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So that was it?

So after all the hyperventilating, the Great DCPS Sex Scare of 2010 comes down to exactly one teacher. Here's a link to our news story on this.

If you've read The Post's editorial page or seen Tom Sherwood's report, you know by now that Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has now clarified what she told "Fast Company" magazine. In an interview late Monday, Rhee told Channel 4's Sherwood that of the 266 teachers laid off last October, one had been on administrative leave for sexual misconduct. Six had served suspensions for corporal punishment, and two had been disciplined for unauthorized absences.

But Rhee's quote to the business magazine left the strong impression of significant numbers of the teachers who were let go had serious issues. In what amounts to an apology, she told Sherwood

"It was never our intention, nor did I ever say it was all of the teachers who fell into these categories...our intention was not to paint all teachers with a broad brush stroke," she told Sherwood.

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By Bill Turque  |  January 26, 2010; 10:59 AM ET
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It most definitly was her intention. It was her intention to grandstand and to make the national public view her as some savior of DC's children. That's her drama queen BS. That is why we need a superintendent that is qualified, workforce positive, sensitive to parents and the community and change oriented. WE do not need a person who is always looking for the spotlight, the interview, or the camera. Enough is enough! She needs to pack up and leave. We've had it with the verbal insults and irrevocable harm.

Posted by: candycane1 | January 26, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

There have been many questions about Ms. Rhee. After so many years of having a superintendent of schools, why was someone hired for that position and given the name "chancellor?" Was it because she doesn't have a doctorate in education as her predecessors, which could possible mean that she isn't really qualified and has not only taken our teachers for a ride, but our students too?

Also, how does firing/laying off employees because of budget restrains end up with accusations of them being party to child abuse and molestation allegations?

What are we doing?? Why did Ms. Rhee tell a magazine that our children were in danger and didn't tell child protective services or just report the matter to the police? Who is she grandstanding for and why do our children have to pay the price of possibly not being safe, where we send them to learn. All eyes should be on Michelle Rhee and sooner than later, we must get to the bottom of this before our children suffer at the hand of possibly someone that is not qualified to be at the helm.

Posted by: aaiken50 | January 26, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

To malign teachers, further weaken morale and to maintain autocratic control over the remaining work force was her intention.

She also was intent on sprinkling glory all over herself.

She is an egomaniac and needs to be relieved of her position before she does any further harm.

Rhee should also be afforded the same courtesy that many teachers received when RIF"d in October - a MPD escort. She should leave her brief case and purse behind too. That's what some teachers were forced to do in Oct. All records and files should be sealed by court order until...

Posted by: 2belinda | January 26, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

It comes down to nine teachers, not one. And when did Rhee ever say that all 266 teachers were involved in misconduct involving students? Ugh. Will everyone just give the woman a chance to make REAL reform? I never considered myself a Rhee supporter until reading her opponents' fearful comments on this website over the past several months. She has a communication problem, and is not the most tactful, but a dire situation requires dire change. And people in DC are so incredibly fearful of change. I honestly don't think many of her opponents want to see DC schools improve - they just want to see things run the same way they've been run for the past 20 years, which has been severely detrimental to students.

Posted by: vivace751 | January 26, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Bill Turque is the journalist who blew the story all out of proportion, he wildly misinterpreted Michelle Rhee's quote, and then he finds out he was wrong to do so.

What incredible hubris that this story didn't start with the phrase "Mea Culpa." Bill, really, don't you see that you are at the center of this monumental error? Nope, chances are you don't see my point.

When I tell you I stopped subscribing to the Post in 2007 because I'm sick about the quality of the journalism will that awaken you to your culpability here?

sigh, if not then nothing will.

Posted by: bbcrock | January 26, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Why did Ms. Rhee tell a magazine that our children were in danger and didn't tell child protective services or just report the matter to the police?

If you bothered to read anything about this you'd know the police were involved from Day 1.

Posted by: bbcrock | January 26, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Chancellor Moon pulls the equivalent of a "My Bad" -- wink wink -- and when called on it says she got misinterpreted and all her quibbling apologists -- Washington Post editorial page topping the list -- chime in by parsing a more acceptable meaning than the one she originally intended.

