerations as well. Her ex-husband Kevin Huffman, with whom she is raising two daughters, lives in the District.

Schools activist Cherita Whiting, who has also spent time with Rhee socially, says she prepared to do it.

“I think she would be OK with the travel,” said Whiting. Although Whiting added that she doesn’t expect it to be a long-term proposition because she predicts that at least one of the mayors in Rhee's life will lose re-election: Fenty this year or Johnson in 2012.

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By Bill Turque  |  January 15, 2010; 3:36 PM ET
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Next: Cafritz "stunned" by Ellington scenario


Bill, your last paragraph is riddled with pronoun vagueness. Who are all these "she's?" Is it Whiting or Rhee who predicts that Fenty or Johnson will lose an election soon enough? This is pretty important.

On another subject, why doesn't the comments link work on your earlier "filthy" post? Could you fix that?

and on yet another subject, when are we going to see an article from you in the print edition.

Posted by: efavorite | January 15, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"I'm a serial monogamist, not a job hopper", UGH! I don't want to hear about that. Please move, Rhee. Please.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 16, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I just realized that quote was from 2008. Has she changed her mind since then? Please?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 16, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I know that Rhee has the choice to marry who she wants and it is her personal business. But it is a bit disturbing for the head of a school system to be marrying a man who several teenage girls have accused him of molesting, intimidating and harassing them. In addition, he was involved in stealing/misusing government funds.

At the very least it shows that she has very poor judgment. It may be her private life but under the circumstances I feel that due to the nature of Johnson's actions it is very alarming that she has any association with him.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | January 16, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@letsbereal: I totally agree with you. And I wonder what Rhee's ex-husband, the father of those two girls, thinks about all that.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 16, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Man, oh man! After the previous post by Mr. Turque announcing the wedding date, I thought it a guarantee that we would have seen Rhee hop the plane for Sacramento in June on a one-way ticket.

I'm disappointed. Can she be persuaded to change her mind? How much more money does she need from raping the city treasury to convince her to just go.

Posted by: vscribe | January 17, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe anything that comes out of Michelle Rhee's mouth. I look for her to move. DCPS has never been in more chaos, IMPACT--her new teacher evaluation system with the "master educators" (who are quitting right and left)--is a disaster all the way around, principals and teachers are miserable and don't trust her, test scores aren't rising as rapidly and exponentially as Rhee wants and I think she and her young, idealistic and inexperienced staff don't know what the hell to do. I believe she'll move.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | January 17, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Urbandweller - how do you know master educators are quitting?

by the way, I agree - sort of -- this wedding gives her more flexiblity. If she leaves everyone will think they understand why.

Posted by: efavorite | January 17, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Three Master Educators quit almost at the beginning - one due to serious illness, but the other two for other reasons. More have quit since then - simply go online and read the profiles of the team, they have been changing. The demands made upon this small group are considerable, it will be interesting to see how many are still there in a year's time.

Posted by: adcteacher1 | January 17, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

How is this news ? Rhee just fired more central office staff last week and teachers are quitting left and right and the Post has time to cover this. There are plans for Rhee to fire even more principals and there are vacancy announcements for certain principal jobs. Cancel your subscription to the Post immediately. This is not journalism.

Posted by: teacherspet | January 17, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

efavorite: I was told ME's are quitting by my supervisor last week. They are still trying to fill a vacancy for my area of certification and my director wanted to submit my name. I said "No way!" If the reason for the ME's was to support teachers I would definitely do it. However, it's just another way to get rid of teachers easily.

They are quitting because of the workload. The expectations are unrealistic: do 200 observations and follow up each of those in person with the educator? The written documentation is 10-12 pages for each observation. All this on top of other duties and responsibilities.

Bottom line is that IMPACT has self-imploded and the rumor is that at the end of the year they are going to announce that it will not count this year.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | January 18, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Urbandweller - it never made any sense for the evaluation to count the first year anyhow - it was a pilot program and there had been minimal training of the teacher corps.

I wonder how much this “innovative reform” cost DCPS, at the expense of the students.

And I wonder if this will get reported by the Post.

I recently read some profiles of the Master educators. Some have score gains that rival Rhee's legendary gains at her school in Baltimore! Instead of having them evaluate teachers, they should be sharing their successful methodologies with educational researchers and packaging them so all teachers can benefit. These incredible successes need to be understood so they can be replicated (or tossed and not used to falsely imply that any effective teacher should perform at that level)

There's a story for a good reporter!

Posted by: efavorite | January 18, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

From what I understood, they hired about 45 of them and that in no way is adequate staff to observe "all" teachers several times in a year. It was doomed before it started and the idea comes from a person who is clueless when it comes to evaluating let alone recognizing what teaching/learning looks like.

Posted by: candycane1 | January 18, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how long it actually takes to produce an IMPACT evaluation? Our principal is working 16 hours days this year, plus weekends.

Is it a half hour observation and a half hour meeting? How long does the write up take? Did anyone take account of all this at 825?

Posted by: Title1SoccerMom | January 18, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Soccermom - I guess you'd have to ask an evaluator how long it takes - and what their experience has been. Yet another story for a diligent reporter.

adcteacher1 - meant to thank you too for your info.

Candycane - I think the original number of evaluators was 35 and I just counted 33 in an official photo at

It looks like it was taken in warm weather.

Posted by: efavorite | January 18, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

As for the wedding date: It might be a safety net.(1) If KJ's troubles are still looming in the shadows, a wife can't be forced to testify against a husband. (2) IF the election year isn't going well or if the real data and info begins to pour through, she has an out.

Posted by: candycane1 | January 19, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Isn't Huffman a WaPo employee? That should have been noted in the article.

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 19, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

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