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Gray on keeping Rhee: "We'll see"

In an interview to be broadcast this evening, CNN's John King asked Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray what is certain to be the number one post-primary question if he wins: whether he'll try to retain Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee. Here's a partial transcript:

KING:: We saw the mayor up in Northwest and a woman who had just voted there and one of my neighbors said last night that I would have voted for Vince Gray but I wanted to keep Michelle Rhee so I voted for Mayor Fenty.

If you win this election, can you keep her?

GRAY:: Well, we'll see. I've said many times that education reform has to be about more than one person. And I have been a strong proponent of education reform. I have indicated that I am going to continue with education reform. I helped to shepherd the legislation through the council in the first place. I'm going to continue with a very strong chancellor. We are going to have a birth-through-24 approach. We are going to frankly involve all the stakeholders in how we make our decisions and restore fiscal responsibility to our schools. And I have said on many occasions that after this election is over, I'd like to sit down with Michelle Rhee and let us walk and talk through it, you know, how we might work together.

KING: Would you like her to stay?

GRAY:: Well, we -- we'll decide that. I think that's a conversation that she and I, you know, need to have in terms of what's important to her with respect to what she's looking for in a mayor and the things that I think are important to me as a Mayor.

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By Bill Turque  | September 14, 2010; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Mayor's Race, Michelle Rhee  
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Next: Rhee: Election result 'devastating' for D.C. schoolchildren

Comments

TRANSLATION - "You're so fired Rhee"

Posted by: Ardeee | September 14, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I thought she said she was going to leave if Fenty wasn't re-elected.

Besides, she campaigned for Fenty. To keep someone who campaigned against you is nuts.

Posted by: jlp19 | September 14, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Bill Gates is going to twist Gray's arm to keep her.

Posted by: jlp19 | September 14, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

KING: Would you like her to stay?

What a bad question.
More appropriate questions would be why should you keep Miss Rhee? and why would you let her go?

The framing of this interview is that Miss Rhee is good for DCPS.

Posted by: edlharris | September 14, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr.Gray- she is a REAL liability. She's gaining a national reputation for her cruel treatment toward teachers, and her reputation as a less than stellar teacher. Everyone who has watched the video of her classroom management skills is shocked beyond belief!! NO!!!

Posted by: Onpoint3 | September 14, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

With the $$$ involved he would be insane not to keep her.
It is actually kind of funny that people think it is strictly his decision.

Posted by: CrabHands | September 14, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. In other words, Hell no.

Posted by: ObamasGulfResponseIsMuchWorseThanKatrina | September 14, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Edward, don't get so riled up. This will work out more smoothly than you would think.

Posted by: axolotl | September 14, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

If the answer wasn't obvious enough already, the question should haaave been asked before primary day.

Posted by: bobilly1 | September 14, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Surely you jest! Michelle Rhee has identified herself as anti-DC. She got her glory in Time Magazine now it's TIME for her to go.

Posted by: yes2 | September 14, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Onpoint3
She's gaining a national reputation for her cruel treatment toward teachers...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Yeah, of all the freaking nerve. She's maiking sure they are certified! OMG!

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | September 14, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Folks let's look at the facts:

1. The Washington Teachers Union is against Rhee.

2. The Washington Teachers Union endosed Gray

3. A lot of parents are against Rhee.

Results: Gray will fire Rhee if she doesn't quit.

I, for one, think Ms Rhee has done a great job. The students of DCPS are amoung the lowest performing group in the nation. This was way before Ms Rhee was hired. The teachers union has never boasted about any improvement in student test scores just how many new teachers they got hired and what amount of raises they got from the District. It's amazing how many parents believe what the teachers union says and not what they actually KNOW about student performance.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | September 14, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Translation: I care more about the teachers union than the kids. See ya, Rhee.

Posted by: 3rdWay | September 14, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

A snake is a snake !

Posted by: ellislawoffice | September 15, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Gray is using the same language that Fenty used regarding whether or not he would keep Dr. Clifford Janey pending Congress approving his request to obtain control over DCPS. So I do not understand what the big deal is, especially since Rhee stated she could not work for him.

I love the double standards

Posted by: khathu | September 15, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

It appears Mayor-elect Gray wants to pick Rhee's brains before letting her go. Also finding someone qualified to deal with DC's school problems has always been a long-drawn out process, so unless he already has a replacement in mind, she should remain - at least until the summer break.

Of course the real reasons for poor student performance and high drop-out rates have more to do with single-parent households than with underperforming teachers, so Rhee's decision to replace teachers in mid session based on test scores was not only unpopular but probably not that effective.

What's really needed is innovative approaches, like individual mentoring by volunteers after school hours.

Posted by: loyalsyst | September 15, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Agreeing with khathu - "I love the double standards" - Gray sounds like a politician. He never said he was getting rid of Rhee. Angry Fenty haters have been simply hearing what they want to hear. Gray has said nothing for the past 90 days about why he is any different than Fenty.

Posted by: MikeMIke3 | September 15, 2010 2:37 AM | Report abuse

A major part of DC's problem in the schools has been the curriculum whiplash brought about by the every three-year turnover in the superintendent/chancellor. Without consistency in instruction plans and methods, and a real plan for parental involvement, DC schools don't have a chance to see major improvements.

Posted by: mitchellewS | September 15, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

They are already communicating.

Posted by: axolotl | September 15, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

@loyalsyst

I hope Gray does dig into Rhee's brain, he might not survive.

@axolotl - They are already communicating.

You really seem to have some insider information. How did you get this info?