There's no proof any of Chancellor Moon's initiatives are bearing any success in student outcomes, especially when compared to the division and turmoil she's wreaking throughout the community. Best thing is for her elitist supporters to run a quiche and sushi sale, start their own private non-taxpayer funded academy, hire Moon, Kamras, and the rest of the cult to run it, and leave the rest of us the hell alone.

Posted by: GoDoZo | January 26, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mr. Turque, for providing this latest ammunition for those of us who long ago concluded Michelle Rhee is doing more harm than good. Now if we could only get the Post's editorial board to read the news division's reporting!

Time after time, she has exaggerated and flat-out falsified the extent of malfeasance among D.C. teachers, in order to justify her demands for more and more power. Yet the Post's consistent response is to blame her critics (?!), as it did this morning.

I am not a teacher, nor do I have kids, but there is no doubt in my mind that Ms. Rhee should be fired for her inability to tell the truth or take responsibility.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | January 26, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

WAIT---ARE PEOPLE ACTUALLY BUYING THIS BULL! RHEE Supporters you believe everything that comes from this woman. When she lies, you hide in the dark waiting for the POST, FENTY AND NICKELS to provide a new lie to cover her back. Then you come from under your rock to SHOUT—SEE I TOLD YOU SO. YOU START TO SPREAD THE NEW LIE LIKE IT IS THE TRUTH.

Anyone with any honesty knows why she made the comments—to promote herself. It was only when she realized that there may be legal ramifications did she hide behind her door and her kids until the Post, Fenty, FCC, and the AG provided her with a new LIE.

Now many of her supporters are relieved that some individuals might buy this fake explanation and you can continue to blame the Council, WTU, Barry and perhaps even the devil but now all citizens of this town is crazy and some are still fit for duty.

To bbrock – Where did you read the police was involved from DAY 1, the Post editorial page? This story broke several days ago and the Ms. Rhee was not talking, her spokes person was quite and the police claimed no knowledge. Please tell us where you got this info. Bill Turque did not blow this out of proportion—Madame BIG MOUTH had this honor.

To vivace751 – do not pretend you ever failed to support Rhee. Readers of this blog have long memories. Be proud of your position—support this lady to the end. However, do not try to justify the hostility you have for DCPS and not just teachers.


Posted by: dccounselor72 | January 26, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

DCSteve, it's clear you don't know anything about DCPS based on the fact you aren't a parent or a teacher. Can't you see how your commentary hurts this discussion due to your ignorance?

I'm a PTA member and former PTA Boardmember and I will tell you this- you don't have a CLUE how awful the DCPS teachers really are.

Posted by: bbcrock | January 26, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

dccounselor72, I did investigative reporting with DC government sources outside of DCPS.

Posted by: bbcrock | January 26, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse


The only thing blown out of proportion is your zeal for someone who is inept to do the job she was APPOINTED to do by someone equally as inept (fenty).

Bill, please continue to report on the information you uncover. This reader greatly appreciates your efforts!!

Posted by: schooletal | January 26, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I see bbcrock is back,carrying water for Chancellor Rhee by haunting the comments>
Let see what's he got:
"Bill Turque is the journalist who blew the story all out of proportion, he wildly misinterpreted Michelle Rhee's quote, "

Wildly misinterpreted Rhee.
How, crock?
Quote from the article.
Mr. Turque repeated Mrs. Rhee's full comment.
Are you suggesting Bill rewrote it?
Maybe , as Flip Wilson would say, the devil made Rhee do it.

And then this:
"I will tell you this- you don't have a CLUE how awful the DCPS teachers really are."

Nor would it appear do the DCPS parents.
Go look at the 2008-2009 survey:
85% of the parents are satisfied with the teachers.

I guess they aren't as smart as bbcrock.

Posted by: phillipmarlowe | January 26, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

How can anyone deny that Rhee's quote in Fast Company makes it appear as if there were many sexual predators RIFed? We know she did not mean all 266 but her statements undoubtedly made it sound like a significant number of the 266.

By making such exaggerated anti-DCPS teacher comments it is reinforcing a perception in many people's mind that the majority of DCPS suck.

