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DCPS ramps up for day one

You'd think there was an election coming up.

Each year DCPS takes steps to try to minimize disarray and confusion on opening day. But with the mayor in a tough primary fight, school officials seem to be going the extra mile in preparation for Monday's beginning of the 2010-11 academic year.

DCPS has put up a "First Day of School" Web page offering forms and school supplies lists. There also are informational videos in both Spanish and English on the DCPS Youtube Channel , and posts to the DCPS Twitter account and Facebook page.

The agency's critical response team can also answer questions weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 202-478-5738.

I'd also like to hear if you encounter serious problems Monday. My e-mail is turqueb@washpost.com

By Bill Turque  |  August 20, 2010; 7:56 PM ET
 
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Comments

It's nice to see Mr. Turque acknowledging the diligent efforts of DCPS to open its schools smoothly. But it's strange -- and telling -- that he tries to turn this into a negative, manufacturing a political motivation with a total lack of evidence.

As Mr. Turque knows, DCPS has been continuously improving its school opening efforts since Chancellor Rhee took over in 2007. And it has also increasingly used social media like YouTube. In fact, it appears that the Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter pages were new or nonexistent when the Chancellor opened schools in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

The obvious conclusion is that these efforts are a natural extension of the Chancellor's dedication to effective school opening. There's absolutely no evidence in this post to the contrary. That makes the political storyline seem not much like journalism but a lot like irresponsible instigation.

Posted by: dannyrosenthal | August 22, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Dear dannyrosenthal,

Please consider that the reporter knows more about DCPS school openings than you do and thus knows that the administration is unlikely to report problems.

The only way to learn about anything negative is from the trenches. Even then it will be denied, but a good investigative reporter can check for himself, or at least he can try, and if foiled, can report on that.

Posted by: efavorite | August 22, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

danny,
do you still post at quickanded, a site of Education Sector?
I haven'e seen your writings there recently.

Posted by: edlharris | August 22, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

dannyrosenthal

Have another drink of RheeAide. Who are you, one of her paid flunkies or just someone west of the park?

Many schools are passing out dummy schedules to students just to have a schedule in the students hands. It takes most schools nearly three weeks to work out the problems caused by administrators who cannot prepare a master schedule.

Make sure you stop by Hardy where under the new leadership many students have been given dummy schedules because the new administrators do not have a clue on how to prepare the schedules for the school. I know many Hardy parents are complaining about the schedules their children have received and it appears that students are just being dumped into classes to make it appear that EVERYTHING IS WORKING WELL.

If want some facts, contact the Hardy parents.

Posted by: guylady201001 | August 22, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Hardy...yet another mess that Rhee has created and even more lives of mostly African American kids she has damaged. When will we get this fraud out of our city?

Posted by: vscribe | August 22, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

dannyrosenthal writes, "The obvious conclusion is that these efforts are a natural extension of the Chancellor's dedication to effective school opening. There's absolutely no evidence in this post to the contrary. That makes the political storyline seem not much like journalism but a lot like irresponsible instigation."

Just you wait... there will be thousands of parents who come to an opposite conclusion when they experience the chaos which is inevitable when so many "inexperienced" administrators and teachers try to navigate through "day one" and beyond. And consider that there is still no DCPS curriculum to guide such inexperienced educators.

This is not sustainable school reform. And the Chancellor's work has always been short on established education research or practice, and long on political grandstanding.

"Groundbreaking?", she is unfortunately not; all this new information technology (Web Pages, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) are employed to give the public the idea that there is sound thinking behind this latest version of "Rhee 4.0".

Wake up! The only thing that really matters is whether the adults who are waiting for our kids in these schools are prepared to teach, and from what I have heard this summer, not only our children, but we are in for a really hard lesson.

-------------

Please listen to the Chancellor's dedication to preparing our newest class of teachers as she gives them a final pep talk before opening day... at the following web address:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2010/08/13/VI2010081305444.html

-------------

Posted by: AGAAIA | August 23, 2010 5:06 AM | Report abuse

My, memories are short.

Just a few years ago numerous DCPS schools opened weeks late--routinely--because they weren't close to being ready to let students in the building.

It's a good sign that no only are those days long behind us, the school system is also managing to go a lot further than just reaching the minimum for school opening.

Count your blessings.

Posted by: 4kids | August 23, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Just received a call from my daughter at Wilson wanting to come home. All students are sitting in home rooms with nothing to do and no academic assignments. This after the much ballyhooed press conference in front of the " new Wilson" with Rhee and the Mayor. Why is the building not ready to support students ?

Posted by: wlisonparent | August 23, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The prep seems to have paid off at my child's school, which was organized and calm this morning. Our classroom teacher was well prepared and got right into the day's schedule with the kids. As a new-to-DCPS parent, I was impressed.

Posted by: dupontresident2 | August 23, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Why were there Fenty campaigners practically on the doorstep at Oyster? School went fine. But honestly it would have been nice to focus on kids more than the campaign.

Posted by: AMresident | August 23, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

4kids,

Yes there have been improvements. Unfortunately, there are still problems and instead of acknowledging them, Rhee and Fenty are pretending that things aren't just good they are making miracles happen and that is just not true.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | August 24, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

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