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Gray and Rhee finally meet

They came, they met. And then they came out to say that they met.

That's about all that D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray and Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee had to say about their much-anticipated 90-minute session Thursday afternoon, their first since the end of a rancorous Democratic mayoral primary in which she actively campaigned against him.

We may never know what actually went on. When they emerged from Gray's fifth-floor office about 1:30 p.m., the mayor-apparent said no decisions had been made, and that he would make no personnel moves until after the general election. He also said -- after Rhee slipped away from the press gaggle -- that there was no discussion of the possible remaining length of her tenure.

"She didn't say 'I want to leave,' she didn't say 'I want to stay,' " Gray said.

Far more telling was the body language and choreography of the brief news conference. As Gray strode to the bank of microphones, a drawn and shaken-looking Rhee quickly took a spot in the corner far behind Gray's right shoulder, and said she had little to add. (Check out the video here.) After about five minutes, she slipped back into the corridor fronting Gray's office and headed for the elevators, pursued by reporters who barreled into the elevator with her despite a police officer's attempts to muscle them away. Those who rode down with her said she said nothing.

Gray also said that there was no revisitation of Rhee's rather damning campaign characterizations of him as someone who second-guessed and disdained many of her reform efforts. He characterized the meeting as a wide-ranging discussion of District education issues, much of it based on the position paper.

"What we agree on is that we all want what is best for our kids," Gray said. "There really is not much more to say."

This post has been updated since it was first published.

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By Bill Turque  | September 23, 2010; 2:24 PM ET
 
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Next: Rhee: D.C. education reform can survive without me

Comments

Investigate this!

Rhee-form, edu-profiteers
& sleazy, corrupt HYPOCRISY

What was 'helicopter-in'
Michelle Rhee’s DAMAGE CONTROL
for (boyfriend) Kevin Johnson?

note:
Michelle Rhee was on the
board of directors
(and was "operations manager"/consultant)
of Kevin's privatized High School charter
--- during the time when
there were financial illegalities
& misappropriations
($400,000) of federal grants
and also a pattern
of outlandish sexual misconduct
perpetrated by school director
Kevin Johnson involving students (minor teens)
& subordinate (Americorps) school staff --
as documented by
U.S. Govt. Inspector General
Gerald Walpin.

(crucial, must read) ==>
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Exclusive-Congressional-Report-Rhee-did-damage-control-after-sex-charges-against-fiancee-Kevin-Johnson.html

also, more detailed
info. =>
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/11/20/what-was-michelle-rhees-damage-control-for-kevin-johnson/

====================================

Posted by: honestaction | September 23, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

DCPSparent :

re: Michelle Rhee's "mom friendly" comment,
prepared specifically for the Oprah show, about moms
not tolerating mediocre teachers being given time to grow and develop professionally. --
"Well...... The unqualified, needing-to-grow-professionally, TFA principal that Rhee PUSHED on our school, despite protests from a panel of engaged, informed, truly progressive, professional educators and parents with advanced degrees in education . . . . . (this TFA principal) hired and protected even more inexperienced, unqualified teachers who will take YEARS
to develop into true professionals. But the principal and those teachers all know how to say "yes" to their boss. Too bad they don't know the basics of how children learn, or the nuances of curriculum and instruction. It is hard, hard work indeed to have to reprogram my kids every day after school, to get them to embrace and understand learning again. Rhee's influential, BAD decisions and practices, more than ANY OTHER failure of the
DC Public School system, has me on the verge of pulling my kids out of school.
Rhee embarrassed herself mightily at the DC screening of this film ("Waiting for corporate Super-scammers") -- with her comments insulting DC voters.
My kids, and the 350 others in their school, will not be devastated at all when she leaves.

We assume she will head to the
business world for which
she may have more appropriate skills."

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

Michelle Rhee is a clueless 'chancellor'
(note: she's unqualified to be a school superintendent
or even a principal);
she's a knee-jerk communicator
and an incompetent manager --
unaware & unskilled at how
to build and lead viable coalitions.

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 23, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Honestaction: You're a NUT! And exactly the reason that Rhee must STAY!! Doesn't the POST filter any of these people??

Posted by: teacher6402 | September 23, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

honestaction - I don't think your copy-and-paste tactic helps the cause of those of us who do not support Rhee.

