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Rhee: Election result 'devastating' for D.C. schoolchildren

Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee made it increasingly clear Wednesday evening that she has no long-term interest in serving as Vincent C. Gray's schools leader.

Speaking at the Newseum to an auditorium studded with Washington A-listers gathered for the red carpet premiere of the edu-documentary "Waiting for Superman," Rhee said she would not "mince words" about Tuesday's Democratic primary defeat of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

"Yesterday's election results were devastating, devastating," Rhee said. "Not for me, because I'll be fine, and not even for Fenty because he'll be fine, but devastating for the schoolchildren of Washington, D.C."

Rhee, part of a post-screening panel discussion that included Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Harlem Children's Zone founder Geoffrey Canada and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, said earlier Wednesday that she looked forward to sitting down with Gray to discuss the future.

She did not mention Gray by name or criticize him directly at the Newseum screening. But in a kind of Sarah Palin "don't-retreat-reload" moment, she said the takeaway from the D.C. election for education reformers was that it was time to become even more aggressive in the push for measures such as tougher teacher evaluations using test score data and performance-based pay.

"I would say that the biggest tragedy that could come from yesterday's [Tuesday's] election results is if the lesson people take from this is that we should pull back. That is not the lesson," Rhee said. "That is not doing right by what Adrian Fenty has put into this effort for the last three and half years, that is not the right lesson for this reform movement. We cannot retreat now. If anything, what the reform community needs to take out of yesterday's election is now is the time to lean forward and be more aggressive and more adamant."

"Waiting for Superman," a new documentary by Davis Guggenheim, the director of "An Inconvenient Truth," explores the failures of public education through the stories of several schoolchildren and reform figures such as Rhee. The film, completed way before the election, treats Rhee as a heroic figure. But her scenes, which include her surprise 2007 introduction by Fenty on the steps of the Wilson Building and footage of her marching down school hallways with laptop open, have a poignant tone given this week's election.

Rhee said she "absolutely" felt guilt over Fenty's loss and said her original prediction to the mayor when they first met -- that hiring her as chancellor could be his political undoing -- turned out to be accurate. But she scoffed at the suggestion by the moderator, New York Magazine's John Heilemann, that she might have been able to preserve Fenty's career and achieve her reform goals in a more politically deft manner.

"I think part of the problem in public education to date has been that we all have to feel good, let's not ruffle too many feathers," she said, noting that when she arrived in 2007, eight percent of the District's eighth graders were doing math at grade level.

"I am not going to sugarcoat that," she said. "I am not going to make you feel better about that. That is an outcome that is absolutely criminal."

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By Bill Turque  | September 16, 2010; 1:25 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Mayor's Race, Michelle Rhee  
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Next: State Superintendent of Education Briggs resigns

Comments

In other words, anything--anything!--that Michelle Rhee doesn't like is bad for D.C. Public School children. Because she is the only one who has the best interest of the children in mind...

This is like the rhetoric about how DCPS is so bad that any change at all is an improvement. Both are flawed logically and insulting both to parents and to those children she is so determined to help.

Posted by: berniehorn | September 16, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Rhee can be heavy-handed - though how else can change be accomplished in the maelstrom that is the DC school system - but she's right in her assessment. We can expect to see the modest improvements made on her watch rapidly reversed in the next year or two as Gray kowtows to his union benefactors. DC residents deserve the mediocrity they're about to regress to: they voted for it. I'm thankful I live in the suburbs.

Posted by: stratman1 | September 16, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

How ironic that Adrian Fenty might still be mayor had Rhee learned how to shut her mouth and stop antagonizing people.

She's done good things for District schools, but I've had it with her arrogance, petulance, and drama.

Do your job or leave. But spare the public whining and raving about a mayoral defeat for which you bear some blame.

Posted by: uh_huhh | September 16, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee obviously cares more about herself than about the children... Mayor-elect Gray can easily find someone else to continue the excellent reforms begun by Fenty. Hopefully Rhee will resign immediately so we can all move forward...

Posted by: jzslavin1 | September 16, 2010 2:17 AM | Report abuse

Rhee is doing what she can to make it impossible for Gray to retain her. First, she campaigned for Fenty when it was pretty clear that he would lose. Then she says that Gray's election is devastating to District children. Rhee may be smart, but she has no sense.

Posted by: esch | September 16, 2010 2:20 AM | Report abuse

The $75 million race to the top money will be padding salaries for years to come ... no need to check test scores now we got plenty of money for everyone!!!

Posted by: cautious | September 16, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

When is Bill Turque going to stop listening to a one (Michelle Rhee) who has it all wrong? I don't expect soon. He has some wealthy backers egging him on.

Posted by: rsmullin1 | September 16, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Her teachers should have the luxury of walking out because they don't like or disagree with her. When a superintendent quits, or abandons the children she professes to give a darn about they usually walk with a chunk of change. She's no different.

Posted by: jato11 | September 16, 2010 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Gray is like going back to the Marion Barry/Maurice Turner days of the District. The Police Chief better not get too comfortable either..

Posted by: wewintheylose | September 16, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

I think Rhee is right but her approach is tacky - leave with dignity. Fenty loss for this exact same reason - a promising leader who was just simply uncouth when it came to matters of public decourum.

Posted by: george_w_bush0 | September 16, 2010 2:48 AM | Report abuse

"can easily find someone else to continue the excellent reforms begun by Fenty"

That's not the question. He can, but will he? is the question.

Posted by: BEEPEE | September 16, 2010 3:05 AM | Report abuse

An Era has come to an end! Fenty and Rhee time has come! If anyone thinks she is the only one who can provide school reform, you're sadly mistaken! Rhee, major problem is the thinking of "It's her way or the Highway!" The broom move was insulting to all in DC, sad thing for Fenty is arrogance made him BLIND to human emotions. When you attempt change by BULLYING folks around you, the only change that comes from it is your own job.

After reading her statements Gray has the right to Fire her. So, she can ride that broom of hers out of the District! Not only did Rhee play a major role in Fenty's defeat but Bloomberg too! One should never try to put their hands into two Locations!

Posted by: ifordc | September 16, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Rhee came in and said this system is a failure and we need to do things much differently. Her methods are open to question, but it would have been insane to continue along a similar path with the failure of the schools to educate our children.

She went to war with the system. She won some big battles, lost others and is now on the way out.

But the real question isn't the individual battles. Are our children getting a better education?

Change was sorely needed -- the best news is that Rhee made it more difficult to go back to what failed.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 16, 2010 4:01 AM | Report abuse

"devastating for the schoolchildren of Washington, D.C.""

Thus spoke the liar of the Baltimore Miracle.
Thus spoke the liar about Hardy MS.
Thus spoke the liar of the 2009 DC-CAS scores for Shaw MS.
Thus spoke the liar of the 2009 budget shortfall.
Thus spoke the liar of Wilson HS.
Thus spoke the liar of teachers who had sex with children and abused them.
Thus spoke the architect of falling elementary scores.
Thus spoke the architect of a widening racial achievement gap.

Posted by: edlharris | September 16, 2010 4:03 AM | Report abuse

Gray, Let Rhee Go, If it's NOT her way then it's over for the children, What kind of person is that!

Posted by: onesugar1 | September 16, 2010 4:16 AM | Report abuse

Once again, Rhee displays the lack of political acumen that she shares with Fenty and which is why she's now in the position of taking her toys and leaving.

Newsflash: maybe it was her inability to comport herself with the socially acceptable minimum of social graces and political dexterity that was devastating to the educational futures of the children of the District of Columbia. It really didn't matter how correct her ideas were if she couldn't execute them without antagonizing every official she came in contact with.

It's nice to be important, Michelle, but it's more important to be nice. No "leader" can accomplish anything by systematically antagonizing every group of people she works with except her boss. That's not leadership and you should be smart enough to figure that out. Your ideas are worthless if you cannot get people to agree to go along with you and even successful dictators get that point.

Posted by: elizestrada | September 16, 2010 4:50 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see the Post do an article comparing Michelle Rhee's methods to the methods of Jerry Weiss (sp?) in the Montgomery County Public Schools. When he discusses the tremendous changes seen in those schools under his leadership he speaks in terms of "we" and not I. He has not been afraid of change and it has been inclusive and strengths focused. The positive changes in that school system have been based on the students, parents and employees. All of them together.

Posted by: mjvdc | September 16, 2010 4:55 AM | Report abuse

Who does Rhee thinks she is? I thought that the residents spoke as to who they want for mayor of DC on Tuesday.

Rhee is being disrespect to Gray.

Gray fire her now. We voted for you and want her out.

She is acting life she is going to be your boss instead of the other way around.

After she leaves, you will not hear anything else about her.

Some people are acting as though she is some kind of God and no one else can be a chancellor of a school system. We can get someone like the supertenintent in Prince Georges county. Let her go now. You don't give any school leader that much power. Resign Rhee today. You are not all that you think you are. Shameful

Posted by: samvped205 | September 16, 2010 5:12 AM | Report abuse

Someposters need to stop rewriting history.

First, Rhee's amazing first year jump in test scores were largely the result of Janney's work, not hers. Anyone with common sense surely can see that. The recent, more modest gains are the reasonable results of better access to curricula, improved instructional planning and targeted professional development.

The next step is to see if we can find any connection between the remarkable growth in D.C. test scores as well as on the NAEP. The NYC education debacle under Bloomberg should certainly serve as a warning to not drink the Kool-Aid.

Finally, Rhee chose to scapegoat teachers as the cause of D.C,'s public school problems. They're clearly not when these are the very teachers who did the work that resulted in the gains we are seeing over the past several years. However, ignorant people will always look for easy solutions. Election night in D.C. was amazing. So many people called "baloney" on the hype.

Posted by: Nikki1231 | September 16, 2010 5:47 AM | Report abuse

In other words, because she will no longer be chancellor, it is "devastating" for everyone else. Could she more dramatically validate what everyone said about the Fenty regime?

Posted by: cedmo | September 16, 2010 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Nikki 1231: no supt. before Rhee ever did anything to seriously evaluate and ID the teachers who were ineffective, uncommitted, had personal problems and were not doing their jobs. Think of the backlog. Rhee shouldered all the political burden of dealing with those categories of teachers and a generally busted system. She made a lot of improvements. Good teachers are not looking forward to a rollback to the good ole days, no matter how the unionistas bray. They only want to Leave No Teacher Behind. Vince Gray knows Rhee's value and that is why he would like to keep her for at least awhile. And he is intimidated by the task of finding a replacement up to the job and willing to take the pounding from all the educator sycophants and the union, who are riveted on the welfare of teachers first. There is reason for some elements of optimism in Gray's election. Like the mayor, he is basically a good soul, but the fear is he will be run over by the special interests, including those more interested in victimhood and payback than the education of the youngsters.

Posted by: axolotl | September 16, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse

This only shows that this woman does not have the temperament/maturity to hold this position. The only difference between her & Fenty is that the voters had to toss out the one, but this other one should be fired today!

Posted by: familynet | September 16, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Rhee is mean and crazy. Her comments regarding the decision of DC residents is disrespectful and she should pack up and go.

Gray, do not let this mental patient blackmail you.

Those who are predicting doom re: DCPS, get off your butts and work with Gray to ensure the schools continue in a positive way. Leave the Barry days theme alone, it did not serve Fenty well as can be seen by the election results.

Get on the train or SHUT UP.

Posted by: guylady201001 | September 16, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Rhee is mean and crazy. Her comments regarding the decision of DC residents is disrespectful and she should pack up and go.

Gray, do not let this mental patient blackmail you.

Those who are predicting doom re: DCPS, get off your butts and work with Gray to ensure the schools continue in a positive way. Leave the Barry days theme alone, it did not serve Fenty well as can be seen by the election results.

Get on the train or SHUT UP.

Posted by: guylady201001 | September 16, 2010 6:10 AM | Report abuse

Rhee lacks maturity. Some things are better said behind closed doors or directly to a person in a private setting. The Barry years are gone and they are not coming back. The people who have spent decades in Washington, educating their children, paying taxes, dealing with traffic, cheering on the Redskins, etc. will survive without Fenty/Rhee. D.C. has it's issues, but it is a nice place. It is not like Detroit. I love D.C. and I'll give Mr. Gray a chance.

