Vince Gray's McChrystal moment
D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray has come a long way in his answer to questions about the future of Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee should he be elected mayor. In April, he invoked "burnout" and the rigors of Rhee's planned commuter marriage to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson as reasons she might not want to continue in her job.
Gray continues to finesse the question of whether he would retain Rhee --assuming she'd stay. But his response, offered Monday night at the Young Education Professionals' would-be debate, can best be described as the modified McChrystal.
When President Obama sacked the commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan last week for comments he and his staff made in a Rolling Stone article, he addressed fears that a sudden change in leadership would undermine U.S. strategy in the region. "War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or a president," he said.
Here's Gray Monday night:
"We all benefited from the leadership that she's provided...." he said of Rhee. "But I don't think that's the right question. I don't think the question is about whether you keep Michelle Rhee or not. The question is how to broaden the embracing of education reform so that it doesn't just come down to one or two people in the District of Columbia. It shouldn't just come down to the mayor. It shouldn't just come down to the chancellor. It should come down to an entire city that recognizes that we needed to do things differently than we were doing them, that the gradualism and incrementalism that was afoot in the District of Columbia simply wasn't changing our children's lives in the ways they needed to be changed....If I had decided not to keep Michelle Rhee, I would say so. That's not the issue at this point."
There was a brief silence as the audience in the Naval Heritage Center Auditorium took in what he said, followed by applause.
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