Even if everything you say is accurate, I find it bothersome to see it repeated so frequently. It impedes my ability to read others' original comments.

Posted by: efavorite | September 23, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I agree with efavorite, honestaction, you might want to write new comments now and again. I also don't see how the boyfriend thing is any of our business, but that is just me.

I don't think Rhee's staying or going should depend on newspaper comments either though.

I have to say it, I would not want Rhee's job. Part of me thinks she would have been ok if she had just stayed in the background. Public speaking seems to be what got her into trouble.

Posted by: celestun100 | September 23, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I am a concerned DCPS parent. It is astonishing how Rhee has turned the truth upside down. Some of the teachers she fired through the RIF last year were only on the job less then a month. All she did was tell principals that due to a budget crisis (which we found out later was actually no crisis but an accounting error) to RIF staff members who weren't needed. At many schools thay got rid of new teachers or support staff like counselors.
They also got rid of highly-performing and effective teachers who happened to be outspoken, which everyone should be appalled at. Only a small percentage were poorly performing teachers. Her comment about not putting up with inexperienced teachers or teachers who need more training shows how she distorts the truth. Rhee is hiring record numbers of 'Teach For America' (TFA) teachers. Almost all come right from undergrad with only 5 WEEKS training! It is great that they came from fancy universities but that does not substitute having the proper training in education. If TFA is such a good idea than why doesn't Sidwell Friends, the private school that Obama sends his kids to (or any other prestigious private school for that matter) hire through TFA. They don't because they know the importance of experienced and trained teachers. Michelle Rhee manipulates statistics to promote her brand of education reform. The children, like always are the ones who are really being affected by it in DC. Her claims are exaggerated and her reputation is overblown.

=================

Posted by: honestaction | September 23, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

This press conference seems to have been handled most appropriately. Perhaps had Fenty taken control of press conferences and media releases related to DC educational reform it would have appeared that he was indeed leading educational reform in the district as he promised. Media about educational reform should be dominated by strategic, well planned and transparent reform efforts, not personalities. The process should have included all affected by the outcomes and led by the mayor. The chancellor took her rightful place behind Gray. Looks like true educational reform in DC has begun.

Posted by: highquality4kids | September 23, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

MICHELLE RHEE was on the BOARD OF DIRECTORS
and was serving as the operations manager
of Kevin Johnson's charter H.S.
when the ongoing financial crimes
and sexual violations incidents occurred,
including the school director (Mr. Johnson)
involved sexual misconduct/harrassment
with students (teen minors) ---
which Queen Michelle Rhee colluded in
trying to cover-up with hush money, bribes, etc.

Is she fit to serve as
a school district 'chancellor' ???

Think about it !

==================

Posted by: honestaction | September 23, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Honestaction, this is beyond being a bit much now. I'm reporting your posts as abuse. Hopefully they'll stop allowing your continual loop of copy and paste.

Geez! I didn't vote for Fenty either but you are over the top to the point of no return. It's almost looney.

Posted by: dcis1 | September 23, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

This one's for honestaction:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkuTm-ON904

Posted by: delray | September 23, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Everyone, Rhee is leaving, it's time to move on (I don't claim to know that officially, it's what I believe). With or without Rhee children in DC need to learn and go to great schools. If you truly want to make a difference get out in to the community and make your point.

Posted by: delray | September 23, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Let's all ---
pull up our sleeves,
pitch in & be pro-active "Arriba Juntos" ---
We Rise Up & Build
together
with our elected
mayor VINCENT GRAY
(Master's Degree in Psychology,
from George Washington University)
--- who has lifted himself up by the bootstraps
through his own hard work, determination
& dedication, via his yearning to achieve
for the public good,
his lifelong learning,
his civic participation,
and his many constructive contributions.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK,
everybody --
read about his background & biography,
you'll be impressed
and inspired.

========

Posted by: honestaction | September 23, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@honestaction--

It actually depends on what you call "proper training." I hardly call the theories and philosophies taught in most ed schools to be proper training. I do hear that George Mason does an excellent job in the DC area and there's much to be desired by the the schools actually in the District. I also know Hunter college in New York has a great program.

Posted by: delray | September 23, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Honestaction, I beg you to please cease your repeated cutting and pasting of comments. They are becoming meaningless and not assisting those of us who are not Rhee supporters.

