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Rhee: Oprah's 'Warrior Woman'

Correction: Chancellor Rhee used the "devastating," not "disastrous," at the screening last week.

Oprah Winfrey gave Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee a heroine's welcome Monday when she appeared as part of a promotional push for "Waiting for Superman," the documentary that includes an account of her early struggles in the District.

Winfrey introduced Rhee to an adoring studio audience as the woman who "singlehandedly turned the D.C. public school system upside down," firing "over 1,000 teachers and principals" -- a number I'd never heard before.

"This is a warrior woman! This is a warrior woman!" Oprah declared.

The show was taped Sept. 10, so there was no discussion of the Mayor Fenty's Democratic Sept. 14 primary loss to D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, or her explosive statement that the result of the election was "disastrous" for D.C. schoolchildren. She joined Bill Gates (also in the film) and director Davis Guggenheim in discussing the principal themes of the film: that charter schools are the great hope of public education and that teachers unions are the principal obstacle to reform.

A couple of factual points fell victim to friendly fire from Rhee the warrior woman. In a discussion of how to deal with ineffective teachers, she minimized the significance of professional development, saying that it was not fair to ask parents to put their children in the classrooms of educators who might be better in a year or two.

"There is no way I would put up with that [as a parent]," Rhee said.

Yet that is precisely what's she's done with more than 700 D.C. teachers judged "minimally effective" on last year's IMPACT evaluation. They'll be given a year to improve or face dismissal. Her write-off of professional development also overlooks the commitment the District made in its federal "Race to the Top" application. Part of the $75 million grant from the Department of Education is contingent on D.C. establishing "a wide and deep array of rigorous professional development opportunities" for teachers.

Perhaps even more puzzling was Rhee's answer when Oprah asked about the difficulty in firing teachers. "You have to meet literally a criminal standard," she said, which is true when pursuing cases of sexual misconduct or corporal punishment. But firing teachers for poor performance -- next to impossible in DCPS for years -- is now an option through IMPACT if their scores are low. The system led to the dismissal of 126 teachers this summer.

Winfrey, who urged viewers to see the movie, ended the show by reinforcing the film's pro-charter tilt. Her "Angels Network" awarded $1 million to each of six high-performing charter school networks.

Follow D.C. Schools Insider every day at washingtonpost.com/dc- schools. And for admissions advice, college news and links to campus papers, please check out our new Higher Education page at washingtonpost.com/higher-ed. Bookmark it!

By Bill Turque  | September 20, 2010; 6:42 PM ET
 
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Next: Rhee 'cold-blooded,' says N.Y. Times' Herbert

Comments

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 20, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I am morbidly fascinated by the hoopla surrounding Michelle Rhee. As a someone who has been involved in urban education for 20 years, I find her amateurish and unimpressive. the hero worship of her phantom accomplishments reminds of the days when GW Bush enjoyed approval ratings in the 90s.

Posted by: TripLBee | September 20, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Rhee has a future as the "Chainsaw Al" Dunlop of public education. If reform means firing a lot of people who don't deserve it along with some who do, then Rhee is your reformer.

Posted by: blasmaic | September 20, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

My opinion of Oprah has gone down.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 20, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I am confused why Oprah went just with Rhee's word. If her staff read the articles as a result of the election. I thought her research was much better.

Posted by: wkitout | September 20, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Typically disingenuous Bill Turque writing. Rhee's answers were generalizations about school systems all over the country. They were not DC specific. Can't miss an opportunity, no matter how opaque, to dig at Rhee, huh Bill?

Posted by: RL67 | September 20, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Oprah Winfrey is a talk show host, not and educational expert. So I will judge her praise of Michelle Rhee in that context. If I wanted to reward an educator for effectiveness in the classroom, Rhee would not be my first thought. REMEMBER, OPRAH HAS IN THE PAST HEAPED PRAISE ON CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS (ON HER SHOW) WHO HAVE BEEN LATER SHOWN TO HAVE COMMITTED FRAUD.

Posted by: MadasH | September 20, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Turque. You are a good reporter. Hopefully WaPo will take the shackles off you and let you report everything you know about Michelle Rhee.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 20, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I received an email the other day requesting concerned parents and residents to contact Oprah and expose Michelle Rhee's child abuse incident when she was a teacher in B'more. Please forward the message and contact Oprah; here's the link:

http://dcwtp.wordpress.com/2010/09/17/the-%E2%80%9Ccelebrated%E2%80%9D-chancellor-rhee-used-masking-tape-to-silence-her-3rd-graders-and-joked-about-it-to-dc-teachers/
------------

FYI,

I just visited Oprah's website and you can post your comments about Rhee & "Waiting for Superman" at:

http://www.oprah.com/showinfo/Waiting-for-Superman-The-Movie-That-Can-Transform-Americas-Schools

Please pass this on

Posted by: GoldCoast | September 20, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I grant Oprah about three to four months to see the error of her ways. She has been wrong in the past, and she is wrong about Rhee. D.C. residents, and especially those of us who have worked in the system, already know that Rhee is a fraud.

What I found most revolting about Rhee's numerous accounts--she literally was running her mouth a mile a minute in an effort to pack in her agenda--was her revisionist presentation of the parents' objection to the removal of the principal at her children's school. Rhee claimed the parents said to her, "surely Michelle, she cannot be the worse principal in the city," (though I doubt they may have said it in the way Rhee presented their comment on national television, given Rhee's propensity to recast the truth). Rhee completely distorted the context and I picked up on it right away. The parents more likely were questioning the move of a successful principal when there were so many other schools that needed attention. (Does anyone remember Hardy MS?). The published stories I remember reading about the principal of Oyster, indicated that a small group of parents at the school did not like the principal, Rhee met with those parents, and decided to do their bidding. When one considers the parents' alleged statement within the context of these facts, it shows just how dangerous Rhee can be.

Posted by: vscribe | September 20, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Oprah also supports The Secret and Jenny McCarthy. Need I say more?

Posted by: Aerowaz | September 20, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Well Bill You are the man thanks for reporting everything you can .Now let's get the fact straight Rea didn't fix Dc Schools she just came in and fired Black Educators and replaced them with the Whites she thought would make a difference ones she could scare and would just do what she says and when she says it you have one New School New Leader at McKinley Tech that has been hiding behind Rea telling kids she like me. And she will never let John Davis fire me and he was right David Pinder was fired by John Davis and the idiot Rea let him come back .Now that Fenty lwas defeted Gray should have him walked out like he had the Rifed professional Educators walked out . Billyou should do a story about David Pinder called unusual habit of a New leader New School .

Posted by: Darksecrettt | September 20, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

TripLBee - It is precisely because you have been involved in "urban education" for the past 20 years (and nothing has changed) that you don't understand Michelle Rhee. I'm sure you are in self defense mode in most education discussions, as are most "experienced" educators. It's time to start worrying - because we are on to you. So is Michelle Rhee.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | September 20, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

If Michelle Rhee was a black female, 3/4 of the negative comments would not be posted. DC for years tolerated and rewarded ineffective teachers and unaccounted teacher's union. Without Rhee, the same ineffective teachers would be teaching your kids today. Enough excuses, complaining and blame. No one likes change. Without drastic change, it's like doing the same motions over and over hoping for a different result.

People can complain about not teaching to test scores, but here is a little dose of reality: Higher education (college)cares. And without higher education (or HS graduation rates in the case of DC), you'll end up with a job, not a career.

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

It is abundantly clear that Oprah was misinformed. It doesn't happen often but in this case, I strongly suggest that it did. Do you think for a minute if she knew about the duct tape incident she would be speaking so highly of Rhee? I seriously doubt it.
In addition, if she were well informed about he method firing so many with little or no notice, some new hires, do you think Oprah would be so thoughtful and kind? I doubt it.

Posted by: k.jarrell01@comcast.net | September 20, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I was quite disappointed that Oprah felt it was helpful to public schools for her to give $6 million to charter schools. Maybe she's finally letting us know her true feelings in the final year of her show, knowing that she's not in danger of being cancelled as her fan base disappears.

Posted by: Kathy8 | September 20, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse


Oprah should have had the architect of North Carolina school system’s education reform on her show since Chancellor Rhee and Fenty copied North Carolina’s education strategic plan verbatim and presented it to the city council as DCPS’ education reform strategies, which influenced the council to grant Fenty control of DCPS.

The Wash Post claims that education reform will end if Rhee doesn’t stay at the helm, but in fact, North Caroline school system is the author of DCPS’ school reform proposal, not Rhee and her team of impostors.

Here’s the link to the Wash Post article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/08/AR2007050802047.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: GoldCoast | September 20, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

"2010 DCPS Test Scores DECLINE"

see news article,
DCist website: =>
http://dcist.com/2010/07/2010_dcps_test_scores_decline.php

Look at the data, rather than the
24-7 mega-media hype manipulated,
funded & produced by the Hedge Fund boyz,
Kaplan Testing corporation,
the edu-profiteers/financiers clique
& their incompetent spokesmodel rabid Rhee
(with her ludicrous lack of proven
teaching or administrative experience,
her lack of academic certification to be a superintendent,
her lack of reasonable supervisory procedures,
her lack of basic managerial skills,
her lack of teambuilding to implement goals,
her lack of community development to facilitate progress,
her lack of professional tact, her lack of essential communication insight, and
her abysmal lack
of common sense.

Posted by: honestaction | September 20, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Supposedly, Ms. Rhee (in her own words to the news media) is currently away out of town on her (sic) "pre-honeymoon", whatever that is, because her Sacramento wedding had been previously abruptly postponed -- leaving the rashly, suddenly last-minute DIS-invited (un-invited), disrespected guests to cough up money (ie. cancellation fees & airplane fare / car rental costs) for prior-booked travel plans.
Where in the world is NON-superintendent Michelle Rhee ?

Very Obviously -- Written communiques & "Interviews" published by complicit media (newspapers, websites, MSNBC, ABC, etc.) these past few days -- which are supposedly coming from Ms. Rhee are actually being produced by Ms. Rhee's public relations shills (staff & consultants, such as Anita Dunn, along with emergency P.R. assistance from Eli Broad's & Bill Gates' entourage, et. al.)

