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Posted at 6:57 PM ET, 09/29/2010

Michelle Rhee’s reforms have helped heal D.C. schools

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Steve Holmer,
Washington

After reading Courtland Milloy’s Sept. 27 Metro column, “Quick to see others’ shortcomings, Rhee should concede her own,” I couldn’t help but wonder what city he’s talking about.

The incompetence and negligence that once characterized D.C. government had one holdout by 2005: the public school system. The main reform that was needed was to get rid of the administrators who couldn’t administer, the principals who couldn’t lead and the teachers who couldn’t teach. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee deserve credit for pushing for this overdue change. I hope the new mayor doesn’t try to bring those underperformers who were fired back into the school system.

We shouldn’t let Mr. Fenty and Ms. Rhee’s perceived shortcomings in communication and leadership style undercut what’s been accomplished.

By Judith Schaefer,
Washington

I wish Courtland Milloy would document his belief that Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee focused more on the white areas of town than on the poor black ones. He should gather statistics and specify initiatives ward by ward. Then we can see if there is anything behind his claims.

I take exception to his position that whites who support Ms. Rhee aren’t interested in poor black children. I, for one, am extremely concerned about them. If the young men whom op-ed columnist Colbert I. King frequently writes about had had better educations, maybe they wouldn’t be involved in crime.

The thought of anyone’s children subjected to substandard education makes me sick. I want to live in a city that gives everyone a chance. I think that Ms. Rhee and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty want that, too.



By washingtonpost.com editors  | September 29, 2010; 6:57 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, Fenty, HotTopic, Mayor Fenty, education, schools  
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Comments

a concerned DCPS parent :

re: Michelle Rhee’s “mom friendly” comment, prepared specifically for the Oprah show, about moms not tolerating mediocre teachers being given time to grow and develop professionally. “Well. The unqualified, needing-to-grow-professionally, TFA principal that Rhee PUSHED on our school, despite protests from a panel of engaged, informed, truly progressive, professional educators and parents with advanced degrees in education . . . . . (this TFA principal) hired and protected even more inexperienced, unqualified teachers who will take YEARS to develop into true professionals. But the principal and those teachers all know how to say “yes” to their boss. Too bad they don’t know the basics of how children learn, or the nuances of curriculum and instruction. It is hard, hard work indeed to have to reprogram my kids every day after school, to get them to embrace and understand learning again. Rhee’s influential, BAD decisions and practices, more than ANY OTHER failure of the DC Public School system, has me on the verge of pulling my kids out of school. Rhee embarrassed herself mightily at the DC screening of this film (”Waiting for Wall Street Super-scammers”) with her comment insulting DC voters. My kids, and the 350 others in their school, will not be devastated at all when she leaves. We assume she will head to the business world for which she may have more appropriate skills.”

———————————————————

Posted by: tellthetruth10 | September 29, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

achievement gap widened

DCPS ELEMENTARY TEST SCORES DOWN --
DECLINES IN READING AND MATH

Michelle Rhee, unaccountable & unqualified
‘chancellor’
(note: she is not legally eligible
to be a school district superintendent)

“The DCPS had lower math test scores
in grades 4 and 8 in 2009,
and District African-American
test scores went down” …….

read & view the
data =>
http://www.examiner.com/ward-5-in-washington-dc/rhee-fails-on-nation-s-report-card

___________________________________________

2010 DCPS Test Scores DECLINED
see news article

DCist website: =>
http://dcist.com/2010/07/2010_dcps_test_scores_decline.php


----------------------------------------
(reference: Mr. House) :

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.
__________________________________________________________
Sexual Misconduct Suit Filed Against D.C. Public School Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Former Teacher……..DC Examiner
__________________________________________________________
According to the report, a former St. HOPE official told investigators that Michelle Rhee – at the time a St. HOPE board member and now Johnson’s fiancée and public schools chief in Washington, D.C. — did “damage control” after learning of sexual misconduct allegations against Johnson.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2009/11/20/2338165/kevin-johnsons-accuser-says-he.html#ixzz10X7EgmSQ

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

Posted by: tellthetruth10 | September 29, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Steve, with all due respect ...

