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Will new instructional superintendents stick?

Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, a bit wilted after three days of TV appearances in New York for NBC's "Education Nation," returned to her day job Wednesday to introduce members of her newly expanded senior management team at an evening community meeting.

Appearing on a panel at Cleveland Elementary in Shaw were 10 of DCPS' 12 instructional superintendents, who manage and mentor principals, drive academic performance and troubleshoot personnel issues in the system's 123 schools. Rhee added seven new superintendents this year (at annual salaries ranging from $120,000 to $150,000) because she thought the existing group was spread across too many schools to be effective.

The dozen managers include veteran holdovers such as Barbara Adderley, who oversees 12 elementary schools in Southeast, and Bill Wilhoyte, assigned to 11 "autonomous" schools, including Dunbar, Coolidge and Anacostia high schools, which are run by outside organizations.

The new arrivals are an eclectic group from across the country and within the DCPS ranks. Among them are two former charter school principals, Eric Redwine (Achievement First Endeavor in New York) and Errick Greene (Arts and Technology Academy in D.C.) and two high-performing former DCPS principals Amanda Alexander (Ross Elementary) and Wayne Ryan (Noyes Educational Campus).

They could also be among the last significant high-level hires on Rhee's watch, and a group vulnerable to any organizational reshuffling that the next chancellor may want to pursue. If they are worried about what the future holds, they showed little sign of it Wednesday night. During their five-minute get-to-know-me talks, they brimmed with confidence and enthusiasm, pledging to pursue Rhee's vision of teaching and learning at their schools.

"We will execute this vision," Redwine said.

Rhee said she expected that no matter what happens to her, the new cohort would be around long enough to make a difference.

"They didn't come here to stand next to me," she said.

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By Bill Turque  | September 30, 2010; 11:05 AM ET
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Letting go this new cohort and a few of the old ones seems like a great start to making up Rhee's budgeting mistakes.

My dealings with one of the "experienced" instructional superintendents leads me to believe there is little need to double their ranks. Start by firing these people and the principal "coaches" and the ridiculous principal boot camp Rhee runs. That was a sweet consulting deal that costs millions, right?

Add up those numbers. I'm sure it will save a large number of positions on the school level.

Let's face it, if Michelle were truly in it for the children, she would makes sure these cuts happened in her office, not on the school level. Right?

Posted by: Title1SoccerMom | September 30, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Didn't you just report that the DCPS budget was projected to be $30 million over budget? These new instructional superintendents along with the large number of central office staff Rhee has hired must certainly mark a new record as the largest central office staff in recorded history for DCPS. It must mean that a large central office staff directly correlates to the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom. As a result we should expect a record increase in achievement scores this year. Watch out world DCPS is on the move!

Posted by: highquality4kids | September 30, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"We will execute this vision," Redwine said.

Interesting choice of words.......I guess Ms. Rhee's well-paid generals have their marching orders.

Posted by: PLMichaelsArtist-at-Large | September 30, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

They are all gone! Anyone who thinks otherwise is in denial. Like it or not, the Chancellor and her leadership team are goners when Gray takes over and hires a new Chancellor- most likely at the end of the school year.

Posted by: teacher6402 | September 30, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, a bit wilted after three days of TV appearances in New York for NBC's "Education Nation," returned to her day job Wednesday to introduce members of her newly expanded senior management team at an evening community meeting."

Three days away from her day job so she could be on television? Is it just me, or does it seem like Michelle Rhee has spent too much time on television and public-speaking venues and not enough time ACTUALLY DOING THE JOB SHE WAS HIRED TO DO? Who is running the school system when she is away at these events?

Posted by: thebandit | September 30, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

If you read the article on the budget defecits, Rhee disagrees with Ghandi. The woman seems out of touch with reality.In my opinion! Nuts! I say give her broom and send her off into the night. She never takes the blame for anything. Under her management the DCPS has a 25-30 million deficit.I hope she is gone by January before she is allowed to do anymore harm to the children, the citizens and the employees of DC before Gray gets rid of her over hiring, top heavy central adm.and overspending. Rhee's just using this position to farther the cause of the rich to get rid of public schools in favor of Charter Schools. Education is the NEW cash now. Gates, nor the other so call reformers have never spent a day in the schools without the cameras following for a photo opt just like Rhee and Fenty. Most of you don't have a standard definition of reform.
Education systems across the country are facing the same problems as DC and they donot have a teachers union. Unions provide teachers the opportunity for due process like the courts. Maybe if Rhee gave more attention to running the schools instead of interviews and flying all over dad mouthing teachers, she might have time to get with Ghandi regarding her overspending tactics.

Posted by: frankiesimmons1 | September 30, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Is it me? Why is Rhee allowed to continue to overhire and overspend the DCPS budget? Well, the last ones hired will definitely be the first ones fired, RIF'd, or terminated. Watch out DCPS Instructional Superintendetns, please continue to email your resumes to Unemployment is only $384.00 weekly.

Rhee will be held accountable for her mismanagement schemes during Chairman Gray's transition period effective on November 3, 2010!! Finally, DCPS budget will be balanced under a Gray's Administraiton.

Enough is Enough!!
Rhee and Company MUST GO!!!

Posted by: sheilahgill | September 30, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse!/RunFentyRun?ref=ts

Posted by: Postpost44 | September 30, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

They should be the first ones to be let go along with the Master Educators. They provide no direct instruction and are, therefore, expendable.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | September 30, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Hiring these instructional superintendents and Master Educators is irresponsible. In a comparatively small system like DCPS, it practically is disgraceful, from a financial point of view. Is it possible to fire Rhee for gross negligence?...that way, we won't have to pay her anything for the duration of her contract.

