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Posted at 3:20 PM ET, 02/15/2011

Gray: Kaya Henderson wants the chancellor job

By Bill Turque

Since her appointment in October, interim schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has expressed ambivalence when asked if she wants the job on a permanent basis. But Mayor Vincent C. Gray, the man who will make the appointment, said Tuesday he's sure that she's sure.

"I think she would like to be considered," Gray said at a press conference Tuesday morning. "She's certainly given me every indication that she wants to be here."

Gray made the comment shortly after announcing that CityBridge Foundation president Katherine Bradley and UNCF president and CEO Michael Lomax, who co-chaired the mayor's education transition team, will also lead the search panel for a permanent chancellor. The 2007 law giving the mayor control of the public school system requires a formal search, although there is every indication that Gray remains sold on Henderson. He sounded Tuesday like he wasn't interested in a lengthy search.

"We will be looking at moving quickly to get this done," he said.

Other members of the 16-person panel, to be comprised of parents, students, community leaders and representatives of the Washington Teachers' Union, will be named later this month. The law says Gray is required to meet with the panel before making his choice and "shall give great weight to any recommendation of the Washington Teachers' Union." Look for the WTU to recommend someone other than Henderson.

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By Bill Turque  | February 15, 2011; 3:20 PM ET
 
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Comments

The Mayor appears to making the informed, children-centric, politically wise play. No surprise.

Posted by: axolotl | February 15, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

As my grandmomma used to say "don't let you wants hurt you" or better yet "a bullfrog wants wings so that he won't bump his #zz so much when he lands." I won't believe it until I see it, remember the last time we saw a Chancellor wanting something it was clearly written all over her face.

All in all she has laid down roots somewhat by being here in DC for about 8 years already and has children in the DCPS system at one of the most dysfunctional highschools. So, if all indications are as Gray perceives then his perception is as accurate as his hand-dancing moves.

Posted by: PowerandPride | February 15, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

As my grandmomma used to say "don't let you wants hurt you" or better yet "a bullfrog wants wings so that he won't bump his posterior so much when he lands." I won't believe it until I see it, remember the last time we saw a Chancellor wanting something it was clearly written all over her face.

All in all she has laid down roots somewhat by being here in DC for about 8 years already and has children in the DCPS system at one of the most dysfunctional highschools. So, if all indications are as Gray perceives then his perception is as accurate as his hand-dancing moves.

Posted by: PowerandPride | February 15, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Kaya. Nothing personal, but NO!

Posted by: why231 | February 15, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Henderson hasn't screamed from the rooftops that she will kowtow to every existing teacher, no matter how bad, as long as they have seniority, as well as every union whim. So she should NEVER be considered for Chancellor; as a matter of fact, she should be canned immediately.

Posted by: Dan4 | February 15, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Powerandpride:

Did Kaya lay down roots in D.C. for eight years, or in the New Teacher Project's D.C. operation? There is a difference in meaning.

Also, are those her childen, or her boyfriend's? Again, there is a difference in meaning.

I'd like to echo Why231; nothing personal...we could do much better than hanging on to remnants of Rhee's experiment in education. I sincerely hope the Mayor reflects intelligently on this and consider where we need to go as a city. Kaya ain't the one to take us there!

Posted by: vscribe | February 15, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

When Richard Scary wrote his terrific illustrated supplement to the Department of Labor's "Occupational Outlook Handbook", called "What Do People Do All Day," he could not have anticipated the WaPo reporter's coverage of public education. Or maybe he did, and didn't include newspaper reporters. What does Bill Turque for the rest of the day?

Posted by: incredulous | February 15, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect Mr. Turque, I think you are putting words in Kaya Henderson's mouth by way of Mayor Gray's mouth when you headline a post with "Kaya Henderson wants the chancellor's job" rather than something like Mayor says Ms. Hnderson has indicated an interest ot desire or has thrown her hat in the ring.

There is no follow up with Henderson herself as to her own thoughts so this is really a report about how the chancellor selection process is going along in the Mayor's view, not a report on a heretofore unknow definite decision on Henderson's part.
Misleading and hollow while Henderson's interest and the chancellor selection proces are both of utmost importance to all DC residents.
And this is why I read the WaPo with a big grain of salt.
Thank you.

Posted by: 1citizen | February 15, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I guess Rhee has failed to offer her girl a job.

OMG. I hope Gray is not stuck on STUPID.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | February 15, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with why231: "NO!" Kaya, thanks for sticking around after Rhee left but we need a fresh start and a total change in leadership and someone who is ACTUALLY QUALIFIED for the job this time around.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | February 15, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It's time for Mayor Vincent Gray to drop the term "Chancellor" and recruit a Superintendent. Our DCPS students, parents, teachers and community deserve better.

Posted by: sheilahgill | February 15, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

The mayor needs to remember who fought and worked for his election (public school teachers). We need an educator in charge, not a business leader. Please consider a fresh start!

Posted by: WorkingT | February 15, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

1. Maybe Turque didn't write the headline. Or he wrote it and wapo changed it -- that happens.

2. Under mayoral control, I believe "Chancellor" is the term that must be used for our school leader. Still, the Chancellor could have all the qualifications of a superintendent - e.g. doctorate, requisite teaching and admin experience. Kaya doesn't qualify -- she doesn't even have a master's -- but lots of other people do.

Posted by: efavorite | February 15, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Kaya does have a masters degree in leadership.

@1citizen- you are correct...there is no evidence in this article that Kaya said she wanted the job- Turque does this all the time- he makes generalizations in his articles' titles to generate sensationalism where there isn't any-having said this, I'm sure Kaya does want the job- rarely, does a person take an interim position who isn't interested in the position...