Ms. Rhee is a narcissistic scam artist &
a Walmart, Hedge Funds, Billionaire Boyz concubine -- she also apparently has diarrhea of the mouth..... Hey, "Chancellor" -- don't trip up your tongue or slip on your (Ron Moten mojo) "Go-Go" boots on the way out, and watch out for your own slick pile of dippity-do..... this is your wake-up call Ms. Rhee as you brazenly bumble & stumble, as you cuddle up in the boardrooms & backrooms with Eli Broad & Bill Gates, as you cover-up for Kevin Johnson's ("St. Hope" academy) financial illegalities & his sexcapades with students (teen minors) & with his school-staff (Americorps) subordinates too -- as documented by U.S. Govt. Inspector General
Gerald Walpin.

Watch your step and your mouth --- try to think before you speak ---
Ms. Rhee, Non-superintendent !

--------

Posted by: honestaction | September 20, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Adrian Fenty and Michelle Rhee’s
ongoing CORRUPT connection with thugster-
henchman-wannabe impresario Ron Moten
and
millions of dollars of no-bid city contracts,
including with DCPS schools ! => Can we perhaps get the City Council to do an investigation behind exactly what goes on with Ron Moten and his Peaceoholics organization in DC Public Schools. Several, and I mean several, of Moten’s Peaceoholics ADULT employees have engaged in sex with female DC Public School students as young as 14 years old, some of these teenage girls have children with these men as well. Much of Moten’s staff consists of convicted felons: rapists, drug dealers and murders. When allegations are brought to the attention of school principals or MPD, the Fenty admin make them disappear…and in return DC government continues to feed the Peaceoholics piggy bank. Concerned Citizen writes: "Mr. (Barry) Harrison who is an employee of he Peaceoholics sexually assaulted a female student at Spingarn High School. I am not going to say alledged because he has been arrested. He also allegedly proposed at least six other young ladies. This is not the end. Mr. Barry, is an ex-con who spent 22 years in prison for MURDER. Yea MURDER! This is what Mayor Fenty and Michelle Rhee allows in our school. No background check done per the policy of DCPS. THe Peaceoholics have free run of the school. They were dismissed from the school the same day of the assault. Similar allegations have been made at other schools. Why does the district continue to allow the Peaceoholics to assault our students?"
This story can be verified by legal documents, court records, and prior news reports.
==>
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/18/AR200909... ======= http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2010/05/06/peaceoholic... ======= http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Fenty-backer-in-line-for-no-bid-... ---------------

Posted by: honestaction | September 20, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee, -- incompetent DCPS "chancellor"
(note: she is not qualified for employment
as a school district superintendent) U.S. Department of Justice
CHANNING D. PHILLIPS
Acting United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Judiciary Center 555 Fourth St., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20530
PRESS RELEASE: “Peaceaholic” Mentor Found Guilty of Sexual Assault
of 15-year-old Spingarn Student WASHINGTON – Today, a 50-year-old Oxon Hill, MD man, Barry Harrison, was found guilty by a D.C. Superior Court jury of one count of Enticing a Minor with aggravating circumstances, three counts of Second Degree Child Sexual Abuse with aggravating circumstances, and one count of Misdemeanor Child Sexual Abuse with aggravating circumstances, for the April 14, 2009, assault on a fifteen-year-old student at Spingarn Senior High School in Northeast Washington, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips. Harrison is scheduled to be sentenced on November 13, 2009, by Superior Court Judge Michael L. Rankin, and, because of sentencing enhancements due to previous felony convictions, faces up to 30 years each for the enticing and second degree child sex abuse convictions. The government’s evidence at trial established that the defendant had been assigned as a mentor to Spingarn Senior High School by a community group called “Peaceoholics, Inc.” That group, staffed largely by ex-offenders, provided mentoring services to at-risk students in several D.C. Public High Schools. At the time of the offense, the defendant was on parole for murder. Prior to the offense, the defendant made several sexually suggestive statements to the victim, as well as to three other girls who were also Spingarn students. The defendant told one of the other students, who testified at trial, that he wanted to speak with her privately where they could not be seen by school surveillance cameras. On April 14, 2009, the defendant told the 15-year-old victim that he needed to speak to her. The defendant took the victim to a basement stairwell of the school that lacked a surveillance camera. There, the defendant grabbed the victim’s buttocks, pulled her up against his body and forced her hand to touch his erect penis. The victim ran away and immediately reported the incident." view document =>
http://www.justice.gov/usao/dc/Press_Releases/2009%20Archives/September/...

Posted by: honestaction | September 20, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Let's... Get real, everybody!
==$$$==
Michelle Rhee is a wholly-owned subsidiary of: Walmart,
Eli Broad, Bill Gates, Goldman Sachs et. al., Hedge Fund
edu-profiteers (& their mindless 'think' tanks, planted pundits
& sycophants); and she's blatantly the frontwoman/spokesmodel for KAPLAN learning services, Inc. (testing, test-prep
& online divisions) which is a major business arm (tentacle) of the
"Washington Post" company.

===========

Posted by: honestaction | September 20, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Just the facts:
Shaw Middle School's scores did not even stay about the same. They went down -- reading scores declined from 38.52% in ’08 to 29.20% in ’09 and it’s math scores went from 33.33% to 29.02%. This can easily be verified at the official website http://nclb.osse.dc.gov. Did you not check? Did you just take Chancellor Rhee’s or Principal Betts’ word on it? The fact that Shaw’s scores didn’t go up is a major embarrassment for Rhee. She installed a new principal, who hired a new staff, selected for being young and “unjaded” and he paid the kids for good behavior and attendance. It seems imperative that Rhee is asked to re-examine her determination to pursue this method and not gloss over an obvious failure with her ongoing pathological prevarication & misrepresentation of the facts.
(as per writer
"efavorite")
--------------------------------

Michelle is full of herself..... and facts show... Her scores went down ! The ironic part is watching Rhee loyalists twisting themselves into pretzels to rationalize a 4% drop in D.C. elementary school test scores. Suddenly, the entire test-and-punish crowd is explaining to us how test scores don't mean anything and how test scores are tied much more to out-of-school conditions. The problem is that she has made rising standardized test scores a central measure for achievement -- hers, students and teachers, writes Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss. So, feel free to judge Rhee on her insistence on placing so much importance on test scores (as have today’s other titans of education reform, such as Joel Klein in New York City). She believes they are so important, in fact, that she recently announced that she wants to expand their use in city schools, so that, in time, every D.C. student from kindergarten through high school is regularly assessed to measure academic progress and teacher effectiveness. But judging her reforms on the actual test scores, well, as my kids say, “Not so much.” -- Posted by Mike Klonsky

Posted by: honestaction | September 20, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I am SOOOO tired of someone throwing the race card when speaking about DC! The fact is Rhee AND Fenty have done great harm to DC! I could care less about their skin color!!! THEY NEED TO GO!!!

Posted by: tired8 | September 20, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

DCPS ELEMENTARY TEST SCORES DOWN --
DECLINES IN READING AND MATH

Michelle Rhee, unaccountable & unqualified
Chancellor

"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 20, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Rhee-form, edu-profiteers & sleazy
HYPOCRISY: What was political concubine
helicopter-in Michelle Rhee’s ‘Damage Control’
for (boyfriend) Kevin Johnson? note:
Michelle Rhee was on the
board of directors of Kevin’s
privatized High School charter
– during the time when there were financial illegalities
& misappropriations of federal grants
and also a pattern of outlandish sexual misconduct
perpetrated by school director Kevin Johnson involving
students (minor teens) & subordinate (Americorps) school staff.

(must read) ==>
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/11/20/what-was-michelle-rhees-damage-control-for-kevin-johnson/

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 20, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

20 states school disciplinary practices promote violence and sexual abuse of children. Physical/Corporal Punishment is especially disturbing as today it is legal for teachers to hit school children with wooden paddles to deliberately inflict physical pain and suffering as punishment in schools in 20 U.S. states, (these actions constitute sexual assault when done to a non-consenting adult),when the practice is already illegal in schools in 30 states and prohibited by Federal law in prisons and juvenile detention centers. An Enfield, Conn. High School Teacher is facing sexual assault charges after being accused of spanking a female student in class in stark contrast to a recent incident where over a dozen high school girls in Alabama received "Spankings" for prom dresses that were too revealing. Note the disparity. For a real education of what is really happening to our children in our tax-payer funded schools simply type "A Violent Education" and "School is Not Supposed to Hurt" into an internet search engine to review recent shocking reports.

U.S. Congress H.R. 5628 "Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act" was introduced to Congress on June 29th by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and is about to be put on a SHELF due to lack of votes in support of the ban, as it requires 25 votes to move it on to the next stage: as of July 27th it had 21 votes.

Please don't allow our children's fundamental human rights to be Politicized.

Please urge your U.S. Congress Rep. to Co-Sponsor/Support H.R. 5628 "Ending Physical/Corporal Punishment in Schools Act"

Posted by: gworley1 | September 20, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I was really disappointed with Oprah today and her lack of research and knowledge on the subject. I also found it frustrating that she donated a million dollars to charter schools, after presenting the opinion that public schools need to do more. That money could have been put to much better use. The show today was extremely one-sided and definitely did not show the whole picture.

Posted by: ch123 | September 20, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I guess Oprah was having an "I am woman, hear me roar" moment. Chancellor Rhee is a no nothing fraud whose house of cards is about come tumbling down around here.

I understand Montgomery County won't TOUCH here. Appears they prefer credentials over rhetoric.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 20, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Now, I am an outsider looking in but tell me since she took over... has the schools improved ?? Throw politics out the window. Are schools better... security, supplies... better school conditions and most importantly, growing test scores?? If the answer is yes, then the reform is working. Nobody likes to lose a job and some poeple's pride is on the line when they are told that they are not up to snuff... but that aside, again, it is the kids that will benefit... remember that. Again, I have no side, I am just making an observation. Hey DC citizens... you can always vote back in "mayor for life", Mr Barry to resolve the issues... his ward is still in poverty, un employed but yet, he is making a difference (at least that what the voters say).

Posted by: rvanags | September 20, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

RL67: when the truth hurts, attack the messenger.

As for warrior woman, did Oprah called Michelle Rhee "Braveheart"?

Posted by: edlharris | September 20, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

edlharris, you are the worst of the cranks who attack the messengers around these articles... if there's one person who, when repeating that phrase, garners guffaws it would be you sir.