Posted by: rankcon | September 16, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Those who criticize Michelle Rhee either ignore or dont see something crucial: we now have hope for good schools in this city, for the first time in a generation. Vincent Gray contributed to this by voting for the mayor to have power, but Mayor Fenty and Michelle Rhee were willing to hold the system accountable, and the schools and the city are far better for it. As a father of school age children, my wife and I went through a wrenching decision about whether to move to Arlington, which is socioeconomically diverse but which manages to have some of the best schools in the country. We should have a right to the same kind of excellence. Remember the absolute mess that Michelle Rhee walked into, and where we are now. As a DCPS parent, I have seen enormous change, for the good. She was necessary, I will miss her energy and vision, and I now can only hope that Mayor Gray does not conciliate what remains one of the most poorly performing schools in the country right back into the status quo. I dont want to feel guilty for keeping my children in this school system.

Posted by: newdad | September 16, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

All of this babbling about Fenty or Rhee's temperament is just window dressing. Surely, given the disaster that DC government is known for, it takes an enormous amount of thick skin and hard headedness to move past it. I agree with many posters who expect that Rhee's achievements, indeed, those of Fenty and Williams before him will be turned back. A shame. This city has risen from the dump that it was during the Barry years and the graft, corruption and patronage that went with it. For decades, DC has been known for having one of the worst, but most expensive, public school systems in the country for which school children, primarily black, were the sole beneficiary. Parents and law enforcement complained that these children received poor educations and could not find jobs as a result. In an economy where it is tougher than ever for ANYONE to find a job, to potentially turn back to clock to this era is gut wrenching for me. The "electorate" who made this happen should not expect any sympathy from me in the future. let em eat cake for such foolhardy decisions.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | September 16, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee is clearly suggesting that, because she will no longer be chancellor, that somehow that translates into devastation for the children of D.C. This woman is out of her mind! She needs to go sooner rather than later.

In one statement, she has totally disrespected the people's choice for Mayor...yet again...as well as D.C.'s electorate, many of whom are parents of the children of whom she speaks. She simply is too feckless to hold any position of responsibility and authority, not to mention that of the leader of our school system.

What has she done, other than fire people, then draft a document (IMPACT) so that she could fire even more? Manufacturing a 2009 RIF one month into school, seriously destroying the teaching and learning environment for the entire year, obviously lead to the decline in school scores, which had shown a steady increase prior to her arrival in town. So, if there is anything, or anyone, that translates into devastation for the children of D.C., that person is Rhee herself.

But Rhee knows that the folks in D.C. now see her for the fraud that I know she always was. The question is, why is she spouting her radical Orwellian-like pronouncements still? That is because Rhee's objective never was to help the children of D.C., but to use D.C. as a national platform for herself and like-mined folks to spout their nonsense about reform that really is no reform at all. Her success was measured even more by the number of people, blinded by their own self-interest, whom she was able to string along for the ride. And, boy, how easily she found such converts!

I simply don't call firing mostly African Americans, and replacing them with young whites (something her benefactor also was guilty of) reform. Please, how insulting!

And for those who want to continue to follow her as if she is some modern-day Pied Piper...well, how about following her right out of town.

As chancellor, we need someone who understands what true reform is, and who has the commonsense to manage firmly but with the understanding that the Golden Rule is a good philosophy by which to abide, despite what your position in life might be. One can't even state that she will understand how it feels to be treated the way she has totally disrespected so many hard-working DCPS employees, because, she was so successful in launching her national campaign of self-promotion that some organization somewhere would snatch her up, having been deceived by her rhetoric. Ultimately, the fact that Rhee has an inability to shut her mouth when it is appropriate to do so, may be just the catalyst we need to have her airlifted out of D.C. by her next victim.

Good riddance!

Posted by: vscribe | September 16, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

In other words, anything--anything!--that Michelle Rhee doesn't like is bad for D.C. Public School children. Because she is the only one who has the best interest of the children in mind...

This is like the rhetoric about how DCPS is so bad that any change at all is an improvement. Both are flawed logically and insulting both to parents and to those children she is so determined to help.
____________
Well, the proof is in the pudding. There may or may not have been enough time for Rhee to have made a difference but one thing is for sure, what existed before her was crap. No philosophy about styles and personality needed. It was crap. Rhee only improved what was there and now, who knows? Back to crap?

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | September 16, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

She sounds nutty, not to mention with absolutely no political sense.

Posted by: ElRosas | September 16, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line is, Rhee, you overplayed your hand. You thought you were invincible. Well, the people of the District said otherwise. You were Fenty's albatross. My only hope is that YOU feel the devastation from being unceremoniously escorted out of central office by a security guard. Kinda like the way you did teachers who didn't deserve such treatment.

Don't let the doorknob hit ya . . .

Posted by: shame_the_devil | September 16, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

It would be "devastating" to the Gray administration team to keep Chancellor Rhee. 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 firing, threatening and intimidating principals, teachers and staff members. Rhee never had a plan evidenced by only 10 schools meeting the national standards. Rhee must be fired. This experiment is over.

Posted by: hello101 | September 16, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the teachers union. You can now go back to screwing over the children.

Posted by: shecallsmemoe | September 16, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

In the past, I've gotten very upset about teacher union's advertisements during election cycles. Their mantra, "It's for the kids!" has gotten to be a joke!! Teachers are being decently paid now; there is nothing wrong with $50,000 and up salaries even though every person in this country feels they should be paid 6 figures. It's not about the kids; it's about the teachers padding their salries and benefits.

Now, with Rhee's attitudes and comments, it's apparent it's not about the kids, It's about me, me, me!

I have given her credit for drastic changes in the way school business is done in DC, even though she has no class in the way she conducts business, but she can take me, me, me and go away, go away, and please go away!!

Posted by: prbinusa | September 16, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Newdad:

You are a victim of the modern-day Pied Piper. For your information, Rhee is leaving more of a mess than what she "walked into."

In fact, she walked into a system where the previous superintendent had launched a curriculum, where the system previously had none. Rhee has done nothing to build on that curriculum during her almost four years here.

She walked into a situation where the previous superintendent left a full Master Plan in place, detailing school closings, refurbishments, and rebuilding... one that she admitted she would implement and build on, which, in fact, she did.

Fenty stripped her of most of the duties of the previous superintendent so she could be free to focus on the school. Instead, she used that free time to roam the country slandering teachers and other school system employees. Unlike previous superintendents--who accomplished far more than she did, and without mayoral control--she had far too much free time on her hands.

Exactly what has she done that was not already in place prior to her arrival? I challenge you to educate me, because I stand to be corrected when I state that Rhee has pulled the wool over so many people's eyes because they are choosing to listen to what she says, rather than observe what she does, which is, as I've stated, very little.

You sound as if you are genuinely concerned about the state of DCPS. Please, take time to dig deep and educate yourself about the issues. In time, I have no doubt that you will come to realize how devastating Rhee has been for an already fragile system that could have done without her constant grandstanding.

Think about this...we are surrounded by strong school leaders in this area. How often have you seen them berating their teaching corp in the press? How often have you seen them featured in the national media as the face of reform? Could it be that they are quietly going about the business of reform, making difficult choices, and getting results without anointing themselves in a way that is tantamount to the second coming of the messiah?

Please, please, do not allow yourself to be deceived. Our soon-to-be new Mayor has pledged to make the issue of education reform an inclusive one. I would think that his promise would translate into good news for you and parents like you, especially those at Hardy Middle School who were so thoroughly disrespected by Fenty and Rhee. You now have an opportunity to join forces with Gray to make the school system the success that we all know it could be. Such advancements never rest on the shoulders of one person.

So, please, get your facts straight. The school system already was improving under Dr. Janey. In less than four years, however, Rhee and Fenty have managed to stall the progress he started. If we are to measure her success by her own standards, the test scores this year were nothing else than a validation that we do not need her type of reform.

Posted by: vscribe | September 16, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

The hate for teacher's unions is so bizarre given that...

a) teacher's unions have no real effect on school performance (Mass. has what is widely regarded as the best public schools and is an extremely strong union state)
b) Our union (WTU) is so pitifully inept that it is a laughingstock, yet somehow despite that incompetence, they are manipulating DC so effectively that nothing can stand in the way of their evildoing :-)

Seriously, when Ms. Rhee came in, I thought she would do some good things, which she did. She would do some dumb, tone-deaf things, which she did. She would leave the school system a more efficient place that would be a lot easier for the next Superintendent to run.

I hope that we continue to build on the good that she has done (holding administrators accountable for evaluating and removing poor teachers, fixing central office operations, etc...), but she did so many things that were so divisive (intentionally so) that she had no chance of staying the course.

Hopefully we can hire a qualified Superintendent to do things like curriculum, educational development, and so on that were ignored by Ms. Rhee in her quest to rid DC of their "ineffective" teachers. It would also be nice if teachers, aides, etc... could make suggestions on improving education without fearing for their jobs.

Posted by: Wyrm1 | September 16, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I was a Gray supporter who was ambivalent to supportive of Rhee. After reading this, she should be shown the door, now.

She says "I'll be fine", but really? Any future jurisdiction that might want to hire her will have to look at the record in DC (because anything before is flimsy). What they will see is both her acerbic temperment and 'me first' promotion. What they will also see are mixed result, where the early gains can be attributed to previous leaders, and late gains are minimal.

If she is replaced tomorrow, the next person could claim responsibility for any gains seen over the coming years. However, Rhee will receive blame if there isn't progress over the next year or two.

Her only recourse was to keep her mouth shut and be willing to work through 2011 or 2012 so her 5 year plan could be fully evaluated on the merits.

She wants to be a star diva. She will be the equivalent of Zha Zha Gabor - someone with relative name recognition who never really did anything.

Good Riddance.

Posted by: LukasWP | September 16, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Rhee is not that arrogant in that she is the only one qualified to changed the non functioning teaching or educational systems that exist in so many parts of this country but esp rural and inter/intra city. However, as she said whomever is in charge of such a program cannot sugarcoat the test scores that are so low at all grad levels, the low level of non graduating students, the high level of non and unproductive teachers only collecting the high salaries of their trade rather than striving to be the best teacher or administrator they can be, nor minimizing the failure of administrative and maintenance depts to keep schools fully functional and not in need of constant repair and to have books and supplies on board ahead of a schools starting date. These are the problems Ms.Rhee stepped into and changed and attempted to change - esp. the removal of the inept non qualified and unlicensed teachers and assistants who the unions allowed only to be able to collect their monthly dues. No, Ms. Rhee did what was necessary to turn the school system to change for the good and its future; now under Mr. Gray the voters will get what they voted for a man who will sell his soul to the the unions and workers who only drained the DC financial coffers w/o truly earning their pay by doing the job that Rhee expected each of them to do and students and families deserve. She made her mistakes but she and others like her are the future of progressive educational changes for the better throughout this country. Who next for Mr. Gray - Chief Kathy Lanier?

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

Doesn't Rhee understand that this kind of arrogance and self-centeredness is the reason why the residents of DC drafted Chairman Gray to run for Mayor? The article on why Fenty lost discussed who the Mayor did NOT listen to, but the persons he LISTENED to (Nickles and Rhee) were even more responsible for his defeat.

And believe it or not Chancellor, the residents of this city run this city, not the Washington Post or wealthy foundations. Congress has enough on their plate and will not be interfering either. Residents will not permit their elected officials to be disrespected by appointed bureaucrats. If you want to criticize elected officials, resign or run for office.

Posted by: brelevant | September 16, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Rhee is ABSOLUTELY correct. The children in DC were some of the worst educated children, precisely because of the teachers union protecting their own.

It's a shame what DC has just done to itself, but it likes to shoot itself in the foot.

Entitlements are a precious thing to many of the folks in DC. Start taking away entitlements and them folk get downright angry!

Posted by: stinkyliberals | September 16, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Needless to say, I won't be seeing or recommending this movie. What's the over/under on how much longer she'll be in DC? I give her 3 months.

Posted by: hokiematt10 | September 16, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Rhee has painted herself into a corner - let her self destruct. She is beyond an idiot and she is not smart.
DC schools need work - I live in DC and have two kids in DCPS - but RheeFenty have been devastating to DC children. Chase those crazy baldheads out of town.

Posted by: rockstone | September 16, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Well, maybe she is more dedicated than was portrayed. I think she means SHE feels "devastated", which, if she truly believes in what she is doing would make sense.
It could be arrogance, or it could show that she really cares a lot about the students.

All school districts have problems, but they have to be handled. Hopefully, Gray will find someone who is strong and has a good educational vision for the DCPS children.

It should be a bit easier for whoever comes in since Rhee already combined many schools in order to save money.

I don't completely agree with her view of education or with the Teach for America idea given the way so many of them leave.