Posted by: lacy41 | September 23, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I write and choose to post content that I think is important
and relevant. Please focus on sharing content that seems
meaningful, significant or useful from your perspective. Thank you for your advice, but....... trying to restrict information and ideas (and the communication preferences of others) has been associated with fascist or 'control freak' tendencies.


There is a tremendous amount of hypocrisy
(also, conflict of interest and profiteering motives) underlying the corporate-sponsored reform ("Rhee-form") movement --
and I am choosing to put those issues on display.

Real viable educational reform and progress
has to respectfully involve all stakeholders
(in an inclusive, balanced collaboration)
to design & implement worthwhile,
healthy & successful programs --
families, parents, students, teachers & school staff,
coordinators/managers, researchers, artists,
neighbors, citizens/civic participants & volunteers
and enterprising businesses, as well.
A school community must include
the recruitment, development &
sustained well-being of professional
educators so they can best utilize
their energy, knowledge, insights and hone
their strategic expertise for teaching.

========================

Posted by: honestaction | September 23, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: linxiuli7678 | September 23, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

To Everyone:

I could have easily used all 3000 characters available on this post, but it really is not necessary now.

When a candid conversation from Vince Gray's perspective results in Michelle Rhee looking like a frightened coed from some horror movie, virtually paralyzed and speechless in the background, her odds of being in the sequel are very remote indeed.

Posted by: AGAAIA | September 23, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Poor Bill Gates, he can't run DCPS anymore!

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 23, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"Michelle Rhee looking like a frightened coed from some horror movie"

Great image! I wonder if we'll ever know what happened during that meeting.

Posted by: efavorite | September 23, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

@educationlover54--

That's interesting because what I hear is that there isn't necessarily a lot of love between Rhee and Gates. If your bigger point is that you don't believe philanthropy should be used in public education, that doesn't surprise me as a lot of educators get duped by the union because they don't understand the real world. Excellent Chris Christie youtube video, I'm not really a big Christie fan, but he does break it down:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkuTm-ON904

Posted by: delray | September 23, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

...actually Rhee looked defensive and deflated, perhaps orchestrated purposefully to appear the abused little woman to the big mean man. she's never answered to fenty or DC voters, she reports to a bigger boss ...The Educational Industrial Complex! money, power, staging, etc....if she were in it for the kids why go public with support for Fenty in Ward 3 where the kids there need far less support than almost EVERY OTHER WARD.

Posted by: modern1 | September 23, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

@honestaction

Writing the same thing over and over again looks more like comment SPAM than anything else.

Try actually responding to what is written for once.

Posted by: biff_t84 | September 24, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I write and choose to post content that I think is important
and relevant. Please focus on sharing content that seems
meaningful, significant or useful from your perspective.
Thank you for your advice, but....... trying to restrict
information and ideas (and the communication preferences of others) has been associated with fascist or 'control freak' tendencies.


There is a tremendous amount of hypocrisy
(also, conflict of interest and profiteering motives) underlying
the corporate-sponsored reform ("Rhee-form") movement --
and I am choosing to put those issues on display.

Real viable educational reform and progress
has to respectfully involve all stakeholders
(in an inclusive, balanced collaboration)
to design & implement worthwhile,
healthy & successful programs --
families, parents, students, teachers & school staff,
coordinators/managers, researchers, artists,
neighbors, citizens/civic participants & volunteers
and enterprising businesses, as well.

A school community must include
the recruitment, development &
sustained well-being of professional educators,
so they can best utilize
their energy, knowledge, insights and hone
their strategic expertise for teaching.

========================

Posted by: honestaction | September 24, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

If Gray chooses to replace Rhee he should choose from within her team. Gray's conundrum is far deeper than he would like to believe-and if he fails to make the right decision here he could risk alienating many of Fenty's supporters and his own election 4 years from now. Gentrification is growing and many parents have returned their children to DCPS. A full ad campaign has been waged by Rhee and her communications team under Dr. O'Brien. DCPS enrollment is stabilizing. Teachers are being evaluated. Funders are impressed, engaged and spending (highest paid teacher contract in the US). Those opposed to Rhee's "unapologetic and autocratic" approach may think this election and consequently her departure is about her but it is far deeper than that.