Look, Marion Barry and the WTU won, their hand-picked candidate beat out Fenty. It's all over for DC students. The teachers, their union, and their cronyist benefactor won the election. Your gloating, having gotten Barry back in power like you wanted, is just poor sportsmanship.

Posted by: bbcrock | September 20, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't give a rat's [behind] what Oprah thinks or says about Michelle Rhee. And neither should anyone else, seriously.

As earlier posters have noted, Oprah has no credentials to qualify her as any sort of expert on education. And as the article makes clear, Oprah (for whatever reason) has the same agenda as Rhee's other corporate backers.

Maybe, with Oprah's help, Rhee's bucking for a job in Chicago. If so, the sooner the better.

Posted by: nan_lynn | September 20, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

You are really taking this hard, bbcrock.
Does this mean when you sell your house and move away, we won't have to read your guano?
Huzzah!

As for the worst person, I would think you would tag Phillipmarlowe who is relentlessly hard on you and axolotl.
He/she likes to reminds us that you said your first grade child can calculate square roots.

But if you must, I prefer this epithet:
"edlharris's weekly pieces have set a new standard of gutter journalism in this country"

Posted by: edlharris | September 20, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Let Oprah hire Rhee.

Posted by: Special_One40 | September 20, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I, too, agree with Bill Turque. Oprah allowed Bill Gates to promote his agenda in bashing Public Schools Educators to cash in a profit from "Waiting for Superman."

Please boycott "Waiting for Superman."

Bill Gates should have provided the African American parent with $500.00 for her daughter's graduation fee. It was awful for Bill Gates to video tape the female student looking out the window instead of providing financial assistance to the mother for her daughter to participate in the graduation ceremony.

Does Bill Gates care?? Rhee doesn't care about all of the DCPS students. Rhee lacks leadership skills. She taped her students' lips together in Baltimore PS, manufactued a Reduction-in-Force on October 2, 2009, constantly lies on DCPS educators, Fast Company quote in February 2010, "I got rid of teachers, who had hit children, who had had sex with children, who had missed 78 days of school, protected a child molester at Shadd School SY 08-09, mismanaged DCPS operations, overhiring new employees, overspending the budget, breaking the Hatch Act and responsible for Adrian Fenty's loss in the DC Primary for Mayor on September 14, 2010.

Enough is Enough!! DCPS students deserve a certified, experienced and competent Superintendent. DCPS voters have spoken and rejected a DCPS WANNABE Superintendent!!

Please post on Oprah's website and request that Oprah interview DCPS educators and Hardy MS parents to know the other side of Rhee's reform drama.

This interview was very disturbing and additional lies were told on DCPS Educators.

Rhee needs to resign immediately!!!

Posted by: sheilahgill | September 20, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

It is so funny to me when the "experienced" and "professional" educators for 20 years comment about how wrong Rhee was...is it perhaps because they are the same minds that have created this mess in the first place? They've had 20 years and produced what? Progress in public education? I think not.

May we be reminded of Albert Einstein's quote "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."

Rhee was creating change - something that the entrenched establishment did not like out of their own self indulgent fear.

Posted by: Chadjeremy | September 20, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

“Perhaps even more puzzling was Rhee's answer when….”

Kidding, right, Bill? You’re not puzzled. You know what a shyster Rhee is.

Thanks for the great reporting – and for saving me the trouble.

Posted by: efavorite | September 20, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, edlharris, congratulations!

You've won the coveted bbcrock "worse of the cranks" award.

Posted by: efavorite | September 20, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"2010 DCPS
Test Scores DECLINE"

see news article, DCist website: =>
http://dcist.com/2010/07/2010_dcps_test_scores_decline.php ========================

Look at the data, rather than the
24-7 mega-media hype manipulated,
funded & produced by the Hedge Fund boyz,
Kaplan Testing corporation,
Online learning corporations,
the edu-profiteers/financiers clique
& their incompetent spokesmodel rabid Rhee
(with her ludicrous lack of proven teaching or administrative experience, her lack of academic certification to be a superintendent, her lack of reasonable supervisory procedures, her lack of managerial skills, her lack of teambuilding to implement goals, her lack of community development to facilitate progress, her lack of professional tact, her lack of essential communication insight, and her abysmal lack of common sense.

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 20, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Oprah bashed teachers for an hour with the Queen of Mean, Micheele Rhee. As a twenty four year veteran of teaching I can truly say Oprah was dishing out a high form of propaganda. Oprah has lost my viewership. Shame on her.

Posted by: ecinev | September 20, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

To my colleagues who are on the front lines daily, with:
breakfast in the classroom, Responsive Classroom, Morning Meetings, bathroom breaks, instilling values (when children come from homes that lack the basics, such as kindness and courtesy and respect), bedbug bites, runny noses, vision problems, ADHD, parents we don't see all year long, nonworking parent telephone numbers, children who don't return homework, lack of home support, coming into the building early and staying late, taking work home nightly/on weekends purchasing materials, treats for our children, lack of funding for educational field trips, aching shoulders from heavy bags, aching feet from being on them all day, and volunteering for extracurricular activities; BUT- also seeing the smile on a child's face when you tell them they're smart, or a child you retained now helping you teach, or a child who feels safe enough to share a problem they're having at home, with blind love and trust that you will help them. And somewhere in there falls main idea/details, place value, DC history, and experiments with plants and other skills too numerous to mention. To my colleagues in the struggle, we know there's more to it than test scores, which is something most people don't understand In our heart of hearts, we just...KNOW. Keep teaching....

Posted by: ajchilds20011 | September 21, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

For many years "the unions" have been blamed for keeping ineffective teachers in the classroom, even though it is the administrator who hires and fires teachers. Rhee proved this when she hired additional administrators and had absolutely no trouble dismissing teachers. All she had to do was follow the legal procedures (ninety-day plan). In most places principals don't want to deal with the paperwork, so they just don't bother. People might not realize it yet, but when Rhee is long gone and people again blame "the unions" for weak teachers, everyone will be reminded that dismissing teachers is the responsibility of administration. Although I am loathe to give Rhee credit for anything, this is one thing she did for teachers; she proved that they have nothing to do with keeping the ineffective teacher in the classroom.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | September 21, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

I tried several times to post a comment—the masking tape incident— about Rhee and my comments were withheld for indefinite review.

Oprah is censoring viewers’ comments who wish to voice their concerns regarding Michelle Rhee and the effectiveness of DCPS’ school reform.

As Tracy Chapman would say, we have been sold down the river to corporate America!

Here’s the link to Oprah’s comment section, if anyone wants to try and post:

http://www.oprah.com/package_pages/education/conversation.html

Posted by: GoldCoast | September 21, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

We've never seen Bill Turque display such critical intelligence. Thank you, Bill.

Posted by: incredulous | September 21, 2010 2:00 AM | Report abuse

"Winfrey introduced Rhee to an adoring studio audience as the woman who "singlehandedly turned the D.C. public school system upside down," firing "over 1,000 teachers and principals" -- a number I'd never heard before."

Note Oprah's choice of words: "turned the D.C. public school system upside down." She didn't say that Rhee turned the school system around or fixed the school system, just that she turned it upside down. I actually think that was pretty aptly put by Oprah.

Posted by: thebandit | September 21, 2010 5:17 AM | Report abuse

I found several things that were so appalling. I specifically felt that the little girl who couldn't participate in the promotion activities was being used for show. It was probably bad enough that it happened but she appeared to be even more embarrassed that it's now very public. Secondly, someone was being terminated and I'm sure they had no knowledge that the termination was being video taped. Thirdly, her daughter's school was mentioned. That story was totally distorted. A small group of parents complained. What was left out of the story was that the school was achieving its academic targets and making AYP. When the principal was replaced, they failed to make AYP. Finally, Rhee talked about not being able to terminate teachers unless there was something criminal. Well, the one teacher that should have been terminated for having sex and fathering a child with a special needs student was terminated under the RIF when he should have actually been terminated for misconduct.

Well, that's television. No one promised that you would feel good about it and no one said it would be balanced.

Posted by: candycane1 | September 21, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse

Oprah being. A classic suck up without the facts.

I guess she is really promoting Obama's education agenda.

Posted by: guylady201001 | September 21, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

I was very shocked that Oprah would conduct such a one-sided interview. Her audience should have been conprised of DC residents with children enrolled in the DC public school system. Instead, Michelle Rhee was given an open forum to present only her view of the spiraling chain of events that have taken place since her appointment as chancellor of the DC schools. Rhee's appearance on Oprah was nothing but glitzy PR for her next career move, whatever that will be, and revealed her lack of genuine concern for the children who attend DC public schools. Fenty was used miserably by this woman and because of his inability or outright refusal to control his supervisee, he is now out of a job. Rhee, however, is headed to Hollywood for bigger and better things. The DC public school children have now been officially forgotten by this "chancellor." Warrior woman indeed.

Posted by: Drwpsych | September 21, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

@stop_hating "If Michelle Rhee was a black female, 3/4 of the negative comments would not be posted."

I agree with your comment 100%. It's not only Whites that can be racist.

Posted by: biff_t84 | September 21, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Supposedly, Ms. Rhee (in her own words to the news media)
is currently away out of town on her (sic) "pre-honeymoon", whatever that is,
because her Sacramento wedding had been previously abruptly postponed -- leaving the rashly, suddenly last-minute DIS-invited (un-invited), disrespected guests to cough up money
(ie. cancellation fees & airplane fare / car rental costs) for prior-booked travel plans.
Where in the world is NON-superintendent Michelle Rhee ? =====
Very Obviously -- Written communiques & "Interviews" published by complicit media (newspapers, websites, MSNBC, ABC, etc.) these past few days -- which are supposedly coming from Ms. Rhee are actually being produced by Ms. Rhee's public relations shills (staff & consultants, such as Anita Dunn, along with emergency P.R. assistance from Eli Broad's & Bill Gates' entourage, et. al.)
=====
Ms. Rhee is a narcissistic scam artist & a Walmart, Hedge Funds, Billionaire Boyz concubine -- she also apparently has diarrhea of the mouth..... Hey, "Chancellor" -- don't trip up your tongue or slip on your (Ron Moten mojo) "Go-Go" boots on the way out, and watch out for your own slick pile of dippity-do..... this is your wake-up call Ms. Rhee as you brazenly bumble & stumble, as you cuddle up in the boardrooms & backrooms with Eli Broad & Bill Gates, as you cover-up for Kevin Johnson's ("St. Hope" academy) financial illegalities & his sexcapades with students (teen minors) & with his school-staff (Americorps) subordinates too -- as documented by U.S. Govt. Inspector General Gerald Walpin. =================== Watch your step and your mouth --- try to think before you speak ---
Ms. Rhee, Non-superintendent !