Rhee campaigned for Fenty and Gray would be nuts to keep someone who clearly has no respect for him and dislike him as well.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | September 15, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I think that Gray and Rhee will part company mutually... Now who's on the horizon let's see Robert Bobb and Clifford Janey. Axoloti, you are so correct...

Posted by: PowerandPride | September 15, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

to edlharris: I see you're being referred to as "Edward" now.

A true sign of respect.

Times are definitely changing.

Posted by: efavorite | September 15, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I find it funny that the Fenty-backers are bashing Gray for not clarifying if he wants to keep Rhee or not - while Rhee has already stated she wont stay if Gray is elected. What's the difference? If she cared about the children then why is she leaving? Rhee is not the Mayor - Fenty is (was), and thats who the election was for. More emphasis should be put on the parents of these kids supporting their children than the residents.

I'm almost certain that those who are Pro-Rhee do not have kids in DCPS.

The majority has spoken. Get off of your bitter horses and help fix what you think is broken!

Posted by: missboo | September 15, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

@jlp19

I thought she said she was going to leave if Fenty wasn't re-elected.

Besides, she campaigned for Fenty. To keep someone who campaigned against you is nuts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yeah, that didn't work out for Hillary Clinton did it?

Posted by: delray | September 15, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Translation: I'm not in to making tough decisions and I still don't really know what my platform is, you obviously make decisions without talking to every person in the city first. I'm in to a holistic approach, you're in to upsetting people and having high expectations; I'm in to giving everyone a job whether they can compete or not.

Posted by: delray | September 15, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Rhee needs to pack her bags and leave Washington, DC today. Rhee made up her mind several weeks ago to leave if King Fenty was not reelected as Mayor.

Well, let the FAT LADY SING!!! It's time for Rhee to go now! Rhee has destroyed many lives in Washington, DC. What goes around, comes around. It's time to say good-bye to Michelle Rhee.

No "More Begging" for Rhee. She isn't worth it!! The DCPS students will be better off without the corrouption and lies from a DCPS Chancellor. The DCPS students deserve a qualified, experienced, certified, fiscally responsible, honest and intelligent Superintendent.

Rhee may want to look elsewhere to live and
work!!

Enough is Enough, No More EXCUSES!!
Rhee and Fenty MUST GO!
WHEN? NOW!!!

Posted by: sheilahgill | September 15, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Keep Rhee to change door locks.

Posted by: edlharris | September 15, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"No "More Begging" for Rhee. She isn't worth it!! The DCPS students will be better off without the corrouption and lies from a DCPS Chancellor. The DCPS students deserve a qualified, experienced, certified, fiscally responsible, honest and intelligent Superintendent."

As a DCPS teacher, I couldn't agree with you more that they deserve a qualified superintendent. However, I truly believe RHEE is this person.

I hope that Gray and Rhee work it out and that she stays. Rhee will need to make concessions of course, but it would be a sad day for DCPS children and families to lose the momentum of improving our schools. The LAST thing DCPS needs is a new chancellor who will throw around buzz words but sit and do nothing but please the status quo and hold on to incompetent teachers. THEY DO EXIST IN DCPS AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT.

Posted by: RB2010 | September 15, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

RB2010 - you must be a very new teacher if you think Rhee is a qualified superintendent and that she will make concessions in order to stay.

Posted by: efavorite | September 15, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse


Rhee said, "Yesterday's election results were devastating, devastating," Well it’s not about YOU chancellor Rhee. By the way, Rhee you never burn your bridges!

If Mayor Gray retains Chancellor Rhee, it would be devastating to his administration. Chancellor Rhee and Mayor Fenty were held accountable for their arrogant and condescending behavior toward the people of District of Columbia. Chancellor Rhee is incompetent and she end up as one the most polarizing figures in our city. She had no vision, just a narrow goal of improving test scores. Rhee’s legacy will be known for firing, threatening and intimidating principals, teachers and staff members. Rhee never had a plan evidenced by only 10 schools meeting the national standards. The people have spoken and this Rhee experiment is over. Rhee must be fired!

Posted by: hello101 | September 16, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse


Rhee said, "Yesterday's election results were devastating, devastating," Well it’s not about YOU chancellor Rhee. By the way, Rhee you never burn your bridges!

If Mayor Gray retains Chancellor Rhee, it would be devastating to his administration. Chancellor Rhee and Mayor Fenty were held accountable for their arrogant and condescending behavior toward the people of District of Columbia. Chancellor Rhee is incompetent and she end up as one the most polarizing figures in our city. She had no vision, just a narrow goal of improving test scores. Rhee’s legacy will be known for firing, threatening and intimidating principals, teachers and staff members. Rhee never had a plan evidenced by only 10 schools meeting the national standards. The people have spoken and this Rhee experiment is over. Rhee must be fired!

Posted by: hello101 | September 16, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Yes, as pointed out above, remember the Hillary Clinton example. I daresay she is one of the best Secretaries of State we have ever had, and likable, too, unlike her junkyard dog mode during the '08 primaries.

Posted by: axolotl | September 16, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Get rid of the Dragon Lady, ASAP!!!!! Good riddance, I say.

Posted by: chicogal | September 17, 2010 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Gray, you have got nothing to see. Trust me on that. No making up with Rhee. She is made up, alright! Now....the Making Out is left up to you; however, I can't be sure she's up for your schmoozing.

Hire Cliff Janey back. He was and is amazing. This way, he can start doing what he started in 2006.

Posted by: inickdc | September 19, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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