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Rhee: Pope still in arts magnet picture

DCPS unveiled some marquee names from the arts, philanthropic and business worlds Tuesday as part of its "blue ribbon" commission to help plan the new middle school arts magnet, scheduled to open in fall 2011. Jazz great Wynton Marsalis, Kennedy Center president Peter Jablow and Washington Ballet artistic director Septime Weber were among those tapped for their expertise, Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee announced. A complete list is here.

One name not mentioned in Tuesday's roll out: the educator originally tasked to launch the school, former Hardy Middle School principal Patrick Pope. When Rhee announced late last year that she was replacing Pope as head the Georgetown arts and music school, she said his next assignment would be to help plan the arts magnet.

Pope's removal, effective this month, sparked a contentious and occasionally ugly debate about the future of the predominantly minority school, which draws relatively few kids from the surrounding neighborhood. Rhee, who wants to change that, ran into big pushback from a segment of the parent community and some members of the D.C. Council, who felt that she was messing with one of the few middle schools in the city that worked. Pope himself never evidenced all that much enthusiasm about his new assignment.

Asked in an e-mail if Tuesday if Pope was still involved in the middle school project, Rhee said: "Yes," with no elaboration. He is scheduled to report to DCPS headquarters on July 1, where he will work under Josh Edelman, Rhee's director of school innovation.

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By Bill Turque  |  June 24, 2010; 9:45 AM ET
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I only hope that people start to see that this education reform era is yet another "BOONDOGGLE" in which the community is conned for the sake of money and image. Wynton Marsalis and the Kennedy Center serve no purpose other than image. DCPS has a proven art education models that apparently can be sacrificed for image and the desires of the well to do community.

Posted by: oknow1 | June 24, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse


You lie!

Posted by: edlharris | June 24, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

suuuuure Oknow1 because what we all know about the well to do community in Georgetown is that none of them would ever send their children to private school.

This kind of wacko conspiracy theory makes no sense. THE RICH ARE NOT PART OF DCPS THEREFORE YOU CAN NOT BLAME THEM!

I love this, they call the school "predominantly minority." Well name a single DCPS middle school that is not predominantly minority. Deal? It was at least 50% African-American the last time I was on campus but I don't know the official stats.

Sheesh, this article is junk and the Hardy controversy is junk and the people on my block I know who bit into it hook line and sinker also believe in The Plan.

Posted by: bbcrock | June 24, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Bill -- what's the enrollment for Hardy?

Last you checked, before the march 31st deadline, applications were way down, as I recall.

Posted by: efavorite | June 24, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I just read the press release and not only doesn't it mention Pope, it doesn't mention any DCPS involvement - just a list of stars on the arts scene.

It also makes it sound as if Hardy never existed:

"Set to open in fall 2011, this school will provide first-time opportunities in rigorous arts education for students from across the District."

Posted by: efavorite | June 24, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

What?...why have Pope work under Edleman? Wouldn't it be prudent to make Pope an instructional superintendent with a focus on the arts? gonna hire 13 of these people, aren't you? Maybe that will help it look more predominantly more minority within the rank and file. [sarcasm]

Posted by: PowerandPride | June 24, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Rhee is a liar and a disgrace. She plans to place Pope downtown and hopes the retire.

Another reason to elect a new mayor.

Posted by: fmurray200111 | June 24, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Here is some info on Pope's new boss.

“Joshua Edelman, who came to Chicago from Washington, D.C. after being hired by Arne Duncan, was responsible for the closing of more public schools in Chicago than any executive in the 150-year history of public education in Chicago.”

He was fired in September 2009 after working there for two years.

The fact he is here in DC again makes one wonder about his connections to Duncan and the Obama administration.


Posted by: fmurray200111 | June 24, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

On Friday (25 June 2010) Bill Turque penned yet another article that highlights the Public Relations efforts that Chancellor Rhee and her cohorts will have in store for us this summer as the DC elections and, as inferred by so many Washington Post editorials, her future hangs in the balance.

This last piece, "Rhee gets star turn in education film 'Waiting for Superman' at Silverdocs" describes the Hollywood type events surrounding the screening and media discussion that followed. Mr. Turque has also recently alerted us to the possibility that DC voters may see the Chancellor appear with less fanfare at our homes with Fenty campaign materials and glowing reports of DCPS student achievement that validate their school reform efforts.

The new movie, 'Waiting for Superman', portrays Rhee as a Heroine of urban education reform. Earlier this month, the Chancellor released her analysis of the latest 8th grade NEAP reading test score results that she claims show DC the most improved in the nation. Yesterday, we are treated to this latest unveiling of a star-studded Blue Ribbon Commission to plan an ambitious new Arts-Magnet middle school. With news like this… what’s not to like?

Well… there is plenty not to like. And reporting news like a press release designed to titillate instead of inform readers of the serious and very contentious nature of criticism and debate surrounding the Chancellor’s policies and claims is beyond propaganda, and seems to be part of a deliberate disinformation campaign.

Would anyone be interested in what so many long established and respected educators such as Dianne Ravitch have said or written about the very controversial initiatives pursued by the Chancellor, and the increasing data that indicates these are actually harming our children?