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

DCPS ELEMENTARY TEST SCORES DOWN --
DECLINES IN READING AND MATH Michelle Rhee, unaccountable & unqualified
Chancellor "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 7:59 AM | Report abuse

DCPS ELEMENTARY TEST SCORES DOWN --
DECLINES IN READING AND MATH

under the tutelage of...
Michelle Rhee, unaccountable & unqualified
Chancellor

"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 8:01 AM | Report abuse

For 25 years Oprah has been on the airwaves supporting, empowering and promoting women regardless of their merit. If Hitler had been a woman, Oprah probably would have had a show about Hitler's accomplishments.

The bottom line is that Michelle Rhee is an evil person with mediocre credentials and results. Oprah really missed it.

Posted by: SCOTTSCHMIDTT | September 21, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Go Rhee! Remember the people complaining are the victims of the schools you're fixing. Forgive them for they know not what they say. How can they? DC schools produce the dumbest people in the entire United States and has for decades.

Posted by: todd@toddmoniot.com | September 21, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Dear Oprah, Since you love her so much, please give Michelle Rhee at your school in South Africa.

Posted by: PepperDr | September 21, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Now, I am an outsider looking in but tell me since she took over... has the schools improved ?? Throw politics out the window. Are schools better... security, supplies... better school conditions and most importantly, growing test scores?? If the answer is yes, then the reform is working. Nobody likes to lose a job and some poeple's pride is on the line when they are told that they are not up to snuff... but that aside, again, it is the kids that will benefit... remember that. Again, I have no side, I am just making an observation. Hey DC citizens... you can always vote back in "mayor for life", Mr Barry to resolve the issues... his ward is still in poverty, un employed but yet, he is making a difference (at least that what the

_________________________________________

The facts are that the schools have not improved for the most part. Most of the increases in test scores can be tied to a few schools in wealthy sections of ward 2,3, 4. Shaw Middle School where Rhee installed a new staff and new principal saw a dip in test scores. America loves to scapegoat people, and simplify reasons for lack of success and the truth is that these problems cannot be simply be blamed on the teachers and over time you will see that the fault is not with teachers alone.

Posted by: impartial1 | September 21, 2010 9:31 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 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm not impressed by Michelle Rhee at all. She basically said techer's don't need professional training. Oh excuse me she will probably come back shortly and say I didn't mean teachers don't need professional development. She's always says the wrong thing first and later has to come back and clean up what she says. She is NOT the only person that can run the District of Columbia schools. The school system in DC is much bigger than a Michelle Rhee. So all of this attention she's getting I think is "devastating" for all the DC students. Vincent Gray does not need her and she said during the campaign that if he won she would not work for him. So after her meeting with him she needs to to pack up her boxes and move on.
I'm still trying to figure out why Oprah had her on her show. Good thing Oprah is going off the air next year.

Posted by: ania2007 | September 21, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Tired about this "advanced degree in education" garbage. What is important is performance - not what type of a "union card" a person has.

Posted by: fredcorgi1 | September 21, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Go Rhee! Remember the people complaining are the victims of the schools you're fixing. Forgive them for they know not what they say. How can they? DC schools produce the dumbest people in the entire United States and has for decades.

Posted by: todd@toddmoniot.com

--------------
@Todd, which school district produced you? The display of such a broad brushed stereotypical and ill informed statement like yours is evidence of your lack intelligence.

Posted by: eholmes27 | September 21, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@Todd, which school district produced you? The display of such a broad brushed stereotypical and ill informed statement like yours is evidence of your lack intelligence.

------------
Should have read "lack of intelligence".

Posted by: eholmes27 | September 21, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

It is very easy to pretend that professional development has nothing to do with performance, but it does. That is why No Child Left Behind required teachers to take two courses every 5 years, no matter how experienced or effective they were.

I also wish the Washington Post would remove the quote about Montgomery County wanting Michelle Rhee as a superintendent. Montgomery County prides itself on having the very best teachers. Also most Montgomery County schools have classrooms where the door locks are not broken, the classes start on time and with books. I am not sure Michelle Rhee would have anything to offer there.

It appears to me that Michelle Rhee uses negativity towards her own teaching staff to get money for charter schools. She is a commercial for charter schools. Why would a successful school district want to hire someone like that. Can't the Washington Post have a quote that is more representative of Montgomery County?

Posted by: celestun100 | September 21, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Where was Oprah and Obama prior to the election?

Rhee wins awards, is lauded around the country for her attempts to reform the awful DC school system.. and they vote Fenty out - thereby removing Rhee. The main reason for this is because Rhee is Korean and she doesn't look at schools as employment agencies for underqualified and inefficient union members.

This city is a leper colony and will revert back to the Marion Barry days of promising the world and delivering nothing but cute speeches at black churches that don't tolerate homosexuality.

Real progress in this city. You voters are 3rd world idiots.

Posted by: ObamaisFraud | September 21, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey Oprah...You should get all of the real facts. See below
Only 15 schools in the District of Columbia this year met the annual goals of No Child Left Behind, down from 54 in 2009.

The steep decline came as the standards to be met by the federal legislation rose slightly, on track to reach the national goal of 100 percent proficiency in reading and math by 2014. Some schools that in 2009 would have made "adequate yearly progress," or AYP, failed to do so in 2010.

"Although the benchmark ... increased this year, we embrace those high expectations for ourselves and for our students," said D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

Eight DCPS elementary schools made the benchmark, down from 29 in 2009 and 38 in 2008. Two of them -- Mamie D. Lee and Sharpe -- serve only special needs students. Of the remaining six, Mann, Key and Stoddert elementary schools are in Ward 3, Kenilworth is in Ward 7, and Ludlow-Tayor is in Ward 6. Scott Montgomery was folded into Ward 6's Walker Jones Educational Campus in June.

Two senior high schools joined them -- School Without Walls and Benjamin Banneker. Both institutions are unique in the District for selecting their students based on test scores and application process.

Four public charter elementary schools made AYP: Achievement Prep, D.C. Prep, Mary Mcleod Bethune Day Academy and St. Coletta for special needs students. William E. Doar Jr. High School was the only charter senior high to meet the standards. Under District law, charter schools cannot create admissions standards, such as high test scores.

While AYP is a measure of a school's progress toward full proficiency by 2014, schools do not have to reach the same measures because of a "safe harbor" provision. Under safe harbor, schools can score below the requirement if they made significant gains from the year before.

Ward 7's Kenilworth Elementary, for example, earned AYP with only 31 percent of its students proficient in reading and 43 percent proficient in math. Those statistics look like a small miracle, however, compared with the school's 2009 scores: 19 percent proficient in reading and 21 percent in math.

Conversely, Chevy Chase's Lafayette Elementary, attended by Mayor Adrian Fenty's twin sons, did not make AYP even though 87 percent of its students scored proficient in reading and 84 percent met the mark for math. The school failed to meet the standards because of declining scores among its black students -- reading proficiency dropped to 67 percent in 2010 from 83 percent in 2009, and math proficiency dropped to 69 percent from 83 percent.

DCPS spokeswoman Jennifer Calloway said the District will soon provide schools with specific data to target the areas where they fell short on standardized tests. The information will be used to determine needed professional development as well as unique academic interventions.

lfabel@washingtonexaminer.com

Year; DCPS schools to make AYP; Public charter schools to make AYP 2010; 10 of 121; 5 of

Posted by: hello101 | September 21, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

...and the Cult of Goddess Rhee is fulfilled. Go forth and vanquish all unbelievers!

Posted by: hoos3014 | September 21, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I give Rhee credit for taking some tough real steps in transforming the DC schools from the moribund underachieving culture promoted in the past. However, Rhee lost me completely after two things; 1.) when she shifted her own kids out of bounds just like Fenty rather than fight to improve her local school (if anyone can fix a school it has to be these people with power, if they give up then it's futile), and 2.) when it all became about her.

Posted by: blankspace | September 21, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: vscribe “Rhee met with those parents, and decided to do their bidding. When one considers the parents' alleged statement within the context of these facts, it shows just how dangerous Rhee can be.”

@Vscribe..very well said! Just an FYI I think “met” doesn’t show how contrived this “meeting” was. The parents hosted a dinner for Ms. Rhee to air this disappoint with the principle.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | September 21, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

As a DCPS parent and public school teacher I have been following the Rhee press for a while to see how it will all unfold. Anyone in education can tell you that test scores do not depict the true picture of a child or school. (Obviously consistenly low scores are a problem) My son attends the school in our neighborhood with the lowest test scores, but has been receiving a phenomenal education. Why? Aside from his outstanding teacher and classroom aide, my husband and I actively support his educational process, which doesn't start and end with the school day. This is what makes children well-rounded and academically strong. The reason people like Geoffrey Canada (Harlem Children's Zone) are successful is because they work with the parents. They bring them in as part of the solution.

Oh yeah, I teach in Montgomery County. While there are certainly some great aspects of working here, I can tell you that test scores don't tell the story--don't have time or space here to explain but remember the expression- All that glitters...

Posted by: 39aka94 | September 21, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Enough about Oprah.

Posted by: jckdoors | September 21, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

When someone is always wrong on the facts in a way to make themselves look better, that person is a liar.

It is important to teach kids not to lie. Can we agree on that?

Posted by: emrj | September 21, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Give me a break! Rhee is halfway out the door and the WTU crowd is still wasting blog space criticizing her every move.

Guess what? The WTU and its ilk are now up. Show us what you got. You have four years to prove that all the blather you have been spewing the last four years can actually translate into progress. Let's hope you do a better job than what you did in the decades preceding the last four years.

Posted by: lipschitzantwon | September 21, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Bill,

The real question is whether you have any skin in the game: do you have kids in the D.C. Public Schools? If you did, I doubt you'd be attacking Chancellor Rhee with such obvious relish.