She is incompetent and out of touch with reality. There simply is not enough work to support all these people. Having worked in DCPS, I can affirm that the only employees that work are the teachers and the schools' administrative assistants. The principals, who never were competent enough to conduct evaluations to get rid of the really poor teachers, get away with doing nothing much. Now Rhee--who claims she is more interested in children than adults--has rushed to the aid of these lackadaisical adults to hire more adults, leaving the classroom bereft of resources. What in the world is this woman thinking?

The teachers--the people that really do the work in D.C.--are left without precious resources that are diverted to bloated salaries for central office staff. Rhee's approach makes no sense!

Posted by: vscribe | September 30, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Those new assistant supts have ZERO impact in the classrooms in DCPS. Their salaries, experience, does not not measure up to some of the principals. Rhee had no vision, just a narrow goal of improving test scores. Rhee’s legacy will be known for firing, threatening and intimidating principals, teachers and staff members. Only 15 schools in the District of Columbia this year met the annual goals of No Child Left Behind, down from 54 in 2009. She had $25 million in cost overruns. D.C. public schools overspent the special education budget by about $25 million to $30 million

She brought nothing new to the DCPS education table except those TFA’s and NEW LEADERS. Both groups were inexperienced and not qualified for urban education. We need new teachers who are highly qualified and experienced. We should not accept the least experienced teachers (TFA’s) for the most challenging schools. Nothing has hurt urban education more than this common practice. We the parents have spoken and this Rhee’s experiment is over. Rhee has no future in DC and she is a liability to the future of our students and parents.

Posted by: hello101 | September 30, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Why does "reform" always end up meaning "add another layer of bureaucracy"?

Posted by: imback | September 30, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

But according to all the politicians and most journalists Rhee is the Messiah. She couldn't be making a financial mistake by hiring these people, could she? No, she couldn't, as Davis Guggenheim lets us know, she is the Messiah and is perfect in every way.

Someone should write a book about Rhee called "The Messiah."

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 30, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Rhee continues to manage DCPS like Corporate America: hire lots of overpaid middle- and top-management people who don't do much of anything. Keep piling work on the backs of the underpaid and overworked low-people, i.e., teachers.

And who thinks teachers don't need a union?

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

Reform means giving money that needs to be spent in schools to business instead.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 30, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Seems like the perfect kind of job for ex-Hardy Principal Pope. Didn't she say she had big things in store for him when she bounced him out of one of the better-performing DC middle schools on the whim of some entitled-feeling G'town parents?

Rhee is EVERYWHERE on TV. How long before some young education writer makes a name for herself by taking down the Rhee myth in a national publication?

Posted by: Trulee | September 30, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Just PRAY for that poor stupid woman she need the shield of honor and. Salvation put on her

Posted by: Darksecrettt | September 30, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

D.C. PS is 30 million dollars over budget. We simply cannot afford this top heavy bureaucracy in DCPS. Isn't this exactly what Rhee said was the problem with public schools? She has done nothing more than fire people, hire new ones and given them an astronomical raise. 120-150K for deputy superintendents? Absolutely ridiculous.

They, too, must go. Montgomery County is one of the most successful school systems in the country, they, nor do any other successful system (Fairfax) have such a bloated executive team.

This is wasteful spending. These positions should be eliminated immediately.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | October 1, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Will someone please audit the books NOW? The new leader needs to know the real deal and not have to play "Let's Make a Deal". When does any chief in DC answer to anti-deficiency violations. If the law were enforced Rhee would be on her way to being prosecuted. This added layer is a joke.

Posted by: candycane1 | October 1, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

These instructional superintendents are clones of Rhee.

One has been stomping into the schools under his watch threatening the staff with IMPACT. He is nothing short of a fool and bully.

Hopefully, he will be gone along with the others who are over paid henchmen.

Posted by: guylady201001 | October 2, 2010 7:39 AM | 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 2nd grade students' mouths
in Baltimore")
and these unqualified, untrained or minimally trained recruits
are basically temp. workers not committed to the profession of teaching.

These programs are NOT designed to develop
a professional corps of teachers. 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 --
nothing more (band-aids are easily peeled off, fall off) --
a pseudo-reform sham providing cover
for a Wall Street-funded
edu-profiteering scam
that doesn't heal anything
and doesn't construct anything
worthwhile for the children.


Posted by: honestpolicy | October 3, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

@honestpolicy --- "I don't understand why Rhee
(or anyone else) spends their energy trying to
build and repair schools with these types of temporary teachers." (?)

re: TFA & New Teacher Project;
educrat 'fink' tanks (filled with inexperienced
never-teachers, non-teachers or teachers who quit because they couldn't successfully, sustainably teach,
but they have endless jabbering, tomes
& reams of 'advice';
and, of course, the media-hyped
corporate edu-profiteers & hedge scammers
grasping taxpayer-funded $ (ie. corporate welfare)
dollars in their claws............

(significant, insightful
message from
'efavorite') --- />

"Because there is money in it. There's Money for
the teacher recruitment firms that place them
(ie. the New Teachers Project, that Rhee used to run).
There's money for the consultants who vet the new grads who enter the program, then train them on
how to be a teacher in 5 weeks, and there's money for the new teachers themselves -- they get a portion
of their college loans forgiven and get a tuition break on their master's degree.

So it's a big win, for everyone,
but the kids."


note this financial
FACT: --- The New Teacher Project
actually charges fees of
several hundred thousand dollars ($ !)
per each school district to embed themselves
as on-site full-time consultant staff
(within the central offices) inside the H.R. depts.
of these particular school districts !!
Everybody do your homework
to research more about these
behind-the-scenes arrangements
with school districts.


Posted by: honestpolicy | October 3, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

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