Posted by: celestun100 | September 16, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

What an ego!

Posted by: missboo | September 16, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Despite the propaganda, under the Rhee/Fenty regime, students and teachers were only worthy of their numbers on fill-in-the bubble standardized tests. Students were reduced to the lowest common denominator since Rhee, Fenty and the testing moguls want the public to think testing equals learning.

For the kool-aid drinking Rhee supporters, she was only a front woman on political and for-profit mission to destroy DC’s public schools under the guise of reform.

She was the poster girl for other pseudo-reformers including Bloomberg, Klein, Chicago’s Duncan, Gates, and Broad in their venture to give public schools away to hedge fund managers, the on-line education industry, data collectors, testing conglomerates, curriculum in-a-box profiteers, charter operators, think tanks, and TFA.

In order for the business oligarchs to conquer, Rhee placed teachers and unions under attack, replaced tenured teachers with low-cost inexperienced TFA recruits, and placed herself on “devastating, devastating” political road to failure.

Regardless of the rhetoric advanced by the Washington Post, NCLB, Race to the Top, charter schools, and Rhee/Fenty, the for-profit education experiments with students has no evidence of working in DC, Chicago, NYC, and beyond. Where are the investigative reporters?

Posted by: nfsbrrpkk | September 16, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

"If anything, what the reform community needs to take out of yesterday's election is now is the time to lean forward and be more aggressive and more adamant."

Says Michelle Rhee, as she stakes her claim as the Sarah Palin of school reform.

Posted by: efavorite | September 16, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

They is no doubt one needs better teachers but there is the other side one can use better students. Rhee took only one side and left out the other. The other truth is that the rich do better than the poor. It would seem that things are more complex than what has been currently being stated. Simple mindedness lead to simple minded and we have lots of them.

Posted by: artg | September 16, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

If Fenty is honest (big if) in wanting to support Gray, then he must fire Rhee today for insubordination-so no farewell money package. Of course, Fenty probably didn't include such a clause in her contract!

Posted by: familynet | September 16, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee was correct in her assessment of the state of D.C. public school when she arrived. The school system was failing the students. Michelle Rhee's management style is the problem. She comes off as arrogant and combative and most people don't respond to that type of management style. D.C. needs to find someone who is passionate about helping the children but understands how to manage people.

Posted by: dcunni6200 | September 16, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Where are the investigative reporters?
I second that.

Posted by: celestun100 | September 16, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Why is Rhee being attacked for being honest?

Rhee is telling Gray that her expectations of him are low in regard to education.

Gray capitalized on the resentment to Rhee in the election. He owns the problem now.

Rhee's just telling him how it is.

I'm totally fine with that. It needs to be said.

Posted by: smoke111 | September 16, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Rhee took the job knowing that she would have the power and support to make decisions - but she also knew it would mean having to take responsibility for the decisions she made.

If Gray wants her to operate differently, and against her better judgment - then it will only hurt HER reputation in the long run.

If the city is going to keep her, Gray must let her keep most of her power and independence. Otherwise, she is going to leave, so that whomever he chooses to replace her will take responsibility for his decisions.

I voted for results - but apparently rear-kissing is more important.

Posted by: dantedog | September 16, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Is Michelle Rhee just egotistical and stupid? Or is she trying to get Gray to dump her so that she doesn't have to take the personal blame for quitting?

Or maybe both......

Posted by: DCUSince96 | September 16, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Rhee may be rude, but she's also right.

Congratulations DC! It looks like you can have your no-accountability make-work government jobs and your failing schools back.

I've been in DC for the better part of two decades. I never thought I'd move to Maryland or Virginia, but I'm seriously considering it now.

Posted by: tcal02 | September 16, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

smoke111, you're 100% right on. Gray ran on resentment against Rhee. Why on earth should she kowtow to him now? I've never met the woman, and from what I hear I'd never want to work for her personally... but who cares? She is what was needed to shake up DC schools. I wouldn't have wanted to work for Vince Lombardi either, know what I mean?

Posted by: tcal02 | September 16, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

She may SOUND crazy but I believe she's right. DC took a step back with Gray, who had been there and been voted out before, at the expense of their children once again because you didn't like the drastic changes needed to improve DC schools.
You might as well hire back the teachers that were let go to complete the regression and reinstall the provisions that make it difficult to get rid of them despite their pitiful performance.

A report came out just this week that basically said that American kids are getting dumber and dumber and dc kids will again rank among the dumbest when Gray reverses the progress made by Fenty & Rhee.

Posted by: keedrow | September 16, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Just so I understand............The school system in DC has sucked for more than 60 years. Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and her ilk have all been a part of that same system for decades. Now here comes the tricky part......But for some reason, it's not what's been allowed to occur over the last 60 years that's the problem, the results of this particular election are the thing which is "devastating". Just so we all understand....According to Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, the school system has been fine previously but now for some reason it's going to be devastated due to the results of this election. Yeah right!!!

Now I get it, what we have here is yet another liberal dodging accountability and not wanting to accept responsibility for their role in yet another f'd-up outcome which they have directly caused. Sounds about right.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | September 16, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

How is the result devastating for the schools? Has Gray made statements against reform, or for reinstating fired teachers, or for giving precedence to teachers' job security over classroom results? I don't know if he has, that's why I'm asking. Without knowing this, I can't see how Rhee categorically states that Fenty's loss is the students' loss.

Posted by: hitpoints | September 16, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I see the teachers' union is out celebrating today. It reminds me of a snarling pack of dogs circling its mortally wounded prey.

Rhee's larges fault is her inability soften her public persona, but she did a wonderful job and I hope the new mayor finds a way to continue that direction. The District has now had three post-Barry administrations (Pratt-Kelley-Dixon, Williams, and Fenty), and in each instance District government has improved and certain constituents have cried foul. I suspect that Mr. Grey is going to continue the positive direction but he will do so without Ms. Rhee and Mr. Nichols (thank, God!), and he will learn from Mr. Fenty's mistakes. Meanwhile, I wish Mr. Fenty and Ms. Rhee (who both believed in their good cause even if they lacked a soft, feel-good approach) good luck and a less stressful future. For Mr. Nichols, I haven't any positive wishes so I will just say good bye with a smile.

Posted by: MdLaw | September 16, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree with stratman1. Given the bad situation in the schools, Rhee has to be ruthless in resolving all the problems. Unfortunately, it take a lot of guts to face the problems on the parts of Rhee, Fenty and the residents. It is obvious the guts of some of them have fallen short. It is sliding back to the education performance of early 2000's and bad or no employment.

How could these people break their vicious poverty cycle without smart people like Fenty and Rhee? I am only be sad that they did not take their chances with Fenty and Rhee.

Consensus builder like Gray will be knocking into resistance after resistance because he has to take into account the views of the very people who oppose the change for the better. How could that be good?

Posted by: k8s8loh | September 16, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Some things Rhee and Fenty accomplished were good: improved facilities, books delivered on time - all the administrative things that have to work. Plus, she has definitely made it easier to get rid of those who should go. However, the reliance on meaningless test scores to rate teachers and prinicipals is way off base. Those scores compare last year's 5th grade scores, for example, with this year's, even though the children are not the same, many schools have enormous turnover in kids year to year, and the weighting of measures has varied. If we want to know if a teacher is effective, we should be looking at where individual kids were in late August, then where they are in the late spring. Plus, Rhee's management style is exactly like Fenty's: don't provide support to principals and teachers to help them do a better job, just fire them and hope the next guy will do better - leading to on-going instability and lack of growth. Again, while some people do have to be weeded out, not all principals or teachers will ever be superior. A good administrator will help those average ones move to high average or superior, not keep cutting off heads and repeating the cycle. Unfortunately, since Rhee is so convinced that she herself has no need to grow, it is time for her to go.

Posted by: advocate1 | September 16, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"Yesterday's election results were ... devastating for the schoolchildren of Washington, D.C
........................
Devastating for the schoolchildren of Washington, D.C. is when 6 weeks into the new school year there is the chaos of suddenly thousands of schoolchildren finding out that their teachers are no longer there.

This was the result of Ms. Rhee failure to perform her duties when hundreds of teachers had to be quickly fired last year because there were no funds to pay for these teachers.

Posted by: bsallamack | September 16, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"[W]hen she arrived in 2007, eight percent of the District's eighth graders were doing math at grade level."

There's nothing meaningless about those test scores. How very embarrasing. Rhee will be missed.

Posted by: WPNDC | September 16, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Education reform and success for D.C.'s children was never dependent on Michelle Rhee on any one individual. No one person alone can effect change. Can we give the seductive idea of a superman or superwoman who will wave a magic wand and solve problems? That in itself would be a healthy first step.

It's also time to stop bashing the teachers' union and think about genuine collaboration among teachers, administrators, parents and communities to foster better schools. Contrary to Mr. Fenty and Ms. Rhee, collaboration is not overrated.

Posted by: sanderling5 | September 16, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Get her out of here! If you dont like the direction the city is going in (though one has no way of knowing just yet) the get the he!! packing, Rhee and all of those who are complaining. I'd be happy to help pack! :-)! The majority has spoke. Vent as you please, you could very well help the housing market elsewhere.

Posted by: missboo | September 16, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"spoken" (for the grammar nazis)

Posted by: missboo | September 16, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

An Era has come to an end! Fenty and Rhee time has come! If anyone thinks she is the only one who can provide school reform, you're sadly mistaken! Rhee, major problem is the thinking of "It's her way or the Highway!"

========

I'm just sad that school reform came to DCPS too late to help the previous poster. Let's not raise yet another generation of schoolchildren without the basic ability to read and write! Won't someone think of the children?

Posted by: ibc0 | September 16, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

It seems that feeling "respected" is more important to the majority of DC voters than an efficient and improving government and school system.

People who consider themselves disenfranchised find being seen and/or heard is the most important thing, even more important than concrete improvements. This is why Barry can be elected to the Council. Voters are willing to forget his numerous failures because he is accessible and visible in his community. He can't govern, but he knows your name and will ask you how your mother is feeling.

The voters of DC have shortchanged themselves, but they won't recognize that because they will be too busy being making small talk with their new officials at the community centers.

More sophisticated communities and other enterprises will gladly sacrifice warm and fuzzy feel good moments for meaningful results.

Don't feel bad, DC! Give yourself a group hug while the next generation of your kids finds itself unable to compete in a relentlessly competitive global environment.

Posted by: Thinking6 | September 16, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

It's devastating for her career because the next politician who hires her to reform schools had better be prepared to leave office, come the next election. Just ask Fenty.

Posted by: PepperDr | September 16, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

NO ONE has been as "Devastating" to DC children as Michelle Rhee. She needs to be fired, investigated and prosecuted.

Posted by: mcstowy | September 16, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Wow, so Rhee thinks that only she and Fenty could have the best interests of students in mind. It was that exact exaggerated sense of self worth that got Fenty, and soon herself, booted from authority. Good riddance to both of them!

Posted by: linroy62 | September 16, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@ibc0
I disagree. the poster merely put in a comma where they should have had an apostrophe s. That is a typo, not evidence of faulty grammar.

Posted by: celestun100 | September 16, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

TO ALL THE RHEE SUPPORTERS:

It's over. Fenty lost and we have a new mayor starting in January. If you want to move of the district because of that, by all means, move. Who cares. Things will not stop because you move. To be honest, no one knows who you are nor do they care.

Rhee: Gray is now your boss. Accept it for the moment until you are fired. You are not his boss. As the saying goes, "You Got the Game Messed Up."

My question to you is: You are suppose to be getting married. As a new bride, why do you want to stay here anyway? Fenty is fired. Thank God.

Your days are over. Good riddance and good bye. See you

Posted by: samvped205 | September 16, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"If anything, what the reform community needs to take out of yesterday's election is now is the time to lean forward and be more aggressive and more adamant."

Says Michelle Rhee, as she stakes her claim as the Sarah Palin of school reform.

Posted by: efavorite


Good analogy. Both are ignorant, inarticulate, dishonest and and arrogant enough to take pride in those "qualities."

Posted by: mcstowy | September 16, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Thinking6 wrote: "More sophisticated communities and other enterprises will gladly sacrifice warm and fuzzy feel good moments for meaningful results."

You are naive to think that the so call more sophisticated communities and other enterprises would tolerate being disrespected for meaningful results. I believe you are only saying this because you were not disrespected or felt your voice silent or issues ignored by the Fenty/Rhee.