Rhee's reforms, like them or not, are in place. And to uproot them and turn them on their head would not be good for kids, teachers, administrators, central office, or Gray. There is no question Rhee is gone-Gray can't keep her for two reasons: she campaigned for the other guy, thus sealing her fate and Rhee is Fenty's legacy- not Gray's. However, hiring an outsider would embolden union resisters, Rhee haters (who are really just people who hate accountability) and anti-reformers. To hire an outsider-who will inevitably clean house (there are very few PhDs on Rhee's team and most are her friends) would be disastrous for Gray. Reform may continue under an outsider but it would most certainly be different. Kamras, head of IMPACT, would leave thus jeopardizing a research based critical teacher evaluation component. Nyankori would leave-he has been instrumental in special education cost savings. Others would be fired-sending a clear message to those considering DCPS that we are unstable, unpredictable and not in it for the long haul. Plus, it would take years to transition, let alone reform which would cripple Gray. In addition, far too many people (teachers, residents and old DCPS) would see it as a referendum on reform-not Rhee!

If Gray fires Rhee (let's her go into the sunset quietly) but hires from within (Nyankori, Kamras or Henderson) he sends a clear message that he is about reform and accountability but also that DCPS will never return to the dysfunctionality of union corruption, teacher unaccountability, and low student achievement. By choosing from within, he also minimizes Rhee's national stage to claim she was a martyr of the reform movement-she will not be able to argue that Gray just got rid of her because he wants to return DCPS to the "devastating" (as Rhee asserts) days when kids were not the primary focus. In fact, Gray would establish that he supports reform but not Rhee's approach- something that even many of her supporters agree with while still pleasing those who hate Rhee- his base.

Choosing from within her team allows for a smooth transition, stable enrollment and support of the reform initiatives in place and allows Gray to claim victory when the reform produces results!

Posted by: teacher6402 | September 25, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

If Gray chooses to replace Rhee he should choose from within her team. Gray's conundrum is far deeper than he would like to believe-and if he fails to make the right decision here he could risk alienating many of Fenty's supporters and his own election 4 years from now. Gentrification is growing and many parents have returned their children to DCPS. A full ad campaign has been waged by Rhee and her communications team under Dr. O'Brien. DCPS enrollment is stabilizing. Teachers are being evaluated. Funders are impressed, engaged and spending (highest paid teacher contract in the US). Those opposed to Rhee's "unapologetic and autocratic" approach may think this election and consequently her departure is about her but it is far deeper than that.

Rhee's reforms, like them or not, are in place. And to uproot them and turn them on their head would not be good for kids, teachers, administrators, central office, or Gray. There is no question Rhee is gone-Gray can't keep her for two reasons: she campaigned for the other guy, thus sealing her fate and Rhee is Fenty's legacy- not Gray's. However, hiring an outsider would embolden union resisters, Rhee haters (who are really just people who hate accountability) and anti-reformers. To hire an outsider-who will inevitably clean house (there are very few PhDs on Rhee's team and most are her friends) would be disastrous for Gray. Reform may continue under an outsider but it would most certainly be different. Kamras, head of IMPACT, would leave thus jeopardizing a research based critical teacher evaluation component. Nyankori would leave-he has been instrumental in special education cost savings. Others would be fired-sending a clear message to those considering DCPS that we are unstable, unpredictable and not in it for the long haul. Plus, it would take years to transition, let alone reform which would cripple Gray. In addition, far too many people (teachers, residents and old DCPS) would see it as a referendum on reform-not Rhee!

If Gray fires Rhee (let's her go into the sunset quietly) but hires from within (Nyankori, Kamras or Henderson) he sends a clear message that he is about reform and accountability but also that DCPS will never return to the dysfunctionality of union corruption, teacher unaccountability, and low student achievement. By choosing from within, he also minimizes Rhee's national stage to claim she was a martyr of the reform movement-she will not be able to argue that Gray just got rid of her because he wants to return DCPS to the "devastating" (as Rhee asserts) days when kids were not the primary focus. In fact, Gray would establish that he supports reform but not Rhee's approach- something that even many of her supporters agree with while still pleasing those who hate Rhee- his base.

Choosing from within her team allows for a smooth transition, stable enrollment and support of the reform initiatives in place and allows Gray to claim victory when the reform produces results!

Posted by: teacher6402 | September 25, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Sorry teacher402 but Nyankori, Kamras and Henderson are part of the Rhee hit team. Henderson and Kamras are TFAers who have no respect for teachers or the community. Both have played a major role in Rhee's march through DC. Kamras is the architect of the lethal IMPACT and you know this.

