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Posted at 8:50 PM ET, 09/14/2010

The case for keeping Michelle Rhee

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Raymond Coleman,
Rockville

With all due respect to Colbert I. King [“Time for Rhee to go,” op-ed, Sept. 11], Michelle A. Rhee should be retained as D.C. schools chancellor.

She has effectively tackled the issues of infrastructure and school supplies, made headway in the evaluation, retention and compensation of qualified teachers, and has stabilized enrollment. For the first time in decades, parents have been given reason to hope that the schools will come through for their children.

That she inserted herself into the Democratic primary campaign may have been impolitic, but D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray’s ambivalence about her tenure only injects instability into a system that does not need uncertainty. Ms. Rhee’s style — as well as that of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) — may rub people the wrong way, but she is unequivocally on the children’s side.

By Patricia C. Moseley,
Washington

I took offense at Mr. King’s column on Ms. Rhee. I am a white District resident with grandchildren in the D.C. public school system, and my main interest in the primary election was who would ensure the best possible education for them and all District children.

To suggest that D.C. schools are more acceptable to me because black teachers and black administrators are being systematically eliminated is insulting.

The only thing of interest to me is quality in the classroom. Mayor Fenty and Ms. Rhee showed the courage to do what it takes to make education a priority.

When children don’t get a decent education, all the jobs programs, housing initiatives and neighborhood-improvement plans in the world don’t mean a hill of beans.



By washingtonpost.com editors  | September 14, 2010; 8:50 PM ET
Categories:  Adams Morgan, D.C., D.C. politics, Fenty, Georgetown, HotTopic, Mayor Fenty, education, schools  
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Comments

The case for keeping Rhee:

Well there's, uh ...

And how about, er ...

Then there's, um ...

What was the question again?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | September 14, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

She has been massively incompetent. She is turning DC into a teach for the test lab. She can't handle the finances right, and she has problems with disclosing issues to the DC Council.

Grade school test scores (which are faulty in and of themselves) have dropped.

Time that should be spent learning is spent learning how to take the test instead.

This is reform? Or should I say it is Rheeform.

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 14, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to DC to buck the national trend to improve government and schools by cutting fat and improving accountability. Their rejection of Rhee's successful education reforms is yet another reason for the generational poverty and illiteracy that plagues this city. Sad. Very sad.

Posted by: pascal64 | September 15, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Moseley writes, "The only thing of interest to me is quality in the classroom. Mayor Fenty and Ms. Rhee showed the courage to do what it takes to make education a priority....

To suggest that D.C. schools are more acceptable to me because black teachers and black administrators are being systematically eliminated is insulting."

So let me get this straight: you are a white DC resident who applauds Michelle's "courage" at firing black (yes, mostly BLACK) teachers and principals but yet are OUTRAGED that so many people say you support her for firing black teachers... huh? Name for me, please, actual factual statistics about what Rhee has done for DCPS other than FIRE BLACK TEACHERS and hire white TfAs with ZERO experience...

no new curriculum... no new supports for teachers to help them improve... just imported WHITE and NON BLACK outsiders and fancy made-up buildings...

Posted by: adcpsteacher | September 15, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Coleman writes, "She has effectively tackled the issues of infrastructure and school supplies, made headway in the evaluation, retention and compensation of qualified teachers, and has stabilized enrollment. For the first time in decades, parents have been given reason to hope that the schools will come through for their children."

Yes--she has built new buildings, wohoo.

Made headway in "retention of qualified teachers" is a JOKE, right??? Most QUALIFIED teachers are leaving DCPS like flies.. all she has managed to do is bring in TfAers (who by the way are totally UNQUALIFIED).

Stabilized enrollment?? JOKE again, huh? In fact, as we find out more and more about her twisted statistics, we realize things such as schools have been calculating graduation rates without including those who drop out in the middle of the year and other such incredibly DECEITFUL methods...