Posted by: khathu | September 16, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@samvped205:

That's just silly: no one's moving. In fact, the demographic changes DC has seen in the last decade and a half are accelerating. The election of 2014 is going to be *vastly* different than this year's. And the election of 2018 will be unrecognizable.

If Gray appoints a Chancellor who is effective at continuing the reforms that Rhee started, but with a slightly more pleasant demeanor, he'll probably win reelection in 2014. If not, he'll get the boot.

My sense is that he knows this, and that folks like yourself who seem to think this election was a mandate for returning to the status quo are in for four years of disappointment.

Posted by: ibc0 | September 16, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee's lack of social skills is astounding.

To hear her tell it, she is the only person on a planet with a brain or a heart.

I've got news for her: we are not all the Tin Man or the Scarecrow. Just because people disagreed with her doesn't mean we hate children or want them to fail. It doesn't mean we can't also have good ideas.

I, for one, hope she goes. Some of her ideas are fantastic. Her hubris is not. I want to prove to the world that reform exists outside the oustsized personality of Michelle Rhee.

Posted by: mdennis74 | September 16, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The only way Rhee could be more aggressive would be if she was carrying an assault weapon. Since she is do "devastated", she should give her notice. And if she were really that into the welfare of DC students, she would remain until the end of the school year for an orderly transition. That would be what a truly professional educator would do. She has done some good things, but her arrogance, rudeness plus the contempt she has shown for teachers, parents, and the DC council will overshadow that.

Posted by: Frustratededucator | September 16, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

khathu: I think you are correct. I come from a blessedly resourced background and have not felt the disrespect, and I may be naive, as you have said.

But, in a way, that is sort of the point. If one happens to be unconcerned about "respect" as the primary issue, it is possible to look at problems in a less personal way. This, in turn, may lead to decisions and results more lasting than emotional gratification.

Posted by: Thinking6 | September 16, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"I, for one, hope she goes. Some of her ideas are fantastic. Her hubris is not"

And that's the bottom line: some folks would rather have their butts kissed than have a functioning school system. Sad, but there y'go.

Posted by: ibc0 | September 16, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Those who voted for Gray (and against Rhee) have a long track record of poor choices. This is consistent with that history. DC schools and students will suffer. Sad.

Posted by: moronmoron | September 16, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

So, what I take from the comments is that because folks got their little feelings hurt they want Rhee gone?

For those that ask, “Is there no one else that can turn around the school system”; I say before 2007 there wasn't, so what makes you think someone could come along know. Where were these people before she came along? There is a reason why she was needed. As a person that has grown up in the Metro area, I can't believe what I'm reading. Those of you that think Rhee is too hard and didn't spend a lot of time making people feel good about criminally low test scores, dilapidated schools and uncaring teachers must have lost their mind. You don’t reward that kind of inadequacy with platitudes. You kick it in the behind and drive it to success. You can't make a beautiful and tasty cake without breaking eggs. What is wrong with you people? In three years she took a school system that was a joke and I mean a JOKE in the eyes of the nation and made it into a laudable system and seen as an educational success story.

People, change is hard and fundamental change is near darn impossible. She was achieving fundamental change. Grow a set and get over your little hurt feelings and beg this woman to stay!!

Posted by: keitoi | September 16, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

tcg102 states "I've been in DC for the better part of two decades. I never thought I'd move to Maryland or Virginia, but I'm seriously considering it now.

NEED HELP PACKING? WHO CARES IS YOU MOVE OR NOT. GET STEPPING.

Posted by: samvped205 | September 16, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like Ms. Rhee won't be keeping her job under the new mayor. Given that Ms. Rhee is getting married soon to the mayor of Sacramento, it would be safe to say that she's not sticking around D.C. if she's not re-appointed. All I can say is that if you're a teacher or administator in California, there might be a Rhee in your future.

Posted by: oorfenegro | September 16, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

ibco. So are you saying that because more whites are moving into the district that things will change so much so that black vote won't matter.

You don't know what is going to happen in 2014. Neither do It.

I do know that right now Gray is our new mayor and if Rhee doesn't like it, as it seem to me right now that she doesn't, then quit now. Believe me life goes on and she will not be missed. We will be talking about other things. Everyone can be replaced, including us.

Posted by: samvped205 | September 16, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

HOW MANY OF THESE ANTI-RHEE COMMENTS ARE POSTED BY INCOMPETENT FIRED TEACHERS?

Basically, I've come to realize that just about ANYTHING or ANYONE supported by DC Teachers Union is bad for education. And conversely, if the Teachers Union opposes it, you can bet that kids would benefit from it.

Posted by: MattBlanc | September 16, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Of course people should care more about results than style, but there are limits. Michelle Rhee went beyond most people's limits.

And when a leader's approach is, "I'm right, I don't need to listen to you, shut up and I'll make things better," that leader is going to be held to a very high standard. That applied to both Mr. Fenty and Ms. Rhee. If they didn't expect that, they were, at best, naive.

Posted by: rick5 | September 16, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

HOW MANY OF THESE ANTI-RHEE COMMENTS ARE POSTED BY INCOMPETENT FIRED TEACHERS?

Basically, I've come to realize that just about ANYTHING or ANYONE supported by DC Teachers Union is bad for education. And conversely, if the Teachers Union opposes it, you can bet that kids would benefit from it.

Posted by: MattBlanc | September 16, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

HOW MANY OF THESE ANTI-RHEE COMMENTS ARE POSTED BY INCOMPETENT FIRED TEACHERS?

Basically, I've come to realize that just about ANYTHING or ANYONE supported by DC Teachers Union is bad for education. And conversely, if the Teachers Union opposes it, you can bet that kids would benefit from it.

Posted by: MattBlanc | September 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

HOW MANY OF THESE ANTI-RHEE COMMENTS ARE POSTED BY INCOMPETENT FIRED TEACHERS?

Basically, I've come to realize that just about ANYTHING or ANYONE supported by DC Teachers Union is bad for education. And conversely, if the Teachers Union opposes it, you can bet that kids would benefit from it.

Posted by: MattBlanc | September 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

People, change is hard and fundamental change is near darn impossible. She was achieving fundamental change. Grow a set and get over your little hurt feelings and beg this woman to stay!!

Posted by: keitoi | September 16, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse
====

Er, did you miss the article prior to the election quoting rhee as having said that she does not believe Gray has the same dedication to reform as Fenty? Are you not reading her now suggest that since this election is devastating for the "kids" and that opposition to her is based on opposition to school reform?

So on what planet is that person hired? In what company or alley is that person hired? They aren't. Yet, a new mayor is supposed to appreciate and ignore what one of his subordinates has to say about his ineffectiveness and lack of concern about schools? You GOTTA be kidding me here.

Posted by: dcis1 | September 16, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

For all you Rhee naysayers out there, you simply can't accept your school system is a joke and your teachers union more interested in keeping their jobs than educating the students. All you clowns want is for you and your precious little snowflakes to feel good. Rhee came in, politics be damned, and implemented reforms. How dare she hold teachers and administrators accountable??!! How dare she get rid of the inept underachievers! The nerve of THAT woman!

Cronyism is alive and well with Vincent Gray. He kissed the unions rear and now the school system will take 8 giant leaps backwards.

President Truman said it best:

"I never gave anybody hell. I simply told the truth and they thought it was hell."

Kudo's to Rhee for sticking to her guns and not kowtow'ing to Gray, just to keep her job.

DC, you deserve EVERYTHING you get.

Posted by: CTVelander | September 16, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

ibco. So are you saying that because more whites are moving into the district that things will change so much so that black vote won't matter.

You don't know what is going to happen in 2014. Neither do It.

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

No, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that more middle-class folks of all races are moving into the district, and that things will change so much that the "black vote", as you call it, won't be the final decider.

And this will be an unambiguously good thing.

You're right though, we don't know what will happen in 2014. Terrorists could set off a dirty bomb, cheap teleportation technology may be developed that allows folks to beam themselves to work rather than commute on the traffic-choked roads. Seems very unlikely, but who knows. But barring that, DC will continue to inexorably become a socio-economically and racially diverse city

Posted by: ibc0 | September 16, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Who made Rhee the Messiah, and why does she figure she is the only person that can save DCPS? If nothing else, she is rude, corrupt, divisive, mean-spirited, disrespectful and just plain dumb. Ms. Rhee, get on the bus and head out of DC; we don't need you, nor do we want you. Our children, teachers and the schools will propser far better without you.

Posted by: daughterofold | September 16, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

DCPS parents supported Fenty/Rhee by 60/40. The support for Gray came from a coalition of angry teachers and bureaucrats and their families; and charter school parents who couldn't care less if DCPS fails.

Posted by: ibc0 | September 16, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

As an outsider looking in, there seems to be 2 common themes in the article and comments.

1. Rhee, for the most part, had/has good ideas for engendering positive change and...

2. People do not care for her personality and/or tactics used to achieve the change.

Well..., boo-hoo to those who do not "like" her. 8% performing at grade level for math??? really? And you wonder why someone who would not be afraid to "smack the system in the mouth" was/is needed here?

You should be ashamed of yourselves for putting your personal feelings (and votes) ahead of what is really important here... children's education.

I can only hope someone will be found that can "play nice" with the unions and politicians so the voting public in DC will not be offended by the necessity for making hard decisions in one of the worst school systems in the country.

Shame on you.

Posted by: bjk21 | September 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

All this bluster about Rhee is irrelevant at this point. If the WTU is back calling the shots, then let's see what they accomplish over the next four years. They've done nothing but whine and complain for the last four years. Now, they need to step up and offer results. We'll see how that goes.

Posted by: lipschitzantwon | September 16, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Refreshing and rare to see the word "dignity", as at 2:48AM above or below.

Fenty didn't treat Clifford Janey with dignity, wasting him for a year. Rhee hasn't treated treated who have been excessed with dignity. She has been everything wrong with adults in organized youth sports in the US today. Trash-talk and triumphalism.

Another word that has appeared elsewhere, to want Vincent Gray to run for mayor and to welcome his as relief:
Class.

Instead of having it, Fenty and Rhee --ever the valley girl -- substitute DC fashion sense, shaved head and correct shoes. Give her a spot on Fox and Friends with the other "attractive" female airheads where she belongs. Michelle Rhee, the Michelle Malkin of Education.

And about Rhee's purported concern for "all kids." When AVERAGE conditions or performances improve a little, they haven't improved, and they often even decline for over 40%. Think about that before being told to be impressed with the next set of performance statistics.

Posted by: incredulous | September 16, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

One last observation: Gray won with a ton of white votes. There were a significant number of good-government types who honestly believe that Gray will be a step *away* from the direction of Barry--and an improvement on Fenty.

If the worst-case scenario happens, and Gray turns out to be Barry II, move those votes into his challenger's column in 2014, and he gets flushed out in a landslide.

Posted by: ibc0 | September 16, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Please understand that Rhee and Fenty can get jobs easily and possibly with bigger paychecks. In fact, result-oriented and objective entities like large companies will employ such people readily because they are result-oriented and obviously because they are also well-educated. Frequently, they offend and are disrespectful when others are not doing their jobs well enough.

In my opinion, the kids and their parents in DC will suffer the most. What jobs will these kids get when they can't even write or read properly let alone not being able to do math well? How will these kids be able to provide for their old folks who were more concerned about being disrespected and emotional?

There were many superintendents who had come and gone in DC. Do you really want to take chances with your kids' future with other chancellors or superindents just because you feel disrespected or condescended to? or because some member of your community whom you have goody relationship with lost their jobs with Rhee and Fenty. If you do, what will you say to your kids in the future if they are poor in reading, writing and math when they are out looking for jobs in the future? And they can't get any good jobs!

Posted by: k8s8loh | September 16, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Bjk21,

As an outsider looking in you are ignorant of conditions in DCPS, so perhaps you should save your shame for something you know something about.

Your first assumption is false. Rhee had some good ideas, most of which had been developed by the previous Superintendent. She was given more power then any other school leader has been given, and implemented many of those ideas (such as closing schools, which Janey wanted to do but didn't have the political clout to get done). She completely ignored developing curriculum or other educational issues.

She then proceeded with the notion that there are some bad teachers (all too true) and pushed administrators to fire them (which they have ALWAYS HAD THE POWER TO DO). Unfortunately, in that haste to get rid of bad teachers, she got rid of lots of good ones, many of them in the middle of the school year because she failed to budget properly (and then magically found the money 6 months later).

