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Posted at 1:31 PM ET, 09/16/2010

Rhee just keeps digging a bigger hole

By Martin Austermuhle

Just because you can say it, doesn't mean you should. That's a lesson that D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee might want to take to heart.

But one day after Mayor Adrian Fenty lost his bid for re-election and Democratic nominee Vince Gray announced that he had put in a call to Rhee and was looking forward to sitting down with her, Rhee called the results of the primary "devastating."

According to the Post's Bill Turque, Rhee, who attended the opening of the documentary Waiting for Superman (which features her as something of a savior figure for D.C. schools), stated, "Yesterday's election results were devastating, devastating. Not for me, because I'll be fine, and not even for Fenty because he'll be fine, but devastating for the schoolchildren of Washington, D.C."

Whether or not you think Gray should or will choose to retain her or not, Rhee isn't making it easy for him to do so. Gray will surely face pressure from the coalition that helped usher him to victory, and many of his supporters, including the teacher's union, will likely want Rhee gone.

But Gray is the presumptive mayor-elect: he could put his foot down and opt to retain Rhee, if he chooses. That being said, the more Rhee says things like this -- which, at the end of the day, seem to indict anyone who voted for Gray -- the more political capital Gray will have to spend to keep her on.

Continue readindg this piece by Martin Austermuhle at here.

Martin Austermuhle blogs at DCist. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Martin Austermuhle  | September 16, 2010; 1:31 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network  
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I didn't realize Michelle Rhee was the only person qualified to run the DC schools. What a tragic, tragic loss to have lost such a big ego.

Posted by: luvleep | September 16, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JeffB-27 | September 16, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Rhee said, "Yesterday's election results were devastating, devastating," Well it’s not about YOU chancellor Rhee. By the way, Rhee you never burn your bridges!

If Mayor Gray retains Chancellor Rhee, it would be devastating to his administration. Chancellor Rhee and Mayor Fenty were held accountable for their arrogant and condescending behavior toward the people of District of Columbia. Chancellor Rhee is incompetent and she end up as one the most polarizing figures in our city. She 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. Rhee never had a plan evidenced by only 10 schools meeting the national standards. The people have spoken and this Rhee experiment is over. Rhee must be fired!

Posted by: hello101 | September 16, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

If Gray keeps Rhee, I, along with many residents of DC, will never ever vote for him again. In fact, I will lose all respect for him. She is disrespectful and also thinks that she was elected Mayor instead of Gray. Let her go. Rhee go to Sacramento or whatever. I could care less. Just go Rhee.

Posted by: samvped205 | September 16, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

@JeffB-27- "We people" think you sound bitter.

Posted by: luvleep | September 16, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the only person who DIDN'T let her ego get in the way of progress was Ms. Rhee. If it was all about her, she'd have wasted her tenure playing politics with the old guard instead of working so hard to make a difference. In doing her job, she apparently "disrespected" the wrong people -- whatever that means. No doubt her replacement will know that it's more important to "give respect" than it is to accomplish anything.

Posted by: uraclod | September 16, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope she leaves of her own accord, otherwise people who like "fake" reformers like Rhee will try to force Gray (against the majority of the voters) to keep her.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 16, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse


Until she hands in her resignation we don't know that.

Hopefully she does it soon.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 16, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Rhee's recent statements make it easier for councilmembers and journalists who urged Gray to keep Rhee, to back off, seeing that Rhee has no intention of serving in a Gray administration.

My take -- Rhee is bored with local politics. With "Waiting for Superman" coming out in a week or so, she has hit the big time. Helping DC children has become a stepping stone, in her mind, to helping ALL CHILDREN.

Her outsized ego and the national and DC media attention that has helped create it, will catapult her to fame - briefly hopefully, until she once again, says something really stupid. This time the whole country (perhaps the world!) will be listening and she will finally, finally, flame out.

Posted by: efavorite | September 16, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how threatened people are! Yet, they can't point to a single instance where Ms. Rhee has failed to serve her constituants -- the D.C. children. Her critics sound like a bunch of jealous high school kids trying to trash the prom queen -- obsessed with her comments, her "lack of respect," and her ego. Don't worry, bullies, you won.

Posted by: uraclod | September 17, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Hello101 wrote:

"Rhee never had a plan evidenced by only 10 schools meeting the national standards."

If you are talking about AYP as measured by the DC-CAS, the benchmark for making adequate progress jumps every two years. When Fenty and Rhee took over in 2007, 47.37% of the elementary reading students needed to be proficient or above for a school to make AYP. In 2010, the benchmark was 73.69%. For elementary math, the AYP threshold jumped from 40.27% in 2007 to 70.14% in 2010.

Vince Gray's campaign literature featured the drop in schools meeting AYP under Fenty. Perhaps Gray will be a bit chastened in 2014 when schools have to achieve 100% proficiency to meet AYP under NCLB.

If Gray's 2014 mayoral opponent neglects to point out that ZERO DC schools met national standards, I'll be there to remind him.

Posted by: gardyloo | September 17, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

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