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Posted at 5:04 PM ET, 01/26/2010

Perspective on Rhee’s words

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Victor M. Glasberg
Alexandria

The recent tempest over Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee’s explosive statements about fired D.C. teachers illuminates a whole lot more than the utility of avoiding injurious rhetorical excess.

The politicians and unions taking potshots at Ms. Rhee have for decades been knowingly complicit in the maintenance of an educational wasteland in the District’s public schools. As an employment and civil rights lawyer, a public school advocate and the father of a public school teacher, I oppose, as all reasonable people should oppose, the slurring of teachers as a group.

But the righteous indignation being generously voiced over Ms. Rhee’s exasperated outburst ill becomes those who have responded to her desperately needed reforms with intransigence, professional irresponsibility and political cowardice. Ms. Rhee’s offense is far milder and far less damaging than theirs.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | January 26, 2010; 5:04 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., schools  
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Next: Rhee's rhetorical excess

Comments

Excuse me, this isn't just a matter of rhetorical excess. This is her personality, she can't change it. She's incapable of working with the teachers or anyone else who doesn't simply roll over for her. It's the administrative equivalent of the Vietnam-era excuse, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it".

And the WaPo is neck-deep in conflict of interest, starting with its way-too-cozy interrelationship with the "Federal City Council".

Posted by: laboo | January 26, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

please name one desperately needed reform that Rhee has brought?

"Scores" have been rising for over a decade before she got here and the rise actually declined slightly since she arrived.

Here are the official numbers, taken from the Department of Ed website.* Also see gfBrandenburg’s blog* for information on how the achievement gap, for what it’s worth, has widened since Rhee arrived in DC.

DC 4th grade math
2000 – 192
2003 – 205
2005 – 211
2007 – 214
2009 – 219

DC 8th grade math
2000 – 235
2003 – 243
2005 – 245
2007 – 248
2009 – 254

Reading scores for 2009 will not be available until this spring.

* References in the order mentioned above
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ [click on “state profiles”]
http://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/why-and-how-has-michelle-rhee-enlarged-the-achievement-gap-in-dc/

Please consdier that most of what you heard is just like the sex story -- full of lies and exagerations.

Posted by: efavorite | January 26, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

so i guess truthfulness is not an option. if someone does something wrong, fire them. remember the one bad apple rule. two wrongs don't make a right. and the end definitely doesn't justify the means. everybody has an excuse. grow up. do the RIGHT thing.

Posted by: icebluekoolaid1 | January 27, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Victor, This comment from Miss Rhee is not a "exasperated outburst."
It is the way she operates.
From her falsified resume to her so called "Baltimore Miracle", she will change reality to fit her viewpoint.
She knew that what she said to FatsCompany would not be challenged because she is hardly ever challenged on her words and "deeds."
When she appears at one of these seminars, like the Apsen Institute, she can say whatever she wants to , and what the audience wants to hear, becuase she is not held accountable.
The recent temper tantrum by Fred Hiatt probes that.

Posted by: phillipmarlowe | January 31, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

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