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White House addresses Michelle Rhee's departure

Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs addressed questions about Michelle Rhee's departure from the D.C. Public Schools during a White House press gaggle earlier today. From a wire transcript:

Q: On education, D.C. school Chancellor Michelle Rhee stepped down or announced her resignation today. Given the fact that education's been such a priority for the president and, you know, the fact that he met with the "Waiting for Superman" kids earlier this week, does he have any regrets that he hasn't -- wasn't more vocal during Mayor Fenty's campaign?

MR. GIBBS: No, because -- look, this is a -- I'm not -- I don't think the president has any regrets about not getting involved in a mayoral race. Obviously, the president's -- the president is spending a lot of time with Arne Duncan and with others in instituting some of the most sweeping and dramatic educational reforms that we've seen in a generation. Fights that used to be had about whether or not we were going to have some agreed-upon standards that people looked at as important in measuring the educational progress of our students are now being implemented across states throughout the country, not the least of which is because incentives -- there's incentives to do that. So look, obviously, the important work of people like Michelle Rhee and Arne Duncan and others has to -- has to continue, regardless of the outcome of elections, because we understand the fundamental place that education plays in creating the jobs of tomorrow, and creating a foundation for new industries and new technologies and keeping us at the forefront of economic competitiveness.

Q: The president could have swung that race, though.

(Cross talk.)

Q: The president could have swung that race for Fenty. I mean, Jim Gray (sic) said that.

MR. GIBBS: I appreciate the (punditry?).

And, no, I don't think we're talking about that Jim Gray.

UPDATE, 4:40 P.M.: Apparently "Jim Gray" is Ward 1 Council member Jim Graham, who told the Daily Caller, "I think the president could have won the election for Adrian. ... I know it would be the president of the United States interfering with a local election in the capital of the United States. But I think he could have found something." (h/t @vdavez)

By Mike DeBonis  | October 13, 2010; 3:28 PM ET
Categories:  Adrian Fenty, Michelle Rhee, The District  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Michelle Rhee launches Web site, joins Facebook and Twitter
Next: DeMorning DeBonis: Oct. 14, 2010



(reference to post
by thooker65):

Read about the scam testing procedures,
described below ! ---

"My daughter participated in the D.C.
Saturday Scholar program for nearly two years.
After I found out that she was only 1 of a few students from each school that had above average skills in learning, (Talented and Gifted), were asked to participate in that program. She along with other students that processed that higher level of learning were in this class to take the test (the NAEP exam
a national assessment, deliberately administered to only a selected 'sample group' of DCPS students) --which was then manipulated to artificially bolster DCPS test score ratings, as a whole district.
So how does that make the school system
better (?!), if only this selected group of smarter kids bring up the school standings (via a clandestine process)?
After I found out what was going on, I removed my daughter from that program. I’m pretty sure that Michelle Rhee would like to take credit for the
better scores, but did anyone really look into that smoke screen of what was really going on, I can only imagine
-- and when I found out about the program I felt sick to my stomach.


Posted by: newmanagement2 | October 13, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

The relentless flatness of this administration's platitudes about education is creeping me out. They are just not capable of responding to input from the external world.

In the last election, community activists, teachers, and progressives supported Obama and Democratic congressional candidates much more actively than we can now. What is there to do for him?

The DNCC keeps sending out desperate pleas to save them from the Tea Party, as though they have no prospect of using any power to defend real working people. I'm afraid people just won't canvas, or phone bank, or get out and vote this time.

Yeah, contributions are pouring in from billionaires, but so what? Money doesn't vote. What if
Duncan:Obama :: Rhee:Fenty ?

Unfortunately, Vince Gray isn't running for state or national office, and most of the Democrats who are won't say "boo" to defend communities from destructive financiers and hedge-fund billionaires, whether it's in education or jobs.

Posted by: mport84 | October 13, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Councilmember Graham is highly misinformed if he thinks that the majority of voters in Wards 4,5, and 8 would follow the endorsement of president Obama for mayor Fenty, if it had happened. This statement by him means that Graham will be ward 1's councilmember for life since he will never win citywide.

Posted by: dcgovcorruption | October 14, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously, the president's -- the president is spending a lot of time with Arne Duncan and with others in instituting some of the most sweeping and dramatic educational reforms that we've seen in a generation."

Look at CPS, Duncan decimated much of the inner city schools with his so called "reform." Now he is going to decimate inner city schools across the nation. And this is reform? Sorry, I don't buy it.

Mr. DeBonis, it's time for you to check out the effects of Arne Duncan's reform with inner city schools in Chicago.

Posted by: jlp19 | October 16, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

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