One can only guess that you are a TFAer who is in full support of these folks. You are interested in saving your job not the children of DC.

Kamras should be the first to go followed by Henderson. Neither is truly qualified for the jobs they have.

Every riffed and fired teacher will always remember the role these two played in the DCPS massacre and public lies spread around the country by Rhee and her band of thugs.

Posted by: guylady201001 | September 25, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

teacher6402 writes, "Rhee's reforms, like them or not, are in place. And to uproot them and turn them on their head would not be good for kids, teachers, administrators, central office, or Gray."

What? Many of these "Rhee-reforms" have been determined to to harmful to children, teachers and administrators. Rhee's personnel decisions (principal appointments in particular) have been a disaster. And the central office staff hired by Rhee were chosen specifically to provide complete support to these Rhee-reforms.

What needs to take place is a systematic review of school policy and the qualifications of those in the central office. Go to the DCPS website and read the bios of some of Rhee's top staff. It is truly sad, and reason for many in Montgomery County Public Schools to shake their heads in disbelief (I know many). Would MC Schools Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast have hired these people? No; they would not have even been given consideration. In Weast's system, teachers are major contributors to the development of reform policy, not held in contempt.

The next round of firing will not be in the classroom. It will be necessarily at the most dysfunctional part of DCPS, the Central Office. BTW, the increase in salaries in the central office more than made up for cuts in personnel that Rhee initiated when she arrived. The Central Office budget is now a higher proportion of the total school budget than ever.

Posted by: AGAAIA | September 25, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Wow teacher6402 -- If I'm smart enough to see through your strategy for school reform under Gray, I'm sure he will be too.

Posted by: efavorite | September 25, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@ efavorite:

Glad you're on to teacher6402, too.

I spoke to a friend we both know about this, and we both thought that teacher6402 may actually be a central office staffer. Considering the language of the post, I would guess someone who has contributed to some of the press releases for DCPS.


Consider these excerpts...

1. "Kamras, head of IMPACT, would leave thus jeopardizing a research based critical teacher evaluation component."

Response: CHILDREN ARE SPENDING BETWEEN 6 TO 8 WEEKS PREPPING FOR, AND TAKING STANDARDIZED TESTS NOW; AND IT IS THE INTENTION OF TEAM RHEE TO INCREASE TESTING TO FULLY IMPLOY IMPACT. PROGRAMS LIKE THE IMPACT TEACHER EVALUATION SYSTEM ARE NOT ACCEPTED AS GOOD PRACTICE BY MOST PUBLISHED RESEARCH. THINK TANKS THAT SUPPORT CHARTERS AND THE PRIVATIZATION OF SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN BEHIND SUCH VOODOO SCIENCE.


2. "Others would be fired-sending a clear message to those considering DCPS that we are unstable, unpredictable and not in it for the long haul."

Response: PLEASE. THE SECRET IS ALREADY OUT! WE ARE NOT ATTRACTING THE "BEST AND BRIGHTEST" EDUCATORS.


3. "Choosing from within her team allows for a smooth transition, stable enrollment and support of the reform initiatives in place and allows Gray to claim victory when the reform produces results!"

Response: WOW; THE MEMBERS OF TEAM RHEE ARE CONSIDERED CLONES, NOT EDUCATORS, AND THE STATISTICAL EVIDENCE THAT RHEE'S POLICIES HAVE SUCCEEDED HAVE BEEN REPEATEDLY SHOWN TO BE SELECTIVE AND NON-SCIENTIFIC MANIPULATIONS OF DATA FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELLING HER POLICY, NOT HELPING CHILDREN.

Posted by: AGAAIA | September 25, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

delray,

"That's interesting because what I hear is that there isn't necessarily a lot of love between Rhee and Gates."

Where do you get your information from? Gates on was Opraph recently with Rhee. He also supports the film "Waiting for Superman" which is a pro-Rhee film. He went to the Sundance screening for it.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 25, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Delray,

"that doesn't surprise me as a lot of educators get duped by the union because they don't understand the real world"

I worked for 27 years in business. What don't I understand about the real world?

How many years have you worked in business?

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 25, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Delray,

I became pro-union before I was a teacher because I saw massive abuse of employees in the business field.