The last sentence should read, "For the first time in decades, WHITE PARENTS OR AFFLUENT parents have been given reason to hope that the schools will come through for their children." Not black residents of wards 7 & 8... but who cares about "those people," huh, Mr. Coleman? Surely that's not where you live.

Last time I checked, Wards 7 &8 and much of 6 voted for Gray BECAUSE of Rhee... so NO, Rhee has not given hope to ALL PARENTS. But such are the rosy vision glasses of privilege that you forget to look farther than your own nose...

Posted by: adcpsteacher | September 15, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee needs to go back to the West Coast, get married and try to live happily ever after. Reforming schools is not about catering to affluent white parents. No, I am not trying to be prejudiced, however we have a chancellor with a bachelors degree only recruiting teachers with a Masters degree or above. If a masters degree means that teacher is better, then how did she get her job! I say Rhee must go.

Posted by: tanya_r_bryan | September 15, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee needs to go back to the West Coast, get married and try to live happily ever after. Reforming schools is not about catering to affluent white parents. No, I am not trying to be prejudiced, however we have a chancellor with a bachelors degree only recruiting teachers with a Masters degree or above. If a masters degree means that teacher is better, then how did she get her job! I say Rhee must go.

Posted by: tanya_r_bryan | September 15, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee needs to go back to the West Coast, get married and try to live happily ever after. Reforming schools is not about catering to affluent white parents. No, I am not trying to be prejudiced, however we have a chancellor with a bachelors degree only recruiting teachers with a Masters degree or above. If a masters degree means that teacher is better, then how did she get her job! I say Rhee must go.

Posted by: tanya_r_bryan | September 15, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee needs to go back to the West Coast, get married and try to live happily ever after. Reforming schools is not about catering to affluent white parents. No, I am not trying to be prejudiced, however we have a chancellor with a bachelors degree only recruiting teachers with a Masters degree or above. If a masters degree means that teacher is better, then how did she get her job! I say Rhee must go.

Posted by: tanya_r_bryan | September 15, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse


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 firing, threatening and intimidating principals, teachers and staff members. Rhee never had a plan evidenced by only 10 schools meeting the national standards. Rhee must be fired. This experiment is over.

Posted by: hello101 | September 15, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee doesn't want to stay. That's clear. The day after the election, she told an audience: "Yesterday's election results were devastating, devastating," Rhee said.

Rhee, with her bachelor's degree and lack of experience, likes to say it's all about the children. But clearly it's all about Michelle.

An intriguing insight into her outlook was offered in a 2008 interview with Fast Company magazine. According to today's Post, 'Rhee said council hearings had "this crazy dynamic where every agency head is kowtowing. They sit there and get beat down. I'm not going to sit on public TV and take a beating I don't deserve. I don't take that crap."'

Well right. Autocrats don't need to take crap, but in a democratic society, people responsible for spending public money need to be accountable in public for what they are doing.

Gray gave every sign in recent days that he wanted to take the temperature of a possible relationship with Rhee. She's acting the part of a petulant child and making that impossible.

Posted by: blaneyboy | September 16, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Rhee is way overrated. Her comment about the school system being "devastated" because Gray is now the Mayor was as insulting and stupid as her boy Fenty dissing Maya Angelou and Dorothy Height. No one person is indispensable. I say goodbye and good riddance to the both of them.

Posted by: jhnsnrt | September 17, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Rhee is way overrated. Her comment about the school system being "devastated" because Gray is now the Mayor was as insulting and stupid as her boy Fenty dissing Maya Angelou and Dorothy Height. No one person is indispensable. I say goodbye and good riddance to the both of them.

Posted by: jhnsnrt | September 17, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Rhee is way overrated. Her comment about the school system being "devastated" because Gray is now the Mayor was as insulting and stupid as her boy Fenty dissing Maya Angelou and Dorothy Height. No one person is indispensable. I say goodbye and good riddance to the both of them.

Posted by: jhnsnrt | September 17, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

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