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'Rheeformers' waiting for signals from Gray

Since the Democratic mayoral primary, most of the speculation in the D.C. education world has involved the when and how of Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's likely departure, which has yet to be worked out -- so far as we know -- with presumptive mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray.

A less visible drama -- but one with serious implications for Gray's education program -- involves the cadre of senior leadership and mid-level staff that Rhee has brought to the District over the last three years. Some, particularly at the deputy chancellor and chief of staff level, will almost certainly follow her out the door at some point. A few are already getting job feelers.

"There's a lot of talent in that central office. People are getting phone calls," said one senior official who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid getting crosswise the mayor apparent.

But others might stay if they were reassured by Gray or his surrogates that he was serious about preserving and growing the core of Rhee's program, especially in the areas of human capital and school turnaround. They wonder, for example, if come next summer, Gray is actually prepared to accept the dismissal of potentially hundreds of "minimally effective" teachers who have been given the current school year to improve or be fired under the IMPACT evaluation system.

Others would like a signal that Gray is leaning toward a new chancellor who is more in the reformist mold, and less of a conventional choice. In other words, as the staffer said, "not Cliff Janey."

If Gray wants to avoid a talent drain, now may be the time to reach out.

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By Bill Turque  | October 1, 2010; 12:09 PM ET
 
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Comments


"There's a lot of talent in the central office."

That's basically why Rhee failed. If she had gotten the "talent" into the classroom instead of hiring inexperienced kids right out of college, then maybe DC would have seen some real improvement for the children.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | October 1, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Linda!

This is some Frackle Nackle Bull!

Who anointed these central "staff people" talented? They sound as pompous as Rhee. It's ironic that you have the Sec of Edu who's own home school district (chi-town) doesn't respect him, Then you have Bloomberg (dum down test), add his worthless comments and now central staff.

Some history for centeral staff:

"Fenty selected Rhee after conducting a secret search, repeatedly saying publicly that he had made no decisions and was considering keeping Janey."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/11/AR2007061102383.html

Central Staff...you don't run (dog do-do) you work for us. Rhee has shown it aint about the kids and so have you.

So if ya'll going to go...then go. But shut up

Posted by: thelildiva4u | October 1, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that the "talent" will have no problems finding well-paid positions with the Gates, Broad and like-minded foundations that are determined to remake schools into little more than test-prep facilities...so, don't let the door hit you as you leave, folks.

Posted by: sanderling5 | October 1, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

This is at least the third call I've heard for employing Rhee's staff - either for Gray or other districts to hear.

Too bad the RIFd teachers didn't have a jobs network like this.

I think Rhee's staff is signaling - "please let us know if you're going to rehire Janey, because if he's in, we're definitely out."

Posted by: efavorite | October 1, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

One can not help but question the motive behind this apparent desperate plea from the central office staff. Are they:
1. Trying to instill fear of a mass exodus of perceived "talent" in order to keep their jobs?
2. Attempting to dissuade the re-hiring of Janey knowing that if he is re-hired they will definitely lose their position?
3. Subtly trying to encourage the retention of Rhee?

If the central office staff were so talented in educational reform, why haven't we seen more visible signs of true and lasting reform?

Knowing that it is quite possible there will be a change in school leadership, some central office staff may be looking elsewhere. And outside organizatons may be eager to tap into the DCPS central office administration - it is well known that working in an administrative office in DCPS does open many doors as outside organizations are interested in the contacts people may have formed working in the District of Columbia.

Without question the staffing in the DCPS central office does pose a serious issue for Gray. It is almost completely staffed by Rhee hires many of whom have little education and experience for the positions for which they were hired. A new chancellor/superintendent will need to bring in a critical response team to address the unstable infrastructure and build a strategic plan for lasting educational reform. Perhaps some of the current staff can be trained, but will the new leader have the time and resources to undertake such a task?

Posted by: highquality4kids | October 1, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"The talent" is interested in money and would "die" if they had to teach. This is the real reason why the US has educational problems and Finland does not (Their "talent" is in the classroom.)

Fortunately the people of DC were not fooled and I don't think citizens in other cities will be either, when "reform" and "talent" come to them.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | October 1, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The central office staff are clone of Rhee. Mean, vindictive, and poorly qualified for their positions.

Where in the country would the deputy superintendent get the job with a BA degree.

I hope Gray clean house and RIF the so-called instructional superintendents and master teachers as well.

IMPACT IS BULL AND IMPLEMENTED BY A BUNCH OF UNQUALIFIED FOOLS.