My kids have been in the DC public schools pre- and post-Rhee. It's not even close: the schools are so much better, and that's true not just at my kids' schools but, from what I've seen and read, also around our entire City; and the improvements are because of Rhee, not the nice-guy-but-do-nothing Janey.

Here's the most truly racist thing I can imagine: keeping low-income African American and Lation children in schools with underperforming teachers and then expecting those same kids to get family-supporting jobs in this increasingly competitive jobs market.

But, apparently, that's what you and the teachers' union want to do. This, of course, is the union that has a sordid history of fraud and corruption. See, e.g., Barbara Bullock and Gwendolyn Hemphill. It's what happens when you view the schools as a source of jobs, not an entity with the singular function of educating our children.

Let me guess, Bill: you have no kids or they went to Sidwell.

Posted by: TL67 | September 21, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

TL67 - are you suggesting that if Turque had kids n DCPS he wouldn't report the facts?

A lot of people saw Oprah and a lot of people know what Rhee has said and done during her assignment as Chancellor of the schools. Turque is reporting what many people already know and some, like you, don't want to hear.

One error though - Rhee called the result of the mayoral election "devastating" not "disastrous."

Posted by: efavorite | September 21, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The architect of DCPS’ school reform is North Carolina school system not CHANCELLOR RHEE!

The “Superman” of education reform-- Chancellor Rhee -- copied North Carolina’s education reform plan verbatim and presented it to the city council as hers, which influenced the council to grant Fenty control of DCPS.

Several Wash Post journalists have claimed that education reform will end if Rhee doesn’t stay at the helm, but in fact North Carolina school system is the author of DCPS’ school reform proposal, not Rhee and her team of impostors.

For true reform, Gray needs to contact the creators of DCPS’ education reform— Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system in, N.C.

Here’s the link to the Wash Post article that exposed Rhee’s school reform scam:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/08/AR2007050802047.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: GoldCoast | September 21, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Celebrating Rhee is celebrating poor management. We all work. We all should hope to have protections from someone having the power to arbitrarily being able to fire us. that is the only power the union had. there was never any provisions that prohibited a teacher from being fired through principal evaluations. what rhee lobbied for over her 3 years here was essentially arbitrary power. If you understand management and see the GLARING management failures in DCPS, you should want better management versus unchallenged power to fire.

people don't understand the structure of DCPS with 145 schools for 45K student leads to these problems. that's a little over 300 students per building and includes 8 to 10 high schools. In that model, do all the schools have the resources they need to address teh learning needs of all kids? i would say no. How can a principal visit classrooms and evaluating teachers when the principal is the counselor, disciplinarian, social worker, psychologist as well as admin officer, etc. in the building? do all DCPS schools have assistant principles? the model of DCPS is doomed to failure until core issues and resources are properly addressed.

Look at the suburban schools. Elementary schools have several hundreds. but they all have counselors, resource teachers, librarians and more. Does DCPS have that in every school? DC must break from this mentality of us versus them.

Lastly, I am openly opposed to Rhee. but folks are living on another planet if they think she improved education in DC and DCPS is better now. let's not kid ourselves. much of the poor performance in DC schools is a function of the social and economic problems prevalent in DC households. Oprah should be irrelevant other than the number of people she can reach. it is scary to think that Rhee and gates got the Oprah endorsement. but the truth is things are always proven in time. very shortly we will see realities of Rhee's time in DC.

Posted by: oknow1 | September 21, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"2010 DCPS
Test Scores DECLINE"

see news article, DCist website: =>
http://dcist.com/2010/07/2010_dcps_test_scores_decline.php ========================

Look at the data, rather than the
24-7 mega-media hype manipulated,
funded & produced by the Hedge Fund boyz,
Kaplan Testing corporation,
Online learning corporations,
the edu-profiteers/financiers clique
& their incompetent spokesmodel rabid Rhee
(with her ludicrous lack of proven teaching or administrative experience, her lack of academic certification to be a superintendent, her lack of reasonable supervisory procedures, her lack of managerial skills, her lack of teambuilding to implement goals, her lack of community development to facilitate progress, her lack of professional tact, her lack of essential communication insight, and her abysmal lack of common sense.

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Rhee is a fraud or not, but can I get a raised hand for who was responsible for the poor performance of DCPS before Rhee was hired. That's what I thought, no one. the blame for the problems of pre-DCPS is unclaimed yet was tolerated for decades. Now everyone is indignant by her claims of success. That's why outsider view complaints about Rhee with skepticism...because those complaining contributed to the problems and tolerated for personal interest.

Posted by: minhle1 | September 21, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

oknow is a prime example of the attitude that fosters poor performance. Here is a performance that does not equate accountability, performance, efficiency, production into any part of the equation, yet wonders aloud why DCPS, which pays TWICE per student as the suburban school perform so much worse. It must be socioeconomic...chalk it up to that!

Posted by: minhle1 | September 21, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Let's just close the teacher's colleges. It is not necessary to study to be certified because Ms. Rhee by her lack of credentials and stated public policy does not see the value of it. By the way the US has one of the highest mortality rates of any industrialized nation. So let's close those pesky medical schools and replace the doctors with someone who has a 5 week certificate in medicine. Oh by the way we have a lot of people going to jail. We don't need you to go to law school. Anybody who can do what lawyers do with a 5 week course. University prices are going up by the way and a lot of students aren't graduating. Let's get rid of those incompetent over paid professors. While we are at it we need to repeal No Child Left Behind, remember it requires all teachers in the classroom to be highly qualified as is determined by state board certification. We also need to repeal IDEA because those children don't really have special needs they just have incompetent teachers. Let's follow Ms. Rhee's thinking to it's logical conclusion. Why do the children need to go to school anyway. You don't need a degree just do what you do. You don't need certification just do what you do. You don't need to be trained, just do what you do. Let's just shut all of the schools and training centers down after all Michelle Rhee has declared this is all unnecessary. We have to hurry and educate the children. But why educate them, if education and learning is not important? In following a person we have just dismissed thousands of years of civilized thought. Look just make Ms. Rhee emperor of the world, she is as qualified for that job as she was to be a chancellor of a public school system.

Posted by: 4therecord | September 21, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I love how the comments are full of union sympathizers that only care about giving free handouts and keeping underqualified and awful teachers employed. Open your eyes people, for all of the hoopla about the "criminal" Peacaholics, how about the criminal teachers out there? Sex with students...yes it did happen, once that everyone is fully aware of and who knows how many other times. I'm sick of the "we're all so innocent" BS.

Enough is enough. Rhee may not be the most personable nor a good leader by any stretch, but the WTU for years has had a strangledhold on our students education by willingly fighting for teachers who DON'T deserve jobs.

For all of those who like to throw the race card around, open your eyes. I am aware of non-african americans having been fired, but the fact that the majority were african american is an obvious result of the demographics that make up the teaching profession in DC.

The teachers that have coasted at the expense of our children are a disgrace and therefore I fully back Rhee's clean-up job. Stop your near-sightedness, and realize that just because you show up you don't necessarily deserve a job. The WTU has been corrupt for years on end, and it's about time for some accountability. And that is exactly what scares unions...Acountability.

No system is perfect, and there's always going to be dissenters. Unions' jobs are to make huge deals out small issues which in effect have attempted to taint the overall reform effort. Yes, I probably do agree with the statement that some decent teachers were fired at the expense of the dreadful teachers, but no system is perfect. I would much rather have a school system with 75% less deadbeats. I don't know that that is the case now, but it was certainly headed in the right direction. Now, lets hope Gray doesn't put a wrench in a system that is turning a corner. Time will tell.

STOP FEARING ACCOUNTABILITY.

Posted by: PoliticsAsUsual | September 21, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"2010 DCPS
Test Scores DECLINE"

see news article, DCist website: =>
http://dcist.com/2010/07/2010_dcps_test_scores_decline.php ========================

Look at the data, rather than the
24-7 mega-media hype manipulated,
funded & produced by the Hedge Fund boyz,
Kaplan Testing corporation,
Online learning corporations,
the edu-profiteers/financiers clique
& their incompetent spokesmodel rabid Rhee
(with her ludicrous lack of proven teaching or administrative experience, her lack of academic certification to be a superintendent, her lack of reasonable supervisory procedures, her lack of managerial skills, her lack of teambuilding to implement goals, her lack of community development to facilitate progress, her lack of professional tact, her lack of essential communication insight, and her abysmal lack of common sense.

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 12:55 PM | 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 12:57 PM | Report abuse

No, Oprah hasn't changed my mind one bit about Michelle Rhee and I am sickened by how Ms. Rhee is applauded for her meaningless catch-phrases. I don't doubt that she may love her own daughters, but she has spoken publicly about some of the shocking things she did herself during her very short tenure as a teacher — including covering her students' mouths with masking tape as a way to keep them quiet, which then bled once the tape was removed. I'm sorry, to paraphrase Ms. Rhee's own statement on Oprah, if you walked into Olivia's classroom and the principal said, "Here's Olivia's teacher; she covers her students' mouths with masking tape to keep them quiet because, as a teacher, she has absolutely no classroom management skills", would you demand for another teacher? Yes, you probably would.

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

DCPSparent:

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


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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Just the facts:
Shaw Middle School's scores did not even stay about the same. They went down -- reading scores declined from 38.52% in ’08 to 29.20% in ’09 and it’s math scores went from 33.33% to 29.02%. This can easily be verified at the official website http://nclb.osse.dc.gov. Did you not check? Did you just take Chancellor Rhee’s or Principal Betts’ word on it? The fact that Shaw’s scores didn’t go up is a major embarrassment for Rhee. She installed a new principal, who hired a new staff, selected for being young and “unjaded” and he paid the kids for good behavior and attendance. It seems imperative that Rhee is asked to re-examine her determination to pursue this method and not gloss over an obvious failure with her ongoing pathological prevarication & misrepresentation of the facts. (as per writer "efavorite")
------------------------------------

Michelle is full of herself..... and facts show... Her scores went down ! The ironic part is watching Rhee loyalists twisting themselves into pretzels to rationalize a 4% drop in D.C. elementary school test scores. Suddenly, the entire test-and-punish crowd is explaining to us how test scores don't mean anything and how test scores are tied much more to out-of-school conditions. The problem is that she has made rising standardized test scores a central measure for achievement -- hers, students and teachers, writes Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss. So, feel free to judge Rhee on her insistence on placing so much importance on test scores (as have today’s other titans of education reform, such as Joel Klein in New York City). She believes they are so important, in fact, that she recently announced that she wants to expand their use in city schools, so that, in time, every D.C. student from kindergarten through high school is regularly assessed to measure academic progress and teacher effectiveness. But judging her reforms on the actual test scores, well, as my kids say, “Not so much.” -- Posted by Mike Klonsky

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Rhee-form, edu-profiteers & sleazy HYPOCRISY:

What was political concubine
helicopter-in Michelle Rhee’s ‘Damage Control’
for (boyfriend) Kevin Johnson?

note:
Michelle Rhee was on the
board of directors of Kevin’s
privatized High School charter
– during the time when there were financial illegalities
& misappropriations of federal grants
and also a pattern of outlandish sexual misconduct
perpetrated by school director Kevin Johnson involving
students (minor teens) & subordinate (Americorps) school staff.