This is how stereotypes are made- just keep repeating negative, disparaging remarks about a group of people over and over again and the public casts the whole group in this light. bbcrock and others seem to fall for it every time.

Rhee is so unprofessional that it is inexcusable. How is this helping students? To top it all off, Rhee can't admit that the statement was wrong nor can she apologize.

FYI, just because I am highly disturbed by Rhee's misrepresentation of the truth does not mean that I support sexual predators in our schools or those who hit children. I find it remarkable that some people draw this conclusion.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | January 26, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Damn, most of these postings are by pissed off union teachers and administrators. I'm glad Chancellor Rhee is shaking things up, things need to be shaken up. There is no excuse for the DCPS to be in the shape that they are in. In the past, it has been poor leadership. When she was appointed, she was tasked to make the DCPS more competative. By 5th or 6th grade students are moving to charter schools. The DCPS is one of the most expensive districts in this country, at a cost of over 13000.00 a year per student to educate. When a student leaves the public system and goes to a charter school that money moves with that student, that is unacceptable performance. That means less money for the public system. It makes absolutely no sense to keep a school open that is built for 400 students, but yet, the school only has, plus or minus 80, and all this, just to keep some teacher in a job, when he or she is unaffective at teaching. All of this is a glaring example of what unionized labor has done to this country. union's have made workers in this country lazy. Please don't misunderstand me, I understand the need to have representation in the workplace, but Tenure has no place in the public school system, and DCPS is a glaring example of that. Teachers blame the administration, administration blames the teachers and the parents blame both and everyone knows most of these parents could care less one way or the other. To them, the public school is nothing more than a place to drop the kids off for free child care. It is not just the DCPS, it is the entire public system across this nation. I live in S. Georgia, specifically Lanier County, and our school system is one of the worst in the state; which means ours is also one of the worst in the nation. That said, it does not cost over 13000.00 a year to educate a student. That cost is entirely too high. This mess that the DCPS is in, has been created by your union leadership and the old do nothing DCPS administration. In my veiw, you should get rid of the union and all the other crooks and put those union dues back in the pockets of the teachers who worked for that money. Then our kids will begin to get an education again. enough said. PEACE

Posted by: fmingram | January 26, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse


The cost is so high because Rhee and company came in and gave themselves huge increases. Rhee herself had her salary raised from below $200,000 to $275,000, she herself raised the salaries of all her deputies from $90,000 to 6 figure salaries. Add on to those salaries the bonuses they've been given (some bonuses exceeds what some aides in our system make)and you have a huge chunk of that per-student ration going to the salaries of the top administrators. By the way, "unaffective" is not a word, you want to use "ineffective".

Posted by: adcteacher1 | January 27, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Wow--these are the most interesting comments I have read in a long time. Many points of view have merit, such as the need for great change in DCPS, the need for school closures and the need to eliminate bad teachers. I just wish, however, that the Fenty ego had given Dr. Janey, the superintendent before Rhee who implemented the policies and changes that TRULY raised test scores, the opportunity to complete his reform plan. It was his plan, by the way, that Rhee and company adopted (after getting busted by the Post for stealing a plan from North Carolina) and upon which have based their subsequent strategy documents. Also, Janey was a man of quiet, but efficient means who rarely talked to the press or flouted his accomplishments. If Ms. Rhee were not such a "media darling" in the first place, her chances of sticking her little Jimmy Choo pumps in her mouth would be much slimmer. Janey was the kind of change agent DCPS needs, not someone bent on becoming a star for doing the 6-figure job.

Posted by: dexplorer | January 27, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Where did this piece go?

D.C. Schools Insider - One newspaper, two stories
Many of you may have noticed something more than a tad odd Tuesday morning in our coverage of Chancellor Rhee's now immortal comments to "Fast Company." My story, which appeared on the front of the Metro section, said that Rhee...

Posted by: rpondiscio | January 27, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse


Where did your "One Newspaper, Two Stories" post go. It was up for about 4 hours then - poof - gone.

Someone up higher up on the Post food chain has some explaining to do.

Posted by: shepDC | January 27, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

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