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Colleye named interim state superintendent

Mayor Fenty announced this afternoon that OSSE's general counsel would serve as interim state superintendent for education. Beth Colleye, formerly an attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, replaces Kerri L. Briggs, who announced her resignation Thursday.

In a statement, Fenty said Colleye had helped manage successful legal strategies to get the District out of special education class-action lawsuits. She also helped draft and implement compliance policies, state-level standards and legal opinions central to education reforms.

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By Bill Turque  | September 17, 2010; 6:10 PM ET
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Bill, this is the kind of news I wish we could get information on from education reporters.

Fenty has made another appointment which could impact the financial interests of wholly-owned for-profit education subsidiaries of the Washington Post Corporation. In this tiny item, two details set off alarms.

You report, "Fenty said Colleye had helped manage successful legal strategies to get the District out of special education class-action lawsuits."

I worry because there are special education products being vended by the Post subdidiary, Kaplan K12 Learning Services. They might not be the best educational choice for special education children.

Please report on the actual substance of the class action suits by special education students in DC public schools, that prompted the promotion of this legal council by the Post's favored candidate. If you are unaware of the Washington Post's financial interests in this matter, please examine this new anouncement of Kaplan's continued, agressive expansion.

“PCI Education, the number one provider of resources for students with special needs, announces the expansion of its reading and math intervention offerings through the acquisition of five products from Kaplan K12 Learning Services, a division of Kaplan, Inc. Each product represents a complete curriculum for intensive intervention and remediation for middle and high school students in reading and math.”

Another alarm goes off when Fenty continues, "She also helped draft and implement compliance policies, state-level standards and legal opinions central to education reforms."

Again, these are areas where the interests of children, taxpayers, and the Washington Post Corporation might not coincide. Here is the same link your comment moderator on the Insider rejected on the morning of September 11. Now that the election is over, and the Post's candidate lost, I hope you will run it.

“Kaplan VC, LLC will initially focus on U.S. and European investments in new learning technologies and online business models in the K12, higher ed, test prep, and professional compliance areas. The venture will also invest in international education opportunities especially in Latin America, the Middle East and India. Kaplan VC expects to acquire minority interests in about a half-dozen companies over the next 12 months.”

Posted by: mport84 | September 18, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

at Guidebuddha free homework help for new users and the extremely effective priced E-learning online well as expert advise ..... .

Here is very good news for school going children who are still in summer vacation ., which provides comprehensive online tutoring, assignment /homework guidance and e-learning courseware development services to the school, college, and university student communities, has launched a pinnacle learning program.

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With millions of students returning to schools and colleges this season, guide program seems to have something for everyone.

Posted by: shankartripathi85 | September 18, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

@mport84 THANKS for putting this out there.
I too agree that the Fenty administration has focused on "winning legal stategies" more than correcting the root causes of the lawsuits. Please keep educating the public, we need this information!!!

Posted by: Concerned_Citizen2 | September 18, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Great; another non-education professional running things.....and, from the sound of it, a lawyer who probably has a particular bias in the area of special education.

I spent 26 years working in three different special education schools, and am now the grandmother of a special needs child.

Special needs children have really serious issues; no parent goes through the painful process of electing to send their child to a special school without, generally, years of testing, doctor visits,countless crying sessions at home, and tremendous discouragement.

A lot of people are unaware that most special education facilities are not fully private, they are more of a hybrid. Because most of them receive state funds to provide services, they are held to rigorous state standards, and do not enjoy the full autonomy of the average private school. The really good facilities have spent numerous years to find and attract qualified faculty, various kinds of therapies and to create supportive environments. They are extremely difficult and expensive to replicate, and most public school systems just don't have the drive and/or $$ to do the job properly.

Inclusion only works if it's done well...and in many places it is not done well.

Posted by: PLMichaelsArtist-at-Large | September 18, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I think you have let a really good story get away. Kerri Briggs was the behind the scenes person who made sure that charter schools were dumped on and treated like trash, all the while manipulating the tests for Rhees benefit. All with the Fenty moniker. Her hasty exit is to hopefully keep the nasty things she has been involved with from coming to light.

While it was DCPS who got the District in the Special Education quagmire that it is in, the work to fix the system has been ignored in favor of Nickles rankling Federal judges through bullying tactics hoping to get the lawsuits dismissed. The Feds will be investigating soon.

Posted by: topryder1 | September 20, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

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