I realize that you seem to think that all teachers are evil (or their union is), but most of us have some really good ideas, but bring up ideas led to you being fired, transferred, or targeted by a top-down leader who wanted no input from anyone.

Posted by: Wyrm1 | September 16, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Excellent turnout by the teachers unions and their supporters in the comments today.

It's too bad that those who want to be called adults (or maybe they just don't care) argue teacher jobs over the results in their students. That's why the kids aren't learning satisfactorily, and it's the culture that Chancellor Rhee is trying to reform.

If it's OK with the unions (and some parents) that kids perform way below grade level, when will it not be OK for them to graduate without a real education.

Look -- the teachers are overwhelmingly black, the students are overwhelmingly black, and the administrators are overwhelmingly black, and they're being run by someone who is not black. That for them is bad enough; the problem for them is that they are now being held to standards they can't or don't want to meet.

How many more generations of undereducated black kids do we have to suffer before even the black community will see the need for real reform?

Posted by: rustybud | September 16, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Awful. Her union busting, faux hiring and then RIF having, Enrollment statistics lying, DC CAS results forging ways were more DEVASTATING to DCPS than the reform she promised. Good riddance.

Posted by: qrobinso | September 16, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Good luck, DCPS. This move will make the excellent array of union-less private schools in the area have an easier time with recruitment. So it goes.

Posted by: DCPeterDC | September 16, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: 5446BMW | September 16, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Nothing gets your blood flowing like a bunch of vitriolic comments from sore losers and the lightly informed.
Stratman1 - Lawd Strat, what we goin do without Missy Rhee? She the only one that can make things better. Thank you Mayor-elect Gray for coming to our rescue. Will Fenty move to Ward 9? and Rhee to Sacramento?

mjvdc - Not possible to compare Rhee (apples) to Weast (oranges). Weast is an experienced, professional educator not a phony who is packaging herself for stardom. This superwoman will be best received in Hollywood. Oh that's right -no oscar for playing the school reformer.

"intimidated by the task of finding a replacement" -axolot- you surely don't know Vince Gray. It is helpful when you speak about what you know, not what you think you know. To do otherwise is reflective of your innate stupidity.

davidmswyahoo said" she (Rhee) and others like her are the future of progressive educational change for the better" I had to GAG on this comment. Rhee is much like Glen Beck - a self promoting charlatan. If this is the future, God help us.

To T-Cal02: I have some time to help you pack and I know a really good real estate agent in MC.

Ibco - I guess you were more comfortable with kissing Rhee's feet than her butt. OR perhaps you were saving that for a Fenty/Rhee victory. Shame you missed it. Where do you get your information or are you one of those who make it up as you go along. It took more than angry teachers and bureaucrat to bring better governance to DC.
Ketol - "beg this woman to stay" WHAT are you smokin? You are a real freak.

Posted by: lightkeeper | September 16, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet not ONE of those fired teachers will be rehired under Grey and whoever his next 3 school chancellors will be (Rhee was the only one who's cared to stay so far). Grey and his appointees will talk a lot, but I'll bet they are secretly glad Fenty and Rhee did the hard job for them. All DC should be glad, too. The Fenty/Rhee haters may have fooled themselves: all they'll get is the dubious pleasure of feeling they've run Rhee and Fenty out of town. But the good work they did for the schools will stand, to the benefit of blacks, whites and Grey. And I bet we'll still have meters on cabs 3 years from now, too...if you voted for Grey expecting anything to change radically, you've been had...

Posted by: 5446BMW | September 16, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I am sorry Rhee may have made a few great changes and all but her nasty attitude is uncalled for. Maybe if she would take the time to show some class for once maybe she would get a little farther.

This woman is no God and people need to realize that. People have put this woman so high on a petistal that this woman can't see clearly. She needs to be made to understand that she is not the Mayor and basically only works under the Mayor like everyone else. And if she feels thats beneath her she needs to step.

Fenty gave this power hungry woman too much power and it has literally gone to her head. As I have said before this woman doesn't think before she speaks and basically puts her foot in her mouth every time.

DC will be just fine without her so if she wants to resign thats on her. And I am offended that it appears that she is trying to call the residents of DC stupid and dumb for not voting Fenty back in. Heck she wasn't thinking that way when she was offered that job. This woman makes me sick with her I can do what I want thinking.

Wondering if schools and companies where actually knocking down the doors for her she would have already resigned. Ain't no one or company trying to be bothered with a person like her that doesn't follow rules and instructions to prevent legal mishaps and constant confusion.

Somebody will learn in the end that "Baby Its Cold Outside"...especially when no job offers are coming in. LOL JMO

Posted by: msruby36 | September 16, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Rhee will actually go back to teaching and get some real experience. She had only 3 years of teaching experience and that did not qualify her to embrace the scope of her position. Any teacher in today's environment knows that success starts at home and transfers into the classroom. She *failed* to hold the parents accountable with her angry diatribes. I'm glad that Gray won and hopefully he'll receive her resignation sooner than later. Go fail and bully people somewhere else, Rhee.

Posted by: ariesgirl4 | September 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I think Michelle Rhee should be "nice" to all of the teachers who have robbed the children of Washington, DC of their education and their futures. You see, Adrian Fenty and Michelle Rhee are "arrogant" and "disrespectful" to continue to let poor performing teachers and schools continue to rob the children of DC of their futures.

We the parents who voted for Gray are in the right, because we do not want a better future for our children than what we currently have for oursleves. We want our children to continue to not be able to read, write, or do math at the same level as the other children that they are competing with for jobs after they have either dropped out of high school or gotten a "token" high school diploma. We like being poor and uneducated, and if our children gain their menatal and financial "freedom" through education and knowledge, where will that leave us, the ignorant, uneducated parents? Does that not sound "nice"?

Is it "nice" to rob children of a better future because we the parents are complacent with feeling entitled and getting our free stuff as opposed to working hard and making tough decisions to give our children a better, happier future?

Perhaps we the "have nots" should look to what the "haves" are doing to get ahead and stay ahead in this dog-eat-dog world that we are all forced to live in. Instead, we choose to continue the same patterns and value systems - being a dummy who plays the part of the victim who is taken advantage of by smarter people.

We the "have nots" "have not" figured out that our value system is a recipe for being poor and uneducated and staying poor and uneducated. Are family values and getting a good education and working hard characterized as "bad" things that are "mean" and "arrogant"? Is being complacent and entitled a "good thing" and "nice"?

There is no hope for us the "have nots" because our own lack of education has prevented us from seeing past what a skillful politican has put in front of us: a promise to "not shake things up" too much - "not move too fast",...in other words, to keep us comfortable with being uneducated and to keep us complacent with being an entitled to get whatever the government gives us.

The problem is, the "haves" aren't complacent with giving their children what the government is giving out. The "haves" want more. The "haves" want their children to be smarter than they the parents are. The "haves" want their children to be able to compete for jobs as opposed to just taking whatever someone gives them. The "haves" want to control their own futures and their children's futures. The "haves" will not take whatever "the man" decides to give to them and be happy with it just because "the man" says so. The "haves" think that 8% of students reading at grade level is 100% unacceptable.

Posted by: IgnorantPeopleofDC | September 16, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

To Wyrm1: You are absolutely correct. And, it was Janey who put into place the currently used DC CAS and a strong curriculum that is still being used. That, more than anything Rhee has done, is the reason for any kind of increase in test scores.

For the record, I'm not a teacher but I do know that the DC IMPACT teacher evaluation system has serious flaws/drawbacks, mainly that it wasn't pilot tested and that teachers did not receive adequate training in how to implement the teaching and learning framework for which they were being evaluated. So, not ALL the teachers who were fired were these so-called "bad" teachers.

Posted by: linroy62 | September 16, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

If Rhee had cared about the children, she would have valued their teachers in the same way that a parent values the father or mother of his child. That's rule number one in responsible child care.

I've read a lot about Vincent Gray so I'm feeling optimistic that he will institute true reform in DC. He has acknowledged the importance of infant care, preschool and effective teachers. He understands the critical importance of collaboration when big changes are being made. He knows that autocracy is not the American way.

Hopefully, he'll end the shameful practice, continued by Rhee, of hiring inexperienced and underqualified teachers for DC schools. Mr. Gray can have an enormous and positive impact on the schools just by insisting on new teachers who are fully qualified and have track records of success. If it's necessary to hire inexperienced people right out of college, these people can be assigned to work with successful veterans until they are ready to be on their own. For many years, experienced people were almost impossible to recruit and retain, but with the money from philanthropists and the federal government, Gray's new superintendent should be able to attract these professionals.

Congratulations, Mr. Gray! Please stop the shameful practice of placing the least experienced teachers in the most challenging schools. The improvements you make in education can have positive reverberations across the country.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | September 16, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Rhee can duct-tape her critics mouths shut, as she did to her elementary school children while employed as a teacher.

Posted by: FriendofKeyserSoze | September 16, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Can you spell megalomania? I don't think she was the result of a virgin birth. 

Posted by: Mulch5 | September 16, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

We the parents who voted for Gray are in the right, because we do not want a better future for our children than what we currently have for oursleves. We want our children to continue to not be able to read, write, or do math at the same level as the other children that they are competing with for jobs after they have either dropped out of high school or gotten a "token" high school diploma. We like being poor and uneducated, and if our children gain their menatal and financial "freedom" through education and knowledge, where will that leave us, the ignorant, uneducated parents? Does that not sound "nice"?
======================================

This is a bit unfair. The vast majority of folks who voted for Gray weren't DCPS parents. It was a coalition of charter parents, pissed-off teachers and bureaucrats and their family members, the poor and elderly, and a large portion of good-government types.

Obviously Gray is going to have a hard time keeping that coalition together, though it'll be tempting for him to throw the school system back to the wolves in the WTU leadership.

80% of WTU's teachers voted to support the new contract, and the 16% of all teachers who were evaluated at "very effective" are getting massive pay raises. But the union leadership ain't them.

Should be the mother of all battles.

Posted by: ibc0 | September 16, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

As an outsider (check the handle) all I can say is the public generally gets the leadership they deserve. And apparently being likable is more important to the voters of DC than a safe community and good schools. Jonetta Rose Barras wrote a great piece about it in the CityPaper.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/39711/dc-politics-loves-the-eighties-dc-may-have-changed-but/.

But then, I'm some clown from Bethesda and my dog isn't in this fight. Except for that whole "Washington is the NATION'S capital" thing . . .

Posted by: bethesdaguy | September 16, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

What people don't get is that Michelle Rhee alienated EVERYONE. Good and bad teachers alike. I AM that glad she fired bad teachers. You can't believe how happy I was when the incompetent fools that called out sick every other day left my school. But in the same way, you can't work where you are publicly criticized by your superiors every day. My principal lived in fear of being fired. She would say things like "oh, you are great, but I have to give you a rating of average because we are not allowed to give high marks, because we don't have high test scores". We were told to pass all kids, give out grades, fudge attendance, etc. Do ANYTHING to make us "look" better. During summer school, DCPS had the "highest graduation rate" in the history of summer school. The students didn't learn ANYTHING. Teachers basically just passed everyone on the roster. You just had to.

Some of us were busting our balls, rolling with the punches, adjusting quickly and all we got was an email saying thank you, while on the press she was saying we sucked. What gives?

I am at a high performing charter now, and I thought about going back to DCPS because of the raises, but I love my little school. My colleagues and principal are nice, understanding, and hard working. We are a team. In DCPS it was all an "us vs. them" and I couldn't work like that anymore.

Michelle Rhee did well, but others can do better. I hope Gray finds someone who cares about the children, but wants to be a team player as well.

Posted by: DCteacher | September 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Loyalty to the children??? She's running scared now that she is going to get back what she did to all the fired employees. If you weren't on Rhee's friends list you get the boot. So shine up Rhee! It's your turn!

Posted by: wisepat | September 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Good heavens, what a blow hard. Someone ought to tape her mouth -- if it worked on her students, it might work on her.

When is the Allen Lew tell-all? How much you want to bet that there were some nice little goodies packed into the billion dollar spending spree.

Posted by: emrj | September 16, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

It will most certainly be bad for children if Rhee cannot set aside her politics and try to make it work for the children of DC. Whatever happened to putting aside the interest of adults? Put your money where your mouth is.

By the way, why aren't more people in DC talking about the worth of mayoral control in education? It isn't necessarily the way to go--can voters change THAT?

Posted by: AOB512 | September 16, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone ever spoken with Rhee about the negative impact of her comments and the necessity of practicing restraint? She appears to have a huge ego.