In addition, I learned much more about the real world in education than when I was in business. That may have been because I was in Special Ed, where things can get really raw.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 25, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I think it is time for people to stop saying that teachers don't understand the real world. All people as they get older, no matter what their profession - come to understand the real world.

And in my case, I learned more about the real world when I got my master's in special education. That brought things to my attention I had never had to think about before.

Delray - are you reading any of my posts? I would like you to respond.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 25, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

To those who responded to my post: You are the exact people I am referring to when I assert that your agenda has nothing to do with Rhee, but reform in general! Jason Kamras is the 2005 National Teacher of the Year--and if you've had the opportunity to watch him teach as I have then you would know how impressive he is. IMPACT is nothing to fear if you are an effective teacher. It is obvious that those who fear IMPACT simply want a job for life with no accountability! God willing--Gray will not succumb to politics and reward those adults who care more about their jobs then the job they were hired to do- move student achievement. I am encouraged by his statements that he will not return to the worst performing district in the US.

Posted by: teacher6402 | September 25, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

" I am encouraged by his statements that he will not return to the worst performing district in the US."

And probably in real life, you're playing up to him in hopes he'll let you keep your job.

Posted by: efavorite | September 26, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

teacher6402:
Kaya Henderson: Rhee's soulmate. Didn't have to go far to join Rhee here, as she was finishing a masters degree in town. Ever even a principal? No.

Kamras: < 10 years as a math teacher. Parlayed a teacher of the year award into a year off to travel, Miss America style, without responsibilities, except to do for himself what Miss America does for herself: further polish a self-resentationl Returned to MANAGE THE CONTRACTORS for IMPACT, not design it. In fact, he has NO background, and no training in statistics, personnel, or evaluation of either.
How did Kamra compare with other Teachers of the Year when on a panel run by Charlie Rose? Suffice to say the others were about children's education. Kamras was about human capital. Embarassing. But, you could look up the Charlie Rose show and watch it for yourself. (Did I mention that despite the jargon, Karmras has no publications or training in economics of education?) So, Kamras a force?

Finally, most damning at professional level is that Guy Brandenberg, of blog note, reported no recollection of any leadership, nay not even INVOLVEMENT by Kamras in ongoing peer-support and improvement networks within DCPS for math teachers when Kamras was a wunderkind. Nor did Kamras' school have very good math performances, not that it matters for the Chancellor position you tout him for. What does matter is that you could judge, by watching him teach, that he was a good math teacher. Well, that fits the Rhee and IMPACT model which follows on 40 year old research on the ability of trained actors with no background whatever to impress college classes for single lectures.
Good thing the longitudinal record system is broken, and that absent capacity matches absent DCPS interest in research, because for the hell of it, we could be looking for those AP Calculus scores of 5 among former Kamras students.

Posted by: incredulous | September 26, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

One chancellor down, one to go.

New York City Chancellor Joel Klink*, I sincerely want you to enjoy your warm fuzzy delusions about "Waiting For Superman" because they may not last very long. I mean, did you hear what happened to Michelle Rhee? She's plays a "chancellor" just like you right? And she was one of the stars of your movie right?

Excuse my French, but damn Joel, she didn't even make to the big premier yesterday in NYC and LA, before she was turned into a quivering bowl of jello standing next to the man who will fire her soon in DC. If you haven't heard about Sept. 14th in Washington, that mayor that Bill Gates put in charge of the public school system, Adrian Fenty, got stomped in a re-election bid. I mean he got beat like a hedge fund manager trying to steal something from Sen. Perkins there in the Big Apple! Go figure. Rhee, the "warrior woman", campaigned for him and everything.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't she like to mouth the same hypocritical blather you do about education being "the Civil Rights struggle of our generation" while overseeing a thoroughly racist public school system? You may want to retool that Newt Gingrich-ish slogan, paragon of the Civil Rights Movement that he is. It looks like people may be on to you folks. Rhee kind of made it easy. Just before the election she entertained her new teachers with a story about taping the mouths of Black children shut to keep them quiet. According to her, there was blood when the tape came off, but for some reason she wasn't arrested. Would have been off to the rubber room under your leadership right? And I know you are slicker than Michelle, all that CEO training, and you don't have any classroom stories to tell, because you've never set foot in a classroom, except to visit one of your precious charter schools.