Are you nuts?

Gray was elected in part because of the widespread opposition to Michelle A. Rhee. Other than Uncle Ruckus, did any black people vote for Fenty? Fenty was in effect Rhee-moved.

On November 3, voters expect Gray to finally say good bye to Rhee, her masking tape, and her briefcase full of pink slips. Don't you find it odd that despite weeks of relentless self-promotion by Rhee in the media, not one single school system in the entire hemisphere has been reported to have expressed interest in her leading them. Any possibility they know Rhee could not survive the background vetting that Fenty did not subject her to before her DC appointment as Schools Chancellor? Just askin'.

And if schools are clamoring for her, why are her supporters still trying to bully Mayor Gray into keeping her in DC? Riddle me that.
____________

Don't write anything that Rhee-diculous again, Steve.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | September 29, 2010 7:54 PM | 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 Queen Rhee's fond anecdote about “taping shut students’ mouths”)
also -- these recruits are basically temp. workers not committed to the profession of teaching (ditto).
These programs are NOT designed to develop
a professional corps of teachers.
As a teacher with 15 years experience,
I can tell you, 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 —
nothting more
(band-aids are easily peeled off, fall off) —
a pseudo-reform sham providing cover for a
Wall Street-funded
edu-profiteering scam doesn’t heal anything and doesn’t construct anything
lasting or worthwhile for the children.

---------------------------------------

Posted by: songbird272 | September 29, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse


RESEARCH Michelle Rhee's ongoing
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
machinations, financial gaming the system, and legal violations -- in Sacramento (read the previous posts below) and also in Washington, DC. 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 teen minors and staff subordinates, cover-ups and 'hush money' deals
behind-the-scenes).

--------------------------------------

Posted by: songbird272 | September 29, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Bird, watch yourself, Rhee may have some masking tape left for you. Ouch.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | September 29, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, Rhee was totally unqualified for the job, mainly because of poor character. I'm glad she is big on "accountability" because she should understand why she will soon be leaving DC.

As for you, Mr. Holmer, why would you want such a poor achiever to stay on as "chancellor?" Rhee herself advocated for highly qualified educators. "Go hard or go home." Well, she's going home.

DC can do better.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | September 29, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, Rhee was totally unqualified for the job, mainly because of poor character. I'm glad she is big on "accountability" because she should understand why she will soon be leaving DC.

As for you, Mr. Holmer, why would you want such a poor achiever to stay on as "chancellor?" Rhee herself advocated for highly qualified educators. "Go hard or go home." Well, she's going home.

DC can do better.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | September 29, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

She taped childrens' mouths shut with masking tape and their lips bled!!!

Why is she still chancellor? Why isn't she in jail?

Michelle Rhee is a disgrace.

Posted by: Nicnamibia | September 29, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

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.
__________________________________________________________
Sexual Misconduct Suit Filed Against D.C. Public School Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Former Teacher……..DC Examiner
______________________________________________________________
According to the report, a former St. HOPE official told investigators that Michelle Rhee - at the time a St. HOPE board member and now Johnson's fiancée and public schools chief in Washington, D.C. -- did "damage control" after learning of sexual misconduct allegations against Johnson.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2009/11/20/2338165/kevin-johnsons-accuser-says-he.html#ixzz10X7EgmSQ

Posted by: hello101 | September 30, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"As for you, Mr. Holmer, why would you want such a poor achiever to stay on as "chancellor?" Rhee herself advocated for highly qualified educators. "Go hard or go home." Well, she's going home.

DC can do better."

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher

I just laughed my coffee through my nose! Accountability? Qualification? DC can do better? Did you notice what the state of DCPS was before Rhee? No one worried about accountability or qualifications before, not parents, teachers, pricipals, adminstrators, elected officials. They let DCPS rot for 3 decades. Now you want to talk about doing better and accountability? Let's talk about delusion.