(must read)
== />
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/11/20/what-was-michelle-rhees-damage-control-for-kevin-johnson/

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Ben Chavis of the American Indian Public Charter School for Chancellor; words to live by:


The school facility is open daily from 8:30 a.m until 4:00 p.m., except Saturdays, Sundays, and all holidays known to mankind.

Squawkers, multicultural specialists, self-esteem experts, panhandlers, drug dealers, and other adult snapping turtles who refuse to put forth their best effort will be booted out.

Bootlicking or self-promoting is not allowed by any politician who enters our classrooms. Politicians should beware: teachers are on duty!

We do not believe standardized tests discriminate against students because of their color. Could it be many of them have not been adequately prepared to take those tests?

The staff does not allow students to wear hats, gold chains, or ear-bobs in the building. Adults are not allowed to use cell phones, beepers, and other gadgets in our school.

Dr. Chavis does provide psychological evaluations to quacks and Kultur specialists on a sliding scale. See him immediately for such rates.

All solicitors should note the nearest exit upon entering this institution of learning. We view such alley cats with a fishy eye.

No more than one psychologist or school administrator is allowed in our school at a time. This rule is part of our commitment to high academic standards.

Photographs of the director or staff are on sale at the front office. Payment must be made in advance. Cash only! The photographs will be sent to you by Pony Express.

The staff of AIPCS is of the first rank. We request that you do not flirt with them. They will accept your cash donations!

Visitors are welcome daily. Due to the time it takes to reeducate university visitors, we are limiting their number to a maximum of four individuals a week.

It will be difficult for our staff to meet with those educational experts who “know it all.” We are willing to meet with such tomcats on Halloween night.

How does anyone convince a billy goat or taxpayer that school administrators possess above-average intelligence? How will we address this educational dilemma?

Our staff does not subscribe to the back swamp logic of minority students as victims. We will plow through such cornfield philosophy with common sense and hard work!

If you wish to share any suggestions regarding this list, our commonsense committee accepts suggestions from 8:30 a.m. to 8:31 a.m. each holiday.

Posted by: delray | September 21, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Honestaction,

You should worry about getting your next recorded WTU message out (there hasn't been one in a day or so!?!?) instead of plastering the comments with propaganda and repeat posts.

Posted by: PoliticsAsUsual | September 21, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I love how the comments are full of union sympathizers that only care about giving free handouts and keeping underqualified and awful teachers employed.

Posted by: PoliticsAsUsual | September 21, 2010 12:54 PM
==

I love how those who are anti-teachers can claim to be concerned about the kids but have such disdain for the profession that is supposed to educate them.

This election has been storied. If you anti's weren't blaming the teachers, it was the unions; if not them, you blamed DC residents; if not us, you went out on your final limb and blamed Barry.

Posted by: dcis1 | September 21, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"I love how those who are anti-teachers can claim to be concerned about the kids but have such disdain for the profession that is supposed to educate them."

I'm sorry, did we miss the memo on how DCPS has performed at a satisfactory level for the past 2-3 DECADES????? Or how DCPS pays $15K per student while Fairfax and Moco pay half? I love how people conveinently leave out the performance part to their stories.

Posted by: minhle1 | September 21, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Rhee-form, edu-profiteers & sleazy HYPOCRISY:

What was political concubine
helicopter-in Michelle Rhee’s ‘Damage Control’
for (boyfriend) Kevin Johnson?

note:
Michelle Rhee was on the
board of directors of Kevin’s
privatized High School charter
– during the time when there were financial illegalities
& misappropriations of federal grants
and also a pattern of outlandish sexual misconduct
perpetrated by school director Kevin Johnson involving
students (minor teens) & subordinate (Americorps) school staff.

(must read)
== />
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/11/20/what-was-michelle-rhees-damage-control-for-kevin-johnson/

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm not impressed by Michelle Rhee at all. She basically said techer's don't need professional training. Oh excuse me she will probably come back shortly and say I didn't mean teachers don't need professional development. She's always says the wrong thing first and later has to come back and clean up what she says. She is NOT the only person that can run the District of Columbia schools. The school system in DC is much bigger than a Michelle Rhee. So all of this attention she's getting I think is "devastating" for all the DC students. Vincent Gray does not need her and she said during the campaign that if he won she would not work for him. So after her meeting with him she needs to to pack up her boxes and move on...

Posted by: ania2007

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@dcis wrote:

This election has been storied. If you anti's weren't blaming the teachers, it was the unions; if not them, you blamed DC residents; if not us, you went out on your final limb and blamed Barry.

*******************************************

Not anti-teacher at all. I taught and worked in schools for seven years and decided to leave when I felt like I wouldn't be as effective (at this point I was in a charter school and the leader wanted me to stay because he knew that the best schools are based on the best teachers). My grandmother taught for 30 years in the public schools. I do have a dislike for the current state of THIS teachers union. Some unions are doing a great job like Brenda Smith who is president of the Colorado AFT.

My work in the NYC public school system turned me off to the tactics of the union which were urged teachers to argue against the administration in even the most mundane circumstances. There are teachers in DC, like many other places, that see there job as a right and when they continue to get negative performance ratings and their students can't learn, they turn their venom toward families and society. It's then just as fair to say the union hates poor families as it is for you to say that ed reformers are anti-teacher.

Posted by: delray | September 21, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I love how those who are anti-teachers can claim to be concerned about the kids but have such disdain for the profession that is supposed to educate them.

This election has been storied. If you anti's weren't blaming the teachers, it was the unions; if not them, you blamed DC residents; if not us, you went out on your final limb and blamed Barry.

Posted by: dcis1 | September 21, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Actually,

My wife has worked as an english teacher for DCPS for 7 years now, so I know first hand the difficulties she has faced and how she has worked hard to better the children of DC's education. I fully appreciate the hard work that she and many other teachers put in.

If you can honestly back the WTU, then you have problems. They have fought tooth and nail to defray any and all reform efforts. Sure, the testing system/IMPACT system is not perfect, but tell me what the WTU has done for DCPS? NOTHING but keep around DEAD WEIGHT.

It's funny that you talk about blame-- the whole election was based on blaming Rhee and Fenty allowing Rhee to clean up a broken system.

Blame can be placed on many parties: parents (especially), teachers and administrators. BUT the WTU has done NOTHING noteworthy and nothing to help the progression of DCPS.

Posted by: PoliticsAsUsual | September 21, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Test scores declined under Rhee and the achievement gap widened

DCPS ELEMENTARY TEST SCORES DOWN --
DECLINES IN READING AND MATH

under the "crappy" regime of
Hedge-Funders concubine
& Walmart family flunky
-- 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 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Rhee-form, edu-profiteers & sleazy HYPOCRISY:

REASEARCH THE FACTS
ABOUT MICHELLE RHEE !

What was political concubine
helicopter-in Michelle Rhee’s
‘Damage Control’
for (boyfriend) Kevin Johnson?

note:
Michelle Rhee was on the
board of directors
of Kevin’s
privatized High School charter
– during the time when there were financial illegalities
& misappropriations of federal grants
and also a pattern of outlandish sexual misconduct
perpetrated by school director Kevin Johnson involving
students (minor teens) & subordinate (Americorps) school staff.

(must read)
=>
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/11/20/what-was-michelle-rhees-damage-control-for-kevin-johnson/

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

No, Oprah hasn't changed my mind one bit about Michelle Rhee and I am sickened by how Ms. Rhee is applauded for her meaningless catch-phrases. I don't doubt that she may love her own daughters, but she has spoken publicly about some of the shocking things she did herself during her very short tenure as a teacher — including covering her students' mouths with masking tape as a way to keep them quiet, which then bled once the tape was removed. I'm sorry, to paraphrase Ms. Rhee's own statement on Oprah, if you walked into Olivia's classroom and the principal said, "Here's Olivia's teacher; she covers her students' mouths with masking tape to keep them quiet because, as a teacher, she has absolutely no classroom management skills", would you demand for another teacher? Yes, you probably would.

Rhee's solution, basically, is to get rid of unionized teachers — let's be honest — and replace them with inexperienced young teachers who have no actual training in the field of education. In fact, she's replacing them with carbon copies of herself, the woman who took students on a "special trip" after school without any of their emergency contact information, making her have to wander around the neighborhood with one of her young students who didn't know where she lived. These are exactly the kinds of things that she has admitted to doing, and, as a parent, I can say that it doesn't actually freak me out completely, because people make mistakes. What I want to know is, would she fire a teacher who had made those same mistakes, without examining the situation carefully and seeing if the teacher could improve over the course of a few months with adequate support?

I will finish my rant by saying that all school districts should have a competent professional educator at the helm, someone who understands teachers and also recognizes that the failures in our school system is tied to broader failures across our entire social support system. My child has been in the DC public school system for 12 years -- since age 3 -- and she is a top student at one of the top public high schools in the country. We are white, we live in a middle-class neighborhood, we cannot afford private school, and her prior schools have been pretty good, although not always perfect. There have been both good and bad teachers, but the one constant in our daughter's life has been parents who are consistently supportive, have a decent income and health insurance, and have enough flexibility to be available when we are needed.

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@honestaction:

I lover your tag line, which I obviously disagree with. I would say the biggest profiteer continues to be the WTU which wants lifetime appointments with little accountability. If Saunders and that blow hard Peterson do half the job of what presidents such as Brenda Smith are doing in Colorado, I'll be happy.