Ms. Rhee, be quiet, it is time for you to go.

Posted by: lacy41 | September 16, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee is not an expert in education. A true fact is that Rhee doesn't have any credentials in Education to be a department head/Chancellor of any Public School System.

Anyone can be a "Chancellor" if the person is allowed to be disrespectful, arrogant, obnoxious, tell lies, cluesless about balancing a budget, overhires employees, works for a group of rich education reformers, not certified/qualified in Education, no credentials in Education, taped students' mouths together with tape, a damage controller for Kevin Johnson or protects a child molester in DCPS at Shadd School, manufactured a Reduction in Force, hides $29M-34M dollars SY 09-10 and breaks the Hatch Act as a private citizen to campaign for King Fenty.

Rhee's pink slip will be mailed to her house very soon.

Enough is Enough, Rhee MUST GO!
Job Opportunity: DCPS is in need of a Superintendent who cares about all students and credentials in Education are necessary.

Posted by: sheilahgill | September 16, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"Regardless of the rhetoric advanced by the Washington Post, NCLB, Race to the Top, charter schools, and Rhee/Fenty, the for-profit education experiments with students has no evidence of working in DC, Chicago, NYC, and beyond. Where are the investigative reporters?" Posted by: nfsbrrpkk

Very good question and very good analysis of the underlying profit motive behind all the sturm und drang!

My bet is that--like Mr. Turque and his AOL-writer-reporter wife who wrote some stupid pro-Fenty/Rhee puff piece--they're all living outside DC in MD or NoVa, where their kids attend school, and they've been given marching orders on who and how to support.

Posted by: LongTimeRez | September 16, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

DCteacher:

Those of us who have been in the classroom recognize the truth of your words. The current "reform" has been nothing but "lies, damned lies and statistics" with Rhee the master of it all. Soon everyone will know.

Some of the things you've described (faking attendance etc.) are against the law. Please report these to authorities outside of the district. Your councilmember can direct you to the right person.

DC teachers have not been alone. Other teachers and citizens from across the country have been with you. Teacher-bashing is not big in the USA.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | September 16, 2010 3:08 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 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah...It's devastating that Rhee can no longer act with complete autonomy. Fenty allowed her to do what ever she wanted, but now she will have to be accountable for her actions. Instead of putting aside her petty vindictive attitude to work with a new mayor, she's setting things up for her exit. The only one Rhee really cares about is herself. I can't believe others are still buying her act.

Posted by: Rahwaj | September 16, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Bill Turque quotes Rhee, "I am not going to sugarcoat that," she said. "I am not going to make you feel better about that. That is an outcome that is absolutely criminal."

For all those who are insistent on calling Michelle Rhee the best thing that ever happened to DCPS, please consider moving to wherever she goes so you can be sure that your children have the best education possible.

The level of willful ignorance and deliberately deceptive reporting on the part of the Washington Post with respect to the mythology that Rhee has fashioned is appalling, so it is difficult to blame those whose opinions have been formed principally by the print version of this Rah-Rah-Rhee tabloid coverage of perhaps the most important issue in this election and in parents thoughts.

No matter how many well-reasoned arguments that have been made in this column during the year I have been aware, the Washington Post seems ready to declare the Earth flat if the Chancellor decides that is what our children need to know to get a higher score on some form of standardized test.

Chancellor Rhee is a psychopath, and I hope Bill Turque has kept every page from is reporters notebook. Perhaps Mel Gibson can produce a documentary about her next.

Posted by: AGAAIA | September 16, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The election will be devastating, but not for the children. Rhee's purse will suffer short-term shock, but her superiors will find her another soft place to land and they will pay her to continue being the front woman for the destruction of public education.

To suggest that substandard teachers who are disgruntled after having been fired make up the bulk of the anti-Rhee contingent is without basis. Rhee's firing was not a way to get rid of under-performing teachers, although there may have been a few in the number of the RIFed. To the contrary, most of the teachers who were dismissed were not bad teachers. They were in many cases, however, tenured. If all of these teachers were so bad, why were there mass demonstrations by upset parents and students against the dismissals? Why did dozens of them show up to speak up in support of their teachers?

The mass firing was in actuality many things that it was not credited with being: 1) a union busting activity (note to organized labor: don't forget why you were formed in the first place, and get back to doing your job!); 2)a way to replace seasoned teachers with newer ones who don't have to be compensated at the same level (they've been replaced with inexperienced teachers and individuals from organizations like Teach for America).

The election will not in and of itself prove devastating for students, but voters must remain diligent and focused and not allow Mr. Gray to become complacent and believe that he can get away with the same mess just because the players have changed.

Some of the posts have been dismissive of the views taken by long-term (translated "Black") DC residents who are perceived as being Gray's base. Unfortunately, dismissiveness of everyone who's not Just Like Them has been an identifying trait of all too many people. Consequently some people may not yet be able to recognize the fact that there is a very large, very well established and very politically savvy Black population in DC that does not make decisions off the cuff and based on race and cronyism. Many of these folks represent the fifth, sixth, and even seventh regeneration of civic involvement, higher education and US citizenship. Some folks need to stop judging based on their own limited experience and exposure. Simply put,perhaps it wouldn't be so difficult to recognize this fact if some people could understand that they're not the only ones with a brain. Some of us know the difference between diamonds and rust, and it doesn't boil down to race and ethnicity. Some people have the intelligence to know whether they've been served steak or whether they've been served swill. Some people know when other people are pouting without understanding 1/10 of what's really going on.

Posted by: honestynpolitics | September 16, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame that Chancellor Rhee is more worried about politics and Mayor Fenty than she is DCPS children. If the children were put first then it wouldn't matter who runs the city. She has done some good things for the schools but I'm sure Gray will find someone else better to fill her spot. This is not about you Rhee your job is supposed to be about the children!!! Grow up and don't let the door hit you on the way out........

Posted by: honeybaby75 | September 16, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Buh bye, Michelle! Her problem is the same as Adrian Fenty's. Clearly, many other posters agree with me that their arrogance was their undoing! Their way is no way to treat your constituency and this election is the proof. Am I a fan of Gray? No...but he will be way ahead if he even gives the APPEARANCE of listening to the people of the District, something Fenty did NOT do. I won't miss either Rhee or Fenty, so again...buh bye!!

Posted by: purplemuse | September 16, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

So I take it from her comments that she is the only person who can "fix" DCPS? There is no one else in the world who can lead DCPS effectively? This chick really takes the cake. She's worse than Fenty.

If she really cared about the children, she'd stay and find a way to work with Gray. But we all know it was NEVER about the children for Rhee. She has done exactly what she wanted to do: gain national notoriety.

What's most disturbing is that people who have no connection to DCPS think she has done a marvelous job simply because she's been able to spin things in her favor and has had a lot of PR.

As a DCPS teacher--"highly effective" I might add, I've never seen anyone create so much chaos, confusion and deliberate destruction in DCPS. I'm neither a veteran nor a new teacher. I'm somewhere in the middle. So I'm not one of those entrenched, career DCPS teachers the public seems so quick to loathe. Actually, in my opinion, they are some of the best teachers I've ever seen.

The feeling about Rhee is across the board for the vast majority of teachers. The new ones see quickly Rhee's personal and destructive agenda. They catch on quickly that a lot of the principals are equally lacking in their leadership skills as well.

DCPS is now an institution manages through fear and intimidation and the working environment is toxic. Tell me, is this a healthy environment for students? I think not.

Bashing teachers seems to have become the favorite national past time these days.

I am confident that when history is written, it will not be kind to Rhee. Test scores have fallen, achievement gap has widened, more schools than ever did not make AYP this past spring.

People have been brainwashed by the Post. They have printed what they wanted the public to know. Rhee had a direct line to the editors. Let's not forget that she called the editors and had them write a fluff piece for Ximena Hartsock when Fenty tried unsuccessfully to get her confirmed.

The problem in DCPS is poverty, plain and simple. Yes, there were some bad teachers. Now the system is packed with inexperienced teachers--who by default are not effective. If they would stay longer than 2 years, they would probably be great teachers.

As for Rhee, good riddance. You've caused enough chaos and destruction here. You rode Janey's coattails the first 2 years and the last year, when your "reforms" took hold, we saw a drop in test scores.

Just because she used data does not make what she said gospel. Data can be manipulated to show what you want it to show.

If we want better schools, then parents, students, teachers and ALL stakeholders need to be committed and involved. Rhee only held teachers accountable and held us accountable for many things beyond our control.

Now she's off on vacation. That's a great example to go on vacation at the beginning of the school year. I hope she's house-hunting and working out the details for her departure. The sooner the better.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | September 16, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rhee is the Queen of hyperbole and hubristic tendencies.

Some way, some how Ms. Rhee we will get along and progress after you are gone. Hurricane Katrina was devastating. This primary election was Democracy at it's finest. The majority voted out a Mayor who did not have the best interests of ALL the residents on his agenda.

Posted by: 2belinda | September 16, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Rhee's condescension regarding the voters is clearly illustrated by her childish snub of the new mayor. She thinks she understands so much more than those DC voters understand about their own children. Too bad she and the A-listers won't admit parents don't want their types "reform". Reforms that do not benefit kids but benefit the A-listers donors and investments.

Or, maybe the voters were savvy enough to understand she & Fenty are part of a market driven approach to education and learning. The same nihilist free-market philosophy that has systematically destroyed opportunities for inner city youth.

If you think the panel of A-lister reforms are about "saving" poor kids, think again. 'Waiting for Superman' is part of the corporate media's propaganda to mask hedge fund managers/investors influence over public schools. It's shameful they are using poor, inner city students to feed their naked greed.

http://blackagendareport.com/?q=print/content/freedom-rider-charter-school-lobby-buys-elections

Posted by: jcgrim | September 16, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

This person is breathtakingly arrogant. She, only she, can save the schoolchildren of DC. In this narrative, Vince Gray is not a dedicated public servant who won a democratic election, but an interloper intent on ruining the lives of each and every child.

Rhee is so hubristic as to blame HERSELF for Fenty's loss. "If only he wasn't so brave" as to support her, she says with a sigh, then he could have been mayor for life. For Rhee, Fenty's loss has nothing to do with his own administration's failures, failures well documented by the Post's outstanding reporting.

Michelle Rhee: Narcissistic Personality Disorder on parade.

Posted by: stevec3 | September 16, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Her comments are beyond arrogant, and I hope that she is shown the door.

From what I have seen and heard from Gray, he is deeply committed to improving the lives of the children of DC. He cares very much about early education and care, and giving everyone access to high quality schools, no matter where they live.

For Rhee to suggest children will suffer just because the people of DC picked someone other then her candidate shows how truly wrong she is for the job. Farewell to bad apples.

Posted by: roteki | September 16, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, what urbandweller said.

I can tell you that my children were truly devastated by the damage Rhee did to their school. My 8 year old had some choice words for her when he saw the header of this article. Believe me, my kids were delighted at Gray's victory. They've experienced firsthand the outcomes of her poor leadership skills.

Posted by: Title1SoccerMom | September 16, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Rhee -- not Fenty or Gray -- started this whole debate about whether she stays or goes. She's the one who is causing devastating disruption to D.C. Public Schools right now. If she had just done her job without inserting herself inappropriately into the primary election, her commitment to D.C. schoolchildren would not be increasingly under fire.

I believe she is simply trying to raise her own profile to promote her movie and her own professional career (after she leaves D.C.).

That is totally disruptive to D.C. Public Schools and should not be tolerated by Mayor Fenty any longer!

Posted by: Kathy8 | September 16, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"Rhee is doing what she can to make it impossible for Gray to retain her. First, she campaigned for Fenty when it was pretty clear that he would lose. Then she says that Gray's election is devastating to District children. Rhee may be smart, but she has no sense."

I disagree. I think the question to be asked is -- why doesn't Chancellor Rhee want to work for Vincent Gray?
The real answers to that question (not everyone's speculations about the answers) are of serious importance to residents, school children and school employees of D.C., and all of us who care about the education of children in our Nation's Capital.

Posted by: jdVA | September 16, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee said, "Yesterday's election results were devastating, devastating," "Not for me, because I'll be fine, and not even for Fenty because he'll be fine, but devastating for the schoolchildren of Washington, D.C."