Posted by: minhle1 | September 30, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

songbird272 wrote:

RESEARCH Michelle Rhee's ongoing
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
machinations, financial gaming the system, and legal violations -- in Sacramento (read the previous posts below) and also in Washington, DC. 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 teen minors and staff subordinates, cover-ups and 'hush money' deals behind-the-scenes).

--------------------------------------

Posted by: tellthetruth10 | September 30, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

To Judith Schaefer – are you saying educated people do not get involved in criminal activities just b/c they are educated. So Bernie Madoff and others like him are not criminal, or in your eyes he’s not? To Steve Holmer – why didn’t you chastise Councilmember Fenty when he voted against school take over under then Mayor Williams? If Mayor Williams had gotten his wish then, all those ineffective teachers and administrators would probably have left the system under then Superintendent Cliff Janey. Fenty and Rhee supporters want to have selective memory and bash Courtland Milloy and Colbert King for their editorial. What, should 80-percent of DC resident who are Black sit back and take whatever reform Fenty and Rhee are pushing down their throat without consultation or buy-in b/c in the eyes of the “few” they are just dumb ni**ers who don’t know a good thing when it hits them? Well to you self-center, self-righteous few who know what’s best for DC and the little ni**ers in the public school system – here is what’s good for you – the middle finger!!! You can afford to send your children, if you have children, to private schools or you probably live in those wards where the “best” schools in DC are located. A friend once told me, “communicate is the key to every, and all good relationships” – Rhee’s communication skills with the population that most needed her help was horrible! Imagine Rhee having those same communication skills in a city where the population is 80-percent white.

Posted by: blacksheepanp | September 30, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

http://www.facebook.com/#!/RunFentyRun?ref=ts

Posted by: Postpost44 | September 30, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Postpost44 GIVE IT UP.

Posted by: guylady201001 | September 30, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

It's obvious that Courtland Milloy has some type of vendetta against Ms. Rhee. I've read column after column of his attacks, always lacking any counterpoints on what should be done. Ms. Rhee went against the union and did what she could to improve the quality of education for District students. It's my sincere hope that the next leader can do as well, but I fear that the union will again assert it's power and protect under-performing teachers.

Posted by: sun_devil01 | September 30, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

http://www.facebook.com/#!/RunFentyRun?ref=ts

Posted by: Postpost44 | September 30, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

After opening her big mouth with insults and attacks on teachers and principals, after stating that collaboration and consensus is overrated, for all the times she has had to take her foot out of her mouth to clean up something dumb she said (Gray's win is devastating) as an example, Courtland Malloy can say anything he wants to and there are many who agree with him.

@songbird272: Are you sure he's the one paying the child support? Being out of DC more than in DC and reporting for duty, she might not even be the custodial parent. Which is why I chuckle everytime she says she thinks like a mother. She certainly wasn't thinking like a mother or had any regard for parents when she allowed mothers across the city to wait days before she cleared up her goof about child molesters in schools or to their loud and demonstrative protests regarding the principal at Hardy.

Keep on with your analysis Courtland. She went beyond her realm of responsibilities to be a political figure so she's fair game for criticism.

Posted by: candycane1 | October 1, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Read what one of the nation's leading educators had to say about Chancellor read --it ain't pretty and it titled, A Star is Born- But Who Gets Burned:
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/place_at_the_table/2010/09/a_star_is_born.html

Posted by: GoldCoast | October 1, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

__________________________________________________________
Sexual Misconduct Suit Filed Against D.C. Public School Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Former Teacher……..DC Examiner
______________________________________________________________
According to the report, a former St. HOPE official told investigators that Michelle Rhee - at the time a St. HOPE board member and now Johnson's fiancée and public schools chief in Washington, D.C. -- did "damage control" after learning of sexual misconduct allegations against Johnson.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2009/11/20/2338165/kevin-johnsons-accuser-says-he.html#ixzz10X7EgmSQ

Posted by: hello101 | October 2, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

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