Posted by: delray | September 21, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse


"2010 DCPS Test Scores DECLINE"

see news article,
DCist website: =>

http://dcist.com/2010/07/2010_dcps_test_scores_decline.php =======================

Look at the data, rather than the
24-7 mega-media hype manipulated,
funded & produced by the
Hedge Fund boyz,
Kaplan Testing corporation,
Online learning corporations,
the edu-profiteers/financiers clique
and their incompetent spokesmodel
rabid Rhee
(with her ludicrous lack of proven
teaching or administrative experience,
her lack of academic certification to be
a superintendent, her lack of reasonable supervisory procedures, her lack of managerial skills, her lack of teambuilding to implement goals, her lack of community development to facilitate progress, her lack of professional tact, her lack of essential communication insight, and her abysmal lack of common sense.

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Not anti-teacher at all. I taught and worked in schools for seven years and decided to leave when I felt like I wouldn't be as effective (at this point I was in a charter school and the leader wanted me to stay because he knew that the best schools are based on the best teachers). I do have a dislike for the current state of THIS teachers union.

My work in the NYC public school system turned me off to the tactics of the union which were urged teachers to argue against the administration in even the most mundane circumstances. There are teachers in DC, like many other places, that see there job as a right and when they continue to get negative performance ratings and their students can't learn, they turn their venom toward families and society. It's then just as fair to say the union hates poor families as it is for you to say that ed reformers are anti-teacher.

Posted by: delray | September 21, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse
===

Prior to Rhee, who was in charge of the DCPS, the superintendent and School Board right? What role did the union have in education kids? I don't know the answer but does the union provide curriculum or any such advice to schools? If not, then how is it that the UNION is at the crux of a big problem?

Posted by: dcis1 | September 21, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

UNDER unqualified 'chancellor'
& Hedge-funders, Kaplan testing corp.
concubine RABID RHEE,
DCPS SCORES WENT DOWN --
Elementary schools' scores in
Math and Reading DECLINED,
4th and 8th grade scores DECLINED,
and the achievement gap WIDENED

Just the facts:
Shaw Middle School's scores did not even stay about the same. They went down -- reading scores declined from 38.52% in ’08 to 29.20% in ’09 and it’s math scores went from 33.33% to 29.02%. This can easily be verified at the official website http://nclb.osse.dc.gov. Did you not check? Did you just take Chancellor Rhee’s or Principal Betts’ word on it? The fact that Shaw’s scores didn’t go up is a major embarrassment for Rhee. She installed a new principal, who hired a new staff, selected for being young and “unjaded” and he paid the kids for good behavior and attendance. It seems imperative that Rhee is asked to re-examine her determination to pursue this method and not gloss over an obvious failure with her ongoing pathological prevarication & misrepresentation of the facts. (as per writer "efavorite")
------------------------------------

Michelle is full of herself..... and facts show... Her scores went down ! The ironic part is watching Rhee loyalists twisting themselves into pretzels to rationalize a 4% drop in D.C. elementary school test scores. Suddenly, the entire test-and-punish crowd is explaining to us how test scores don't mean anything and how test scores are tied much more to out-of-school conditions. The problem is that she has made rising standardized test scores a central measure for achievement -- hers, students and teachers, writes Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss. So, feel free to judge Rhee on her insistence on placing so much importance on test scores (as have today’s other titans of education reform, such as Joel Klein in New York City). She believes they are so important, in fact, that she recently announced that she wants to expand their use in city schools, so that, in time, every D.C. student from kindergarten through high school is regularly assessed to measure academic progress and teacher effectiveness. But judging her reforms on the actual test scores, well, as my kids say, “Not so much.” -- Posted by Mike Klonsky

read & view the
data =>
http://dcist.com/2010/07/2010_dcps_test_scores_decline.php

also =>
http://www.examiner.com/ward-5-in-washington-dc/rhee-fails-on-nation-s-report-card


_____________________________________

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

GoldCoast wrote:
The architect of DCPS’ school reform is North Carolina school system not CHANCELLOR RHEE!

GoldCoast, I assume you're referring to the school takeover structural plan that was based on Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system, New York City & Denver (there is no "North Carolina school system"). Rhee was not responsible for copying the document. Blame Deputy Mayor Reinoso for that one. I'm not sure Rhee was even here then since the title "School Chancellor" didn't exist until the school reform legislation, copied portions and all, was approved by the Council. Rhee has done enough things to warrant criticism or applause, let's not blame Rhee for things that took place before her tenure.

Posted by: RCDC | September 21, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

My wife has worked as an english teacher for DCPS for 7 years now, so I know first hand the difficulties she has faced and how she has worked hard to better the children of DC's education. I fully appreciate the hard work that she and many other teachers put in.

If you can honestly back the WTU, then you have problems. They have fought tooth and nail to defray any and all reform efforts. Sure, the testing system/IMPACT system is not perfect, but tell me what the WTU has done for DCPS? NOTHING but keep around DEAD WEIGHT.

It's funny that you talk about blame-- the whole election was based on blaming Rhee and Fenty allowing Rhee to clean up a broken system.

Blame can be placed on many parties: parents (especially), teachers and administrators. BUT the WTU has done NOTHING noteworthy and nothing to help the progression of DCPS.

Posted by: PoliticsAsUsual | September 21, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse
===

I'm sure if you asked your lovely wife as I have asked other teachers in DCPS that in the event something occured in their school, would they rather have NO union representation, I'm sure they'd say NO. The teachers union, like all other unions serve a purpose for their MEMBERS. That does not mean that all things are gravy. It just so happen to be the attack all of you reach for whenever talking about DCPS..it's the TEACHERS it's the UNIONS that are keeping our kids down.

No sir, it's the SYSTEM and until 2007, no previous DCPS head had ANY authority that matches what Rhee has now. Fenty changed the structure of DCPS, ousting the school board. That structure will continue without Rheena the education goddess.

Posted by: dcis1 | September 21, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@Honestaction,

You should worry about getting your next recorded WTU message out (there hasn't been one in a day or so!?!?) instead of plastering the comments with propaganda and repeat posts.

Posted by: PoliticsAsUsual | September 21, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

So I agree, the prior superintendent and definitely the school board are both part of the problem. Part of the problem is also allowing tenure after only two years and then having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get rid of someone who is not good at their profession, or someone who just doesn't care. The rubber room in NYC is probably the worst case scenario.

Posted by: delray | September 21, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

UNDER unqualified 'chancellor'
& Hedge-funders, Kaplan testing corp.
concubine RABID RHEE,
DCPS SCORES WENT DOWN --
Elementary schools' scores in
Math and Reading DECLINED,
4th and 8th grade scores DECLINED,
and the achievement gap WIDENED

Just the facts:
Shaw Middle School's scores did not even stay about the same. They went down -- reading scores declined from 38.52% in ’08 to 29.20% in ’09 and it’s math scores went from 33.33% to 29.02%. This can easily be verified at the official website http://nclb.osse.dc.gov. Did you not check? Did you just take Chancellor Rhee’s or Principal Betts’ word on it? The fact that Shaw’s scores didn’t go up is a major embarrassment for Rhee. She installed a new principal, who hired a new staff, selected for being young and “unjaded” and he paid the kids for good behavior and attendance. It seems imperative that Rhee is asked to re-examine her determination to pursue this method and not gloss over an obvious failure with her ongoing pathological prevarication & misrepresentation of the facts. (as per writer "efavorite")
------------------------------------

Michelle is full of herself..... and facts show... Her scores went down ! The ironic part is watching Rhee loyalists twisting themselves into pretzels to rationalize a 4% drop in D.C. elementary school test scores. Suddenly, the entire test-and-punish crowd is explaining to us how test scores don't mean anything and how test scores are tied much more to out-of-school conditions. The problem is that she has made rising standardized test scores a central measure for achievement -- hers, students and teachers, writes Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss. So, feel free to judge Rhee on her insistence on placing so much importance on test scores (as have today’s other titans of education reform, such as Joel Klein in New York City). She believes they are so important, in fact, that she recently announced that she wants to expand their use in city schools, so that, in time, every D.C. student from kindergarten through high school is regularly assessed to measure academic progress and teacher effectiveness. But judging her reforms on the actual test scores, well, as my kids say, “Not so much.” -- Posted by Mike Klonsky

read & view the
data =>
http://dcist.com/2010/07/2010_dcps_test_scores_decline.php

also =>
http://www.examiner.com/ward-5-in-washington-dc/rhee-fails-on-nation-s-report-card


_____________________________________

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"2010 DCPS Test Scores DECLINE"

see news article,
DCist website: =>

http://dcist.com/2010/07/2010_dcps_test_scores_decline.php =======================

Look at the data, rather than the
24-7 mega-media hype manipulated,
funded & produced by the
Hedge Fund boyz,
Kaplan Testing corporation,
Online learning corporations,
the edu-profiteers/financiers clique
and their incompetent spokesmodel
rabid Rhee
(with her ludicrous lack of proven
teaching or administrative experience,
her lack of academic certification to be
a superintendent, her lack of reasonable supervisory procedures, her lack of managerial skills, her lack of teambuilding to implement goals, her lack of community development to facilitate progress, her lack of professional tact, her lack of essential communication insight, and her
abysmal lack of common sense.

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm not impressed by Michelle Rhee at all. She basically said techer's don't need professional training. Oh excuse me she will probably come back shortly and say I didn't mean teachers don't need professional development. She's always says the wrong thing first and later has to come back and clean up what she says. She is NOT the only person that can run the District of Columbia schools. The school system in DC is much bigger than a Michelle Rhee. So all of this attention she's getting I think is "devastating" for all the DC students. Vincent Gray does not need her and she said during the campaign that if he won she would not work for him. So after her meeting with him she needs to to pack up her boxes and move on...

Posted by: ania2007

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Supposedly, Ms. Rhee (in her own words to the news media) is currently away out of town on her (sic) "pre-honeymoon", whatever that is, because her Sacramento wedding had been previously abruptly postponed -- leaving the rashly, suddenly last-minute DIS-invited (un-invited), disrespected guests to cough up money (ie. cancellation fees & airplane fare / car rental costs) for prior-booked travel plans.
Where in the world is NON-superintendent Michelle Rhee ?