Was it devastating because she will no longer be at the helm of DCPS? Ms. Rhee has done her supporters a great disservice because of her narcissistic egotistical personality. Such statements which imply that the schools can succeed only if she runs them is a product of an overly inflated view of oneself. Suppose she died or became disabled? Would her supporters still believe that only she is competent to run the schools? Leaders of nations die and others step right in and keep the institutions running. If the changes she instituted are worthy they will live beyond her personality just as those of her predecessors. Her brand of identity politics are the politics of institutional destruction. No good leader would dare say that devastation will surely come when they leave. At the very least she/he would have enough common sense, respect and maturity to keep such thoughts to oneself.

That's why all of this talk about why Vince Gray should try to keep her in office is missing the point. How can any mayor work with a person who holds him or her in such low regard by openly campaigning against him, and for making such a stupid ill-conceived statement such as the one above? There is no corporate head in the United States who would tolerate such behavior. So, why should the presumptive mayor-elect do so? If Ms. Rhee really cared about the children in her care and their parents and other DC residents, she would be mature enough to congratulate Gray as Mayor Fenty did, and pledge to work with him during the transition. She would also zip her lip and think of others before she speaks. It's obvious that she has little regard for the children and others who care about DCPS.

Such impetuous shoot from the hip style is shocking and very unprofessional. Now the parents who support her understand what lies underneath her polarizing behavior.

Posted by: jaladner | September 16, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"I can tell you that my children were truly devastated by the damage Rhee did to their school. My 8 year old had some choice words for her when he saw the header of this article. Believe me, my kids were delighted at Gray's victory. They've experienced firsthand the outcomes of her poor leadership skills."

>>>>>>>>>>

Your 8 year old's thoughts and feelings about the changes in her school are very important.
But citing an 8 year old's opinion as an indicator of how a school or educational system should be run for meeting the best interests of all the children's educational needs isn't really relevant - an 8 year old doesn't yet have the maturity, experience and wisdom to see all the relevant facets.

Posted by: jdVA | September 16, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Rhee
rhymes with
It's all about
ME

Posted by: NCCrab | September 16, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the citizens of the district snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity! Statehood? Maybe in another twenty-five years!

Posted by: rtatlow | September 16, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee is the best thing that ever happened to DC schools. It's a shame she is on her way out. People complaining about Rhee's lack of tact and manner are pathetic. Unfortunately the school system is in such shambles that the job requires a touch of ruthlessness. You can't tiptoe around it.

Posted by: 4mattb | September 16, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

What's funny about every negative comment toward Rhee and Fenty isn't about what a poor job they did not one example because you can't argue with the RESULTS! You all can't discredit the vast improvement that was shown in the children in a very short time, you can't discredit the positive Police effect on the city, you can't argue that the only teachers that were taken out with the trash were ineffective, useless POS teachers that should have been dismissed years ago but people are saying things like; "devastating disruption to D.C. Public Schools" DUH cause you’re the next one out loser, "their arrogance was their undoing" so WHAT, you premadonna's, just because she didn't speak to you? If Washington DC wasn't filled with the same un-edu-ma-cated children now adults who Rhee was trying desperately to edu-ma-cate you low lives wouldn't care how she acted, she got results! Teachers hate her because they are the same unaccredited, un-edu-ma-cated, unlicensed, no way should be teaching these children in the first place people who were being removed and replaced by QUALIFIED Professionals. The arrogance of the residents of Washington DC amazes me. Hey, I have an idea, Elect Marion Barry again...Einstein; "an idiot is a person who continues to repeat the same act over and over and expects a different result"...Washington DC Residents; YOU ALL ARE IDIOTS and you don't deserve any better and you KNOW WHO I'M REFERRING TO. Now get offended about that!

Posted by: 2bthemoon | September 16, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

How disingenuous of Rhee to claim Fenty's defeat is devastating to school children in DC!! She is driving award winning teachers to the burbs because she has sucked any joy out of learning with IMPACT evaluations and teaching to the test. She completely fuc*ed up Hardy by removing the principal and eliminating the application process. Ask any parent or teacher at Hardy what they think of their award winning school now. Rhee has young unseasoned assistant principals who don't have a clue how to run a middle school or how to even create a schedule that makes sense.

Rhee has three years of teaching experience and NO experience running an elementary, middle or high school. SHE IS UNQUALIFIED. She thinks 5 weeks of training is adequate for TFA recruits who only stay for 2 years. Rhee's model of reform is "based on Arne Duncan's neocon business model that focuses accountability on failed NCLB policies." Good riddance.

Posted by: madmom1 | September 16, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Judging from the majority of comments posted here, the city of Washington D.C. has once again conceded that it will not ever be governed by people that are either not Black (i.e. Michelle Rhee) or are "White" Black (i.e.Adrian Fenty) due to the gross hypocrisy of the current majority populace that profess to having overcome their own racial predjudices, yet display the tired repetive actions of a people that still cannot see any farther than their own slave heritage. Both the voters and the people spewing their venom in these replies, are running out of town two well-educated and well meaning public servants of the very highest order.

Hearing people speak about "arrogance" and "disrepect" while wallowing in a never-ending mire of ignorance and corruption, with just a smattering of laziness and self-rightiousness, seems, for the most part, to be what the rest of this country, and for that matter, the rest of the world seems to view the District of Columbia as...a real dichotomy of the poor Black people and the wealthy White government...both who have never, and seemingly, will never, actually try to work hand in hand. To be fair, I blame both sides equally for this. Until the people that you elect or put into power actually change the old system and "sweep out" all of the characters who are screaming like the little piggies at the trough that they are, this city will remain the laughing stock of our nation and hopefully, will NEVER be granted statehood until all of these problems are addressed in the uncomfortable yet exemplary and forceful manner that Ms. Rhee and Mr. Fenty possessed. They will be missed by those who know and understand the big picture.

You would think that thepeople would have been shamed and educated to their plight by the disastrous years of Marion Barry, but all youb have done is elected a slicker version of him...How sad, indeed, D.C.

Posted by: paco258 | September 16, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

She has got to go. Her ideas aren't revolutionary. Obviously she has no checks and balances with Fenty because of her cockiness. Let her go.
To fix the schools all you need is to:
1. Set standands for teachers and principals.
2. Update aging infrastructure.
3. Promote positive parent involvement.
4. Set expectations of students.
Wow I did that with no experience I guess I'm as smart as Michelle Rhee.
It's not rocket science she can be replaced.


Posted by: Weave160 | September 16, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

OK that's the final straw. I was all for Michelle Rhee. Even when she was firing teachers I stuck up for her. When she didn't fold before the teachers union I did a mental fist pump. I praised her every time someone said anything bad about her but now she has turned even me against her.

So Fenty's lost is 'devastating' for DC schoolchildren?! YOU were picked to run the school system not Mr Fenty. You don't like the fact that Mr Gray was elected mayor over Fenty? Well like the folks west of Rock Creek Park you needed to just get over it and do your job! You apparently can't so it's time for you to move on. You did a great job. Too bad you're lost perpestive.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | September 16, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Rhee is a self-serving, illiterate Chink. End of subject

Posted by: almelbe | September 16, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

DCPS parents supported Fenty/Rhee by 60/40. The support for Gray came from a coalition of angry teachers and bureaucrats and their families; and charter school parents who couldn't care less if DCPS fails.
___________________________________________
Will the writer of this post cite his data?

Posted by: jaladner | September 16, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

It's about time for the WTU to put up or shut up. Now that they've made their deal with Gray, the onus is on them to show what they can do over the next four years. Let's hope it's a lot better than the 30+ years prior to Fenty when they mainly called the shots and blocked meaningful reform. So all you teachers who spend way too too much time blogging on WaPo - moaning about Rhee - divert that energy to coming up with some solutions, following through and taking responsibility. The rest of us will be watching.

Posted by: pluperfectdc | September 16, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

As mentioned by other posters, Michelle Rhee can write her own ticket ANYWHERE! Only in DC do people prefer "glad handing" over results. Many of the posters are probably disgruntled, underperforming teachers or DC residents who can't seem to tolerate a superintendent who is not African American. Anyone with a brain recognizes that Rhee dismantled a corrupt and decaying school bureaucracy, replacing it with a system that has attracted talented, skilled teachers. Unsupported, these teachers will flee to the suburbs, leaving DC school to conduct "business as usual." DC voters deserve what they got on Tuesday. I hope Fenty and Rhee never look back!

Posted by: c121cgal | September 16, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

ibc0 - 80% of teachers DID NOT vote for the contract. 25% (there abouts) voted ON the contract. Of that 25%, 80% voted FOR the contract. BIG DIFFERENCE!

@ All: I just wonder how many times it has to be said that it was Janey that raised the test scores...not Rhee. Do some of you even care that you continue to push lies by stating that Michelle Rhee/Fenty have improved the schools?? Michelle Rhee is implementing JANEY'S MASTER PLAN....NOT HER OWN!!

Fenty voted no when former Mayor Anthony Williams tried to takeover the school system. Where was his concern for the children then???

Posted by: DC_Original | September 16, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

As mentioned by other posters, Michelle Rhee can write her own ticket ANYWHERE! Only in DC do people prefer "glad handing" over results. Many of the posters are probably disgruntled, underperforming teachers or DC residents who can't seem to tolerate a superintendent who is not African American. Anyone with a brain recognizes that Rhee dismantled a corrupt and decaying school bureaucracy, replacing it with a system that has attracted talented, skilled teachers. Unsupported, these teachers will flee to the suburbs, leaving DC school to conduct "business as usual." DC voters deserve what they got on Tuesday. I hope Fenty and Rhee never look back!

Posted by: c121cgal | September 16, 2010 6:25 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More vitriolic unfounded silliness.

Please, do us a favor a specifically outline how Rhee fixed the schools?? So Fenty and Rhee shouldn't look back kinda like Janey has done...you know Janey don't you???

Posted by: DC_Original | September 16, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

2bthemoon - just about everything you say about Rhee's success is not accurate. I can understand how you might believe it, though, because skimming the news can be very misleading. Did you know that the young teachers Rhee has hired have emergency certifications, after only 5 weeks of training in the summer to learn how to teach? They are not qualified teachers. They are new grads.

Did you know that the DCPS elementary scores went down for the first time in three years?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/13/AR2010071306622.html
Key sentence: “After two years of significant gains across the D.C. school system, elementary students lost ground in reading and math test scores this year, a setback to Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee as she seeks to overhaul the city’s schools.”

Did you know that the achievement gap widened during her stay? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/26/AR2010082606773.html

Both stories were in the news - for a day - then they disappear and the spin continues, and you bought it.

Posted by: efavorite | September 16, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Judging from the majority of comments posted here, the city of Washington D.C. has once again conceded that it will not ever be governed by people that are either not Black (i.e. Michelle Rhee) or are "White" Black (i.e.Adrian Fenty) due to the gross hypocrisy of the current majority populace that profess to having overcome their own racial predjudices, yet display the tired repetive actions of a people that still cannot see any farther than their own slave heritage. Both the voters and the people spewing their venom in these replies, are running out of town two well-educated and well meaning public servants of the very highest order.

Hearing people speak about "arrogance" and "disrepect" while wallowing in a never-ending mire of ignorance and corruption, with just a smattering of laziness and self-rightiousness, seems, for the most part, to be what the rest of this country, and for that matter, the rest of the world seems to view the District of Columbia as...a real dichotomy of the poor Black people and the wealthy White government...both who have never, and seemingly, will never, actually try to work hand in hand. To be fair, I blame both sides equally for this. Until the people that you elect or put into power actually change the old system and "sweep out" all of the characters who are screaming like the little piggies at the trough that they are, this city will remain the laughing stock of our nation and hopefully, will NEVER be granted statehood until all of these problems are addressed in the uncomfortable yet exemplary and forceful manner that Ms. Rhee and Mr. Fenty possessed. They will be missed by those who know and understand the big picture.

You would think that thepeople would have been shamed and educated to their plight by the disastrous years of Marion Barry, but all youb have done is elected a slicker version of him...How sad, indeed, D.C.

~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~~@~@@@@@~@@@~

@Paco, Is that you M. Lopez???

Posted by: DC_Original | September 16, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

The problem for Rhee is that she will never again have a position where her boss lets her do anything she wants (unless of course she goes to work for the Gates Foundation).

If she pulls the kind of stunts she has in DC in another district, or in a business, her boss will let her know she had better straighten up.

Her behavior has been totally unacceptable. And for some reason no matter what unacceptable thing she does, the WaPo treats her like a hero.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 16, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"As mentioned by other posters, Michelle Rhee can write her own ticket ANYWHERE!"