But I digress, because I just have to tell you the most startling thing of all. As a civil rights crusader, you need to really put your ear up close to this essay now. D.C. is broken up into eight or nine wards for purposes of voting. In the wards where white voters are concentrated, four out of five supported Adrian Fenty. I mean Joel, those people love themselves some Bill Gates, some quisling mayor, and a chancellor who will tape those Black kids mouths shut and take a broom to the teachers. But listen, in the African-American wards, where parents actually have their children in the DC public schools, and where the Black teachers replaced by white Teach For America missionaries live, they voted four out of five to run Michelle Rhee out of town!

Joel, you do know that Superman is fictional character? Ironically, he was a D.C. Comics creation. Seems like an omen maybe. You might want to check and see if there's a seat for you on Bloomberg's plane to Bermuda when Superman doesn't show up.

* The misspelling of CEO of Bertelsmann Inc. Joel Klein's name was an intentional act of ridicule and an homage to the long running TV series Hogan's Heroes.

Posted by: natturner | September 26, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

@ teacher6402:

You state, "You are the exact people I am referring to when I assert that your agenda has nothing to do with Rhee, but reform in general!"

For your general information, I understand your frustration. You believe that critics of Jason Kamras must be crazy, and probably the same of critics of the much misunderstood Michelle Rhee. But we are not crazy. We don't care much for titles when the preponderance of research says these reformers are wrong and doing real harm to children and the public education systems they serve.

And I know very intimately people who have dealt professionally with both of these "move forward without evidence" reformers that have very strong opinions that they present a real and present danger to our children. These include 2009 finalists for DC teacher of the year, and those rated 'highly effective' in the DCPS. How about them apples?

The fact that you have regurgitated so many preposterous claims of success and research that you would like your readers to believe is well accepted in the halls of education schools throughout the land ... well, it just speaks to your lack of depth.

This is the big leagues, and our most vulnerable children deserve better than knee-jerk, feel-good, kick-ass, pop-educuation reform policies that are under attack from the most well respected educators in the world. Your world seems to focus on the most crass politically directed fantasy that has become the refuge of persons who lack the patience, experience and wisdom to evaluate what really applies to children in dysfunctional school environments.

It is like a carpenter trying to fix a television with a hammer. You have no idea what tools to use, so you invent a metric system that you believe can identify the problem(s). You have no idea how to evaluate a teacher. Not like an experienced principal who came up through the ranks as a teacher and understands the intrinsic nature of learning and teaching to very diverse populations. There are plenty of "highly effective" teachers at Horace Mann Elementary who couldn't begin to teach at another more challenging school. But in your world, a great teacher can do it in any school, with any group of children, even if there is no cultural understanding of those children. Rhee has never had the "courage" to test that theory.

At Harvard, where Michelle Rhee attended, the most common phrase coming from the School of Education is, "She went to the Kennedy School of Public Policy."

School reform has become a cliché to you. You don't care if it works, just that it has the appearance of working. For those of us with children in DCPS and who must teach children, we cannot tolerate the scorched earth policies of school reform that you continue to advance. And there are no examples of successful reform that do not include the experience of teachers in the design of effective policy.

Posted by: AGAAIA | September 26, 2010 3:36 AM | Report abuse

@TEACHER6402

Talk with the teachers at Kelly Miller in DC where the wonder-boy Kamras was invited to demonstrate a math lesson for a math teacher.

He was literally run out of the classroom and could not complete the lesson. This is A FACT. When you spew out facts regarding Kamras you should get all the facts. Yet, Kamras is hammering teachers with IMPACT and he cannot do the job required by this fake instrument of evaluation.

In addition after his embarrassing performance at Kelly Miller, he is attempting to harass the teacher in ways that are clearly illegal. THIS TOO IS A FACT AND WILL SOON BE EXPOSED. Before all is said and done, Kamras will leave DC in disgrace.

Also, remember candidates for teacher of the year are nominated by the school administrators. The administrator at Kamras' former school WAS a big ZERO.


Who are you, Kamras or his mother?

Posted by: guylady201001 | September 26, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Read more about superstar Jason Kamras on this blog by Guy, including data analysis of his time at Sousa:
http://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/what-is-the-value-of-having-a-superstar-teacher/

Posted by: edlharris | September 26, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

If teacher6402 is Kamras or his mother,they've certainly gotten a lesson in what happens when you try to spout BS to those in the know.

Posted by: efavorite | September 26, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

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