Posted by: guylady201001 | October 1, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

the classrooms were horrible before Rhee came. a lot of teachers needed to lose their jobs. they really sucked. now i fear for DCPS if the sucky teachers come back :-(

Posted by: FormerUpstater | October 1, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

RESEARCH Michelle Rhee's ongoing
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST machinations, financial gaming the system, and legal violations --- in Washington, DC and also in Sacramento.
Did you know that every time she brings in a new inexperienced, unqualified "Teach for America" intern that she pays her ex-husband's organization (he's the "TFA" Communications Director) a fee of several thousand dollars for each recruit -- which goes toward his salary and he then repays back to her as child support ! -- that's self-dealing. ======= Investigate the rattling skeletons in both Michelle Rhee's and Kevin Johnson's closets, while they've been protected from consequences by their big-money financier and corporate backers (including -- deliberate prevarication, budgetary machinations & financial scandals (including misappropriation of over $400,000 in federal grants), sexual misconduct with students (teen minors)
and staff subordinates, cover-ups and 'hush money' deals
behind-the-scenes).
------------------------------------------
Must-read important
news article:
http://www.sacbee.com/2009/11/20/2338165/kevin-johnsons-accuser-says-he....

See website:
http://sacchartergate.blogspot.com/

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

Posted by: honestaction | October 1, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

RESEARCH Michelle Rhee's ongoing
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST machinations, financial gaming the system, and legal violations --- in Washington, DC and also in Sacramento.
Did you know that every time she brings in a new inexperienced, unqualified "Teach for America" intern that she pays her ex-husband's organization (he's the "TFA" Communications Director) a fee of several thousand dollars for each recruit -- which goes toward his salary and he then repays back to her as child support ! -- that's self-dealing. ======= Investigate the rattling skeletons in both Michelle Rhee's and Kevin Johnson's closets, while they've been protected from consequences by their big-money financier and corporate backers (including -- deliberate prevarication, budgetary machinations & financial scandals (including misappropriation of over $400,000 in federal grants), sexual misconduct with students (teen minors)
and staff subordinates, cover-ups and 'hush money' deals
behind-the-scenes).
------------------------------------------
Must-read important
news article:
http://www.sacbee.com/2009/11/20/2338165/kevin-johnsons-accuser-says-he.html#ixzz10X7EgmSQ

Also,
See website:
http://sacchartergate.blogspot.com/

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

Posted by: honestaction | October 1, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

This staffer has no clue when s/he says "not Cliff Janey." The rise in test scores seen during Rhee's first couple years was due to Janey's reforms. Rhee said that herself.

The master facilities plan was developed by Janey and Rhee is implementing it.

The content standards in DCPS were brought in by Janey from Massachusetts and are the toughest in the nation.

Teachers who were not certified were dismissed under Janey and many were put on teh 90-day plan because they were ineffective.

Janey was able to accomplish a great deal during his short tenure. If he had had the same power as Rhee and didn't have to deal with facilities--as Rhee hasn't had to do--he could have accomplished so much more. In fact, Fenty would still have his job if he had kept Janey.

Rhee has accomplished very little that's been positive but she's been very effective at creating chaos, low teacher morale, declining test scores, widening in the achievement gap, instilling fear and intimidation in her teachers and principals, turning DCPS into a test factory, creating a top-heavy bureaucracy, etc.

She should leave before the election in November.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | October 1, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

But others might stay if they were reassured by Gray or his surrogates that he was serious about preserving and growing the core of Rhee's program, especially in the areas of human capital and school turnaround.

The term "human capital" is the reason all these idiots should go. What the nuts mean is "So we can continue to destroy the lives of people with our fake RIFs, flawed evaluation system and desire to protect MY JOB.

Posted by: guylady201001 | October 1, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Chairman Gray has spoken. His campaign motto is leadership, character and integrity. How does that fit in the Rheeform agenda?

Rhee will be fine, Fenty will be fine and Rheeformers will also be fine!!
Rheeformers it's time to say "GOODBYE!"

Enough is Enough, Rhee MUST GO!

Posted by: sheilahgill | October 2, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Rhee created chaos in the DCPS workforce, with widespread teacher and principal firings. Michelle Rhee fired experienced qualified teachers and principals. She brought in inexperienced TFA’s (teachers who had 5 weeks of training) and placed rookie New Leaders principals (1 year of training) both had no experienced in the DCPS. For the record, Rhee was never certified as a teacher or met the criteria for a principal’s job.

This year test scores indicated only 8 out of 87 elementary schools met the national targets and 2 out of 34 middle and high schools met their targets. She also over-emphasized standardized student testing and scores and failed to understand the importance of community. She installed a culture of fear with everybody from the principals down to the teachers and our community.

She copied the “Impact teacher evaluation and installed a “subjective” teacher evaluation rubric, under her IMPACT program. It did not emphasize teacher and principal training and curriculum development. She over spent this year’s budget by 35 million and said the statement from the CFO was premature.

Finally, I’m sure Montgomery County Public schools, Atlanta Public Schools, New Jersey public schools and the PG School system would not consider Rhee for their vacant supt’s position. Michelle is not “school reform” she is “incompetent” and inexperienced!

Posted by: hello101 | October 3, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

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