Not exactly, some of her dirty tricks are getting mentioned around the country.
When you do as many dumb things as she did, even if the press tries to hide it - it gets around.

Not only that, but whoever she works for is going to control her - not let her control him/her like Fenty did.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 16, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

c121cgal - Rhee has not replaced teachers with "talented, skilled teachers" but with inexperienced young teachers.

Good teachers are not flocking here,nor are good principals. In fact there is no evidence that confirms that. Not even Rhee claims that. You're ether making it up, or you just assume it, because a good leader would inspire good people to come work for her.

Teachers are not going to pick up stakes and move to a place known for teacher bashing. Only young kids right out of college with nothing to lose will take a chance like that.

Posted by: efavorite | September 16, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

The 'process' is more important than the 'end'; for it the means to achieving your goal. If education reform was so important to Michelle Rhee, just as much careful thought and action would have been applied to the means, or process, to achieving it.

Posted by: nishiki | September 16, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe all the silliness being posted.

Arrogant Rhee might be but all she has to do is point to the results. Has anybody ever thought that a personality like hers is exactly what is needed to achieve what she has?

Gray is in the pocket of the teachers union and will let the recent improvements disappear.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, seeing how the voters of DC kept putting Marion Barry in office for so many years.

It's a shame the kids will suffer for the parents idiocy. A couple of years from now all the people who voterd for Gray will be wondering "what went wrong?" D'oh!

Posted by: BEWoolner1 | September 16, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

BEWoolnew1 -- What results? Please point them out, with references. Otherwise, I assume you're repeating Fenty campaign rhetoric.

Maybe in a couple of years, you'll be the one saying "D'oh!"

Posted by: efavorite | September 16, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Once again, another exaggeration (lie?) from the mouth of Michelle Rhee. I just checked with the NCLB-OSSE website, and the percentage of 8th grade DCPS students who were performing at the 'Proficient' or 'Advanced' levels in math in 2007, before She-Who-Can-Do-No-Wrong was anointed were 28.6% and 4.6%, separately. Add those together, and you get about 32.7%. Not great, but about 4 times greater than what SWCDNW said.

Another thing. Here is a little table with those 8th grade proficiency scores according to the DC-CAS:
2007 32.7%
2008 42.4%
2009 50.2%
2010 43.7%
Thus, in the last year, when Rhee really put the screws to teachers, the percentage of students scoring 'proficient' or 'advanced' went down to nearly the levels of 2008.

Posted by: TexasIke59 | September 16, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"Arrogant Rhee might be but all she has to do is point to the results."

And what results might that be?

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 16, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I know the solution to all of the education problems in every single inner city, where obviously only people who hate children go to work, and obviously do their best to prevent their charges from learning to read, write or do math, according to writers like MattBlanc.

Here's the solution: replace all of the teachers with lawyers, bankers, pundits, and other assorted corporate types who are just dying to smash all unions anyway, especially teacher unions.

Obviously, these new replacements are so smart, and really care about the children so much, especially the poor black and hispanic ones, that they will do a super-fantastic job for one-tenth of what they are currently earning.

Right?

Of course, the only problem is that they would last, perhaps, 2 days in a classroom at Coolidge, Dunbar, Anacostia, Moten, before they quit, screaming, and ran back to their wealthy NW digs.

Posted by: TexasIke59 | September 16, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Michelle, you should leave now. All you will do is make mischief. Time to go. You are not indispensable. The world will go on.

Posted by: clarkesq | September 16, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

First commenter gets it right: Rhee views herself as The Answer (and I always thought that was Alan Iverson). Ms. Rhee isn't good for DC's kids, of course, but don't expect her to recognize that or see anything wrong in her abysmal treatment of teachers, parents, or kids.

Posted by: mikegold | September 16, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, TexasIke - I hope you post this on your website
http://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/

and send it straight to Turque and other reporters.

Posted by: efavorite | September 16, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

It's sad. Chancellor Rhee works for Mayor Fenty, right? Mayor Fenty, on Wednesday, endorses Council Member Gray as the next mayor, pledging to support Gray. It was bad enough for Rhee to actively campaign against Gray (she could have just kept speaking positively about Fenty). Now that the election has made clear that the majority disagree with her, she ups the ante and calls Gray's future administration devastating. She has at least disqualified herself from a Gray administration. There is no way I would ever, ever hire someone who said that about me. Furthermore, she still works for Mayor Fenty--Fenty should take some responsibility and tell her to get in line behind him for the last few days of her tenure to support Fenty's transition to Gray--or Fenty should relieve her of her duties before his term is up. Or she should resign immediately. Her comments are really out of bounds for a public servant.

Posted by: MikeWilker | September 16, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee is the Sarah Palin of education reform.
And like Sarah, she's about to QUIT without finishing the job.

Posted by: edlharris | September 16, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Coming Up Next on NBC !!!

"The Apprentice" Spring 2011 Lineup

Don Johnson (Miami Vice)
Jimmy Johnson (U of Miami, Dallas Cowboys, Extenze Spokeman)
Erik Estrada (Chips)
George Lopez (Comedian)
George Forman (Boxer, Grill Salesman)
Rush Limbaugh (Conservative Radio Personality)
Sarah Palin (Half-Govenor of Alaska, Momma Grizzly Bear)
Oprah Winfrey (Actress, Daytime TV Talkshow Host)
Sandra Day O'Connor (Supreme Court Justice)
J.K. Rowling's (Author of Harry Potter Novels)
Whoopi Goldberg (Actress, Comedienne, The View)
Michelle Rhee (DCPS, NTP, TFA)

For the final episode, only Jimmy Johnson, Sarah Palin and Michelle Rhee remain in contention for the coveted job of "Apprentice" to Donald Trump. Each finalist has to teach a standard poodle to sit, roll over and play dead. After one week they assemble in "The Conference Room" to perform their tricks ...

Sarah Palin is first. Her poodle slowly sits, does two perfectly executed forward somersaults, and then jumps forward through the air and tears off Erik Estrada's arm. As the production crew tries to protect Estrada, Palin shouts, "Let him finish." Palin apparently did not understand that it was her dog that was to play dead. A shocked Donald Trump fires her on the spot.

Next up, Jimmy Johnson and his poodle Troy. Troy walks slowly over to Whoopi Goldberg and sits beside her, swallows a six-pack of Extenze, rolls over on his back, and within seconds, Whoopi screams and then knocks Troy into unconsciousness. Johnson just smiles, confident his game plan has insured victory, and Trump nods to his daughter Ivanka.

As Michelle Rhee remains seated, her dog begins to run circles around the conference table so fast that Trump and the other panelist are becoming dizzy. Just as suddenly, Rhee's poodle jumps up on the table in front of "The Donald" and just stands in still silence, looking confidently at the judges. "What the hell is this," says Trump with a growl. Rhee then winks at her poodle, who then turns towards Jimmy Johnson, glares at him while opening his mouth to show his teeth, and then says in the most plain english, "You're Fired."


Posted by: AGAAIA | September 17, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Everyone points to the initial increase in test scores as evidence that Rhee's "reforms" worked. However, given that it takes about a year to compile those results, the increases were actually a result of the reforms and work done by her predecessor, Clifford Janey, and the hundreds of teachers Rhee fired. Since then, and as a result of the firings (done right at the beginning of the school term), test results have shown a gradual decline. It is *those* results which show the effect of Rhee's leadership and reform.

Posted by: RTinDC | September 17, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

"Devastating" might the word to describe what happens to special education or university attendance thwarted by undone OSSE paperwork. How did you not see the volunary decapitation of OSSE coming, Turque?

Posted by: incredulous | September 17, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Now that I've seen a video* of the Newseum event in which Arne Duncan is applauding her Rhee's remarks, I think Duncan should be asked to explain what he was clapping about.

Specifically, does he believe Gray will be devastating for the children of DC and how will his attitude affect his department's behavior toward DC with its new mayor.

*
http://www.whitehousecorrespondentsweekendinsider.com/2010/09/16/rhee-election-devastating-for-dc-children/

Posted by: efavorite | September 18, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I think Rhee was considered the big weapon against unions, and so she was ushered in under the name of reform.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 18, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

AGAAIA,

Thanks for the laugh!

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 18, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

AGAAIA,

Thanks for the laugh!

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 18, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Rhee was the best thing to ever happen to DCPS, the worst performing school district by far in the country by any measure. She may be arrogant, but given the mess that DCPS is, no one could hope to make improvements without breaking some glasses. She is right - Gray was her biggest opponent, no way she'll be able to work with him. He moaned, groaned , complained every step of her way. Now he is also for "reform" (so who isnt) but is beholden to the teacher's union. In a few short years, given Gray's record as an incompetent administrator, DCPS will return to be the laughing stock of the country. Thats what the DC primary voters get for valuing being sucked up to instead of valuing their kid's education (not that most of them would know the difference. Hell, Barry was a joke everywhere but DC.)

Posted by: tom100 | September 20, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

almelbe - you are just another ignorant racist. Wonder if thats why Gray won - coalition of black racists who hate "white" blacks (Fenty) who appoints anyone who isnt black. Maybe you prefer to be treated like an idiot child.

Posted by: tom100 | September 20, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

I saw all the voting percentages from the recent mayoral election...why all the hate against Michelle Rhee from African-Americans?

She's the only one who has attempted to get rid of the dead weight in DC public schools. We finally started to make some progress, but (mostly) Black voters voted her/Fenty out.

DC schools will continue to be a joke because of incompetent teachers and lack of any real accountability. Money only goes so far.

Posted by: biff_t84 | September 20, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

As a newly relocated parent of three sons to Washington DC (from California) I want to say that I too was frightened by all the negative things I read about DC Public schools. I heard so many bad things that I insisted that my sons go to a Charter School. I drank the kool aid. My sons HATED the charter school as they thought it was restrictive, with so many rules that they were stressed out the entire day. They felt imprisoned the entire day. While some children may need "prison" all children do not. The problem I saw was the inability to individualize children and treat them with some level of respect. My sons have never had a behavior problem in California and so they were not accustomed to asking the teacher for something as simple as "permission to sharpen a pencil" and the small infractions that led to detentions such as detention after one late arrival at school. Yes, we teach our kids to be on time but one late arrival per quarter and after that - detention for each subsequent late. I saw this as a punishment for the kids and not the parent. After two days, I tooK them out and accidentally stumbled on a PS in Capitol Hill. WOW! What a difference. I was surprsied to meet the school administration ( all African American) and my son's 4th grade teacher who called me personally to talk about how my son was adjusting to being in her class. My son loves the school.

I don't know anything about DC politics or the Chancellor but I started reading about the issues in the Public School system. I think it is unfair to lay the failures all at the door step of the teachers and the administration. Education is a shared effort shared amongst various stakeholders which include children and parents as well. It is so easy to say that all the teachers are bad becasue the school is failing but schools also fail because of complex family problems that play a part in student performance. Some teachers are bad but that is true everywhere including schools where the teachers and administration are all white.

I found Michelle Rhee's comments insulting. Moving from California - let me say California's schools are facing tremendous problems as well. I hope the Mayor fires her butt because she is of the opinion that she is the "great savior" for these students. Our kids need parents who can help with homework, who can get them to school on time, who can feed them and make sure they are well when they go to school. This is not all about the teachers.

Don't worry about my son Michelle Rhee, I am perfectly sure that Mayor Fenty's defeat will NOT result in the end of my child's education.

Give me a break.

Posted by: a_raeburn | September 21, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

DCPS ELEMENTARY TEST SCORES DOWN –
DECLINES IN READING AND MATH

under the "crappy" regime of
Michelle Rhee,
unaccountable & unqualified
'chancellor' --
(note: she's actually not legally qualified
and does not have certification to be
a district superintendent)

“The DCPS had lower math test scores
in grades 4 and 8 in 2009,
and District African-American
test scores went down”

read & view the
data = />
http://www.examiner.com/ward-5-in-washington-dc/rhee-fails-on-nation-s-report-card

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

You all better get ready. This is the new politics of DC. It started with Anthony (Bowtie Tony) Williams and carried through to Adrian Fenty. Your last two Mayors have been REPUBLICANS!!!!! That's right, republicans running as democrats. Everyone singing the praises of Fenty/Rhee are GOP. Look for more and more republicans to register as democrats as they try to slip more WISC (Wolf In Sheep's Clothing) candidates past us. You will also notice this past election, republicans and independents registering as democrats.

You thought politics in this city were muddy before. It's about to get real muddy

Posted by: Mellotoo | September 22, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

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