Would anyone be interested in the fact that the NAEP testing data shows that the largest and poorest performing sub-group (African Americans) significantly decreased as a proportion of the whole test group because they have left the system; and that white students actually did worse on the test between 2007 and 2009?

Would anyone be interested in the fact that the DC City Council has redirected items in the school budget such as the new Magnet-Arts middle school to the Mayor with the advise that only essential and necessary spending that considers severely neglected or postponed modernization or repair be pursued? Or that none of the truly serious planning stages that one would have expected DCPS to have undertaken long ago have been started?

There are more questions of course. But so little time, and so little interest when Hollywood calls.

Posted by: AGAAIA | June 26, 2010 4:40 AM | Report abuse

Correction: I believe the NAEP result were for 4th grade 2009, and not 8th grade.

and finally...

Why does Mr. Turque, once again, describe Hardy MS as an “arts and music school?” It is not, and the four hours of weekly instruction in art and music is the same amount that every elementary school child that attends the Filmore Arts Center for half a day per week. Even Mann ES instituted a similar in-house curriculum in response to parent and student interest. None of these schools are described other than great and full-featured elementary schools that compare very favorably with prestigious private schools in the Washington metropolitan area.

As the incoming First Vice-president of the Hardy PTA and member of the LSRT, I have pledged to both the immediate Hardy community in attendance, and the families of the Greater Hardy Community Collaborative (GHCC) who live in-boundary to the Hardy catchment, that we will seek to clarify and communicate the unique features and true character of Hardy Middle School to those who wish to attend.

Unfortunately, the continued misrepresentation of Hardy MS by reporters (and others) have led many in the GHCC to conclusions that have harmed the reputation of the school and resulted in decreased enrollment of in-boundary families. For all those who are committed to making the DCPS and Hardy MS an example of how true community involvement can make a fine institution even better, we encourage those who have questions and constructive ideas to become involved.

Posted by: AGAAIA | June 26, 2010 6:12 AM | Report abuse


Great piece. I hope everyone will read this and understand that the WP must keep confusion of Rhee's record going in order to fool the public.

The WP is a never ending infomercial for Fenty and Rhee.

Posted by: fmurray200111 | June 26, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Many have called Fenty and his chancellor the liars they are since the very beginning. They were liars then, they are liars now and they will remain liars wherever they go.

There is a great deal of missing DC government money and there are many tweaked DC CAS scores. There are countless missing DCPS personnel. As of March 2010, Fenty's chancellor had hired 2,215 people. God only knows how many in total she has fired. She has even fired the very people she herself hired one year after touting them as mini-Rhees. What gives? There is no stability.

Patrick Pope is the catalyst who has made more people clearly see the destructive decisions Fenty's chancellor has made. Lamentably, she gets away with it time and time again. I feel for Pope and what has happened. However, trust me that he isn't the first person removed unfairly and until Fenty and all of his puppets are gone, he won't be the last.

Fenty's chancellor is his boss, not the other way around. He cannot control her, she controls him. With Johnson at her side who proclaimed himself on You Tube as a "baby Barack," Fenty is not going to defy her. Johnson is far too protected from the top and by association, so is Fenty's chancellor.

I cannot understand why a woman would knowingly marry a man who has multiple documented encounters with young girls, one of which she covered up while on duty. She has escaped accountability for defying California law as a mandatory reporter. When the facts came out about that and $866,000 misappropriated to pay people to run Johnson's personal errands the inspector general who uncovered it in a proper investigation was promptly fired. Check the congressional report at the following link:

If a woman will knowingly marry a man with these issues when she has children of her own to consider, what would possibly make her wise enough to consider the safety of children she doesn't know? It was not a one-time situation when Rhee covered Johnson's misdeeds. Look at this link for the first instance and the associated police report:

A pattern of behavior is a pattern. Fenty and his chancellor always manage to make the story right because their allies support them. Enough is enough. See through the smokescreens and look deeper. This instance is only a repetitive part of a bigger pattern!

Posted by: southyrndiva | June 26, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Thank-you AGAAIA. Regular posters were told repeatedly during the creation 6 month long promotion of Patrick Pope as hastily erected paster-statue leader of arts education that the Hardy MS program was no more than what Hardy MS students had long enjoyed when it was joined with Fillmore Arts Center. No matter, an angel needed to be created to contrast with the Chancellor as devil.

DC loves its public affairs soap operas. It could do with fewer divas and fabricated idols, the better to promote and retain real stage managers, production designers, producers, and directors.

Please keep posting here. It would be great to get reports, as appropriate, from Shaw MS, also.

Posted by: incredulous | June 26, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

The beat goes on, and lies are long. Michelle Rhee and her underling Fenty, work for Peter Nickles.

Posted by: fivetogo | June 27, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Another vivid picture of the lies and deception in DCPS. Promises are made but never kept. People are hired, accoladed and then fired for no apparent real reason. Test scores are "covered up" so that only the ones that the administration wants to share come to the surface. If one can recall just recently the school that lost its principal came into the media. The school that supposedly shone in progress had really made no academic progress whatsoever. Was this not important? There are so many holes in the cheese. One needs to really take a close look and see. There is still racism, inequity and bias in this system and everything is done for money...not money for the children and the schools but for those that rule and leave....

Posted by: Kaladem | June 28, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

ditto Kaladem

Posted by: truthseeker3 | June 28, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

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