Very Obviously -- Written communiques & "Interviews" published by complicit media (newspapers, websites, MSNBC, ABC, etc.) these past few days -- which are supposedly coming from Ms. Rhee are actually being produced by Ms. Rhee's public relations shills (staff & consultants, such as Anita Dunn, along with emergency P.R. assistance from Eli Broad's & Bill Gates' entourage, et. al.)

Ms. Rhee is a narcissistic scam artist &
a Walmart, Hedge Funds, Billionaire Boyz concubine -- she also apparently has diarrhea of the mouth..... Hey, "Chancellor" -- don't trip up your tongue or slip on your (Ron Moten mojo) "Go-Go" boots on the way out, and watch out for your own slick pile of dippity-do..... this is your wake-up call Ms. Rhee as you brazenly bumble & stumble, as you cuddle up in the boardrooms & backrooms with Eli Broad & Bill Gates, as you cover-up for Kevin Johnson's ("St. Hope" academy) financial illegalities & his sexcapades with students (teen minors) & with his school-staff (Americorps) subordinates too -- as documented by U.S. Govt. Inspector General
Gerald Walpin.

Watch your step and your mouth --- try to think before you speak ---
Ms. Rhee, Non-superintendent !

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Rhee-form, edu-profiteers & sleazy HYPOCRISY:

REASEARCH THE FACTS
ABOUT MICHELLE RHEE !

What was political concubine
helicopter-in Michelle Rhee’s
‘Damage Control’
for (boyfriend) Kevin Johnson?

note:
Michelle Rhee was on the
board of directors
of Kevin’s
privatized High School charter
– during the time when there were financial illegalities
& misappropriations of federal grants
and also a pattern of outlandish sexual misconduct
perpetrated by school director Kevin Johnson involving
students (minor teens) & subordinate (Americorps) school staff.

(must read)
=>
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/11/20/what-was-michelle-rhees-damage-control-for-kevin-johnson/

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@honestaction--

Do you have a job to do right now, or is your job to be the other side's PR machine? I mean, I'm as guilty as you, but I'm sitting here trying to study and sidetrack myself.

@dcis--

I would actually like to see the teacher's union be proactive. I've always been taught that you don't complain unless you have a solution. If the Teacher's Union came out with a plan of their own, I'm sure it would be viewed positively.

Posted by: delray | September 21, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure if you asked your lovely wife as I have asked other teachers in DCPS that in the event something occured in their school, would they rather have NO union representation, I'm sure they'd say NO. I'm sure if you asked your lovely wife as I have asked other teachers in DCPS that in the event something occured in their school, would they rather have NO union representation, I'm sure they'd say NO. The teachers union, like all other unions serve a purpose for their MEMBERS. That does not mean that all things are gravy. It just so happen to be the attack all of you reach for whenever talking about DCPS..it's the TEACHERS it's the UNIONS that are keeping our kids down.

No sir, it's the SYSTEM and until 2007, no previous DCPS head had ANY authority that matches what Rhee has now. Fenty changed the structure of DCPS, ousting the school board. That structure will continue without Rheena the education goddess.

Posted by: dcis1 | September 21, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

You make a good point re: the post '07 structure. Be it as it may, as long as the school board doesn't have complete authority, especially with the WTU in it's hip pocket, or should I say it the other way around, I am fine with Rhee being replaced.

I disagree with your first point that because teachers would like WTU representation, the WTU is worth it's weight in gold. The WTU has done nothing to assist in the reform efforts of DCPS. It starts with no blanket tenure, and accountability. Accountability is a four-lettered word to the WTU and luckily with Fenty's decision to hire Rhee, which upset a few (especially the lazy teachers who have since been fired), the track to accountability is in sight. While I agree Unions serve a purpose, the "purpose" that the WTU served in DC has been to fight for those who don't deserve jobs, and fight any reform that can measure a teacher's skill at the profession.

Posted by: PoliticsAsUsual | September 21, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Investigate!

Rhee-form, edu-profiteers
& sleazy HYPOCRISY

REASEARCH THE FACTS
ABOUT MICHELLE RHEE !

What was political concubine
helicopter-in Michelle Rhee’s
‘Damage Control’
for (boyfriend) Kevin Johnson?

note:
Michelle Rhee was on the
board of directors
of Kevin’s
privatized High School charter
–- during the time when there were financial illegalities
& misappropriations of ($400,000)
federal grants
and also a pattern of outlandish sexual misconduct
perpetrated by school director Kevin Johnson involving
students (minor teens) & subordinate (Americorps) school staff --

as documented by
U.S. Govt. Inspector General
Gerald Walpin

(must read)
=>
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/11/20/what-was-michelle-rhees-damage-control-for-kevin-johnson/

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

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

So I agree, the prior superintendent and definitely the school board are both part of the problem. Part of the problem is also allowing tenure after only two years and then having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get rid of someone who is not good at their profession, or someone who just doesn't care. The rubber room in NYC is probably the worst case scenario.

Posted by: delray | September 21, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse
===

Just a thought but do you currently live in DC or have in the past 10 years? I haven't seen any report suggesting that the previous super Dr. Janey was the problem. That's a new line of reasoning.

It bears repeating that Fenty was for what he voted against when former Mayor Williams tried it - to take over the schools. That's how we have a chancellor who reports only to the mayor.

I have no real thoughts on when a teacher should receive tenure. For me, even a year in a classroom would be hell. Can't imagine what it is for teachers.

Posted by: dcis1 | September 21, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@dcis--

I do live in DC. I thought it was you that said that before Rhee the superintendent and the school board were in charge? The school systems been broken for over thirty years so all of those who were in charge before have a hand in the dysfunction.

Posted by: delray | September 21, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@dcis--

I did get a chuckle out of your last paragraph. With all disagreement aside, I do think that DC teachers have one of the most difficult jobs in the nation.

Posted by: delray | September 21, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

You make a good point re: the post '07 structure. Be it as it may, as long as the school board doesn't have complete authority, especially with the WTU in it's hip pocket, or should I say it the other way around, I am fine with Rhee being replaced.

I disagree with your first point that because teachers would like WTU representation, the WTU is worth it's weight in gold. The WTU has done nothing to assist in the reform efforts of DCPS. It starts with no blanket tenure, and accountability. Accountability is a four-lettered word to the WTU and luckily with Fenty's decision to hire Rhee, which upset a few (especially the lazy teachers who have since been fired), the track to accountability is in sight. While I agree Unions serve a purpose, the "purpose" that the WTU served in DC has been to fight for those who don't deserve jobs, and fight any reform that can measure a teacher's skill at the profession.

Posted by: PoliticsAsUsual | September 21, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse
===

My question to you is "why don't you know that the school board will have no authority" once Rhee leaves. See, this is the issue I have w/so many pro-Rhee'ers - the lack of information gathering happening by otherwise educated people. Authority over the schools were handed over to Fenty back in '07. The school board no longer has authority of things from the budget and school renovations.

Also would you please explain what purposes "unions" serve to their members beyond advocating for policies that benefit their members, which includes pay? What union has control over the business in which they operate? Does SIEU have control over the hospitality industry?

Posted by: dcis1 | September 21, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else read the article in September's Ebony where Michelle Rhee proudly touts the fact that programs like TFA and her 'New Teacher Project' are bringing in teachers from the 'elite' schools? She had to backtrack when
Dr. Julianne Malveaux, president of Bennett College, challenged her.
And, Rhee didn't mention that these programs bring in teachers with no disciplinary skills (like herself -- remember her fond anecdote about "taping shut students' mouths shut") and who are temp. workers not committed to the profession of teaching (ditto).
These programs are NOT designed to develop a professional core of teachers. As a teacher with 15 years experience,
I can tell you, no one becomes an expert in only 2 or 3 years. I don't understand why Rhee (or anyone else) spends their energy trying to build and repair schools with these
types of temporary teachers.
They are a band aid --
nothting more (band-aids are easily peeled off, fall off) --
a pseudo-reform sham providing cover for a Wall Street-funded
edu-profiteering scam doesn't heal anything and doesn't construct anything
lasting or worthwhile for the children.

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else read the article in September's Ebony where Michelle Rhee proudly touts the fact that programs like TFA
and her 'New Teacher Project' are bringing in teachers
from the 'elite' schools? She had to backtrack when
Dr. Julianne Malveaux, president of Bennett College,
challenged her.
And, Rhee didn't mention that these programs bring in teachers with no disciplinary skills (such as herself -- remember her
fond anecdote about "taping shut students' mouths") and
who are temp. workers not committed to the profession of teaching (ditto).
These programs are NOT designed to develop
a professional corps of teachers.
As a teacher with 15 years experience,
I can tell you, no one becomes an expert in only 2 or 3 years.
I don't understand why Rhee (or anyone else) spends their energy trying to build and repair schools with these
types of temporary teachers.
They are a band aid --
nothting more
(band-aids are easily peeled off or fall off) --
a pseudo-reform sham providing cover for a
Wall Street-funded
edu-profiteering scam doesn't heal anything and
doesn't construct anything
lasting or worthwhile for the children.

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

reference to 39aka94

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Look, Marion Barry and the WTU won, their hand-picked candidate beat out Fenty. It's all over for DC students. The teachers, their union, and their cronyist benefactor won the election. Your gloating, having gotten Barry back in power like you wanted, is just poor sportsmanship.

Posted by: bbcrock | September 20, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

____________________________________

You said you are planning on moving out of DC--Please hurry and keep stepping.

Your Barry back in power comment is just plain STUPID.

Posted by: guylady201001 | September 21, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm not impressed by Michelle Rhee at all. She basically said teachers don't need professional training. Oh excuse me she will probably come back shortly and say I didn't mean teachers don't need professional development. She's always says the wrong thing first and later has to come back and clean up what she says. She is NOT the only person that can run the District of Columbia schools. The school system in DC is much bigger than a Michelle Rhee. So all of this attention she's getting I think is "devastating" for all the DC students. Vincent Gray does not need her and she said during the campaign that if he won she would not work for him. So after her meeting with him she needs to to pack up her boxes and move on...

Posted by: ania2007

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Billionaire Oprah has no idea about how hard teaching is. Her take on teaching is simplist and destructive.

Posted by: ecinev | September 24, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

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