Also, while there are clear advantages to having a superintendent that has the typical educational background, there is no correlation or data supporting that a superintendent with a doctorate has any more success than one without. In fact, there are many ineffective ones, some who have served in DC...that being said, transient leadership is a great deal of the reason DCPS is in this position. We need to continue the reforms put in place by Rhee's team with a more effective element around collaboration and dignity...

But, let's not kid ourselves...DCPS cannot go back to the days where people who are ineffective and incompetent are running the show...These Riffed educators and ineffective employees who were fired must never return...ever!

Posted by: teacher6402 | February 15, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

My error on Kaya’s Master’s. I had just been skimming The Bee Eater, which mentions that Kaya signed up for a master’s program but dropped out to take the job with DCPS when Rhee came in. There was no mention that she already had an advanced degree.

Posted by: efavorite | February 16, 2011 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Kaya ain't qualified for the job! Let's do a national search for the most qualified applicant. Our students are deserving of a better qualified candidate. In the words of Rhee-Rhee, let's think about what is best for the children--- not the adults.

Posted by: teacherspet | February 16, 2011 7:13 AM | Report abuse

vscribe,

I feel ya...and I know the difference hoping others would notice.

Posted by: PowerandPride | February 16, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

vscribe and others -

I suggest you express your thoughts directly to the Mayor.

Posted by: efavorite | February 16, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Also, are those her childen, or her boyfriend's? Again, there is a difference in meaning.

Posted by: vscribe
-----------------------------------
Really vscribe...is this truly relevant??!! Just wondering if you actually have kids in DCPS or is this just another opportunity for you to spur hatred, SMDH!

Posted by: Beingsensible | February 16, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

UrbanDweller wrote:
I agree with why231: "NO!" Kaya, thanks for sticking around after Rhee left but we need a fresh start and a total change in leadership and someone who is ACTUALLY QUALIFIED for the job this time around.

sheilahgill wrote:
It's time for Mayor Vincent Gray to drop the term "Chancellor" and recruit a Superintendent. Our DCPS students, parents, teachers and community deserve better.

I agree with your comments. I sincerely hope Mayor Gray does not fall into the trap that Fenty set – that would be making up his mind without an effective search.

I cannot comprehend why some think it is okay to leave DCPS in the hands of those who have no real background in education. Would you patronize a physician or a lawyer who decided to forgo medical school or law school for five weeks of training? Education is too important a profession to reduce it to a five-week boot-camp.

I believe Henderson is one of Madame Rhee’s TfA sycophants. The TfA philosophy is nothing more than Scientology for educators. So Henderson will continue to advance “Rheeform” rather than education reform. Henderson recognizes that she must interact with others in a more conciliatory manner than her predecessor; however, the substance of her approach to reform is (most likely) the same as Rhee’s. (Which was union-busting and privatization of DCPS.)

I am certain there is a superintendent with the requisite qualifications to move DCPS forward in a positive way. It is imperative that Mayor Gray seek out the right person.

Posted by: sheridaw | February 16, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I just hope Kaya Henderson doesn't say that a good teacher can handle 40 students as easily as 20 students again. It is simply not the truth, and to say this is both abusive to children and to the teacher.

Posted by: educationlover54 | February 16, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Where's this year's superintendent conference? Might as well go to that site one more time to see, if we can chase down another candidate for the position.

We shouldn't worry about those who are going to apply...remember Rhee was recommended, therefore we need know the people that Mayor Gray values their recommendations or opinions.

Also, Rhee had to be convinced to take the job as she didn't want it, Kaya has alluded that she's interested in the position. Which now brings up the question, does someone need to convince Kaya that she's not needed? Hmmmm.

Who's our Deputy Mayor of Education, again? You better get to convincing.

Posted by: PowerandPride | February 16, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

efav.: I am submitting your name to Mayor Gray for his consideration for the Chancellor job.

Posted by: axolotl | February 16, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Vincent Gray: No and Hell No !

Posted by: BigTight33 | February 16, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Well at least there is no written proof that efavorite is a fraud like the person you supported with blind faith the last two years.

The people who supported Rhee will also support Kaya. What a joke.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | February 16, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

dccounselor72: madame, you are over-reacting.

Even a careless reading of all my posts shows, in most cases, an effort to be evenhanded. You have trouble taking that on board in your blind rage against M. Rhee.

I have been critical of her. She's made some great contributions, like getting schools closed, but is obviously an ineffective communicator. I am concerned about the chaos you and others are trying to stoke.

Chaos and delay are your weapons, but, unfortunately, the major victims are The Children. Luckily, your individual contribution is only some excess bloviation on this blogue. If you could only convert your ire to something constructive.... Many of us might be unclear if you even live in the District.

Regarding efavorite, I am completely serious. She would make a great official of DCPS. Maybe the top slot is too much, too soon. I proposed her almost a year ago to be head of evaluation and research. Whom to you propose--for any DCPS position? Or is everyone unsuited?

You need to calm down or you will make yourself ill. An anger mgt course would be something to consider, too. Good luck.

Posted by: axolotl | February 17, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Axxir

Chaos was Rhee's first, middle and last name.

You wrote: I have been critical of her. She's made some great contributions, like getting schools closed, but is obviously an "ineffective communicator." I am concerned about the chaos you and others are trying to stoke.Rhee is not an ineffective communicator" she is a polished LIAR.

You sir or madame have been had but all you can thinks about is hitting teachers and unions. Talk above "bloviation" you support a fraud and tell me to do something constructive. You are Rhee's twin and you cannot admit that she was nothing more than a money grabbing fraud.

I will continue to call her a liar and fraud while people like you who was truly had will try to spin the story.

You do not have a flying f..k about children.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | February 18, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

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